A Canadian gal in Stuttgart, Germany, who loves nothing better than crafting by the seat of her pants. See her snip, sew, knit, knot, glue, sculpt, splatter, spin, and of course, talk about herself.

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Saturday, May 31, 2003
i´ve decided my supervisor is an evil overbearing tyrant. puffy-faced, braces-wearing, purse-carrying licorice eater!!!! DOWN WITH THE DUTCH!!! (sorry, Leon!)
posted by tatjana @ 12:09 a.m.   0 comments
Friday, May 30, 2003
just a funny note about the flower....i was trying to find a slightly smaller picture when i stumbled on somebody else's blog that made me giggle..."you can watch startled Germans look in awe at the 274cm long (and growing) bloom. That's about a yard for the metrically handicapped." yeah, ok, so it's not nice to make fun of other bloggers. i'm a bitch, i know! but you all love me anyway :)

posted by tatjana @ 9:01 p.m.   0 comments
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Cuzalapa is a tiny town about 2 1/2 hours from here, about half way up the mountains of the reserve. the university has a small centre there where we can sleep while doing field work. there's a family of 5 who lives there, Luis and Rosa, who both do work in the reserve, and their 3 children, Luis Eduardo, Zarahi, and Josiel. in the morning Rosa feeds the kids, sends them off to school and then begins to 'tortear' ie make tortillas. using a dough made from ground corn, she rolls little balls that she places in a tortilla squasher that´s made out of wood. it looks like this but you can also get a state of the art one here once they´re squished you lay them out on a griddle used especially for tortillas that fits into the opening of a clay, wood burning stove. you cook it on one side til it puffs up, and then you flip it so it flattens again. Rosa was really awesome and totally helped me with my interviews, taking me over to people's houses, introducing me and explaining why i wanted to interview them. i don't think i've really explained my project, so here's the short version: i'm interviewing people in rural communites about new local products they've developed to sell and support their families. if anyone wants more detail they can mail me and i'll explain all the social theory behind how this is a response to globalisation with economic, social and cultural ramifications, but ´'ll spare the rest of you :)
although there are some men involved in the projects as well, i only talked to women, and it's mostly women who have organised and run these projects. they're incredible. they have countless children. they are expected to be home to serve a hot meal to their man at least twice a day, if they don't hike up to an hour up the mountain to bring it to them where they work. it is the most thankless of jobs. to go to another town to sell their project, they must ask permission to be away from the house, so trips will be based on who is able to go. they often take their toddlers with them. some of the women have had to participate without telling their husbands who are suspicious of these 'women's meetings' and don't want their wives to eb involved in such things. but, seeing that this helps bring a second income to thier home, the men are slowly being won over and what were once women who could never be anything but barefoot and pregnant over a fire, are becoming trailblazing entrepreneurs. i just love them off :)
posted by tatjana @ 10:04 p.m.   0 comments
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Take the What High School
Stereotype Are You?
quiz, by Angel.
posted by tatjana @ 8:46 p.m.   0 comments

more soon.
posted by tatjana @ 7:44 p.m.   0 comments
Monday, May 26, 2003
here i was, innocently thinking that this whole SARS thing was going to blow over, and i happen to notice on yahoo that it´s totally getting out of control again. craziness!

things are much more sedate here in Autlán...we had out first rain of the season! we´ve met Cynthia, who goes to mcgill, and has been here since february. friday was the first time she saw rain since she´s been here. i can´t say i was happy to see it come, as it hasn´t been long for me and the crazy heat is still sort of a novelty, but it is a little exciting. we just happened to get caught in a bit of it on Friday night when we went out to the bush to tag bats. it turns out Cynthia helps out on this bat project, so we got to tag along on a trek out to nowhere and helped set upa mist net, catch some bats, weigh them, tag them, and let them go on their merry way. it was incredible!!! granted, i did more data recording than catching, just cuz i was the only one with *no* animal handling experience, but i think we´re going out again sometime. YAY!!!

