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Friday, January 22, 2010

Settling into our remote office and life in Oaxaca

Yesterday was a long day (Wednesday)!  We worked at INSO until 2pm then had a quick lunch.  After lunch we walked across town to the cash machine (to pay for our rooms). One thing we have really noticed is the masses of Americans that are here vs. when we were in the summer.  Our biggest success of the day is getting our cash machine card to work.  I was suffering from 2 errors.  First, I forgot to call the bank and tell them I would be out of the country, and I was using the incorrect PIN.  After talking to the bank everything now works like it should.

Stan and I are working hard to get all the year-end tax receipts to all our donors and update everyone on our email list.  We are finding that this takes a lot of bandwidth to keep our email lists current and clean of duplicate. I spent the afternoon updating our data base and generating spreadsheets for Stan to scrub and proof.  At about 5pm (typical work hours are 9-2, 5-7) we returned to INSO and worked until 7PM (we need to better a job of having a siesta in the afternoon).  After our long day we walked down to the Zocalo for a nice dinner outside. We had the pleasure of hearing a Tango contest that had about 100 people participating.  We are always impressed by the strong sense of community here as at almost any time of day or night the Zocalo is alive and full of folks.  Over dinner we speculated how something like this could happen in the US. One thing for sure is that we would have to re-think our relationship with cars, the TV, and get folks to realize that having public gathering places are really great.  Because this was a long work day we walked straight home and to bed.

Thursday, 21 Jan
Another day at the office in Oaxaca!  Oaxaca has several main streets all dug up as they are replacing some piping systems.  One of these projects is right near our pension.  Traffic from a major street is being diverted onto the road in front of it.  One thing is for sure; Mexico does road work much differently than in the US!  They use lots of manual labor, swinging picks, wrecking bars, and a minimum use of heavy equipment.

 As usual our day starts with a stop at the “Mango lady” for our morning boxes of fruit on our way to INSO.  She is always happy to see us and is amazed that we always return our washed plastic boxes for her to re use.  She seems to save us the “best boxes” for us; she also gave us a small bag of her pepper roasted peanuts as an extra treat.  Stan and I are catching up on lots of computer work and preparing for our upcoming meetings on Friday and next week. We are hoping that we can have a more relaxing afternoon; and meet up with a friend of Stan’s, Rusty and Eliza, who are from Bainbridge Island and staying in Oaxaca.

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