Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cartoon 11: La Honey (Fronterizos Series #2)

This month we have the huge honor of receiving the first volunteer to our project: Emilia! a.k.a. La Honey (Bernardo, one of the guys in our group, likes to give the gals playfully sweet nicknames based on petnames in the girls' native language. I was called 'Sweety', Eva was called 'Shatz' [german for sweety], Gaby was called 'Dulcecita' [spanish for sweety], and Emilia was called 'Honey' [since sweety in english was already taken :)]) 

So Emilia, also from Atlanta, GA, USA, was with us for two weeks to document the Fronterizos process through photography, videography, and illustration. One of her many gorgeous sketches became the promotional poster that you see above. So nice right? Thank you Emilia! You absolutely rock.

For me, having Emilia here was so special.  It offered me a chance to get in touch with myself as the foreigner that I am.  Seeing her beautiful eyes widen as we drove through the countryside helped me to get in touch with myself as an individual in unknown territory.  Far from the self I have been trying to be, doing my best to adjust as fast as possible into the flow of things in order to find a life here (food, housing, work, a social support system), I was able finally to settle into my trip as the awe-struck tourist that I really am. 

I began to take in the inviting colors and colonial architecture nestled into breath taking fluffy deep green broccoli mountains.  I let myself revel in the somehow successful relative disorder of interactions between people, animals, and nature. 
I let my mind spin, taking in all the new input without trying to organize it into my own functional concept of reality.
Houses made of concrete painted in orange, blue, pink, and often just gray when there's no money for paint.
New tastes... Tlazcalate (corn meal, milk, sugar, water), Pozol (cornmeal and water), Horchata (rice, sugar, water, cinnamon). 
The smells... fresh sweet bread baking yum,  greasy carnitas sold on the side of the road eeck, flower stands full of bouquets for the equivalent of $5 mmmm, stray dogs' doo whereever it falls and no one to pick it up uh oh!
New social norms... we share everything, its nearly unheard of to eat in the presence of someone else without offering some... it's almost expected that we won't do what we say we will when we say we will do it,  everyone seems to have faith that it will eventually happen.  A boss hires me to perform a circus cabaret in his fancy restaurant/bar and tells me 'You guys do whatever you think the people will like. I trust your creativity.' =oO What??! Crazy!
I watched Emilia, who doesn't speak Spanish, patiently try to understand the conversations flying around her, trying to figure out when it was her turn to speak.  I thought wow, she doesn't know whats going on. But she is here just listening.  Just trying to enjoy the not knowing and discover other wavelengths to participate on.  The communication that was achieved between her and the group was on another level.  They seemed to get to know one another just by feeling each others' intentions. Emelia came to a new country, to a new way of life, to a new reality and of course, she didn't know what was going on. Does that mean that I'm not necessarily supposed to know whats going on either? Yes! I don't have to know what to do either! Freedommmmm!!! 

Emilia has ushered me into a time when I let myself watch and learn. Through seeing her patient observation, I realized that I have pressured myself to act, to push forward without fear, to pull my weight, like working in the traffic light in Cartoon 7: La Sema. I jumped right in weaving between cars without stopping to observe the flow of things. Without watching how Joaquin and Daniel work successfully. In wanting immediately to prove to myself, my coworkers, the world that I can do anything I set my mind to, I lost the opportunity to learn how to do just that. I do believe that I can achieve what I set my mind to but the best first step is not always action. Now, in so many new situations, its my turn to watch, to learn from the many teachers that the world provides me, and to act only when it comes from a centered Sara, moving from a congruent heart, mind and body.
Thank you Emilia, it was such a pleasure.

1 comment:

  1. Better to comment late than never I hope! Thank you so much Sara! It was such a wonderful experience- While I didn't understand a lot of what was being said- I think I still got what was going on much of the time. It was so fascinating to suddenly become so much more aware- and start paying attention to all of the different ways that we communicate aside from our words. That being said- it was also cool to start to understand Spanish in a way that I had not before. When I was in Peru- everyone that I met and hung out with (outside of financial transactions) spoke English. When I was in Panama, I didn't really get a chance ever to sit down and talk to someone from the country. But it was so different in Chiapas, I was actually immersed in the language, and my understanding of it (if not speaking so much) has gotten so much better.