The not-so-planned plan

Honestly, planning a trip like this is not easy.  Split with also trying to make a film at the same time, learning a new language, and preparing to to leave all of our things being for an entire year, it is overwhelming.  The next question is WHERE ARE WE GONNA GO?

“Not where that one guy is…” my Dad hopes, meaning Hugo Chavez.  I reply, “Of course where ‘that one guy’ is, they are suppose to have the nicest people and the most beautiful beaches!”

We will arrive in Medellin, Colombia with a previously-contacted Couchsurfing host ready to meet us and help us get acclimated.  After we are feeling comfortable with our environment, we will set out to our first farm in the WWOOFing organization and volunteer/relax in the high jungle countryside.  After around 1 month in Colombia, we will enter Ecuador and experience the beaches of the equator.  Then southward through the land of the Incas, through the Bolivian Salt Flats, down through the Andes, and hopefully we will arrive in Patagonia before winter sets in.  After putting our tent into good use in the southern wilderness, we will take the only bus northward, overnight to Buenos Aires, Argentina!  And so on and so forth until we wind up back where we started, in Colombia.

I’m sure everyone gets the point.  We are going counter-clockwise from north to south.  We will travel on a boat, upstream on the Amazon.  We will travel socialist nations and not be afraid, because, frankly, we don’t buy this “All socialists are bad people” BS.

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Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent

Seven years after Open Veins of Latin America was published, the author, Eduardo Galeano, added a postword chapter.  In it, he summed up the book, stating “This book was written to have a talk with people.  A non-specialized writer wanted to tell a non-specialized public about certain facts that official history, history as told by conquerors, hides or lies about…Open Veins has its roots in reality but also in other books…which have helped us recognize what we are so as to know what we can be, and see where we come from so as to reckon more clearly where we’re going.  The reality and those books show that underdevelopment in Latin America is a consequence of development elsewhere, that we Latin Americans are poor because the ground we tread is rich, and that places privileged by nature have been cursed by history.”  (Emphasis added by me.)

I can’t sum up the book better than that, of course.  It’s  an unapologetic history of the “pillage of a continent”, from the discovery of the new world by Columbus all the way up to the manipulative IMF banking practices and extensive US interference of the 1970s.  Galeano doesn’t hide his leftist leanings but the book is chock full of example after example that make him impossible to disagree with.  Imperialism, in all the ways it’s manifested itself throughout history, ruined Latin America and its effects will continue to be felt for centuries.

Has anyone else read this?  What do you think of that quote?

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