Friday, April 22, 2011

Mexico Travel Journal Part 2

Hey guys!  Welcome to Part 2 of my Mexico Travel Journal!  If you'd like to catch up with Part 1 , it's not too late!  Head on over HERE to check it out.  I'll wait.

You back? Great! Let's get started with Part 2!

Day 4:  Our last day in Mexico City.  Joy and I had a quick meal and headed out to Parque Mexico since we didn't have to catch our bus to Oaxaca until 1 p.m.  We saw a bunch of dogs sitting quietly all in a row with trainers watching over them.  

dreaming of tennis balls:)
I noticed that people in Mexico City just adore their dogs.  These trainers are apparently 8 brothers who provide training to dogs whose owners are at work all day and have no time to watch their pets.
some well behaved dogs
There were also a bunch of art students from a local art school drawing the dogs so I asked Joy to stop for a bit so I could draw the dogs as well!
After a few minutes, the group's art teacher looked over at my sketchbook and asked me to give her students an impromptu art lesson!  I sketched for them and tried to tell them my philosophy of drawing using my limited Spanish. It was a bit awkward at first but the students eventually grasped what I was trying to say.  
I give an impromptu art lesson to some students!
 Afterwards, Joy and I spend a bit more time at the park.  I sketched a bit more and we eventually head back to our hotel, check out and head to the bus station.
The 6 hour bus ride from Mexico City to Oaxaca was pretty uneventful.  They had a tiny monitor that played Transformers 2, Old Dogs, and Surrogates.  Absolutely PAINFUL!  I tried to draw the bus driver (below) but the bus was too bumpy so I just relaxed and got some much needed rest.
drawing on a bumpy bus is VERY challenging!
Joy not looking too happy here :)
We finally arrived in Oaxaca at around 7:30 p.m.  The view of the city from the highway was pretty spectacular and after excitedly checking into our hotel, we grabbed some food and explored the town.
Arriving in Oaxaca at dusk
There has been so much bad press about how "dangerous" and "unsafe" it is in Mexico lately and I wanted to take a minute to dispel those awful myths about this beautiful country.  In Oaxca, at the center of town is the Zocalo, a communal area in front of the church in which the townsfolk all gather to be with their families, friends and loved ones.

You can see trinket sellers, musicians, tourists, lovers, elderly folk, and kids just hanging out passing the time, being with each other and living their lives.
at the Zocalo
Hanging out and watching people at the zocalo was a revelation to me.  Not only did I feel EXTREMELY safe, but I also felt a such a warm sense of community and life exude from everyone around me.
Cathedral de Oaxaca
Naturally, all these interesting people got my creative juices flowing so I took out the old sketchbook and started drawing again!

Day 5:  Our first full day in Oaxaca!  We start it off right with some juevos divorciados (two fried eggs with beans, mole and some salsa) and coffee!  

say it with me: "juevos divorciados"!
We then went to the Museo Nacional de las Culturas where we got to look at some ancient, Indiana Jones-style artifacts like this beauty:
real human skull decorated with turquoise tile-work.
After the museum, we spent some time walking through the markets where we bought an alebrije.  Alebrijes are colorful, wooden figurines that are made in Oaxaca.  They are sold everywhere and are really quite charming:
Joy picks the purple one!  Great choice!
After a brief rest in our hotel, we spend the rest of the day at the zocalo again and I got a chance to get more drawing time in!
vendors at the zocalo

Our first full day in Oaxaca was an absolute blast.  As much as I loved Mexico City, the sheer sense of vibrancy and life in Oaxaca was just intoxicating.  I can't wait to share more pictures and sketches with you all soon so please check back again!

...To be continued!

1 comment:

Olivia said...

wow those dogs are awesome, so it the juevos dicorciados