Saturday, April 2, 2011

Life in Chimayo!

Hello! An update for the curious!
On Tuesday morning, March 29, I departed Boulder, my home of over 4 months, after a filling short stack (okay short is an exaggeration, they were huge) of pancakes from the Village Coffee Shop courtesy of my p-diddy Seth (who also sent me on my way with a magnificent bag of Whole Foods goodies that I will be stretching through as long as possible). Chimayo is in Northern central New Mexico, between Taos and Santa Fe (about 35 miles north of Santa Fe). I took 25 down south to the High Road to Taos, on south to Chimayo.

I am working at El Rincon Farm with the Trujillo family. This farm has been in their family for hundreds of years, but only recently have they reacquired and begun organic farming some of what they own (about 3 of 20-some acres). Their most special product is the Chimayo Chile, a green chile that's one of the best ever. Literally. I'm not much of a spicy person (low tolerance), but these peppers are grand. They use heirloom seeds that go back to when the Spanish conquistadors came up from Mexico, that haven't been cross-breeded, and produce a medium, to medium-hot chile. Such good flavor, I eat it on everything. So they harvest them, roast them, and freeze them in 1lb bags to sell at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market (we went today-which is why I know the spiel). And yes, they ship them.

So anyway, the Trujillos are wonderful, and then there's Mario and his wife and kids and brother-in-law Ramon who are wonderful and are from Mexico so I've been practicing my Spanish (it's a shame I cheated so much in high school--why didn't they tell me that someday I'd be working on a farm with two Mexicans with little knowledge of English??) Kids, eat your green chiles and practice your foreign languages, it's practical, really.

A little about Chimayo, it's a really interesting area. There are a good amount of neighbors, and we're on a dirt road off one of the main roads in the valley. The roads are all one-way, dirt roads, named in Spanish. There are tons of Chihuahuas (don't ask me why, but one was tragically run-over yesterday), Magpies, random dogs without collars (including our own, Whiskey) and old broken down cars in peoples yards. My phone's always dead or out of service (or broken because I dropped it on the floor), only adding to the feeling of being completely lost in Mexico. Two days ago I went out phoneless-dead as usual-to look for an alleged grocery store, only to get lost, find some sort of expanded liquor store where everyone was speaking Spanish and I looked like some weird, sort-of-sunburned white girl that's completely out of place with her own bag trying to buy produce instead of cigarettes. Everyone's really nice, though, and I haven't really gotten weird looks, and everyone waves back when I do that "hey" nod-and-wave. I don't know, I learned it in West Virginia (certainly not in New Jersey). But sometimes I find myself wandering around, wondering how I ended up in another country without my passport. New Mexico is certainly a new experience for me, and I'm loving every minute. Especially riding the two-year-old paint mare they've got, albeit in a western saddle. Always something new. Helmets and appropriate gear are for the birds.

So while it was sad to say goodbye to everyone in Boulder (roommates-thank you SO MUCH Marina, Remah, and Seth, BMoCA-mates, and friends picked up along the way-it's been splendid, and let me repay you in seafood and snuggles), I'm happy to say I'm happy, and really looking forward to my time here. The landscape is so excellent, I'll be excited to start shooting and drawing and brainstorming artistic ways to incorporate it.

My address:
c/o Marisela Trujillo
PO Box 1026
Chimayo NM 87522


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