Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
One "-P." has finally begun posting content on the website that will be his internet home as he delves into the musical depths that await him. Of course, it is a must-see for all you curious people out there, and a vital bookmark for those who wish to continue to consider themselves music fans.
It is where Paul will post his songs when they are done (something I look forward to very much, as he hasn't really let me listen to them)
Janna and I HAD to finish our effigy, our offering to be burnt on the cusp of the year 2008, to gain favour with the new year by discarding all remnants of the last.
We chose to represent a man we both feel great distaste for, Iván Malo, once creepy stalker, now merely a legendary pain in the butt.
Friday, December 14, 2007
'Tis the season, right? As Stephen Harper sabotages the world's hopes of halting climate change in Indonesia, his loyal subjects back home go mad for the last tree in the lot, anxious to own that little dead status symbol that will linger in their living room for a few weeks, only to be tossed at the dawn of the new year we hypocritically wish will be good to us.
I signed a petition today that hopes to reach 100,000 signees before the end of the day.
"On Saturday, experts gave us the global "fossil" award for being the worst country in the world on climate change."- isn't that something!
At the same time, there is a Christmas tree shortage in Germany (blame the Arabs, the single person households, and the Chinese, of course! Don't blame the culture of disposability and waste that we export!)
A report from AP that says that the Earth may have passed the tipping point came out last week. Scientists estimate, after the record melts from this past summer, that the Artic may very well be completely melted after the summer of 2012. That is 4 and a half years away. I might not even be out of University by then.
What is the point of planning ahead when out world is decomposing and our leaders thwart all hopes of survival? This is like a bad Hollywood disaster movie... bad because it takes place over the course of 15 years, and nobody knows that it is going to end in disaster, so there is no tension.
Just boredom. We shuffle towards our own execution with boredom and shopping lists.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I'm writing this to get it out. I have told some people about the idea as it has developed, and this is its latest stage. Believe me, I will be updating this particular blog post quite frequently, as the idea continues to grow.
My blog is called In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which means "In the Garden of Life" in gobbledygook. I picked it randomly, but it reminds me now of something that I have been day-dreaming about recently.
What I want to happen (this summer or next, depending on funds):
A small group of carefully picked individuals from Bastión do a 1 month apprenticeship in organic-permaculture farm north of Bahía called Río Muchacho
The small group (4 or 5) return to Guayaquil, where a plot of land in Block 6, 7, 8, 11 or 10 of Bastión is waiting for them. They use their newly acquired skills to tend to this land, preparing the soil and dividing it into allotment plots. The number of allotments, and size, would depend on the piece of land.
These 4 or 5 individuals become the staff of the newly establish Community Garden project in Bastión Popular. Certain families, who could show commitment to the project and have gardening experience, are invited to join in the upkeep of one plot of land. They can grow food for themselves.
The staff advises people on what crops to grow when, what soil mixtures to use and how often to water. They coordinate the families and are responsible for the success of the project.
Heidi, who has spend the past few months working on permaculture farms, has volunteered to help me get the community garden going once if it takes root in Bastión this summer.
Schools in the area can take their classes on field trips to learn about the different plants. Maybe, in the future, school children could plant gardens (I remember having one in grade 7, in a cage at the back of the property of the American School. My group of 4 tended to our allotment once a week, during Estudios Ambientales. I used bricks to create a mini-path through it... a path appropriate for rodents, because the cage was about 2.5 metres square)
Would the Esperanza grade 6 school children be able to tend to their own caged gardens? I wonder. Would the community benefit from the education programs and the agricultural experience they could gain by having a plot of land in the garden? Yes, hopefully. Not just the fact that they can learn how to grow their own food, and set up gardens in their own yards, for their family, but that anyone can be responsible for life, and will learn to work together on something. I like that idea.
Well, this is my dream. I have been looking into funding options... grants to apply for, etc. So far, not much luck. I put a button on the sidebar for anyone who wants to donate. It will hopefully happen next summer. This summer, when I am in Ecuador, I will probably wander around looking for land in Bastión, and inquire about it.
