Her Juggling Feet

everybody's a nobody. and nobody's perfect.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Cast

In completely random and disassembled order (true to Caravan form), here's presenting
La Caravana Arcoiris...por...la...paz!

There's Alberto. He founded the Caravan in Mexico some 10 years ago, and before that, led other caravans through the United States and India. He is our elder, the mover and shaker, the man that continues to carry the vision of the Caravan after all of these years. His shoulders never slump. His eyes are bright as the moon.

There are the women from Ecuador: Veronica and her two daughters, Carolina and Sofia, 15 and 13, respectively. The girls are into lots of sugar, boys, and hip-hop. Veronica is Alberto's partner, and the family lives together in the Masorca (Spanish for corn cob), the blue bus with paintings of cornfields growing on both sides.

Beate is my favorite. She's German, but has lived in Brasil for the past 4 years. We sip mate together in the mornings, we plan well-being meetings, we go on adventures to find a├žai, a Brasilian super-anti-oxidant fruit that is blended with banana and guarana syrup. She knows how to build solar ovens from scrap materials, she carries a bag filled with plastic photo canisters of seeds she has saved from her garden, she bakes thick loaves of wholewheat flax bread. She is my permaculture mentor and good friend. She is a wonderful clown.

Fernanda is our Brasilian gaucha (cowgirl) from the southern part of country. She arrived in the Caravan with two 25-lb bags of organic dried bananas that she harvested and processed herself, and declared herself open for business. I still have a $20 debt to pay her. She is completely connected to earth, she knows her way in the kitchen the way her hands know how to strum a guitar.

The tribe of Argentinians: Alejandra, Ana, and Lucia. Ale is a woman in her 50s and lives with the spirit of a child in her body. She is a delight. She is a story-teller, a dancer, a mother to us all. She is the aunt of cousins Ana and Lucia, 21 and 18 respectively. Ana is an acrobat, a musician, and a problem-solver. Lucia weighs a bit more than Tinkerbell--she's the tiniest thing--but can really pound the crap out of a drum.

The tribe of Chileans: there's Manuel, who never stops performing. He is known for his ability to scour every used clothing store for The Perfect Costume. He is meticulous, energetic, charismatic. His body is an art form--acrobatics, capoeira, dance, you name it. He is Talented. There is Cata and her son , Lucas. Cata is quiet and can almost always be found handing out little squares of dark chocolate. She plays the didgeridoo. Lucas is the most charming little boy with eyes the color of the chocolate his mother shares. Precocious and completely affectionate, he will press kisses into your neck if you give him piggy-back-rides.

Marisel, another Argentinian woman, avid and passionate recycler, crooner of Brasilian lullabyes, fantastic with face-painting. She hugs you with her whole heart.

Colores. Uruguay. The grand performer who can't seem to get enough attention from his audiences. He is always pulling something out of his goodie bag, be it a unicycle, accordian, or a diablo. He is a one-man show, really, which makes it difficult for me to work with him.

Juliano. Physically, he is a cross between an Amazon warrior and a teddy bear. The thing I like about Juli is that he will try anything, and he will do it with complete presence. He has no fear. His skills cover every area--he is my kitchen handyman, he is the group's leading musician. He'll cut bamboo with a machete one minute, and lead a group of 5-year-olds in song the next.

Mauro, our Italian finance man, and Romina, exotic Chilean beauty. She is our herbalist, our can-you-treat-this-ailment ally, and has a wry, warm sense of humor. Mauro likes to pinch.

Jessica and Estrella. Gringas! Jessica hails from Indiana and has been with the Caravan for several years. Her primary role is mother to Estrella, the first baby to be born in the Caravan. Jessica and I sing old 80s songs when we do dishes. She is pragmatic and playful at the same time.

Pablo, long time Caravanero, from Spain, and partner to Beate. He leads dance circles, he swims in much of the organizational paperwork of the Caravan that no one else wants to do, he is a consensus-decision making guru and gives workshops on the issue. Whenever he hugs you, he will give your back a light massage.

Ima, Angelica, and Calu. Another family from the Basque region of Spain and Argentina. Ima plays the wooden flute at night, Angelica has the calm, powerful presence of a queen. She is the most regal hippie that I have met. We go food shopping together, treating ourselves to coconuts afterwards. Calu is her son, rambunctious and prone to whining, though sweet when he is asleep.

Jason and Penelope, American and Colombian, respectively. They just left today to return to Montana, and already their absence feels wide and gaping. Jason formed the Caravan with Alberto from the beginning, and met and married Penelope when the Caravan traveled through Colombia. They are pregnant with their first baby, have lots of wisdom, lots of jokes, lots of compassion. They came to the Caravan this time to film a documentary of the project, and Jason was almost always with a camera in hand.

And you all know me.

So here is our every-color-of-the-rainbow Caravan family. We are certainly unique, certainly alternative. But there is much power and magic and safety when we are all together, and this is something that you will just have to see to believe.

So come! Get lost, get crazy, get creative with your clown self.


Blogger sandorsurecarlos said...

We had a saying in India...mahganga welcomes you...and when it's time to go, she gives you a big, sweet hug, then kicks you in the ass :)

when are you coming back to Eugene? Let us hire you to wander in our garden and make late Summer flower garlands for Eli...

Anyway...you know my email...google my name and you'll find me, love,v

11:24 PM  

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