Baja Day 6: 800 Year Old Cactus and Futbol

I visited a cactus sancuary today. It was hot. There was really old cactus. It was really cool but there’s not much else to say.

I worked today but since it was Dia de las Madres en Mexico hoy, there weren’t many students at La Palapa (I recently realized that it is not plural) so I taught the youngin Denia one-on-one and co-taught a class of three with Serena and Elizabeth, a Mayan woman who is the manager of the Todos Santos Inn and volunteers in her free time.

Sergio came into La Palapa unexpectedly at 5:30 and told me there was going to be a game of soccer next door in the stadium next door at 6:00; I was invited to play. I smiled, thanked him and said I’d be there. Then my stomach sank and fell out my butt a little. I play soccer occasionally and haven’t played seriously since I was in third grade– you know, when I was a soccer star and all. Yeah right. Now I was invited to play futbol with the Mexicans. Aye Dios mio. I was nervous. I already knew I was going to be trumped by their skill. They already had the advantage of futbol being a large part of their national culture. I didn’t and I’m smart enough to recognize that gives them a wee bit of a leg up in the futbol expertise department. It became a question of how I wanted to play this game: gracefully and graciously or being hung up on the fact that I don’t play soccer and that I was just waiting to embarrassing myself. I went with the first option and while I was clearly schooled in terms of experience and skills I played with vigor, had a good time and scored and passed like I had an inkling about what I was doing.

An hour and a half later I biked back and street vendors selling bouquets of flowers for Dia de las Madres (Mexican Mother’s Day) lined the roads. A particular bouquet caught my eye– an explosion of sun flowers surrounded by sprays of white blossoms– and I was impelled to pull over and buy it for Bryan and Molly. The vendor helped me put the bouquet in my backpack and I rode off, a halo of flowers encompassing my head. I have no doubt that it was a sight. But I tried to rock it like everyone wished they had a bouquet sprouting out of their backs. “Te gusta, no?” I mentally declared to everyone I passed. Bryan and Molly loved it.

We had tacos for dinner– a Mexican version of pulled pork with purple onion soaked in lime juice,  jalapeño and avocado.

Tomorrow I have a surfing lesson with Mario, my surf instructor from December, in the morning which I am eagerly awaiting. Hasta mañana todos!


5 thoughts on “Baja Day 6: 800 Year Old Cactus and Futbol

  1. Such a good blog Cam. Students are off on Ranch stays but everyone has been enjoying reading your posts. We missed you the other night at the sweatlodge (pretty intense!) but hopefully you’ll get a chance someday. Have you seen Chief Oscar yet?
    Peace to you,

  2. Don’t know how things could get any better! In my imagination you looked terrific and charming with flowers sprouting over your head.
    What a nice thing to do for your hosts!

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