I haven’t blogged in a minute or two for a couple of reasons. The first being, the incredible emotional gut punch experiences by many Americans following the grand jury “non-indictment” of several alleged police brutality cases. Moreover, the continued killing and assault upon black women and children, at the hands of out of control police agents just become too overwhelming to process. The second obligation is the completion of my dissertation data collection as we approach the close of 2014. I used the water spiked GIF to represent my current research status. More specifically, after what appeared to be a whirlwind of incoming completed surveys, I am not down to needing the last 8 of 200. This was no small feat as my survey instrument is quite long (takes 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete). Nevertheless, the wealth of information possible by taking such a comprehensive approach to my dissertation research (i.e., Mixed Methods) is more than worth the wait. It always seems the last mile of a long journey presents as longer than it actually is in reality. Therefore, I have summoned patience (plus shaking the bushes of my contacts) in order to obtain my last needed surveys.
The fact is, we as human beings cannot remain in a continuously heightened state of emotional emergency and remain healthy. That does not mean that we do not continue to be vigilant with regards to Ferguson, et al., (I consider Ferguson a special tipping point), but we must find productive and healthy ways to manage our anger, our rage and disappointment at perceived injustices by fighting FOR justice!! So, I took some time away and visited my good friends María José and Cristian who live in Linares. I also got a chance to visit the students I have come to love at her school in Panimávida. That so rejuvenated my spirit. We took some great pictures, but I somehow lost my camera and María José lost her phone. It was unbelievable as it seemed bad news was trying to follow me on my mini vaca as well. However, I have become a master of turning lemons into lemonade and later realized that my Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet could also take pictures and recordings, so I was still able to get some nice pictures with the folks I’ve come to love and appreciate during my trip (see below).
So, on an even brighter note, how about the news about renewing the Cuba-US relations? I was really encouraged to learn of President Obama’s announcement, on yesterday, to mend the broken relations our countries have held for over 50 years. That news reenergized me regarding the need to have some patience, holding on to my faith, and believing that social justice is possible. Challenging the ugliness of racism toward blacks in the US (and abroad) can be quite taxing. However, forming multidimensional coalitions—by people of goodwill desiring to see a better day—can greatly help mitigate fighting alone such a formidable foe.
I refuse to let naysayers and negative circumstances steal my joy. Of course, there are a lot of awful things going on in the world and particularly in the United States relative to the condition of black and African American lives. Nevertheless, I have been extremely encouraged as people of goodwill ranging the gamut of ethic/racial classifications, have come together under themes of civic engagement and social justice. The emergence of twitter hashtags reflective of the complexity of thinking among US citizens desiring to respond in some way productive (e.g., #blacklivesmatter #crimingwhilewhite #Icantbreathe #handsupdontshoot), but not always exactly sure of what they can do is encouraging to see. More so, creating praxis where those willing souls are plugged in and allowed to make their contribution to the struggle for social justice is awesome sauce.
I believe that the end of 2014 will go down as a watershed moment in American history. More specifically, as it relates to social justice movements and democracy. It (desires for more substantive civic engagement) has been in the air for some time. If you were paying close attention, you could feel it, you could smell it, and now we all can watch it globally because of the instruments of social media and the internet. It is a surreal moment in North America (from my position in South America) as neoclassic economy has in many ways tried to strangle democracy; while at the same time, social media and an emerging North American civic engagement screams “Let me go, #ICantBreath”.
I am routing for the latter group. The #StruggleIsREal for me on two dimensions and I am fully engaged on both fronts. So on that note, I am going to end this blog post as I anxiously wait for the WiFi to be restored in our office and I can get back recruiting postgraduate adult student survey participants. I am kinda glad the internet was down for a short time, because blogging is so cathartic and just sitting and relaxing over a cup of Nescafé coffee while having a pleasant conversation with your officemates is a blessing and treat that I have come to greatly value and appreciate.
Hasta luego y nos vemos (desde mi blog) más tarde amigos. 🙂
I have been doing a “fun fruits” search while I’m in Chile and these are my latest experiences:
This is the chirimoya I purchased recently and ate today. I think it would taste better in combination with other foods/fruits. As a solo artist, I’d have to give it “jazz hands”, but not quite a thumbs down. Had too many seeds to negotiate and a strange consistency. Almost like a white fish. But it tasted okay.