Saturday, February 28, 2009

Favela Foot

A near constant state of shoelessness by yours truly has led to the development of acute "favela foot".

No matter how much you scrub, the dirt just won't come off.

J - a mild case of favela foot

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unnatural Emotions

When I visit a mall, I usually go to buy clothes or electronic goods. Now, however, I am not in the slightest bit interested in buying anything but HARDWARE.

Seriously, I went the other day with the sole purpose of buying an internet card and what did I come back with? A mosquito swat (natch!), some felt square thingies that go on the bottom of furniture and a dustbin. A dustbin.

How pathetic it is to find the heart racing at the sight of a store full of practical things.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Is this the bus to Cartagena?

Took my first bus trip into the centre (of the centre) on Saturday. I managed to avoid buses in NYC for a full five years and am still somewhat traumatized by the bus race I participated in (as an unwilling passenger) last Sunday on the way back from church.
How's My Driving? Call 1800-PANIC.

Of course, customary etiquette in such situations is customarily dispensed with by the locals and - not wanting to be an estranho myself - I naturally participated in the ugly free-for-all necessary to get a seat: jostling, nudging, and (only if strictly necessary) elbowing aside the frail and needy.

Well, it was my day off.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Zero Emissions (well, almost)

W hitching a ride courtesy of Sobresa

Monday, February 16, 2009

The New World

Why do I feel so pathetically stranded without the internet? More precisely (and shamefully), a WI-FI connection? After running water, the internet has surely become to modern man something akin to a human right. I didn't feel half this bad when sacrificially handing over my Blackberry after a decade or so of being one of the worst offenders, so why do I feel so bad now?

Anyway, all is not lost: there is a basic little internet place just at the top of the hill and that's where I'm blogging from now. You can't miss it – it has a big sign outside with the words “LAN HOUSE” on it. Cute.

So, now that I've got myself together – and this little blog has a lifeline – a brief round-up (because you'll work out the rest as we go along):

  • The work here among the children is just amazing – a truly loving environment for kids from the most turbulent backgrounds
  • I am woken by the sound of dogs, goats and parrots (in that order)
  • The mosquitoes are so large that they block out the light when flying past a light bulb
  • The spiders are so large I mistook one for a small rodent
  • I have taken to showering in the dark now on the basis that what I cannot see won't hurt me
  • Yesterday I saw a bicycle-drawn horse
I wish I brought more toys with me.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

Extraordinary Circumstances

View from my window

I am sitting with my back against the radiator in my room. Today we had the worst snow in 20 years. London (of course) ground to a halt and the accusations have been flying all day and continue on into the evening news. "Extraordinary circumstances" one commentator says. "Unprecedented" says another. It all sounds distressingly similar to the apologetics of the bankers and their missing billions. I was meant to have lunch with the Fat Cat tomorrow. I'm sure he would have had something to say about all this.

This time next week I'll be in SP. I can't wait.