Sunday, June 22, 2008

leaving portland, on our way to boise idaho

it's 9:30 am (as i write this) and we're a bit behind schedule, but at least we're on the bus and it seems to be running rather well. the nasty diesel smell is no longer constant. our rather impressive cargo of computers, crutches, school supplies, etc is slowly taking over the back end of the bus and we've only just commended our journey!

in olympia rick and john spent hours ... days working on the bus. something about the engine being fitted sideways and all the components are in different places than normal otherwise. plus, not so long ago, some yahoos knocked all the windows out of the bus with baseball bats so there was all that mess to contend with and windows to replace. i had an opportunity to speak with john waller, the coordinator from new york city, and he said there were some other small technological situations on the 14 other caravans across the nation, but otherwise people were across the canadian border and on their way.

we're now passing alongside the columbia river .... it reminds me of the hope/princeton area heading into the rockies, except without the rockies. very beautiful.

last night in portland was a lot of fun. the local network provided us with moros y christianos, activist musician david rovics, and the movie salud - about cuba's health system and what cuba trained doctors are doing around the world helping impoverished peoples in places like africa and venezuela. i believe it was a gambian who said they're looking to model their health system on what cuba has done since they're unable to create a system like canada or england who had a rather more advantageous starting point. what cuba has been able to accomplish, given their challenges with the blockade, is truly remarkable.

after the event david, his lovely daughter leila, and some others went to the mississippi pizza place - which, to my delight, offered vegan pizza and local micro-brewed beer - and we danced on the sidewalk watching the sizable latin/cuban band inside through the open windows. leila was definitely the hit of the party - high atop her dad's shoulders, or doing her own special curbside dance.

the white feather house in portland, which is organized by the catholic workers, put folks up overnight. apparently the catholic workers is an organization that dorothy day created to provide temporary shelter to travelling activist types - or something like that. i remember hearing dorothy day's name in anne feeney's song 'have you been to jail for justice' but i never really knew who she was. another woman i heard about recently, from florrie the unitarian, is molly someone from texas. i guess her spirit passed recently, but she and her pal anne richards have stirred up their share of hoo-haw in the ranks of the powers that be. i'll ask my friend about her when i get to texas.

i remain convinced that the root of all evil lies somewhere within the patriarchy, teaching us to honour the men's voices while silencing the women's, teaching us to compete rather than cooperate, to fight rather than negotiate, asking us to pray to a male designated deity who lives somewhere beyond this life-giving planet but who is embodied in every male creature born of woman. it's not that i'm into bashing men, many of them are as much victims of it as we women are, it's just that i think living in a system designed by and for them, is not necessarily the most balanced approach. thankfully some of them have chosen to be benevoltent, rather than fascist, dictators, and it's especially great when they recognize the evil and work to change it.

this is my rant from the bus.

click here to see photos.

p.s. it's now sunday, the 22nd and we're in a coffee shop on our way out of boise on our way to pocatello. we had a very interesting evening, interviewed by local filmmaker alex (a wonderful woman who also prepared an incredible dinner for us) who will be making a tv documentary for the local public access cable station - which boise residents are lucky enough to still have access to. happy solstice!