Saturday, November 21, 2009

First it was the cockroaches, then the bumble bee, now it's a scorpion. What next

I'll start with the scorpion. I was surprised to see it because they are plentiful in Durango, where it is dry, but this is the tropics where cucarachas rule, I didn't think I needed to be concerned about scorpions.

Erik was busy putting the scopion, using pincers, into a bottle with alcohol in it. He wanted the scorpion to die in the alcohol because, he said, the venom from the scorpion mixed with the alcohol is a great medicine to help the pain caused by arthritic joints.

We discussed scorpions and he said this one was on the sidewalk outside, he sees about three a year. If he sees three I'm wondering how many there are that he doesn't see.

Independence Day was unofficially yesterday. But yesterday there was a parade in the Zocalo. The children had their concert and I forgot my camera. They were so cute, again a lot of little Pancho Villas and no Zapatas, I asked one of the mothers why, she said she didn't know. Zapata, unlike Villa was from the south of Mexico.

For those of you that have gotten the impression I've been frustrated with my work at the Oaxaca Street Children Center, things are going very well. My time teaching has moved to the beginning of the day because the children are more alert. They are learning English, and their mothers are noticing. I like having the opportunity to tell a mother that her child is very inteligent and could go to university.

I've never seen a father, and one day I used the word "tomar", which means to take, but in Mexico can also mean to drink. I meant I was taking something, don't remember what. This opened up a conversation about drinking. Many of the children stated their fathers drank too much cerveza, one of the boys, Jonahan, proudly and loudly announced his father did not drink cerveza. I think many of the men feel overwhelmed, drink, and leave all responsibility to the mothers, who sell things in the zocalo, or clean houses, to make ends meet. I wonder how much of the money the women earn goes to cerveza instead of housing, food and clothing.

I keep thinking, women don't hold up half the sky, they hold up a majority of it. All anyone has to do is spend a week with me and you'll be convinced, women are the stronger gender. I admire tremendously the strength of these women.

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