When I received a last-minute invi­ta­tion to Oax­a­ca last week, it took me a few hours to accept, because I was sup­posed to go work with the bees on Sat­ur­day. How­ev­er, it was a long week­end because of the inde­pen­dence day hol­i­day on Fri­day, and this was too good of an oppor­tu­ni­ty to pass up. Oax­a­ca is kind of far, like 7–8 hours in a car, and more in a bus. So, being able to share a ride in a car was good moti­va­tion. After fran­ti­cal­ly pack­ing Thurs­day night and not get­ting much sleep due to the ongo­ing inde­pen­dence day cel­e­bra­tions across the street, I was up to get on the road at 5am on Fri­day. The ride down there was very easy, and the coun­try­side is beau­ti­ful. Not being allowed to dri­ve makes the long trip very relax­ing, even though I start to feel bad for the dri­ver after about hour 5 or 6.

My friend and co-vol­un­teer Sarah’s new pup­py Bil­lie stole the show for a lot of the week­end, when we weren’t stuff­ing our faces with amaz­ing tlayu­das, mole negro, and pla­tanos with con­densed milk. I real­ly like the food of Oax­a­ca, and I don’t think I was alone. Oax­a­ca is also where mez­cal comes from, and I tast­ed a few, but actu­al­ly man­aged to nev­er over do it.

We ate and walked around the cen­ter upon arrival on Fri­day, climbed on Sat­ur­day, and then ate more and shopped on Sun­day. I nev­er made it to any of the arche­o­log­i­cal sites or any of the sur­round­ing areas, so clear­ly I have to go back. I strained my poor Peace Corps bud­get with the shop­ping, but I am enam­ored with the ale­bri­jes, bright­ly paint­ed lit­tle sculp­tures of ani­mals and fan­ta­sy crea­tures, and I had to get a few. I’m sure the pic­tures of my new friends will make it into a post very soon.

The 10-hour dri­ve back was bru­tal most­ly due to a 2‑hour traf­fic jam about half-way through it, but we made it back home final­ly around 2:30am.

When I had all the pic­tures edit­ed and uploaded into the gallery, it struck me how col­or­ful the group of pho­tos looks, as usu­al I sup­pose, but it is always nice to see.