I am so blessed that I am parked almost outside their door and Sandra has introduced me to these three amazing and interesting womyn. And that they have taken me under their collective, capable wings.
Yarida considers herself a feminist! And her mom a hippie! Can I get any luckier????
And both Yarida and her mom are studying English. They are all truly welcoming and happy to see me, as I am to see them. Every time I go to their home, I am kissed, hugged, welcomed and someone hands me a present: whether it is fruit, water, the offer of something to eat, or little tchochkes like combs and jewelry.
And not just for me, but when Victoria finds out I have a daughter and grandson, I get gifts for them too.
But the greatest gift is their kindness, their interest and support of me and my joiyssey. Today, unbidden, Victoria has gone a couple blocks away to a Chinese restaurant to ask them for their veggie oil!
Yarida takes me around Los Mochis in her car that I get into very warily. She wants to take me to the museum. Thankfully, she is a much better driver than Sandra’s friend, so we stop at stop signs, red lights, and follow the rules of the road!
I ask about the huge circular crack on the windshield towards the middle right below the visor on the passenger’s side. She points to her head and tells me her boy friend was driving… oy vey.
I grab the seat belt and notice she has put hers on as well. I can’t imagine how that must have hurt. And now all the cracks I’ve seen in so many of the windshields around here fall into a different understanding.
The museum is closed but we go to the adjoining bookstore and I find a dvd about ancient goddesses in Mexico that is in english, Spanish, and German too. I buy it, to support the museum as well as the subject and filmmaker, and we will watch it in Spanish tonite with Victoria and Alicia.
We go to the park that Yarida calls “Botanical Gardens”. It is a huge, amazing park that apparently was the land that the early colonizer and christo-profiteer Johnson claimed for himself way back in the 1800’s.
Yarida and I speak of this man she calls the founder of this city. I ask her if there were not people already living here? I can’t imagine people not inhabiting such a lush place, close to the ocean and at the mouth of yet another river – if not permanently then seasonally.
I tell her that u.s. history is often written the same way, as if the original people, the first people were not occupying the lands that Europeans flooded onto. She nods understanding.
I ask her if this Johnson fellow did not exploit the people here? Yarida identifies proudly as indigenous and Chinese. She talks a lot about her indigenous heritage, protecting it, claiming it, cherishing it.
She seems to think of Johnson as some kind of great person who did a lot for Los Mochis. I tell her whenever any man becomes very, very, very rich off the labor of others, he is an exploiter. She agrees.
And she points out the other white man, also estadounidense, who came here and exploited the land, the people, the resources. The second exploiter ‘brought’ the railroad to Los Mochis; the first sugar cane.
And I wonder if the railroad is what brought the Chinese here, as in the states. Yarida knows little about why her grandfather came here, and I haven’t asked Victoria yet.
The park has a brand new section that Yarida hasn’t seen yet either. There is a photo display of information about the flora and fauna of the area and a huge meandering pond where many birds, ducks, and turtles reside.
Yarida tells me about her connection with the tortuga, her spirit animal, her eyes sparkle, her face glows, her voice filled with awe and excitement as she speaks of them! She tells me of the beaches where the huge tortugas come and bury their eggs, and little turtles make their way out of the sand and back to the ocean.
And she takes many pictures as they sun on branches, slip into the water, and their little heads bob up to snatch a breath of air.
We head back out to the park by her house where people from Chiapas are vending their wares. They will be here for 12 days. I will miss the largest part of the festival which will include dancing, performances, and speeches!
I console myself knowing I will be in Chiapas soon so I’ll not really miss anything.