Though I’m pretty sure they painted over him years ago, I have a hunch that his legacy lives on. If you have a memory of this flat-headed, rosy-cheeked gringo and his utterly unique and funky home, please share it here and prove me right. Bonus points for sensory details.
Here’s a wide-shot clue:
Here’s mine: this place became a home for me, once a month when I traveled in to the capital to do banking and errands, or to work on the volunteer magazine. Then, after Hurricane Mitch, it was my home for weeks, trapped in the capital because all the bridges in the north half of the country had been washed away. The air was heavy with rain, mildew, and heat. It is where I am drawn as I watch events in Haiti and now Chile, back to that humid post-Mitch madness, going out on rescue missions with the city bomberos at night, coming back at dawn to collapse in sagging beds for an hour or two, then that chele backpacker watched as we ate our pancakes, fruit, and instant coffee. He was always there, a little off-balance but trucking forward all the time. Then we walked ten blocks to the Peace Corps office, working up a sweat though it wasn’t even eight in the morning. We made sandwiches for the shelters in the volunteer lounge because we didn’t know what else to do and we couldn’t go back to our host villages. Not until the chaos subsided and they could account for everybody.