May 30, 2000
Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico

6:34pm. On the bus to Tepic, Iím standing in the aisle, cuz I gave my seat to a grandma and a child. It felt good. Iím crooning a song. Youíre welcome to sing along. A dragonfly whispered this to me few days ago, while paddling on the estuary:

Iím talking freedom... freedom... freedom...
Livinī in liberty...
Thatís the life for me...
Doiní as I please.
This is freedom... freedom... freedom!

Many have starved... like Mahatma Gandhi
Many have marched... like Dr. King
Many have sang... like Bob Marley
Money canít buy it...

Iím talking freedom... freedom... freedom...
Livinī in liberty...
Thatís the life for me...
Doinī as I please.
This is freedom... freedom... freedom!

Money is energy.
The sun gives it to us free.
Food grows with water... and thatís life.
You donít gotta be no Mennonite.

Iím talking freedom... freedom... freedom...
Livinī in liberty...
Thatís the life for me...
Doinī as I please.
This is freedom... freedom... freedom!

Life is what you manifest.
What goes around comes around.
Everything is a test.
Just do your best.

Iím talking freedom... freedom... freedom...
Livinī in liberty...
Thatís the life for me...
Doinī as I please.
This is freedom... freedom... freedom!

Democracy is diapers on humanity.
Rules are for fools.
Anarchy means personal responsiblity...
Nobody is the boss of me.

Iīm talking freedom... freedom... freedom...
Living in liberty...
Thatís the life for me...
Doinī as I please.
This is freedom... freedom... freedom!

7:07pm. Weíve entered a small town. Cola-cola rules the business districtówith a large "drink Coke" sign on a hill, and logos painted on a half dozen store fronts and restaurants. The governor knows how to advertise.

7:26pm. We are passing through a small settlement of several brick shacks. Large plastic political posters plaster every lamp post. Thatís where the politicianís energy goes. Their face fills the sign-- cuz otherwise, the villagers would never know what they look like. Politicians are busy... they donít have time to actually get to know the people.

"Mapa tuyo-- Rio Santiago," Gabrielle informed me after I commented, "Muy Bonito!" as we passed over a bridge crossing a placid river lined with lush green vegetation-- canoeing heaven.

7:46pm. "Bonito?!" Gabrielle commented on the scenic view out the window as we cruise across a mountain top, looking down on a winding gorge that is making me want to get off the bus right now to go explore. "Holy shit, man!!! Beuno por ecsalade!!!" I exclaimed scoping out 400foot cliffs likely never climbed. "Yo regresse aqui!"
"Si?"
"Si!"

My familyís summer camp on Washademoak Lake was my favorite school in early childhood. Helping dad in the garden; finding fossils on the shale rimmed lake shore; playing archeologist, digging in the 200 year old trash dump behind the gingerbread house; sailing and capsizing; canoeing to the beaver dam, hoping to see a deer or moose; swinging on the tire and monkey bar; picking straw berries-- these are sweet memories.

8:03pm. "Tepic," Gabe informs as we enter the city, driving through a government check point where a police officer stands in a door way wearing a bullet proof vest and holding a sawed off shot-gun. The look on his face says, "Iím a stud." Almost every movie poster in Mexico shows actors with guns. Gun are glamorous---a symbol of power. Police commonly carry shot guns and automatic weapons--a symbolic reminder of what happens if you oppose the law. If common people were allowed to carry protection, thieves might think twice. Restrictions on guns and drugs give police and "bad guys" jobs.

The city is littered with a blanket of political propaganda--- pretty faces, saying, "I am your savor---Iīll make your life better,"---but all I see is pollution----wasted energy. It is depressing.

9:55pm. "Poder Legistativo" and an eagle on a cactus eating a serpent is carved into the doorway above me, as I sit reading tourist literature with feet on a busy side walk. Iíve been here an hour, waiting for Gabrielle to return---to go where---I donīt know.