Maybe it could happen this summer. I am not opposed to that idea, either.
It is nice to have things to think about on my repetitive walks/bike rides back and forth from school.
Friday, November 23, 2007
VOTE! It's your constitutional right!
Here is the first story idea:
"Matthew has lived his whole life in the village of Burnley, in the shadow of the unremarkable Pendle Hill. Nobody remembers the first half of his life anymore, which is probably for the best, but everyone knows that the second half he has spent, from 10 to 5, Monday to Saturday, in the Arcadia Used Bookstore. He would have spend more time there, if he could. He would open it in the evenings, he would set up a cot in a closet and stay there over night, he would install a shower in the tiny bathroom and keep his shaving kit in the cabinet, if he thought he could get away with it. But, of course, she knows where his shop is. She would come to find him. She would make him go home.
Matthew has been married to Miranda for 30 years. It was two weeks after his marriage that he bought Arcadia, back when he would have still had a bit of control over things like that.
Miranda is a worldly woman. She has made sure to involve herself in all of the clubs and committee’s that tiny Burley could muster."
Story 1 Idea: Set in Northern England, in an imaginary village. Three characters, the old couple and the young man/woman who arrives and becomes their tenant. Miranda is a villian psychologically terrorizing her household, with a calm mask of middle-class manners.
Something happens that drives Matthew or the narrator to kill her, and the two go off into the beautiful English countryside, fugitives. This section will be inspired by my epic hike with Brent, possibly climaxing with the finding of a wounded/sick sheep, floundering alone in the middle of a farmers field (this actually happened to Brent and I). What do they do?
(I am not sure if the narrator is going to be ironic, P.G. Wodehousey, or what. I hate what I have written so far)
Story idea number two: I came across it in a book of short stories by my prof (this might be a bit unethical: to appeal to his ego by writing a story that is inside one of his own ... but I could ignore that aspect, if the story I wrote was worth it).
Choyce's story is about a man who secretly tries to write fiction. His mountain of unfinished stories is discovered by a friend, who is amazed as he starts to go through them.
"The typing was bad, but I could begin to get a handle on things. The first story began with a long descriptive passage about an idyllic fishing village. The smells and sights were pleasantly intoxicating. There was a raw honesty that came through even though it read like a work of pure fantasy. I read three pages and then became entranced by the character of a woman who appeared almost out of nowhere. The writer had attempted to describe her, and then given up.
I started reading a second story. Different setting, different time. Everything was different except a sensitive style of writing that I found hard to tie to Ralph. The woman appeared again, same as in the first story, and then the story stopped"
So, he reads a few more... eventually the woman's qualities become plainer, she is not beautiful anymore, but she is kind, or caring...in a different setting every time. The typing and grammar improves as the stories go on.
At the bottom of the stack he finds the the only completed story.
"The typing was perfect, but it was as if written by someone totally unfamiliar with the English language. The woman was there but without any of the original traits. The setting was a small rural village in Eastern Canada. The details were obscure, incomplete, as if the writer was totally unfamiliar with the details necessary to flesh out a story. At the core of it was the woman. Only, not the same woman as before. A tormenting, cynical bitch of a creature who seemed to suck the life from every page, who ravaged her mate with criticism and abuse and turned him into something worse than her. In the end, she disappeared leaving the man she lived with shackled with her disgust for the world and making him feel that even she was too good for him"
What happens, of course, is that this man, the author of the stories, started writing the woman he hoped he could find, but with every woman he met, he chipped away at his ideal, hoping for less and less each time, until he eventually expected nothing at all for himself. Cool, huh?
Idea: I write the stories that Choyce's character is actually reading.
(amended due to an informed comment from a faithful reader)
Either way, I have to write a really evil woman. Idea #2 would be way more work. But hey, what do you think?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Afghan activist pulls for peace at Dal
Hero, teacher, activist, politician. Target. Malalai Joya has been many things in her life, but one thing she refuses to be is afraid. She spoke at an event organized by the Halifax Peace Coalition on Nov. 8.
