Monday, September 28, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Vida Nueva

Just as I'm hoping to reignite the creative fires of WayWorded, a much more literal creative act took place last night as Matador's managing editor Julie Collazo gave birth to daughter Mariel.

Long-time readers (holla!) may remember it was Julie who graciously offered up her vacant Mexico City apartment to me for five weeks last fall, making possible a truly memorable travel experience (and several WayWorded posts, to boot).

As soon as we heard the news, several of her editing colleagues put together a post of well-wishes on one of the sites Julie oversees, Matador Pulse. Check it out here.

Congratulations Julie, Francisco, Mariel, and family. To new life!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Missing Bolivia

My South American volunteer year enters its fourth and final season (spring...I think--still get confused by that), and I reflect on the different places and micro-places my feet have touched in 2009. Many of the fondest are Bolivian.

"Home" in Cochabamba, busing to Oruro, exploring the Southwest Circuit, trekking La Paz on foot...maybe it's because these memories are the most distant, or perhaps I'm simply a sucker for the underdog. But I miss Bolivia.

Happily, I got in some extra reflection last week when writing 7 Facts of Expat Life in Bolivia for Matador Abroad, filling it with the little details I know will surface most poignantly next year, when I've left this hemisphere behind--another home left behind.

Monday, September 21, 2009


WayWorded's been dragging. I've been dragging.

For the past couple months, I haven't felt much inspiration to post here. Fatigue. Burnout.

Now, a turning point.

Work's slowing down. The weather's warming up. And I'm spending more time exposing myself to online content that inspires.

The link lists have been started--check them out in the lower righthand corner. For now, they're mostly Matador offshoots. But they'll grow with time.

WayWorded will continue to grow too. I'm ready to re-light the fire.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Buenos Aires Subte, Línea A

The subway line that runs just north of my current apartment is the original. Built in 1913, it's the city's (and the Southern Hemisphere's) oldest. And it shows--in a good way.

Most of the cars threading Line A glow golden on the inside. This comes from the extensive use of wood paneling, which covers the walls, doors, window frames, even the seats. White metal poles rise from the tops of the benches to meet the ceiling in flowery column tops, and the light fixtures invoke gas lamps, not CFLs.

Today, on the now-familiar journey from Almagro to the Centro, a busking violinist played our car, bowing tango chords that the other passengers nodded along to. Two songs later, he passed the hat around and stepped out the sliding wooden doors--the ones you sometimes have to open by hand--leaving the rhythmic knock of the train as it entered the next low, coal-black tunnel.

* Photo by Joel Mann

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tied Up

Silly me. For the last couple months, I was looking forward to September.

"The work will ease up," I told myself, "and I'll have nothing to do but explore Buenos Aires and enjoy myself."

Ha. The work keeps coming, and though my bank account thanks me, my sense of adventure does not.

And on top of everything else going on this month, I've accepted a temporary guest editor position at I'll be contributing short posts to the site near-daily until the lead editor returns from a trip to Africa (talk about adventure). Anyone wondering where my typings are showing up this month, head over there.

In between writing assignments, here's what I'm dreaming about:

* Taking in the Argentina vs. Brazil World Cup qualifier tomorrow
* Moving to a more atmospheric BA neighborhood at the end of the month
* Busing to the wine country of Mendoza and cultural capital of Córdoba in October
* Eating juicy steaks with a couple of my Matador colleagues that live here
* Closing out a year in South America with an as-yet-to-be-determined trip, before flying north to lovely, snowy (hopefully) Maine for the holidays

Okay, I feel better now. Life is good. Peace.