Life Blood

Life Blood

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Excerpt: ...while I was on the plane. When I was reading my guidebook and filling out my entry card I'd had a bright idea. I knew exactly how I wanted to begin. Heading into town, the time now the middle of the after-noon, I leaned back in the seat and tried to absorb the view, to get a feeling for where I was. We first traveled through the suburban fringes, the heavily guarded luxurious man-sions of the landholding and military elite, the one percent of Guatemala who own ninety-nine percent of the country. Iron fences and wide expanses of lawn, protected by Uzi-toting security, guarded whimsical architectural con-ceits topped by silver satellite dishes. A twenty-foot wall shielded their delicate eyes from the city's largest shanty-town, makeshift hovels of bamboo and rusted tin, with no signs of water or drains or toilets. Guatemala City: as Steve had put it once, a million doomed citizens, the rich and the poor, trapped together side by side in the most "modern" capital in Central America. Why on earth had Sarah decided to come here? Even if she did travel with the mesmerizing Alex Goddard it was hard to imagine a place less spiritual. Couldn't she feel that this was all wrong? One of us had to be missing something major. Fifteen minutes later I was passing through the fetid atmosphere of downtown, which seemed to be another world, Guatemala City's twin soul. It was an urban hodgepodge of Burger King, McDonald's, discount electronics emporia, an eye-numbing profusion of plastic signs, filthy parking lots, rattletrap buses and taxis, stalled traffic. Exhaust fumes thickened the air, and everywhere you looked teenage "guards" in uniforms loitered in front of stores and banks with sawed-off shotguns, boys so green and scared-looking you'd think twice about letting one of them park your car. But there they were, weapons at the ready, nervously moni-toring passersby. Who were they defending all the wealth from? The ragged street children, more

Product details

  • Paperback | 122 pages
  • 104.14 x 172.72 x 27.94mm | 204.12g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236702891
  • 9781236702890