Sunday, December 09, 2007

the chile chase at “home”

After 11 weeks on the road - through 25 states, 4 in the US and 21 in Mexico - the chile chase has landed in its’ temporary headquarters of Aguascalientes. Here Kraig will be working with faculty and students at the Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA) on the next phase of his dissertation research. This involves 1) analyzing genetic data obtained from chile samples from last year’s chile chase...

K hard at work, analyzing data from home

...and, switching gears, 2) working with chile pepper producers from the region to understand seed selection and maintenance of commercial pepper varieties (more on this in an upcoming post). I am aprovechando the opportunity to check out the departments of Veterinary Medicine and Public Health at the UAA and see about collaborating on a zoonotic disease “literacy” project with both ag and health extension agents (more on that soon too!).

As temporary “Hidrocalidos,” we’ve found a small apartment in the Primo Verdad neighborhood in a conveniently located area of the city. The apartment is part of a complex of buildings that were originally constructed as housing for federal government workers in the 1980's following a move to decentralize government agencies after a disastrous earthquake in Mexico City. They've since been sold and rented at VERY reasonable prices to non-government employees.


Here's a quick photo-tour of our semi-furnished home:

El saloncito: 2 folding beach chairs, a few pareos, our "library" and a Yucatecan hammoc to decorate the wall...


...cocina, complete with minifridge, stove, sink and the basics of cookware...


...comedor AND oficina: our first homemade meal in a long while: vegetable soup, dark bread and Mexican wine (from Baja)...


...our new water heater...


...and laundry facilities.

We've made a few modifications over this last week as well...


the apartment came with the bare minimum! A wire hanger, scotch tape and some crape paper later...


...the best we could do for a menorah on short notice...


...a PVC+scarf shelving system...


...an ironic touch (from Chiapas)...

Of course, friends and family is what makes “home” home for us, so we’ve been lucky enough to have been adopted by several wonderful families that we’ve met through the university. We’ve been invited to share meals...

pozole with all the fixins

...watch the finals of the Mexican national fútbol league, partake in the Christmas tradition of posada...


Singing during La Posada: Here's the reenactment of José and Maria looking for a place to have their baby. Half of those gathered stay inside and half outside, asking for entrance (the song is a call and response). Sparklers are lit and toasts and hugs all around when the pilgrims are finally let in!


Posada piñatas: H taking aim at Santa.

...and head out on the town with our friends, and their extended families, almost every day since we’ve been here.

We watched the Cancun team Atlante play the local favorite, Guadalajara's Chivas in a semi-final game at the bar/restaurant Merenderos San Marcos (all lit up for Christmas...taco stands out front).


Templo San Marcos in Aguascalientes' Jardin de San Marcos neighborhood.

1 comment:

betty said...

que bueno! It's so great to see your set up there! I hope all is well! Love from Davis for now, though I'll be south of you soon!