Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Good to be Home

So, after much encouragement (nay, nagging), I decided to risk the reputation of the blog and see if I could give this posting thing another chance.

Meghan would probably insert the boring warning (HERE). For some reason, we just don't see eye-to-eye on what we deem as interesting. But anyway...

My travels this week landed me in El Paso, Texas. I think sometimes it is really hard to appreciate, or fathom, just how large Texas is. It is actually a shorter distance to travel from El Paso to Los Angeles than it is to travel across the state of Texas.

El Paso is snugly set in the western corner of Texas. It borders New Mexico and Mexico. Until recently, I did not really know just how close El Paso was to Juarez, Mexico, nor did I really know a lot about that city. However, there was an eerie feeling to be right beside "the most dangerous place in the world, outside a war zone," as it is widely considered. Apparently, the problems associated with the drug trade have really escalated during the past few years. Just since 2008, there have been more than 4,700 murders in Juarez! Strangely, though, El Paso is considered one of the safest cities in the U.S. One source (not the El Paso Chamber of Commerce) considered it as the second safest large city in America. What a difference a river, a tall fence, and perhaps, an active government can make.

We were pretty busy from the time we got there, so there wasn't much time for exploring the city. There were some beautiful views of mountains that surrounded the city. For me, the most interesting sight was traveling down I-10 (basically, right on the outskirts of downtown El Paso), looking out the window of the car, and seeing many small Mexican dwellings across the border (very similar to what we had seen in parts of Honduras last summer). I had never witnessed such a huge discrepancy in standard of living, separated by such a short distance.

I am proud to report that Meghan and Duncan were able to survive the week alone (they may wish I would leave more often - the house looks pretty clean!). Right now, Duncan is curled up on the couch right beside me. Even after a week away, some things just do not change. -Andy

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