But as some of you know, I did a three-day trip down into Baja, Mexico last weekend. Indeed, loads of fun. In fact my friend cut his foot on a rock while surfing and we had to venture to a Mexican doctor because he would not trust my "skills" with a bottle of Tequila and some dental floss. (Haha.) What a coward. How I miss the rugged land of Baja...
(A Spanish-style Catholic church in Baja, Mexico. This is one of those constants in all of Baja's small towns.)
While we were sitting in the Doc's office I foolhardily read his name out loud: Dr. Perrie Yousef Azzi. "Umm, ahhh, sir... Are you like, a Maronite? I mean, umm, a Christian from Lebanon?"
He was. And he was in shock that someone in rural Baja--most Mexicans see Baja like most Americans see Alaska--could pick him out as being Lebanese. He must have thought: How can this gringo tell than I am not Mexican? We were both bewildered. What was this Semite doing in a land of Latins? How did he get here? I just had to know.
His story was slow to leak, but it eventually sounded something like this: He left Lebanon during the Civil War (1975-90), went to medical school in Canada, and then met a Mexican woman who happened to live in this small, small town just south of Ensenada, in the Mexican state of Baja Norte.
He chatted us up for a while--me in Arabic, my friend in Spanish while he numbed his flesh, cleaned it and stitched it back together. Oh, how he missed Lebanon... He kept telling stories about picnics in the tall grassy mountains of the Lebanese Mediterranean. He was from the Chouf--a mountain range south east of Beirut where mostly Druze and Maronites live. I told him how I often had traveled through the Chouf and had once even met with Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the Druze. He was not so impressed by this fact, however. There is a lot of tension between these two kin’s, both old (late 19-century) and new (period of Israeli occupation during the Lebanese Civil War).
(Nice waves in Baja, Mexico. This is from this last trip and not too far from the spot where my buddy cut his foot. Epic[ly] beautiful.
I share this quick story of running into this lonely Lebanese Doc to fill in the readership of what old Abu G does now that he is not patrolling Hezbollah controlled south Lebanon with a surfboard (the article on this will come out next month in The Surfers Journal).
To Finnish, I think it is fair to say that the Lebanese Civil War did a lot to many. One of the things it did was to turn the Lebanese into a people of the globe. And so on almost every far off corner they continue to live.
Until next time Doc. I will make sure to take you up on that cup of Lebanese-style coffee you promised.