cmi mag digital Issue 4 - Page 20

Travel Memoir: Lexie Wetherington The Señora of the house asked me what I disliked food wise the night I arrived and nev- er ever, even on accident, did I receive those foods. I was given a bowl full of fruit every morning with two pieces of toast, tea, and juice. Some mornings it was a fresh mango that was bright orange and cut into three pieces. I learned how to properly eat a mango after my first try. It was a failed attempt because I tried to cut into it with a knife and fork since it was provided for me. Soon after I learned how properly do it: scoop it out with a spoon. Other mornings it was fresh papaya or a bright yellow banana placed ever so perfectly on top of a china plate that looked like it was from a little girl’s fake tea set. Lunch or “co- mida” was always huge and most of the time, three courses. This included soup, salad, and your plate. My favorite lunches were the fried fish with lime juice squeezed on top and a side of rice and tacos dorados de pollo also served with rice. Sometimes even dinner was large as well. This was the time of day when guests, especially family members, were over spending time at the house. Some dinners were enchiladas, but the most common was a torta. In Mexico, this is a rather large sandwich with delicious, thick, white bread filled with white quesillo (Oaxacan string cheese), tomatoes, and avocados. Sometimes the slices of bread were covered slightly with either butter or mayonnaise. I wouldn’t say I disliked this sandwich, I just thought it was kind of strange that there were tortas made without meat and only quesillo for dinner. During my stay in Oaxaca, I often thought of the farmers from Mexico back home in Hahira, Georgia and how similar their attitudes are to my host family. My host family and the Mexicans I know back home are so generous, kind, open-hearted, strong, funny, and caring. These are only some of the great words I can use to describe them. After two weeks in Oaxaca, I knew this place was special to me. It had helped me change my per- spective on the world, better my Spanish, and learn even more about a beautiful culture I was surrounded by during my stay. Because I was so affected by this town and this expe- rience, I thought that my first tattoo should happen while I’m here having one of the best times of my life. I talked to my parents about it because I knew I needed their permission. Because they still help me with tuition and rent, I wouldn’t want to do anything to maybe make them want to take that away. They settled on it would be okay only if it was in an area I could cover up easily and wasn’t too big. After a lot of thought, I decided I want- ed to get a cactus on my left shoulder blade. I have always liked cacti; their shapes can be so different and curved with their color bright or dark green. Cacti also originated in Mexico, so it was the perfect idea to me. I firmly believe that tattoos should have a special meaning to the person who has it and I knew doing it there in Mexico would be extra special to me. 20