Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gravity, machetes, siesta

I haven't been drawing much on this trip, but yesterday I started at dawn and drew a fair bit all day long. I screwed up that tree. Every palm tree I've drawn so far is horrific, except for one I drew today. It takes me a bit to figure out how to draw different species of tree, it seems.

Siesta in the town of Las Galeras, from a French Cafe. Also, a little bit of a sketch trying to figure out how I could visually represent the Theory of General Relativity in computer animation software. Also, a shadow from the string that dangles from my camera.

Get this: gravity is actually a warping of space and time. As you get closer to anything with mass, space stretches and time gets slower. That's how we stick to the earth. So when you feel gravity as acceleration (like if you jumped off a cliff), what you're actually feeling is the distortion of space and time that the earth causes. Can you believe it?

More siesta drawings. Motoconcho drivers. 

The top of a papaya plant. They're like giant (ten-foot tall) asparagus plants. The papayas grow right off the stalk. There are only leaves at the very top of the plant.


The highlight of the day yesterday was walking home with a backpack full of groceries and being stopped by a couple of local farm-workers who were drinking beer in the back of their truck. They asked if I was looking for work, and if I wanted to work for them - get paid under the table, clearing
jungle with a machete.

I thought this was super cool for three reasons:

(1) I understand Spanish well enough to have that complex of a conversation (although it was very stilted and with a lot of gesturing).

(2) I must not look like a bewildered tourist any more. The dark skin and shaggy beard must help.

(3) I absolutely love using machetes. I worked as a surveyor for a while and the machete was the best tool for clearing a line through the bush - even West Coast Rainforest! You can hack down a 6" diameter tree with a machete in about 20 seconds. And you can use it to make poles / walking
sticks / hotdog roasting sticks real quick. Far better than a hatchet.

It seems like everyone has a machete in the Dominican Republic . Children are walking along the beaches with them. They use them to get into coconuts.

I can get a machete for 400 pesos (about 12 bucks). Coconuts are 50 pesos apiece. So if I buy a machete and use it to slaughter eight coconuts, I come out even.

Also, if I have a machete, I can go work with those dudes for a day or two, which would be an unforgettable experience. I think I'm too shy to do that though.

1 comment: