Location: Xochimilco, Mexico
This picture was taken in Xochimilco, a borough outside Mexico City known for its canals. The waterways along with chinampas—squares of land for growing crops—are a vestige of pre-Columbian times. Colorfully painted gondola-like wooden boats called Trajineras are available for rent. The Mexican government is doing much to preserve this area. The water in the lagoons is clear and the wildlife is protected. Birds are not allowed to be shot. At this time of year, there’s a big influx of Pelicans from South Canada because there are so many fish for them to eat.
On the boat, a sweet bread snack was served along with Horchata, a warm rice and milk drink similar to hot breakfast cereal with little tasty lumps. Other people on the boat indulged in ancient delicacies: fried grasshoppers, baked worms, ant eggs and bright red mini shrimps that looked like bugs. I did not partake. Thank goodness there was also normal food available. I had guacamole, tortilla chips, black beans and rice.
When I was a kid I loved to run around in the woods behind my parent’s house in Long Island. My best friend and I played hide and seek behind the trees. We’d jump over the fence and run down to a nearby stream to catch frogs, lizards and snakes and jumped from rock to rock across the water. We always wore sneakers because we fell in a lot.
I also like to talk to plants. In my old apartment on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village, my plants suffered from the dry heat. I’d heard that if you talk to plants it’s good for them. One day a friend was over and she heard me saying to the plants, “Please don’t die, please don’t die.” Horrified she told me I needed to say something more positive. From then on I’ve been saying things like, “Hello! How are your little leaves?” I live in Chelsea now and my plants have been thriving since I moved here.
In the past, I was not a recycler. I’ve always put my empty soda bottles outside for the homeless so they could collect the nickel deposit but threw everything else in the trash. Then I went to Al Gore’s Live Earth concert in London on July 7, 2007. In between the Black Eyed Peas and Madonna, there was a huge slideshow that illustrated how much waste one person generates. I have religiously recycled ever since.
Dorri Olds is a freelance writer, web designer and social media consultant. She spends her days designing websites, posting on social media sites and writing stories, always with her beloved dog Buddy James at her feet. Her favorite topics to cover are travel, movies and her dog. Dorri also spends a considerable amount of time for a good cause—The Little Baby Face Foundation, which provides free reconstructive plastic surgery for children born with facial deformities. Dorri contributes to NY Resident and Petside.com among others. Find out more at www.DorriOlds.com.