Saturday, April 14, 2007

Chihuahua - part uno

Mexico made such an impact on me. I may have only been there for a total of 18 hours or so, but in that time I was able to really experience everything going on around me. It allowed me to both observe and participate, both watch and do.

One of my first observations was poverty. I have only vague memories of an earlier visit to Chihuahua and even of the neighborhood we were in, but on this visit I could see everything with more understanding and clarity; the images were far more vivid. I could see so much more. I could see the squinty eyes of one of my relatives, and where I thought I saw heavy sorrow squeezing it's way out, I realized there was so much happiness from seeing family from so far away come to visit. I could smell the heaviness of dust, but never saw a speck of dirt on the broken concrete floor. Brown pictures of stern-looking men and women, fresh portraits of children, postcards and calendars of blue-eyed Jesus and Mary adorned cracked walls. Pieces of honey comb sat oozing on the kitchen table across from a mug of water sitting on an open flame, a tasty delight brewing for later. (Imagine my guilt as my mother just handed me my Venti Cinammon Dolce Frappuccino.)

Walking a couple of steps to yet another relative's house seemed like we were walking into another neighborhood entirely. The house was very updated with clean painted walls, several large beds, and new cabinetry. We entered in, saludamos (we greeted everyone), and almost immediately they were cooking. The husband ran to the store for some chicharrones (fried pork rind) and Coca-Cola, which I soon realized was the go-to drink of most meals. We wrapped our chicharrones in some fresh corn tortillas, added a little salsa and ate, all the while more food, beans and ground beef, sat cooking in lard. Health issues aside, we at very well at that house.

Well, my laptop battery is near dead and were about an hour from Albuquerque, but there's a lot more I want to share about Mexico so… hasta luego!

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