12 August 2007

The beat goes on, lex, just to the tune of a different drum ...

Lexey -

This son and father play in this same spot every single saturday afternoon. the music is intense, like nothing you've ever heard. the dad is on flute and the son is on drums, just sitting there waiting for his cue. the timing is perfection. you should have been here, we could have totally jammed with them. - Jessie

I'm ready to admit the thing that struck me most about the people of Guatemala was the poverty, the empty way some people look at you in the street, how their stores are filled with goods most americans wouldn't even consider, let alone put down good money for. but the more i am here, the more i realize they have fuller lives than most wealthy people you would come across in the states.

i'm not saying i've been here long enough to become numb to it, and i still feel a gnawing in my stomach everytime i run into the guy on 6th avenue north who plays the mandolin and has no legs and spends the entire day begging for change, but the thing is that now, i focus on the laughter, on the happiness i see on these very same streets.

there's this one family who runs a vending cart and the kids are never wearing shoes and they sit in the hot sun all day selling plantains and bags of juice (yes, "bags" of juice, but more on that later) but my point is, if i were to tell you about them, i would show you how they eat every meal together, always, how they pat each other's backs and display acts of love in almost everything that they do.

the drummer and his father have to play in the streets for money, for survival, so the white tourists can stop by and contemplate how much money to throw in front of them, but the bond between the two was striking, one no amount of money can buy.

watching them, i seriously felt like dancing. you would have too.

1 comment:

LexeyJane said...

Thank you for this postcard. I read it over and over when I miss you most. I'm loving your insights on details that most others would pass up.