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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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.  
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