Once again, I find myself without enough time to do this post justice. It will be short, as I'm very tired and have an early morning tomorrow, and there's so much to say that I can't possibly say it all now.
The last two weeks have been spent on an 800-acre ranch of sub-tropical rainforest (it's the jungle, plain and simple) up an 8000-foot mountain. The ranch is surrounded by 7 peaks, some of which are pyramids that have been left untouched for centuries. A couple of days ago, we hiked up to two of the pyramids, blazing a trail with machetes (not me, but others) as we went. We left at approx 10 am and were back an hour or two after sunset, so it was quite the journey.
The land is beautiful. There are citrus trees of every kind imaginable growing all over the place, avocados, chayote (kind of a squash-like vegetable which grows on trees but sprouts roots when it falls to the ground so is the seed), coffee beans, bananas and plantains... it really is the bounty of Mother Earth like I've never imagined.
There's no electricity although there is some running water (cold, of course), so life is very simple. We cook on a fire in a little kitchen that is outside the house, but covered. The last week, from Jan 17-24, we participated in an event that had meals brought up so food was taken care of. Now, however, we've decided to stay on that land awhile longer (no idea how long, maybe days, maybe weeks, maybe longer?) so we're back to preparing our own food. We're in Tepic to pick up supplies - rice, beans, some produce, maybe some eggs - and heading back up.
The nights have been very cold and the hammocks, while very comfortable and convenient, don't offer protection from the cold air so it's been a bit of an adjustment. I bought a wool poncho (I can't wait to take a picture and send it, everyone should get one of these and I know just how to arrange that!) which helps enormously. Even so, I'm wishing I'd packed warmer clothes (not that I could have fit them into the backpack).
Now that the event is over and we are going to be living a very simple, quiet life for awhile (I think there will only be 5 of us up there), I hope to find more time for writing. So much seems to have happened since we got here that I haven't even been able to sort it all out in my own head and so am unprepared for writing about it. I hope to have more detail to share the next time we come into town. I also want to take some pictures of the land to share. It's sacred land, on Huichol territory, and a deeply spiritual, meditative place to be. You can feel the peace of the place the minute you arrive. In a time when famine has struck much of Mexico, it's also easy to understand the sacredness of such a bountiful place. There's enough food there to feed thousands, if only there were enough people to cultivate and harvest the food that's growing. Most of the fruit and vegetables fall to the ground and rot.
I wish I could write about everything all at once. I'm glad to be here. I've had an incredible two weeks and feel like a different person already. I've never felt healthier. Who knew a strictly vegetarian diet and not sitting behind a desk could make such a difference? Living outside is definitely a beautiful thing.
Of course, no matter how happy I am to be here, thoughts of friends and family at home are never far from my head and heart. I hope you are all happy and well and know that I'm thinking of you.
Till next time, whenever that may be...