Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Birthday week

I really love to go grocery shopping in Puerto Plata. This is  the kind of thing I used to take for granted and now it seems somehow wrong, but good, like a drug.
Fresh from the pool.
Grandma Donna with one of her biggest fans, looking up for the camera.
The view from "Gringo Hill."
Beach grapes and limoncillos in La Isabela, a city founded by Columbus. His little house was right next to the cemetery.
Five hundred years ago Columbus's ships anchored here. "Dèye mon, gèn mon," a Haitian proverb says. "Behind the mountains are more mountains." The mountains beyond are Haiti--our first glimpse of that legendary place.
Tallulah turns five and prepares to go horseback riding with friends. (Somehow we didn't get any pictures of that part.)
Elvis--taxi driver, aspiring English speaker, ertswhile student of natural medicine. He drove us wherever we wanted to go in his blue Toyota, "Cristo Da Vida" emblazoned across the windshield. 
It is Grandma Donna's birthday.
Happy birthday!
Tallulah's first ballet class, with her friend Calliope. I think this is some sort of rite of passage. Anyway, she loved it.

Peras perujanas


Peruvian pears. They don't last, they must be eaten. They are either the quintessence of pear (like silk, like butter), or too much pear. Eating locally is not a thing we can choose to do. It is what we have to do. Whether we like it or not. Sometimes I think about how much we travel and what that means. Sometimes I think about how much we are products of our early environment, our culture of origin, which seems to whisper that the world should come to us. The remembered delights of what people call the first world are thrown into relief--they seem baroque, impossible, almost terrifying. The lived sensations of here are (literally) a cellular reeducation. I've noticed that there's a moment when you're learning a new language when that language seems cacophonous, dissonant--and that that is a tipping point before your brain expands, shivering and sliding into a new world. I eat the pears standing up, over the sink.