Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


One of the ventriloquist and impressionist-talented black birds alighting near the top of a conifer as the sunset adorns the Guatemalan sky.

At this year's Krewe de Vieux parade, I caught a foam clown nose which ended up being put to good use as a laugh and smile-inducer while talking with children in the hospital's post-operative recovery room. This girl had lost her tonsils and adenoids to the surgeon's skillful hands and was many times more adorable than the dolls she received to help her through the pain of recovery. Many patients are sent home with little more than tylenol and directions to only eat soft food. The small recovery room sometimes held up to five patients with one in the hallway outside, all without a bit of air conditioning or access to a bathroom for the patients. If they had something removed during their procedure, they would arrive carrying their own jar or bottle into which was placed their specimen. Tonsils, adenoids, gall bladders, cysts - it all ends up in a bottle at the foot of the gurney.

On a "spiritual retreat" in the beautiful city of Antigua before beginning work at the hospital and clinic, a few of us managed to climb above the cityscape to the mirador de la cruz (Lookout of the Cross). Though the day was misty and a humid haze crept through the sky, we spied the flanks of Volcán Agua looming over the cathedrals and convents and cobblestone streets of the city.

At the convent where the retreat was held, some of the colorful representatives of creation were out in full force.

Getting lost on our way into the city, the bus passed this elaborate gate, seemingly lifted straight from a Dr. Seuss tome.


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