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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

Sunday, December 12, 2010

AromaBuenCafe, San Ignacio

I walk into this pretty, very modern café (with a fabulous bathroom) that rivals Star Bucks for sure! Two beautiful womyn are behind the counter, smiling and greeting me.

We speak spanish – or rather they speak spanish and I speak the best I can. I tell them how happy I am to find them, and yes they have wireless! It’s unbelievable!

We have the usual introductory conversation that I can handle. Where I’m from, how long I’ve been on the road, where I’ve been to – and am I traveling sola? We talk about war and the u.s., violence and the u.s., organic seeds.

They ask about my hair, the paintings on the truck, the seeds I’m passing out.

Lupita is from Chiapas; her co-worker Rosa is from Vera Cruz. I ask them why they are here in San Ignacio. I think they tell me because of their esposo’s, who are in the military. I change the subject.

I find out they are closing in an hour so I rush back to the truck to get my computer. When I return, we can’t stop talking.

Lupita and I start writing on the computer, trying to figure out the translations. If the english translation is as bad as the spanish, we’re probably far from understanding each other.

They want me to park overnite up the hill in front of the military station. I tell them I fear boys with guns. They laugh and say I shouldn’t be afraid.

Lupita tells me she will call her husband. He IS military. Oh fabulous. But he’s a dentist, thank the goddesses, so when he comes in it is sin weapons.

They turn out to be a sweet, amazingly affectionate, respectful, loving couple who seem to like each other even. She tells me he is the owner of the café, and she works there. She asks me about the university have I gone to. I ask her if she’s gone to the university. She says no and I ask if she wants to go.

Ciro answers for her, no way will he let her go, as she agrees, shakes her head and points to him. He asks me do I know how many children they have at home? It turns out three: 10, 8, and 6 – a girl and 2 boys.

He tells me he is 17 years older than Lupita – he’s 52. She smiles and nods and says she’s 35. He takes over the typing as we delve deeper into who we are. 

I tell him in the u.s. they would call him a "cradle robber". They laugh and she says, yes they would call him that too, here in Mexico.

She leans against him comfortably, he looks her in the eye as they figure out words to use without the ñ, missing on my computer, questions to ask, responses.

Their happiness is obvious, as is their working relationship. He takes over the computer as she slips back behind the counter.

I ask if their coffee is organic. He writes that the people aren’t educated about organic coffee and they don’t know any better. I tell him, but he knows better, and he does. His wife is from the state that is growing coffee organically.

I ask about his military career and he asks about my anti-war work. He quotes fuckin George Lakoff and tells me “work for peace not work against war”. And when I say I do both, he elaborates: work for peace is positive, work against war is negative. Grrrrrr

He asks me if I’m catholic or protestant. I said neither: I’m jewish, but not religious just spiritual. He nods knowingly and types “you were born Jewish but you don’t practice now”. I tell him about the last christian I met who tried to convert me. He laughs and reassures me I’m okay in his book.

They tell me they are closing the café but that they will leave the internet on if I want to park the truck out front and continue to use it!

They are re-opening at 5pm. I’m so happy, I move the truck closer and sit outside, posting to ebay all afternoon until they re-open. Then I sit inside posting until they close. I spend the night outside their café, which unfortunately is closed Mondays!

war and christmas

Mountains and San Ignacio

I’m here! In the amazing mountains of the west coast, at San Ignacio. And I’ve found an internet café!!!

First let me tell you, the free 15, from Culiacan to Mazatlan, is a great road. I’m bummed  now that I didn’t take this road to La Cruz and then Ceuta last week.

It is beautiful, gracefully curving through the mountains, some wooded, some open plains. There are no huge pot holes, no hard curves or mountain passes, no overly distressed pavement. And hardly any traffic on this Sunday morning.

And NO TOPES!!!! Thank the goddesses!

No police, military, federales visible to me at least. Small ‘towns’, one or two businesses here and there. Just a beautiful path through thick vegetations, amazing cactus growing in between brush and trees.

Leaving 15 to head east into the mountains, the road again was near perfect, better then my expectations for a country mountain road.

It has been recently resurfaced in most places. And the short stretches that haven’t been resurfaced are okay also. I drove in Mexico years ago and there were some really, really bad roads back then.

But all the roads I’ve been on, even the dirt roads, have been more than passable. The only challenging thing is the lack of a shoulder, which just means you have to be on higher alert for both on-coming traffic and those bus drivers that want to pass you.

When I see an on-coming vehicle, I drive with my wheels on the middle line until they are close – to ensure they move over to their side of the road. I don’t recommend it for everyone, but I have a big truck. People tend to give me a lot of space anyway.

The road to San Ignacio is also not difficult. There are more curves and it is a smaller road, but it smoothly slips through the country side.

There are a couple of small towns with many topes as you pass thru the town!!! So watch out! There is evidence of more people living there then are visible as there are gates, fences, and sudden dirt roads appearing on either side of the paved road.

I look for evidence of violence and I see none. I peer at the few people I pass and to me, they look like they are passing thru their normal lives: watering their gardens, setting up their wares, riding horses, burning fires, cooking things that smell REALLY good!

And I wonder if violence has touched their lives recently. Certainly the rumors of violence have.

I see an owl sitting on a telephone wire; and a charcoal blue bird with the longest tail, maybe longer than her body even!

I see chickens, horses, goats, and cows. I see small farmers raising reasonable amounts of food in the sunny places in between the trees and hills.

Everything seems so peaceful, green, rich brown, and idyllic.

Finally I reach San Ignacio. There is a huge doorway over the road, welcoming me to San Ignacio. And a tall bridge over the river. The town is high above, or the river is far below the town. And even this river in the mountains seems drained. Evidence of a former much bigger river is prominent.

After crossing the bridge, the town begins with a hotel, and a truck of soldiers sitting there. I pass them and take the first right curve that appears to be the main road through the main part of town.

The road is narrow, bumpy, topes-filled, high sidewalks line either side with wall-to-wall homes and businesses. People are out and about, walking around on this sunny Sunday morning.

I drive as far as I can and then find the road back, to return to the first plaza I passed. I count three plazas in this town. I park next to the plaza, eat my rice and sweet potatoes, papaya, as I am starved.

I walk around town, shyly greeting people, looking for the hieroglyphics I read were here. I head back and walk over the bridge now that I drove over coming into town. I’m trying to see a solitary place to park by the river.  And a way to get down there. It is very far down.

I see boys easily leading horses across the river. It is wide, running at a good clip, very clear, but the water never reaches their knees. I see a road down to the river from the town so I go back and walk down to the river. There is lots of small rocks, most likely wider than the river herself.

I walk along the road until it ends, pass a couple of dump sites – where it looks like people have tossed garbage off the top of the cliff and it has tumbled down the steep slope to the bottom. The road never gets close to the river or to the edge of the cliff where trees are growing.

Not a potential parking spot. I return to the truck and decide to see if there’s wireless in this town. I didn’t see a ciber business.

Now I see there are 3 or 4 secured wireless locations. One says “aromabuencafe” – sounds like coffee to me! I’m pleasantly surprised.

I ask the womon who is setting up a cooking station, tables and chairs on the sidewalk surrounding the plaza. She is about to make food for sale. She points me in one direction, a block away.

I see a little café that is not aromabuen but the womyn there direct me two more blocks away! And there it is! Yeah!