21 May 2006

lost in jacaland

[ camera broke today. no pictures ]
may 21


nine twenty four on five twentyone from the kannavu school office. they have no problem handing me the key even though everyone is asleep and everything of value -- computer, money, phone -- is in this cubicle. which is to say, nothing that is Really valued here.

being in this place, this community, this community-as-part-of-a-timespace, i take on the role of the capitalist, the imperialist, the stodge, the square. hilarious and disorienting a la vez -- it's ank asking "what are you people going to do with your lives?" and thinking about the importance of money, proper diction, formal education, etc. it's ank whose first tired of dancing and doesn't know any of the songs. it's ank who doesn't have a clue of the language beyond elementary numbers and fruits.

we came here with this idea of building a house in the shape of a mango. we picked seven live arecanut (betelnut, sopari) trees -- tall palms a thigh's width in diameter -- to be our pillars and designed a series of trellaces (supports, crossbeams, buttresses, struts, rafters? i have no idea what to call these things) around them, so as neither to harm nor to kill the trees, and instead use their strength to hold Us up. we even started building the damn thing (in the shape of a mango, mind you, it was to be BEAUTIFUL) before it became clear that no one who actually lived here was too enthused about our mangohouse / shrine / yogastudio. not that they were opposed (these kids haven't learned about opposition, methinks) but there's a lot of fences that need mending and preparation for the monsoon to be done.

so the imperial falcon put the brakes on mangolandia hq and shifted down to indigenious directed projects. they caught on the cookbook at some point and requested salads. neilu and i starved for naked raw crisp loving and jumped on it (as in, "jump on it"). our first salad invovled bitter wild red greens with a dressing built upon a lattice of grated coconut garlic ginger and chile. we left it to wilt (lightly) and they ended up cooking it. today we tried again -- cut and stored the veggies in our hut, blanched the beans in the solar cooker we built -- and brought it out just before dinner. none of the kids touched it but everyone who ate it seemed to be psyched.

resistance is futile. in all directions. for you and for me, for us and for them.

- o bigode

www.somethingconstructive.net | mangolandia.blogspot.com

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