Friday at las glorias afternoon
I walk through the entire little village of Las Glorias today – actually it is the little village of “Boca del Rio”, mouth of the river.
I go down every dirt road I see that looks like a street. I stop and talk with Lala, a womon who is a friend of Elsa’s, who knows who I am. She has a very large restaurant, with lots of red plastic arm chairs hanging around white plastic round tables.
She has been born and raised here, and her mother began this restaurant many years ago. Lala appears to be in her early 60’s, but who can tell? There are two large fire pits where she tells me she cooks muchas muchas pescado – fish.
A younger womon appears with a large fish and begins cleaning it on the cement slab next to one of the fire pits. A well-mannered young cat waits patiently, curling around her feet, for what she knows will come to her eventually.
This womon smiles at me, tells me she’s Lala’s daughter-in-law, I think, and then asks if I’m the sola mujer on the beach with the truck.
I continue my exploration of this little town. Houses are spread apart, some much more affluent-appearing than others, some with wire fences around them, most with vegetation of some sort, trees or cactus or palms.
Womyn are sweeping, sweeping, sweeping and hanging up clothes, or chopping something in their outdoor kitchens, saying “buenas dias/tardes” as my walk extends into the afternoon.
I see lots of chickens, some goats, donkeys, a few dogs, and even a little pig. And at the edge of the village I see the preggers horse that Ulysses road up to my door the other night, tethered in a ‘field’, eating away.
On the river side of the village, the banks are crowded with boats and fishermen, restaurants and some new housing going up. Womyn are absent here, except in the restaurants.
Suddenly I see two women in new blue/green outfits that look like official suits of some sort. One is carrying a clipboard that has a diagram of each house and street of the village. The other is carrying a small cooler.
I think they must be nuns, wearing a new ‘moderne’ habit.
They do not respond to my greeting, appearing much to busy with important work. Later I see them outside a home where two womyn are standing with 4 or 5 young children in their arms or leaning against their skirts.
Now I see one of the womyn pull out a syringe and snap off the end. I want to run and grab the children and race into the river with them. Visions of men with syphilis, womyn sterile, children with aids – under the guise of the red cross maybe – headlines full of apologies decades later as the u.s. admits to experimenting on black and brown people around the world, let alone in the u.s.
I want to demand what are they putting into these toddlers’ bodies? Mercury at the least – oh they don’t do that anymore, except what about all the meds, outdated, expired, forbidden in the u.s. that are dumped in countries as Mexico.
Afterall, we can’t expect drug companies to suffer just because the market is glutted with such medicines.
I hurry away, visioning instead polio shots or typhoid/malaria prevention, or something that will make these children’s lives better, not worse.
I will have to ask Elsa tonite.
I HAVE to learn to speak Spanish. HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO