Jephir Treks America: Bumbling Through Central America

A 6 week adventure in gastronomica, sights, and observation.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Back in the U.S. of A., Jephir was greeted by friendly folks, tasty beer and a five day sickness that included high fevers, headaches and a gastro-intestinal track that resembled your typical NASCAR race - speedy, dangerous and slick.

In other news, CT executed its first deathrow inmate in 45 years. Glad we gave closure to those families and tramatized the rest of the state for months on end. I just don't understand why taking the life of another person should be seen as justice. Guess I'm a little quaint and all that, but hell, what's so wrong with locking someone up for the rest of their life without possibility of parole? It's cheaper, too.

Speaking of prison costs, I think it'll be interesting when the already overcrowded prison system has an AIDS epidemic on its hands as well because of widespread prisoner-to-prisoner rape. Glad no one seems to want to touch that problem with a ten foot pole. At least they have healthcare, (more than I can say for 6 million americans) although it can get pretty expensive if you're not careful.

Here's a great article by Mark Lilla, author of The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics,on the dynamic tension that exists between liberal and hardline religious thought. If you like the article then I'd highly recommend his book, it's a great read. (Link found at

As for culture shock, both Zephir and I idn't experience anything as great as either of us were expecting - the week spent in westernized Morocco prepared us for the hustle and bustle of America, although the food we've had since we returned has been magnificent. Today we leave the friendly confines of Connecticut for the perpetual rainfall of Providence, where we hope to encounter one of the few remaining North Dakota Camels for an eating contest or three. Thereafter, bostonbound zephirs leave jeffs behind (and the rest of him as well, for that matter) to frolic with oily frons before a saw'n tell session with chicken in tow. Whatever that means.

In any case, back we are in the land of pasteurized milk and genetically engineered honey, so feel free to put in any visit request or congratulatory emails before we both die from parasites.

Oh, and here's what I look like right now, sans mustard bottle and with a few more white hairs.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I guess we're gonna have to call it a draw...

First round went to Jephir,

In the second, a few low blows gave the round to the Sahara.

But in the third....

It all seemed to be going so well - until it took us 72 hours to travel 1000 km (that's 600 miles). Luckily, Jephir kept it's cool and made it to Dakhla unscathed. For the sheer intensity of the Saharan onslaught we had to call it a draw. Difficulties included: having our ride show up 5 hours late, breaking down 4 km outside of town (broken strut), sleeping in the van (it's free!), again having the driver show up 5 hours late, sleeping in the van (again, still free) at the border, being ditched the following morning at the border, loading ourselves into the back of a van (sans fenetre, i.e. no windows) full of empty wooden crates and finally making it to Dakhla to miss the bus to Marrakech because the ATM machine decided it didn't like our bankcard all of a sudden. So, we sleep the night away in Dakhla and tomorrow its 24 hours of goodness to Marrakech.

A few observations from the latest leg of our trip:

Old French people have few qualms about screwing over young American travelers.

Few things sound as strange as a Mauritanian speaking fluent English with a Philly accent, except for maybe the stray Mauritanian speaking fluent English with a British accent and displaying the mannerisms of Bilbo Baggins.

Mauritanians can often resemble these folk.

But they're really quite friendly - we drank at least 35 cups of tea over the 3 days and our driver did everything he could to help after screwing us over (because his car died).

This is a great photo. (should be the first Jephir action figure)