I went to find the alebrijes artisans at their stand at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca. As I rounded the corner, I saw Leti and her beautiful work. She was happy to see me and said she had just been thinking that it had been a long time since we last met. I reminded her that it had been a year. She told me about their work in Arrazola, the depressed economy, and how she is working on getting a visa to travel to Northern California in the fall.
She also told me about her carcinoma removal, showing me the triangle of skin they cut and pasted on her nose. She said they considered taking skin from the ear, but it wouldn’t match.
She and her husband were celebrating 25 years together on the very day we met, but they were saving the celebrating for when their whole family of four could be together. Her son is graduating from engineering school in DF this month and is starting a career at a firm there.
She told me how the amaranth farming is going and how labor intensive the drying process is in the rainy season as they have to make sure it does not get wet in the afternoons.
Also, she remembered a pair of earrings I had given her when she was my patient alebrijes painting teacher. She said when she wears them she thinks of me. She also insisted that I take the gift of a heart of my selection. I should wear it and think of her, my friend from Arrazola.