learning more about humankind than the human race

Nicaragua

with “agua” in the word, it’s a country with limited water access

let’s start there

because it’s nearly impossible to think beyond hunger and thirst

and I don’t mean “Ugh, I’m starving, let’s go get a burger.”

we’re talking about dulled senses, fiery pain wrapping around your abdomen and lower back and extending into your groin

when the globes in your forehead begin to dim and flicker

 

there’s a reason why people in this part of the world toast with the word “salud”

because you don’t take your health for granted

not when subsistence farming keeps beans in your daughter’s belly

and climate change is slowly scorching away the rainfall

no, the people here are as rugged as the rims of volcanoes

they dig pilas to catch the precious raindrops

and walk for hours to retrieve a toothbrush for community members

 

some that is

a country is vast and varied regardless of size

there are the rich and poor and rural and urban

living in cities villages communities

 

Community

how we’re designed

unless you disagree

but I have seen how our species accepts the love we think we deserve

and in Nicaragua, love is given and received freely

without agony like in the EEUU

because giving love is hard when you’re conditioned to hate the way you are

so that you will consume more goods to beautify fix conceal

 

this theatre girl knows how to find her light

and the spotlight that illuminates my white skin is one of the most brilliant I’ve ever felt

I’ve become reticent to express frustration or any negative response

for fear that I’ll become that person’s perception of all white people

in the US, white people take the time to peel into layers of privilege like a good ole Shrek onion

living in Central America with white privilege is like being dropped in that money machine at the beginning of Matilda

You know, when the guy is covered in glue and the money is raining all over him?

wait, that example is potent for a couple of reasons. hm. almost like I planned that

 


the author of these words is not any better than you, reader

this seems like one of the many moments to bring that up

if anything, her American traits are magnified here

and she suddenly finds strange comfort in pop music

and is angry that people from her country say “in America,”

ignoring the rest of the continent

 

Anger

it would be dishonest to say it’s not here

when I think of the excess and deception

and a president sitting atop a throne of paper

 

but then I remember Hillary walking in the woods with no makeup on

setting a dazzling example of self-care

when she was devastated and exhausted and committed to change

sometimes it’s fun to self destruct

sometimes it’s harder to take a step back than it is to charge forward

 

we need to stop saying hihowareyou as one word

sometimes the answer is BAD and if they follow-up with areyouok the answer is NO



but you know, people live all over the world without their lives together

at any split second

two gringas are bolting out of the office to the garden spigot and squatting with their hair in the mud, sighing in relief

while a man greets newcomers to an island hostel, laughing that his only worldly possessions are his wallet and sunscreen

and a absentminded woman hikes up a mountain in a sopping clean wet dress, hoping that the mosquitos will recognize that it’s not a good time, laughing at her stupidity

laughing

seeing happiness as a choice rather than a state of being

 

there’s something about speaking in a second language

(or 3rd 4th 5th 6th the brain is incredible)

that temporarily strips your intellect

and your sense of humor

and quiets your need for constant translation

because it’s a luxury to speak quickly in your native tongue

one that “Americans” often steal from immigrants

 

uh oh. that just got political

but so is our radically biased historical narrative

so are our corrupt relationships with nations around this globe

so are the news sources that don’t tell the public when our government meddles and disguises it as aid

but then again, how do you see patriotism?

discernment and criticism or endorsement of a system

personally, I look to water and see that only dead fish go with the flow

 

the current president in the US has a superiority complex the size of Russia

but is a health care system the best if it is treating conditions perpetuated by diet?

is an education system the best if it drowns young people in debt?

is it fruitful to look at the world in superlatives?

or does that make you the worst president there’s ever been?

 

life is not a race

we’re not the human race

we are humankind

we can choose love

 

choosing love means looking at women and seeing the universe held within

choosing love means looking at borders like lines drawn with rulers by a white man

choosing love means wanting to heal people for free

choosing love means turning sideways and passing the bread rather than stooping to give away your crumbs

 

Hi there, readers. It’s been a while because, well, see above. My brain has been exploding. Living in Central America for a blink has allowed me to examine my indoctrinated ideas about sexuality, hospitality and communication. I’m learning about the grace in a roundabout in comparison to a harsh, direct delivery. So I’d love to spend some time together, telling stories and hearing how your winter has been! My new favorite conversation starter: Is there anywhere in the world where you would NOT be welcomed back??