Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Y tu esposo?

Ralph is away in Edmonton. He's been gone for a week to support his brother who just lost his wife. I would want his brother here to support Ralph if I were the one to pass along as well. So off he went.

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.
Although I thought that would be it for touring for the week, Jen had such a good time at Hierve that she asked if we could do the Yagul and Tlacolula market on Sunday, It was half marathon day,  and I had not thought about doing anything that day, but Erin is visiting and she said we should do it, it was a short easy day. And so, off we went. Arriving to closed gates in typical fashion, I texted Pedro the caretaker to make sure he was on his way. We sat and chatter for a few minutes and Pedro showed up on his motorcycle. As always, he opened up the tomb for us and while we were waiting for Jen to be ready to head into it to explore, he asked: Solo hoy? Alone today?

Artsy Yagul.
After a short break at Yagul in the shade we headed over to the Talcolula market. It was a great day there, not too crowded and some fun new things. I stopped to talk to Maria, a lady we are acquainted with, who makes beuatiful red pottery I use for cooking (and almost everything else!) to aks about a recent piece I had purchased (not from her) that had a small chip in it. She told me the test was to put it in water. Good to know! Before I headed off she asked; "Y el senor?". El Senor Ralph went to Canada. Ah,she nodded. For how long was her next question. I supposed another week, more or less. She nodded again. It was acceptable.

Always room for another basket. Always.
Yesterday I went to run a few errands after my massage and one was in the plaza where the Starbucks is. Erin wanted a latte, so Perseo, our usual Starbucks barista who knows my name took my order and said: The latte is for Ralph? He usually has an Americano...

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.

1 comment:

Roger said...

You two are a team but quite capable of acting solo when you need to. But people who know you notice and are concerned about the other who isn't there at that time.Yes,you have become part of the community.That's a good thing.