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San Andres de Pisímbala


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Tonight we sleep in the tiny hamlet of San Andres de Pisimbalá, wherein there are only three small general stores. One main road bisects the town, and, while it's paved for a few hundred meters or so through the center, on either side it is dirt road again. A picturesque whitewashed church with a thatched roof is the village's only notable destination, but we were immediately charmed by the peace of the place. Everyone threw us veiled but curious looks, and a few young women could not stop giggling at us while we ate empanadas from their stand.

Of course, dark descends early here. Without interest, Chris is forced to play Go on the iPad. I read and wonder why on other nights I feel I don't have time for it.

It's so quiet. Just the occasional roar and thrash of a dog fight. Here you see many humans, many animals missing limbs, pieces of limbs, ears, fingers. Often they turn beggar. At one of the Ciudad Perdida camps we saw a tabby cat with three legs. Agnes learned from the owner that the cat's father had begun eating him when he was a kitten--apparently something that father felines attempt with all their newborn male offspring. Thankfully mother intervened, and now we have a sanguine three-legged cat, who must receive extra food and pets for his handicap. So life is cruel, pervertedly kind. And from the comfort of our condos we gape and shudder and forget. How can we say we connected, human to human? Equality is a sham they teach us in grade school. (It's not a sham; it's an aspiration.) We're tourists in many ways, gliding through lives we don't understand, aren't equipped to understand. It's fear and complacency that keeps us bodily rooted in ourselves, separate and blank. Also not knowing where, how to begin.

It seems I'm always tempted down this line of thinking. Stifled guilt. World touching world--isn't that what traveling is?

Posted by chschen 04:04 Archived in Colombia

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