Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photo Contest within a Photo Contest

Molly is applying for a photo contest! The Center for Global Education, the organization where we are currently working, has an annual photo contest for alums from the semester programs and travel seminars. The winner gets a $150 Fair Trade gift certificate, and even though we work for the organization, Molly can still apply since she is a graduate of the Central America program. We're pretty sure the voting will be slightly biased against Molly - because who wants to give the first place prize to someone who is an insider? There could be a riot! So, we need YOU to vote on which photo could be so irresistibly beautiful that they couldn't not give at least one of the prizes to Miss Molly Bryant. Leave your vote in the comments section!

Favricio, my host brother, in Miraflor, Nicaragua
Window in Chichicastenango, Guatemala

View from the bell tower in Granada, Nicaragua 
Woman at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Bird's eye view of Granada, Nicaragua

My host dad and Mayan priest performing a ceremony in Cantel, Guatemala
Please leave a comment with your vote for the winning photo! Thank you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Blog Post About Nothing

I'll be frank.

As a sometime fan of popular culture, it's a real black eye for me that, as of a year and a half ago, I had seen only the occasional rerun of Seinfeld on late night TV. I always enjoyed the show when it was on, though it always seemed as though I only half-understood and could only half-laugh at it, like I was on the outside of some huge decade-long inside joke.

But then came the woman that changed my life, in oh so many ways. She took me to Ecuador, then Mexico, but most of all, she led me to this wonderful show about nothing, a show that had been staring me in the face for most of my life. Before we moved to Ecuador, we downloaded seasons six and seven and watched them, over and over and over - watched them to death, really, or what surely would be death for any other series.

It's a little pathetic, I realize, that having steady access to the internet was one of the major pluses of us coming here to Mexico, and even a little more pathetic that being able to watch the remaining seven seasons of the show was one of the major pluses of having steady access to the internet. Seinfeld was our refuge after a long day of work, a distraction from the stress, our release from the complaints of a bunch of childish college kids. The irony, of course, is that the entire show is comprised of the complaints of four childish thirtysomethings.

In a very real way, the world makes more sense now: "No soup for you!", "Yada yada yada," low talkers, sidlers, high talkers, shrinkage, the puffy shirt, cigar store Indians, Bosco, Jon Voight, the Bro, man hands, jimmy legs, Festivus, "Hello . . . Newman," "Hellooooooo! La la la," the urban sombrero. I'm sure I've encountered thousands of references to Seinfeld up until the past few months, but I'm determined never to miss one again.

The show is so funny, it almost makes me wish for a life of meaningless relationships, wisecracks, superficiality, and pettiness. Almost.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

People Can Be Surprising: An Exercise in Cooperative Creative Speaking

An Exercise in Cooperative Creative Speaking Where One Person Knows That It Is Happening And The Other Does Not: Round One, A Glimpse Into A Saturday Night In The Bryant-Gentzler Household

"What should we write about?" - Molly
"I think it should start, 'People can be surprising!'" - Ryan
"What does that mean?" - Molly
"It just means that something interesting is coming." - Ryan

"People can be surprising . . . " - Molly
"When you least expect it . . ." - Ryan
"They will reach out and touch you. . . " - Molly
"Often when you are least expecting it . . ." - Ryan
"They will reach out and touch you . . . " - Molly

"Puppies make the world go 'round . . . " - Molly
"In both a literal and figurative sense . . .  The paws of millions of puppies stepping in unison - wait, scratch that - everyone knows that the paws of millions of puppies stepping in unison in the same direction create the revolutions . . . " - Ryan
"Of our time. Their perseverance and generosity and even their aerodynamic, waggly tails bring forth the magnetism and hope of future generations . . . " - Molly
"But did you also know that puppies are cute? and cuddly? Both in the USA and outside of it. In other countries that you haven't even been to, yet. Did you?" - Ryan
"Did you?" - Molly