9 years in Chiclayo. A desert town, only 10 miles from the ocean. One inch of rain every 10 years. Surrounded by Pre-Columbian temples, cities and burial mounds still untouched by the claws of progress, I grew up with a deep appreciation for history and art from other cultures. I also grew up with some of the largest sand dunes one could ever hope to see - majestic at sunset, when the clay and volcanic ash would reflect the orange sunlight, and turn the dunes to rainbow colors. The warmth of Chiclayo's citizens is matched only by that of its climate.
9 years in Lima. Capital city, bustling with spicy culture, night life, and a literary sense of the tragic. Citizens and residents of this post-colonial capital call it "Lima La Horrible"...I'll let you guess what that means. It's impossible not to hate Lima, but by the same token, it's impossible not to love it either. A city busting with the sounds sights and smells of humanity, no portion of the city is left untouched by the bristling masses of rural Peruvians migrating to city life. It's place in history is shiny and impressive, and remnants of that place litter the city in forms of spanish balconies, intricately built churches, magnificent plazas and your ocassional cobblestoned street. Lima is an old lady, but in many ways, she's still a feisty, combative one that makes you pay dearly for the privilege of living with her. A city known better by its extremes. It made me
I travelled to London not so much because I was dying to go to Europe, but because I was dying to get out of the USA. I had grown up in Latin America believing that The US was 'home', and getting there to discover that 'home' was the most foreign place I'd ever been to was just too much to bear. London was fantastic though. I was fortunate enough to have a scholarship that allowed me to explore London's cultural and artistic places without feeling the pressure to worry about money. Spending lots of time with Henry Moore's 'Recumbent Figure', I learned to love silence and empty space as rich methods of communication. I learned more about being human here, and began to realize that some of what I had been was a product of religious upbringing.
This place epitomizes the small southwestern town. It's not a rare occassion to see a red blanket of clay come your way - dust storms that leave everything thickly coated with earth. Tumbleweeds, the big balls of dead shrubbery, were everywhere. I went here to school - the first school to offer me a scholarship after my stint in England. Abilene is desolate and beautiful.
The openness of Texans, it's strange array of characters and landscapes, and all that makes this place such a warm place to live in. I'm glad I'm here!