Happy Holidays

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen my own blood. Sure, there’s been the occasional scratch or nick but nothing relevant. I watched with a bit of fascination as a fountain poured from the top of my left index finger. Nothing on earth matches the depth of that color and therein we derive that well known expression: blood red. The slice I had given myself from the machete hurt but the sheer amazement of the situation distracted me from the pain.

The machete I use is sided for a right handed person. I made the mistake of trying to use my right hand (I’m more left handed). The weight of the blade escaped from me while trying to trim some bamboo; my left hand,

Okra, Tomatoes, and Pechay

Okra, Tomatoes, and Pechay

which was griping the bottom of the pole, caught the blade. I tried a simple rinse of water on my hand but the cut was too deep; blood was flowing swiftly. I made a quick tourniquet, slapped on a band-aid and I was ready to get back to work….almost.

Unfortunately this little mishap threw Jennifer into a frenzy. She immediately forbade me to return back to work. About the same time, Papa came home and the entire family took over my fencing project for the garden. On one side of the coin I was flabbergasted with the constant hovering and, on the other side of the coin, it was nice to see how much progress could be made when everyone pitches in. Maybe I should hurt myself more often?

Christmas came and went with a bang. Literally. At midnight we exploded the fireworks that I had purchased in town and our little cul de sac in the jungle here was brightly lit. It was an amazing site watching all



those colors against the black sky although I worried every other minute about all the bamboo nipas; one spark in the right place and these little huts can go up in flames. Everything was shot into the air without injury to anything while we all ate, drank and offered up horrible renditions of every song imaginable via karaoke. All in all, it was a good Christmas day here in the provinces. When the fireworks ceased and the singing voices grew weary, we retired to our beds and slept very, very late. I imagine New Years will probably be similar.

There is a great abundance of fireworks here and I feel a bit like a kid in a candy store. Most of what we can purchase is probably illegal in the states and that which is legal you’d have to go to great lengths to find a place to shoot. Here, if you can find a match, it’s legal. Well, maybe not legal but certainly allowed (or tolerated). Watching six year-olds toss lit firecrackers is also pretty normal. While the safety regulations so abundant in Texas are there for a good reason, it only reminds me of the extremes we go to so we can protect us from ourselves. I have no regrets about the money I spent for the fireworks – for roughly $35 I got an absolutely amazing show (as did the neighbors).

On a less happy note, everybody that I called to wish Merry Christmas was not around. The endless phone calls all resulted in voice-mail. Some I left messages, some I did not. I would have left everyone messages but my cell phone balance was running a bit low. For those that didn’t get a message, Merry Christmas – Happy New Year – Best Wishes, etc. I hope you, and your families, are all doing well.

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