Posts tagged “south america

Hells Are Our Creations

Posted on 26 May 2014

I could hardly breathe. Sweat poured off my face as I bent and clutched a handkerchief to my mouth, attempting to suck some oxygen through the fabric. Only sometimes did I dare lift the cloth away from my mouth, desperate for a fuller breath; I was reluctant for the air was poisonously dusty. I gasped and gasped, unable to tell whether the primary reason for my struggle was a true lack of oxygen or panic. Cerro de Potosí, commonly known as Cerro Rico (“rich mountain”), and also, dreadfully and honestly, as the Mountain that Eats Men, looms over the city of Potosí. For centuries, the Spanish Empire was bankrolled by silver from this mountain. In the seventeenth century, Potosí was one of the largest and…

Un Día en Bolivia III

Posted on 6 April 2014

“Spring is coming!” proclaims much of the United States. But let’s talk about another seasonal shift. December. Bolivia. Rainy season is truly arriving. And it is making itself known, bit by bit, on the world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni. You see, look ahead. It’s rainy season here. Water covers the earth. But look behind; it’s still dry. For a short time, rainy season and dry season will exist simultaneously. Gradually, rain will encroach upon the dry, patch by patch, until April, when the roles reverse. For a moment, though, there are two worlds right beside each other, intermingling. Where else?

We Live on the Same Earth

Posted on 21 September 2013

The cold had entered my bones. The heavy mist swirled in the nearby sky above us as we overlooked the village of Cancha Cancha from our vantage point at the foot of the ascent to Pachacutec Pass. Rocks rose from the ground; smoke rose from the rocks. We approached the smattering of houses and began chatting with a young boy who spoke Spanish, though it was like mine, somewhat grammatically amiss. He sold us some straw and came to help us start a much-needed fire. It was more fumes than warmth, but we huddled close. Darkness descended—utter darkness. We were in the middle of the Andes. No electricity, no roads, so no light. Low lying clouds rolled over our tents and the village below.…