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Posts Tagged ‘bougainvillea’

… and shadows in Oaxaca in March.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.  — Abraham Lincoln

Shadow owes its birth to light.  — John Gay

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Sunday afternoon at Casa Colonial in Oaxaca:  Sun filtering through the trees of a lush tropical garden, the smell of hamburgers and hotdogs grilling on a barbecue, a friendly bartender, and a great jazz combo.  What more could anyone want?

Thank you to the Casa’s owner Jane Robison and manager Amado Bolaños.  It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

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If it’s the fourth Friday of Lent and you are in Oaxaca, it must be Día de la Samaritana — a wonderful “only in Oaxaca” celebration.  From bougainvillea decorated stands in doorways throughout the city and banquet tables lining the Alcalá in front of Templo de la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo…

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… divinely flavored aguas frescas made with fresh fruits and flowers — jamaica, horchata, chilacayota, tamarindo, among other colorful and refreshing beverages — were offered.

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Día de la Samaritana is inspired by the Gospel of John story in the New Testament:  At noon, a tired and, apparently, thirsty Jesus, on his way to Galilee, asks a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well in Sychar for some water.  His request was highly unusual because, according to the Old Testament, “Jews regarded the Samaritans as foreigners and their attitude was often hostile.”  The woman complied with his request and the rest is history.

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For me, the day embodies the warm, welcoming, and generous spirit of the people of Oaxaca.  It’s just another reason why I love living in Oaxaca.

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Yesterday was the fourth Friday of Lent and, if you are in Oaxaca, that means Día de la Samaritana, where, believer or not, you will be offered aguas from doorways and street-side tables set up in front of churches, restaurants, hotels, government agencies, and private homes.

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I got a late start; unseasonable rain was threatening and the grey sky had made it hard to leave my cozy apartment. 

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But, what can I say?  Horchata, sandia, guayaba, coco, chilacayota, chía con limón, and even tejate and nieves were offered with smiles, free of charge, to all passersby.

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Within a block, I happily and gratefully accepted a large plastic cup of horchata; another one followed, and later, a styrofoam cup of chilacayota.

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It had begun at noon, but by 2 PM, all that remained were branches of Bougainvillea, empty ollas (pots), ladles with nothing to dip into…

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and empty cups.

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Sparrow came by for a late breakfast on the bougainvilla this morning.  Guess, like my neighbor, (s)he didn’t realize Mexico “sprung ahead” last night to Daylight Saving Time.

Sparrow sitting on bougainvilla branch

Or, should I say, most of Mexico.  Teotitlán del Valle follows the sun and doesn’t set their clocks back.  Let the confusion begin!

Close-up of sparrow sitting in bougainvilla

So, maybe Sparrow is…

Living on Teo Time.
Living on Teo Time.
Gonna set my watch back to it
‘Cause you know that I’ve been through it.
Living on Teo Time.

(With apologies to Daniel W. Flowers, songwriter of Tulsa Time.)

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