Wednesday, August 29, 2007

From Oaxaca

I titled this entry "From Oaxaca" because that's where I'm writing it from, and because it's now where I'm from. I can't believe the moments leading up to our coming here:

1. A mastectomy with a little added surprise--removal of all my lymph nodes because the sentinel node had two borderline miscroscopic foci of cancer. Madonna really said it best: "Borderline, feels like I'm going to lose my mind" because I keep almost having invasive cancer and almost having complications, but no test really commits. But they "round up" on my diagnosis and go for more aggressive treatment.

2. Coming down off the Vicodan a couple weeks later, I picked a fight with Steve at a new vegan restaurant called Nutshell. What a shame to D.T. at a cute cafe with wall-sized paintings of Bigfoot painted by...Bigfoot. We're trying to be vegan-ish now because milk products are some vile stuff according to my favorite book on cancer, The China Study, given to me by Andrea, one of my wonderful Portland friends.

3. We got our asses kicked at the Mexican consulate in Portland and couldn't get our FM3 documents to live in Mexico. So, like many who have preceded us, we will attempt to get the papers in Oaxaca instead.

4. Our car did not sell until 10 hours before our flight out of the country.

But now we're here. In less than a week, we've enrolled Maxito at Colegio Teizcali for first grade, stood in the long line at Provedora on Independencia with his list of school supplies, met my future employer, made some new friends, met some old friends, visited the Zocalo, stalked the location of our apartment from 10 years ago, went to our old favorite veggie restaurant El Manantial, and, most importantly, found a favorite produce stall and staked out a lady selling fresh tortillas, both near Max's school.

I'm already feeling the pull of daily life redefined. We rush around, do typical over-planning, worry over trivialities, but it's all in Spanish and it's all in Mexico.

Our adventures to come: Steve finishes covering all 7 of Max's required notebooks (of different sizes, with different interior papers) with the required yellow laminated paper; I locate some agua fresca de tuna fruit; Genevieve turns 1 and spends the day wrestling and high-fiving; Max runs up some pyramids at Monte Alban.

My deep gratitude goes out to all who showered me with love and support during this dramatic month. You brought me here, to Oaxaca!


Nina said...

Hi Serena,
I've really enjoyed your blog- thanks for sharing! I will be moving to Oaxaca in August and am thinking Colegio Teizcali might be the right place for my kids, Inoa (6) and Caio (3). I can't find the school's website... do they have one? I'd be grateful for any info you could give me about the school, or about others. Thanks so much. I hope we can meet once I'm there. - Nina

Serena said...

Hi, Nina!

I have some information the principal sent me last year that discusses the school's philosophy, shows some pictures, and outlines the fees. I don't have an email address for you, so if you write me at I can send you the documents. I hope to meet you soon!