The 29-year-old women’s rights advocate and former member of Afghanistan parliament is hated by powerful people in her country.
Two years ago, she was the youngest person elected to the Wolesi Jirga, the Afghan parliament. Since then, she has survived four assassination attempts, but continues to voice her people’s concern.
Joya was eventually expelled from the Wolesi Jirga last May for remarks she made during a television interview. She said parliament was “worse than a stable.” She said in the controversial interview that a stable was better because it had useful animals in it.
Roughly 350 people attended the event at the Scotiabank auditorium at Dalhousie University. Many had to find a comfortable place to stand at the back when the rows filled.
A table near the door was covered with pamphlets and white poppies pinned to cards that read: "Remembering is not enough. Work for peace!"
Stuart Neatby, a member of the Halifax Peace Coalition, introduced Joya.
"As people of conscience, it is incumbent upon us to amplify the voices of people who struggle for peace," he said.
Joya appeared small in front of the crowd that was riveted by her presence. They gave her a standing ovation before she even opened her mouth to speak.
She seemed to grow as she spoke powerfully about the current situation in her country. She said that her people are "sandwiched between two enemies - the US-loving Northern Alliance (currently in power) and the US-hating Taliban."
Joya believes that as long as Canada supports the Northern Alliance, they are engaging in the United States’ “dirty policies.”
"Canada must act independently and not follow the wrong policy of the US,” she said, adding that democratic parties in Afghanistan need support.
They have no means with which to campaign and are under-represented in a parliament made up of "war lords, drug lords and criminals."
Women’s status has not improved since the Taliban was toppled. One woman dies every 28 minutes in Afghanistan during childbirth.
Joya shared anecdotes about women activists assassinated in Kabul. She said these stories do not get covered by western press.
A woman with short black hair took her turn at the microphone during the question and answer session: "After 30 years of war, I fear there is no way for Afghanistan to defend themselves." She disliked Joya's qualification of Canada's involvement in the country as a "dirty policy."
Her name was Farida, and she left Afghanistan with her husband and daughter in 1998.
Joya was not shaken to run into disagreement in a crowd otherwise showing support. She intensified the earnestness in her words as she talked straight at the woman, who she called “sister.”
"If Canada continues it's involvement the way it is now, all people will stand up against foreign troops," Joya says. "We need the helping hand of democratic people around the world. We don't want occupation."
Later, Farida, who declined to give her last name, said it was an “excellent speech.” She said she would never return to Afghanistan. She left to be safe and her life is here now.
The next day, Joya attended an informal meet-and-greet at the Dalhousie Women's Centre.
She was asked "What are you afraid of?" during a round of introductions.
Joya thought for a few seconds.
"There is a list of people who struggle for good, and everyone wants this list to get more, not to get less," she said.
"It is important that my death affect others. Some will die and everything will die with them. I think that those people that are afraid, everyday die."
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Rosemary drew this raven for me! It took months, but the promise was fulfilled (hover your mouse over it on her website and you will see I'm not lying. Good luck getting a bird of your own!).
I have less than a month of school left now. I will be done my only exam on the 5th. Of course, there is too much that has to be crammed into that month, but Remembrance long weekend is coming up, and I hope I will manage to finish some things then.
I biked to Books R Us yesterday and stocked up on used short story books. Alistair MacLeod, Truman Capote, Stephen Leacock and the man himself: Lesley Choyce (local celebrity, masterful jacket-photo poser, "Canada's response to the renaissance man", and my Creative Writing prof).
I have begun hunting for young adult novels I remember, because we talk about them so much in class (Lesley has written 65 books, most of them YA, so he believes in the genre). I bought The Chocolate War, but was not able to find Maniac Magee, The Giver, or The Girl Who Owned A City (HEY KATIE: This is the book where all the adults are dead!). I did find one Jacob Two-Two book, but it was the same one we had when I was a kid and I was hoping for a different one. I, of course, have a slight suspicion that they will none of them be as good as I remember them, but who says I am going to read them again? I just want to have them. Just in case. I mean, what if all the adults die for real?
