Friday, March 11, 2011

2nd continued and begining of third

I don’t want to live in a place like this. Its not the number of people, its not the crazy driving, its not the cat calls, its not the heat or humidity, its not the fact that nobody ever has chance, es que la gente vive con miedo. I cant stand it! I don’t know how many times my mother has told me things I learned when I was little(don’t tell people where you live, don’t talk to strangers, don’t take offers from men…) I would be ok with this advice if I was still little but im a grown young woman and I know precautions I should take. I know this is a sign that she is treating me like her daughter but its driving me bananas. Maybe mainly because it makes things even more difficult to be with my fiancĂ©. In Alaska I would get in a car no matter the hour to be by his side…the greatest fear being the weather. But I know how to handle the weather. Here I cant go anywhere without the fear of the ‘world’ following me. And as of now I don’t know how to handle this fear, And since the people here don’t give me the chance maybe I wont learn before its too late. And the fear people live in here, is crazy! My host mom tells me not to let the girls at my work play with my hair because they will get ideas about touching me other places.- They are girls! Girls play with hair! That’s why we have it. Or don’t make the girls mad because they have friends in gangs and will have them hurt or even kill you- not everyone is going to harm you. She has also told me some other things I feel like are oerly precautious.
If we live in fear, they have already won!
Family- this word forms invisible bonds of steel. Hearing the girls at my work talk about family has really made me think about the strength and odd bond the word has. Most of the girls have been abandoned or abused by their family but the way they talk about their family is with such love. How can we still love the people who inflicted the most pain to us? Do we hope they will realize their unjust acciones and learn how to love? Or is it purely the fact that they are family and ALWAYS will be?...........blurb……….. Is it because we are all afraid to admit the truth that we all come from dysfunctional families? Or do we have our ‘family blinders’ on? Allowing us to only see the things that make us proud to call them family.

*Sometimes it takes more energy to feel useless than to actually do work.
In all the places I have volunteered throughout my life there have been times where I have felt absolutely useless. Of course most of the time I later realized that this was not the case. None the less I have noticed that during the times whin I feel like I’m doing nothing I go home much more exhausted than when I actually work. There must be a way to remind myself that just being around these girls is helping them, in one way or another.
Today we had a ‘family’ meeting at work. All the girls and all the women who work there gathered in the living room to have a talk. Thankfully I asked if I could join because I think it was something really important to witness. It helped me know more about how the foundacion works. We discussed where and why the girls were either staying at their current school or being moved to a new one. We also talked about the false impressions the community members have about the house(underfed, lice, rotten food, malcriadas) Why the people had these impressions and what needs to be done in order to get rid of them. Like living with a new family, becoming a part of a new foundation requires one to witness the workings of every aspect. Be it finances, public relations, heiarchy, problems, solutions, failures and successes.
Today we had a break through with the cook! Since we had arrived at the house I never felt like the cook enjoyed us being there. But today she fed us!!! A sure sign she doesn’t hate us. An after I told her it was like my mom makes at home she wanted us to try everything else.
Today the girls also opened up a bit more and started talking about their likes and dis-likes, crushes…..etc. And when they found out my boyfriend was Ecuadorian the news spread through the house like wildfire. * the bratty little girl was actually nice to me today! She even wanted me to stay longer….I hope this behavior continues on Monday.
Why do we still talk of time travel as impossible? We have already figured it out three times over! Trains, boats, cars and pplanes are ll at our fingertips. They can take us wherever the heart desires, but what about when its not physical distance we want to move but rather-time! Time machines are not sitting in our backyards but rather they are dsguiesed as everyday things. Could you imagineif the whole world knew about time machines? We would be in a real mess these days! But the inventor wasn’t called a genious for nothing….no he was so smart that he disguised his machine as many different things. They are so well disguised people travel through time and don’t even realize what they just did. Im here to give the world a hint! It is time we stop fearing the possibility of the knowledge falling into evil hands. It is time we take advantage of it and use it for good. Let me tell you three little stories and give you three chances to figure out where this ‘magic’ could be.
1. Its January 2nd 2011 and upon our arrival to Guayaquil my boyfriend and I decide we should stop for a quick bite to eat. Seeing that it is pretty late at night most places are closed until we stumble upon a little place selling pan de yuca and yogurt. The man was getting ready to close up shop so he offered to give us the lot of pan de yucca at a disount if we bought yogurt. I had never tried the pan de yucca but I agreed to it anyway because my boyfriend ensured me it was delicious. The yogurt is different here…..I am much more willing to consume it. Today we choose mora flavored, as we slowly sipped the liquid up the straws a delicious flavor of fresh blackberries tickled our tast buts at an orgasmicly cold temperature. Just before the chills ran across our skin we stoppe to take a quick bite of the little balls of delicousness known as pan de yucca. The lats thing I remember was reaching for my straw in search of the addicting flavor of fresh! And before I knew it I was sitting in a cafĂ© called San Jose’s with my little sister in Resistencia argentina on January 2nd 2007. I reached the straw but instead of tasting fresh a suprising shock of chocolate reassured me that something was going on. In front of me sat 2 little balls of deliciousness but my sister refered to them as chipa. Curious, I reached out and took one…. My tongue felt the same texture but the after tast threw me into a spiral back to the worried eyes of my boyfriend- ‘are you ok mi amor?-

