Friday, February 24, 2006


Thanks to all who have written me and sorry for being MIA. So that you know I plan on posting once a week and from now on I am going to make it more informal.

It´s everywhere. A thick layer resides on my clothes, in my hair, on my skin. I wrap my head in my scarf to protect myself from the clouds that sweep over us like monstrous waves. The buses are stuffy and we duck behind the seats when they stop to pick up more passengers, letting in the hideous substance that has invaded our lives. I stare out the window at the lush green forests turned light brown and the muted images of the people walking by.

There´s a tristeza here, a rough melancholy, that I am beginning to understand. Today we visited the community of Cuá. An enormous hole in the mountain has created an enormous hole in the hearts of the people. On October 6, 2005, Hurricane Stan caused sixteen houses and fourty-six people to be buried when the mountain fell on them with explosions and waves of earth. We walked across the site and I tried hard not to think about the eleven cadavers that have not yet been found. My hopeful side imagines them dreaming as they sleep while the other part of me sees them screaming in claustrophobic fear. A young student on his way home from school walks by on the well defined paths. Past the facade of where the school used to stand, past the empty shell of the catholic church, past old toys, broken chairs, and half-buried dishes.

Perhaps it's the Spanish or perhaps it's the intensity of this event, put I am unable to put myself in their place. I imagine the hole in the mountain constantly and try to burn a hole in my heart in order to fully empathize, but this image comes and goes as I teach my classes and hang out with friends. For those I visited today this image does not disappear. It confronts them every morning when they wake and every night before laying down to sleep. They are strong--and they appreciate my visit, but they don't need me to entirely understand.

We walked together back down the mountain, commenting on the dust. It is everywhere and has muted the colors of the earth, our clothes, and perhaps even our emotions.


At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want pics (not just here) but everywhere.

Love ya, Brooke.

At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you, thank you. I love the pics!


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