I had to get one post in before March ended and clearly I’ve waited until the very last minute. My excuse is that March has been far from a typical month for me –half of it was spent in Mexico City, the other half traveling across the United States, seeing my family for the first time since August.
There’s a great deal of dissonance in my life right now. Mexico feels very suddenly, very sadly, very far away. Just days before turning over the keys to my apartment and catching a taxi to the airport, I was riding a ten-hour bus through the mountains to Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca for one last outreach trip. The copies of the curriculum –binders, posters, handouts– were printed and we were taking copies to the CDM staff in Oaxaca and conducting a training in using the new materials. I had been to Oaxaca for outreach once before, but I’d never visited the CDM office in what we affectionately call Jux.
Although it’s hard to know where to start, I loved everything about this trip. I loved working with our colleagues there –Alissa and Rebe– and visiting Ade on maternity leave and holding three-week-old baby Lenny who had more hair after three-weeks than I had at three-years.
I loved the food in Jux and pretty much ate my way across the city –tacos in white corn tortillas for breakfast, mushrooms and huevos ala mexicana, tlayudas, beans, quesadillas, entomatadas, and cups of fresh sliced mango and pineapple.
I loved getting to see my colleagues explore the materials I had been working on. We did a training with each outreach staff taking a module and presenting a workshop lesson using the information and the materials in the curriculum. We talked about the reasoning behind the curriculum’s design and its long-term objectives –to be used by the comite to organize in their own communities and give workshops. I can’t tell you how nice it was to sit back, on my last day or two in the office, and see my project explored, wrestled with, questioned, and, in many ways, work.
Finally, I loved the time I spent with my colleagues. After our trainings, we had plenty of time to explore the market, watch cooking shows dubbed into Spanish at the hotel, and goof off on some nearby playground equipment. When they finally saw me off on my earlier bus back to DF, I realized that this, more than anything, is what I would miss about Mexico –doing good work with good people and having fun doing it.