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2nd week

What a week! So last week one of the girls from my work asked for a kiss on the lips. Not positive how to handle this, culturally, I asked my host mom looking for some advice. Instead she freaked out and called my schools director. Of course he freaked out as well and demanded we go to my work and have a meeting on Monday. I felt that the problem was really innocent and it would work itself out so Sunday night I called Chris again trying to convince him against the meeting. The only thing he agreed to was that the girl would not be included n the meeting. Monday morning comes along and Chris is 1/2hr late meeting us at the school and when he gets there he tells us we have to wait a minimum of an hour because there is horrible traffic outside. So I’m going crazy and they just keep making me wait. Finally we get to my work and have the meeting. One good thing came out of it and that was I learned the girls history. I think it is important to have some sort of history since we are going to be spending so much time together. But I can honestly say this was the first week in six months that I’ve wanted to go home. I’ve been through a lot these six months so that statement is really saying something.
On a brighter note simultaneously with all this stress something really exciting is going on in my life. I was recently engaged in December so now all the exciting future plans are being discussed. Not really wedding plans because we are going to wait 1.5 years but where we are going to live, holiday plans, family plans and just future thinking.
Where to live used to be an easy question because I believed I could live anywhere. Up till now I’ve lived in almost every situation; freezing arctic, dry desert, rainy California, tropics, quito’s altitude, and immense city. The statement holds true that I could live anywhere but I know now that the difference is I wouldn’t want to live anywhere………more specifically here/a place like here.

first impressions

The first time I saw Guayaquil, real Guayaquil, was with my boyfriend after he picked me up at the airport. I saw many things that took me slightly by surprise. He had warned me before I arrived of what I would see but when I actually saw it….. Wow! One night we went out for yogurt and pan de yucca. It was a place in the heart of Guayaquil on the street. When we got out of the car the first thing I noticed were the people sleeping on the street. Now I had seen homeless people before, although we don’t have many in Alaska, but what surprised me was what I thought when I saw it. ‘ I haven’t become numb to the sight of this yet.’ I had mixed feelings after thinking this. 1- It would be really sad if I stopped seeing this reality. 2- I have to become somewhat numb in order to not feel sad all the time.
Another thing I noticed was the danger. Obviously the majority of people here do not have a ton of money and it would be wise to take certain precautions but if you walk out the door it doesn’t mean you are going to die. There is the possibility of dieing anywhere you are so we should take the necessary precautions but don’t let it scare us into staying at home all the time. We can’t stop living because of fear.
When I returned to Guayaquil a month later I saw a very different place. The place I would call home for the next four months was not the Guayaquil I knew. This was a little comforting to be honest but as I soon found out a little sad. Most people I live around who call themselves Ecuadorians don’t know the reality of 80% of their country.
We live in an oasis where the only things reminding you, you are in Ecuador is the food on the family table and the taxis honking as they pass you walking down the street.
During my first visit to my internship one of the little girls tapped my shoulder, out of 2o students she tapped mine, and when I turned around she planted the sweetest kiss on my cheek. From that moment I knew that this place was going to be perfect for me. Before this visit I thought that the house was just for orphaned girls but that day I found out the majority were taken from abusive families. When I returned to the bus I silently started crying…..

A little patch of grass

I decided to come to BA to take advantage of the city life before going back to Resistencia to see family but ever since I arrived the only thing I want to find is nature. I think it’s because I have so much on my mind. Today it is my goal to find a park, a nice patch of grass and get it all out in words.
I can’t believe I’m thinking about this………….did I really just tell myself- he could be the one? I never thought I would be here, now, thinking about this. I wasn’t looking and look what I found. When I left for this trip I vowed not to let myself fall because time would get the best of me. That the program would end and I would be left right where I started. Well what if he is different. I feel like my life is racing at the speed of light and as scared as I should be I can’t help but get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about the possibility of us being together. He makes me feel so happy, so special, safe and beyond all he makes me feel loved. He makes me feel like I’m back in middle school when you get that feeling in your gut. I don’t know what else to compare it to. It’s like someone grabs your soul and squeezes as tight as possible but it doesn’t make you want to cry- no it makes you want to shout in happiness(almost like the funny bone). The fact that I feel this way but am on the other side of the country is amazing, crazy. I’ve never felt this way before but it’s great.
I told my parents I wasn’t ready to accept a proposal but I’ve envisioned myself saying yes and being ecstatic. I never thought I would feel this way here and now. Let alone ever.
I, like hermonie granger, analyze things. Today as I sit on this lovely patch of grass am making myself analyze my feelings something that can be very dangerous to do but I think this time must be done. I have to ask if the fact that javi makes me so happy is blinding me from seeing anything obvious? I’ve been pondering it for a long time and my answer is concretely no. Although the fact that he makes me feel really great is a very important part of us there are many other aspects that lets me know this is true. We have been there for each other when one was hurting, we work as a team to conquer problems even when they deal with the matter of us, we have fun, we have both been mad and made it through, we bring out the best in each other, we have the full support of the other, we can talk to each other even when we are mad/sad/confused at each other, I can’t stand being away from him, I’ve met his family, we are truthful about everything, we know each other well, he knows when I’m thinking, we know when one is uncomfortable, he loves me, I love him, we understand that marriage involves two people………………….I could keep going on but I realize that although analyzation needed to be done it does not anymore. I am confident he is the one

