So we finally landed in Santa Fe, about to embark on the 3 days that inspired the 6 week holiday jet setting around the States and Mexico.We were working at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market as part of the decorating team, as well as artist assistants for the following week, and apart from alot of folk art, we didn’t quite know what to expect.
We were staying in a nice little Air B’N’B place about a 30 minuet walk away from Museum Hill, where all the folk art action was happening. We’re both pretty big walkers, so it was ideal to have a nice little walk to work every morning, but when we set off the first day it was freakin’ hard! Here I was thinking that the weeks of $4 vodkas and smoking ciggies with American boys out the front of dive bars was catching up, but apparently it wasn’t my failing fitness that let me down, but in fact the air in Santa Fe is really very thin. Santa Fe is really high above sea level, 2134 m to be exact, so your lungs are lucky to get a full breath each time you inhale from the sparse oxygen that envelops Santa Fe. Plus you have to drink quadruple the amount of water to stay afloat and not collapse from extreme dehydration.
But alas, we did that 30 min walk up the steep Museum Hill, every day, struggling, hoping that some nice person would pick us up on the way through. It never happened though. One day a big bus pulled up down the bottom of the hill and said “want a ride?!” But we had already finished the walk.
When we got to Museum Hill the first time, to join the decorating team (officially known as the ambience team- it really was more than just decorating,) they didn’t quite know how to take a few young and eager Australian girls. The ambience team consisted of about 15 old dears (me being the youngest of the bunch by about 35 years) decorating everything and anything on site. No pole went un-tinselled, no walkway went un-flowered and no ‘port-a-potty’ went un-pommed. The decoration of the Folk Art Market was a really big endevour! We also had help form the Art Team, who were a bunch of kids from the local art school who helped create and install the big installations throughout the site.
It was the most highly decorated event that I’ve ever been to, and it looked incredible. The team had been bumping in for a month, preparing all the elements and creating a Mexicana colour-fest along the way. The creator of the Market, along with one of the head decorating honchos did a big trip to mexico and came back with all sorts of hand made/dyed paper flowers, red plastic flags, tinsel strapping and any other bright red decorations that Mexico produces so well. One word…
After the first few hours decorating, the old dears really started to warm to ‘Ahus-zies.’ Considering Marissa and I do this for a job back home and are both pretty good at it (huge head) we really WOWed them with our highly accomplished, speedy and OH&S abiding decorating skillz.
As a side note, you realize how Australians get the ‘good workers’ wrap overseas. It was the most relaxed event I’ve been a part of, a lot of chatting and laughing with the bosses followed by a provided long lunch with desert, a bit of flower hanging thrown in there between the complementary coffees, and an early knock off. You wouldn’t see that kind of relaxed attitude at any of our events. It was awesome!