Something big just happened to me. I got a lump in my throat. My heart started beating faster and the more I thought about it tears started to form in my eyes. I even trembled a bit. I realized that I have fallen heavy in love with Mexico, Veracruz specifically. I've realized that even though I think I know so much, at the end of the day I don't know anything at all. Veracruz has taught me to be happy with absolutely nothing. I remember seeing a family that didn't really have much...a father and a group of girls that looked like his daughters, and I could tell they were poor, but also that they had more than enough. What they lacked in money they made up for in love. And I realized I have Many Voices One Tribe and I have this support and that is more than enough for what I need. Even though I'll always be yours as well as you guys are mine and have me forever I am grateful for your love as well as the love Mexico is giving me.
Aside from the humor filled Spanish lessons and the common glances from Veracruzanos my personal experience so far is no different than the mango chili lollipop I bought. I bought it because it was highly recommended and it looked interesting. While trying the first lick I was let down by the bitterness of the chili sprinkled on the candied mango. I wondered for a while "Why would anyone want this?!". It didn't reach my high expectations, but I wasn't going to waste anything. So instead of licking, out of frustration I took a bite to get to the center and finish what I believed was a good snack gone wrong. In that moment I realized that once I bit past the bitter spice of the chili that the sweet candied mango actually made an incredible treat. I judged too early and I was wrong...something I struggle with. I later savored every lick, bite, and suck and even added more chili. I had grown accustomed to not just like it, but to fall in love with what I had just consumed.
Me being a city boy, the rawness of Veracruz was quite unappealing. I wasn't sure if I was ever going to like the trip based on how it looked and how Veracruzanos would stare at me and my group, but sometime during the first night I took a bite of Veracruz. I understood that there was the raw energy of the port city and the locals, but I wanted and actually needed to find out where the sweetness was beneath the first bite. The locals all of them may stare because I'm different looking. They are undeniably raw, honest like their city and even their state, but unconditionally accepting of what they have, who they are, and their city. Inclusive in that would be accepting of who and what my group is about and who I am. Their acceptance and glowing pride was that first bite I took. As I continued to savor and enjoy myself Veracruz became not only a place I now hold close and want to experience even more, but Veracruz became mine, as well as I became intertwined with not only the city, but later on the state.
At first the fruit may seem to be full of sin, but close your eyes and bite it. Open your eyes. The fruit you just took a bite of is yourself. It may be that the fruit on the outside is bitter, but the deeper you bite, the more sweet it gets. The bitterness and the sweet inside combine to make something more unique than you could ever imagine. So enjoy yourself.
Veracruz- Te amo sin condicion aunque se ya que me encantaria volver, espero que me amaras para siempre.
|MVOT with Angelica and Daniel at Quiahuitzlan|