Well, after months and months of failing to blog, here I am writing from site. I should have a bit more unstructured time from here on out, and a shorter walk home, so we can all hope this’ll be a regular gig going forward.
Like I said awhile ago, I’m in Jalpan de Serra, nestled in a valley of the Sierra Gorda, in the Viosphere Reserve that occupies the top third of Queretaro state. Serra isn’t a sad historical misspelling of Sierra, but the name of Fray Junípero Serra, who founded the five Franciscan missions in my mountains and all the famous ones in California.
This is mine
This is another mission. And two Volunteer asses
God knows how, but year after year, five centuries ago, the guy’d march into an indigenous town, tell them their gods were dead, long live the new God, and blow back out. In appreciation, time after time, they’d take a half-decade or two and build a big beautiful mission church. I think they call that moxy. In Spanish, it’s “balls”.
M I Rite
I live down an unevenly cobbled lane in a detached spare room in the house of the venerable Doña Mari, veteran of a lot, I’m sure, and mother of at least fourteen, but by that point I think everyone stops counting. She’s hit the farther side of getting on in years, but she’s spry enough and she cooks a mean hunk of dried meat. Sesina’s the regional specialty, a thin strip of beef desiccated with lime and salt that you’ve still gotta fry in the end. I’d like it more if my warmhearted mother wasn’t giving it to me right at the end of my fifteen-course breakfasts. Even if it’s great food (and it’s great food), things get tough when you’re eating til it hurts (and I’m eating til it hurts).
Still and all, things are looking up, because while I only managed two quick conversations the last time around—”how’s your son?” “Good.” “Did you work much this month?” “No, not that much”—last night we got to talking about anything and everything, and it looks like we might be having our Thanksgiving away from home at my place, her family and my new one together. I managed to put down six banana cream pies with Natalia (and Sarah and James and Coral) back in Querétaro along with a batch of no-bakes and an apple-crumb, and I figure I can do work here before the 28th too.
Pie is a universal language
But mine speak Dutch
My host sister, one of the nine, is a baker, and my mother’s thinking about setting up a play date so we can get to know each other.
I’m all game.