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Posts Tagged ‘rain’

This evening, the rain began falling as the delegations for the first Saturday Guelaguetza desfile began gathering.  Are we having fun, yet?

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However, just like last year, the show must go on and the dancing must be done.

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Some even looked like they were having fun.  Of course, they were well covered!

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I wasn’t, so this wimpy gringa headed back to her casa and a glass of wine (insert smiley face).  By the way, to add insult to injury, tonight’s press is reporting that the route was changed — and it wasn’t just me who was clueless.  Ahhh… Oaxaca!!!

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Rain has been falling in the city for over 24 hours, as Tropical Storm Beatriz slowly moves up Oaxaca’s coast and up and over Sierra Madre del Sur mountains.  According to the National Hurricane Center, “over a foot of rain is possible in Mexico’s Oaxaca state through Friday with isolated amounts up to 20 inches possible.”

At various times in her past, because of the native green stone used to construct her buildings and pave her sidewalks, Oaxaca has been known as la Verde Antequera — the Emerald City.Oaxaca letters in front of Santo Domingo

Walking through the streets on a rainy day, it’s easy to see where she got her nickname.

While Beatriz may be causing headaches on the coast, the campesinos (and all who depend on them) in the Valle de Oaxaca, are rejoicing.

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Though rain began falling, clutching camera, umbrella, and my ten peso bag of pan bendito (blessed bread), I left the cozy dry confines of my apartment to join the faithful in a ritual promenade.  It’s Jueves Santo (Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday), commemorating the Last Supper of Jesus, the washing of feet,  and the apprehension and imprisonment of Jesus.

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San José de Gracia, Oaxaca de Juárez

Tradition in Oaxaca calls for visiting seven churches (la visita de las siete casas) with one’s pan bendito and palm leaves.  The faithful use the latter to touch images of Jesús and María.  This year, I again committed myself to the mission.  My first stop was just around the corner at San José de Gracia and the second was even easier — the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, just across the Plaza de la Danza from the former.

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Watery entrance to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, Oaxaca de Juárez

While inside, attempting (unsuccessfully) to get a good shot of Nuestra Señora, the heavens opened up in a downpour.  Needless to say, I hung out with Soledad until the torrential rain calmed to only a steady drizzle.

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Neverías at the Jardín Sócrates, Oaxaca de Juárez

However, the rain didn’t stop the faithful and tourists, alike, from stopping to enjoy a nieve (iced dessert) right outside the Basilica, before continuing on.  I kept on moving — down the steps to Calle Independencia, on my way to the Templo de San Felipe Neri.

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Exit sign at Templo de San Felipe Neri, Oaxaca de Juárez

By the way, Jueves Santo is such a big deal, to avoid gridlock from those coming and going, the churches designate one door as the “entrance” and another as the “exit.”  It’s a great idea in theory but in practice, especially on a rainy night, it was almost meaningless.

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Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Oaxaca de Juárez

Next stop was across the street at the inconspicuous Iglesia San Cosme y Damián, then on to the very prominent Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, where the three front entrances were providing tourists, vendors, and believers shelter from the storm.

After navigating my way through the Cathedral, I exited stage right, dashed across the zócalo and into La Compañía (the Jesuit church).  On my way out the side door, I stopped briefly to buy a bag of homemade gingersnaps and, with umbrella raised, headed to my seventh and final church of the night, El Carmen de Abajo.  Though tempted by the aroma of some yummy looking food several “church ladies” were selling in the side foyer, I didn’t have enough hands to hold a paper plate, my camera, and my umbrella.  So, home I went, basking in the warm feelings I always have after being with my Oaxaqueño neighbors.

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Listening to the rhythm of the falling rain.

Wet patio with water in buckets

Ahhh…  At long last, relief from weeks of energy sapping heat and a long very dry winter.

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Was it December?  Maybe it was November the last time the city saw rain… until this afternoon.  Those specks you see are very welcome raindrops on my window.

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It brought thunder and lightning, but fell gently.  It only lasted an hour, but cooled and cleansed the air.

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I can see clearly now…

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Last night, if she is still in town, Malia got to experience one of Oaxaca’s dramatic rain storms.   The circulation of high pressure over the Southeast of the country, interacting with moisture from both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, resulted in a 1-2 hour (I lost track of time) torrential downpour and Mother Nature’s own spectacular sound and light show.

Dome of Templo de San José

Glowing Templo de San José last night, as sheets of rain bounced off the dome.

This was a welcome relief, as we are in the middle of the dry season, and my rooftop garden is extremely happy.  However, along with the usual flooding and sporadic power outages, newspapers are reporting 10 homes were damaged by the heavy winds and rain in Ocotlán and a Jacaranda tree fell on an unoccupied parked car in the city.

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Yesterday, the clouds gathered, the sky darkened, and about 5 PM…

And, yes, I did jump!

However, it’s no laughing matter for the farmers and folks who live near rivers.  Río Atoyac, which runs alongside the heart of the city and which one must cross to reach the airport, rapidly reached flood stage and breached its banks in several places (Noticias has video).  In addition, because the ground is already supersaturated, mudslides have already begun to occur in the mountains.

CONAGUA explains that the large area of atmospheric instability over the Gulf of Tehuantepec along with tropical depression 13 in the Gulf of Mexico (that’s the one threatening Louisiana), are the moisture-laden culprits.

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Thunder cracking right overhead; lightening flashing all around; rain pounding on the tin roof is deafening.  Sheesh, even with TV cranked up as loud as it gets, I can’t hear Anderson Cooper!  Torrential downpour filled buckets for Casita Colibrí’s garden within 15 minutes.Full rain buckets

Ahhh… it’s been so long, I’d forgotten what it looked, sounded, felt, and smelled like.  A beautiful night in Oaxaca…Stormy night in Oaxaca

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