4-6 Nov, Meliquina and San Martin, Patagonia, Argentina
I have been here a few days in a remote area amongst pristine nature, lakes and Mountains. I´ve been sick so it is a great place for recovery. I´ve been making Maria, Yuan and his brother dinner each night to contribute as they are working very hard.
I am enjoying the quite and spent yesterday just sleeping. When Maria and Yuan got home we had dinner and they then said they were going to San Martin. I wanted to go to get some DVDs to back up my hard drive and to buy my ticket to Chile. They were great and said yes, we drove to their apartment in the town. I didn´t sleep well last night, too much thinking. Turns out Maria was not sleeping well either, so wasn´t alone there.
I got up and Maria was also sleeping in. I headed to the IT shop with a map. I met up with their friend who runs it. He advised me to use a pictures website to upload my pictures. So will give it a go. To my surprise he brings up the issue of 2012. Maria also brought this up with me the other night. She was half smiling. However, when she saw I believe 2012 is a catalyst year, she was listening. The guy in the shop said that many Americans are buying up land in Argentina, to get access to water. I wasn´t sure if he was connecting this to 2012, but he was clear that he also felt it was significant. He said there are light beings here, i had to have a double take on that. He also indicated comets flashing across the sky here. He said the place is protected. He also mentioned high levels of crytstals here. The 2012 prophesy is all around the world and known by a few. I only believe something will happen because I wrote about it in poetry. My poetry flows without thought, just a flow so when things come up about earth changes, i am interested. I do believe the world has to have some sort of event to wake people up. We are in a dream world without doubt, people just keeping on keeping on. The system is not a healthy or sustainable one and requires an overhaul. So time will tell who is right. I myself will be learning self sufficiency and I want to make my environmental focus part of my peace work of making peace with the planet and developing a deeper understanding and connection with nature, which is part of me.
It is inspiring to be a place like this with wind power generation going on outside. The windmill is only small but the wind is high so they are generating all their electricity here, this is what is running my computer right now. I love it as it is truly clean energy.
All the lights are power saving coils. They have a wood fire place and they have two way radio here. The phone is on satellite and so is the wifi that i am using now. Apparently there is a guy int he town of Meliquina who buys satellite time and sells it on to other users. Smart thinking. The marvels of technology. So even in the bush you are connected worldwide, that is the extraordinary phenomenon of the internet.
Looking around the house they have a wooden pantry which is built so that the majority of it is outside. This is a freezer box. They keep their milk (which is stored in plastic bags), eggs, cheese, butter etc. in this fridge. I was thinking of the old Coolgardie safe that was used in Australia for keeping things cool. I can´t recall how it was made but I recall thinking about it. So maybe I will check it out when I return.
They have water tanks but no solar panels. Apparently they are too expensive.
Life out here is not that cheap and there are taxes imposed even if you don´t use the infrastructure of the town. Local politics seems to happen everywhere. This area is under the provincial jurisdiction as they don´t have a local council. There is one in the town of San Martin and I am told they are very strict with building codes, signage and streets. It is a tourist town so they are ensuring everything is uniform. It is a delightful town and i keep having to remind myself I am in Argentina and not europe, as the architecture is so German (because it is).
They have a favourite drink here in Argentina which is called Mate. Can´t forget that. Everyone shares the tea which has caffeine, but not as strong as coffee. Apparently people drink it on the way to work, they share it around and the person who starts the circle is the one who replenishes the water. It is very communal.
The people here eat late, usually around 9.30 or later. In San Martin people are always out eating and socialising. Latin America is a very social place and the people treasure the social aspect of life. They have siesta´s during the day which typically can start at either 1.30 until 3.30 or 12.30 to 4.30pm. I think there is some variation depending on where you are. In Buenos Aires there is no siesta, but everywhere else it is observed. Maria and Yuan say that they will shut their handbag shop at midday and then go skiing and reopen around 4.30pm. They say people go jogging, or sleep or just do other activities during the day light. It seems like a good idea. I think of Australia and the fact people work 8.30pm to 6pm or longer. They sometimes skip lunch, so that your whole life is absorbed in work, no rest. I find that loco as they say here. This is why I chose an alternative life style. Money is not everything, living is more important. Given how quick it goes.
