A five hour flight from San Francisco to Mexico City and a short flight to Oaxaca.  Exhausted from getting up early packing and all the things one has to do before leaving for two months.  Having a three and a half hour drive to San Francisco the same day as my flight.  I fell to sleep immediately on the plane but 4 hours of sleep on an airplane did not make me feel like I had had a full night’s sleep in my wonderful bed!

I was excited to arrive and have my host family there to pick me up.  What a great way to start my time in Oaxaca!  Soon everyone from my flight had been picked up from the small airport except me.  I didn’t have international calling.  I found a young man, who was an employee of the airport, to help me.  Everyone spoke only Spanish.  There was no one who spoke English except the taxi company who would only speak English if I wanted a taxi.  Luckily I had all the information on the host family and we called them.  They were surprised.  No, they had no idea about my arrival. Then I was told the host family said to wait 15 minutes.  I sat on my suitcase on the curb awaiting their arrival to pick me up, 45 minutes later still no one to get me.

One thing I love about travel is it calls me to be fully in the present moment.  To surrender all preconceived ideas of how I think and expect anything to be.  To trust.  To remember there are always angels that will appear to help me if I remember to ask.  So I started to look for my angel knowing they were on the way.  I had an opportunity to be in the present moment with two darling little girls, a one year old and 3 year old.  Playing beek-a-boo, giggling and having fun for a long time.  Then the young man helping me with the phone situation came back rattling off a long story in Spanish of which I understood nothing.  I said “I don’t know what you just said”.  And then out of nowhere a man appeared who spoke fluent English, wanted to know how he could help.  He translated that no one was coming for me.  He googled the address of the language school and I hired a taxi.  Once at the school they were apologetic – asked me to give them an hour to sort things out.  I had a delicious meal of chicken enchiladas at the restaurant next door.  In an hour the family I had expected at the airport showed up.  I love the energy of this family.  The boy and girl I expected to be young children turn out to be adults and speak English.  The mother is a wonderful cook who has a cooking school here in the house.  She doesn’t speak English so it keeps me focused on learning Spanish!

 

I love how the Mexicans laugh and talk all the time and are so happy.  There is such a vibrant energy.

I am really seeing what a difference it is traveling to a place and being on the outside looking in versus staying with a family and seeing so much through the eyes of an insider.  Even little things like going to an outdoor music concert and seeing how the men are so romantic when they sing. Going to the Zocola, the big town square, and sitting at a table for drinks and Socorro, the mother, orders a meschilada – it is hot and spicy ingredients in a glass and you pour your beer into and drink it together.  All of my many vacations in Mexico and I have never witnessed that before.

I love being in the presence of the Mexicans.  I love how they express love.  Fathers and mothers dance with their children, play and give them their full attention that is filled with love.  Watching lovers say goodbye with long kisses.  Husbands and wives hold hands and look at each other with love.  The whole family is together at the Zocalo at 10pm, children playing with balloons and each other, everyone happy, the sounds of music coming from everywhere.  The night air is filled with a soft gentle breeze.  Truly love is in the air everywhere I go.  People walk slowly I never see anyone rushing.  There is time to talk to a stranger.  T- I –M – E.  Something we don’t seem to have in America.  It feels like raising children in the USA from a cultural perspective, from what I have witnessed, is with fear.  Fear that if your child doesn’t get into this activity or school or sports team they won’t make it in life.  Always pushing.  Controlling.

Here it feels like life is about enough.  Having enough.  It is not about having too much and still wanting more.  Simply having your needs met.  Realizing that family and friends and love is what is the most important thing.  Being happy.  Really happy.  Tranquil.  Living in the present moment.  Celebrating life.  I am celebrating my time being here in this beautiful country.  My heart constantly spills over with gratitude.