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.