30 November, 2005

Santa Sofía of my boyhood

So I checked out the recent progress at Google Earth and boy have I missed a lot! They have expanded their databse extensively, and even marginal Caracas, Vzla (not so marginal anymore thanks to Chavez --No, I don't blame everything negative about Vzla on Chavez!) shows up in some pretty sharp detail. After a few minutes of searching, I found the neighborhood (Sta. Sofía) where I spent many a day meandering about between the local baseball stadium, abandonded police station (it wasn't always vacant), now broken ping-pong table, children's park and dilapidated basketball court. Believe it or not, all of these facilities were bunched up in one conveniently (for me) situated complex. Anyway, if you look at the picture below, the neon-green line marks the driveway/parking space (fits two cars and was laid down with a combo of red-brick and stone) and the stairs (same composition as driveway) to the front entrance of Quinta Ayelmín, the house where my father and two aunts were raised (and where my lonely aunt and Grandma' now reside, along with their two scruffy-looking dogs). The green dot or circle just a few inches away marks the end of the property, some 30-45 feet up into the backyard, which reaches a height maybe twice that figure in comparison to the elevation at the street level.

The backyard is a wonder in itself. I used to set up traps among the mango and níspero trees and catch crickets which I would either dismember or house in one of my many whimsical microcosms (which were usually fashioned out of a small plastic container, grass and soil from my grandparents' backyard), depending on my mood. I've returned to this house many times since we left Vzla, at least 4 or 5 times, staying for lengths of 1-2 months each visit. Suffice it to say that this is a rather intimate piece of my life that I'm sharing with you here:

Sta. Sofía and Qta. Ayelmín


Anonymous said...

Alexander, this is the most exity , wounderfull, amaizing, beautufull without any wards that I could read in muy life, so pure, so clear and so kindness.

I love you for ever muy swit and ................. lovely nefew. Alexander, disculpame mis herrores, pero no sabes cuanto haz llegado a mi corazon, este es un momento que nunca, jamas podre olvidar, tus detalles y sentimiento de esos momentos que marcan nuestras vidas de una manera subleminar que solo se puede explicar de la manera que tu lo haz hecho, y sabes?, creo que si mi mama no ha vendido esa casa es por la simple razon de esos recuerdos tan hermosos tan sin palabras que tu tan humildemente los describes. Te amo muchisimo, Si! siempre te he tenido en los mas profundo de mi corazon y nadie podra quitarmelo, nadie, en tu silencio, en tu ausencia eres gtande, siempre le piso a Dios en quien creo muchisimo que te bendiga en todo moemento de tu vida y estoy segura que siempre te protegera y bendicira a ti y a los que tu amas y tienes a tu alrrededor. Una vez mas, Te amo. y Gracias por esas hermosas palabras en este documento.

Anonymous said...

Gordo, this is your dad ... like my sister, I too loved the way you expressed your love (& feelings) towards a placed that brings back to many (and MANY with capital M) good memories as a kid growing up in Sta. Sofia. I remember christmas time when I was 9, just moved into our brand new house (we probably were like the 8th new home built in the neighborehood), the cold weather (Caracas is about 900 meter above see level = not quite 3,000 feet) in the teens (14 centegrades) and skatting with my friends down the steet street (Calle Norte); the smell of x-mas in the air was so wonderful ... erverybody looking after each other, having hot drinks, going up-and-down the street was fun (very similar to the ski funicular that takes you up to the top of the mountain to go down again, but in our case it was a car pulling a bunch of kids hoocked to a long rope to pull you all the way to the top of the hill to later skate all the way down the street - that was fun an scary) - sometimes we had accidents, but nothing serious. Well, I can go for ever, but down want to bore the readers ... La bendicion, papi

Anonymous said...

No te limites en tu comentario! Escribe todo lo que tu quieras, mas si trata de los principios de esa casa que tan grabada se nos ha quedado, en nuestras memorias igual que en nuestros corazones. No habia esperado esas respuestas que Uds. colaboraron, que mas bien son relatos de sus experiencias en Sta. Sofia. Asi que si les provoca, comenten todo lo que quieran.

bendicion y abrazos,