Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A brief interlude...

The cool air is beginning to bite and the leaves have nearly all died; it was definitely the right time to come back to Canada, and now its definitely the right time to leave again. Winter in my homeland has its appeal I suppose, but it just can't compare to walking around with no shirt on, surfing perfect waves in the land of revolutions. I arrived home as the last few weeks of summer changed into fall; it was nice to be a part of a clearly defined change of season. I was able to swim in a beautiful freshwater lake, and lie in the green grass. I was able to really enjoy the cleanliness and purity of the outdoors which is so often lacking in Latin America where pollution predominates. It was refreshing to be in such a familiar place and to give my senses a much needed break, and it was comforting to reconnect with so many old friends, but I've got to keep moving, that's the life I've chosen.
I'm not sure what I got out of coming home for six weeks, perhaps it was just something I needed to do in order to reaffirm my goals and desires, and if that is the case then this brief interlude was a success indeed. Going home helped me really realize how important it is for people from our end of the world to move around and experience the world. Not only for the betterment of those particular individuals who travel, but if done right, for the betterment of the world. Canadians are generally great people who are compassionate, kind, and giving, and going home really reinforced that for me. Perhaps it was something that I took for granted throughout my life. However, I still couldn't help but notice the insulated life that so many people still live in the North. There is only so much we can do from our comfortable abodes, and there is even less we can do when we are either uninformed or misinformed about the happenings of the world. Upon my return I became acutely aware of the lack of information, or more likely, the filtered information, that Canadians receive regarding the world. For example, I'm sure that almost everybody has heard about the political problems and the Coup D'etat that has happened recently in Honduras. While I'm also sure that very few people have heard about the human rights workers that were killed at the end of September in Guatemala by security forces hired by a Canadian mining company. Everyday Canadians hear about the "dictatorship" of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and about his various human rights violations or his suppression of the media. Few people have heard about the drastic measures that Chavez has taken to eliminate poverty and inequality, to provide health care and education, and to make his country more democratic. In general, people have very little idea of what is actually going on in Latin America, or in the global South for that matter, unless it is deemed as newsworthy. In fact, one of the main reasons I decided to come back to this part of the world is because I believe that something is happening here that is profound and unprecedented, that is becoming a beacon of hope for those less advantaged all over the world, and it is something I want to support and be a part of. In Latin America, after decades of oppression and inequality, movements of the left - of the people - are on the rise and are here to stay. I'm not talking about armed guerrillas or authoritarian communists, I'm talking about democratic movements that have finally grown strong enough to counter the forces of the rich and elite. It will surely still be a struggle, one that needs all the support it can get, and I believe that we in the rich world need to provide that support. Let us not be mistaken though, what is happening in Latin America right now may eventually fundamentally change the way this world currently functions. I know that sounds radical and probably invokes fear in the North, but the fact of the matter is that no person in this resource-rich, technologically advanced world should be living in destitution, and we must do what it takes to change that. No longer can we hide in the comfort of our northern bastions, we are all in this together.
Thus, I've taken off again with a renewed sense of purpose, with the hope of providing much needed information and updates on the progression in Latin America to those willing to read about them, and to continue with my tradition of seeking out new experiences and people.
I've arrived in Costa Rica to spend a couple of weeks with my brother, cousin, and some friends. Hopefully they take a bit of worldliness back home with them, and in turn inspire others to get out and see the world for themselves. I'm going to take them surfing, and after they leave, I'll continue riding my wave to wherever it may take me....

1 comment:

Tristan said...

great to have your voice back on the screen. Jenn and I are just now starting to enjoy the apartment. They redid a lot of the kitchen (floor, counter, new fridge, caulking) and an awesome painter came in to prime and paint the place with colours of our choosing. Jenn is happier, I think, and I'm happier. I feel pretty poor up here in the rich North. You know we're kept down up here too. We don't have all the ease our iconic culture tells everyone (including us) we possess. Ah well. If you are politically minded down there, read the Iroquois Constitution, or the Great Law of Peace -->http://tuscaroras.com/pages/history/iroquois_constitution_1.html
it might seem strange to read it, but take into account it was passed down orally for centuries and contains icons of a different culture from a different time. The organizing of the Iroquois confederacy was a huge deal, and one that the Americans borrowed from heavily when writing their own constitution (which failed).