“Mexicans are lazy”

If there’s one resounding truth that can be said about Americans it’s that we’re hard workers. It’s in our cultural DNA. Before this trip, I used to routinely work 10-12 hours a day during the week and then cap it off with another 10 to 20 more on the weekend. And when I’d complain about it to a co-worker, the response was usually something like, “Good to have that work though, huh?” Or maybe, “You’re gonna be loving that O.T. though, right?” We’re culturally programmed to accept this. We even compete with one another for the title of, “Hardest Worker.” “I haven’t slept more than two hours in the last 2 weeks,” my buddy used to boast to me. “In the last month, I haven’t seen my wife for more than an hour except for sleeping,” another would brag. “My kids don’t even know for sure if I live at my own house!” This would bring much laughter and pats on the back.. “You win, big guy!” How have we possibly reached a point in our cultural evolution where this is acceptable, even applauded? Our freedom, our independence, the time to be a parent, a spouse, a human, our life itself, is for sale. We are selling our lives to other people and we’re thrilled to have the “opportunity” to do it! We actually cling to the idea and hold it up over our heads like it’s a shining virtue. It’s madness! ( Authors Note: As a person who has the luxury of being able to sit by the pool all day eating nachos and drinking cerveza, any opinions about how people should or shouldn’t live their lives are to be completely ignored.)

Impromptu mezcal tasting. Delicioso!

Impromptu mezcal tasting. Delicioso!

 

Read more

Papalotes School en Mexico by Matilda

I have been going to school here in Mexico for almost 3 months. The name of my school is called Papalotes which means ‘kites’ in Spanish. I am in a class with 6 people and one teacher (Maestra Leia) including one of my brothers, Charlie. It is like my school in California where some of the grades are together. In my class there are 1st-3rd graders. If my DVIA classmates are reading this, I really, really, really hope you are having a great time in 3rd grade with Megan. I miss you all and I think of you a lot! My little brother Jake is also in my school but he is in a younger class. They do lots of music, cooking and playing. In my class, we also have music but we do math, reading and writing. We also carve things in wood like little creatures! We make art too. It’s really different from my school in California but I really love going to school here in Mexico.

DSCN0316

Here I am in my schoolyard. You can see my classroom in the back!

I LOVE that Papalotes is so close to nature, and there are animals everywhere around! There are mountains in the back and lots of nature around. Sometimes,  you can see donkeys and goats in the street! There are also cows and bulls that graze next to the school grounds. And once a big bull came so close to our schoolyard but thankfully, there was a fence there.

IMG_3041

Here are the burros! They are so cute.

IMG_7251

Mi amigo! La vaca!

Read more

El arte y la vida de Oaxaca

All of our five senses have been on overload here in Oaxaca. You can’t have a bad meal, it’s absolutely impossible, and I, for one, don’t even eat meat so can’t imagine the realm of all the flavors out there …every time we step foot outdoor we anticipate some sort of adventure in any one or more of the senses ….and half the time we don’t even need to leave the comfort of our casa.

If it’s not the donkeys braying away in the distance, it’s the rooster and turkey crowing next door, or the parrots gawking in the trees outside of our house. Oh right, don’t forget about the 4 am fireworks wake up call and the wild perros barking up a storm every odd hour of the night. Every evening around 5 pm something like the theme to Spiderman and the Bunny Hop is blared through a loudspeaker. We don’t know why and probably never will.  Every night as we are going to bed we hear parties, music, salsa, any number of loudspeakers announcing something. It is clear, Mexicans are not afraid of noise. It is embraced and widely accepted. And strangely, we do too. Read more

Matilda’s first blog post

Hi, my name is Matilda. I’m 8 years old and I’m traveling the world with my family for one year. The first place we are going is Oaxaca, Mexico. The first thing I did here was I went swimming in our big pool at our new house. Next to our pool is a play ground with two swings, a ladder to climb up to our tree house and a yellow slide. I love animals and I’ve seen lots of animals that I don’t see in Los Angeles. I saw donkeys on the streets and also turkeys. I also saw parrots in the trees by our house. A lot of times I see goldfinches in our trees too. Also, we see lots of wild dogs in the street everywhere. And lizards too. Read more

Oaxaca

We’ve been in Oaxaca for about 3 weeks now and it seems that each day, we acclimate more and more to the Mexican lifestyle. Things are slower and simpler and the days, like the people here, are relaxed and easygoing. A normal day is breakfast, coffee, a swim, some homeschooling and maybe a trip to the park or a market to grab some supplies. We might read or Catherine might do some yoga, maybe a beer, some music, maybe even a nap. Often, we don’t know the day of the week or the time..or the date. A person can’t live this way forever, obviously, but after the tornado of activity that led up to our departure, it seems somehow that we’ve earned this bit of sloth and we’ve embraced it without regret or shame. Read more

So Far

Well, we’re one week in and so far, so great! We’ve rented a little place in San Felipe, Mexico which is about 15 minutes away from the larger, and more bustling, Oaxaca city. The place is simple but nice with a little yard, a pool, and great views of the mountains in the distance. Read more