Mackenzie Rollins | Weblog

oaxaca day one

with 2 comments

m: wendy and i spent the day together and it was w o n d e r f u l to say the least. i woke up to a steaming bowl of oatmeal, lathered in honey and befriended by a fresh bowl of papaya. we chatted a bit and soon left for the city.

i really didn’t take many pictures today, as is customary for my first days in a new place. i like to soak it in myself. the sights. smells. faces. wrinkles. tastes. and this place is full of them. so full.

wendy has lived here for thirty years and is an encyclopedia on oaxacan culture. i had to remind myself again and again that she’s not an american tourist here with me, but a local.

we stopped by this old catholic church, now used as a posh hotel.

she had me run to the other side of this arched choir room and whisper to her from across the room. we could hear every word the other said by merely whispering. i felt like a kid again. so refreshing to enjoy the simple things.

we spent the whole day chatting, laughing, trying local food and just enjoying a non-scheduled, relaxing day of our new friendship.

she walked me through, what seemed like, a small history of this city and their family. this city holds so much of their story and of what has shaped them as a whole and also individually. her daughter’s wedding pictures were taken in a courtyard adjoining the walls above. the dress shops we walked through held her son and daughter-in-laws wedding garb. the tiled streets we slipped on in the rain were where the 2006 riots were held, which kept she and david inside for nearly a year.

phil loves crosses like these! david could eat bins of these garlic-flavored peanuts! ooh, do you smell that? it’s mole sauce being prepared just down the way. it’s the best mole in town. do you see that mountain? philip has climbed it so many times. he just loves that mountain. its named after st. philip but he always loved that it had his name when he was little. oh my, try this chocolate? do you taste that? its authentic oaxacan chocolate. made fresh from these cocoa beans (holds up a bean for me to feel, to smell.) i know so many people who’d be jealous of our enjoying this gelato right now. isn’t it sinful?

i love walking through someone’s life like i did today.

oaxaca, like any city in a third world country, moans and sweats of hard work, but never without a thread of beauty in that work. manual labor is being done in all corners of the city. the shuffling of yellow brooms back and forth back and forth by persistent hands. bricks being laid on the streets. the rebuilding of facades atop tired stone buildings. hands working patiently, carefully to prepare flawless homemade tortillas for those strolling by (me!). repetitive strokes of shoe polishers in the parks.

and all of this sweat is poured and soaked by brilliant shades of orange, pink, turquoise and lavender. such a beauty and rhythm and life to the exertion by oaxacans.

i’ll try to write and post pictures daily. but for now, goodnight oaxaca. i’m quite fond of you already.

(it rained all day so the sky is this morbid brown right now. stunning.)

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Written by Mackenzie Rollins

July 3, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. beautiful mackenzie. we are humbled that you are enjoying our home so much. it’s so refreshing to see it through anothers fresh ojos.
    thank you.
    drinking chocolate de agua and thinking of you.
    we’ll have to introduce you to shitte ah i can’t remember her name but we’ll introduce you to her musica oaxaquena

    ruth

    July 4, 2008 at 9:16 pm

  2. i love it here, ruthie. it has been such a good time, of course taking into consideration that it’d be better with you guys here. we’ll have to come back together. all of us. i can’t wait.

    i ate chocolate today and thought of you. maybe we were savoring the flavor at the same time. oddly romantic?

    goodmorningsarajevo

    July 5, 2008 at 7:21 pm


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