Good Intentions and Unneeded Courtyard Fountains*

I’ve been telling everyone that this is my first time in Latin America, but it’s not quite true, since I’ve gone with my family a few times to gringo-filled destinations in Mexico.  Without a doubt, our family vacations inevitably found us staying in places with some borderline-catastrophic flaw.  There was, for example, the apartment in… Continue reading Good Intentions and Unneeded Courtyard Fountains*

A bit AWOL

Aside from the fact that it was a cataclysmically bad movie, one of the only things I can remember about the Matrix II was an extremely dumb line, in which someone said “You never really know someone until you’ve fought them” (or something).  I tend to take a similar attitude towards cities: “You never really… Continue reading A bit AWOL

Sink or Swim

There was a time, I imagine, when doing field work in developing countries was legitimately scary.  Anthropologists studying remote islands or indigenous tribes might be cut off from contact with their home countries for years.  Without the internet or television, their immersion in their place of study was total and non-stop, even in the worst… Continue reading Sink or Swim