Montana Wolf

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kino Farewell

I awoke in a panic this morning thinking I had to start packing. It wasn't true. Today is Tuesday and I leave Thursday morning. I have two more days to walk this glorious shore to the beat of the surf; the cries of terns and sea gulls. Once calmed down I wrote a bit, climbed out of bed and proceeded to toss my carefully-crafted Greek meatballs into the dishwater. I'd forgotten they were in a pan that was underneath another pan and well, you get the picture. Meatballs floating in the suds.

The idea of leaving has me in a tizzy. I'm ready to go on some levels. My shampoo is almost gone and I'm down to the final few squeezes of my Colgate. But the thought of leaving new friends, Brant's geese, jingle shells and loons weighs heavily on the soul. My heart has been stolen by this quirky old village on Bahia de Kino. It is at once vibrant and edgy. Charming and ugly. Trash washes up on the beach and a small squadron of four men with garbage bags make their way down shore to pick up cans, paper and plastic. Pelicans wash onshore and within hours the turkey vultures have picked bones clean; the leftover feathers and bones carried back to sea by the changing tide.

My foot is still swollen from the sting ray cut two weeks ago. I'm told it may be weeks...that ray cuts are deep and the toxins are extremely potent. Some folks have nerve damage for years. I was lucky...that tail hammered me on top of my foot so I could still function close to normal. The Red Cross doctor was a miracle worker. He deadened the cut and spent a half hour cleaning, extracting toxins and shooting it with antibiotic. The cost was whatever I wanted to contribute in a little metal box that was affixed to the wall. The doctor had gotten his medical school for free with the understanding that he would serve a community for five years and live on a pauper's salary.

It is safe down here. There is some petty crime, yes, but nothing comes close to bodily harm. The people are terribly strapped because the North Americans are staying home. My friend Connie's computer was stolen from her casita. She drove 30 miles to file a police report. The police came and dusted for prints and we thought that would be the end of it. But yesterday, 4 weeks later, the detectives came back with her computer. The man who had it is in jail until he coughs up who sold it to him. 

I came to Bahia de Kino to finish a book, MotorHome Zen, which I did. I even sold a bunch of Living on the Spine. I'll leave minus a good paring knife and skillet (taken out of my dish drainer by someone who reached inside my kitchen window in the middle of the night) and a pair of sandy Saucony running shoes I left outside my door. Couldn't have worn them anyhow, with that ray cut on the top of my foot.

I will sorely miss this place of come and go. Every few hours the beach is new with a zillion shells, shapely dunes and exposed rock. Kids make sculptures, young women show up in wedding dresses and inflatable banana boats skim the shore with rollicking children. It will take more than a drug lord to rip the fabric of joy that permeates these lands. The people here are used to upheaval. They celebrate their revolutionaries, like Benito Juarez and Pancho Villa.

The pangas leave with dawn, their fishermen facing into the salt-laden breeze. I have watched the daily bouncing of boats and bodies on wind-ravaged seas, engines that would not start, trailers that got stuck in the sand up to their frames. No matter the problem, I have not heard one fisherman yell or loose his temper with his comrades. There's no blame; no anger. They merely work it and methodically do what they can with what little they have. I want to remember this. I dream of having bumper stickers made that say, "Think like a Mexican."


  1. Love this. You have captured Kino. It is a place that long ago stole my heart, maybe even my soul. And you caught it!

  2. Christina.. .Your writing and photography is amazing. Thank you for sharing it. And I really admire your "spunk" ! Safe travels.


  3. Em, it all started with that trip you and I made! Sandy, thank YOU. As another woman out there snapping pictures, your words mean a lot! Spunk, I like that word. Safe travels...yes, I do my best.

  4. i'm sure kino will miss you, too. it's funny the things that mark our end of time here - or at least necessitate a quick return to the U.S. - like your shampoo. for me it's miracle whip! if i don't get down to see you before you go, safe journeys. see ya the next time.

  5. "Think like a Mexican." love it! Gorgeous photo of the boat n birds!

  6. Christina: Think yourself lucky. Remember Steve Irwin was killed in Oz from a sting ray barb. Can be very dangerous. Loved the photos of Teak. He would love it down there. Is Pooka still with you. Don't see any photos.
    Enjoy reading De

  7. What a beautiful piece! Thanks for transporting me from the VA Hospital in Denver, where Richard is going through brain surgery number four to attempt to relieve the fluid pressure that is squeezing his right brain, to Bahia de Kino and the rich life you have found there. I love that photo of the vultures perched atop the cactus trunks at the top. So you, so perceptive! Blessings on your travels...

  8. Susan, I wipe the tears as I read your note. I am honored that I brought solace to you as you sit in Denver. Those black vultures...aren't they something? So regal in their place upon the world. No matter where I am, I am with you.

  9. Hmmm for some reason only half the post can be seen. I tried reloading but still same.