Melissa's Oaxaca Service-Learning Blog

I was enrolled in a summer Service-Learning Program through ACCD. this blog follwed our adventures in San Antonio and in Oaxaca. It now holds some thoughts on life, and fun as well as comments. I will continue to post Oaxaca information as i get it. you will want to continue checking for updates since we are suppose to go back in March 07!

Missions A walk back in time
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Ever have one of those days where you felt like you were just walking through time. As if you could go back and see what life was like in the past?

As we exited our temporary transportation device, good ole motor van, we seemed to enter into a new world. One that called for exploration. Our first stop Mission San Francisco de la Espada.

First thing noted was Brendan, but we will call him HESUTU today * (miwok Indian name) climbing on the limestone walls, he looked like he was on the look out for an Apache or Comanche raid , than his brother in adventure, Alex will call him AKECHETA today* (Sioux name) was quick to start his one man hunting party.

Seeing booth of them with their eagerness to explore made me take flight too.

Walking into Espada, you could feel the peace of the day. The weather was perfect. I kept closing my eyes and just listening to nature calling me away and the whispering of the wind in my ears telling me fell the grounds that our ancestors once walked. Indians, and Spaniards journeyed here to this very site.

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First the brick doorways, rough but almost a passage way to history. Mary , let's give her an Indian name too, POLIKWAPTIWA *(from the Hopie Indians) tells us a story about the doors arch way at the entrance of the church. The bricks were put in reverse, but also noted by a friend of mine is that the structure has lasted longer because of that mistake.
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As you walk inside the church the smell of incense surrounds you. Being raised a strong catholic that I was, I quickly looked for the holy water to bless myself in. I double checked to make sure the door closed behind us and that none of the cats had walked in.

What must have those who sought refuge here from starvation and enemy's must have felt. To walk into a church with new "idols" for them to worship. That the trade for their life was to give their life, to a new God. The Christian God, and be baptized Christian with now a Catholic faith and a new language and culture.

Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion de Acuna, (whew) was just as beautiful, but Espada held my heart now. Concepcion seemed to bring me back from my temporary mind time travel.

The first room to right is dedicated to private prayer. The drawing on the wall is a depiction of Christ on the Cross. I wonder, when the Indians drew or created these works of art, did they understand what they were drawing? Do artist draw from the heart, soul or with passion of knowledge of their creation? Or are their works just that works, not art to them if there is no heart, soul or passion. I'll have to ask Brendan and Alex that question if I remember next time I see them.
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Although this was not my first trip to the missions I found it the most enjoyable. I loved learning from my professors, and fellow classmates. I think I learned that by combing the cultures of Native American and Spaniards there was a cultivation of new ideas and way of life that help ensure survival.

*Here are the meanings of the temporary Indian names I gave my fellow classmates.

Mary: POLIKWAPTIWA: Hopi name meaning "butterfly sitting on a flower."

Brendan: HESUTU: Miwok name meaning "yellow jacket nest rising out of the ground

Alex: AKECHETA: Sioux name meaning "fighter"

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posted by Melissa Rodriguez @ 6/20/2006 09:03:00 PM  
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About Me

Name: Melissa Rodriguez
Home: San Antonio, Texas, United States
About Me: New me, not the same one that started out in the begining of the summer. Oaxaca and what I saw here in SA changed me. I use to think I did a lot, volunteer for organizations, chair events. blablabla. But there is sooo much more to do! And i learned not to be afraid. Not that I was scared of things before. But not to be afraid to venture out and ask questions. Or to say NO! And to ask why something can't happen. To be in the middle of all that and not knowing what tomorrow held. Finding out who really loved you when you called home, who was waiting for your call.. maybe my last call, that woke me up to what i want for my life....New me ..braver, more aggressive, and more FOCUS than ever on a GOAL! UPDATE: one goal completed since last updated: i graduating w/ my AA in PR! 2nd goal going to OLLU for my BS. 3rd goal: WE ARE GOING BACK TO OAXACA!!!
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