I am doing a lot of reflecting on my life, my past, my family and past friends that are no longer in my life. I have realised that whilst I am a kind person it has been hard to forgive the past. It is interesting when we get hurt by others we find it hard to let go of the negative feeling around it. When I really look at it, other people´s negativity or judgement is their issue not my own. I am sensitive and found it hard to forgive, but I am working on it. At the end of the day you can hold it or let it go. One just circles around the other means you can create new things in your life. I am going there. I don´t want to hold the past. I want to get on with an exciting future. When I talk to the people here and they tell me they are 28 and 30, I am surprised as they seem older and age doesn´t really feature in my life much. I then hear myself say I am 45 and their looks of shock as they say I look much younger. I do like that, hee hee. It must be the clowning I say that keeps me young. But I find myself no different to them, although when I think of my experiences in life, I feel I´ve lived for many lifetimes.
I haven´t seen much wildlife and that does bother me. I think to Australia and there is so much diversity there, we definitely take that for granted. We don´t realise how unique Australia is. I hope we continue to expand the national parks, the rest of the world as hunted out many animals or they have retreated into more isolated areas. I understand there is a woodpecker in this area. My environmental friend back in Bariloche would have loved to hear that. Apparently the dogs go mad as it pecks on the trees. They have sensitive ears, maybe it sounds like a jackhammer to them. The dogs are quite funny the way they howl. They started at around 1am and i had to laugh as they sounded like wolves, they were answering other dogs way off in the distance. It was almost a yodle. Very funny.
I had a bit of a chat about Argentina and Chile today with Maria. She says she believes that Chile is more advanced. Apparently it has closer ties to the US. She said Argentina´s president is closer to Chavez. I thought she would like Chavez but she doesn´t like the evil empire rhetoric regarding the US. Whilst she is not for the US and acknowledges much of the militarisation of Central and South America was due to the US influence. She is interested in more moderate politicians. We discussed how politics is the same everywhere, where the truth is not told and they communicate what they want people to know. She pointed out you hear a different story when you travel, therefore the news is censored. The media in Australia has its bias and newspapers are owned by media moguls who have either left, centre, or right politics. They are very involved in influencing opinion and power. So not a reflection of the public more of certain interests.
I have heard of the school of the America´s which was the US training of Central and South American soldiers and we talked about the disappearances here in Argentina. Apparently 30,000 people were disappeared, this is in the 1970´s. She said that activists were picked up and young people, anyone that said anything or had a telephone number of someone else, would be picked up without question. This is terrorising. So many innocent people were killed during this time and freedom of speech silenced. Apparently in jails women gave birth and their children were given to military, intelligence officers and so on. I´ve heard this as well and think I saw it on a documentary once. The mothers were killed. It is hard to understand the brutality. I just can´t connect to it but it makes me think of the military and how they train soldiers, the dehumanisation of people, I find disturbing and runs counter to the principle of democracy. These activities were supported by democracies. I find this incredible and revealing of a facade to freedom. The extension of power to protect the few and the notion of democracy which is representation of the people by the people is an oxymoron, almost mirror opposites. Yet it is a tension that raises questions and choices in the world today. Which one wins. Reminds me of the story we use in conflict resolution of the grandparent with two wolves inside him. He said one is aggressive, mean and cruel, the other kind and loving. He asks the grandchild, which one will win, the child doesn´t know. He says the one I feed. So when we feed corruption it wins, when we feed power, it wins, when we feed democracy and equality, we all win.
Yet in reality it is a game that does not need to be win-lose it can be win-win when we decide we are all in this together. The environmental dilemma we all face is such a test of vested interests versus collective survival. The latter is sustainable the former is not. So we are at a deciding point in these next few years. Which voices do we feed or give volume to. I know where I cast my vote.
Anyway, we live in a world that has a tubulent history. Perhaps the future can be different, when we choose it.