artwork, mexico, mother creative, natural dyeing, rug making, travel, Zapotec

Oaxaca Journey : day 1

This trip has been two years in the making. Traveling with close fiber friends to learn from master dyer & weaver Demetrio Bautista Lazo of Teatitlán De Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico.

I first met Demetrio in 2010 in my first year as an instructor at Medomak Fiber Arts Retreat in Washington, Maine. I had done only a little bit of dyeing at that point. I never imagined that I’d be in his home town 9 years later learning even more. It is a gift & a blessing that I am not taking lightly.

Since that time, I’ve become a mother of two. My creative & making time has evolved. Going away to fully immerse myself in my craft has become a necessity to my sanity & helps me be a more attentive & intentional mother.

I love travel & I love the unknown. However, this was a bit different for me. As the time grew closer, my nerves started to rattle. I hadn’t been away from my 4 & 2 year olds for this long before. I haven’t traveled this far before. And all the traveling I’ve done have been to white English speaking countries (Canada, England, Ireland). I blended in there & adapted quickly & easily. I’ve never enjoyed going to a new place & being viewed as a tourist but I know it’s bound to happen. However, this is Mexico. There’s no way to not be conspicuous & then there’s trying to get by on my high school Spanish which I struggled hard with. I’ve been really enjoying hearing it, trying to pick up phrases, & practicing as much as I can, but I can’t help being reminded of the struggle I have with processing sounds. I try anyway.

I’m excited to be sharing experiences again in this format & I’ll be sharing more about this trip with many more posts. Now that I’ve had a few days to settle in, process & absorb my new and oh so beautiful surroundings, I look forward to sharing more here about it over the next several weeks (I’m here for 2 but I’m super lax on the publishing timeframe. I put no pressure on myself)

The experiences in just the 1st day have included, but are not limited to:

Sleeping in.

Visiting Mitla.

Strawberry/guava ice cream.

Zapotec ruins.

Chili & lime on pomegranate seeds.

Meeting the last family in the area who still does back strap weaving.

Chewing on smoked agave.

Driving by long agave fields.

Continued to forget every single bit of Spanish I’ve ever learned. Even hola. I blamed it on travel fatigue.

Some zealous eating & trying Mexican hot chocolate the first chance I got. Which was about 1 hour after getting off the plane.

A single phrase went through my mind all day & the day before: How is this my life right now?

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