30 June 2013

Enrichment Voyage, Part 15: Nativity Scenes, Zip-Lining, and the Strange Juxtapositions of Travel

Hello? Is this thing still on? 

So ... Certain readers will have noticed that I never quite finished telling the tale of the Enrichment Voyage last winter. Life got in the way. But that doesn't mean there aren't still plenty of stories from that wondrous, strange journey that was most definitely not a cruise. You can catch up on the previous Enrichment Voyage posts over here. Or, if you prefer, you can also start from the top and read all the stories, oldest to newest, in one long post.

I'll keep posting Enrichment Voyage stories here and there, I promise. For now, here's something to keep the narrative thread going, albeit slowly and slightly. 

This is a post I wrote for Enrichment Voyage's very own blog. I think it pretty well sums up the overall experience. 

Large structure: Fortaleza Real Felipe, Callao, Peru.
Small structure: Nativity scene
One of the great joys of travel is the strange combinations and juxtapositions it creates. High culture meets low, foreign meets familiar, and even the most commonplace tableaux take on a new surrealism when paired in unexpected ways.

It is not terribly remarkable when I tell you that I saw many elaborate, handmade nativity scenes in Peru, the exact sort of large-ish but not quite life-size creches that you might expect to see on church lawns back home in the states.

It’s a lot more interesting when I tell you that I saw one such large display — roughly four feet by four feet by four feet, featuring all the expected characters, plus blinking lights and Christmas carols rendered in electronic bleating from unseen speakers — behind the counter of a post office.