Archive | May, 2010

Hong Kong Dog

30 May

Mucho enfermo; divertidas

Many interesting things. We met our teachers in a vegetarian café yesterday. They saw we were sick and they were so nice to us. Muy simpaticos.

During the day yesterday there was a street parade with many bottle rockets that shook the hotel like a drum. BOOM.
Sitting in a restaurant means with frequency a band will walk in, the house PA will turn off and they will jam out a few songs then walk around with a cup for propinas, or tips. Its really cool. Right now a full mariachi band with 7 guitar like instrument players and a tambourine player just walked in are all singing together in plush black velvet suits. The tambourine player is doing an amazing dance, hitting the tambourine rhythmically with his body, foot kicks, and leaning back and hitting it with his chin… after the song ends the guitar player shouts ‘y no tiene novia!!’
Friday night here is Amazing! Everyone is outside at ten oclock at night… streets are packed all across the city, bands are playing, drummers drumming, people laughing and talking and walking around having fun. Little Mayan girls showing you the amazingly designed and crafted bracelets belts and clothes they are selling.

But then we went to this awesome restaurant with such great open ambience called TierrAdentro (EarthInside) and had such great food and there are all this Zapatista shops around the eating area with beautiful inspiring revolutionary artwork and lots of crafts and clothes from mayan womens cooperatives. Delicous food bumpin world music; inspiring quotes on the menu. The restaurants let you hang out here as long as you want. They ask you what food you want almost right away, but you have to ask them for the bill, or you’ll end up sitting there all day. It’s the opposite of the US where they give you a long time to order and expect you to leave semi-soon after you finish.

Yes, Friday night….I was almost better, then ate some raw lettuce with my meal. I was almost well again, but the lettuce, even though it was organic, is a reservoir for water- meaning that the organic farmer using river water with E coli bacterium from surrounding villages and cows is impregnating the food with e coli. I woke up in the middle of the night in our hotel room, with a massive volcano brewing in my lower intestine. Sitting on the toilet with massive diarrhea, a wave of nausea overcame me that was so intensely painful I had to grab the nearby trashcan to projectile vomit into. Suddenly as the wave of nasea continued to sweep over me I heard a loud bang, saw a white flash and then nothing but vast blue green space. I remember my first thought was “remember the love, remember the earth” and then I remember being confused about where I was. Then I opened my eyes and saw the tile of the bathroom floor in front of my face and the shower drain, and I realized I had passed out in the middle of the sickness and hit my head on the floor and was lying face down and naked on the floor. What a humbling experience!
While doing some research (http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/47/132.cfm <— excellent resource for travelers sickness AKA tourista, dheli belly, montezoumas revenge, hong kong dog, etc) I discovered that there is a solution of electrolytes, sugar and salt that the World Health Organization recommends for food poisoning, since E coli releases a toxin that purges your body of sodium and potassium (which are necessary for muscle function), and it also stops your body from absorbing water, as it goes right through you. I went to the Pharmacia and bought a packet of the stuff, and it stopped the muscle aches and diarrhea. I am starting to feel much better. Me and Carrie were discussing buying a bunch of these packets (only 5 pesos, or 40 american cents per packet) and taking them with us when visiting the outlying villages to trade for crafts or herbs, if they are interested… it certainly helped us get better right away.

Today our school program officially begins (5 weeks of learning Spanish followed by 5 weeks of environmental engineering projects.) Carrie, who is beautiful and awesome and a wonderful travel companion to be sick in a hotel room with or to go exploring and have lots of fun with, and I will meet our families we are staying with for the summer. We are so excited (y un poco nervosa) to meet them! We are staying with separate families to maximize our cultural surface area and also because the only option for us to stay together would be to stay in un apartamento without a host family, which would not be nearly as cool as the experience of staying with a Mexican host family.

Time to go for me, but before I leave , here’s a few of the inspiring quotes on the placemat here at the EZLN affiliated TierrAdentro- please correct me on the translations if you know any better!!

“Disculpen las molestias esto es una revolucion” Sub Marcos
“Sorry for the inconvenience, this is a revolution”

“Es un privelegio haber vivda una vida dificil” Indira Ghandi
“It is a privilege to have lived a difficult life”

“La vida se encoge o se expande, en proporcion al corage de cada uno” Anais Nin
“Life expands itself or contracts itself in proportion to the spirit of each one”

“Que dos y dos sean necesariamente cuatro, es una opinion que muchos compartimos. Pero si alguien sinceramente piensa otra cosa, que lo diga. Aqui no nos asombramos de nada.” Antonio Machado
“That two and two necessarily make four is an opinion that many share. But if a few sincerely think otherwise and say it, we are not darkened at all”

“La utopia esta en la horizonte. Camino dos pasos, ella se aleja dos pasos y el horizonte se corre diez pasos mas alla. Entonces para que sirve la utopia? Para eso, sirve para caminar.” Eduardo Galeano.
“The utopia is on the horizon. Walk two steps, and it goes away two steps, and the horizon runs ten steps farther away! Then how does one serve the utopia? For this reason, serve in order to walk.”

