Hola, que tal amigos, bienvenidos a 2016, ojalá será mejór que el quince,
This Dispatch is being written on the 6th of January. On this day Spanish speaking children are visited by the three Kings and showered with gifts (if they’ve been good and their parents can afford it).
In 1971 on our return to Australia from Canada, we drove through El Salvador. I was told by a local that 97% of land in El Salvador was owned by 3% of the population.
Whilst some “take me to Cuba” airplane hijackings had taken place, two years were to pass before Chile experienced its “9-11” and three more decades before it was North America’s turn. Access to San Salvador’s airport was unhindered. No metal or explosives detectors and no sniffer dogs. No heavily armed guards in black Ninja uniforms nor service personnel in bright yellow fluorescent jackets, lest they be run over.
A small group of Salvadoran airport workers in white overalls gathered in a café on the periphery of the airport during their lunchbreak. Just as the best value roadside food can be found where truckies take their meal breaks, so it was at this café. Simple fare, at the lowest price imaginable: brown beans with tortillas and generous dollops of sour cream, prepared con cariño, just right.
Our budget did not stretch to staying in motels, so we were grateful to be able to make use of the free airport bathrooms.
A brass plaque at the entrance to the building informed us that North American foreign aid had provided the airport for the people of El Salvador.
Apart from the white-overall brigade polishing the floors or lugging luggage, and a sprinkling of Latin looking men in business suits, the majority inside the building, also in business suits, spoke loud English with North American accents. Presumably these businessmen had come to San Salvador to make deals with the 3%. The Latin looking gentlemen presumably were the brokers and real-estate agents and interpreters doing their bit for their country to move forward.
Too much monkey business (Chuck Berry)… . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8Y3ONAbaC0
In all fairness to those who convinced the U.S. Congress to approve the gift of an airport to the lucky denizens of El Salvador, some consideration had been given to the trickledown effect. Couples whose loud North American accents were matched by their loud clothes were sparsely distributed among their business suited compatriots, elderly men in Hawaiian shirts, palm tree motif, and Bermuda shorts, generally accompanied by younger women.
The trickledown effect was also very evident at the café of the brown beans, tortillas and sour cream. Where the runway crossed over the main road, the traffic dipped down to a short tunnel to get to the other side. The whole complex was located on a level playing field (such a one as the Trans Pacific Partnership rests upon).
All Salvadorans we spoke to, unprompted expressed their gratitude to the U.S.A. Government for having gifted them such a magnificent airport complex.
Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t gottime to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone I’m a goin’ home
My baby, she just wrote me a letter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95v7R67to-I (Joe Cocker-The Letter)
It is simply uncanny. Back to the future. In Yuendumu we are reliving this experience. Often Warlpiri residents stop us, unprompted to express their gratitude to the Government for having gifted us such a magnificent $7.6M police complex.
When discussing gifts, a friend rued the fact there hadn’t been three wise Queens instead of the three Kings. He speculated that three wise Queens wouldn’t have got lost, would have assisted with the child and no cabe duda (undoubtedly) borne more sensible gifts.
We three Kings of orient are,
bearing gifts we traverse afar…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrsWF3JlScw (We three Kings-Dolly Parton)
Que los tres reyes les hallan traido suerte, amór y felícidad… y risa, mucha risa (Mirth not Myrrh)