11-06 - Zoo

This morning I went out to check on the local Catholic service.  The
church, only four blocks from my apartment, is well designed --
tasteful, pretty, and made with inexpensive materials.  It is,
however, about 10% too small.  People stand at the back, and hang
around in the courtyard at the side.  I hang in the courtyard, too,
watching the service with one eye and an ear.  The other eye and ear
are on the children who are the reason many of these people are out
here in the courtyard, rather than inside (aside from the space
issue).  The children have no patience for the hour and a half
service.  They make games of jumping over drains, chasing each other,
yelling and laughing, and of surreptitiously checking out the white

The music is, I know it can't be, but it is, Mexican.  A rural thumpa
beat with synthesized instruments, notably trumpet, played from a CD.
This is low budget, and just nowhere near the beauty of the singing at
Lutheran SALFA.  But the music does jump a little -- it's suitable for
a juke-box in a tacaria in Chicago.

Later, when Lanto picks me up for lunch I ask him about the singing.
He's been in a choir.  So have several of the people in SALFA.  Momy
is a big choral person.  "But the Catholics," he tells me, "they just
don't care about music like we Lutherans do."  I'm afraid I have to

But they still got the lock on the one true, holy and apostolic
catholic church title.

Lanto's wife is truly a great cook, and she treats me to cucumber
salad, vegetables, rice and chicken with broth and ginger.  It's

Lanto and I talk outside for a while.  His house has a great view of
the city and he points out, from right to left, the observatory, the
university, behind it the first president's mansion, and the old
French military garrison, still military, no longer French.

I get a lot of sun, but that's ok, cause I know I'm going in soon.

Lanto suggests we go to the zoo.  The whole family piles into the car,
happy to do this rather than go to the palace, for the ceremony
marking the eleventh anniversary of its burning.  It's a good zoo, and the
lemurs are great, but I wish I'd brought a hat.

With this much sun, tomorrow there'll be another animal around: The
Lobster.  Meaning me.

I have to cut the zoo a little short, as the medicine, which works
well, brings its own problems: pain.  Backache, bowelache, etc.  I am
only comfortable lying down.  Well, it's only one more day, or so
Dr. Bebe predicts.

At home, I notice the windows are neither dark nor bright.  Venturing
outside to check, I realize the whole city is in twilight.  It's not
completely natural.  The air is white with a mix of moisture, pollution
haze and smoke, and it covers the whole city.