21 April, 2008

Living in Mitla Part 1--It's a farm out there!

Having lived in Oaxaca before--and returned for vacation twice--I knew for the most part what I would be getting into when I signed up for this archaeological expedition. However, beforehand I did live in the capital, la Cuidad de Oaxaca, which on the whole is a completely different animal (haha!) from where I'm living now in Mitla. San Pablo Villa de Mitla is, of course, a much smaller town...like only about 7,000 (in 1990 at least) compared to Oaxaca's hefty 400,000.

Living here though, it seems to be fairly different from any small town I've ever driven through or hung out in in the Midwest. First...many of the people speak a local dialect of Zapotec, which is cool to listen to as you walk around the streets and visit the markets. Second...well, there are a lot of animals around. Chickens, goats, pigs, burros, turkeys, horses and cows. The roosters are by far the worst, cause unlike the stereotype in the cartoons, they crow at any damn hour they please, especially right around the hours of 1-4 in the morning when I would like to get some sleep, thank you. And the donkeys are just unpleasant to listen to--a donkey braying is the ugliest sound--but cute to look at.

The best of course are the goats (los chivos!). They are just so darn cute. People will drive them through the river bed or through the yard next to our lab and there is nothing like the sight of all these goats running through a hole in a bamboo cane fence. There is this cute little light brown one with black socks that we like, but hands down my favorite one is the black chivito. Meghan and I talk constantly about kidnapping it and keeping it as a pet. It's in the photo below, about to suck on mama's teat...or trying to, I don't think mama was having it at the time.

Anyway, its pretty cool to live in a half-rural/half-small town setting. A mix of both worlds so to speak. Though I will definitely have to wash my shoes before I get back--how does one answer that question on the decleration form "Have you visited a farm..."? Well no, I haven't been to a farm persay, but I sure have stepped through a lot of animal shit in my daily wanderings.


John Putman said...

Hola marijke! Que Pasa mi amiga?

Vondra said...

Thanks for writing this.