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O a x a c a
Santo Domingo church in Oaxaca City
This was written by Emily Smith for her parents during a visit she and Scott Murphy made to visit us. Scott and Emily are friends who also support our work here. We'd love to have you come visit us too! 

Greetings from the capital city of Oaxaca, Oaxaca.  We have had so much fun here. It took us about 5 hours to drive through beeeyooteeful mountainous country. Scott says it reminds him of his trip out west.  For many miles there is nothing but mountains until you arrive in the beautiful city full of lovely old buildings and cathedrals.  The people who made the road cut straight through the mountains with no thought to the damage to the environment---it makes for a pretty drive, though. 

 one of many colorful cobbled walking streets in Oaxaca

We have all stayed in one hotel room (all above board, of course---Scott on the floor).  Our hotel - Hotel Tipico - is clean but not luxurious.  The bathroom door doesn't reach all the way down to the floor or all the way up to the ceiling and every time Tim went to the bathroom he ran the water in the sink so we couldn't hear anything.  Tim´s been feeding us all sorts of crazy things---cactus fruits (tunas), mole (chocolate chili sauce on tamales wrapped in banana leaves), rose petal ice cream, coconut popsicles, jerked Mexican beef, lime-ade with bubbles and roasted grasshoppers. 

 the red fruits are tunas and grow only on nopal cactus
Those red things are "tunas"
The majority of people here are pure Indian -- the Spanish never conquered the people here so they are not Mestizo. 
indigenous flower vendor - photo by Jurgen Bavoni

They are tiny and brown and the ladies wear long braids with ribbons intertwined. We went to see some ruins out in the mountains and had a tour, also went to see a little one-legged Christian rugmaker Tim and Annette had met before.  He was so sweet and showed us around his shop, where he wove and all the things he made his natural dyes out of. Also we saw the tree with the largest girth in the Americas. You can´t climb on it, though. We had to hold Scott back -- he wants to climb everything that stands still, including the ruins.  The handicrafts here are amazing -- all kinds of textiles and clay work.  I love seeing such fine crafts and they are very affordable. 

Looking at handmade baskets in the crafts market in Oaxaca
Looking at handmade baskets
in the crafts market in Oaxaca

Okay we better go because i am in an internet shop and paying for every minute and we already lost the first letter so I'll send this one before I lose it. 

We're having a blast,
Scott, Emily, Annette & Tim
Emily, Tim, Annette, and Scott

if you want to contact Emily or Scott,
you can email them at:
Emily => emiry@hotmail.com
Scott => scotmurfee@aol.com 
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