Oh darn, would that have to mean me, too? No!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Feared gang renounces its crime crownEcuador's mafia go straight in government pact
Rory Carroll in Quito
Sunday August 26, 2007
For five decades they have intimidated opponents and baffled authorities with secret rituals, feeding the mystique about their identity and purpose. Dressed in black and yellow, the Kings have been implicated in killings in the US, gang wars in South America and riots in Spain.
The left-wing government of President Rafael Correa has decided to recognise the Latin Kings as a cultural and social organisation, which will now work alongside the police, social services and churches in the slums. Members will retain their distinctive salute - two fingers and a thumb extended to mimic a crown - their oath of allegiance and a hierarchy involving monarchs, treasurers and soldiers. The pact, the culmination of two years of negotiations between gang leaders and the authorities, with academics and clerics acting as mediators, is being touted as a model for the US and Europe.
A ceremony in Quito's council chamber inaugurated the accord last month. The mayor, a government minister and police welcomed about 40 gang members, most wearing baggy jeans and yellow T-shirts, as 'dear boys' who would make Ecuador a better place. Jostyn, who declined to give his surname, presented plaques to several officials, who beamed with pride. When TV cameras panned across the chamber several younger members hid their faces behind baseball caps. On Jostyn's command they all rose to their feet and bellowed allegiance to the Kings.
Critics say that the deal is a blueprint to mollycoddle hoodlums. Supporters say it is an enlightened attempt to tackle a complex problem, but concede transformation will not be easy. As gangsters many of the Kings had money and prestige in the slums of Quito and Guayaquil. There is talk of setting up cybercafes, micro-credit schemes and a fashion label with the initials LK, but going straight will narrow the chances for making easy dollars.
Mainstream society, which has long felt threatened and repelled by the gang, may not accept it has changed, said Nayla Versosa, director of a charity that rehabilitates troubled youth. 'I'm worried they will still be discriminated against when looking for jobs and that some police officers will still harass them.'
A minority faction of the Kings has refused to accept the peace deal and turned on their former comrades. Breakaway members are believed to have been behind a drive-by shooting that narrowly missed killing Jostyn and his followers just hours before the Quito ceremony. 'We know who they are. They have been expelled from the organisation,' said the softly spoken leader, sitting on church steps near the spot of the ambush.
Another potential threat is the Ñetas, a rival gang that has waged bloody turf wars with the Kings. But Wilson Alulema, a police colonel who has negotiated a ceasefire with both gangs, said the Ñetas were on the same path to legalization. 'They also want a normal life.'
Thoughts from Bethany:
I don't know if the admiration and idolatry of the Latin Kings on behalf of the park guys group ever graduated into actual commitment and inclusion in the gang. When I left, there were many rumours of it. There is no way I would be informed if it were the case, partly because everybody in the neighbourhood thinks they are Latin Kings anyway, and partly because I always made it very clear to the guys how distasteful the thought of the gang was to me.
If Correa is taking a constructive approach to the problem, then I am very happy. Putting community and business management responsibilities in their hands sounds interesting. I think, because of the power and reach of the gang, as well as the neighbourhoods most of its members come from, there is the dangerous possibility of the gang taking over ALL cyber cafe business in the squatter areas. They definitely have not had time to develop business ethics. I think there will be a huge temptation of corruption, and power. And the police will definitely do nothing to help them go straight. I do predict a fair amount of police bullying and bribe-fishing, which may destroy any intentions LK businessmen and woman of staying clean.
Who knows. This is far more positive news than the traditional news of murders and drug busts.
So be hopeful
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Do click on the pictures for bigger versions if you are too settled to go find your reading glasses. Sorry about the abundance of quotations on this blog in recent times. Truthfully, I have been thinking about a lot of other things these days ... a lot of other things besides myself I mean.
