Living in South America is a slow, rumbling reminder of revolutions, dead socialistas, and the rise and fall of past dictators. A long history of violence, uncertainty and upheaval can dominate the day to day.
On Monday you could hear Hugo Chavez recounting this or that rebellion. On Thursday, Evo Morales might be caught outlining the merits of his brand of socialism. Or over the weekend you might read that one of the Kirchners was embroiled in a new scandal with old colonial powers.
These stories may emerge first before the traveler, as they did for me, and remind us that this is a place where history still lives, challenging conceptions of peace and war. Perhaps you’ll get past it and let the daily routine take hold. We can draw a blind eye to greater issues, but this only allows the smaller ones to seep through. For me, I couldn’t help but notice the things that usually go unnoticed, that are so easily taken for granted. The doors, the portals to the culture in which I wander, have begun to amaze me.
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