I’m living next to a wall now.
I suppose we all live by walls….Although I haven’t had walls for six weeks. I’ve gone from no walls at all to something bigger-than-house-walls: I am now living and working on the US-Mexico border. The port of entry is literally two minutes walking from my door. When I look outside and down the street, I see a very hilly landscape, colorful houses, street vendors (!!), a solemn steel structure scarring it all.
The desert was and is beautiful, but I need a change of pace and scenery. I’m still volunteering with No More Deaths, but now, instead of living in their desert aid station, I’ve moved on to their border aid station. I live in Nogales, Arizona and every morning I will cross the border into Nogales, Sonora, Mexico and provide support for recent deportees. We mainly end up helping people medically, giving them access to phones and documenting abuses at the hands of US authorities as well as gathering stories related to family separation caused by US immigration policies.
That’s a very broad generalization of the work – it is, of course, mostly case-by-case stuff. We’ll do whatever people need. People need a really wide range of things. Shoes, insulin.
I’m very tired and I don’t really feel like elaborating much more about this. I meant to write – an entry. About my last days in the desert, how waterfalls formed within an hour of a ridiculous monsoon one day and we drove the truck through puddles so deep we could touch them through the window, how my boots broke in the beginning of a nine-mile hike through a canyon, how I cooled off in crystal-clear post-storm desert swimming holes….
But in addition to having electricity now, I also have internet. So I’ll have time to catch up slowly, slowly…
I’m going to go sleep in a bed now. Oh, luxury.