I went to the HCAP office this morning and it was staffed by Greg. I sat and wrote Clinic information on some pamphlets I was planning to take to the coffee shop, but that wasn't what resonated about the 15 minutes I was in there. Greg is an open, trusting, caring, clear-minded decided fellow. What a thing it was just to talk with him! He was very nice to me after he found out I was planning on taking some information over the Coffee shop, even as pure as he is, he still allows himself to be surprised by pleasantness. We had a nice little chat about the ideals of the clinics. He explained the importance of a blue form I might not know about as I haven't been at recent HCAP meetings, and told me how I should tell people to get it. Nothing about him is put on at all.... at all! Do you know how rare a naturally friendly person is? I mean, I live with a few of them, but out there, out there!
I have come to wonder what is so scary about people knowing how you feel about something. That you were really pleased to be invited to a spontaneous vegan dumpster Taco night. And other such examples. There is a cap on feeling, you see. You can only spend so much. And yes, I liked what this 85 year old woman had to share on CBC radio. What did I like about it? I liked that she is 85. That gives her so much more credibility. Some things fade and some gain importance as you go on. It is interesting to learn what has gained importance for someone like her. I have added her wisdom to the map with all the rest of the information on it, the map for living.
It would be kind of me to add a link: http://www.cbc.ca/tapestry/archives/2007/081907.html
And a thank you, Paul. It will be nice to read that book together. Thank you.
Friday, August 10, 2007
"I hear a business man talkin' about service, I wonder who's gettin' screwed. Fella in business got to lie an' cheat, but he calls it somepin else. That's what's important. You go steal that tire and you're a thief, but he tried to steal your four dollars for a busted tire. They call that sound business." Al: "Ain't you thinkin' what's it gonna be like when we get there? Ain't you scared it won't be nice like we thought?" Ma: "No, I ain't. You can't do that. I can't do that. It's too much- livin' too many lives. Up ahead they's a thousan' lives we might live, but when it comes, it'll on'y be one. If I go ahead on all of 'em, it's too much. You got to live ahead 'cause you're so young, but- it's just the road goin' by for me. "
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Thanks for your email from Bastión. I hope you manage to get the ice cream off of your shirt.
And thanks for your encouragement. I have been writing lately. I have been trying to find what to express, but it doesn't come easy to me, I must have lost practice.
I just don't have fictions inside of me to tell. Everything I write has really happened, and it is hard enough to believe. I wrote two pages already about the Park guys, no individuals, just the pressures and the truth behind why they occupy a certain position in society. I wrote one page about my neighbour when I was in Caracol, the woman next door who took care of her 4 grandkids for years, the daughter/mother missing in the equation was in Spain, hadn't seen the 4 year old girl since she had given birth to her, pretty much. In Spain to get money. It all seems too disconnected from reality to be non-fiction. It strikes me as so wrong.
So I wrote. But I don't know what to write about next. And I don't know if I am cut out for Creative Writing. My point is, your encouragement came at a good time. I hope you had a good two weeks there. Yes, they will miss dad, but they know how to live without him. That is part of the process of standing up and moving forwards, I think. Poverty is a monster that cannot be beat if there is only one hero.
You left a few paintings in Caracol...I like them. Can I take them home with me?
Yea, you can take them. I didn't leave them because i didn't like them, though, just so you know. I left them because i thought they might retain some of myself in the place.
I figured that and that is why I asked you Bubber. Your influence is all over that house. Don't worry, it is ours and Uncle Paul doesn't want us to give it up so it will be ours for the foreseeable future.
You will be back B. Of that I am sure. patience.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
There can be no just society without an effective Justice system.
The Guayaquil Penitentiary (Penitenciaria del Litoral) was built to accommodate 1,500-1,900 prisoners. Currently, 5,900 are trapped within its walls, sleeping on cement floors a foot away from each other, if they allow themselves to sleep at all in an environment where tension is suffused with fear and distrust.
