Saturday, February 27, 2010

A People's History

I've been reading the People's History of the United States. It is quite the eye-opener.
An exert that resonates with me, from Robert Bowman, in an article from the National Catholic Reporter regarding the roots of terrorism:
'We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us is the form of terrorism....Instead of sending our sons and daughters around the world to kill Arabs so we can have the oil under their sand, we should send them to rebuild their infrastructure, supply clean water, and feed starving children.....
In short, we should do good instead of evil. Who should try to stop us? Who would hate us? Who would want to bomb us then?'

And I ask why can we not?!

More on this to come......

Friday, February 26, 2010

I ask, 'Isn't there a great job out there for me?!'

Recruiters, recruiters and more recruiters. I could be a recruiter! There's something out there....I am sure it will come soon.

Until then, I've been searching for elephants and thinking about a visit to London or China.

All images from Tumblr.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The hunt is on.

So it's early February and I thought for sure I would be working by now. I know I should be diligently reading What Color is your Parachute at my father's recommendations and cashing in on my connections to find that perfect role, but I am not. Instead I am looking at what's out there (there is more than last week) and applying to many various places via the net. There are some roles I would be perfect for. I know just sending out your resume is not what one is really supposed to do. I know I should be calling places, getting my foot in the door, following up, but part of me is discouraged. Part of me is in flux and so I apply, surf here and there, blog, and try to walk everyday with Noey. I had a scary dream last night of Haiti, I was trying to stop people from hurting themselves.
I am trying to live a good life. Noey and I went on a nature walk on Sunday after a fantastic party in Portrero Hill (maybe my future neighborhood) where we took silly photos. We found a mushroom family (see picture below) on our walk and it's so nice to be in the California nature (see above).

I hope that one place of the 10 positions I've applied to this morning will ring me and I will go on an interview and they shall see that I am worth it, that they should hire me, because I am (I keep telling myself)! And as backup I have the foreign service exam coming up.

I also have great friends. Samantha is jetting off to New York fashion week and gladly offered up her city pad and so I will go there to enjoy SF in its center (with a pool and hot tub).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An email from a fellow Peace Corps volunteer in Haiti

Hello tout moun (everyone),

It has been an interesting experience sitting here in Port-Au-Prince being part of a coalition of 25 non-profit organizations coming together to coordinate the dispensation of food, water, and medical supplies. It hasn't been easy because of the extreme difficulty of passing through the myriad loops that the large NGO's require before anything will be given out. There is a 100 question form that they are passing out to communities to fill out bring back in order to receive aid. This alone can take them a week or so. The questions they ask are very difficult to answer and explaining location in Port-Au-Prince, is nearly impossible. Often Haitians use directions like, next to the large tree around the corner from so and so market. The UN wants GPS coordinates because many streets are not marked here and navigating the city has proven to be difficult.

After the one riot that took place in the worst part of the city, they are only sending out non-food items at first to see if the communities can function without a disaster taking place. I understand their concern for safety, but it seems to be quite a long process to go through before any nutritional needs are met. It has been nearly three weeks now and communities all over the place are living on minimal amounts of food if any. The Haitian government has been completely bypassed in all of this. The president has thrown his hands up in the air because he is not being included or informed about anything that is happening involving this process of bringing aid relief to the people.
Boats full of goods are being redirected to pass through the Dominican Republic (DR) which is a very lengthy process as well. We actually have a boat waiting in the DR which hasn't received any clearance by the port of Jacmel to debark.

When did it occur that our society got so disorganized? Where paperwork and numbers are given priority over bringing actual aid to the people. Smaller organizations have given up all over the place trying to deal with the larger NGO's and the UN because there still has been any sign of the goods being distributed. They have warehouses full of boxes and can't organize their dispensation to the country. The small organizations have given up and are buying local food to distribute and/or taking trips to the DR and driving truck loads of good back to the communities they are working in.

I understand that indeed this is quite a difficult project, but how could it be so disorganized? I hope that there will be a reflective inquiry into what made this all such a mess, so in the future aid relief will arrive and actually be given out to the people in timely manner and avoid the watching the population diminish everyday while groups run around like a chicken with its head cut off staring at piles of papers and computer screens, forgetting that behind the numbers are real people in dire need.

This has been a huge disaster, not only with the earthquake, but with the response. I only can hope that we get it together before more and more Haitians perish because the loads of aid aren't quite ready because they haven't been given the go by those in charge. If this doesn't reflect the depth of our Orwellian times, and not wake us up from this great mess we have gotten ourselves into, I am not sure what will.

The Haitian people are unfortunately used to living with very limited resources including food and water and have a high tolerance for suffering. If this was to happen in the US there would have been no tolerance for such suffering. With great hope and determination we will overcome this all and Haiti will revive itself.

Thank you,
Ryan McCrory

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Puerto Vallerta, Mexico

It seems like a distant memory now....

Ahh PV, the plane ride was a breeze, Yes to Air Mexicana! The food was great, guacamole, various burritos, fresh tortilla chips I couldn't get enough of and flan. The weather was perfection, not too hot, not too cold, 80/90 degrees. And our hotel, I haven't actually stayed at a hotel on the beach, par a trip to Big Sur, where you sleep and rise to the sound of crashing waves. It's the most beautiful experience, this is what I will take with me...that and the kind Mexican people and my friend Debra, and Andale, across from our hotel, AN EXPERIENCE, and the whale I saw, those large mammals, like my elephants, but in water, gracefully gliding in the expansive sea, showing off their big tail.

Enough of the fluff and photos

So I haven't properly had a rant in awhile. I love all of my pictures on this blog and the other one (see right hand corner), they all make me happy, but yesterday I got to thinking about my country, this America that I now find myself in and something just needs to be said.

Two things, well rather three things happened yesterday to spark this thought process. One, I went to visit a recruiter so I could get something, anything, by way of a job. Jobs are few and far between, I can now say it isn't just hype or my mother telling me, 'there aren't any jobs out there'and me rolling my eyes. I know first hand, it's true! I digress, this recruiter asked about my experience working at a medical practice, 'Is the UK medical system really as bad as the conservatives say'?
'No', I stated simply. And then I had a glimpse of a rare opportunity to let this gentleman who was actually interested into a different way of life, an un American way, so before his phone rang I managed to get out, 'I paid taxes that I didn't realise that I was paying, for a health care system I used regularly. I could see a doctor in a day, pay for a prescription for 10 dollars and saw a specialist on numerous occasions. Here, here I am nervous about getting sick or in a car wreck. It's amazing someone can lose their house if they have the great misfortune of getting sick. Everyone or anyone can see a doctor there and although there might be some hoops, as there definitely are here, I've seen a great many doctors care about their patients and actually provide good care'. And this is all true and he very much hesitated before answering the phone, wanting more on the topic.

The second thing that happened was that I spoke with my best friend who was distraught because the elementary school she worked for was probably closing. It's a great public school, a small school with a river running past, she not only has a small class size, but she is able to provide alternative programs/projects like yoga and various environmental projects for her kids. Hers is not the only school and I shudder to thing that this new development was now a direct result of the state affairs we've gotten ourselves into in California and on the whole in the US with our concentration on military spending. Can this be, that we still have a war in Iraq, almost eight years on and how can we all sit back and watch as more troops are being deployed to Afghanistan? How can we afford to spend anything else towards deployment on this costly war, and in the meantime neglect our school spending and as a result our children/future generations?

Finally I read in article about gay marriage in Arkansas or some midwest state. Congrats to them! Very progressive of them! But I still hate to point out that gay people in the few states that allow it have no legal rights under federal law. It makes me think of friends I met in London that are simply there because they are two females, married, one Italian, one American, and they are very much compromising their livelihood and way of living because the United States will not recognise their union, will not allow them to remain together. How is that Italy and Spain, such conservative, such machismo states, allow same sex marriage? How is that in England you can put two females or two males on a child's birth certificate thus making a child justly and righteously from both parents? And yet we in the United States think it all so barbaric for two people who love each other to actually tie the knot even though they might both be the same sex.

I have left for four long years and in that time America or the U.S. has very much turned backwards and uber conservative, I have to question, is it just me or them (Americans)? Am I more liberal? I can't understand why anyone isn't shouting, why Obama hasn't changed things, why we cannot be progressive and open and fresh and the leaders of the world in all things right; free health care, great education (China is surpassing us now), and equal rights for all. Let us not be left in the dust because of our conservatism and our world domination goals and our desperation for oil (END RANT).

Monday, February 1, 2010

The house that Dan built and nature photos.

A few pictures with my new camera around the house up in Mendocino. The one below is at the winery down the way, the animals ran to me as soon as I took a seat, (and I don't even care for kitties).

Mexico pics to follow!
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