Sunday, September 27, 2009

Know this guy? I saw him last week.

(from http://bellum.stanfordreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/che-guevara-lg.jpg)

Yes, I did! Same hair, same goatee, same hat, same jacket (but the jacket I saw had this same photo imprinted on the back). There's not even any point describing him, because the man in the photo is the man I saw.

Well, actually he was more of a boy, around 17 years old. And the look on his face was much less angry. In fact, he seemed really sweet, handing out peanuts and biscuits to all his friends, making sure everyone was well-cared for. Like a good communist.

Apparently here in Timor, fake Ché's are a common sight. I saw another lookalike, not quite as accurate but close, just two days ago. And I've been told there are more.

What captured me about this youth, though, was that he was from a village in the far southeast of Timor-Leste, about an 8 hour drive from the capital, where mobile phone signal is hard to pick up and internet signal pointless to even attempt. He's likely never traveled, maybe as far as the capital but probably no further. But he's not been isolated from this symbol of progressive revolution. In fact, all of his friends had a sense of style and carried themselves like youth who cared and who had already seen the world. Somehow, that experience seems to have made it to their villages already, even a long time ago.

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