Saturday, February 09, 2008

Gearing up for Day One

Jennifer and Luis are working today with the team that comes down every year from Canada. Fantastic group of people who put on a camp for kids that live in the ghetto, many of whom have NEVER been out of the ghetto, so it is neat to watch their faces when they first arrive at camp. It is a pretty place, with flowers, a pool, and swingsets.

I got to hang out with the incredible Rod and Twila today. We went to a new restaurant that is now my favorite, run by Taiwanese people and serving all veggie food, some of which looks and tastes like meat. They speak Mandarin, so my son Alden will enjoy meeting them when he comes.

We then drove around the Carnaval set up. It kicks off tomorrow, and I've received a coveted invitation into one of the team lairs. For a few years, I worked on a documentary about Carnaval. But, I have never finished it. My Spanish is too poor to edit the 30 plus hours of footage properly.

Carnaval here has changed since I began the documentary. Perhaps I can show the change in a future piece if my language skill ever improves. I've skipped the past few years because the energy is different and I lost interest. More commercial, certainly. Before, I rarely saw people from outside at Carnaval. Now, it is packed with tourists and journalists and company logos. Outsiders want to dip into the local energy, but their presence here waters it down.

Been there, bought the tee shirt.

I hope as a journalist (of sorts), my presence is more low key - observing rather than interfering. Do you think that hope is possible?