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In Guatemala
February 26, 2010


i was in guatemala.

we were tromping through a swampy place in a volcanic area. people lived here and had been doing so for many years. Still, I was uneasy about living in a volcanic area. What if we were unable to escape if there were an eruption? even if i were able to get to a high point, the heat from the lava below me would burn me up.

as we were tromping through the swamp (It may have been my dad i was with), we saw a giant black serpent floating through the trees. the person i was with did not know the reference I was making to Soul Calibur, the video game, but this black serpent snake looked a lot like the ninja character in Soul Calibur. in fact, when i said "ninja" the flying serpent twitched as if having heard me.

somehow we got out of there, made it to the main village. Someone told us that the village people were happy that we (Americans) had done two things for them. one thing we had done was make possible a lot of balloons for some occasion. another thing we had done was provide some kind of roof or exterior feature for a building that i was then responsible for photographing. I had to climb up the side of the building and hold on precariously to a couple bricks. then i passed the camera to the speaker so he coul take the picture. This was someone who had already used my camera before, because i remember saying "remember, the button with two buttons." it was a bar button divided into two, and he needed to press the side on the left.

I walked up the street through the village by myself, and saw how poor it was. at the edge of town was a beautiful vista of the countryside far away. before even arriving to the edge i could see a 747 curving in the air after takeoff. When i arrived to the edge of town i saw only towels and blankets covering the ground. not strewn about, they were orderly. they were where people slept. poor people without a roof. i was a little surprised. most of the towels were clean and white. blue was another color.

A little girl sat on a bench at that edge of the village and told me the story of how the white people arrived, and why there are some blonde people in the village. She herself had lightish hair and lighter skin, but i know she was identifiying me as a white person and that's why she was telling me this.

Somewhere in the conversation i noticed that the vista had disappeared. now i saw only the wall to a dept store or supermarket. I saw the balloons. they were tacked to the wall and close together. it made an interesting visual effect but overall was pointless. just a commercial gimmick. just something to make the townspeople ooh and ahh.

I started to walk away from the edge of town, now that it was encased in building, and was explaining to someone, i think in english, how nothing was the same anymore. that i was walking through a hallway not a village. There was a stairway and exit door to my left. my impression was that this was not better than the previous setting, that it did not serve the indigenous people.