After a fast trip to the Andes, I returned home on the river late yesterday afternoon. My friend Xavier and I stood on the back balcony and watched the river ‘jump’ faster than usual.
“Is there an aguaji?” I asked as we admired the idyllic mangrove-studded river. A haze shrouded the end-of-day scene as the incoming waters surged higher. Sunday fishermen cast their nets and hand lines from the bank and canoes.
“Yes,” he replied. (Shrimp ponds are usually harvested during new and full-moon aguajis…)
We watched in silence, and I wondered why a place that I knew so well suddenly seemed foreign.
“Something feels wrong,” I added. “This feels eerie, like a storm is approaching. There’s something different; something’s wrong.”
My internet did not work at all last night, and this morning I was greeted with a message from Becky and Lesli with the subject, ‘Matal.’
Not, “El Matal” or “The Tides” or “Meeting at El Matal.” Just one word, “Matal,” and I braced myself for bad news. Continue reading