Monday, February 16, 2009

A picture is worth...

Most of my blog entries describe experiences instead of single pictures. But these pics, in my humble opinion, deserve their own entry. After lazy waterfall gazing in Apoala this weekend, my travel companion and I rented bikes and trekked a hellish 45 minutes up the side of a very steep mountain to a mirador (not sure how to translate this one -- my English is failing me -- maybe viewing spot?) from which we could see all of the valley.

Being "city folk" (yes, Huajuapan would like New York City next to Apoala) we'd underestimated the demanding bike ride and had failed to pack enough water. Once we'd reached the top of the mountain we were dead thirsty and were happy to spy a house on the side of the dusty road.

We biked up, pulled off our helmets and shook out our sweaty hair, and were greeted by a family -- five women (all sisters) and a man -- who were sitting around a picnic table, drinking bottled beer and homemade pulque (a liquor made from the maguey plant). We asked if they'd sell us some water -- but they did even better, offering us free pulque, guiding us up to the mirador, and chatting us up with lots of quirky conversation. (One woman told me I looked like a Barbie doll -- a very sweaty, smelly Barbie doll, perhaps. But I digress.)

I asked if I could take their pictures. These are the results. The woman in green is my favorite.

She wouldn't put her beer bottle down long enough to smile in the first picture, but I think I've caught her "essence" in the second picture. She was a character. She didn't speak Spanish (just Mixtec), but she giggled all the way through our conversation with the others. She stayed behind when the other sisters guided us out to the mirador. When made our way back to the house, the woman in green had curled up on the ground, beer bottle at her side.

She was snoring.

I have a thousand words, but I'll let the pictures do their own talking.

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