The Border

Seth & I spent the better part of the week at Big Bend National Park which is located in southwestern Texas. We were very impressed by the Chihuahuan desert, Chisos Mountains, and the Rio Grande. Some short hikes took us to the edge of the Rio Grande. The River is shallow in places, runs fast, and is full of brown silt. Approaching Big Bend from any direction, there are US Border Patrol checkpoints. As you drive towards the park they appear, equipped with spanking new vehicles. Be prepared to show some identification.

Thinking about the River made us sad. It is sad to see that the relationship between the US and Mexico is such a troubled and tortured one. A relationship with deeply personal interwoven stories, and families divided by many kilometers of migration. We're sad to see the right wingers in the USA calling for the building of a wall. Sad to see poor Mexicans and other Latin Americans get caught or killed crossing the River and sent to detention or back home to an uncertain future. I can't imagine that any politician calling to build a wall has ever actually seen the long border that Texas shares with Mexico. It is a rough, rugged, and inhospitable terrain.

When we were there, we felt the frustrations of the limits of our geographic freedom. We wanted to walk across a shallow part of the river to Mexico, if only for the excitement of doing so, and in defiance of the fact that we're not allowed to. It turned out that we couldn't. Seth had to stop halfway across the river, dead in his tracks by a super strong current. The crossing was too dangerous, and he never made it to Mexico...