Friday, January 14, 2011

Living Poor by Moritz Thomsen, Page 107

At darkness the banana buyer, impatient with our slow progress and made generous by the aguardiente, hired two kids who were sitting on the bank to help us pole. It started to rain lightly. The feeling of living in the 1830's grew. We were poling our way through the outpost country, a country of lonely, isolated farms, of messages that never arrive or arrive too late, of sudden sickness and inexplicable fevers and death, of snakes and bugs and downpours of rain, of loneliness, of women living and working alone all day in hacked-out jungle clearings, hauling water in gourds, pounding clothes on rocks, caring for sickly children, worrying. It was a country of distances, separations, longing, of deferred dreams, of small reward; of muddy trails, stumbling horses, plants, that grow two feet a day and choke the crops, armies of ants, blood-sucking lice on the bodies and in the eyes of the livestock. It is heroic country, to.

But when you ask yourself why anyone would live here, completely cut off from the world of comfort and security, there is no easy answer. Perhaps it is man's deepest wish to struggle against great odds, or perhaps the answer lies in that little band of grandchildren swarming around Don Julio. Maybe it is all for them.

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