Monday, November 15, 2010


weight log: 219lb (so technically Mexico left a little extra around the waste line)

Hitting the books hard now – this is tough sledding.

This last week was good and hard at the same time – I will no doubt blog more of this in the next few days as I squirrel my way out of this pile of work. Save to say that when certain sociological theorists write about hauntings – I think I may indeed be catching a sliver of what that feels like…

I could not have had a more exquisite time with my wife of 20 years. This really was all that we had hoped for to celebrate our love together and it made us even more excited about the trip to Nicaragua that we are planning for next year. We can’t wait to be able to take our boys with us to explore this beautiful part of the world.

I can’t sign off tonight without a brief comment about the accident which claimed the lives of 7 people on the morning of the day that we left the Mayan Riviera. 5 of these were Canadians. A quick glance through any Canadian press agency will tell you of the tragedy that this became for the Canadians involved. We know that they were a part of a wedding, that a little boy was one of the victims and so on. Now I mean no disrespect to the families of this individuals’ families and friends. Their loss is no doubt immense.

What I can’t get out of my mind is that we know very little about who the Mexican men were. The Canadian press told nothing other than their nationality but even after scouring the Mexican papers there is precious little that we know about these two. Their names and the age of one of the men was confirmed but nothing else. What bothers me is that the details of the lives of the Canadians seemed important and framed the situation as tragic and worthy of deep sympathy. Clearly, the loss of the Mexican lives is no less tragic but because we have no details there is no way to know who was left behind. In a place where scrapping by is the way life is – someone is now wondering were their next meal is coming from or worse. By not talking about the details of their lives we have left them in a certain kind of invisible state. (not that unlike the state of being that Ralph Ellison describes in Invisible Man) I am trying not to be bitter against our Canadian-centric digestion of this story but it is really hard for me. The tragedy is a glaring confusion of positions. A group of Canadians upwardly mobile enough to afford to get married in a far away place – with all expenses paid, etc, etc, – have their lives cut short in an accident in that place. Their choices put them in a place that was to cause their demise and great sorrow for their families. The Mexican men were in a much different place. They too made the choice to be there but their choices most likely revolved around a complex set of negotiations between kin and friends to stave off the edges of poverty in this place. mexico 078They were likely some of the more ‘fortunate ones’ who like the young man who drove us to the airport that day reported that he made 1300 pesos a month and his wife made 450. He put in 12 hours a day and together they supported his mom and aunt and grandfather and their little boy. What if he had been the one who had died? Now the tragedy seems to be cast in a different light but because of our position we have no contact with the reality of these two individuals situation. And unfortunately it seems we can far too easily forget them.

forgetting is such an important part of how we validate our own importance…

On a much lighter note – here is one thing I will not forget soon. The look of my boys in their newly acquired wrestling masks. Boys I can’t wait to let you taste this place that haunts me still.

Oh and I would be completely remiss to publically thank Char’s mom for watching our boys for the week. They were spoiled to bits.   

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