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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

La Cruz

On the other side of this 2 lane road with no shoulders, I have passed two factory-type buildings that are unidentifiable and have only a handful of workers visible.

And a field of many goats of all ages and varying shades of brown, black, and cocoa. They are all mostly very busy grazing grass and a few have tinkly bells.

I have walked the 4 kilometers to the turn off to the Poblado of Ceuta, the only other paved road I see.

A yellow school bus has stopped ahead of me and is backing up. I don’t know why we call them yellow when they are obviously orange.

The bus driver opens the door, asking me in Spanish of course if I am going to La Cruz, and welcoming me onto the bus. It is an empty bus.

I ask if he drives children to school and he tells me no, it is a company bus – a mega-farm granjero bus for the workers.

I express my dismay at the mega-farm, calling them ‘malo’, bad. He agrees with me but doesn’t understand when I try to tell him about the pesticides and workers I saw a ways back.

He asks me where in La Cruz do I want to go. I tell him a vegetable stand and internet. He frowns, trying to think. By this time, we have arrived in the city. I tell him ‘cerca’, as we have already come very far.

He goes ‘ah!’ and suddenly turns left and 1 block ahead of us is an internet and copy place. He tells me when I leave just to walk 2 blocks to the left, make a left turn and I think he said he’ll be there to take me back. I say yes, and thank him so much for his kindness.

I get on-line - $10 peso for an hour – using their computer with a little weird keyboard. I cannot post my blogs as my computer is back at the truck but there’s plenty of other things to do on-line.

After an hour, I walk another block deeper into town and find a store, buying an avocado, more chilies, tangerines, broccoli, and bananas – and hoping none of them come from the surrounding fields – for $28 pesos or a little more than $2.

When I head back toward Ceuta, I walk the way the bus driver has told me but after the first block, the paved road ends in that direction and the next block is a dirt road. I think I misunderstood, so I turn the one block up to the main street and keep walking.

I see at the next block that there is another bus for workers parked there. I walk down that dirt road but do not see my bus driver or his bus so I head back to Ceuta. I want to see if how far it is to walk anyway.

This time walking back – about 11 or 12 kilometers in all – I do not get a ride but I do see a mother chicken followed by about 6 little chicks, pecking along side of the road.

Many people stare at me walking but I just wave and keep walking. Police pass me a couple of times but no soldiers this time.

I also see horses tethered in the fields and the occasional vendedor with lawn ornaments, watermelons, or food.

But mostly mega-fields, tractors, and several various trucks carrying orange tanks of pesticides or fertilizers.

I come upon a field of vultures, circling overhead, perched in branches and on the fence, and hopping along the ground. They are quite stunning and I try to take pics with my cell phone, the only camera I have with me. I hope I can download them and post them.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so close to so many vultures before. At least not on foot – maybe in the truck. They are really amazing birds and I feel thrilled to see them.

I continue down the road to the beach, not running into Romeo again, but greeting several other farm workers and tractor drivers.

When I get back, I put the food away, change into my bathing suit and head to the beach to soak my feet in the cold salt water. I don’t want to get a blister. I guess I’ve walked about 8 miles or so.

It is much colder today but I can’t resist going in as far as my waist. But I spend more time lying on my towel than in the water, except to soak my feet.

If I go to La Cruz tomorrow, I will get out my bike and ride to town!

In your dreams…

I stretch on the brick red tile sidewalk this morning behind my truck where little sand lingers. It is my first time going thru my whole stretching routine since I’ve been on the road. It feels really good!

I run with the sun rise and take the little dirt road in addition to the brick sidewalk, to extend my run to 30 minutes. Then I hit the books and study my Spanish.

After a couple of hours, I decide to try to see if I can walk to La Cruz this morning. I’m told it is too far to walk but I’m a walker – minus those wonder socks tho – and I want some fresh fruit at least. I also want to check out the internet of course.

The road from the beach is lined on one side with fuckin mega-fields, including a mega-greenhouse. I believe the other crop growing is chilies but I’m still not sure.

As I pass, people work at a 45 degree angle to the ground, bent over genetically modified, pesticided and fertilize-ed to death.

The air smells chemical and soon I see men clothed in yellow rain coats and swirling dust move thru fields like an invasion in some sci-fi movie. As I get closer I can see they have some kind of mask on but plenty of skin is showing so it’s not a full-face mask.

I can’t tell if they have goggles on or not but I do see they carry a small pump and most likely fuel tank on their backs beneath two canisters of pesticides. The march swiftly, spaced a few feet from each other, thru the rows spraying and spraying as puffs of chemicals drift along with them.

I am only thankful I am staying on the ocean and the breeze is coming off the ocean and not from these fields.

A young man, maybe a teenager although he looks older, on a bike rides up next to me. He says something I don’t understand and we begin to talk. He has a long machete hanging off his belt that looks like part of him and not a threat, as it would in the states.

I ask him what the crop is that I can’t identify. He says something that I try to look up on my dictionary but can’t find. He thinks it’s funny that I have a dictionary.

He tells me La Cruz is far but I can walk there. I tell him he is smart to ride a bike, if he’s going there. He points to the fields and tells me he works there.

Then he points to a dirt road and asks me if I want to go fuck there. How I know he’s asking this is because he has put his thumb and third finger together on one hand making an O, and with the middle finger of his other hand, he jabs in and out of the O.

Laughing, I ask him if he is crazy. Then I tell him he is crazy, loco. He just smiles, resting on his bike, pointing again down the dirt road.

In english I say ‘in your dreams son’ and in Spanish I tell him I have grandchildren older then he is. I keep walking and don’t look back.

I should have said "Didn't I meet you 30 years ago in Baja? You haven't aged - or matured - a bit!"

I remember that little circle and third finger action from the boys and men in Baja California from many years ago. It’s as funny now as it was then.