Friday, October 30, 2009

Go Fly a Kite!!!

One of the more interesting aspects of being down here the past week or so is that people love kites. They flat out love them. It has a more spiritual connection and November 1 is the big day for kites. They make huge barilletas(more octagonal kites) and then fly them in order to make a deeper connection with dead relatives. There is a connection between the wind and spirits and the higher you get the closer you are with those spirits.

In our school we got the opportunity to try our hands at kite making. Ill be honest, despite wanting desperately to be good at art I have the artistic talent of a first grader. Making the kite was a complete pain in the ass for me, there was not one step along the way that I did correctly and the teacher kept giving me that look, the one where inside his head he is wondering if I am really just a functional retard and based on my kite he was pretty convinced that I was a full blown retard. Its tough to keep thinking you are cool when someone has to tie knots for you and they realize you dont know how to measure or cut.

My kite was basically the worst one in the group and I was not ok with that. I wanted so badly to make a great kite, to make a beautiful one that other people in class would ooo and ahhh about and subtely comment about how much of a renaissance man I was but it was a terrible terrible kite that should have been shot and put out of its misery.

I had no choice the next day but to take the kite with the rest of the class up to the cross, a giant crucifix on a hill that overlooks the entire town. I was glad that they put my kite in a plastic bag so the locals could not see it. It was made all the worse because all of the teachers at the school made their own barrilletas and they were ridiculous. It took me two hours to make my piece of crap and they whipped up these intricate colorful kites in minutes. They were decked out with fringe and intricate lettering. I felt pathetic.

When we got to the cross my spirits were not raised either. I watched person after person toss their kite in the air and as their kites ascended to the heaven I tried to keep my kite from decapitating any onlookers. I tried again and again to no avail as my kite sputtered back down crashing into the ground as I was engulfed in string.

I got lucky and the right gust of wind pulled my kite mercifully out of my hands and into the stratosphere. I almost got it tangled in the cross and i was consistently crossing streams with other kite flyers but eventually my kite sailed the way a kite is supposed to sail. I got some nice condescending cheers from the other members of the class as my masterpiece flew miles into the sky.

After a while of watching it glide and fiddling with the string in an attempt to look like I knew what I was doing it became relaxing to just sit and watch the kite dance in the wind. It flew farther and farther away until I had no choice but to just let it go.

On sunday we are going to a major kite festival about an hour away to watch some serious kite flyers do their things. It should be interesting. So on sunday if you want to do a little transcontinental solidarity go build a kite or buy one and fly it, itll be a nice little moment for us.

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