“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Since this issue is about learning I started thinking about the things I have learned since living in Mexico. There is the obvious stuff like speaking Spanish, how to make tortillas and carry a garrafon of water on my shoulder and make it look effortless. Then there are the subtle things like the way my palate can now recognize what kind of chile was used in a salsa or how I instinctively say ‘provecho’ whenever I see someone eating or the way I move my index finger up and down when I want to say ‘yes’.
There are the things I have learned about the landscape; the cycle of corn, that a huayacan tree can take 15 years to reach 6ft while a macuil tree will grow that much in a year.
There are the things I have I learned about myself; that I prefer the river to the ocean, I sometimes like the smell of burning garbage- it makes me think of salami and that despite not being religious, it is ok to revere the virgin of Guadalupe.
The people of Mexico have taught me that poverty doesn’t necessarily equate ignorance and unhappiness. That there is honor and beauty in working hard, even if no one is watching, and that market value isn’t at all the same thing as worth. They have taught me that death can be a celebration as every Day of the Dead they congregate on the tombs of those who have passed and remember. Remembering, they have me taught how important it is to remember.
The opportunities for learning are everywhere. Just this week I learned how to catch tincuiche (small fish) in the river with the kids next door. I have also learned that I don’t like to eat them. I also recently learned how to throw a net to catch chacales and the art that goes into making and repairing them.
We hope you enjoy this issue. Whether you are in Mexico for a week, a year or a lifetime, open yourself up to learning about this magical place and you may just learn something about yourself.
See you in November,