9.6.06

the truth and the media

Well something has finally gone wrong. One week into it and something is definitely not right with my stomach. And B. just goes along fine, stomach of steel like super lady, nothing bothers her in the least. I guess I just wasn’t cut out for a strong digestive system.

But the truth is that things couldn’t be any better. We arrived on June first in the capital, Caracas. Out hotel sent a driver to scoop us up, customs and immigration was a cinch, and we were getting a room key a cold bottled beer before we even felt the jet lag. The next morning we rose comfortably in the AC and had breakfast in the hotel restaurant overlooking the beach. After a great scramble and more toast than anyone should eat, we flew to Merida, a city nestled in the Andes mountains at around 9000 feet.

That same night we went to watch the two final matches of a local futbol (soccer) league up the mountain from the city. I imagine that this would be something like a softball league in the states. With Dad in the field, Mom cheering from the stands, and the kids running around like freedom was never so good on a Friday night, B and I were treated to Venezuelan culture in a way that is never described in the news. People were friendly and playful, yelling funny insults at the players on the filed and making a lot of racket when someone scored. The players themselves were of varied ages, most with a bit of belly out in front as they ran for the ball. Under the bleachers were heated dominoes matches and a woman making empanadas (a fried pastry stuffed with cheese or ground beef). There as a beer tent selling Venezuela’s great Pilsner beers for less than fifty cents a bottle, so ice cold that the head was more like a slurpee than anything. We had a an amazing time, and this was only our first night here!

This week we also took a bus to the coast and spent a couple of days on the beach eating fresh fish and laying around in the sun.

I must confess that I am a bit ashamed for thinking that we were coming to a place that would be dangerous and seedy. It is the complete opposite. People are warm, happy and helpful. We’ve been told by more than one person that the problems in this country are political, rather than economic. In a discussion one night I told someone that all we see in the news are the barrios, the murders, the kidnappings, etc. They laughed. I asked what kind of news they saw about the U.S.: black men killing, robbing and raping at a rapid pace. Is this what you see when you go to work every day?

It’s great to be back in the place where I was born and raised, and great to be received with open arms. Keep checking in and drop me a line sometime.

3 comments:

Prophet said...

Never believe anything unless you see it for yourself, I guess

ras said...

I guess I feel the need to explain the title. I only used the cheezy title 'cause the words are good tags. I know it cheap but it seems to work.

Anonymous said...

'tup RAS. If indeed Merida is at 9000 feet elevation, you might be suffering from a bit of altitude sicky. Saw it alot out in CO living above 9K. Drink alot of water (bottled preferable :D) and take it sleazy for a few days to acclimate. Easy on the suds, ya drunktard.

The importance of traveling: to see if for yourself and realize that not everything is what it is made out to be. Good to hear you're enjoying the 'off' time and kicking it with the extended family.

one love,
d-$