One of our favorite parts about our month here in San Cristóbal de las Casas has been the local market (located in the northern part of the city near the intersection of Yajalón and Obregón). Since we no longer rely on a car for transportation, being able to walk to the nearby fruit and vegetable vendors really works out well. Not only do our daily trips give us a chance to expand our food horizons, we also get a chance to get out of our English-speaking comfort zone .
Trips to the market are an awesome homeschool opportunity. The Younger Fives begin by making their shopping lists for the day (in Spanish, of course) and use our previous purchases to estimate how much money they will need. Then, once the lists are ready, we head out to the market, and each Five is responsible for finding the items on their list, purchasing them, and making sure they get the proper change.
Since many of the vendors are indigenous Tzotzil and Tzetzal, we also are trying to learn and speak a bit of their languages as well. While we speak most of our market conversations in Spanish, we have found a few Tzotzil phrases useful so far:
Hello – Mi li oyote! (literally, “Here you are!” – mē lē ō-yō-TĀ
Please – Abokoluk (ă-bō-kōh-LUKE)
Thank you – Kolaval – kōl-ă-VĂL
Goodbye – Taxi bat (literally, “Now I am going.” – tă-shē BĂT
Coming from living in Las Vegas only a week ago, life here in San Cristóbal is quite a contrast. Drinking water is no longer as easy as turning on the faucet (we walk several blocks each day to refill our large water jug at a purified water vendor), and groceries are no longer a matter of hopping in the car and stocking up on weeks’ worth of food. In the end, though, we wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