>Notes From the Road pt1 (a breif synopsis)

>I started a blog. it is more for me to remember than anything else. But if others can gain something from my boring stories then it is worth sharing. here goes…..

I have been on the road now for 7 months and 11 days. I have learned more about life in the last seven months than i have in the last 25 years. I have spent many hours on a bus or waiting for one. I have spent nights hanging in a hammock, floating down the Amazon River in second class accommodation. I spent a night on a deserted island eating fried fish in the Caribbean. I almost got eaten by an Alligator in Costa Rica while surfing, but it couldn’t eat me in the water from ten feet away. I have handed out many glorious hugs to many friends that i will probably never see again. So many emotions have rattled my heart. i have seen and experienced utter, indescribable beauty and been so vhemently angry, sometimes i am not quite sure at what. From the mean streets of Managua to the `slum` of the Amazonion venice known as Belen, i have seen many people living out their lives in many different ways; some carry briefcases and wear neckties , living life in great opulence while youngsters roam the alleys sniffing glue or rummaging through two week old garbage with no shirt and cracked, bleeding feet. I can`t help but ask myself what the fuck is going on? There is no war but the class war, that much i am certain. The lines are so much more drawn out down here. Life here is lived more in the moment. People here don`t know when the next government coup will take place or the next economic crises will bust the economy so they dance, love and sing in the moment. And it inspires me.

I arrived in Costa Rica the 4th of January. Costa Rica was a country that i spent way too much time in without meaning to. It is a perfectcase study of what can happen to certain places when the tourist industry is allowed to run amuck. It is a beautiful place and the Ticos left an amicable impression on me. I got tired of seeing so many kinfolk there from the USA. I embarked on my journey to get away from the people I was the most familiar with….. so wayward I went.

Next was Nicaragua, a country with so much heart yet plagued by such heartbreaking poverty. I wrote my senior thesis on the “Causes and Conditions ofthe Sandinista Revolution” so I was already boiling over with intense animosity for the things that the U.S. government carried out there. This provided a compelling backdrop for certain places, such as the former revolutionary stronghold of Leon. The people of Nicaragua remain resiliant despite years and years of dictatorship, natural disasters, civil wars, and US funded right-wing paramilitaries. I volunteered outside of Granada for 2 months in an elementary school in the countryside that had 60 students, no electricity, barely any water and chickens that layed many eggs in the cupboard. The kids in the area that I volunteered in are kids that don´t exist. They are the forgotten and most marginalized. They completely changed my life and helped me to come to terms with the global inequities that must be eradicated by peaceful means if possible, violent means if necessary.

Panama, hmmmmmm. what to say about Panama. The San Blas islands are probably the most beautiful jewels that I have even laid eyes on. I mean, there is an island with only one palm tree on it. ONE PALM TREE! These islands reside amidst an endless ocean of clear, crystal blue water with sunken ships and crawling starfish. The indigenous people ,known as the Kuna, run the islands autotonomously, which means that the Panamanian government isn´t allowed to impose it´s bullshit rule over them and allow all sorts of foreign investment to destroy the culture of the people with Hilton hotels and plastic chairs. I also met some very cool people there. One from Salt Lake and a few from California .

There is soooooo much more to write about but i will skip to more recent ventures.

Wow, what to say about Medellin, colombia……. It is the land of Paisas, that is what the people here are called. They are known for the hospitality and friendliness, maybe that is why i am so drawn to this place. Or maybe it is because it is just somewhere nice outside of the USA (a place i am quite tired of right now). I am happy here. I have met many new friends and am desperately missing old ones back home. It has sucked me in with its charm.
i work at a hostel with German, the crazy , hilarious Argentine who i work with and bullshit with during all hours of the day. And Emmanuel, the giant argentine/chilean/united statsian goalkeeper in training. We clean, cook food, play ping pong and explore the city. I am living in a relatively nice area but the desperation of poverty pokes its head into the neighborhood every once in a while to remind us we are in Colombia still and not suburbia, USA.
I would actually prefer to live in a popular area up on the hillside but i am told that it is dangerous, which it may be but it is so much more full of life and interesting people.

I wouldn’t trade the memories I have made thus far for all the money in the world. Being on this journey makes me realize that the possibilities in life are truly boundless and that despite what Hobbes and the Leviathan tell us about fictitious state of nature, life is not short and brutish. People are not evil and self-interested. In fact, most are friendly, warm, charming and absurd.
Hasta la victoria!