Begusha, my beloved Mac, died today. I was listening to a Latino USA podcast while toggling back and forth between email, Google Reader, Twitter, and websites. All of a sudden, everything froze and I couldn’t close my programs, so I shut my computer down. When I tried to restart, I got the grey screen. After trouble-shooting on Keelin’s computer, I called Apple. The folks at Apple were incredibly helpful and kind. Rachel walked me through possible remedies, but none of them worked. She then transferred me to an equally nice person who told me Apple would fix Begusha for free. Granted, she won’t have any memories or recollection of files of yesteryear. Gone are 37 job applications and cover letters… gone are countless numbers of photographs… gone are things I can’t remember. But she’ll be back. And this time, I’ll keep a backup.
Archive for July, 2009
Casey sizes up a scorpion.
One more day before days of film shorts begin. I’m spending today giving massage at Buen Pastor. Afterwards, I’m heading to Leon with Madre Lourdes to have dinner with ML’s sister. It will be nice to meet her.
Keelin and Casey have been and will be networking.
More mummies tomorrow.
Keelin and Casey are here! Here = Guanajuato. They flew in this morning from LAX for Expresion en Corto and to visit me. I didn’t realize how much I had missed Keelin until I saw her this morning walking down the runway and pulling her suitcase. It’s going to be a great two weeks.
Sidenote: renacuajo means tadpole in Spanish.
Buen Pastor has a first monthly subscriber! I’m always impressed with the generosity of folks, but even moreso, when they are young college students. I’ve always been interested in the psychology of altruism, so I asked my new friend what motivated him to donate. He was kind enough to respond:
I signed up as a sponsor for Christian Children’s Fund (now ChildFund) about 6 months ago and once I saw what a modest amount of funding here in the US could do in developing countries, I wanted to do more…it’s addictive. I love hearing from them, learning about their country and family. The more I hear, the more I realize how some of the things we take for granted here, like clean water, consistent food, and a comfy place to sleep, are luxuries for a lot of people. Since then, I’ve transitioned into more of a subsistence lifestyle. I’ve always been fairly conservative, but lately, I’ve come to realize that there is nearly nothing material that I need. I already have way too much. I’m really liking the simplicity. Less is definitely more, in a lot of ways. And it leaves me with a little extra money I can use to help.
On the psychology side, I think I’m an HSP (Highly sensitive person). I just learned about it a little while ago, and I definitely fit the descriptions. I’m concerned about everyone and everything. I sympathize a lot and wonder what I can do to help. I can’t sit still–I think there’s always more I need to be doing. It gives me a sense of self-purpose though. I’m in a big transition now–I’m going to school to become a science teacher. I value education so much–every time I complain about homework, (like right now) I think of those who would do anything to be able to go to school. I hope the madres at Buen Pastor can continue to operate the school.
Thank you, highly sensitive person. And while I’m here, it’s been my experience that the best teachers I’ve ever had were all science teachers. How lucky your future students will be to have you! Thumbs up for excellence in teaching and for placing a high value on education.
Yesterday morning, I watched Sara graduate her class and met with her afterwards. We exchanged letters and promised to see each other in August. Then later, her father came to Buen Pastor to thank me for sponsoring Sara. He told me his story and how hard it has been to support his three children given the economic crisis and unemployment in Mexico. He said it would be easier if he were to place them with family/foster care, and find work elsewhere, but that he wants to keep his family as united as possible. He needs them as much as they need him.
I understand. Having lived here for a year now and experiencing the job market firsthand, I realize that many families need to work together to get by. When you’re on your own as a single parent, it’s nearly impossible to provide for your family on a typical salary here ($2 USD an hour, depending on how the peso is doing). Truth be told, I could be Sara, or her dad. It’s simply luck that I was born the time I was born and in the place I was born… a time and place that allowed me to receive an education in order to find the kind of work that could support a family.
I thanked Sara’s dad for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their family and allowing me to help in what little way that I could. Because they way I see it, we’re both getting a lot from this partnership.
Before I went to bed, I read Sara’s letter. She told me she would get the highest marks in school and listen to the Madres. She promised me that she was going to do her best ever this upcoming school year. I believe her.
Creating the bios for the madres is turning out to be a little tricky. I had made a list of questions for them to fill out, asking about their experience and their ideas. But as I look through their responses, I realize that they would rather talk about the graciousness of God than about themselves.
So, I’ve patched up what I personally know about each madre and will review it with her in the coming weeks. There’s still another madre to add to the page, as well as staff and volunteers. I wish F and I were living in Guanajuato as there’s so much to do and not a lot of time to do it in.
F and I are headed to Guanajuato this morning to give Glennon the grand tour of our favorite city. She’ll be volunteering at Buen Pastor for a month, working with the shelter kids. She spent last week thinking up themes and attaching crafts to those themes. The madres and the shelter mothers are going to love her, not to mention the kids!
I didn’t have my camera out in time to capture a young boy herding a drove of goats. He and they ran down a carpet of green as the setting sun cast a golden halo outlining hoofs, backs, small arms, fast moving legs and the rope forming slow wide circles above the boy’s glowing head.
Truco 7 is a very popular restaurant in Guanajuato. Business is so good, they’ve recently opened up a second Truco. F and I wish they would open one in San Miguel as the menu and prices would be a big hit in this town as well.
I left Buen Pastor yesterday thinking that the day had been the best one of the year. I feel so fortunate to have community with the madres, the women, and the girls there. The place brings out the best in me. When you find people and places that do this, it’s magic.
In the morning, I gave three madres a massage. It was the first time for the smallest madre, and she was hesitant at first. But the doctor recommended she have one and after Madre Lourdes insisted, we got her on the table. At the end, she was so relaxed and grateful. I bear-hugged her off the table as her feet couldn’t reach the floor.
In the afternoon, I attended to each woman in the shelter. They were good at rotating and observing the time so I could get them all in and catch my bus in time. Each lady had 30 minutes dedicated to the body part of her choice. Even though it was just half an hour, I do believe they benefit greatly from the relaxation and from compassionate touch. One left her headache on the table, another a tight jaw, and a third, her upset stomach. When I work with the women, I imagine their tissues and their spirits knotted up like a head of long hair that needs a long and gentle combing. It’s one way to think of massage.
I’ve noticed that every time I arrive at Buen Pastor, one of the nuns who suffers from dementia discreetly ushers herself into the massage room and sits on the couch in front of the table. She watches me from there, gumming her lips, and I wonder if it does anything for her. Yesterday, she sat for three hours before another nun took her to the comedor for lunch. She returned in the afternoon for the final massages.
At the end of the day, I took photos of some of the madres for the website. And then I spoke with the girl I have chosen to sponsor. She’s a modern-day Cinderella, complete with step-mother and all. The difference is that her Prince Charming is going to be an education. As Fairy Godmother, I want her to see in herself those things I already see: commitment, intelligence, and a kind heart.
So I’m a madrina now. I like the sound of it. And the feel.