Last night was the dinner between artisans and tourists. There were artisans from San Martin Tilcajete and Arrazola. About fifteen art aficionados came to partake in the intercambio and to learn more about the Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art. The artists were able to sell work to the visitors, and it was a good chance to meet people.
The next time I do something like this, I have some good lessons. It might’ve been better, for example, to focus on the exhibition – or the dinner and intercambio. Some of the art aficionados also suggested that I organize a tour from the Oaxacan Lending Library to the various villages. One man was also interested in using the anthologies (English and Spanish) of the competitions FOFA holds to expose the children in the various villages where Libros para Pueblos has libraries to Oaxacan folk art beyond what may be created in their communities. (I also didn’t have the time to stop to take pictures for even the blog.)
I have grown to better know and love the people I have met in these artist communities and am already trying to figure out how I can collaborate with them in the future in Oaxaca and in Sacramento under the auspices of Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art or another.
After the gathering, I was exhausted. There were so many details, and I missed the friendship and camaraderie I have in Sacramento as I frequently plan community events. I also missed my little blue car and some of the other conveniences of my life in Sacramento. It took half an hour, and the assistance of Mari in the posada (out on the street with me), to get a cab driver to take me and my mountain of things to an address that is less than a ten-minute walk. Many of the drivers passing me gave me a hang loose sign, waved, and one even said, “Adios, guera.” As time ticked away, my heart began to race. I thought about all of the details remaining, but then one man stopped. Rolling his eyes at my pile of things: pitchers, water (it’s not as if tap water will do), plates, plastic ware, cookies, salsa, and so on, he filled his trunk, slammed it closed and was rushing me into my seat when he realized that I still had a rolling cart more.
In the end, he declared that my directions (especially because I immediately could tell him the address and four landmarks) were satisfactory. My generous tip also resulted in him shaking my hand and wishing me luck with the event (no more eye-rolling).
So I got the things to the library, but they had just closed (because they close from 2-4), and I still needed to go to the park to get the tamales from the ladies (who didn’t have the tamales when I checked at 1). I scrambled over to the park, and the tamales were stuck in Friday traffic. About now, I was starting to sweat and feel a bit sick. But I reminded myself that these are small problems. They told me to come back in forty minutes. I gave it an hour.
When I returned, they actually seemed as if they were concerned that I had resorted to Plan B (I did have one: pizza), but I had not. They were even willing to trust me with their dishes. And I arrived at the library – with food, and with everything ready to go before the first guests arrived.
So many tests, so many lessons, so worth my investment of time, money, and yes, heart.