12 June 2010

A Good Death

The sun was lighting up the western sky, setting the clouds on fire. I began running, exploring the barrio to the south, ultimately finding myself at a familiar intersection.

July's house is that way. But I could see the sun setting to through a suspension bridge to the west. I put the sun in my face and ran along the river a la puente.

La gente me miraba como si era loco. Supongo que no suelen a ver un hombre blanco y grande corriendo por sus calles, con sudor en su frente y moccasins en sus pies.

I reached the bridge and ran across it as the muddy river rushed by underneath and the glowing sun dipped under the western clouds. "Permiso, hermanos," I said as I came up on a group of young guys. They parted, surprised and slightly amused.

After coming back across the bridge, I found Calle Restauración and headed for the city's center. After turning at El Encanto (the Dominican Version of Walmart), I got a little mixed up and had to ask a man on the corner for directions to the monument. Surprisingly, he answered in English, even though I asked in Spanish. "Follow the road until it ends and turn left. There big" - here he raised his arms wide - "monument."

Following his directions, I found myself at the base of the hill the monument sits on. I did three sprints up the front steps. Seems like a popular workout spot; there were some locals there doing stairs and calisthenics. I suppose I should explain what this place is: it's a big tower over a building with statues of and quotes from the Heroes of the Restoration - Los Heroes de la Restauración. Basically the Dominican Washington Monument.

From the top of the hill, the sunset was incredible: although the sun had fallen behind the mountains, the western sky looked like fire. As I turned for home, the colors began to fade into night.

Genson, my seven-year-old house brother, asked where I went.

"Corrí a la puente y al monumento."

"¿Por qué fuiste al monumento a pie?"

"Porque me gusta correr."

"Morirás corriendo. Algún día, te vas a morir corriendo."

"Entonce', será una muerte buena."

I went inside for a shower, but the water didn't work. I was soaked in sweat. No AC, no shower. The joys of running.

Monica made me a greasy sandwich - great recovery food. Now Genson wants to play patilla - baseball with water jug caps and a broomstick. Entonce', he terminado de escribir.

If you want a translation, let me know.


  1. Translation would be great. = )

  2. The people looked at me like I was crazy. I suppose they're not used to seeing a big white guy running through their streets, with sweat on his brow and moccasins on his feet.

    The conversation:

    I ran to the bridge and to the monument.

    Why did you go to the monument on foot?

    Because I like to run.

    You're gonna die running. One day, you'll die running.

    In that case, it'd be a good death.