Saturday, May 31, 2008

More thoughts on Rocky Point...

I love going to Rocky Point. I love the sea and the sand and the sun. I love the smell of shrimp on the grill while the surf lulls softly in the background. I love waking up to a full moon that shines so bright off the sand, you have to close all the blinds just to be able to sleep.

I love getting up early in the morning and feeling the slight chill outside while people run up and down the beach, take morning walks and look for treasure in the tide pools. I love finding perfect shells and sea glass and the occasional octopus.

I love watching my kids have a blast body surfing, horseback riding, and running hard to wave down the banana boat man. I love buying freshly made tortillas from the local ladies. I love talking with the guys who sell their jewelry on the beach. I always feel the warmness of the people is so wonderful when you take the time to talk to them.

I love all the bold colors. I love how the ladies stand outside their homes and sweep the dirt to keep it away from the front of their house. I always find it fascinating how clean everything is in a certain kind of way - how much everything smells like 'fabuloso'. Every person you walk next too smells strongly of laundry soap. And yet how weirdly un-antiseptic everything is too. At the grocery store there are strong smells of the produce over ripeness mixed with fishy fish and strange cheese. The bakery smells sickly sweet and the fresh seafood on ice is just feet away. It's a cacophony of olfactory over-load that amazes me. Everything here in the U.S. is so wrapped in plastic and refrigerated. It's a shock to go from carefully saran wrapped meat to hanging beef on a hook with a few flys for good measure. In a strange way it's refreshing to be reminded of where your food really comes from.

I admire the people. I admire the work ethic. Even the beggars are offering to clean your windows and do a better job than I've ever dreamed. Their circumstances are often meager - yet they always seem happy. There are a lot of smiles. There are a lot of school kids with ice cream, families getting ice cream or popsicles on a hot day. It's not an easy life, but no one seems unhappy. I feel so spoiled while we are there.

When I come home I stare out the window at the vast wealth. It's a little hard to reconcile. Neighborhoods which did not look that nice the week before appear completely differently to me when I come back. We're all so rich and most of us don't even know it.


Cynthia said...

I love your vacation. I feel like I am on holiday when I read about yours. Thank you for the mini vacation tonight.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful concluding photo. Did you take it? Well written - I loved this piece.

A couple of our kids letters home while they were on their foreign missions were exactly like this: the cultural comparison and resulting introspection on what it means to be an American. We are rich. We should be more grateful. We should be more available to others than we usually are, and less protective of our "things".

Robin found she really missed normal plumbing, and seeing the American Flag while living in Mexico and Brazil. After she said that, we all began to notice how often one is displayed and the variety of ways in which we see it. We were surprised!

James missed the predictability of flipping a switch, turning a faucet handle, or picking up a telephone and receiving the power, the water or the dial tone as promised. In the former Soviet Union, it doesn't matter what side of the street you live on or who you know, the system is broken w/o prejudice.

Leiland wrote home things like, "we got to take a bath today!" or "I'm sorry for all the times I complained about how crappy our house was, mom - we live in a mansion by comparison!" It wasn't until he came home we heard the details of his living conditions, and the real danger that presents itself to any American abroad in a world resentful of what an American represents.


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