Thursday, July 19, 2007

final shots from a broken camera

i could easily give you a 1000 words for each of these images, but who has the time??

now, this lady above, who lives and works in Playa Blanca, is going to be included in this photography project/book by a friend of mine, Maya. She is probably the best photographer i´ve ever personally known besides
Josh ,and while I know Im going to hear it for leaking her work...below is one of the pages from the project. Ill share a link for her website when its finished...its being redone at the moment.

check the websites...i´m not lying, its amazing stuff.

E´s visit...

My last 2 weeks in Colombia. E´s first 2 weeks. debauchery. strait..debauchery.

..i promise you thats salt.

twist of fate

my boy Josh once told me that its usually around the 5 or 6 month mark that you begin to get homesick. struck me the other night...

i was sitting in a cafe, eating dinner solo, watching people, and it hit hard. jotted these notes down..

¨...the ones i envy now are not the free spirited city dwellers, but the ones who live in the world i came from. its the respective looking ones with v-neck sweaters, jeans and leather jackets, dress shoes, walking with their girlfriends in their arms to theatres and restaraunts.

the ones who wear whatever the popular fashion magazines tell them to. the ones with jobs, who dont get stopped by the police, and for whom alcohol and drug use is only a weekend pastime. those who follow the politics and daily news that i now ignore.

..the productive members of society, so caught in the rhythm of daily habits which last year made me nauseous. i miss those things now. waking up early to screaming alarm clocks, taking the bus, drinking coffee, complaining about work, earning degrees, cooking dinner...¨

its as though in some twist of fate i couldnt understand i was coming to envy them. was being led right back to where i started.

my story now is no different than that of a child who runs away from home for a day, only to find that its cold outside, and that the feeling of freedom soon fades into one of nostalgia for the comforts that once prevented it.

so what does the child do? he feels silly for a while, drags his feet in thought of why he ran in the first place, enjoys the views in his neighborhood he never noticed before, and eventually makes his way home...which he´ll see with a new sense of appreciation. yep. hopefully.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


first off, before this trip i hated the word GRINGO, from its origin, to its present day use, but as often as im referred to as one, i´ve come to realize that its not so much used as a derrogatory term, but more as a descriptive term, meaning foreigner. specifically, foreigner from the united states. i come from america, so therefore its always, "meet my friend, Ed, hes a gringo".

but as an african-american who now speaks decent spanish, i take full advantage of my ability to blend in. sometimes, so much so that i forget where im from and i catch myself watching foreigners with the same awe and curiosity as the natives do.

gringos are everywhere. they usually appear in bunches, and come from united states, canada, europe, israel, or australia. the ´privigeled´ bunch, for whom traveling is an option, and leisure. (im not excluded from this).

there are things i love and hate about them: love the boldness and adventerous spirit. in hostals, cafes and tourist sites, gringos-...with their large backpacks, thick hiking boots, and hippie appearance, are always focused and on the move. theyre discoverers.

its common to see them sliding their fingers across maps, arguing over the best land routes to wherever the Lonely Planet tells them they should be going.

my nomadic indifference to guide books and maps, combined with my horrible sense of direction, often gets me lost, or in trouble. but thats my perogative. my problem. typical gringos are much more efficient travelers than me.

honestly, i admire their knowledge of places theyve never been and willingess to try new foods, meet new people.

what i dont like is the occasional unwillingness to speak the language of the country theyre in. how they rush through countries snapping pictures without ever getting to know the people (besides cab drivers), as if the point of traveling is to see the sights, and not experience the culture. maybe it is?

so, as hard as it is to write this since i come from the gringo world, i felt i had to because it brings up so many mixed emotions within me. i mean, i prefer staying with people, in their homes, or at friends apartments, but at times i miss speaking english. i miss the hostels, because theyre easier, more comfortable. at the same time, i hate this convenience. why go half way around the world to stay in a hostel all day, watch tv, and talk?

love meeting people from all of these different countries who all love to travel, but hate going out in groups with them. to me, its an invitation to getting ripped off.

its also confusing being considered rich. as though, not only am i lost in translation at times, but also in currency exchange rates and opposing interpretations of cost of living.

i pay $20 for a bag that would easily cost $100 in the states, and both me and the person who sold it to me walks away thinking that the other got ripped off. my colombian friends look at me like ive got money growing off a tree in my backyard or something. it gets confusing.

all in all, like anything else, there the good and the bad. ive met some absolutely amazing and incredible people, who, like me, are also "gringos", but dont fit the profile. of course, ive also met many that make me more embarassed than i already am to be an american. it is what it is.

gringo ED