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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Monday, November 22, 2010

More soldiers: Monday nite 22nd

I’ve ask a few mujeres in town when did the soldiers come and what do they think of the soldiers being here.

I was very surprised, to say the least, to realize they were stationed here. The only time I’ve ever seen soldiers in Mexico, they just appear out of nowhere and disappear into nowhere.

But the womyn tell me, if I understand them, the soldiers came two years ago and got rid of the drug dealers – meth, speed – not inside their town but close by – and the sweep of arms seem to point west, or maybe the next dirt road over.

Meth users, here in this calm, slow place??? I doubt dealers had much business here. I wonder where and to whom they were selling their drugs?

The drug of choice here is beer.

So tonite, I ask Ernando (I think that’s what he said) how long he has been in the army, how it likes it, how long he has been here, and why is he here.

He appears slightly older than the others and the one who seemed in charge the first day they approached me. His eyes appear either very tired or the eyes of an alcoholic.

He tells me (if I understand) he entered the army at 18 years old and LOVES it. He smiles broadly then and appears almost trustable. He is a lifer. He has been here in beautiful Yavaros the whole time and he feels fortunate to be stationed here.

We talk about the beauty of the ‘mar’ as everyone calls it, and the full moon. He tells me it is safe to sleep on the beach – ooookay – because the soldiers patrol all night long and keep an eye on me.

I’m not sure if I should feel more danger from them, the boys in town, or the illusive drug dealers.

He meets lots of gringas, he says with a mischievous grin as he motions to the western shore again, and he goes to San Francisco a lot. He says, leaning into a meaningful stance, lots of gringas are over there, and they invite him to come to San Francisco.

He asks me if he can visit me in San Francisco.

The little turd is trying to hit on me. I tell him of course he can come visit San Francisco whenever he wants to. I will not be there for many years but he certainly can go.

I tell him I am waiting for my friends – mis amigAS to visit. I tell him Buenos Noches and Hasta manana and he politely returns my farewell, turns and heads towards the little stark white house at the very end of the land surrounded by a tall fence and barbed wire as I head into the camper, wishing I dared bring out my sleeping bag and lay it, and me, on the beach.

Lesbiana y braseros to be continued

Chuyita takes me to meet her familia. They live in the house behind hers, an adjoining property really. They share a yard behind Chuyita’s washing space and her sister’s front door. She introduces me to her sister, who tells me she has 5 children and 17 grandchildren. Okay!~

Two of her daughters, Chuyita’s nieces, Gabby and Veronica, are also there. I have already met Veronica who is 4 months pregnant, in Chuyita’s home. Chuyita informs me of everyone’s marital status whenever she introduces me to anyone and the number of children they have, and grandchildren if they do.

Everyone thus far has been, or is single moms. I tell them I was a single mom and my daughter is a single mom. We exchange knowing looks and smile tiredly.

Now Chuyita has something else to tell everyone: I am a lesbiana. I do not wear a bra.

We have a good time teasing each other about what that this all means. They seem open, a little confused – the first question is, how can I have a child if I’m a lesbian.

Rosita, Chuyita's sister, offers me a plate of food. It is the calabasa y papas dulce (pumpkin and sweet potatoes I think). And she must be offering me most of it.

I refuse such a huge dish, cut the portion in half. It is soooooooo sweet I can barely see the veggies for the brown sugar. But I eat it.

The first dish of many to come today. And the first of many questions why, what does this mean, and do you 'like' me???

Soldados Day 2

WEEEEELLLLL I’m speaking with soldiers every day, imagine that! Not marine but army uniforms, grant it, and males inside who don’t speak english, but soldiers none-the-less.

They are young, civil, extra curious, yet extra cautious. After they cleared me from drug dealer suspicion, I think they suspect I’m a communist.

Yesterday we had another discussion about where I live, how long I will be in Yavaros, what I am doing here, when I arrived, when am I leaving, am I really traveling alone, am I sure I’m traveling alone.

They keep glancing at the painting on my truck and I know they are dying to learn more: Justicia, Tierra, Libertad! They don’t ask … yet. Just am I traveling solo and when am I leaving?

When AM I leaving??? I always answer yes, solo, and perhaps one day, two days, I don’t know.

This morning, I am sitting in front of my truck studying Spanish. Just before dawn, I rise to watch the sun being pulled into the day. I water my tree, wash my dishes, make coffee and go for a ‘swim’ with the egrets, pelicans, shore birds.

The water, that may come just over my knees at the deepest, is cold and the nite air just warming up, so it is a very quick short swim. I know Bridget would have made it work.

The soldiers approach as I sit conjugating viajar (to travel) and we have THE conversation, following our normal exchange where am I from, where am I going, when will I leave, am I alone, do I sleep in my casa alone. When WILL I leave???

Then they point and begin reading: “Justicia, Tierra…” some of the letters are behind the opened door. I complete it for them: “Justicia, Tierra, Libertad. Si se puede!” Yes we can!

I ask if they know of Cesar Chavez, a hero of estados unidos. They look bewildered so I get my book and find hero: heroe. (with a silent ‘h’, an accent over the first ‘e’, and two ‘e’s’ that sound like long ‘a’s’)

United Farm Workers, I say, and I understand one fellow, Raymond, to say the President of Cuba to another.

The other soldier, Luis, shakes his head and I say not the president of Cuba but the president of united farm workers. Maybe a friend of Castro.

They tell me no, no se. They don’t know of him! Hmmmmm Interesting and unbelievable. I explain Cesar Chavez is dead but his words live on: Si se puede! They seem to know about death and words living on, as they nod solemnly, maybe satisfied, and leave.

Maybe for tomorrow’s visit, we will talk about the other side, Monsanto and women growing organic.

Early Morning Reds

Day 2 Monday 22

It is my second day here. I have survived the night again 100 yards from soldiers dressed like u.s. soldiers. Chuyita’s last words to me were to be careful of the soldiers’ violence.

I rinsed out yesterday’s dishes in the sea this morning by the light of the moon, washed my buckets, and my rags, while the horizon was yet to lighten.

Now the moon is holding up the sky to my right, as the sun is being gently tugged up by the pinks and reds of the horizon.

In the middle stars twinkle in the fading dark.

Yesterday, between my batteries leaking acid and empty of water, my broken clothes rack, my huge lack of Spanish, my pooping challenges – as in where to… my disappearing funds related to veggie oil, and soldiers I was feeling maybe this is too much for me.

Then Chuyita and her sister both, merely pull down their pants and pee wherever they find something to pee behind. The child doesn’t even notice so I know this is acceptable.

And my electricity works fine, so hopefully the batteries are a-okay...

Yesterday I told them I’m looking for veggie oil and they tell me sure, they know where I can get as many liters as I want!!!

And the soldiers have been respectful.

And they are going to introduce me to the lesbian they know in town! We are everywhere!