I have so many blog “drafts” it’s embarrassing, and mainly it’s because the workload here is still 12+ hrs a day, occupied from 5:45am to 8:00pm.

The things I do for Taller Leñateros are going to seem ridiculous: I scribble the names of all the managers and directors of hotels, restaurants, and schools on my arm, under my cardigan sleeve when no one is looking, and annotate their quirks for personal gifts or conversation. I dress well to persuade (in my most convincing way possible) the most elegant/centralized establishments to let me position our brand on their front window pane or glass doors. And I make several rounds around town to say hello, make group appointments and check if they need any maps or publicity, and taxi things over if they do.

I am, and always will be, an entrepreneurial spirit—it’s in my blood. It seems that almost all of my family and relatives are successful in their endeavors. And one thing strange about Chiapas is that locals are genuinely astonished that our things are completely in a timely and responsive manner, earlier than they expected.

Internally, however, working with Mayans/mestizos and making them sustainable is strenuous. Because either: (1) they ignore or do not see the opportunities that I see, or (2) the remnants of an inferiority complex due to socio-economic class prevents them from charming the clients or the workforce of a luxury establishment, and so they don’t even want to go in the door, or (3) there isn’t a culture of excelling and achieving greatness, and “good enough” is the way of life, or (4) they take a long time to get requests done… if it gets done at all. There’s more, which I’ll describe when I’m in a better constitution. In short, they are not very capitalist and the whole aspect of commercialization and sales is a black box in which they would rather not try to understand. It is incredible that we have do not have a problem with the supply-side or the demand-side… production is doing well and many clients are willing to buy. Rather it is bringing those together, the merging of the two in the process of the sale… *sigh*

There has also been spiteful resentment for some of my colleagues working with someone like me, not only because I tend to keenly focus on making daily results happen and consequently perform far more intensely than they are accustomed to… but a backlash because of my presence: the privilege and education I represent, and what that means. So even though I’ve brought in increased growth for everybody, and people are finally getting paid their full salaries…in reality there are several who resent the fact that some clients come in looking for Victoria or leave great comments for Victoria and buy a lot more merchandise when Victoria is there, and establishments will easily say ‘yes’ to Victoria. (Admittedly, I would be really sick of it too.) Whatever the case, I know my place in the world and who I am and what I’m good at. I feel tremendously proud of the results we’ve all come together as a team to accomplish, and I sleep at night feeling peaceful. Welcome to development work.

Speaking of peaceful, this is the early morning fog that rolls in through the mountains and nestles into the valley. Barely perceptible, and floating translucent only for those who arise to greet the day.

Neblina

Neblina Desde Nuestro Patio

Today and tomorrow, I’ll be an secondary interpreter for Marcos, who works with public health for Indigenous Mayan mothers with certain foundations such as the WHO or United Nations. It might bring in the funds they need, and help me learn more about the malnutrition that is prevalent in Chiapas, Mexico.

—-

“GREATEST LOVE OF ALL”

written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed performed by Whitney Houston

I believe that children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my need
A lonely place to be and so I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow
If I fail, if I succeed at least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all inside of me
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all

I believe that children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us of how we used to be

I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow
If I fail, if I succeed at least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all inside of me
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all

And if by chance that special place that you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place, find your strength in love

—-

Spanish Words of the Day:esquirla” chip of stone | “hojaldrado, hojaldre” flaky | “mentón” chin |”desapacible” nasty, unpleasant | “llama” flame

German Words of the Day: “arbeit macht frei” work will set you free.

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