Hello again from Oaxaca.

The zocolo (the main square/garden) is filled with flowers, lights, live music, and with local people selling many things. My interactions with these venders have been both uplifting and humbling. But they are interactions that I welcome, and that I enjoy. Some “gringos” (mostly citizens of the United States) feel imposed upon and harassed by these venders.

Every day I am immersed in the new, the strange, the unusual. Every day I am presented with a choice; I can be amazed or I can be, as those (few, I hope) Americans are, indignant. I can be curious or I can be judgmental. I can be welcoming or I can be fearful.

Here, nothing is clearer than that I have a choice of how to respond. For me, that makes it easy. When the choice is obvious, I choose wonder.

But back in my everyday life, I’m not always so aware that I have a choice. The ruts take over, the patterns prevail, the usual rules. If there is anything I want to learn from my month in Oaxaca, even more than some spanish, it’s that, in all of my life, in every moment, I have a choice of how to respond.