Monday, November 23, 2009

making art and science

i can't help but to aspire to be a voice behind the pages that people can relate to and connect with no matter how hard i try to just capture these people like a fly captures people when it sits at their tables or on their walls. i love films and books in which i connect as much with the voice of the author as i do the characters...or maybe it's really just the opposite: a desire to learn from people different from myself; to see the world with their eyes. and now, as we go on, this week seems to be filled with meeting people at their houses...and with attempts at understanding who they are as members of the community, small parts of a larger collective (hopefully sometime before the arribada de las tortugas). we spoke at their town meeting saturday briefly and then listened as a hundred or so passionate voices proclaimed their legitimate fears of displacement from this community as the government has a pending law that some feel may clear the way for larger developments. a strange paradox of protection. i don't know where i stand yet on turtle eggs, but i foresee such sad faces if this becomes actuality. i have already seen some of the coldest faces, dark with hunger, in my life...and therefore, it seems that apathy is not a choice, that is their duty to live loudly. and despite the complications, i can't help but feel the lack of affectation in their desire and needs when they speak so passionately and ardently. i don't think it is my responsibility to change anyone or anything, and i'm not trying to make a political statement or take a stance, but to remain silent would be condoning these acts, even if you are not sure how to go about helping the situation. indifference may be hurting the turtles and the people more than any individual or fishing company. so i figure the least i can do is have their voices be heard, even if there is nothing i can do to directly help the community other than leave a small donation and a few skateboards. essentially, tourists and turtles have a virtually identical impact on the community of ostional: they arrive out of the blue, bestow untold riches upon the town, and then return to their glorious lives in other parts of the world…thereby leaving the people of ostional no choice but to wishfully burn the days until their beneficiaries return.

but by nightfall, the conflict breaks down into little villages of turtles, with their groups of nests lying still in the small shadows of a quarter moon. turtles gather in larger numbers as the arribada approaches. and then the arribada, retracing the paths of other animals now extinct, begins with the groupings of turtles by daylight: mere coincidence, or a sense of history? hopefully they don't know it too well or else they might nestle solely by nightfall again, but this time all at once and continually throughout the month, recognizing posterity. ahh, if only we all spoke the same language.

on a side note, another ICADS volunteer came to continue the work with the library. we are setting up a reading program at the school, since it is a neutral building which will hopefully encourage kids to come. the government building (MINAE) has always discouraged families to support the library and in part, i can't help but to support that...or at least understand it. this place is like a memory box: people can't let go of anything once felt. and aside from the project, i'm just happy that what i wrote about Ostional four years go is actually inspiring people to go to ostional and continue the project. they need some permanence, but in the meantime a volunteer every semester seems to be enough, in terms of the meaning for the spanish word: enough. both the park ranger and head researcher agreed that it was a great idea that the MINAE donation we brought went to new books for the library. a new skateboard from element as a reward will only help the cause. but it's not the intention.

crew has returned.

another week...

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