Attempting an Explanation

Well, as is the case at certain times in life, we find ourselves in wholly unpredictable and foreign environments. We move, we get new jobs, we're the new kid, we stick out, we don't speak the language of the locals, etc. And so the task of simply "getting" the new environment is hard. And tricky. It's new and exotic and exciting for sure. But tricky.

And so it is that on my third day here in Costa Rica and La Carpio, there are a multitude of observatory impulses reaching my brain, but only enough brain power to comprehend a fraction. The other impulses are getting stored in my "for later" compartment, alongside Algebra and the Absolute Zero Theory. But hopefully I'll revisit the fresh thoughts more than I have the others. I'm only one man, people...

But I'll say that I don't know where to start in describing this place and people. A good way maybe is to think about how you grew up and how that led to where you are now.
What did you do as a kid? Who were your friends? What did you do on Sunday afternoons and on weeknights? What type of house did you live in? In what country(ies) did you live? What did you eat? What kind of clothes did you wear? How did people treat you considering your ethnicity?

These life experiences in our formative years invariably led to where we are now. We are, largely, a product of our direct environment.

So, with this in mind, consider what your life would be like as a child in La Carpio:

You are Nicaraguan, but you live in Costa Rica so your parents can get more work. You are discriminated against because of your ethnicity. Some worse than others. You and your siblings live in a 300-500 sq. ft. home that might have a concrete floor, or not. Your street outside is probably dirt and mud. There are 50 mutts in the immediate area. But they don't bother anyone really.

You probably go to school for a few hours a day, and your education stops in your earlier teens. You probably have enough to eat, and you love to play outside with your friends, siblings, cousins and random gringos from Oklahoma and Texas. You probably have at least a few cavities and you might be missing some teeth. You LOVE soccer and play it whenever you can. You might be hooked on crack or other fantastically addictive substances. You rarely travel outside your neighborhood, or even your block if you're in a gang.

If you are in a gang, your life is largely unsafe and getting stabbed or shot isn't uncommon for your demographic. You love traveling outside of the neighborhood in a gringo's van. You like rough-housing with your friends. Your days are spent traipsing the block and having a laugh wherever you can. Your life is comparatively less busy than other Western kids', but you probably have a real passion for life and a wonderful ability to live in the present moment that surpasses those of the gringo kids.

You are a kid and you live in La Carpio.

So, perhaps this helps. I'll get more specific later on. Tomorrow I'm going to watch my first match played by the smaller kids' soccer team that we sponsor. I'm thinking action pics. Stay tuned.

around La Carpio:


4 Responses to 'Attempting an Explanation'

  • Schupack said...'> 4:15 PM

    the second-to-last pic could be of central asia. weird.

  • Daughter of Eve said...'> 2:54 PM

    Many posts
    Much prose
    No poetry

    Don't explain, feel.

    Holding my breath.

    By the way the underwear post was over the top (or below the belt). I added a label: Things I don't want to know about you

  • Aaron Stuart said...'> 2:00 PM

    I miss you Daughter of Eve!!!!

    Abby--and the Moonshine in the Fridge.

  • Aaron Stuart said...'> 2:02 PM

    Just took "Costa Rican slum" off the list of vacation spots.

    why are people in gangs?

    clearly not a good plan.

    just don't get shot, man.