Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Outside my car window

My first long drive across town since recently returning from my month long visit to the states happened last Saturday afternoon.  We were on our way to the Hope House home for at risk children.  Normally it takes about 45 minutes to get there.  Last Saturday we were in stop and go (mostly stop) traffic for over three hours.  We never made it to HH as we ran out of time and had to divert and head back another direction.

It seemed as if we were driving through a war zone as there was rubble on either side of the road.  Broken homes and shops littered the busy street side.  People were walking through the chaos going about life as if it were all normal.  We watched in amazement as a bull dozer smashed through flimsy shacks with crowds of people close by being held back by armed policeman carrying menacing weapons as they walked alongside the dozer.

The road is being widened hence the destruction.  There are buildings lining the road with crudely spray painted X's.  The mark is rudely splayed out against house and shop.  During a particularly slow crawl we watched a family just ahead of the dozer filing out of their shack.  In the midst of the family a woman rocked back and forth and wept without sound (as we were too far to hear).  Her body language screaming out the grief of leaving.  Stacked furniture could be seen among the rubble.  Couches and chairs, tables and pillows were among broken cinderblocks and roofing materials.  Children played in pockets of cratered roadside pools streaming from broken water lines along the way.

Looking outside my car window just days before while in Pennsylvania, I marveled at the glorious explosion of autumn colors covering the rolling amber and green forested hills.  The frequent roadside billboards pointed out the way to Starbucks and McDonalds.   Subdivisions of lovely homes and shops were just an exit away.

The change outside my car window has been a bit disorienting.

1 comment:

Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this I would ask you one small favour:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Gabon? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Gabon in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and a original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Calle Valencia, 39 Bajo C
28903 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com, where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely