Past four days, in addition to light article translation in the mornings and evenings, I’ve been going to surrounding indigenous villages of Chamula, Tenejapa, Zinacantan and Huixtán… possibly also going to Chenalhó, Pantelhó and Ocosingo. They are all within 50 kilometers of Jovel (San Cristóbal) so it’s easy to crawl into a colectivo or on the back of a truck and enjoy the mountains the whole way.

Today a sweet woman named Mary came from Oakland, California to stay with us for a while. She had been here over forty years ago living and learning when she was twenty-something, as well as staying in places in Nepal for months and meeting fascinating people in her life. So it has been very humbling to glean from her experience of what it is like to get older. As she sees old friends from the past, she said something timeless yesterday that really struck me:

“After so many decades of not coming back to a special place in my youth and during those formative years having known everyone as friends, as colleagues, as anthopologists, and scientists… I see how the years have passed and I have gotten older and the city and the landscape looks completely different. But we ourselves haven’t changed much in nature, it’s as if time stopped for us and we human beings are basically who we are from our teenage selves until now in our fifties and sixties. And even though so many years have passed, the people I had known are still very much the same as they were when they were young.”

…I sure hope so. I look at my life these past years after college and what I’ve done. I really, really like who I am.


(1) Dining with dear friend Christina Gerster, comfort food and traditional cuisine from Chiapas. (2) A candle ritual and prayer at Tenejapa, mixture of local customs and Catholicism. (3) Bought many pork tamales for the local families, whose children played marbles with us.

I’ll try to get the photo essays and thoughts up soon…

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Across the Universe | Beatles

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
They slither while they pass ,they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my open mind,
Possessing and caressing me. Jai guru deva, om.
Nothing’s gonna change my world.

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe,
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box,
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe…
Jai guru deva, om. Nothing’s gonna change my world.

Sounds of laughter shades of life are ringing
Through my opened ears inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying Love which shines around me like a
million suns, It calls me on and on across the universe
Jai guru deva, om. Nothing’s gonna change my world.

(4) Comedor, hearth of a family in Tenejapa (5) Emilio Zapata and relics (6) Wall of EZLN memorabilia

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Spanish Words of the Day:traspatio” vegetable patch, garden, yard | “tizón” embers | “tapete” tablecloth, but in Mexico, rug | “transcurrir” to transpire, to elapse | “malabar” to juggle | “ochentero” an eighties fan

Tzotzil Words of the Day:angel” storm, thunder | “chul-totik, k’al” sun| “ik” air | “yavenal’te” tree leaves | “m’te” tree | “lum” earth | “chul’metik” moon | “wuo” water | “ko’k” fire, candlelight | “nichim” flower | “kay’ok” music | “k’uk” blouse | “ouo” rain | “ch’au” lightning |

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