Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yantzaza Nightz

Now that I have officially reached my last month in Yantzaza, I am starting to relish more and more of what has made this jungle town my home, one that I will miss greatly.

Walking around during the day, you notice taxis running around, dust flying, giant dump trucks filled with mud, kids yelling, a man selling 50 brooms on his back, a woman on a bench with her left breast hanging out as a hungry child suckles it and plays with her long black hair...everything is going on. It´s a sort of Amazon chaos... a steady movement.

However when night time reaches, it´s like a plug is pulled. Things move just a tad slower. There is no dust flying in the air, the streets are quite silent, high school kids hide in the dark corners making out with just their cell phones playing bachatas as an indication that they are there. The stars literally twinkle, as if Dios sneezed glitter on the midnight blue sky. The air is crisp and fresh. I take deep breaths and get a sort of high off the tranquilidad. It is so damn refreshing.

In the park, the only lights are those of the stores still open for business and an occasionally street lamp. One side of the park is lined with food trucks, selling their typical dishes of chicken, meat, or guata, cow intenstines made with potatoes in a peanut sauce. I´m sick of seeing rice, totally knowing what it´s going to taste like. I want a surprise!

But then I remember, my surprise is that my two years have flown by faster than those taxis and it´s time for me to start saying goodbye.

Today I went to visit my good friend Rosario and her three sons. They used to be my next door neighbors but a year ago they moved to another part of town. Rosario is a great friend and has an amazing spirit. She is nine months pregnant, looks like she´s going to pop any minute. But she still moves around as if she weren´t pregnant. She was giving her youngest, two-years-old, a bath of chamomille tea because he has a cold. But the way she moved around, I was stunned. This woman is pilas. She then proceeded to make dinner for five and make me my favorite empanadas that she makes, all in an hour. She is incredible. I did help peel the yuca...after she explained to me how to do it of course. It took me about three times longer than she probably could have done it, but I was glad to help just the same.

I gave the boys my DVD player and some books and cards. Rosario started to cry. When I saw her, the strongest woman I have ever met in my life, do that, I knew that I had made an impact on somebody. And it made me realize how special and amazing this experience has been and I wouldn´t change anything I´ve done.

Leaving her house, I am walking back in the night, breathing the fresh air and feeling the rush of my jungle town like never before.