more dancing last night...looks like our new Saturday ritual, complete with quickly enlarging posse. 2 of the new add-ons were a couple of contreversials, er, bisexuals, that J got talking to and now appear to be potential stalkers. thanks Jamie! we also got to meet Carly, who´s here doing her masters and is studying at st mary´s. she´s been here for a year and is rilly giggly n cute. Cynthia also came out with us and really needs to work on her drinking technique.... :) apparently neither have been going out much (CRAZY!!!) because Carly had a mexi bf for a while and Cynthia´s kinda quiet. guess we´ll be changing that huh? ;) everyone had a kickass time, although Cynthia´s prolly hurtin today, and i´m not sure Carly realized the guy she hooked up with is only 20 and has a kid. oops! the J-meister was gettin pervy on the dancefloor with a mexi superhottie (GO JAMIE!!!) and i think i might have broken my first heart. oh no!! don´t worry, i don´t think it´s serious, just a really sweet guy that got really disappointed when he realized i sorta had my eyes (that´s right, eyes) on someone else. sorry José!!!

k, that´s all for now, don´t forget to let me know how stuff in g-town, t-dot and elsewhere is....i´m going to the field for a couple days to investigate some honey production and i expect to come back to a full inbox!!!
posted by tatjana @ 3:12 a.m.   0 comments
Friday, May 23, 2003
whoa. what a night. so, turns out i have the greatest housemates ever!!! we´re just sitting around under the mango tree, enjoying the evening breeze, when somehow the convo turns to tequila, and mescal, und so weiter. Jamie n i mention we´d like to try mescal at some point, which quickly turns into us going on a mescal run to Tonaya with a hot young doctor and his friend the oral surgeon, who, we quickly realize, are always up for anything. just to clarify, mescal, like tequila, is made from extracts of the agave plant. the diff is that the processing is a little different, and tequila gets aged, while mescal does not. it rocks the freakin casbah. we stop by a corner store to pick up some ´Squirt´ and limes to go with the mescal and pour ourselves a plastic cup full of goodness in the car. with the bumps and the potholes, this not only made for some good drinking, but a lap full of booze, but whatever... we were on our way to San Miguel for enchiladas!!! apparently this is the best place to get them, and lord knows me n J needed some sustenance. we walk in with our bottle and end up having to go to the car to open another one half way through the meal.

suffice it to say J and i were all kinds of broken yesterday, and were impressed that we could even walk the 2 blocks to downtown in search of food, but we´re all better today!! unfortunately, friday´s not rilly a party night, as most work on saturday, if only for half a day. so we may have to wait til tomorrow. with any luck, we´ll run into the guys from last week. one of them is supposed to be rustling up a sister for Jamie. í´m thinking of starting a pool so people can bet on how long it takes a latin woman to break him. anyone interested, just mail!!! :)

and for those who were awaiting a culinary adventure, i´ve got a promise from one of the docs to show me how to make enchiladas...i can´t wait!!
posted by tatjana @ 6:31 p.m.   0 comments
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

tall dready mexican who might be a skater!!! be still my heart!!!
posted by tatjana @ 10:25 p.m.   0 comments
k, this post will have to be quick as i just wrote n lost it :P
managed to find a place to shake some serious booty Saturday night....spotted a hottie mcbottie that i jsut had to chat up as soon as Jamie went to the bathroom. hehehe. turns out Gerardo, (yeah, as in Rico Suave!!! HAHA!!!) and his 2 friends are ALL KINDS OF SPAZZ!! yeah, like me n Jamie caliber spazz. no guff!! we´re going crazy on the dance floor til about 4, the music kicked ass :)

songs of the night : "you´re so sexy, sexy, sexy!!!" and "Oh chihuahua!!" i encourage you all to download them somewhere and feel the Mexico experience!!!

