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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Guillaume Cherel on the road - San Diego day 3

Guillaume and Geronimo -
Centro Cultural de la Raza, Balboa Park

Wednesday morning. We have breakfast on the deck. The beginning of another beautiful day in California. We take some pictures. I take the boys to their summer camp at the zoo, then I take Kyle to his work (his car died almost 10 days ago and I am driving around a lot, but that's OK!). Meanwhile Guillaume is writing on his blog in the quietness of the morning in the house.

Then it is time to take him to his Greyhound bus to go to Mexico City. Before we left the house Kyle called and tell Guillaume to take a Churchill for the road, which Guillaume very much appreciates! Guillaume says he likes San Diego and he may stop a few days on his way back to Los Angeles. He is very welcome to do so. We like his company.

I come back home and starts writing for the blog (finding the time is actually sometimes difficult and things I want to talk about are piling up!). I also send via email the photos I took of Guillaume to the newspaper Liberation in France. Guillaume left me their address before to leave.

Then, shortly after, Guillaume calls me from the Greyhound Station saying that the bus he is supposed to take does not leave before 6:00 pm! So I decide to go back downtown to take him back home.

My friend Elisabeth calls when we get back and I invite her for lunch. She arrives a few minutes later: we are neighbors. Last night, after coming back from Old Town I went with Guillaume to Elisabeth's to talk with her about Guillaume's trip to Mexico. She is originally from Mexico and she knows a lot of people there so I thought it could be nice for Guillaume to have some connections in a town he never went to before. Elisabeth almost immediately thought about a good friend of hers and called him! It was very late there but he was awake. The conversation was very animated and Elisabeth were laughing a lot. Then she told us Guillaume is invited to go to Jorge's in Coyoacán, which is the very town where Frida Kahlo was born and lived most of her life. Very pretty town, not too far from Downtown Mexico City, lucky Guillaume!

I make a tomato salad with the beautiful tomatoes my neighbour Craig brought us yesterday from his garden, some fresh basil, feta cheese, calamata olives and olive oil. We also have avocados and red grapes. The three of us eat lunch on the sunny and breezy deck. It is true, it always feels like vacation here.

Then it is the time to go pick-up the kids at the zoo. They call Guillaume Guillo. They don't want to speak French, which makes interesting conversations: us speaking French, them understanding everything but answering in English.

Because we are in Balboa Park, I stop at the Centro Cultural de la Raza. We see a group of people outside, in the shade of a big tree. Walking stick decorated with feathers are leaning against the tree.

I ask the woman inside the centro cultural if there was something going on today and she tells me that they will have a special ceremony at 5:00 with the group of people standing outside. They are part of a march starting in Alaska and finishing in Panama, which happens every 4 years since 1992! The purpose of the march, "Las Jornadas de Paz y Dignidad", is to bring peace between all the native tribes on the way. It was created in response to the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America. No one walks the whole trip: it is a relay. People from different tribes join along the way, other people leave, there are always a group marching... So, amazingly, the group is in San Diego today, just at the time we are at the Centro Cultural! Guillaume go talk to the group while I am watching the kids. Then I joined them. The group is on its way to Tijuana. Then they are going to Mexico City but they will get there days after Guillaume.
This march is a beautiful thing and I am touched and honored to talk to them.

Unfortunately we cannot stay for the ceremony because it is too close to the time Guillaume has to take his bus...

We have time to make a quick stop at the place nearby: The World Beat Center. There is nothing going on this afternoon but I want to show Guillaume the large murals they have inside. Maybe when Guillaume comes back we could come one night when they have a reggae concert here.

Then we head downtown and this time (I guess) Guillaume leaves San Diego to Mexico City via Texas (it was less expensive to do that for him than to go via Tijuana).

I told Guillaume I would like to show him more of my work when he comes back to San Diego. He said he would like to have a portrait of him "Guieu's style". I would love to do that but I need to take more pictures of him!

Yesterday, when we were walking, I asked him how writers remember things they see and hear. He talked about Kerouac who had a phenomenal capacity to remember small details, and Jim Harrison who, when he met Guillaume for the second time, asked him questions about family members Guillaume talked about months before, may be years. The capacity to remember is also the attention one is able to give to people and things.

Guillaume's post in Libeblog about San Diego (In French of course!) illustrated with my photos!

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