Monday, October 27, 2008

Ok, so just a small political interlude...

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

sometimes I just can't help myself! Powell <3

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Countdown Continues!

Well, 2 months and 5 days from now I will be living in El Salvador!!

Sometimes I can't believe there's actually an end in sight for this 2 year ordeal. It's been such a struggle. Such a long road. I may only be (almost) 32, but I have the gray hairs to prove it (although few people realize this as the woman who does my hair is spectacular at her job!!).

I sent another box out today. It's kind of ridiculous how much this is costing, but if I keep reminding myself that it pales in comparison to the total cost of an international move, it feels a bit less horrendous.

It's cooled off enough around here to make me feel comfortable with the idea of packing up our summer clothes (both in suitcases and to ship) and relying solely on our warm clothes. Yes, it will add to the boxes piling up in the front of the apartment, but I've resigned myself to the fact we'll be living that way for now.

I just talked with Mi Amor. He is working... on the beach! He works so hard and I'm so proud of him. He's almost finished another cart which means he'll have part number 2 of business number 2 up and going either next week or the week after. Part of me worries he'll be working too much for us to spend time together, but I also realize that my nerves are searching for just about anything at this point to worry about.

I need to take a nap. I've been fighting this upper respiratory infection for weeks now and am still coughing up a storm, as is La Hija. Seeing as the apartment is quiet at present (it's nap time for La Hija too) I should take advantage of this chance at rest and snooze. I can't afford to keep this sickness hanging on for any longer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm going to have to bury my head in the sand soon...

I don't know how much more of this I can take. The more I pay attention to what people are saying around me (such as, "with all these illegals voting, who knows if we can have a fair election" and "if Obama wins, it's just because of all the illegals" and other nonsense... like claiming this is going to be the "first racist election in history because of all the 1st time black voters"), the more I seriously want to fight people. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I may look mean, what with all the tattoos and my perpetual scowl, but I'm really a pacifist... but these people make me want to punch them in the head to attempt to knock some sense into them.

I really had to control myself today... especially because this lady complaining about "those illegals voting" was standing behind me in the early voting line. Seeing that I was visibly shaken by this woman's comments (and plotting how I could correct her ignoramus comment without punctuating it with a right hook), this lovely older woman in front of me started talking with me about how she remembered her grandmother talking about how everyone used to be "racist against the Irish too" and we agreed that immigrant populations always seem to face bigots in this country. I made a few comments about how my husband is Latino and we've experienced a lot of racism here (among other things). Needless to say, Little Ms. "Oh My God! Illegals Are Going To Elect A Black Man!!" refrained from speaking to me for the rest of our wait. Thank god!

I'm going to have to take a break from politics now that I've done my civic duty and gotten my vote on. I'll leave the rest of my anxiety for election night.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why am I always disappointed?

Why am I always disappointed, even when I am not surprised? Over the past few months, I've had a number of political conversations that swing around to the topic of fear for Obama's welfare and safety. He's been under the watchful eye of the Secret Service for quite some time, but that does not quell people's fears but it can sometimes make folks a bit more comfortable or confident...

...and then you see things like this and the worry festers like a gangrenous wound

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Through the eyes of a child...

I figured I'd pamper myself this evening and decided to use this brown mud masque on my face. After I'd applied it, La Hija came running over to me with this horrified look, pointed and me and screamed, "EEEEEEW! YOUR FACE!!!"

God I love her! :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Change is a Threat...

...and boy does it bring out the ugly in the world.

As if Obama's popularity in the polls didn't cause enough of the American racists out there to tear off their PC muzzles and begin spewing their rhetoric of ignorance and hate for the whole world to see... as if the possibility of "One of Them" in power wasn't spurring enough of an upsurge of frightening public (re)actions... the sickness seems to be spreading worldwide.

Evidently, it's not even safe to wear an Obama t-shirt these days--even in the UK.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Election Interference?

While the past two U.S. elections have been... shall we say... questionable... I'm not actually referring to our elections in this post. I'd actually like to talk about possible U.S. interference in El Salvador's upcoming elections. See, we supported right-wing ARENA militarily during El Salvador's bloody civil war and seem to have a mind to keep them in power, as illustrated perfectly by the strong-arm tactics used in 2004 to frighten the Salvadoran people into "supporting" ARENA. In September, Marisol Argueta, El Salvador's Minister of Foreign Affairs, spoke to the American Enterprise Institute and stated that, "more U.S. support is urgent, lest President Saca be defeated in the 2009 elections."

