Saturday, December 30, 2006


Breakfast with beans. Today was a day off. We went to a Massacre site it was a 2 hour trip through the jungle. We drug the bottom of the bus along the step twisting roads drove through several rivers where we saw people washing clothes. Ox carts. We had to walk about a half mile up to the top of this mountain to the massacre sight where they are constructing a memorial. We heard several impassioned speeches in Spanish and learned about Oscar Romero who was the arch bishop of El Salvador but was assassinated in 1980. This started the civil war which lasted until 1992 and 70,000 people were killed. At the massacre site they talked about women, children and elderly being killed by the army. Some of them being thrown from helicopters. Oscar Romero was an advocate for the poor and was aligned with the rebels. It is believed the government was behind this assassination. All the people we were with were aligned with the rebels during the war. They are still pretty upset about things. My personal feeling is it might be time to let bygones be bygones. But then I didn’t loose anyone I loved in the war. It appears the economy is growing. The folks who had been here before said they see more cars each year they come. Anyway, we heard a lot about government atrocities. I understand that the rebels committed plenty of atrocities but we didn’t hear about these. Anyway when you realize that the army came to these villages and burned everything and killed whole families and you think about what it would be like if that happened to your family you realize that civil wars in third world countries aren’t just sound bites between commercials they are wars that crush the hopes and dreams of individual people. It makes you think. During the presentation at the top of the mountain in 90 degree sun one of our delegation passed out. On the way back to Berlin we passed a herd of cows and one fell into a culvert upside down and couldn’t get out. The guys all got out of the bus and helped wrestle it out a little bloody but none the worse for ware. We imagined the boy tending them going home. “What happened to the cow?” “The bus went by and it fell in the culvert. Then the bus stopped and all these gringos got out and helped get it out.” “Right.” We ate at a road side Tienda. It was good food. Once back we showered, ate, and went to the festival. I gambled again. I was actually ahead two bucks at one point. Then I lost. They crowned another queen. The queen rode around town on a float. Wall to wall people. They had a huge out door disco set up. Never heard music that loud before. We didn’t go in. Roosters, Fireworks, etc. Earplugs. Good.

No comments: