Friday, June 11, 2010

mis pensamientos

those first three pictures are for texture´s sake. as one of the elements of art, i´ve got to give homage to that wonderful and rich part of art. there is so much texture, layering, and colorful combinations in this place. it is a principle and elements of design heaven. if only i was a better photographer...

moises and nic watching tv. moises and his mom live in this room, we are neighbors.
here is elder wilson and comp., from pasco washington. so weird and cool to run into each other here in montero.

it dawned on me, finally, this little gem of understanding: the grand difference between bolivians and americans. get ready for it, you might want to sit down for this. the biggest difference between americans and bolivians, or any latins in general: is that americans hate to wait, and bolivians love it. they love excuses, talking about possibilities and the suggestion of action. i think they derive joy from the creative ways that one can put something off.
this revelation came to me as i ran an errand this afternoon to enlarge a map. all the photocopy places told me they couldn´t do it, that they didn´t have the right kind of machines. being an artsy person myself, who is versed in copy machine methods, i knew this was simply not true. it was suggested that i go buy a larger map, another customer offered to go to his house and retrieve his map and sell to me for 3 bolivianos, and it was suggested that i go to santa cruz where there are machines for this. only after all these suggestions, did the woman at the counter follow my instructions to enlarge the map in parts and then i would tape them together.

this morning, sonia and i went to visit some of the woman who have not been paying their loans back. we heard some incredible excuses: one woman came out with a bright towel swathing her head, hands trembling, coughing, and saying she hadn´t been able to work. another was involved in an elaborate cooking process, unable to go get the money, yet able to come out and tell us this. another woman looked somewhat surprised to see us, sonia told her if she didn´t pay we would have to reclaim the food cart that her loan had purchased. it was agreed that we would bring the woman a jar into which she could put money, little by little saving enough to pay the loan off. walking back to the car i asked sonia how many times she had threatened to reclaim the cart from the woman, sonia replied: 3 times. it had also been 2 years since the woman had taken out the loan
-the good news though is that most of the woman pay back their loans, the visits this morning were not typical. but really, why pay now when you can stave it off, just a bit longer?

This idea was also reinforced when i walked down to the plaza, i was walking down a narrow sidewalk at a typical cadence for me, and saw that a street light was going to change, i tried to hurry up to catch the light so i wouldn´t have to wait to cross. then i looked around at the other people on the street, i had it all wrong. i should walk slow so that i could wait at the light: it´s good to wait at the light. i am programmed all wrong for this place. from that street corner on, i slowed my walking pace, melding into the rhythm of the people on the street: languid. yesterday i saw a sloth in a tree, he moved slowly and deliberately. the only thing worth hurrying for, from what my short time here shows, is meal times. meals are crucial, and i don´t really mind that. with this new understanding, i think i will be fine here in bolivia.

1 comment:

  1. I like your perspective. Interesting ideas about slowing down to this obessively busy person.