Monday, September 19, 2011


it's been something these past two weeks.

the kids have been sick. you know, that annoying coughing and runny nose sick that kids get and dominicans refer to as gripe. i avoid the doctors at all costs, mostly because i can't handle the stupidity of it all, but when samil's fever just wouldn't go down, amalio packed him up and took him to the emergency room.

chest x-ray, blood draw and pee in a cup all to find the norm. and by norm, i mean nothing. nada. medicine on top of medicine and no school for two days.

and just after school on the first day back, poor samil busted his chin open... and three stitches and a nasty tetanus shot later, we're on the way back to normal.

sometimes this kind of week overwhelms me. puts me out, makes me crazy. la loca who yells a lot, but this week it wasn't so bad. i'm still remembering that life is good and we have been blessed. this could be la colera or dengue fever or something other nasty caribe disease.

Monday, September 12, 2011


today was a day. one of those days that starts just not right.

samil has been sick. mami, estoy malito. my belly hurt. and his fever is through the roof. amely is asleep on our, cold, hard ceramico because she got kicked out of our bed twice last night for being annoying. it can't be comfortable on that floor, though it might be better than sleeping in your brother's pee. because, yes, after two years accident free, the poor boy has peed himself three times in the past two days.

por supuesto, the only class-group i have problems with is the only class i have on mondays, and today was typical. attitude, reluctance. i could do somersaults off the balcony, land on a horse and sing opera and still get nothing from these kids.

the day only got worse i tried to make the kids doctor's appointments and figure out the insurance lio for amely's tubes. it's a huge mess.

then, i met up with some korean friends and some friends of theirs. frustration times six million, because no matter how hard i try to learn that coreano, it escapes me.

they were taking me to see their new mission center in one of the poorest neighborhoods in santiago. cienfuegos. the land of one hundred fires. nowadays, gunfire. because poverty breed violence. and there is not much more poor than cienfuegos.

i've been around. we have amigos who live there, a wonderful panaderia that sells excellent tres leche cake. not to mention the packs of students who actually walk the 45 minutes a day to attend amalio's school. but this.

this i had never experienced.
(and i wish i could show you in pictures, but even that wouldn't do it justice).

wooden skeletons, waiting. un poco de esperanza. a hope that on most days probably seems futile. board by board, building up the house. every time an extra peso comes around, another plank, another nail. another piece of hope. families living in one bedroom. one bed. no bathroom. no privacy.

further down the road, by the acueducto canal, a boy, in old underpants and rubber chancletas beat clothes against a rock; mami wringing and rinsing, taking care of the baby, naked with a bobo in her mouth.

it was hot today. hotter than normal. people sat outside, in the little shade. in front of their one bedroom shacks. some swept their small patch of land. sadness in their eyes, but each time we stopped


that esperanza because they have been remembered. we are not alone in the world.

today was not a bad day. i just needed a reminder. it's not bad. we have esperanza. for the future, hope. and the ability to share that hope. today humbled me in a way i have not been in a long time. thank you, universe.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

not to live in fear.

life is dangerous.

it is, you can't deny it.
tomorrow you can go outside and get hit by a truck. and die.

i don't know that september 11,2011 changed my life. sure, friends have gone to iraq. some have come home and gone back again and again. others never made it back.

air travel? just short of a full body check every.single.time i enter the u.s.a.

delinquency is rampant in santiago, lately. people are killing and not being punished and... in a amoral society, where number one rules, what happens? people are scared. it's reminiscent of september 11 and how people wouldn't leave their houses.

if i've learned anything from that tragic day it's that we never know what tomorrow holds. hold your plans for the future loosely and try to live for today. because it might be terrorists hi-jacking an airplane to kill the will of a country, or it might be a desperate kid trying to make his life just a little more comfortable - it can happen to anyone.

i'm remembering today all of those friends who never made it home. and praying for those who took lessons in fear that day.

semester two.

that short, oh-so-short, summer break is over.

during it, i fought the nasty bronchitis that threatened to kill me in july plus a stomach bug that left me unable to leave the bathroom for days. add to it amely's incredible-exploding ear drums, and well...

summer vacation was no vacation.

amely is better. i am better. mostly we are healthy. and safe from hurricanes. aleluya.

my second semester at the university has begun. four groups. 20 hours a week.
plus, samil started pre-school. he loves it.

like i always i have plans to re-join the blogging world on a regular basis. let's see what i can come up with.