The prison budget assigns each prisoner 75 cents a day for food. This is enough for one meal, prepared with the cheapest expired ingredients, every single inch of a chicken (whether it is edible or not), dirty water and the ever-present rice. Thus, the families of the prisoners are largely responsible for supplementing this diet, and they must make daily trips to bring plastic tubs full of food to their loved ones. Only those with families who care, who can afford this expense, and live in the city, enjoy this privilege. Others must rely on their ingenuity to bribe, steal or swindle someone for a bit of nourishment.
75% of the prisoners in the women's branch are for non-violent crimes (drug trafficking, mainly). This majority is true in the men's prison as well. Many of these people were merely mules, carrying packages from one person to the next for a price. The drug business doesn't care if they get caught, as they are completely expendable, hired help. They sit and wait for a chance to explain this to a judge.
Of the 16,000 penitentiary prisoners Ecuador keeps, 11,000 are awaiting trial.
What sort of rehabilitative environment exists in the Pen? Gangs. Crime and violence education (because if you didn't know how to before, you have to learn to defend yourself in this charged environment). The first thing that happens to you when you walk into the common area is you are attacked and all your clothes are stolen. Someone throws you some old shorts 7 sizes too big. You have to barter to find a piece of rope to tie them up with. You have entered a society where acquisition is so vital, and you have entered it with absolutely nothing. Of course crime breeds in this environment: it is a microcosm of the outside world.
President Correa is going to declare a state of emergency for the Justice system. This will allow him to seize funds that are frozen in other sectors and put them towards the prison system.
They need psychologists (there are none). They need rehabilitation education (there is none). They need fair trials. They need food and beds. They need to repatriate the thousands of foreign prisoners, so they they can be dealt with justly in their countries of origin. They need to completely replace the staff and guards: corruption has seeped through that organization too completely by now. They need to create records for each prisoner: no such system exists. They need to eliminate the double standard: "First category" prisoners in shirts and ties who pay monthly installments and are blessed with a 5 star prison experience.
Another huge task for you, Mr. President.
His popularity with the people is huge. His popularity with the press is dwindling, as he recently accused them of incarnating human misery. In his speech at the Penitentiary, he said
"I am here, not with the rich, not with the owners of the means of communication. What freedom of speech have you had, you who have never had a voice?"
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
human plans are so fragile. why do we even bother. it is nice to think of things lined up like dominoes... decisions make themselves and you can't do anything about it. you can take a piece out now and then and avoid certain outcomes, but really... do you understand how that works? liberating. why do we need to control so much, after all? i think i don't have strong feelings either way... control or anarchy, plans or seat of the pants. which is why both seem an imposition at times. and life doesn't really fit in to polarized perceptions, anyway.
finally tomorrow arrives. and at the same time, more dominoes topple after that... anxious to begin that game, but not sitting in suspended animation until it occurs.
yeah, i still daydream about the same things. i might still be stuck in the same indecision, it is a new colour this year, though. so paralyzed by inability, so distracted by desire. the same old problem. how can i concentrate long enough to become what i want to, when i am still filled with this drive to something huger. but it will only ever be a drive, unless i succeed at concentration. like in everything, i guess. i am a bad loser.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The first Vonnegut book I read was Breakfast of Champions. The quick humour, witty drawings and feeling-saturated ending captured my young affection. He wrote shocking, daring, hilarious, outrageously false stories about the truest feelings I knew. He would go on for a page about the genitals and reproductive history of his characters, include illustrations of his interpretation of assholes:
among other things. interspersed with the silliness were poignant images and TRUTH that hit you like a sledgehammer, because you weren't expecting it, you were expecting to laugh. The perception of the artist who put piece of day-glo orange reflecting tape on a bright green canvas haunts me still: "We are all unwavering bands of light." Simple, really.
I loved every Vonnegut book I read. His sharp, cutting sarcasm was always so infatuated with foolish hope, when so many people have taken the opposite approach. He was a misanthropic humanist. He was a doomsday prophet comedian.