there is a time to be alone

Even the little accomplishments are something to be celebrated. That is what I have learned my second day in Buenos Aires.
My flight from Santiago was delayed and while waiting for these mysterious doors to open I offered this young man a piece of gum. Maybe I did it just to be nice or maybe because I didn’t want to feel alone. That piece of gum opened the door for conversation, we got around to talking about where ii was staying and how I was traveling alone and he offered to help. We took a taxi to his place to drop off his stuff, I denied the offer to stay at his place because I knew that crossed the line of too trusting. At one in the morning we found ourselves waiting for the bus. During the bus ride I realized that his friendly gaze turned into a look that said- I can’t believe I’m here with this incredible girl and damn she looks good, and she knows the words to this song, and- this is when I knew we needed to get to the hostel. Finally around two we arrived and found out my reservation didn’t go through. Luckily Miguel( my helper) went to the bathroom before I found out so he didn’t have the opportunity to offer me his place once again.
I got set up at another hostel and had to say goodbye to my friend. I was a little disappointed he went in for a kiss knowing I had a boyfriend. I didn’t feel like I owed him anything and with a stern no I sent him on his way. And off to bed I went.

I believe things happen for a reason. I believe that Bruno didn’t come because I needed to be alone. I am here alone to re-enforce my new found confidence and to reflect on this last semester. I went out ALONE and explored BA, I got lost, never freaked out, found money, ate and in the end found my way back to the hostel. Every little thing felt like a huge step forward. I already found my favorite street-de mayo- I sat on a bench there today just observing and thinking. The street is lined with beautiful green trees against the backdrop of cream buildings with ornate decorations, French doors and rod iron balconies. People were rushing around, horns honking, cars speeding and me sitting. Alone and at peace. It is an amazing feeling.

Sometimes I feel like Argentineans have nothing better to do then demonstrate. Today I saw three different demonstrations within two hours. There are tons of people, yelling, music, burning of tires leaving an awful smelling black cloud, explosives, and police trying to keep it all contained. Argentineans just keep walking, they don’t even jump with the sound of the explosions- life goes on.

last days in ecuador- begining of argentina

On this trip I feel like the people were so much more important than the place. When we left the Galapagos It was sad……but not because we were leaving the island rather because we knew that in two days we were leaving each other. It was hard to stay positive on our last day together because I knew I would be saying goodbye to 27 people I love and to top it all off I had no idea when I would see them again. I found myself holding back tears several times that day. When we went out to the mariscol I couldn’t hold back. The combination of emotions, people, chaos, 3 different songs conflicting I felt like my world was spinning out of control and there was nothing I could do about it. I had to just get out of there.
Sometimes, like with javi, I feel like it is a good spin but others, like leaving and starting fresh it makes me sick to my stomach.
I wouldn’t say for the whole trip I was in denial but defiantly for some time of the trip I was in denial about my feelings. I was holding onto the hope of the past because it was happy and maybe because it was unattainable. Meanwhile I was falling in love with javi. I’m sorry to say I hurt him a lot because of my denial. I don’t know how many times I assured him I didn’t like him. I’m now positive it was me I was trying to convince. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing him so I made it that I couldn’t have him in the first place. The truth is the first time I contemplated a relationship with him was in august and for two months I was just being stubborn. I am grateful I came to terms with my denial. That I saw through the thick smoke and found my true feelings for him. The ones that were there the whole time but being held down by……fear I guess I’ll call it. Maybe just stupidity.
There are so many little things I love about him and I want him there by my side……sharing everything with me…….protecting me…..having fun together…..sharing the hard times……and being there for each other. He loves me and he always has and maybe I’m so insecure because I love him too. I didn’t want to admit it because I was afraid that once I did it will all be over. Throughout the semester he has done things taking away this fear. He isn’t going to let this end unless it is what I want. And I know now it is not.
Our last night we went dancing with the group in a club. It was one of the best nights of my life. At one point the song – yo no se manana came on and we both started crying. We were in the middle of a crowded dance floor holding each other and I felt like we were the only two people in the club at that moment.
While we were crying at the thought of this being the last night of US, Sam showed up………………….blurb……………………………………….And the whole time he was hurting he just wanted me and Edgar to be together and enjoy our last night. God! I met some amazing people this semester and I won’t let it happen that we don’t see each other again. We gave each other so much and that is something we will always have.

Monday, February 7, 2011

sorry its been so long

Its crazy how time flys. But after thursday Ill start updating again.

things to write about
+ saying goodbye
+ argentina
+ proposal
+ new semester orientation
+ the ring
+ guayaquil
+ work
+ school

I promise to put some work in soon :) to my most loyal follower. I visited your blog today and it really makes me happy to know what is going on in alaska! thanks for being so reliable in your updates