Thursday, January 04, 2007

What I Really Want To Do... go to the Carribean and study Creole languages and culture as it is expressed through literature, music, dancing and spirituality. Kind of like Zora Neale Hurston's sociology project from the Thirties. (You can read the travelogue Tell My Horse. It's fun. ZNH has the rare gift for storytelling in which she can divest a lot of information in a page-turning format. Of course she was also a novelist. Her most famous work was Their Eyes Were Watching God. ) I like this photo of her because she looks sophisticated and intellectual. (Please no comments on the evils of smoking. Some people love that devil nicotine.) Here is the Wikipedia article about her. They call her a folklorist. What an excellent profession!!!
ZNH traveled through Jamaica and Haiti. I want to go everywhere, but I very much want to travel to Cuba. When I went back to the university as a "Non-Traditional Student" (read: old mama) I got to know a lot of farmers in my capacity as sociable bartender at the local tavern. Also, one of my favorite professors was a farmer, in addition to teaching in the Foreign Languages Department. The governor of Illinois at the time was George Ryan -- who was corrupt, but also efficient -- and he had come up with a great trade plan to help Illinois and Cuba. He wanted to send engineers from IL to Cuba to help build ethanol fuel plants -- Cubans were trying to solve some of their fuel shortages -- and have IL farmers trade corn with Cuba for the production of the ethanol gas. I was stoked and trying to get good grades, thinking I could sign on as a translator and winter in Cuba while working on a very interesting project.

But then the whole Elián Gonzáles debacle went down and Governor Ryan's friends (and eventually, he himself) started getting indicted (and convicted) that whole arrangement quickly came to nothing.

Besides...I'm much rather go as a folklorist/cultural linguist/sociologist or whatever. Now, I just need a grant...


Anonymous said...

Just get a sail boat, and sail into Havana harbor. They would be in such shock at someone sailing in, instead of sailing out, that they would welcome you with open arms and make you a national hero. They will sing songs about you and probably buid a statue.
As for the rest of it I concur with you a 1000%

La Sirena said...

I don't need a statue -- but that is how Che and Castro brought the revolution in to Cuba.

If I got desperate for money, I could always wander over to Gitmo. There's bound to be work, what with all the multibillion dollar government contracts