My wife and I returned from a trip to Argentina and Chile last month, and already the memories of that memorable trip are starting to fade. What was that bird called? Which town were we in? Today I remember you Arlene, Bob, Lydia, Kit, Jane, Mark, Brian, Carol, Paula, Stephen, Mike and Dianne, and I remember our leader Graciela, of course. If you asked me for a similar list from last year’s trip, I would draw a blank, and will probably be unable to make this trip list 6 months from now.
That’s one reason I take photos. I’ve found limited use for my photos to show others. I put a few on Facebook, and people like them. But the real value of the photos is for my benefit, as they help me relive the experience.
I thought that by writing about the trips, perhaps I might preserve even more. That leads to this article and the image below taken in a remote desert location between Calama and San Pedro Chile.
Each of those red vertical poles represents a person killed by a cruel dictatorship for no good reason and dumped in the desert, as part of what was called the “Caravan of Death.” This and other images from Argentina and Chile teach me what human beings can do when they are afraid: the seek safety in powerful leadership and in order and in a less-threatening version of the truth. It teaches me what humans do when they get too much power.
I saw stunning landscapes; rivers, lakes and waterfalls; wonderful animals and trees; and fascinating people. But the one thing I hope I never forget is the image above.