Fino Cambur

Cool Bananas

A Scarcity of Words

Post-Scarcity-International-BnW-CircleI haven’t posted to Fino Cambur for nearly two months. Believe me, I have wanted to (there is a growing list of would-be posts) but I haven’t been able…to what?…to find the time? There does seem to be a scarcity of time. It’s true that this year of teaching feels busier than the last two combined but scarcity of time is just an excuse.

Perhaps a more truthful assessment would be a scarcity of discipline. After all, I get paid to coach middle schoolers in writing and I preach the need for discipline when writing. I wouldn’t be much of a writing teacher if I didn’t write myself. So why the hypocrisy? Clearly something is missing. Is it discipline? Discipline is likely part of the equation but surely not all of it.

Though I haven’t been writing regularly, I have been reading. I’ve been reading a lot of news about Venezuela. And I reckon therein lies a truer reason for my scarcity of words. The political and economic situation in Venezuela is increasingly worrisome. I read about the heightened scarcity of this food item, that basic good, the other necessary product. Rampant corruption, deaths, censorship, are all normal. Plus there is this sense of a slow accumulation of pressure. Last year the protests started in February; people are holding their breath to see what happens this time around. There’s no doubt that something will happen because the current state of things is in no way sustainable. The main question that remains seems to be when.

In all this “waiting” perhaps my scarcity of words has to do with the mindset that anything I might write about here would pale in comparison to the things I’m reading and that real Venezuelans are living. Might the things I write somehow offend my Venezuelan friends who are struggling more and more every day? In the face of all this, what right do I have to recount fun vacations and delicious food and such luxuries when the world outside our privileged bubble is deteriorating ever more swiftly?

Well, I don’t have a firm answer to that second question and that’s okay because (for reasons I don’t currently have the brainpower to articulate) the question itself doesn’t sit well with me. So I’ll just wrap it up with what I do know.

We started Fino Cambur as a way to celebrate the positive, cool things we’ve experienced while living in Venezuela. Not all of our posts have stayed true to that, but the majority have, and I’d like to keep it that way. No matter what problems surround us, there will always be stories of cool people being cool.  Positivity is as powerful as negativity, and either can be summoned with a simple choice. It’s time to cycle back around and balance my reading with some writing.


5 comments on “A Scarcity of Words

  1. Kris
    February 7, 2015

    Write about your motorcycle incident at the corner. “Can I pay it now?” Classic and instructive!

    • Alastair Frigidaire
      February 7, 2015

      I’ll move it higher up the to-write list. Thanks!

  2. elguapobenusc
    February 7, 2015

    Keep writing, man. I get your concern that others might think you are flaunting privilege, but I don’t really get that from your posts. Indeed, you have been my main source of news for what’s going on in Venezuela. You have been for some time a part of the New Journalism, thoughtfully conveying your experiences so we can all glimpse not only at the life you and your family are living, but you have done a good job giving context to them. Keep writing, Michael, keep writing.

  3. Cokerdem
    February 7, 2015

    Totally understand where you’re coming from. But keep posting…. You can paint the reality with a good dose of humor….

  4. LoefflerFamily
    February 8, 2015

    I can understand the discord there and think you are going about it in a great way. It’s good to still be able to keep up with you and yet still hear there is positive there. That’s what we took away from our experience there as well. And yet still can’t help feeling for those that are most affected! Keep writing, keep writing!

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This entry was posted on February 6, 2015 by in Michael.

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I'm a mom to an amazing little boy, wife to a supportive and adventurous husband, teacher in an international community, and lover of gardening, reading, cooking shows, lattes, and sharing.

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