I read Galapagos second, I believe. It appealed to me because it was set in Guayaquil. Of course, it diverged a bit from reality when the passengers on the cruise ship turned out to be the only humans on the planet with reproductive capacities. They settled on the Galapagos islands and evolved into seals, since all the miseries of humankind were caused by "the only true villain in my story: the oversized human brain."
Slaughterhouse 5 changed me just as much as it changed anyone who ever read it.
Timequake was another book I read over and over. I wanted to contain within myself the wisdom of the man who could write that, the humour, the comprehension.
All I can say is, you must read Kurt Vonnegut if you respect yourself at all as a human being. Read his articles about war, you can find them everywhere online. Read his short stories, read his interviews, they are always funny. Read his books. Just, read him.
Life here feels a little lonelier without him.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I listen to the wind
To the wind of my soul
Where I'll end up,
well I think,
Only God really knows
I've sat upon the setting sun
But never, never never never
I never wanted water once
No, never, never, never
I listen to my words but
They fall far below
I let my music take me where
My heart wants to go
I swam upon the devils lake
But never, never never never
I'll never make the same mistake
No, never, never, never
Sacked opposition lawmakers in Ecuador have clashed with riot police while trying to regain their seats.
Tear gas was fired at a group of 20 former MPs as they forced their way into Congress. Two of their supporters were later shot and wounded.
The demonstrators were part of a group of 57 legislators dismissed for trying to block a referendum proposed by left-wing President Rafael Correa.
He has vowed to curb the powers of what he calls a "corrupt" Congress.
The congressmen and women fought their way through police cordons into the congress building in the capital, Quito, to take up their seats.
After failing to gather a quorum, they left the building and faced an angry pro-government crowd outside.
Later unidentified gunmen fired shots at anti-government protesters, wounding two.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Oh, Ecuador. First, the congress fires election court chief to try and stop the referendum in April. The referendum aims to limit the corruption and power in the traditional political parties, and re-write the Constitution. The Congress is, of course, filled with members of said corrupt political parties.
Then, Ecuador's electoral court sacks 57 congressmen for breaking the law, by interfering with an electoral process (in a Congress of 100 members). The President of Congress says this decision is unconstitutional and they will not pay any attention to it.
The Executive branch, however, supports the Court decision, and the Minister of the Interior Gustavo Larrea announced that the Police will be at the disposal of the Electoral Court to enforce the decision. The Congress building was surrounded by police at dawn.
Of course, politically, this battle is mind boggling in its complexities and possibilities. Some warn of civil war, some dream of freedom from the corruption, finally. Who is this President Rafael Correa...saviour? saint? Strong, at the very least.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
the cabin in the woods was a refreshing reminder that there exist places of beauty, even close enough to travel to for one night. you don't have to go too far to get away from yourself and see things new, so there are no excuses. you know there are no excuses, but its good to be refreshed. everything worked out perfectly and nature left some new impressions: the quiet of a forest at twilight, a secret you are spoiling, a story that has been unfolding quite contentedly without you, but lets you walk through and ruin its concentration. Very gracious, i thought.
night falls. Clear skies and a new moon make for a sheet of pinpoints of light that looks so fresh, you would guess how much they have traveled to get here. You get to see shreds of this fabric, because the silhouettes of the giant spruce trees cut into it, so it looks like you view it through a tunnel. just stand still for a change.
"i haven't seen stars like that since i was young and still believed you could wish on them and it would make a difference"
And the coyotes. Who are they? So wild and so close, in the middle of the night, to our box of a shelter, howling and yelping at each other. Fear is trumped by wonder.
Wonder was a big thing. It is unfashionable, to walk around in awe. I kept my cool, though. We were all pretty happy, so someone with their eyes open a little wider than the rest really wouldn't get noticed.
It is good to be learning still... to be amazed by nature and people and keep moving... to let that be a new part of you.