post by Helen

Ever since I started planning to come to Oaxaca, one of the first things I wanted to see was the famous Tule tree--also known as Ahuehuete. As hard as it to believe, this tree has been alive for about 2,000 years and is both the largest and the oldest tree in the world! 

Last weekend, our host brothers Alan and Pavel took us to the pueblo Santa María del Tule to see the tree for ourselves. Ahuehuete is located in the courtyard of a beautiful church which was built in 1751--a very historic and yet relaxed atmosphere for one of the botanical wonders of the world. Thank goodness our stomachs were full of delicious empanadas amarillos, we definitely needed it to  fuel ourselves for the arduous work of excessive picture-taking. Despite all that I heard about the Tule tree, I felt completely unprepared for how huge it actually was and as a result I took about 40 photos--none of which really capture how cool it is. 

Some random yet interesting facts about the Tule tree:
-It's 135 feet tall
-It weighs 1,119,844 pounds. Yeah. 
-It circumference is 139 feet, making it slightly wider than it is tall. 
-According to our host brothers, legend has it that the Tule tree used to be three separate trees that fused together.
-There are tons of really cool knots in the bark of the tree which take the shape of animals. We saw a lion, an elephant, an iguana, and a fish!

Citation: All random/interesting facts taken from http://oaxaca-travel.com/guide/natural.php?getdoc=true&lang=us&doc=home&atractivo=

(Note: please click on the pictures to read the captions!)

To continue on the theme of trees, Alex and I woke up on 4th of July to a pretty moving surprise. Our host father File told us that they were going to plant trees for each of us in the family garden to commemorate our time here. They chose to plant the trees on the 4th of July so that the planting could also serve as a celebration for us. Now, even after we leave Oaxaca, there will always be part of us growing outside the house. 

We were so moved we didn't really know what to say (I still don't really know what to say.) Our host family is pretty incredible. They say that pictures are worth a thousand words, so here are some photos of us planting our trees in order to make up for my lack of eloquence on the matter. 

(Note: you can click on the photos to read captions)
Brook Danielle Lillehaugen
7/12/2013 09:07:41 am

Wow. I don't know what to say either-- that is so lovely!


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