Sunday, February 26, 2006

Teotihuacan pyramids, Mexico

I am back in Lima, just stilling posting Mexico photos.

Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacan.
Scaling the pyramid
Pyramid of the Sun.
The street of the dead and the pyramid of the sun.
The cathedral in Mexico City. Mexico city was once venice-like series of islands in a lake, until the Spanish drained the city. Now all of the buildings are sinking and shifting at various angles.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Virgin of Guadalupe - 6 chaples and one cactus cloth

Bicycle pilgrims waiting their turn in the main plaza. Watched many others approach walking on their knees, flowers in their arms.
Morning moon with St. Michael slaying the dragon (I'm guessing), with top of the old and modern cathedrals. Taken from another church on a hill in the complex.
The road leading to the site divided in two by this pedestrian walkway flanked by stands where you can by the image on most things you can think of.
Blurry photo from one of two moving walkways sunk behind the altar of the mantle ofpeasant Juan Diego where the image of the Virgin is said to have appeared in the 1700s.


The modern church that stores the mantles can seat 10,000 and its light roof is made of copper - looks the same oxidized green as the Statue of Liberty. Without columns, any seat has a view of the altar and the mantle behind it. The tilt of the sinking old basicilica can be seen clearly in this shot.

Octavio Paz is quoted as saying that "the Mexican people, after more than two centuries of experiments, have faith only in the Virgin of Guadalupe and the National Lottery."

Made me think of Peru and it's 23 candidates running for the presidency.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tepotzlan, Trotsky's house, Rockefeller Ctr. Rivera mural

Trotsky's home during his Mexico exile. About 3 blocks from Kahlo's house.
Town of Tepotzlan. Pale tiny fleck left of center, the eponymous pyramid to which we hiked.
Myself, at the end of the climb.
Man at the Crossroads Looking with Hope and High Vision to the Choosing of a New and Better Future, 1934. Museo de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. A repeat of the mural that Rivera began in Rockefeller Center in 1933 but was unfinished and torn down because of the message: t Lenin holds a prominent place, capitalism is represented as a mixed bag and socialism and marxism are presented as virtuous.
Cala lilly with flag and Trostky's gravestone. His ashes are here.

The party goes on and only the camera remembers-the abridged version

Janice, maid of honor, and Rob in searsucker finery.
Uri Felsen, in a conga line. You saw it here.
Zack after the dance floor light photo series.

It's been a little wedding heavy, I know, but my viewing audience is Sinai heavy.

More from Sara and Bryce's wedding

Uri Felsen, a capella fan, after Bryce and his college group serenade his bride.
The party goes on, Zack Charlop-Powers gets the camera, and the pictures get fuzzy.

Married lady.

Walking in to Hacienda Cortez.
Mariachi lying in wait just outside.
Sarah Goldberg and Tom.

Photos from Hurtado-Rogers & Bares wedding

The heavenly Las Estacas Park in Cuernavaca. The Thursday before the wedding a bunch of the ladies in Sara's life gathered here for a dip and dinner.
Sara before taking the plunge.
La Iglesia Abierta overlooking all of Cuernavaca.
Sara walking down the aisle with her Dads.
Bryce and Sara at the reception.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Post - Cuernavaca : La Resaca & Kahlo, Trotsky and Pyramids

In the wake of a post-wedding early morning wakeup to get back to Mexico City, Sunday I went to Frida Kahlo's house and Trotsky's house (and resting place of his ashes) in the rich suburb of Coyaocan. Saw the artifacts of Kahlo's life, the medical braces, the dresses, the blue house and a few paintings. Trotsky's house was austere and dark by comparison, and with grim but fascinating photodocumentation of the serial execution of his family members and his exile in Mexico. No mention of any affair with Kahlo there.

Cuernavaca and the wedding were wonderful. For the Sinai readers: photos to follow.

The blow out wedding party lasted into the night and a midnight meal (after the main meal) was served to keep the festivities going and to avoid La Resaca - The Hangover. Semi - successful. Note here that the sweet mexican bride inviting guests to do celebratory Tequila shots with her probably didn't help. That afternoon fell asleep on a bus going in the wrong direction on the way back from Kahlo's house. About a 2 hour mistake.

Today I wented to the famed (because they're big and old) 700BC pyramids of Teotihuacan about an hour outside of Mexico City - 45 m high I believe for the Temple of the Moon, and the Temple of the Sun was a bit higher.

It was hot and flooded with tourists, and climbing was sweaty. I almost didn't go, but am happy I saw the place, if only to see the scale and symmetry of the layout.

The bus stopped at the Basilica of Guadalupe and so in my 3 full days in Mexico City I have seen the famous mantle not once, but twice.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mexico City Rocks.

This is a great place.

The historic center is large and beautiful, surprisingly clean and easy to get around. Ruins of pyramids next to the literally sinking cathedral on the side of the plaza which is second in size only to Tianamen Square. Have taken many photos.

I had no idea how sophisiticated and ancient and varied mexican civilizations there were.

The Diego Rivera murals at the National Palace are amazing - telling the history of Mexico from the ancient civilizations when mexico city was a an island in the middle of a lake up until Rivera's day. Peru needs a national identity builder like him.

