Published: April 24th 2007April 24th 2007
Tina, Amy, some scary luchador (aka Lizzie), and Brian, scared by the luchador
Last week was super busy (although this week will be even busier.) I finished up my community service at the elementary school on Thursday, but I am returning Tuesday to watch the boys present their science fair projects to their parents, which should be fun. I am sad to leave but it will be nice having a couple of free hours during the day from now on.
Wednesday we had a huge exam in our Mexican Identity class, so to celebrate that night Amy, Tina, Lizzie, Brian, and I went to watch a lucha libre (wrestling). It’s very popular here, so even though I am not into wrestling at all, I felt like I should go to experience the culture. It was really funny so I’m glad we went. Surprisingly lots of families go, including little kids and babies. It was all very pre-planned and fake, more like gymnastics, and some fights were very entertaining. For example, one fighter, “Maximo.” was flamboyantly gay, with a pink Mohawk, and a sparkly mini-skirt-like costume. He did some suggestive wrestling moves that were pretty funny, and sometimes as a joke he would try to kiss the other wrestlers and the crowd would
Blurry, I know, sorry.
yell “Beso! Beso! (Kiss!)” Most of the fighters, however, tried to be very macho and tough. The last fight, which everyone was waiting for, was “Mistico”, the most popular wrestler in Oaxaca, versus some other not-popular guy. Sadly Mistico lost, and the crowd became outraged. People were booing and throwing trash at the ring, so we decided to leave in a hurry! Oh, and just an interesting fact, if anyone has seen Nacho Libre, a movie with Jack Black, it’s based on the lucha libres in Oaxaca and parts were even filmed here.
Thursday night a large group of us went to a baseball game, Oaxaca’s Guerreros (Warriors) vs. Cancun’s Tigres, a good team. Luckily this time it didn’t get rained out like the game we tried to go to a few weeks ago. Though we talked more than watching the game, it was a good game. We were losing but came back at the end, and sadly lost by one point. It’s quite a big stadium, though nothing like the pro-baseball games in the U.S. Our favorite part about the baseball games is that you don’t have to get up to buy food- it comes to you. People
walk around selling cheap drinks, mini-pizzas, donuts, popcorn, frappes, etc. It’s wonderful…
Friday was one of my favorite excursions, and sadly our last official “Friday excursion”. We went to the relatively famous “Hierve El Agua” (yer-vay el ahg-wah) mineral springs located somewhat near Mitla about two hours from Oaxaca. They are in a tiny rural town on a ridge over looking the beautiful mountains and valley. Although the translation means the water boils, they aren’t hot springs; the water bubbles up from the ground, but it is cold and full of minerals that build up and form cool rocks and mineral deposits. In one spot, the minerals have formed what looks like a huge petrified waterfall. There are also a couple of natural pools in which we were able to while overlooking the amazing view. They were chilly, but not nearly as cold as the water last week at the waterfalls! After swimming we hiked around a bit, taking lots of pictures of the incredible scenery. After a few hours we then headed back to Oaxaca and stopped in a little town called Santa Ana del Valle to visit their small community museum with archaeological sections. However, archaeology just
isn’t the same without our professor Markens (who we lovingly nicknamed “Rob-dawg”). Turns out he doesn’t have dengue fever or typhoid. He has a nasty fungal infection in his lungs from the tomb they excavated during Spring Break in some tiny town in the Mixe region. He and his two friends/coworkers are still in the hospital in bad condition. The first tests showed typhoid, so they gave them antibiotics. They thought they were feeling better but then relapsed, and new tests indicated they actually had a fungal infection. Unfortunately our professor’s body rejected the treatment, so he has to undergo a very slow treatment, and he now has fluid in his lungs. They are all very sick though he is the worst Harry, the French friend who has been on some of our excursions, is really in bad shape since he also somehow picked up hepatitis at the hospital. What bad luck they have! To make matters worse, all of the people in the town went to see the tomb, so everyone was exposed to the fungus and needs to be treated. Since the people are indigenous and don’t have access or money to good medical care, a medical team
was sent to the town to help. However, our professor and his coworkers worked in the tomb for 3 whole days, so they had the most exposure. Anyway, we really miss Rob-dawg, and no one knows if he will be well enough to teach when we return from Chiapas. If not, we have to do some sort of independent study or something in order to receive credit for the class. Speaking of Chiapas, we leave in less than a week! I am excited but not looking forward to the heat or the 12 hour bus ride.
When we come back we only have about two weeks left, which seems impossible! I am having way too much fun to think about going back, and am starting to feel like a OaxaqueÃ±a. Saturday afternoon I walked by myself to the Zocalo area to do some shopping, and I was thinking about how much I love it here. I feel like I almost fit in better with the locals than the tourists. In fact, a Mexican woman even asked me for directions yesterday, but then two minutes later I got called a gÃ¼era and reality set back in…It will be wonderful to
go home to see friends and family and not have homework, though I will miss Oaxaca terribly.
Ok, time for homework....it never ends...
There are more photos below