Thursday, May 20, 2010

Green Guernica

We’ve started having to think in terms of: what do we need to do before we leave Trinidad? It’s heartbreaking.
One thing on our list (well, my list, as Aaron abhors procrastination to such an extent that he sees list-making as part of the problem) was to see the North Coast again. We’ve done this hike a few times, but the landscape is so unique that it’s worth multiple visits. The route we were taking this time (again with the uber-competitive hiking group) started in Guanapo, home of the Prime Minister’s controversial church, toured the small village of Brasso Secco, dropped down to the secluded beaches of Paria, and ended in Blanchisuessue and its welcoming orange bridge.
We’d been talking about this being a training hike for the adventure races we are doing in about a month. However, we soon realized that “training hike” to me meant hiking the 20 miles and to Aaron it meant running the 20 miles. After some huffing and puffing and compromising, I found some folks going my pace and Aaron took off and finished first! Although debate’s still up if coming in first truly champions getting to enjoy the assorted mango sampler along the way (eating a dozen back to back, warm from the sun, makes it easy to distinguish the nuances of varieties—I'd never believed in the spicy mango before, but it's true!).
While walking for eight hours, I became aware of my love of the jungle—the wild of it, the thickness of it, the vastness of it. The artistry of smooth here and prickly there and the way my neck has to tilt as far as it can for me to see an end in any direction.
The flashes of the pink haleconia are spectacular, and I have many a photograph to prove my devotion, but when we're gone, what my heart will miss most is being overwhelmed by green. That’s about when I realized I have a nasty habit of documenting solely the unique, and as a result, I have little to no documentation, in words or pictures, of the daily pieces of our lives here. And that’s when I started photographing heart-first instead of eyes-first.
These last few weeks, I’m going to focus on photographing and writing more about our present normalcy. The once in a lifetime experiences, the pink haleconias, we’ve had have been outstanding. But the daily elements, the green Guernica, are what we’ve built our lives upon here.

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