Air Part 1

Avry Richter - Ecuador


February 9, 2019

The air is heavy. The air is hot. The air effects me, it affects the
Venezulan man attempting to sell candies to the bus folk, it affects my
host mom as she mightily lights flame to this weeks garbage, it affects the
tiny tots who frolic on the see-saw with a playfulness that is pure
sunshine. It trickles into the souls of all that exist on this earth. The
air of Carpuela hammers my heart with perspective, with knowingness, and
consciousness as it physically brings beads of sweat to my face. As these
beads tango across my broadened shoulders, I watch a community that
breathes resilience. That has breathed in traveling Venezuelans who lost
one home to find another one in the Valle de Chota. The air breeds
confidence and strength as twelve salchipapa woman sizzle potatoes to fill
the bellies of Carpuelan patrons. The air is the stage for laughter and
excitement, which is perpetually erupting from the community center. This
laughter echoes in the air to the outskirts of the valley summoning the
mango and sugar cane to grow. This air is sweet and fertile. This air
produces fruit and products that feed the mouths of Carpuela and the
Imbabura region. The air is loaded with stories and wisdom from community
members who pridefully circle up on the streets. This air is where the
spontaneous dancing is born from welcoming the evening and all who pass
with celebration. This air binds the community as kiddos run free without
concern. This air brings warmth and all that we know, uniting all
creatures, uniting humanity. This air enters all our lungs. This air
equalizes us all. This air is us.

Avry Richter