' A Zapotec in the US: the adventures continue! – MZ

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A Zapotec in the US: the adventures continue!


Hola! Hola! Hola! Hello again to everyone, here I am again with new notes and this time I want to talk about the adventures I have had in the US, in particular in Northern California.

From San Diego we took Interstate 5 towards LA and WOW! What is this traffic? Is it the line for some final soccer game? No, it s the line of traffic awaiting everyone in order to advance on their wide streets, 6 lanes going one direction, and 6 on the other. This rain of cars is a line without end. I found it strange that no one honked their horn in order to move forward, everyone proceeded calmly as if they enjoyed each meter that they advanced.

None the less, we continued forward and finally we could move at a quicker pace. Then, in the distance, we could see nothing, absolutely nothing because of the dust and the mist of the farms of the central valley. When I first arrived to California I had heard about this; that more than 50% of the food for the entire country grows in this place.  I had wanted to see it, and here it was. What seemed like it would end in just a few minutes soon became endless. We continued driving for an hour and although the crops didn’t end, we begin to see the first small cities.

All of a sudden the temperature lowered considerably as we arrived at our destination, the Castro Valley, where we were going to stay for 4 days during the MZ exhibition at the De Young Museum in San Francisco.

Soon after I had arrived, I was invited to submerge myself in a pool of hot water. But when I tried I simply could not do it; 100 degrees is very hot for me! I felt like my skin was peeling off and the only thing I could submerge were my feet for a few minutes.

Leaving the Castro Valley and upon entering San Francisco, I felt a kind of air that I have never felt during a summer day. At times during the De Young Museum exhibition I would go walking around outside and I would have to grab a sweater, because the cold of SF is tremendous. We left SF, but not before taking photos of the Golden Gate Bride and Park to remember the place by. The bridge seemed as though it was floating over the water.

After the exhibition we drove a bit east to Sonora where the MZ General Manager Lives. She had told me that it would remind me of Oaxaca, and that I would see mountains like those of the Sierra Norte in Oaxaca. I told her, better that you not tell me so that I can be surprised!

But she was right! She awaited me with open arms and a happy look from the heart . As we began to climb the mountains with all its curves I got vertigo in my stomach, but this was no reason to slow us down. We climbed to the highest point, called Big Hill where she lives. As we were going along we saw turkeys, squirrels and deer and a hundred different kinds of pine trees and green vegetation. She showed me the paths and short cuts that I could in this area, and I wanted to get to know more about these hills so every morning before the was high I would go to walk or run and I would always encounter many squirrels running up and down the trees.

Then came the day when we went even farther north to visit Liz’ family. “The Boss” – or Dad – lives in Chico and twenty minutes north of that in Forest Ranch lives her brother Wade, and nearby is her sister and her horses in Woodland. One weekend we went to visit for Wade’s birthday party and he had a lot of fun trying to speak Spanish with me. The funniest thing was when it occurred to me to make a piñata as we are accustomed to doing for birthday parties in Mexico, but I made it resembling his own head, with his big beard.


When we returned to Sonora I went on an outing with Shelley and her husband Michael to Sword Lake in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. After just a bit of time walking, our outing became a magnificent adventure in which the wind was like a river up high, and the enormous trees were singing and dancing to their own music. And then all of a sudden appeared a bear! That’s right! A bear that at first I thought was a coyote because it was small. But when I got another look at it, I saw it was indeed a bear, that saluted us and then disappeared into the brush.


This was my last adventure in Northern California but soon I will return to San Diego and continue having more adventures. But these will have to be part of my next blog.

Til then!





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