The here and now... and what and why
First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.
Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Van 179 sismos
Comentó que no ha dejado de temblar en el estado, ya que en lo que va del año se han registrado 179 sismos, lo que da en promedio de dos sismos por día, que de acuerdo a los especialistas esto es bueno, porque libera la energía lentamente para evitar un sismo de mayor magnitud.
It has not stopped shaking in the state. Thus far this year, there have been 179 earthquakes registered, an average of two earthquakes per day. That, according to the specialists, is good, because it slowly releases the energy and helps avoid an earthquake of greater magnitude.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Not so in Teposcolula, where the church is also under restoration. Started at roughly the same time as Yanhuitlan (16th cent.) this church is always alive and in use. There is restoration work both inside and out proceeding at a fast clip with lots of workers. The finished organ loft. Again, this is a very large structure. The columns are probably 10 to 15 meters tall. The stonework is remarkable, all cut and fashioned on site.The baptismal font in a side chamber.Recently cleaned and restored retablo.Plus, lot at Teposcolula's Municipal center. Does your city hall look so fine?Well worth the visit. Almost no one goes to either place. Put it on your list.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I will post some of the photos I shot this past week, some really nice stuff.
From Bad Astronomy, one of my favorite blogs.
Today, March 20, at 17:32 GMT (1:32 p.m. EST) — after three months of crawling northward — the center of the Sun will lie on the celestial equator, heralding the moment of the vernal equinox.
Or, more understandably, if somewhat less correctly, spring will arrive.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
The Christian tradition states that when the guards came to take her away they found her so filled with the Holy Spirit that she was as stiff and heavy as a mountain; they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. Even after implanting a dagger through her throat she prophesied against her persecutor. As a final torture, her eyes were gouged out. She was miraculously still able to see without her eyes. In paintings St. Lucy is frequently shown holding her eyes on a golden plate.The whole story can be found here.
Here is the iconic piece from Tomb 7 at Monte Alban. Copies of it can be found in many of the jewelry stores.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
For some of the streets, after digging them up and replacing pipes and conduits, they use a pretty interesting technique. First they pour concrete, then get the bubbles out and smooth it. Then they dye and imprint a pattern on it using rubber molds that they push down into the wet cement. Then they use 2x4's to clean up the lines and voila, the finished product. It is one arduous process and these guys work hard. No OSHA here and the dust and heat are brutal, but in general, they always seem like they are having a decent time.
Of course, ain't nothing like the real thing.
Hard to believe, but last night, the first woman to win Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. Haven't seen the movie and didn't see the Oscars.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
We rented bikes and headed off through the bright sun and crisp air. Cuajimoloyas is way up there. It has the feel of a Swiss alpine village, except for all the agave and zapotecs. The road follows a ridge and is mostly downhill. Notice I said "mostly" and also what every biker knows, what goes down is all uphill on the way back.
The restaurant was maybe 10k and it was an easy ride through the mountains, surrounded by pines with the wind whistling though my hair. We were hungry before we left and the ride just added to it. It was time to eat.
Senora Lucia worked her magic with some freshly caught trout, which she stuffed with onions, chiles, tomato, herbs and quesillo, wrapped in tinfoil and cooked on her her hge wood-fired comal. Here she is making a special salsa made with nuts and chiles. She was helped by the ever-smiling Rosaleria. The food was so good and we were so hungry I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. It looked as good as it tasted.
After the meal it was time to head back. It has been a while since I had been on a bike and my butt was sore and the bikes were not in the best of shape, but I made it. I have to admit to walking up some of the longer uphill stretches. High altitude really does a number on your lungs if you are not used to it. Oaxaca is plenty high, but this was higher and baby, it hurt. You can see it in my face as I crossed the finish line. Now that I have recovered, it took a day, I am ready for the whole thing again.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
So this is interesting, no?
Today, this sprawling megalopolis will catapult to the front lines of gay rights in Latin America, when a city law legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption goes into effect.....
Mexico allows the federal district of Mexico City to pass its own laws, and the metropolis of more than 20 million people has become a major battleground in the culture wars playing out across the Americas.
In recent years, the city’s Legislative Assembly has recognized civil unions and no-fault divorce, legalized abortion in the first trimester, and given terminally ill patients the right to refuse treatment.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Drivers did what they normally do, jumped the median and started driving whatever way they could. So we were facing cars coming head on, but quite smoothly, everyone adjusted.
I got to the dealer and they said, "Fine, let's do it now. It'll be ready at 6." I was used to dealers saying bring it in in a couple of weeks. I jumped at the chance to get it over with.
So I found myself with seven hours to kill. No biggie. And that, my friends, is a big change in attitude. Waiting seven hours seemed short.
I figured I would go to a movie and walked between the two cineplexes to see what was playing and when. I thought maybe a couple of flicks, but then saw that "Avatar" was playing at 2PM and there is an easy 3 hours.
I walked the malls and killed a couple hours, bang, bang. Made my way to the theater to discover I was the only one there. Imagine that - alone in a big beautiful room with great sound and picture, watching "Avatar" in 3D. Very cool. The usher laughed with me as I turned in my glasses. His work was done. No clean up. I hadn't even gotten popcorn.
Back to the dealer, killed another hour or so and the car was done, clean and tweaked. Not too expensive, either compared to the States, but dealers are always higher.
At least it was done and I was ready to head home.... however, the march had turned out to be marches and most major roads were blocked. So I, along with everyone else in rush hour traffic went into "getting around the blockades" mode. Obviously, it is total chaos and can be frustrating, but it is just a part of normal life here, so really it is no big deal. I know my way through the city now and got through the mess pretty easily.
You have to remember that centro has narrow streets and lots of buses and taxis. Knowing who to follow and when is key. Never argue with a bus. They have total right of way simply because they are crazy.
So between the waiting and the driving madness, I think I am getting used to this place and doin' OK.
Just think about this. People actually protest here. Imagine if thousands of people shut down the roads surrounding a major US city. Maybe the politicians would wake up.... then again, no chance of that happening.
I mean, the largest march here was in support of the PRI candidate for governor. Nothing like pissing off thousands of voters by blocking traffic for ten hours. There's an effective political strategy. Kinda like banksters whining about their million dollar bonuses or senators cutting off unemployment and Medicare payments. Brilliant. Where do I vote? How many times can I do it?