After seeing the city center, went to the well-done and airy Anthropological Museum and then made a little pilgrimage up to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe to see the famous robe that the virgin's face appeared in. Then got a drink at the oldest cantina in Mexico - founded in 1855 with the fellow traveller - a photographer- I went around with most of the day.

Even the MexicoCitySpringBreak2006 hostel is growing on me and am staying another night before going on to Cuernavaca manana.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mexico City Spring Break 2006

Of course, in the great tradition of my arrival to places I've never been: the hotel I spoke with yesterday was closed today.

cab driver said he had no idea where else to take me and turned through some weird neighborhoods, I demanded to be taken back to the airport ( wanted to know where we going - imagine that!). Eventually eduardo and I talked it out and he walked me to the very door of the hostel I'm in now.

The cab driver marveled that I could understand him, presumably considering how poorly I spoke. wonder what would have happened if I couldn't.

the new hostel - thank you uri for the list you sent me ahead- is dormitory style grimy and rockin. rooftop bar full of gringos, smoke, great cathedral view, free internet, and thankfully, 20 peso coronas. but does anyone speak spanish?

The plane ride was a revelation - columbian mountains thickly carpeted in dark green (jungle?), giving way to suddenly the sea. Then the coast of panama, volcanoes like etchings rising up out of nowwhere. magical coastline. More water and then glistening, tremendous traffic jammed mexico. Never quite had a plane ride like that. Beautiful.

Bogota layover

Was feeling proud of packing for a wedding and a week´s worth of travel in a small carry-on until trailing across the airport felt incredibly winded. 2600 meters it is.

The mother of one of the MDs in the apartment where I'm staying runs Haiku tours in Japan and abroad for a living. In the Basho style, travel to a place, walk around, write a Haiku, elect the best one. After talking about this, was subsquently inspired with this 5-7-5er on one the slowest combi rides I've ever had yeserday.

Combi, porque vas
tan despacio como
algarrobina?

Lot's of security in Bogota. First airport that's taken my swiss army knife. Brought a huge can-opener to Arequipa.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

More mileage out of Arequipa and Cuti Ollachica

You could smell the garlic, left out to dry, driving to La Punta through Mollendo.


The sea in the horizon. Panamaericana from Arequipa to Camana.
Crumbly sandy roadside stone.

More odd and not unattractive coastal landscape. Half moon of sand on sand.
The church in Yanahuara near Natalie and Mike's house.

Data entry continues with its combination of tedium and satisfaction.

Just as Cash's Boy Named Sue started playing I came across a man's improbable last name: cuti ollachica.

Photos from Arequipa hospitals/labs/healthposts

The first positive MODS plate being read in Arequipa.
Hospital Honorio Delgado - constructed in the 1950s as a TB hospital.
The hospital from the front.
Big windows. I thought these were a brilliant (have I been working with brits too much? weird adjective choice) example of big windows in an old school TB hospital until the local expert pointed out that the windows didn't look like they opened very well. Rod Escombe's studies have shown that the big windowed airy hospitals of yesteryear are just as effective as high tech negative pressure rooms of today in preventing TB transmission.
Camana. A homemade cabina for working with tuberculois. The fan pulling air out of the chamber is near the top. Also has an ultraviolet light. TB is killed in sunlight in 5 minutes and they certainly don't lack for that. Felt a strong tremor there that morning.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Santa Catalina Convent, Arequipa

Am back in Lima. Entering data. It's oddly addictive.

Favorite female name so far: Jesusa.
Favorite health center name: Pampas de Camarones.
Least favorite handwriting quirk: a triangle seems to be equivalent to the letter A.

Santa Catalina was a cloistered convent until the 1970s when it was opened to the public after 400 years. It is made almost entirely of Arequipan sillar (white volcanic stone) and has about 20km squared of space inside. There are named streets.

Don't know what this means. Sure looks pretty.
A flour sifter to make a very refined host for communion.
Myself, not mastering one-handed self-portraiture. There are about 30 more of where these came from.
Pointsetta Tree, Confessionals, Cloister.
The 100 nuns living in the active part of the convent air some clean laundry visible from the previous self-portraiture perch.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The curious pitstop - Centro de Salud Mariano Melgar's bathroom


Brother, this post's for you. To make up for this year's Christmas gift you had hoped for, but never recieved.

Mark, or anyone else who cares to comment, I invite you to title this most thought provoking of photos.

A roadside snapshot from health center visits in the Department of Arequipa.

Monday Leave Arequipa 5 AM
Arrive in Camana 7:45 AM
Visit Hospital Appoyo Camana and Centro de Salud La Pampa and then take the PanAmericana up the coast 25 minutes toward Puesto de Salud Pucchun.

9:30 Am.
Dave: "Photostop."

Anne: "Is that rice growing?"
Dave: "Let's have a closer look."
Dave: "It does look like rice."
Anne: "But doesn't rice need a lot of water?"
Dave: "Yes, Anne. Yes it does." 9.35 am onward I try to dry the foot that got too close to the rice in between health center stops and police cars placed along the rood.


A full day of driving to La Joya, then Islay, then back to Arequipa in time to catch a 9.55pm flight follows as well as.

12am in Lima foot is still soggy.