By the end of our month stay, the broadcast went from charming to super annoying. On a couple of mornings I found myself able to sleep through it entirely, but that was a blessed rarity. Most often, Sara had me grumbling as I rolled out of bed to begin my day.
But that was life in the village.
Given the weight of our work these days, we have far less time for exploring, and thus we have begun to splurge a little on the places we rent instead. Surrounding ourselves in a beautiful space does not only feel less oppressing, but it can even be inspiring. And the house that we rented in San Agustin Etla, just outside of Oaxaca, suited me greatly. Affectionately dubbed “The Box”, it was open, fed with lots of light, and even had a hammock I could retreat to in a beautifully manicured yard. For an hour during most afternoons I put on my headphones, tuned into the Startup podcast, sunk into my “thinking” hammock, and encouraged ideas to come. And I can honestly say that for our entire month there – irritating alarm clock aside – I was more content and productive then I have been in a very long time. It also helped that we shared our space with Sherry, another extremely hardworking blogger. Having someone new to talk ideas with, instead of Pete and I just staring at each other’s faces all day, was a refreshing change.
We even entertained, which is something we haven’t done in awhile. With a lovely gang of bloggers having accumulated in Oaxaca for a few months, we wooed them out with promise of a tranquil patio outside the bustling city and to hang with our resident donkey Harold (Pete named him).
Life in The Box was very good.
On Wednesdays we ventured farther to the weekly market in Villa de Etla, which was a long stretch of road lined with an astounding array of goods. Each visit was the same but different – we’d come home with bags overflowing of fresh produce staples, but then usually am added treasure of something unknown. During one visit we made it our mission to buy one of every fruit or vegetable we didn’t know (made somewhat impossible as we were accompanied by a dear friend and food expert), but Pete and I at least tested zapote and guanabana for the first time.
On another Wednesday, I approached our cheese lady for our weekly mound of quesillo, a semi-hard but stringy white cheese produced right in the town. I handed her 100 pesos, but because she was short on change, she just pushed the cheese and bill back in my direction and told me to return and pay later. I left astounded at the display of her trust in a stranger and returned as promptly as I could. And then again every week after that.
This, among everything else, made me feel part of a warm community. That doesn’t happen very often given our propensity to move.
It was a lovely routine we had settled into, and when our month at The Box ended, all three of us left grudgingly. It honestly had felt as close to a forever home as I have been in a very long time. Maybe ever.
Except for the rude awakenings. Not every place is perfect, I suppose.