I just returned from the Zoo…not something I enjoy so much because the animals all look so very sad to me…but it was a group field trip for about 150 kids. I feel sooo grimy and dusty in almost every place imaginable… The kids had a good time, though. Nearly everything we saw was paired with a kid asking…Y como se dice….en inglés? And how do you say…in English? All of the animals. One of my favorites to say in Spanish is hipopótamo just because it feels so bubbly in my mouth and sounds fun, too.
One of the tricky things is wondering how to reconcile the presence of a fairly decent zoo in the midst of SUCH poverty. One of the mothers who was with my group mentioned how incredibly expensive a ride on the train that takes you all around is. It is the equivelent of a dollar. Many of the people in this colonia are not on a sewer or water system of any kind, but the bathrooms at the zoo were spotless. Probably so as to not offend those who come from the first world face of Leon and not the third world face.
I went up to the roof again this morning after waking up thinking about chess and a conversation I was a part of the other day with a Brazilian who described her understanding of the word ¨conquer.¨ For her, ¨conquer¨ has no connection to power but instead has a relational meaning…a circling, a drawing in, a seduction, until both are assumed into the other. This was in relation to a question in a movie we saw the other night–is it better to satisfy a thousand desires or conquer only one? Satisfy goes only one way whereas conquer goes both ways, for her. It is a lovely understanding, I must confess. And chess seems a great sort of metaphor for it. My subconscious must have thought so too.
On the roof with a cup of coffee, I turned to look again at the surrounding hills and noticed a completely white rabbit hopping across the neighbor´s roof. Between that and the chess\conquer thoughts so early in the morning, it felt like beginning the day in the midst of magic realism. A little different, but not all together unpleasant.