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Chiapas 2008

Saturday, we loaded up and drove down to Ostuacan. In our convoy were the seven clowns from CHISPA, and some CHISPA staffers to take care of us. One of the clowns brought her husband, three children and one of her teenage son’s friends. There were about 17 in all, in four vehicles. I rode in the pickup truck with four others who spoke no English; the trip had a lot of silence! WE did manage to have one conversation about sports, drugs and the recent steroid scandals in the US. I got about one sentence out every kilometer.

I’m having to think pretty hard to say anything properly. When I just start talking, what comes out is a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese and French. Often the Portuguese version of a word is the first to come to my mouth, and I tend to glue everything together with French conjunctions and prepositions. It’s kind of funny, but frustrating. I’m discovering that my French vocabulary is starting to disappear. Scary.

We drove down past a couple of the Zapatista “Autonomous” zones–villages and valleys that the Zapatistas control and that the Mexican government allows some peace. They have built their own schools in there, and apparently there’s no such thing as property taxes in this part of the world, so they really have their own governments in there.


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