10:14am. The man in the next toilet stall is talking to his ass---which is replying with loud, hilarious farts. I am doing my best to keep from laughing. Iím curious what heíll do when he finds no paper on the roll. I had to get nose tissue from an office worker. Iíll offer some of mine. He doesnít want it. He must have brought some with him.

"Mucho dinero por propaganda---nada por papel---es politico." I commented.
"Si, es politico" the voice returned. The offices of this building are plastered with PRD posters and stickers. PRD is the power in Nayarit. It seems everyone wants to be on the winning side. Rebels donít get favors. No paper to dry my hands either. The ground level bathroom I went to first was locked. I was told to go up stairs and take a left, but that washroom was locked as well. Then I was directed to this one. This building is holds several floors of state government offices. Locked doors and the run-a-round are the rule. If the bathrooms were left open... then everyone would be free to use them. People might come in off the street to use them... "they" canít have that.

10:42am. Cast in bronze, the face of Benito Juarez is on display. The artist put a wax mold on his head while he lay dead. Benito is the only indigenous person to become President of Mexico-- and many agree he was the best. He is famous for his belief: respect everyone. What happened Ben?

"Rey Nayarit Coronado en 1482" reigns in a 2x3 meter painting over a regal wooden staircase.

11:29am. I stopped a man to ask the kingís history. He said, "Nayarit led seven tribes to Mexico City," and confirmed Juanís story.

Roberto, a lawyer, once physical education teacher, revises legislation. In his hand were two books of legislation he is currently working on, detailing juvenile delinquency and the consequences. Juveniles, 16 and younger, are treated differently---not usually sent to jail. "Thieving kids are a big problem," he said. "They donít go to school and many donít live at home, because itís not safe---they get beat-- thatís the problem."

"School needs to be a place people want to go," I responded. "It must be fun. If schools were like summer camps, in the mountains or on the beach, no kid would be on the street. Food and beds are cheap. If people worked together and focused more energy on creating a better future, youíd have to go back to your old job. Benito and Rey Nayarit need to be in schools to inspire the children to be brave and do great things. Schools make the community better, not government buildings. The politicianís work in a "Palace." The classrooms of have bare walls and bars on the windows. The priority of the government is obvious."

I am now sitting next to Gabrielle. For three hours, he has waited to speak with someone about his sonís marijuana charges. A half dozen other people are also waiting for different reasons. There is a man sitting at an empty desk not doing anything. His job is to watch the people. There are many people on this floor---maybe a hundred---half citizens, half employees. Iíll go for a little walk.

Lots of talking. Lots of people sitting quietly. No one is even trying to look busy. I wonder how much work is getting done. It doesnít matter. Their job will still be here tomorrow. They just gotta show up. Only the boss is allowed to come and go as they please. If you are not a boss, but you want to be, tell the treasury you need a secretary.

In the office for the department of ecology, two men are viewing photographs of birds. I going in to see them. The images were shot on Isla Isabelle, were I am planning to go. The island is brown and gray, small and barren, loaded with birds and beautiful. Carlos, 24, an archeologist, has a binder of black and white images that blown my mind-- close-up shots of wild tigers, lions, leopards, eagles and lizards. He shot them in Chiapas using camouflage and a telephoto lens. He travels alone and doesnít carry a gun.

This office is decorated with vases of fake flowers, a large painting of fish and collages of images from adventurous expeditions on mountains and rivers. "Y no propaganda," The man behind the desk points out. These are my kinda people.

3pm. Carlos and I are now in his office down the street, at the "Museo Reliogal de Nayarit." He is telling me about his thesis-- finding ways to identify the origin of artifacts. He says only 10% of the artifacts in storage here at the museum were dug up by people who documented the finds properly. The rest were donated from private collections and the exact origin is unknown.

According to a book Carlos showed me, the stone beads from Robilito are used for weaving. It doesnít explain how they are used.

Gabrielle took the bus back already. I told him I might return tomorrow. I didnít want to come to the city and not get to see it.