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Finish this sentence: All work and no play…

…make Jack Nicholson chase after his family with an axe through a topiary garden. Right?

Santiago isn’t exactly in the running for the setting of “The Shining II”, but I was definitely beginning to feel twitchy and cooped up. No wonder, with this as my most frequent work space:

Working through my pile of […]

What’s a Couple More Dams, Anyway?

Today, without meaning to, I walked straight into the heart of the Chilean Patagonia. I found it at a bar, El Clinic, near the Belles Artes metro stop. It doesn’t live there, obviously, but that’s where we happened to meet. I’ve spent the past week in Santiago poring through various media, trying to assimilate the […]

Images from America’s Past

Gray skies gradually succumbed to the spirit of honor, gaiety, and remembrance at the 2011 American Indian Association of Florida, Inc. Powwow. By early afternoon the sun had emerged to cast its gentle, fall warmth on the gathering. I can’t duplicate the melody of bells jangling, feathers swooping, streamers flying, drums reverberating, and singers chanting […]

Crowd-Support

5:30 pm. I stood on the platform of the Santiago metro. No, not stood, sagged. Eyelids blinked in slow motion. Shoulders protested the weight of my bag. I was exhausted. The day’s interviews (two: one with a representative from Ecosistemas, and the second with a spokesman for Costa Carrera) and the wealth of information they’d […]

How to Get into Santiago from the Airport…without a taxi!

I landed in Santiago on Friday morning, jet-lagged, sticky, bleary-eyed, and with a stomach dancing about in what Syreena assures me is excitement, not fear. I broke down the things I needed to do into tiny steps. First, immigration and customs. I did NOT have to pay the silly $100 reciprocity fee (only because I […]

Don’t Sweep the Walls – or – Things in Peru are Different

The most social place in any house is the kitchen. In this, at least, my Peruvian homestay was like any other home in the world. Life happened while meals were being cooked. It was the specific details of that life that constantly reminded me that I was living in a different culture. I loved living […]

Photos of Peru and Colombia

While the writing still lags behind, the photos are online and ready for your viewing pleasure.

See them all here:

Colombia

Volunteering in Ollantaytambo, Weeks 1-4

The Birthday Party

Tia Maria turned 47 yesterday. Tia (Aunt) Maria is Feliciana’s sister, and runs a local food-and-lodging establishment and internet café. Unlike the one-year-old birthday party for Maria’s granddaughter, Luciana, that I attended the first weekend I arrived in Ollantaytambo, this party was noticeably lacking in pink decorations and Barbie piñatas. There were no elaborately frosted […]

to be read to the tune of pink floyd’s “animals”

I’m wondering if I name my fleas, if we can come to an accord in which they stop sucking my blood. I’ve killed one, and spotted another, but it got away. They can’t be squished. They have to actually be captured, and skewered with a fingernail until the blood that they’ve extracted squirts out of […]

¡Radio Felicidad!

Feliciana likes to turn the radio on while she cooks lunch in the early afternoon. Today is Sunday, no school day, and Camila and I sat on tiny wooden stools in the doorway, flipping through her older brother’s Spanish-English dictionary and practicing the alphabet. It was good practice for me, too, to think of words […]