|It is with great pleasure and pride that I pronounce myself back and stronger than ever. My delicate functions are running as smooth as one would hope. I've been resting and my meds are almost done, so i feel like a million wilder beasts. Thank you Cincinatti for your advice and to all of you for concern and well wishes. And to those of you that weren't concerned, a la chingada, putos!!!
The last three days I have been in La Patrona recuperating and reflecting on a few things. There are two vivid images that I have been unable to erase from my head: 1) the helplessness of the young Honduran girl Carolina 2) my vomit.
I shall start with the disgusting first.
Image 1: my puke- Here's the thing. It had been so long since I last puked that I almost forgot how horrible of an experience it is. There is nothing worse than vomit. I would rather eat raw bat wings than puke. Heck, I'd rather stick pins in my [insert body part of your choice](th) than throw up. And to make matters worse, of course you have to look at it! I mean, logistically, if you turn away, duh. Now, shortly before my regurgitation began i feasted on tacos al pastor. (Tacos al pastor are chili marinated pork cooked on a spit, similar to the Middle Eastern Shawarma or the Greek Gyro. The meat is placed into two, small corn tortillas and topped with onion, cilantro and piña. They are delectable and probably the most popular taco throughout most of Mexico.) With that said, I devoured 8 of them that evening. I am certain that it wasn't the tacos that poisoned me; however, bc I was forced to look at taco meat projectile out of my mouth for 12 hours, now, every time i see a taco stand, which is as ubiquitous as, let's say, seeing a fat person in the USA, I get a unsettled feeling in my tummy. It's been difficult bc I subsisted on tacos for the better part of 3 weeks. This too shall pass.
Now, onto the Young Hondu girl, Carolina. Let me preface this by saying that as an independent field agent, my role is to document what I see, not get involved in the issues. For many reasons, including but not limited to safety, it is in my best interest to remain an impartial observer. This may sound easy, but it is not...for me at least. When you are living side by side with Hondu, eating what he eats, experiencing what he experiences, and, on top of it all, you like him, it is impossible to avoid being emotionally connected to these people. You can't help but be moved by the circumstances in which he must endure and the risks he must take.
In the case of Carolina, I feel I inadvertently, and unintentionally, in a lapse of judgement left her in the hand of Sr. Bad Guy (Zetas), and now she is either enslaved into prostitution or, most likely, dead. I can't stop seeing her innocence and fragility. (is that a word?) For God's sake, this girl could be one of my students. This is the one time I truly regret not doing more to help her out her precarious situation. Since Tierra Blanca, I have had difficulty sleeping, replaying the episode over in my head time and time again. What could I have done differently? Why didn't I help her escape? I wish I would have handled the situation differently. Why wasn't I more careful, rather than thinking selfishly at the time? The thing is Carolina agreed to meet with me at each station and ultimately give me her story. I planned on making her journey to reunite with her mom, whom she hasn't seen in 10 years, the centerpiece of my research. When I last spoke with her on the tracks in Tierra Blanca, I strongly encouraged her to turn herself in to la Migra for safety reasons. However, once we began talking in front of Sr. Bad Guy, the spider web had been spun. It didn’t have to end this way.
**I apologize for getting a bit girly. It is not very manly of me. As a man I do my best to stay clear of my emotions.**