Last Tuesday, I went to Apoala. Of late, we have had a few tours there and we recently spent an overnight there exploring a longer tour possibility. From 5 different people, I was asked: Y tu esposo? which means: And your husband? The guy who signs us in, the lady who graciously accepts my leftover salads, the guy in charge of the cabins, the guide David who I am pretty sure I have not worked with before, and then the older man who we often give a lift to, 500 meters almost straight uphill. This older gentleman walks down into the lower Apoala village every day to work at the health care centre there, and then back up at the end of the day. There is a doctor once a week and perhaps a nurse on other days, but he goes to make sure it is open and available. He had the very best comment: "You can drive, too!". Ralph usually drives. Mexican women drive but somehow my being able to drive had surprised him.
|Apoala - from up above|
On Thursday we had a booking for Hierve el Agua. It was a single traveler so off we went. It's always different touring without Ralph because usually he drives and I talk, so guiding solo means driving (always an adventure) and talking both to the guest AND telling them about Oaxaca. I managed to not hit any speed bumps at high speed. The guy at the front gate asked why I was alone today, was my husband OK. Maria, the lady at Hierve who kindly accepts my leftover salads asked: Y tu esposo? I smiled and explained: He is gone to Canada. He should be back next week. She seemed reassured. Touring alone means I have to channel my inner mountain goat and bring guests to all the little nooks and crannies that Ralph usually explored with them. It's a fun change.
|Ralph at Hierve el Agua.|
|Always room for another basket. Always.|
It is interesting what things can make you feel part of a community. I always felt welcomed here in Oaxaca, but now I feel looked after and cared for, too.