Monday, May 12, 2008

A Land of Paradoxes

Every day I am here, my head spins, and it is not just because of the heat. Being immersed in a foreign culture- and expecting to find some way to be productive within it- is a challenge unlike any other I've experienced. It is my nature to try to understand everything I encounter. But there is a lot that just makes no sense to me.

I have heard stories of unconscionable violence in and around the community here. Some people I know here have been affected by it. And the kinds of things that happen, fairly regularly, are nasty enough to make your stomach churn just thinking about them.

And yet, it is not really a violent place. San Ignacio is a peaceful, almost sleepy town. The people we encounter on an everyday basis are some of the friendliest folks I've ever met. There are a lot of very intelligent, industrious people here. I have only been here a week but I have seen nothing that makes me fear for my safety or believe that I could not have a happy stay here.

Needless to say, there is a lot I don't understand.

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