Monday, June 26, 2006

Taco Bell guy




Remember that guy that I mentioned I met while I was running? Well, he kept on popping up when I would go running; I saw him at least two more times. He was extremely enthusiastic about talking with me. One day early in the morning I saw him as I was starting to run up the mountain. I stopped just to say hi, but he wanted to show me his property and the cave that was a part of it. I thought I could just stop by quickly, but it didn't exactly turn out that way. He does have a nice large piece of land, though. A small river runs through it, part of it is a corn field, and the rest is covered in trees. On one side is the cave going back into the mountain side. It has a really big mouth, but it was kind of overgrown so I couldn't see how far back it went. It looked big enought to build a house in, and I was thinking it would be interesting to see what an architect could come up with, especially an architect like Frank Lloyd Wright (if he were still alive).

All the while this guy, I believe he said his name is Leo, was talking on and on all about him and his plans for his land, building a house there, bringing money from the States back for his family, how good his English was (it really wasn't all that great), etc. He bought me a pop at a small store nearby, introducing me as his very good friend that he met who speaks English. It was kind of funny listening to him talk to store owner in a mixture of Spanish, English, and Mazatec. Then he took me up to his aunt's house, so I could meet her. Even though she knew nothing about me she was very friendly and welcoming, just like almost everyone that lives out in the village. She sat me down in their cookhouse/kitchen and gave me and Leo a cup of coffee and some sweetbread. I stayed for a while and he showed me pictures and postcards from the different places he's been in the States. He also keeps a collection of airline ticket stubs and one of business cards from the hotels he's stayed in. He seemed to be so proud of having flown forty eight times that I didn't ahve the heart to tell him that I've flown well over a hundred times.

Another day in the afternoon I saw him in almost the same place. This time he took me up the mountain a little bit more to the compound where his cousins and uncle live. They, too, welcomed me right in and were glad to talk. They are carpenters so they were working while we talked. As I was getting ready to go he took me to one of the guys' houses so I could see his artwork. This artist took a break from his carpentry to come show me some of the things he had done. The front wall on the outside was covered in a large mural, and the inside was filled with art. Lots of it appeared to be kind of science fiction, or like something you might see on drugs. Maybe he was; Leo pointed out a hallucinogenic mushroom to me out in a field and mentioned that the Beatles had gone out there to eat the mushrooms. Anyway, the artist had even made the furniture in his house. He had a nice living room set (even though it was really just a one room house) made in a rustic, Appalachian style with some of the bark still on. It was coated in some kind of thick varnish, though, so it didn't look rough at all. For set of a chair, loveseat, sofa, coffee table, and one other table he said it would just be around $500. Anyway, I bet that none of you can say that you went out running and came back with an invitation to stay with a family in a small, remote Mazatec village anytime you want! Their house is my house, whenever I go back.

Sorry, I don't have any pictures of Leo or his family since I only saw him when I was running and didn't have my camera.
First pic: A donkey on the path in a nearby village.
Second pic: It's good to be lazy. What a lifestyle; lay around in a comfortable chair all day and watch life go by.
Third pic: More waterfalls. It rained really hard the night before this so there was lots of water in the waterfalls.

2 comments:

Larry Babb said...

Hi Timothy,

I've really enjoyed reading your entries and hearing about your experiences down there. Your family should be on their way now so you can share everything you've seen and done with them too.

Your photographs are wonderful too. You have a good eye for telling a story by the way you set up the picture.

Glad to hear your SAT tests went well. Say hi to all when they arrive and we'll see you all soon.

Larry

Oaxacamk said...

Hey, thanks for the encouragement. I'm having so much fun with the photography that I've thought about getting a better camera. It could turn into a fun hobby, even back in Minnesota. :) I hope everything is going well with Nguya and Kiersten (sorry if I spelled her name wrong) taking care of our house.

Timothy