February 1, 2010, Monday
It was a holiday (Constitution Day) so INSO was closed. The morning was relatively at our leisure. We decided to visit the Textile Museum. They have a great exhibit of Guatemalan Textiles and embroidery. The women weave the cloth by hand with a back-strap loom or a large loom with foot pedals. The back-strap loom is used to make long narrow pieces which the artist can then embroider on. Many of the pieces incorporate symbols and tell stories of their culture.
A part of the exhibit was a movie (in Spanish) of 10 women who had immigrated to the US in hopes of a better life. Most of them missed their life in Oaxaca and returned after a period of time.
In another part of the museum, a women’s cooperative had taken over one room to tell their stories. The women formed the cooperative to sell and market their work in the US and provide income for their families. At the same time, they wanted to get an education and learn to read and write Spanish. In return the older women would teach the younger women their native language and pass on their needlework skills. Their embroidery reminds me of the story quilts the Hmong women make.
Lunch was almost a misadventure at a place near the big produce/ artisan near the Zocalo. We looked at the menu ordered what we thought was bean soup for Rick. Stan and I (Susan) ordered Garbanzo Bean Soup. We got the Garbanzo Bean Soup, but I switched with Rick when his Mac and Cheese came. The main course was, I (Susan) thought, Chicken with Yellow Mole sauce. It was Chicken and Vegetable Stew. It was very good and very filling. Stan had chicken with grilled onions and peppers and refried beans. Dessert was a guayaba (guava).
We then returned to Rosalinda’s and rested.
Francine, a woman from Nova Scotia, now living in New Westminster, BC, returned and needed to look for sunglasses. We directed her to the shopping area down by the large market. I (Susan) decided to walk with her. We found some sunglasses and then walked about a mile or so to find a building she needed to write about for her class. The building is a Catholic church which was connected to a convent at one time. Now the convent is an art gallery and cultural center. We then walked back to the pension.
Dinner was again at the “hole-in-the-wall” around We all had excellent Pozole. Pozole is a soup of pork, cabbage, and hominy with spices making it rojo. Without spices, it is blanco and bland. We also had a pitcher of Jamiaca juice. Rick said it is the best Pozole he’s had in years. I translated that for the lady. She said Pozole is a very old popular dish. Rick also had a couple of tacos. The television was blaring again, but the food was great.
February 2, 2010, Tuesday
Morning was spent at INSO. I looked at several sites on the computer pertaining to sustainability and reuse of waste-water. On the way to INSO, we made our usual stop at the “Mango Lady” and found out her name is Elena. I told her we know her as the “Mango Lady”, and she said or the “Fruit Lady”. She was very concerned about Rick paying more for his pineapple than Stan and I paid for our papaya and watermelon. From a morning of phone calls our week is filling up with important meetings. Nelly is working hard to contact several cities that have functioning wetlands to determine how they cover the O&M costs. We are exploring many opportunities with respect to the O&M issue and some of our leads are panning out as potential solutions. However, we still have lots of work left to do.