Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Kevin Sites

I'm never sure what impresses me more when I read Kevin Sites ... whether it's his endurance, his way of connecting with people, his courage, I don't know but something he wrote struck home with me today.

He's in Nepal being driven through rain heavy enough to dent a car ... the car is a 1971 pre-Nissan thing called a Gista.

Here's an extract from his piece titled 'Nepal: I am a Dog' : When I was traveling in Africa or even the Middle East, the country changes weren't as abrupt to me as they have been in the last six weeks. Like a slow-dissolve connecting the disparate sequences of a continuous story that spans too much geographic territory, I see the roads before me blend from one to the other — riding the river beds of eastern Afghanistan in a humvee, through the lowlands of northern Colombia packed in a local taxi, winding through the hillsides of Haiti in my fixer's beat up Datsun and now to this moment in Nepal.

There is a duality at work here that is hard for me to comprehend. I'm amazed by the these geographic disjunctions in my journey, the shock of sensory overload, the new smells, terrain, and lives that wash over me on these drives.

Simultaneously, I'm lulled by the comfort of it all, the fact that there is too much to understand. Instead of an observer, for this moment, I am a dog with my head out the window, the rush of air creating a comforting buzz that silences the need to know more — at least for now.

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