Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Exposition

Another thing I am going to miss about México are the papelerías, or little mom and pop paper stores. Three blocks from our house there is a small one run by an older woman, and before the show I went looking for "estrellitas" (little stars) and sure enough, she had little bags of them. I paid 8 pesos for them (70 cents) and biked to the opening with certificates for the students adourned with the golden stars.

I don't have nearly the number of photos Josh does from the opening, but I thought I would post a few images from the night. Above are Claudia and Angelica posing with the photos that they took. A number of people attended the opening, including many CODENI kids who cheered when the announcement was made that refrescos (sodas) and snacks would be served. The U.S. Consul attended the opening and delivered a speech that praised Josh and his work with Listen to My Pictures and the impact this experience had on the students.

The exhibit is being held in the courtyard of a beautiful historic building in downtown Guadalajara. Above a number of CODENI kids are gathered around a fountain right next to the exhibit.

Angel (with camera) and Claudia were two of the students in the class.

Art Reimers and his daughter Sarah pose with Jorge. Art is the head of the organization Listen to My Pictures and donated the cameras to our Guadalajara group. He and his daughter flew in for the opening. Jorge was a frequent volunteer with our group and lives in Guadalajara.

Josh posing with Jose Hernandez-Claire.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Listen to My Pictures Exhibition

Since October Josh has been leading a photography class on Saturdays for a group of CODENI kids, ages 11-16. The organization Listen to My Pictures provided cameras for the group, enabling the students to document their families, neighborhoods and friends through photos.

Tomorrow evening the Museo Regional in central Guadalajara will host an opening of their photography exhibit. Josh has spent the past few days creating this video (in Spanish, but you will get the idea even if you don't speak the language) featuring a number of the students in interviews and out shooting photos. The video is 13 minutes long, and well worth every minute..

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Paseo

On Sundays the larger thoroughfares of Guadalajara are closed to vehicular traffic and open to pedestrians on foot and wheels. We rode with our friends Megan and Liam and stopped often as Megan worked on a short audio piece for NPR.

There are patrols at each intersection who ensure that people stop for the traffic lights. This man in particular really enjoys his work, bowing to cyclists as they pass and dancing to the music coming through his headphones.

Not an uncommon scene in Guadalajara

Along the way there were hula hoopers and jump ropers...

And there was a breakdance competition.

Thanks to Josh for all of the footage from the day.

* * *

My sister-in-law is recently engaged to Alan (above), who is working here in Guadalajara for two weeks auditing tequila companies. Here he is giving the stuff a taste in a mystery margarita during our lunch in the neighboring town of Tlaquepaque.

We also brought him to one of our favorite taco spots for tacos pastor.

He also came along with us to a birthday party.

* * *

And I thought I would end with a photo of me wrapping up my most recent painting...

And the felt dinosaurs and chayote that I think are so peculiar.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Estoy Orgullosa (I am Proud)

Josh finally reached a point where just a fraction of his thousands of photos from this year left his computer and took their place on walls in ExConvento in Guadalajara yesterday evening for a show of his work. Aside from a few of his posts on his blog and website, this is the first time that he has publicly shown people what he has been working on this year. It was a celebratory night in the company of a number of friends that we have made in Guadalajara. Our good friend and one of the most talented photographers in México, José Hernández-Claire, delivered an introduction that praised his work this past year, and encouraged him to continue pursuing the very important story of migration in México. And as an example of Josh never quitting his work, he even documented the hanging of the show as seen above, below, and here.

There is much left to be told in the stories that Josh has pursued, and after the reception of his work I can sense that he is more than determined to continue following them. If you did not click on the link above, click here to see a few photos from the evening.

* * *

We are here in Guadalajara for a little over another month, and I am becoming more focused on taking advantage of the things that I take advantage of here. Like basil. And the market that I bought it in. Today I bought a bunch of basil larger than I have ever netted in my garden back in Roanoke, for the equivalent of $1.50. I did not need that much basil, but at such a rate I figured it was silly not to take the whole bunch. And so...

15 minutes into plucking the basil leaves and I had barely made a dent.

Half an hour later I was certain that I would be making pesto for the entire neighborhood.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Roanoke Visit

It wasn't until I reached the Roanoke airport when I finally felt I had stopped. For 10 days I packed in about as much as I could during my time back in my old house and my old town. I embraced every opportunity I could to see old friends, beginning with attending a North Cross School end of the year faculty party. My friends Chip and Heidi invited me out to a bonfire party on their beautiful piece of land outside the city. I held a potluck "Ladies Party" with about 30 women. There were a number of dinners and great conversations, as well as a breakfast this morning with Eric and Nicole.

From left, Nicole (6 months pregnant), Katie and Sully, -me- Kathy and Evan, Angela and Sadye, Heidi (8 months pregnant). Baby explosion friends missing from this photo: Amy (7-ish months pregnant), Hellen and Anna, Sarah and Sam, Erica and Asa, Stephanie and Lily, Nikki and Colter

Angela and Sadye

Erin from across the street

It felt so good to be back on a fast bike, with very little traffic. I rode out on Yellow Mountain Road and took in the beautiful mountain views and breathed in the thick and clean air. Pedaling along the Blue Ridge Parkway I revisited the long up and downhill stretches, virtually free of cars.

I slept in my big, Amish bed under the skylights again, and was awake at 6:30AM to bright sunlight.

I used my favorite ceramic cup for coffee.

I went to the new art museum and took in the beautiful space and exhibits.

I said hellos to the farmers at the stands I used to frequent at the City Market.

And I packed.
I also spent three days working in the backyard in order to bring the raspberry plants back to life, to uproot the weeds around the baby fig tree, and to pull out hoards of weeds throughout the rest of the yard.











My mess out on the street.

It takes getting away to allow me fully recognize how great I have had it. Roanoke is doing quite well, thriving indeed. It was beyond comfortable to be back in our house and visiting old favorites. As I flew away from it all today I left with the knowledge that a piece of my heart will always remain there.