31 March, 2008

The first few days...

Sincere apologies. I meant to blog yesterday but when we finished at the lab but when I went to the internet cafe it appeared that I was at the tender mercies of either a fiesta or siesta, whichever one was closing down shops and other places in general at 5:00pm on Sunday.

But I promised a general accounting of my last few days and so I will deliver. I'm just going to cover Saturday and Sunday briefly as my first day in the field, IMHO, deserves its own post. Anyway, so Saturday...well I woke up at 6:30am after getting only 4 hours of sleep. Friends didn't end up leaving til 2 in the morning but hey, it was a great party and I had an excellent time. It was good to see people before I left for three months so I wasn't about to regret that. I made it to the airport in time and after saying good-bye to Verguei I began my journey, still feeling some of the effects from the night before (so not relating those details ;) ).

Getting through customs in Mexico City was'nt too bad considering I was carrying fungicide in my checked luggage. The woman in Ciudauna didn't even ask me my purpose for being in the country and automatically granted me a 6-month visa--sweet! It did take a while however to locate my gate for the Oaxaca flight--which turned out to be not the gate the man at the Mexicana desk told me! After getting lunch in some random restaurant I was smart enough to look at the departure screens and locate the real gate for my flight. It was there that I met Meg, the artifact illustrator this field season. We didn't really talk much but I think its more her character than anything else, as over the past two days we've found a comfortable level of relating, though I do most of the talking.

The flight to Oaxaca didnt take long and we landed pretty shortly after taking off. In Oaxaca we had to give our declaration forms and have our baggage checked and even though I had clearly marked that I was carrying hazardous material with me nobody bothered to check or even to care. Which is great in the end-I didn't have to lie or use the letter the Field Museum gave me. Gary and Linda picked us up from the airport and then we drove to Mitla, where they showed us the two houses we could be living in--one was where the lab was located and the other was where the kitchen was located. We of course picked the house with the kitchen. After dinner Meg and I went to the internet cafe and thats where the last post was born.

Sunday we woke up early to be at the lab at 8:00am. Gary and Linda showed us around and went over a few procedures. As their car was making funny noises (something to do with the aire accondicionar) we went into the next town over Tlacolula to see a mechanic. Meg and I were let go to check out the Sunday market or tianguis (which I think is a Mixtec word) which was fairly large as we walked for a half hour before needing to turn around and still only covered a small distance. When we got back we had an hour lunch, then returned to the lab to do some work, which was fun as it mostly involves me tracing lines in Adobe illustrator.

Well, that's it for now...more to come of course but I still have a lot to do email-wise. I'll be posting about my first (and perhaps the second as well) day in the field. For a little taste...here's a photo of some flowers we can see from our courtyard. Also, a quick shout-out to Brooke, I will email you back tomorrow I'm just running out of time!


DBR@or/inChicago said...

I know your busy. Email me whenever you can.

To keep from taking a machete to my current (and your former) coworkers, I will email you randomly...you don't have to respond to all of them. I just need to vent.

vergueishon said...

On the etymology of tianguis, go here (yes, in Spanish, only because it's more thorough than the English version). Basically, looks to be nahua. Also, Ciudauna is probably Ciudadania, or even Aduana, or "customs". And why would you need aire acondicionado in Oaxaca, esp. this time of year? Ok, I'm putting away the red pen now :). But seriously, I don't remember even feeling like I missed AC on our visits to Oaxaca.

On a different note, love the pic! I can see the cam lens is still a bit dirty, but awesome job on the composition! Now, if only we could see more of the spaces that you move across in your day-to-day goings about in and around Mitla :).

Anyhow, don't lose hold of that blogging impetus--your reader(s) are anxious to read more about your stint in Oaxaca! Especially your first impressions (hint, hint)...

Eve said...

Aw schucks, thanks everybody. Glad to have readers! I will email you Brooke when ever I can...and as far as everything else goes, yes, I could use an editor but who can afford one on a non-existent salary! Anyway, thanks for the compliment on the photo verguei, it was randomly taken but I'm happy with how it turned out.