The Piedra Rahada

Distant Horizions

Distant Horizions


I’ve written many difficult posts for vsvevg: posts about loss, illness, failure, disillusionment, weakness, and our struggles to live up to our principles; but this is one of the most difficult I have had to write.

Felipe and I are leaving the Piedra Rahada.

King was killed one month after he came to us, and we finally decided that though we learned not to judge(mostly), though we had accepted that our ideals were the antitheses of La Tigra’s, we were exhausted by the sorrow and hardship the beliefs and actions of our community have caused us.

I have been grieving for five years over Elvis, Jake, Jackie, then Lilly and now King.  It is not only these acts of cruelty, but a pervasive negativity that promotes fraud, deception and the belief that to take advantage of one’s neighbor is a good thing.  It sometimes felt like we were living with the IK.

I don’t blame the community, we’re different, they have their own path, but we can no longer be consumed by our inability to conform to norms we can never accept.

We stayed much longer than was good for us in many ways—because we love our family and the Piedra Rahada, but as we buried King, we looked into each other’s eyes and without words— we knew we were done. We decided we would let the Piedra Rahada go if that was what it required, though it caused us as much sorrow as all the other losses.

Then my friend called…

Felipe is now with me at Rancho Santana. We will work here contributing to the farm to table concept, utilizing the skills and ideals we worked so hard to manifest at the PDR. The revenue from this challenging, interesting work will provide the capital to build in Tepotzlan, a community more in tune with our mindset. We will not need to sell the Piedra Rahada. We are working to save it.

I doubt we will ever live full time near La Tigra again, but we will have the Piedra Rahada to nurture and visit as we choose. Though sadly, without a dog.

I considered shutting vsvevg down, but then remembered it’s really about Felipe and my journey with our land and our commitment to it. Our time in Nicaragua will be a part of that process.  It’s the perfect situation for us and I’m much more excited about it than this writing implies. Certainly I’m was excited about Felipe’s arrival. We drank a glass of bubbly and toasted the Piedra Rahada, our friend who gave us this redemptive opportunity, and our wonderful new adventure.


 Moecha, my sole survivor, La Tigra’s oldest dog(they had no idea a dog could live so long—she’s ten) is currently residing with our ever generous friend Larry. We will bring her to Nicaragua when we figure out how to get her here, until then she is safe and happy eating chicken and hanging with Larry and his entourage of rescued dogs and cats.



Well Wisher

A useful comment I received.

ywwp on July 31, 2014 at 3:06 am said: Edit

hi Abby,
Just a suggestion:
Go to Settings>Sharing, and select the checkbox – Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results
Now if someone visits your blog, he/she may like the post without opening the post separately. It will help you get more likes on the blog.regards,

Check out my new office!

That's me with my Ipad, and Jandro my muse. This is my latest office behind the secondary school. Me, my Ipad and Jandro my muse.

I like to keep you up to date about my location, mostly for the laughs.

Recently internet service was installed in the secondary school in La Tigra. But I was reluctant to get my hopes up about the possibility of local, free service because of my clinic office downfall.

So I went to town and checked out the signal, but I didn’t change my routine of: walking 15 minutes in the afternoon sun with my laptop, sweat running down my body, riding the bus for half an hour and then setting up shop in the internet café in Tehuixtla with its year round mosquito infestation and teenagers playing video war-games and 80’s power pop in the not distant enough back ground.

Within a week of the school’s connection, kids (and some parents!) stormed and trashed the school even thought they could get signal outside of the school’s walls, and the teachers kicked everybody of the signal.

But recently the teachers had a change of heart and reopened usage for the community with the stipulation there will be no more breaking and entering. And so, I have a new office. With a chair!

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How far would you go to stay online?

The Artist’s Life

Graffiti Mexico City

Graffiti Mexico City

I am coming up on the second anniversary of writing VSVEVG. It’s prompted me to consider why I started this blog and why I continue to write it. The explanation on my about page is accurate but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

I am a writer and I write this blog to get my words to people. I decided to write about my life because it’s a little out of the ordinary ,and I figured the last thing we needed was another blog about writing. But I do read a lot of blogs about writing.

Writers often write about how hard the artist’s life is. The trials of solitude, the sacrifices that must be made to maintain a consistent practice, the self-doubt…there’s a big list. Certainly I won’t disagree it’s hard to write well, and I am well familiar with the isolation and the insecurities inherent, and I believe necessary for an artist’s life.

But when I read about how difficult the artist’s path is I think of the time in my life I was constantly anxious because I hadn’t yet connected to my true self, the one who sits down every day and grapples with ideas and beliefs and tries to share them with the world through words. This person. The one willing to live without comforts to have the time to step into that flow– that contest every day.  

The truth is, if you are a person who lives with this burning, inescapable quest in your gut (Confucius believed the mind resided in the belly) then you are one of the lucky ones.  Because we know our purpose and that it has meaning– like we know the lines of our own face.  This is a gift in a world of triviality and distraction, regardless of the hardships.

VSVEVG has rewarded me greatly. I am a far better writer from meeting its demands. I’ve made friends I’ll have for a lifetime, gained patrons, received support from strangers I may never hear from again. It’s miraculous to me, really.

I’m not sure what direction VSVEVG will take in its third year. There will still be poetry, stories of La Tigra, Felipe updates, recitation and the recipes I’ve promised, but perhaps with a new bent.  I’m still mulling it over. What do I know is, I’ll be here, tapping out my truth, grateful to you for reading, commenting, liking and sharing.

Happy anniversary VSVEVG.  Many thanks to WordPress for making it all possible.

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer

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