“No es inceible todo lo que puedo tener dentro un lapis?” Guille, hermano de Mafalda
“Isnt it incredible what can be inside of a pencil?”

“Mi nombre es Esther, pero eso no importa ahora. Soy Zapatista, pero eso tampoco importa en este momento. Soy indigena y soy mujer, y eso es lo unico que importa ahora” Commandanta Esther
“My name is Esther, but that isn’t important now. I am a Zapatista, but that is of little importance in this moment. I am indigenous and I am a woman, and this is the one thing that is important now.”

Paz y amor.
Z

agua pura

28 May

Oh man. There is nothing like being in a diarrhealerium. I don’t think i’ve seen much other than the cieling of my hotel room and the bathroom for 48 hours. Back and forth.

I have heard that 51% of the population has no access to clean water in this town! Yet at the same time, Chiapas supplies half of Mexico’s hydro electric power. So there is plenty clean water… its just not distributed fairly. Some people are making lots of money, others are always sick. You can see it in their faces. Those with just a bit of affluence look shiny and happy like americans, but those who are impoverished don’t look so well … The river that flows through town smells like shit and gasoline.

But.. i have decided to react to injustices with kindness in action as opposed to anger. Anger is the illusion of empowerment. Kindness in action IS empowerment.

LOL I actually caught my self thinking, in a sweat lying in bed  “man i need to stop eating all this mexican food, its making me sick……

but… all there is here is mexican food….

mmmmm… i love mexican food. i want a chile relleno right now”

But i’m getting better, pepto and fruit and massive clean H2O helps a lot.  Carrie is already mostly recovered.

Thanks to the universe for having access to clean water.

¡LLegamos en Mexico!

26 May
Hey you guys!
             We made it to mexico easily and it is beautiful and amazing. I am sitting next to an elementary school in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. The air is full of screaming yelling playing kids haha. We have been eating wonderful food, watching the amazing city which is full of colors and full of life and art and all kinds of people, indigenous, mexicanos, kids, elders, people in their 20s, some tourists. People are friendly, and there is a really diverse atmosphere here.

I already feel like i could just live here.
 
Last night we met this guy who does tours in the surrounding areas of forest and villiages. There is a building which has a yoga studio, a language school, a natural products shop, and a alternative movie theatre and restaurant and thats where we met the guy. its right by Otros Mundos too (they are the people we will be working with). I can tell this is going to be an amazing trip.
When we found the restaurant it was like being back in Arcata! Dreadlocks and firedancing and yoga people and samba on the streets lol. There was also an amazing jazz quintet of people my age with a mandolin congas guitar bass and drums. 
 
There are a lot of cool indigenous rights organizations here. We went to this building and i swear it was the same one from the video we watched on the zapatista uprising in the early 90s. Only this time no bullet holes or zapatista warriors, just estudiantes. Turns out it is one of many centers for indigenous rights and equality. There are also many movie theatres with screenings of various zapatista films. Will find out much more about this in the following months. Lots of mayan people in the streets selling fresh fruit, handmade crafts and clothing. Its interesting to suddenly have so much priviledge. I hope to help people by building rain water catchement and stoves, more so than by buying jewelry. Its hard to say no to a little girl who is begging you to buy a bracelet, but thats not what i am here to do! I did get a really cool bracelet though. But I cant get one every day… (i will buy a whole bunch for my family and friends when its time to leave- i swear!!)
 
 
 My spanish is coming back slowly but surely… I can understand much of what people say but my grammar needs improvement. Carrie is learning very fast, she is currently laid out in bed with the Montezumas revenge. People say it happens to almost everyone.. i went to the Pharmacia and asked ´¿tiene peptobismol, para la estomacha?´ and the man had a knowing smile haha.
 
 
Anyway, i am going to get some food, check on carrie, and see if we can meet up with Otros Mundos to give them some school books and some electric motors for bicycle power that we lugged here in our packs from CA, and then meet up with this guy Jose Luis from couchsurfing so we dont have to pay for a hotel anymore.
 
Peace and love!!
 
Zacharias

Hello world!

26 May

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