Sunday, May 22, 2011

The people down by the river, dragaonflies and cactus

My favorite activity is walking. If the walk is long enough I’ll come across a few interesting things.

Down by the river I saw a group of shacks. Calling them shacks is glorifying the structures. I’m sure the people I saw this morning live no better than the most unfortunate of people living in Haiti or the Congo.

There was a woman with a stick hammering away at the ground. I think she was trying to make a garden. One of the structures had a rag for a door. Another structure, likely the owner more enterprising than the neighbors, had found a real door. Most of the structures had nothing but a doorway.

No toilet facilities, no electricity, no water because the river is dry. They are likely Guatemalans who made it across the border without being shot. Guatemalans who came looking for a better life and, let’s face it, failed to find it. Perhaps they should move farther north.

The American Immigration Authority has billboard signs at the bus stops. They are black, white and red. The language is Spanish, naturally, but if written in English would read something like: “ Thinking of crossing the boarder? Here’s what could happen. You could get mixed up with organized crime. You could die in the desert. You could be put in jail. You could lose the opportunity to cross legally.” Jail would be a step up for the people living down by the river.

Since we are in the wet season, almost every night it rains. Generally the thirsty ground soaks up all the water, but on one of the service roads there was a huge pool of water. I watched the dragon flies. They were fascinating. Mating in the air. Sticking together in pairs. Skimming the water. Back into flight. Skimming again. Up then down. Always together in their dance. When the task was done and the mating game complete they went their separate ways.

On my patio a rare event has occurred. My cactus has bloomed. As far as I know it’s a Polaskia Chichipe. I really ought to study gardening in this part of the world. Apparentlyit rarely blooms.

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