It’s very intense being here in San Cristobal in so many ways. None of us are even getting proper sleep and we all feel like we’ve been here for weeks. At NaBolom, our residence, after finally falling asleep to an uncovered fire in our room, Tessa (my roommate) and I wake up around 7am. I wash my face, brush my teeth with bottled water, floss and brush them again. I cream my face and darken my brows. I spray some perfume, make a fishtail braid, put on my navy toque and wear layers of clothes that will serve me in the sun’s heat and in the shade’s gelid touch (i’m not even exaggerating!). It’s about a 2 minute walk from my cabin to the colonialist courtyard for a Mexican breakfast of beans, scrambled eggs, tortillas, fruit & coffee. After that’s finished, we walk to the library in the same residence to start class.
In the 1940s a Dutch archeologist man, Frans Blom, came to San Cristobal to do research. A Swiss woman of many talents, Gertrude Duby, heard about him and his work and wanted to meet him so she came to San Cristobal to look for him. He was not there and she was told he went into the jungle and his return time is unknown. She did not wait and went to the edge of the jungle to look for him. Some complicated stuff happened in between but eventually they married and then built NaBolom which became their residence until their death. It is now a museum, residence and cultural space. A giant painted portrait of Gertrude in colonial dress hangs above us in the library as we discuss social justice, identity and language.
So much talk of movement, migration, safety, love and New York.