Saturday, September 10, 2011

8 Septiembre, 2011

I learned how to make sopes for the first time today! It was really fun but it took the cook (from now on to be referred to as Gloria) a few minutes to realize I truly wanted to help her cook. She was like, “really, you don't eat tortillas at home?” and I had to explain that even if I did eat tortillas more than once every two weeks, no one around me would know how to make them. I was also fortunate enough to get to hang out with her daughter all day as well, because my two supervisors were gone. What do you know – I was supposed to be at the house (meeting place) all day because people were supposed to come by and drop off documents. The one task I had prepared for and been trained for and... no one showed up all day. But the time was hardly wasted. I pulled out a guitar from the Maestra's house – she has some random instruments sitting around) and I sang and made up very very basic songs to play with Gloria's daughter. We also played a really entertaining game of write out the full name of all your family members and take turns being really surprised at how unpronounceable each name is and count the letters in the name to see who had the longest name. Mom, you won. Toward the end of my time at the house today, some women started coming in to participate in the 'sewing' i.e. gossip class. Don't get me wrong, they were sewing some amazing looking bags, but not much had been accomplished by the time I left other than me learning the word for 'sinners' as the women laughed and talked about drama in the community. I really would enjoy getting to know these women more, but the limited Spanish frustrates everything.
I had to choose between going to the internet cafe and taking a shower tonight, and I figured since I hadn't showered in 2 days, there really was no choice. But talk about really having to choose here. You really have to figure out your priorities. I'm not only referring to building a fire for half an hour before I shower so I can have warm water (the water felt so much warmer because I successfully built the fire myself today! - I think of how stupid these little celebrations must sound to my host family who has been doing these things for years) and thus not being able to go have internet before nightfall sets in, but also living off minimum wage in Mexico really stresses me out in always thinking about calling and texting and then deciding it's not really worth it, using less soap in the shower, not washing my clothes as much, and nearly eliminating my snack and exploration of food and beverage intake. I've had a couple discussions already with ML (my direct supervisor), la wise elderly Maestra, and other women in rural Mexico about the serious lack of ability to tackle looming issues because entire families are trying to live off what I'm living off of. And I don't have to pay for food or rent. Go figure.
I was riding in the bus today in one of my two hour commutes, and every 10 seconds I saw black fumes grossly emitted from buses. For a fleeting second I was like, “So.... anyone heard of global warming?” and then I grimly laughed at myself and thought, “If I was trying to put sustenance on the table for 6 people, this question would seem totally irrelevant.” Así es. There you have it. Shortly after, a man sitting in front of me threw out two empty bottles into the ditch. Ironic that the organization I'm working with is working with environmental projects, among other things. Then you step back into the real world and everything laughs at you.
Also, as a side note, la Maestra is one of nineteen children.

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