Tuesday, July 30, 2013

¡Bienvenidos!

Greetings from Puebla, Mexico!  Those of you who know me well know that I cry tears of joy at the drop of a hat, and of COURSE riding a bus through Mexico City while listening to Ces├íria Evora totally brought tears to my eyes yesterday.

But I choked 'em back, a broad smile spreading across my face as I switched over to Kendrick Lamar  and marveled at the vibrant graffiti of Mexico City.  As we passed taquerias and clamato shacks, it occurred to me how foolish I've been for neglecting to document my travels in writing.  Throughout Sicily, Argentina, Costa Rica, Nicaragua...I always thought that the photographs were enough.  In situations where I couldn't use a camera, I made mental snapshots.

For example, during my time doing volunteer work in Costa Rica I stood back for a moment, sweating profusely, and watched all of the neighborhood children that I was teaching running around covered in yellow paint.  Little kids, big kids, and kids who weren't even painting the mural.  Alejandro had painted lines under his eyes like a warrior, and some of the other boys were putting handprints on the corrugated sheet metal walls.

In Nicaragua, when we killed the chicken, all of us felt like something inside of us was...different.  Enrique and Kata sliced their throats and bled them out.  Snapping the necks would have been easier, but watching the life drain from that animal was an experience.  We all felt strange.  Silently, we walked through the cemetery with its gorgeous turquoise, orange and sea-foam green wooden crosses, and sat on the bank of the river and cried.  I remember thinking how poetic it was that all the graves faced the river, and I remember longing for one last conversation with my grandparents.

Some things can never be forgotten, but the clarity of memories are bound to waver over time.  I believe in the power of images (obviously) but I also love to write.  So here it begins, the first trip of many that will be properly documented through this blog.  It's really for me, but it's really for you, too, whomever you may be.  It will chronicle my undying lust for traveling, for food and wine and culture, for art and human interaction and adventure, for eating tripe alla plancha with a bunch of crazy Sicilian fishmongers, and...

Well, you should just come along for the ride.