Wednesday, July 2, 2008

SI SE PUEDE (Yes, We Can) !!!!!

july 2, mcallen texas

photos !

there's much anticipation here at the lutheran church centre. hazel and her crew prepared a delightful indian feast - with garbonzos and lentils and a lovely eggplant curry, soup, basmati rice and there were some leftovers from lunch too - beans and rice and salads. she even managed to sneak in some chuntney. all the cooks and kitchen workers did a fabulous job keeping us all fed. i feel terribly guilty that i wasn't able to help in the kitchen at all, it's really not a good idea for me to go anywhere near it in this condition. don't tell my mother, but in addition to this goofy cold that continues to manifest mountains of crap from within me, i'm now chewing on a small piece of cloth soaked in cloves in an attempt to combat a little toothache from one of my abscessed teeth. i'm falling apart!

it's tempting, at this point, to launch into the story of how i got all the mercury removed from my mouth, then found a naturopath to help me rid my body of the awful metal, but not until after a couple of abscesses developed. homeopathic mercury has made all the difference, plus a vitamin regiment ... then there's the accupuncture school (thanks alembic!) and the organic food budget and the daily dose of greens and msm and aromatheraphy ..... it's a couple years later and one abscess is gone, the other is below the surface so i don't really know whether it's there or not (although my dental x-rays indicate it's slowly dissipating) except now and then it does this silly pain thing. thank goodness for clove oil.

i'm on the bus, tomorrow, with the youngest caravanista - jovana - and her mom and donal, the irish guy, and some others i can't remember who just now. jovana's going to celebrate her 8th birthday in cuba on the 6th. our eldest caravanista is 80 something, and there are all variety of ages in between. it's my intention to get some audio from more of them and post it to chris' website, but it appears someone has hacked his site again and removed some of my posts. it's an awesome site, pacific free press, and we know the cia are regular visitors. it's also hacked on a regular basis. someone knows if there's a connection. there's not much we, as activists can do, except reach for the hands of all our brothers and sisters throughout history who have worked against the fascist regime that seeks to destroy us all. as the song goes ... 'you ain't been doing nothing if you ain't been called a red!'

i'm waiting for a ride to the basilica, where i'll sleep tonight. the bus drivers are currently meeting, strategizing, planning the big day tomorrow. the buses are tuned, tires rotated, all the mechanical parts in order, cb radios operational. people have worked really hard these past few days. i was telling katie it feels like the folk festival - people working together in teams towards a common goal, co-operating, sometimes clashing, renewing old relationships, forging new friendships,... the only thing missing is jericho beach park -- the ocean, the distant mountains, the seven stages with music from the stages scattered throughout the bird sanctuary, the artisans flogging their wares, the activists encouraging activism from their information tables, the bridge over the pond where the geese and ducks periodially land, the music from all over the world .... okay, so it's not much like the folk festival at all. except that it is, it's a similar feeling, just in a different place.

in two days i'll be in cuba. i don't know that i'll post much from there, i don't know how accessible the email is or whether i'll feel like sitting in front of this computer much. i'll likely record a lot of my thoughts and try to put something together at the end of it. i have sound files that need auditing, photos that need sorting, and masses of video footage. i'm not going to think about how much work awaits me when it's all over on the 15th ....

i've got some photos i'd like to upload to the .mac account, but i'm having some troubles with my computer. not sure what all that's about .... the hip hop band is called 'the movement', they're from california, and they're awesome!

there are two lovely women here creating a documentary - one is venezuelan living in new york city, the other is american living in venezuela. they're going to make sure we get safely across the border, and then their partner consuela will be in cuba awaiting our arrival.

cross yer fingers, pray (secularly or paganly, or however it works for you), and send us your good wishes !!! july 15th will be another challenge for us, as we attempt to return to texas from mexico after a week in cuba. apparently the authorities sometimes like to interrogate the international travellers, in an attempt to misrepresent the work of pastors for peace and take away their charitable status. the worst that can happen is i have to fly from mexico from canada and make a bit stink about it.

it was funny, actually, yesterday there was a big press conference. even fox news was there. what was funny was when a handful of people i'd been chatting with, wearing shorts and t-shirts, laughing and even inventing new words (vegiana/vegiano for vegan!) suddenly appeared in their collars. it took a few of us by surprise, i think! i had a good chat with edna, veronica gonzales' assistant (veronica is the house of representatives representative and one reason i don't 'google' is because of what they display when you search for her using their search engine ... there are others .... about the border fence and the war resisters we're trying to allow in canada.

i'm guessing there is a bus leaving soon for the basilica. i'm going to go get a few good hours of sleep (with any luck) .... thanks all for your well wishes and support!!!!!!!!!!!!!!