Tuesday, November 29. 2005
of all the places we've been in central america, perhaps the one that will remain in my mind the longest is catalina's porch. incredible family. their property is the site for the community garden, which is now enclosed in fence, planted, and sprouted, mostly by the efforts of this family and other community members. we set up tent in their yard, and would spend most evenings on their porch, talking, shelling red beans, drinking strong coffee together. it was fascinating to hear catalina's story. she was forced to quit school, run away, and start working at about age 8. despite a rough start in life, and her husband and soulmate dying 3 years ago from leukemia, she is one of the most joyful, and i would say, sucessful people i've met. she has been following christ most of her life now, as did her husband. each of her 5 kids are so unique and full of life, they all live together and work hard to make ends meet, yet their life is not all about work, they spend a lot of time enjoying each other, talking, playing. the hammock in the foreground is one of only a few pieces of furniture, but catalina would say "what more do we need?"
Sunday, October 23. 2005
Saturday, October 15. 2005
justo and i have been homeless for a while now. yesterday morning, while still wiping sleep from my eyes, i took this picture from our tent (thanks sis). the 4x6 foot space has been literally our shelter through the storm, as it rains at least once nightly. the house you see is the casa a catalina, a beautiful and kind widow who is using part of her land for a community garden. it is a prototype for the area, the idea is for members of a school, church, or other community to work the garden together, and share the veggies, thus enriching the nutrient-poor diets and perhaps more importantly, creating an environment of sharing resources and working together. being travellers/rootless wanderers for the past month has been a source of both hardship and growth. it sounds appealing at first, but after a while you want to sleep where it is warm and dry. i've been uplifted by the 90th psalm, sung by the ancient hebrews when they, too were wandering the desert with no home. "YHWH, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations." when all else is stripped away, this remains inside us: A HOUSE NOT BUILT WITH HANDS. we are headed now to the northern coast, near la ceiba. our goals: to dry out, be doctors, and surf.
oaxaca, mexico. this photo is from 3 weeks ago, when justo and i found the highest point overlooking the ancient city. there was an observatory there, and a very knowledgable astronomer who hung out there as a hobby. the chart on the interior wall had placed 10,000 stars, precisely. this tree nearby captured my attention, made me wonder about all the stories represented by the markings here: what's become of luis and juliette, for example? and what is nene up to? one thing that is much different here in latin america is the concept of time. everyone seems to have lots of it, and people LOVE to talk. even to strangers like us. justo is awesome, he engages these people in conversation, and they love him for it. actually justo was talking to the astronomer while i took this. myself, on the other hand, i smile and say "si" as if i knew what they just asked me. sometimes that simple answer makes them laugh, but only purely by chance.