Apr 22, 2012

Juanacatlán – How Life Once Is - Day 4

Let the rain kiss you.
Langston Hughes

What I call a veranda, they call a corridor
Communal Living

Sunday – a special day for Catholics; we are invited to go to church but turn it down so only Ramón goes – I feel Chayo is abstaining because we didn’t attend and I’m not sure what to say or do about it.

It is also pig killing day.
The whole village gathers around the weekly butchering of a pig (Carnita Day) dressed in their Sunday finest. In the old days, each household in-turn would kill a pig and travel to everyone in town to deliver what they had ordered of the pig, this now has evolved to that household ‘selling’ the pig to a butcher who handles everything from one location near a tienda (store). It is a special event and everyone participates. There is music, people drink beer or pop, and much talking and some dancing happen. Pig skin and ribs are fried as snacks served with a sprinkling of lime juice, nothing going to waste. The following day, the lard is distributed in cow bladders for those who ordered.

Even though it is Sunday, chores are attended to. I wash some clothes by hand since lack of space made it we only have two sets of clothes each and considering the dust and Mike’s allergy to it, we need to wash very often.

Pine trees mixed with agaves
Mike and I escape a little to go pick Manzanita berries by ourselves now that we found out how good that drink is. Our hosts are very afraid we may get lost in the woods and warn us. Later on they love to tell the story of the gringos who didn’t get lost in the woods while picking berries….

Odd circular tree trunk
Nikki finally ventures out near the newborn chicks to find out just how quickly a mama hen can strike the perceived attacker. She doesn’t go near them again… She has explored so much in the last few days that she’s limping a bit, probably sore from overdoing it a little.
Erosion has taken away 2 feet of ground where roots used to be buried
Marie under large madrone tree
In the afternoon Chayo shows me how to shell corn up in the granary. It is a simple, although a lengthy process especially when you think that 5 gallons of corn kernels only lasts them 3 days – there is a lot of shelling going on!

Corn cobs in granary
Shelling corn by hand
Who is this happy person?
Board lined with fencing staples to shell corn
We ponder why there are not more pesky flies around since there are so many pigs and cows. None of the windows have screens. We asked and are told flies seem to be a slight problem only during the rainy season. I think it speaks of how clean they keep everything around here. We saw two men emptying a cow corral of manure before it got even 6” deep by shoveling it into bags and spreading around corn fields. Not the attention you see in commercial establishments. 

Miniature blooms
For some strange reason, the women attending the Carnita (meat) Day ask me about my eyebrows and whether I pluck them. Strange what they pay attention to. Mexican women have such thick beautiful hair and eyebrows I guess I look a little different to them with my slighter features. 

Krystal-Clean (post bath)

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