My issue is not with which party is better suited to meet the needs of the Salvadoran people. I have no desire to talk left-wing/right-wing politics. The point I want to stress here is that the election results and subsequent ruling party should solely reflect the desire of the Salvadoran people, and nothing more.

For more Salvadoran election coverage, please read Tim's El Salvador Blog and Free and Fair Elections. If you are a Salvadoran and would like write President Saca in protest of U.S. interference in the 2009 elections, you can see SHARE's sample letter here. Finally, if you oppose U.S. interference in El Salvador's elections, please contact your Congressional Representative. You can find a sample telephone script, which could be easily turned into a letter, here.

I've Tried...

I have tried so hard to keep politics out of my writings here. I really wanted to attempt to focus solely on my move and the whole experience of relocating to a foreign country, and I was almost certain I could do it.

Honestly, I should have known better.

As much as I try to remove myself from it, my mind and heart still goes there. My beliefs are strong and I don't suppress my emotions well, nor should I have to. It seems I'd just imagined this blog differently and wanted to somehow unnaturally compartmentalize myself. Emotions here. Business there. Creativity somewhere else. The disturbing inner workings of my fragmented psyche in yet another, more anonymous locale. I don't think it works that way for me, though, so I will just have to allow this blog to be what it will be.

So, a good friend of mine sent me this video today and I am horrified. The thought that these people are shown as anywhere near representative of the Everyday American is appalling, and the reality that their sentiments may be more common than I'd like to think is both disheartening and downright terrifying.

It breaks my heart and frustrates me to no end that there are people in this world who are so comfortable and content in their feelings of hatred and fear. I want to take these people, shake them violently and say Why do you cling to your fear like a life jacket? Are you happy? Do you feel safe in your ignorance? What the hell is so threatening about difference anyway?? What ever happened to that idea you have about that God of yours creating everyone in "His image", huh?? How does that only apply to people who share your light skin tone? And who the hell are you to impose your unwarrantedly elitist, antiquated, unenlightened, racist ideologies upon me?

And so it goes.

More later on other things political--as I have a lot to say and I'm sort of on a roll.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's One of Those Days...

This forced separation from El Capitán has never been easy for me, but I've come a long way from that lost and shattered girl I was two years ago. I found my way, made a decent home for La Hija, and fought my way through the depths of a depression I was never sure would lift. Much of that has been due to the fact that I've managed to find a way to spend time in El Salvador 5 times over these two years. We have both worked hard to keep our family together, and neither of us would have ever guessed what we'd imagined would take a mere 6 months would take 4 times that.

Every once in a while, it gets very difficult. The reality of the situation grips me, and then I look at La Hija and of course I see him. She has somehow managed to take equally from the two of us: darker than me and lighter than he, my lips with his smile... She reminds me so much of her daddy, and she asks for him often. They talk daily and she covets a picture of the two of them together.

Every once in a while I look at her and I wonder how my mom dealt with being a single parent, especially since she didn't have the luxury of picking up the phone to call her husband when the going got tough. I have to remind myself that no matter how difficult this situation is for me, my mother was widowed at my age and I am merely in limbo.

It's times like these, when the lonliness stings and El Capitán's physical absence weighs heavily on my heart, that I need to remember to count my blessings.

A Turtle's Pace to Win the Race

I'm trying to deal with things slowly but surely so I'm not overwhelmed come December, but I realized yesterday that it's October already! What?? That fact is wonderful, of course, but it's also a bit overwhelming. We're almost half way through the semester, which means things pick up in one of my classes, end in another, and begin in yet a third. We're also planning our annual awards event at my other place of employment and I'm trying to orchestrate as much of it as I possibly can and assure my boss that everything is ready to go. I don't get to attend, as I am teaching/tutoring on the day of the event and can't really figure out a way to make it work. My boss has offered to pay me what school pays me, which takes the financial difficulty away, but I'd have to work out a tutoring sub and find something useful for my students to do. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've got a lot going on right now and that fact is beginning to manifest itself as a very tired looking, scattered woman who is fighting off some kind of nasty sickness.

La Hija and I are a chorus of seal-coughs all night long. Yum.

This morning I started working on the stove. We are living in a "1 bedroom" joint which is nothing more than a glorified studio, so the oven/stove is a small one, but it's probably as old as I am and isn't the easiest thing to clean in the whole world. I've taken care of the range and have the drip bowls soaking at present. I swear, I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't been replaced since this place was built--I know the carpet sure hasn't! I've got to get some oven cleaner so I can finish off the job.

