Then, the struggle to get things together for this trip--pulling me all the way through time into my "postmodern" self, which I am beginning to see as a kind of "techno-kokopelli" traveler (more about this later). Planning for the tools and technologies to bring--camera, sound recording, not just for interviews but also, I hope, for musical explorations. Deciding whether and which laptop to bring, because it will make my fieldwork richer to type notes and have the capabilities of this machine with me in the field. Rushing over to the UP for a short, lovely visit with the Belotes to plan for how to make this research trip focused and productive. Getting together gifts (had to bring the right kind of indigo this time--thanks Linda and Jackson!--else Mami Petro would be disappointed, as well as the right embroidery needles for Anita--I hope--and lots of good pictures of the family).
All of this going on while also trying to get the local foods grant Stacey Stark and David Abasz and I received up and off the ground so Kelsey and Sam could get started on their interviews of local growers. And I scheduled for my sister, Lori, to visit me for the first time ever in my life at my home so she could see community in action and rest a little from her two jobs (assembling electrical harness in a factory and cooking food for inmates at a county jail).
We pulled together a really nice 4th of July party with lots of great people gathering for food and company at the farm--but lots of work this, all while also trying to get the last of the garden in and growing and fenced against dogs and other critters. Oh, and then there's the fact of organizing and decluttering our entire house in order to show it on the market to try to sell it to move to the farm full-time. It's a sheer wonder that Mitra didn't just walk out the door and keep on walking and never come back--but she rolled up her sleeves and worked her tail off and supported me in every possible way that a loving partner could (and more!)
Now I am hurtling down the highway in the Twin Cities, my last few miles of road travel on I-35 (the same road as Ecuador-35 that passes
through central Ecuador and Saraguro!) with a dozen U.S. strangers all headed
off on various plane journeys in their life adventures. I will be staying at a
hotel near the Mall of America
tonight--one with a Native American "theme"--i.e. beadwork headdresses and such
in display cases--should take photos of these to show the ladies in Saraguro.
I'm going to go shop at the Mall for gifts, including beads to take to the
cooperatives as gifts, and various cheap electronic toys made in
I'll do my best to post to this blog as Internet access and time is available so anyone interested can hear about what The Professor is up to.