my Tarahumara heritage

Blog entry posted by migangelo, Dec 6, 2010.

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I now have a chance to write this little story. I am approaching middle age and have returned to school so that I can change careers. Since I'm taking anatomy and physiology as well as chemistry I have to wear shoes into the lab. Well since I found out I can get away with my huaraches in my A&P lab I wear them there.

People in my A&P class talk more than in chemistry so I had been asked a few times if my feet were cold when wearing huaraches. They were slightly but I lied anyhow and told everyone no.

The week of thanksgiving we got some snow on Monday night. There was barely anything on the ground, mostly on the grass and sides of the road so I wore my huaraches the next day. No body talked to me on this day but I noticed pointing and laughing. I ignored it even when I could plainly hear people talking about me. If they weren't going to bother to ask then I thought why waste my energy.

Come thanksgiving I wear them to my grandma's. I wear them as much as possible even though my teenage daughter gets embarrassed because people point and laugh. So my family is from México and they were freaking out that I was still wearing huaraches because it was quite cold outside. My grandma saw me and got excited. She told me when she was a little girl she would wear them to school and everywhere with nothing more than a dress on in snow that was over her knees.

She grew up in the mountains of Durango. My uncle started telling me that she is likely descended from the Tarahumaras, as they are the only Indians in those mountains. He then proceeded to tell me the story in BTR but of course I already knew it. I couldn't interrupt him because he likes to talk and it's difficult to get in a word.

As a child in America I didn't want to learn about the old ways. Now my grandparents are old and can't do too much. I have a hard time talking with them as I have only recently relearned Spanish. They can't understand me very well either as my accent is horrible and they are losing their hearing. Every time I visit them they are sleeping. I missed out on learning so much but am happy to learn little tidbits like this.

I myself wasn't blessed with natural running or exceptional athletic ability. Most of my mom's family is quite talented and are fast runners. My brother is fast himself and even my daughter. She has made fun of me for being slow. It skipped me somehow. I'm only ok athletically and only now becoming a good runner thanks to finding out about bf I'm getting back to my roots.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Mike