Next job I'd like to tackle this weekend is getting some of our clothing organized. I've already got a suitcase packed with a few things for El Capitán and La Hija's sized up summer clothes and shoes. I think I may have some 3T clothes in the mix there and I need to take those out and put them aside. I can bring those back down with me after our visit next summer. I've got some of my own clothes that I can pack away now. I don't tend to dress really casually around here since I'm either in work clothes or PJs all week. I can get by with minimal hot weather casual clothes at this point. It's still in the 80s here, but it won't be for long.

Speaking of weather, it's been insane here. Mid to high 80s during the day, mid to high 40s at night. No wonder everyone is hacking around here.

Exhaustion is doing strange things to my mind. Yesterday, I had to call El Capitán to ask him why I know the word guanaco, as it got stuck in my head while I was at work. Evidently, in addition to being an animal it's a slang term for Salvadorans. Suffice it to say, without rehashing the entire bizarro conversation, he got a good laugh out of the fact that I'm getting Spanish slang stuck in my worn out noggin.

In other moving news, we've managed to save up enough money for a car and El Capitán has managed to find one that will fit our lifestyle perfectly at an amazing price. Here's hoping everything works out so he can buy it within the next few days. I'm very excited--especially because it's an automatic! Wooohooo!

(Yes, yes, I know. I should, and in fact need to, know how to drive a standard, but I'd prefer to learn at my own pace. Learning to drive standard in an already stressful driving environment would not make me into a nice person!)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Naming Laws... What??

Lately, Mi Amor has been talking with me about things that were once virtually off limits--mainly, the prospect of more children--which is a pretty solid indication that he is as ready for this reunion as I am. I have always been very open about the fact that I want more children, but he has more often than not pushed the subject away because he was unsure about our future. No matter how much I attempted to assure him that we would make this move happen, I don't think he believed it would until we actually got our tickets.

Anyway, when La Hija was born, we kind of melded Salvadoran and American naming traditions/styles. We gave her a hyphenated last name but put mine first and then took his mother's last name rather than his father's. Both of us were very happy with this decision because it sounds wonderful and pays homage to his mother since his relationship with his father was... well... unpleasant. So, we were talking about it and somehow I thought to ask if we were going to have issues with the last name of any future children. He basically told me that we would have to give our future children a different last name from La Hija's because of some sort of naming laws there.

I couldn't believe it! I guess it just seems so ridiculously archaic to dictate how names are given to children. I called the consulate to get the details because I was just appalled by this notion that my children may be required by law to have different last names. Evidently, when a child's birth is registered at city hall they dictate that the father's paternal last name comes first, followed by the mother's name. Once that is in the system, we can go through the process of changing the name to what we see fit. I'm sure it won't be as easy as it sounds... it never is.

It would be interesting to do a bit more research on this to find out why this is still happening. I imagine it has something to do with a new focus on requiring paternal support and preventing illegal adoptions and child trafficking.

All of this is far off in the future, anyway--at least a year or two. La Hija is not yet in pre-school and I would like to be settled in El Salvador before we think about adding any family members, not to mention needing to be in better physical shape in order to prevent the pregnancy complications I had the first time around.

All if it's just so interesting to me, though. It's wonderful to see how the simple solidification of a moving date has translated into happiness, confidence and a willingness to imagine, to plan... to dream.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Family on my mind

Boxes. Boxes. Boxes.

They pile up, taking over the room square inch by square inch. Their presence is a tangible reminder of our upcoming journey and a symbol of how this move is taking over my mind.

I find myself wishing I was less excited to leave, more so for the sake of my family members in the U.S. Many of them have made it obvious that they'd like this move to be temporary. They are disappointed when I say I refuse to move down there, uprooting everything, with the "just for a little while" mindset. No matter how many times I say it, someone always asks when we will work on coming back. What would the point of leaving be, if I am going to plan my return before I've even left?

Sometimes I want to scream at them for making this more difficult for me than it already is. I appreciate the input and value their opinions but would prefer their love and support. I have worried about more than they could ever imagine, mentally played out terrifying (and incredibly unlikely) scenarios, and played the "what-if?" game until my nerves screamed with anxiety. I struggle with my need to let go and my hunger for control on a daily basis and have done so my entire life. Moving to a new country, especially when I'm unable to have everything spelled out to me in advance, is difficult enough without having to deal with family members and their fears of the unknown. They mean well and have every right to express what they feel, I just wish they would give me a bit of credit and realize that we've been planning this move for two years. It's a long time coming--it's not something we're just jumping into.

Three months from today I will be living in El Salvador. It's about damn time.