My orientation is tomorrow morning and my project at Munda Ceiba, the bicycle education and reforestation project, starts on Monday. (They are even going to lend me a bike for my stay, I believe.)
The description from the organization I am traveling with, ProWorld, of Mundo Ceiba: “The overall goal of this project is to contribute to social change through an environmental medium by developing and promoting programs that include the care, protection and conservation of the environment. Ultimately this organization aims to become a benchmark of social participation for sustainable development and environmental care. In order to achieve this goal, the organization has developed several programs such as planting trees, promoting solutions to reduce air pollution and human waste, supporting and organizing workshops on the benefits of bicycle riding as an alternative form of transportation and various other efforts. With the help of its staff and of course you, the volunteer, they are able to educate and encourage the people of Oaxaca to envision and develop an alternative view of the world they live in.”
Until then I am just spending time with the family, relaxing, reading, and walking around the neighborhood. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and awkward yesterday but once I sat down with Magda and Pedro, my host parents, we talked for hours (in Spanish!) and I felt a lot more comfortable.
Here are some pictures of my house from the outside:
Front gate from the inside
Walkway on the side of the house
View of entry gate from the street
I took a walk around the streets by my house. The neighborhood is called Colonia Reforma. It is north of the center of the city of Oaxaca and also quieter. It seems to be a good mix of residential and restaurants, cafes, etc.
It means "Unite for Attention to Women Victims of Gender Violence" and it's purple and right by my house!
Seafood stand/restaurant directly across from my house
Pet store. They had birds, fish, guinea pigs, and a few dogs in cages. Everything seemed way more expensive than I thought it would be.
I went to a huge supermarket earlier in the day with Magda and again during a walk by myself. It was similar to grocery stores back home, just little differences. They also had clothes, electronics, toys, etc. similar to a Walmart/Target. I liked going there because it is a way to better understand the daily life and routine of the locals. I also went to a smaller market with Magda that just had fruits and veggies. It was kind of like a Farmers’ Market back home- small, outdoors.
Vino! Wanted to get myself something to drink since I don't think the family drinks. Less than $4.
Cerveza! I heard it is cheap here but at the larger supermarket where this was taken it was $5-7/six pack. At a smaller, very similar store I went to next six packs were around $1! I am going there next time.
Agaucates = avocados! less than $3 for over 6lbs! (I am still working on my kilo and peso conversions.)
Also, happy World Vegetarian Day!
My family seems very accommodating of my special food needs and I am very thankful. Many people in the U.S. don’t understand and I’m sure it is even more rare in Mexico.
Also related: This was posted on Ms. Magazine’s “Top 100 Feminist Non-Fiction Countdown” today, sounds super interesting!
“The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory” by Carol J. Adams
This thought-provoking work exposes a carnivorous patriarchy that equates meat-eating with manliness. Adams presents compelling reasons that feminists should care how–or rather, who–they eat. Find the 20th anniversary edition here.