Sunday was supposed to be rodeo day (apparently a simple bullfight just isn´t festive enough) but we were feeling kinda broken so we just hung out downtown and went home a nap. that´s right. NAP. yeah, we may sound like big sucks, but you just come down here with this 40-degree-i-can-feel-my-eyeballs-drying heat and see how you hold up, bizatch!!!

k, time to get back to work....stay tuned for our next episode....MEXICAN COOKING!!!!
posted by tatjana @ 6:06 p.m.   0 comments
Saturday, May 17, 2003
Jamie and i have finally settled into what i think will be our home for the next three months or so. high ceilings, lots of windows, and a mango tree in the courtyard. and we have to tell the other people in the house we´re engaged/married cuz we´re sharing a room!! how funny is that?? we´re already planning on staging a big fight and having Jamie come out crying with a black eye....HAHA!! guess moving to another country has done nothing to improve our behaviour. oh well :)
things have been pretty relaxed around here... the Mexican pace is not exactly workaholic. within days of being here, i´m all about the mid afternoon nap and nothing seems pressing enough to have to rush. my supervisor is the BOMB, has my whole project worked out, encourages me to bug him 10 times a day if need be, lent me a laptop and even recommended a local bar to hang at. we´re still working on gettin in with the local student posse, but never fear! the ladies can make friends anywhere! this afternoon is being spent looking for the world´s greatest tube top, which will be worn to the happenin bar we are determined to find, or barring that, it will help me look damn fine when we head to the beach next weekend. Alberto, dude we met in the market this morning, thinks that´s the best place for us. all sorts of opportunities to f$*% shit up!!! i can´t wait!!
oh, and for all the gossips tuning in, me n "Jaime" have been perving on everybody, but no pick ups yet...although there´s a hottie who sells bracelets in the square that J insists on calling my boy due to lots o´perving on both sides. but only time will tell.... ;) i´m gonna try to get him in with one of the secretaries on campus who´s cute as hell. WISH ME LUCK!!!
posted by tatjana @ 10:07 p.m.   0 comments
Thursday, May 15, 2003
k, so it´s been almost a week here in Mexico, and i don´t even know where to begin. we arrived in Guadalajara, found a wicked little hostel right away and went straight to the bar :) what can i say, we just happened upon this place to eat that didn´t look too dodgy, and it just happened to have two for one corona. totally a coincidence. Guadalajara is a really awesome city, and seems surprisingly safe. lots of wandering, people watching, etc. we made it out to Tlaquepaque, a nearby tourist trap full of all things traditionally Mexican and had Margaritas with impossibly smooth tequila. *so* good. saturday (?) found us at this bar having a foam party!!!! where we made some friends and shook some serious booty. the palace has nothing on this place ;) the last couple days have been spent getting into Autlan, where Jamie n i are working, and finding a place to stay. we got dragged out to the field the day we arrived (monday). a 2 hour drive through the mountains, making hairpin turns, nearly running into oncoming traffic and having nothing between us and a 300 ft drop but a few inches of dirt. i had to hold back the giggles the whole way!! we went out to a town called Cuzalapa just in time for the only remaining traditional indigenous festival still practiced inthe area, ´la Llegada de las Virgens´. it was incredible. drummers, of all ages, in these flashy red and blue capes and hats coverd in mirrors and beads who lead this procession, carrying the four statues of the virgin Mary from one town to another. they start at the coast, work inland, and then go back. locals join in along the way as they approach a town. they drum all day and into the night. the receiving town sets up kitchens for them, and they spend two days just drumming, eating and celebrating. it was so beautiful. i also made a new friend, ´el Costeño´ aka ´the guy from the coast´ who reeked of dodgy Mexican moonshine and was harassing me all afternoon. this was a great big joke to me fellow field researchers, so i don´t think i´ll be livin it done for a while :) as for work, it looks like i´ll be conducting interviews of people in indigenous communities in this area, with the goal of putting together case studies of local entrepreneurs who are struggling against the forces of globalization. these will go in a book to spread awareness of the issues affecting the agriculture and economy of rural Mexico. i´m so excited i could wet my pants!!! for those of you i´ve gushed to about the organic farmers i´ve interviewed....this is SO much better!!! k, this will have to do for now, cuz i spent the afternoon lying inthe sun by the pool and it makes a girl sleepy....i´m sure you all really feel for me ;)
posted by tatjana @ 4:04 a.m.   0 comments

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