This week we have gone to the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg campus, a talk about Zika virus between US and Mexican scientists, South Padre Island, to an international bridge in Progreso, Texas, to the border town of Brownsville where the border is even fuzzier and there’s a fragmented wall.
So we’ve essentially reached the place where many things meet. Where scientists exchange ideas across borders, where the land meets the sea, where bridges reach to connect two places, and two languages are interchangeably used and even combined to form a different unique language (Spanglish). I am in awe of this place that manages to be from here, from elsewhere, and uniquely itself. (I guess I should’ve expected it from the place that invented TexMex.) I have met staff at UTRGV and Hidalgo County, hopefully creating a social bridge between Michigan and Texas. The landscape in this part of Texas is flat and dusty like the plains states but has palm trees, orange trees and agave, like the subtropics- connecting two ecosystems to create a unique landscape. I tried cactus for the first time, bridging the gap between past me and future me who has decided cactus tastes pretty good!
This week has taught me that when disparate landscapes collide, and when people from different places come together you’re never sure what you’ll get but there’s a good chance it will be challenging, cool and unexpected.
“What covers you discovers you.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra