Posted by: bandaidchild | August 26, 2010

Motorcycle Diaries.

It’s three in the morning for Central time folks, but to my tummy that means NAM NAM time. Typically around 2:30 or 3, my coworkers and I (ashamedly) salivate over having McDonald’s breakfast menu up at 3:30. Plus, by that time in the morning criminals are too tired to commit crimes, and Neighborhood Watch ladies have (mostly) gone to sleep as well.

Sometimes, anyway.

So that leaves lots of time for thinking about food. But I digress.

I’ve got a lot of stuff to learn and study in the next several days, so I’m going to head to bed after I get all that is in my head out.

I watched the Motorcycle Diaries tonight. If you’re not familiar with it, I think it’s a phenomenal film, though Che Guevara is idolized, and his hatred is not displayed except for one sentence in the entire movie.

here’s the premise of the movie: Che and his buddy take a road trip in the early fifties starting in Argentina where they grew up, and taking a monumental road trip that lasts nine months. During their time, they encounter a number of poverty-stricken people, and the effects of an unjust government. Che was still a good, peaceful, warm hearted guy in his twenties. . . Che and his buddy are also almost doctors of sorts; Ernesto of Medicine, Alberto, biochemistry. They are invited to a leper colony, where they spend several weeks. Eventually they part ways and Alberto starts the Santiago School of Medicine, and Guevara… dies twenty years later trying to head up a revolution based on violence.


there is a scene in the movie that I love.

As Ernesto and Alberto are shown around the leper compound, there is a huge river dividing the doctors from the lepers. They’re well aware lepers are not contagious, but the doctors still keep their distance and use gloves even before stepping on that part of the soil.

Ernesto turns twenty five near the end of the movie. The doctors give him a big party, and as everyone is dancing and having a good time, he steps outside, looking out across the lake.

“I want to spend my birthday over there. Where’s the boat?”

“I don’t see it,” Alberto says, “perhaps we can go in the morning, yes?”

“No. My birthday is now, not tomorrow. I want to celebrate in the company of friends.”

Alberto pleads with him as Ernesto unbuttons his shirt, and finally dives in.

Alberto screams and screams, “your mother is going to kill me! Will you listen to me for once in your life! You’re going to die out there; there are wild animals, you idiot!” But Ernesto swims, swims, swims.

All the doctors and nurses come running out pleading for him to come back, too.

Ernesto has terrible asthma, and quickly starts to flounder in the water, but he keeps going. He keeps going. He keeps going.

The other side shouting has now woken up the lepers, who get close to the shore and start cheering their friend on.

The paradox fascinated me.

One side, who is educated, well-known, working with the “worst of the worst”, are shouting negative things at him, and the other side- the “untouchables”, the disfigured, the rejected, the smelly people, have got their feet in the water stretching out their hands, encouraging a very tired Ernesto that he can do it, just a few more strokes, that he’s almost there.

And I thought about this paradox in my mind as of late to be similar. While I don’t think I’ve been wrestling with Academia so much, I have been wrestling with giving up things I really didn’t want to give up. And there were so many excuses to stay on land. Dry. Comfortable. Breathing normally.

But I learned tonight that I needed to jump in and struggle, and get to the other side to realize what a victory it was, and will continue to be.

I’m celebrating on the other side tonight.



  1. This post made me smile. I love you, friend.

    -cheering you on.


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