Friday, October 31, 2008

Oaxaca - Monte Alban

Monte Alban in the center of a large valley which is surrounded by mountains. The valley is filled with the city of Oaxaca on the East of Alban and small villages interspersed on the West and to the South. But to be on the mountain is to be separate, above and refreshed from city and commerce. The quietness and calm of walking among the ruins or sitting under a tree between temples is accentuated by the knowledge that many years past, the place now peaceful was buzzing with construction noises, sounds of animals being sacrifice, ritual incantations, and the hum of commerce. There was a contrast between what my imagination filled in on the main plaza and what was not there on our sunny, cool breezy day. This allowed me to enjoy even more the emptiness of many years. Vacant temples, green on one or two sides with grasses and flowers; tumbled columns; carved cornerstones boasting of conquests, almost imperceptible after years of weather to clean them. All this reminded me of the temporariness of our "authorities" we humans have set up. What a relief to see one major power of old, swept clean and impotent. That is the way of Time and Creation, constantly, slowly, re-making human objects of pride.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

boat work and more

Hi friends,

It's been a while since I sent out an update but here I am sitting under some shade on the roof of the marina Chahue office catching some breeze and the wi-fi signal. 

I arrived about a week ago to reunite with Brian who flew down earlier to have a surf trip on the boat with some friends.  We've spent my first week here working and sweating with some fun social stuff hanging out with new friends Chris and Gerry in the evenings.  Due to an electrical fire  on board Brian has had to remove engine parts take them to town for repair and do a lot of rewiring and cleaning in the engine room.  I've had my share of cleaning because we have had an infestation of cockroaches (the small ones, thankfully).  All food and cooking utensils have been removed from cupboards, bagged up and put outside on the deck.  I usually pull the food out with one hand and with the other I hold the end of the shop-vac hose to suck up nasty bugs which scurry away as I remove their hiding places.  Very exciting.

On the more pleasant side, Brian has wired in 5 new cabin fans which  make the boat pretty bearable during the day.  Other highlights have been a one day trip to Barra de Navidad which is a 1/2 hour taxi ride from here.  We relaxed, Brian surfed, and we both spoke a lot of Spanish with the locals. 

Tonight we're off on the night bus to the city of Oaxaca.  It's located in the mountains. I'm looking forward to being cold, not working on the boat, seeing some very old ruins, and exploring a city with a lot of Indian culture.  We'll be there during the Dia de Los Muertes festivities.  Should be interesting!

Hope you are all well. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Journey Resumes

Brian is returning to Mexico today. Dropped him off at the San Jose Airport with a 100 +pound surf bag containing only one surfboard and lots of gear for the boat. I'm grateful the airport personnel didn't blink an eye, even though it took 3 guys to roll the thing away.

Even though this feels like the resumption of a journey interrupted by a 4 month visit home for us to work, I realize that those four months are as much a part of the journey as our time on Nomad in Mexico. When we got home in June we had about a thousand bucks in our accounts, were both pretty depressed from the isolation and some unresolved conflict, exhausted from working on the boat and ready, very ready to be surrounded by friends, family, and have time away from boat projects. All of this and more we have enjoyed.

Although we've both been working, we feel rested, restored and ready to head back to the journey. The Marriage Encounter weekend we attended on Sept. 27, 28 was the last piece of the preparation. All summer we've been ordering safety gadgets, supplies, charts, and guides to navigation to bring back to the boat. These will be good and we'll be glad we invested the money but I believe our number one investment has been in our marriage and communication skills. We are a better team than any other time in our 6 years of marriage. (If you want to be able to say the same about your marriage, think about attending a Marriage Encounter-they're all over the world:

I'll join Brian in a couple of weeks. I have some more trip preparation and will work a little longer before I head down.