Week 8, March 5-11: Nick’s Journal

A fridge stocked with Gelatina (1)

Part 1

Sometimes people come by.

Sometimes I’d like to hide.

But there are important things to be said, and eaten.

That’s why I keep the gelatina in the fridge.

In reality, it’s not up to me

because this is simply the law.

You know how we Latinos are,

And the Shipibo are even worse.

Sometimes I’d like to hide.


Sometimes the law works in our favor, though. Today we are summoning someone.

There are important things to be shared,

Favors to be requested and resources to be tapped,

Souls to be checked on, relationships to be watered.

That’s why I keep gelatina in the fridge.


Part 2

“It’s been so long hermana(2), we almost kicked the door down looking for you.”

Now I would be directa(3) and get straight to business.

But it’s really not up to me, because that is simply not the law.

Plus our amistad(4) would go unwatered and your soul unchecked.


But no worries, I’ve got gelatina, jokes, questions, and stories.

An hour and a half’s worth, in fact:

“I heard you were sick. Que grave(5)!

Look there’s a young American student staying with us!

How is retirement treating you?

Did I tell you I was in a writing workshop recently?

Wow you are looking quite nice these days!

I spent such a wonderful afternoon in Callao the other day!

How is your family doing?”


Now just one last cosita(6):

“Is there any chance that you might por casualidad(7) happen to be able to

Get us connected with a periodista(8) for us to take into the Amazonian selva(9)

To an indigenous community nine hours downriver from the nearest port

To record a ceremony commemorating the arrival of the first evangelical missionaries

To plant a church among the Shipibo people three-quarters of a century ago?”


(1)“Jello”, (2)sister, (3)frank, (4)friendship, (5)how awful!, (6)little thing, (7)by any chance, (8)journalist, (9)rainforest