Saturday, November 19, 2005

What lies beneath

Every day a new discovery. Yesterday, in our orchard, I saw what I thought was a giant pine cone, but it turned out to be a big hive swarming with bees. I rushed to the house to get my camera and rouse everyone else to come look. I fearlessly began snapping photos from probably too close a distance, but luckily the bees weren't threatened. In my excitement I briefly considered knocking them off to see what lay beneath. I'm sure my unconscious mind assessed the probable outcome and stopped me. I did notice that when the breeze lifts the hive sways a bit which surprised me and made me more curious, but I may have to be satisfied with not knowing what the hive looks like without the bees.

Saturday is market day in Loreto. Our new friend, Ron, told us that everyone visits the market which is held under tents off the highway. We hurried down this morning expecting a similar, but smaller version of our farmer's market back home. We were very disappointed to discover this market was pathetically small and dirty. What meat was available was set out with no refrigeration and flies were abundant. The fruit was not appealing either, and the other goods for sale were items of clothing you'd find at a flea market. My heart sunk at the realization that we will never find decent food.

Our maid brought her little daughter over this afternoon to meet Allison. I tried very hard to make them comfortable and entertain the girl. After attempts at conversation we brought out what amusements we had which are little: Allison's Leap Pad thankfully had a page devoted to Spanish terms. When the girls tired of that we pulled out the coloring books. Robert returned and warmed up another stew he made. We sat down to the table with our new guests and proceeded to eat the stew which Robert had made with potatoes, green beans and pork. I thought it was very good and praised, "bueno, bueno," assured we had pleased our guests, but the little girl did not like it at all. Robert made it up to her on the way home with a stop for helado (ice cream) always a hit with kids the world over.

It surprised me how much stress occurs in the process of attempting to communicate to others of a different language. I have been aware of feeling drained after a day of living in the Mexican culture. In trying to communicate you are exposing your ineffectiveness and depending on the good will of your listener to assist you. You are asking that person to join you in a difficult exercise, agreeing to trust each other to overlook the deficiency. Interestingly, what results is a bonding experience with that person. I can't help but feel grateful and endeared to those kind people who give the effort. I'm thinking a lot more about the experiences of all foreigners everywhere, now that I am one.

No comments: