About Me

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California born by a Cuban mother, married to a Japanese man, and have lived in Japan since 2004, minus one year living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have friends and family in many places in the world. I dreamed of traveling to many distant lands, creating music and dancing to it, meeting interesting people, and discovering treasures in the most unlikely of places.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dinner with Taeko

Yesterday, Shinpei and I had dinner with my friend Taeko. She is the same age as my mother, and her daughter is married to a Canadian man, and lives in Canada.

We had a delicious dinner with her and her friend. I am so happy to live close to other people now. We have lived here three months and I have met with people numerous times, as well as having all sorts of clases and arts, cultural resources, internet, supermarkets and thrift shops at a bike ride's distance. It is so nice hereeeeee!!!!

Times are not the same as 30 years ago...

And as such, I have to do some research!

I think this must happen to a lot of foreign English teachers who have never taught in their own country... everybody asks what school is like there.
So one automatically answers, to their own experience, what it was like...
20 or 30 years ago!
The thought started creeping up on me a while ago, and so yesterday I did some research online, and lo-and-behold, school lunch is not the same! There are apparently even organic school lunch programs being promoted by the federal gov't! That is soooo different from the high carb and fat cafeteria food they served when I was in elementary school. If there are any moms out there, won't you please comment as to your own knowledge regarding school and/or lunches in the US?

Friday, December 17, 2010

The past, the present, the future

I walked into the lab, excited. The head grad student was there, and I excitedly told him what my idea was.
"I don't think that Darwin's Theory is complete. There are too many holes in it. Too many evolutionary jumps in nature don't add up. I would like to study why this is, and try to disprove the current theory of evolution as complete in itself."
"You're wasting your time. If there were some other theory, someone would have come up with it a long time ago. Its impossible, so just give up."
And I did.
As easy as that.
And that was the last straw in solidifying my feelings of disrespect toward the study of what is called "Biology", in its incestuous stance of approval of theories and the progression of the so-called science. Its like going back to popularity contests in High School! Wherein the most popular theorists get their theories approved and then subsequent submissions must be based upon the approved theories.

Despite this, a few years later, there was an article in Science or Discovery that supported my theory, someone else had indeed found that it was true. Not that it is taught in schools.
My original theory was this (It is not based on anyone else's thoughts):
That there is a CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION underlying the traditional theory of evolution, which is due to mutations, time and natural selection (the weak or disadvantaged are taken over by the strong and advantaged).
Of course natural selection is a basic part of evolution. It is a central force to evolution. However, it is not the end all be all of evolution.
I believe, and have since childhood, that evolution is guided by consciousness, and consciousness comes in many forms. It is a desire to be a certain way. It is recognition of necessity, or a recognition of possibility, that guides living things into their future position or state. I believe that conscious evolution can be unconscious as well, it just means that it is the mind and purpose of a living thing that governs its future, and not only its situation in the world.
This is easy to say about humans, who use language and can thoroughly understand each other. But what about animals, and plants? I believe that they also have chosen their future, their path. My biggest examples are of mysterious symbiotic relationships, such as those between clownfish and sea anemones, or pilot fish that clean sharks in return for not being eaten.

Actually, my thoughts go much further, and far beyond the theory of conscious evolution. But for the purpose of todays blog, I'll limit it here.

The reason that I am posting is because I found a bookmark from a few months ago, one linking to Jean Houston. Jean Houston's book with Robert Masters, Mind Games. Shinpei says he is concerned at the use of the book to open human consciousness. He says that perhaps humans should not be able to do such things on a day to day basis, and that there might be a reason why we are not all enlightened at all times. Perhaps. But I believe that there are those who are ready to jump into that state, and that the book is a tool. {Its like Kundalini Yoga. Those who are ready to have their Shakras opened do not suffer, and indeed are given a great gift. But those who are not ready, have their shakras "ripped open" as an old friend called it, and their protective layers tattered by the "Serpent Energy", and are left to struggle in a strange world between madness and reality, sudden flashes of heat or shivering in different parts of the body, and a general sense of malaise. Apparently it takes months to years to recover. I met a young man once who suggested that I never do it, his eyes wide with fear, because he was still struggling after having given it up. After that, I stopped doing the Fire Breathing if I felt that my body could not take so much, and never suffered. I did feel a wonderful tingling sensation in my hands, which felt as though it reached out about two feet.}

In the book Mind Games, players are lead on hypnotic journeys into themselves. There is a guide, someone who reads the book and watches over the players. The games themselves are tools for opening up the mind from what is considered reality by the conscious and unconscious mind into an "outside the box" ability to look at the world. I have lead several friends on these journeys. Some people remember them, some don't. All feel very well afterward.
So how do the Mind Games and Jean Houston fit into my theory of conscious evolution?

Well, I went to Jean Houston's page. I really respect what she has done in life, and her works with other people, but recently what she has done seems kind of creepy, and really stinks of lies. Like her video with the Dalai Lama and her website. I have a feeling that she has been sucked into trying to make a living by manipulating spirituality to her own design. Her eyes are scary, too... But maybe I am wrong.
Anyway.
On her wiki page was a link to the noosphere, and that was where it got interesting. It seems that not only is my theory possibly correct, but it began in 1907 with the studies of Henry Bergson
...
I have to make dinner now.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hi...

We found five kittens, found homes for four of them and kept one. His name is Ebi, which means shrimp in Japanese, because his coloring resembles that of a cooked shrimp. He's really cute, but has some bad habits which seem to be hereditary, because all his brothers and sisters do it, too. Or maybe its just a kitten thing to pretend your caretaker is a tree, and climb on them. Or climb on the table, the drapes, and other places where you tell him repeatedly not to climb. Or sleep on your caretaker's face...Ebi isn't as bad as his brother Angel, who actually sleeps ON my friend's face, he chooses to sleep next to my face, and in between Shinpei and I on one of our pillows. He is actually a really adorable kitten, and he has made our lives so much more peaceful just by being around.

On another note, Turkey Day came and went. So fast. And I didn't have any turkey. Grrr.
Hopefully there will be one at a Christmas Dinner... I did get my pumpkin pie fix, however, thanks to Costco!! Thanksgiving Day is an interesting holiday to teach in Japan. It was fun to make turkeys with the elementary school kids and teach them words of thanks in their lives. I think that we all forget how much we have, and it is important every day to reiterate some little place in your life that you are thankful for. Thanksgiving is just a reminder to do that.

Too bad the day that was chosen by my country to praise life, was the day that the Massachusetts Puritans chose to massacre 700 men, women and children in what was also referred to as the Piquot "War". (This is just one example of the lies that the country tells to protect the Church. Children are never taught, for example, what all of the Missions in California were really for, either.) I learned about it while searching for information on Thanksgiving. I knew the holiday was probably not as happy as it seemed, from what I had learned in college about the number of natives who died due to Small Pox and other European illnesses when the pilgrims came, but I had no idea that the actual naming of the holiday had this dark of a history.

Well, if we were to dwell on all of the horrible things that have happened in the past, we would never be able to move on. It is important to know what happened, so that one can understand the present, and one can possibly prevent future similar occurrences. It is also crucial to a positive and healthy progression to forgive what happened 200 years ago, or 20, or 2, if the aggravation is no longer occurring, to move on for one's own health.
Today's lesson; to forgive and forget so that we can move on. Much harder when it is my own skin, but nonetheless important...

Last night we watched the Golden Compass. Shinpei commented on how fractured the plot was. We discussed why there might have not been a sequel, when one was promised. And then he commented on the anti-Christian angle of the film. I looked it up online at that point, and lo and behold, the story is based on a series of books called "His Dark Materials" by Phillip Pullman. According to Wiki, He won several medals for the series and is considered one of the best authors of the past 50 years, but the series has a very anti-religious sentiment. How it got into Hollywood is beyond me. The film went through a lot of change, because I guess people didn't read the script before they OK'd it... So that explains the choppy plot; a bunch of it is missing. And after it was made, with plans for a sequel, it got canned due to the anti-Christian aspects of the series, almost imperceptible in the film. Secular people complained that the religious aspects had not been addressed, and the religous people complained that the film was based on something that they didn't approve of. So the sequels won't happen. The books are available on Amazon, however, and I am going to order them asap. I want to know what all the hubbub is about, and hear what Mr. Pullman's religious viewpoint is. Is he a devil worshipper? Is he flagrantly insulting to the Church and the Heavenly Father? Why? Novels are better than movies anyway...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Iceberg



My husband and I talk about a variety of things everyday. We do all sorts of things together. Watch "Harold and Maude"(1971). Discuss global warming. And the scary educational advertisements by AC (look it up on youtube). Swim at the pool. Go to amusement centers. Search for and photograph fungi, insects, and other living things. Go to the Nagasaki Biopark.

Anyway, today, I was talking to the Kyoto Sensei (Vice Principal) at my junior high school, and we were contemplating what would happen with global warming. This week 24 children died on the East Coast of the US because they were left in cars in the heat. How horribly stupid of their caretakers.

I was wondering about the climate change and how it would affect different areas of the world when he mentioned the caps melting. Now, this is a common belief, that the caps will melt and raise the ocean levels. However, my husband is convinced that this will not happen. He says, "Take a cup of water with ice in it. The ice melts, the level doesn't change. The world is just a big version of this." OK, I can understand this about The North Pole, because it is all ice. But Antarctica lies on a land mass. Just a bit of scientific contemplation...

Monday, July 5, 2010

La Trampa, continued

Do not justify anything. Do not exalt yourself. Be objective. Speak of people, of things, of the good and the bad, without additions, without deceipt. Relate your experience, what you have done, without using adjectives or seeking palliatives. Bread to bread and wine to wine.

Revise your life from beginning to end. And relate it. Tell the truth. Short chapters, curt. I sincerely believe that you don't know how to write.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

La Trampa - A beginning translation

I have decided to begin the translation of my grandfather's greatest work, the novel "La Trampa", or "The Trap". The novel consist of 461 dense pages of Spanish literature, his life autobiography until he was encarcerated. This includes the years during the rebellion in Cuba, the fall of Batista and the rise of Fidel Castro. The Bay of Pigs. His debauchery and use of women. His love of his country and family. His escape in the night from death. Days of starvation on a raft. I do not know how good I will be at this, but it is something that I have thought of doing for years, and now is as good as ever to start. If you are interested in seeing pictures of him or his paintings, look him up on the internet.

"LA TRAMPA" by Manuel Penabaz. Zoom Publishing, Miami 1983. Library of Congress Card No. 83-50033.

Youth is for making history,
old age for telling it, and childhood for listening to it.


This book is dedicated to the memory of my father, Manuel Penabaz Solorzano, and to my son, Manuel Ranulfo.

IN THE WAY OF A PROLOGUE
My dear Manolo,
I received your letter. Thank you for remembering me. I am very surprised at your rapid conviction. Not because I think you are innocent, but after looking into a street full of criminals, it is difficult to comprehend the velocity with which they took your case. I do not understand it.
Of course I will aid you in what you request.
As for the book, having analyzed it, I reccommend the following. Write the truth. Write it all, fall who falls. Do not attempt to justify yourself and do not embellish anything. Do not write literature, because you know nothing of that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Windblown Seed


A log set to drift...
An insect in a typhoon...
A seed carried to another land...

Sets root
as only it can
and it can only
survive in another land
where its leaves might grow strangely
or its flowers face another hill
against a sun
from another angle

But it sets root
into the earth
determined
by destiny
Set out to live
Punishment
and blessings
Life
as only can be seen
from this angle

Grow
Grow little seed
into that sun
into that mountain
It is the same air
the same sun
and the same Earth
in perspective

Monday, June 21, 2010

10-05-12

My husband took me to one of Kyushu's amusement parks, Mitsui Greenland during spring break. This is a picture of the place next door, Ultraman Land.
I thought I would talk about some of the things that are poplular in Japan today. The boys love Ultraman. They also love another show that reminds me of Power Rangers, called KamenRider. The stars are insect or crustacean heroes and villains. The third fanaticism is with insects, especially large beetles. I wrote about them last year in this blog. My husband says that the children consider these insects heroes also.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The wave is going up

Life has those ebbs and flows... this time the wave is going up.

We have been going to look at the fireflies at night. They are sooo beautiful. They fly toward the car in a sparce wave, and then when we turn off the lights, they fly away, startled perhaps. They are so numerous, and the mountains are so steep that they are like a curtain of tiny soft lights, moving across the nightscape. The fireflies will only last until the big rain, Tsuyu, when it rains nonstop for a month.

We got our bathing suits in the mail today. Now we can go swimming at the pool. Ordering things online is much cheaper.

We are watching "The SOund of Music". It is a lovely movie, not at all boring or cheesy. I think it is a real piece of art. My father, Norbert, was born in Austria. It really gives a lovely view of the landscape and some traditions.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New School Year

In Japan the New School Year begins with Spring! I love spring. And summer.
Anyway, this year is really nice. I love my new English Teacher coworker, and am looking forward to working with her. I am also happy to be seeing the same students, one year older. They are so cute. With each year, and all of the "Shikis", or "Ceremonies", the students have grown just a bit. It is really interesting to me. I was commenting on the fact that there are so many ceremonies, when the new principal came in. He told me that in order for Japanese people to feel like they have gone up a level, they need the ceremonies. If not, they will stay the same forever... in the US and MExico, we just have a graduation ceremony. On the new day of school, if I remember correctly, there is no ceremony. But we still feel exited about the new year. And we still go up a year. I have two theories. One is that in order for the people to trust the rigid heirarchical system, they need to feel as though without the system they cannot survive. If people feel free, then they don't need anyone, they feel like they can do anything, they won't listen to those above them, or might make their own decisions more rapidly. Another reason is that the Japanese people want to feel supported by their society, and want society to help them along. These thoughts are obviously related, although I'm sure that the former is not widely conveyed to others, or even recognized. There are a lot of things here that are not recognized, simply because people are involved so deeply. From an outsider's perspective, things always look different. I have heard a lot of perspectives about US culture that might shock people over there, or which are not widely accepted points of view in the US, but which make complete sense. For example, why is whale meat not eaten? I myself do not eat whale meat, because I grew up in the states and find it disgusting. There is something stupendous about the animal, it is very intelligent, and that harpooning is cruel, etc, etc. OK, so then they come back at me and say, ok, why do you eat lobster by boiling it alive? So then are pigs not smart, or is it just the whale's size? If you really cared about animals, you'd stop buying from huge farms where they don't treat the animals humanely, etc. etc. The defenses and rebuttals go on forever. Let's go ask the Chinese and Koreans what dog tastes like.
Anyway, there was my agro rant for the day.
Today, I did some gardening at the JHS. I trimmed the trees again. I got to teach the new 1st graders and the 2nd graders English. They were so cute and excited. And then I came to JHS and taught 1st grade here (7th grade).
The weather is great today. Warm and humid. I LOVE IT. If only it was this way all year round. But then we wouldn't see the cherry blossoms in the spring!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Google Image Searches in Different Languages

I recently gave this lesson to my students, but it really could benefit anyone doing image searches on the net if they have knowledge of the their own culture and another culture.
I had to relearn this myself today while looking for cake images online. English Google really doesn't have much as far as nice photos of cakes. I don't know why. But the Japanese are rather obsessive about their food, and have somewhat of a food fetish nationwide. This is easily proven by the fact that 60% of the TV shows are about what restaurant has the best food in a certain area. Anyway, they like to photograph food as well. You can find BEAUTIFUL photos online. I searched for cake in Google Japan, and lo and behold, there was a huge selection of excellent photos to choose from. Perfect lighting, put into a perfect scene. It was great. Highly recommend it. www.google.co.jp
When it gives you the option to choose Japanese letters below (katakana), choose the ones closest to the search bar.
Here is the direct link for what I found. Just copy and paste into your address bar.

http://images.google.co.jp/images?hl=ja&source=hp&q=%E3%82%B1%E3%83%BC%E3%82%AD&btnG=%E7%94%BB%E5%83%8F%E6%A4%9C%E7%B4%A2&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

If you want to compare what is available on the English Google, just go to your regular google search page, go to images, and search for cake. The results, compared, are dismal. However, the interesting thing is that depending on what you are searching for, your results can be better on the English site, for example, any Japanese Animation earch will give you better results in English. If you search for the colors of the rainbow in each, the results are very interesting and show differences in what is appreciated by each culture, or the history of the use of the color by that culture. Try green. Or blue.
If you want another interesting experiment in culture, go to the Wikipedia home page. Then in two corresponding windows, select the Japanese Page, and the English page. Search for anything.
The results will be completely different. It makes me wish I knew ten languages.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring is finally here!!

Spring is finally here, and I'm sooooo glad. The cherry bloosoms are in full bloom. The mountains of Nishimera are full of flowering trees. Two weeks ago it snowed more than all year, though! I have been taking cuttings of all sorts of plants, and planting vegetables. I have cuttings of three different kinds of plum trees and planted some pumpkin, tomato and pepper seedlings yesterday. I have flowers and berries and spinach growing already.

Bali Island

I recently wrote a review on Bali Island, and decided to put it in my blog. Bali was probably my favorite vacation spot during me years as a JET. Thus, I recommend Bali as an inexpensive vacation location rich in culture and things to do.

Flying there:
Flying to Bali is not very expensive. It costs about 5 man yen / $500US, or less. If you don’t get a package, you can stay for a week and a half. Tour packages might be less expensive, but you are limited to 3-7 days, and the longer it is, the more expensive.
So my recommendation is to get the chapest flight you can find, and then stay in hotels. This will allow you the greatest freedom.

Staying there:
Hotels range from extremely cheap to expensive. I stayed in nice hotels, which included breakfast, for 300 to 400 yen / $3-4 per day. Get a Lonely Planet to get a list of hotels and prices. Once you are in the country, you can find more places to stay. For 2500 yen you can stay in a VERY nice place.

Traveling Around:
The best way to travel around Bali is probably by Taxi. You can rent a taxi for about 1000 yen / $10 per day. They will not only drive you around, they will recommend hotels and restaurants, and be your own personal tour guide. It was a great experience to rent a taxi. The way to do it is to ask the concierge at the hotel for a taxi, or to look for one on the street. You might even just ask at a little market. The whole feel of Bali is very small, so you probably won’t have problems finding one.

Omiyage-Souvenirs:
Hmm. I would have to say that in my experience, the Japanese school teachers are very picky about their omiyage. I don’t see it disappear very quickly from the break room. The best things to buy them are things with individually wrapped candies or things like that. I found an energy drink, in powder packets that was so good and you can’t find it here. It was a hit in Japan. Sorry, I can’t remember the name. For your own souvenirs, I recommend that energy drink, and Balinese coffee mix in packets (delicious!).

Places to Go, Things to Do:
Dolphins
The most fun I had was in Lovina, in Northern Bali. My taxi driver insisted that we go see the dolphins. He said “The dolphins like it! And for $5 you should really go.” I had read a bad review in the Lonely Planet. The review said that the boats chased the dolphins, and that the poor dolphins couldn’t get away. This review was obviously written by someone lacking a few brain cells, or at least someone who didn’t think for themselves. As far as my observations went, the dolphins are free to roam where they wish, they appear when the wish and the leave when they wish. It seemed almost ritualistic, and if dolphins are as intelligent as they are famed to be, I am certain that they are conscious of their interaction with the observers. We left the beach at about 6:30. We waited in a certain area. 45 minutes later, the dolphins appeared to one side of the boats. I assume that these are their morning feeding grounds, if not, they are just there for fun. We would chase after their leaping forms for a while and then they would disappear, reappearing in a different area. There, they would begin leaping once again. We would chase them, they would swim with us for a while, and then hide again. This happened several times in a matter of an hour and a half. Then they were gone, they did not resurface. I suppose that they went to go about their daily feeding in some other area. Apparently, they appear in about the same place every day. I would assume that if they were fishing, the fish would be seasonal. If they didn’t like it, they would find another place to fish, as they are free to come and go. But the dolphins appear every day of the year at the same time. I can only assume that they are playing some sort of hide and seek with the humans, who get very excited and happy when they see them. It is a wonderful experience, and if this kind of tourism begins to dwindle, the dolphins might lose their playmates. So much for animal rights. Well, that’s what I think, anyway.
Massage
Traditional Balinese Massage is really nice. It costs about 2,000 yen / $20 per hour, but its good. Even better, get lessons! I spent two days studying with a woman who taught traditional Balinese massage, and it was fun. I would like to study Thai Massage, too…
Durian
Eat durian. Get it from a fresh fruit vendor, preferably with someone who knows what the tastiest ones look like. A bad durian is very bad. But good durian is a flavor you will never forget (so is a bad one!).
The Volcano
I ate at a buffet overlooking a crater lake. It was beautiful and though the buffet was about 800 yen, it was really tasty, and the view was awesome.
Shopping
There are great things to buy. Barter, barter, barter!!
Kechak
Watch the traditional dances. I saw a wonderful rendition of the Kechak Dance at Uluwatu, where the surfing is famous. It was an amazing place, on cliff overlooking the ocean.
Ubud and Sightseeing
Ubud is a beautiful art town. I highly recommend it for shopping for art and textiles. Also, the surrounding area is very picturesque. The ancient temples are amazing, too.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spring is on its way!

Yesterday it was pretty warm. Today too. As compared to the horrible chill before. The winter is passing, and its always shocking because its almost like it goes from being horribly cold to being very very warm in a matter of weeks. How is that!?!?!

Anyway, Jan and Marisol finally had their baby. The sight of her was a shock...Its so hard to explain. Like seeing my brother as a baby girl? Or seeing my blood that I had never seen before but knew was somewhere? Very strange feeling.
One of the great things about the past few weeks, too, is that for Valentine's Day, my grandma, Mama Nene, went to her friend Karen's house. Karen let her use her computer and camera, and Mama Nene was able to talk on Skype for the first time, and see the new baby, her great-granddaughter, Aisha. It was perhaps a huge jump, I hopefully imagine, from being totally isolated, to realizing that we are all still around, somewhere, and eager to see her. I thank goodness for internet video communications.

I have been working on my garden, which is an increasing assortment of pots. Most recently, I have been trying to sprout a variety of citrus seeds. Yuzu, Tangerine, Orange, and Kumquat(金柑). I also puchased my first large plant, a pineapple guava. I love tasting the flower petals, and the fruit is yummy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Immigrants' Stories

We have been watching The Sound of Music in the JHS 2nd grade class. First, I would like to say that I think this movie is amazing. What a great film. It has a bit of everything very well orchestrated into it. It is funny, sad, happy, elegant, down-to-earth, and very well composed. The directing, acting, and camera work is great. And the plot is really good. I saw this movie when I was about seven, but I was too young to know enough about life to appreciate it.
It constantly reminds me of my father in Mexico when we watch it. He is Austrian, and the movie is about Austrians. It shows us the culture before the second world war. It is a culture that I know he yearns for, a beautiful culture of elegant waltzes, classical music, quiet mountains, and many other things. I am sure, if I were to see a movie about Cuba, the same thing would happen with regard to my mother.
It makes me realize that I have chosen the same path. The path of the immigrant.
The other night I had a dream. I was in the mountains somewhere in California. I had met some people at the store. A young woman, a young man and an older woman. They were laughing and talking in the checkout isle. The man began to sing a short song, an addition to what we were talking about. And then the young checkout woman said to me "Why don't you stay here? It is fun, the people are nice. You would probably be happy here." I began to cry, and I woke up crying. It had been a long time since that happened. I realized how much I still missed being in the US, the way the people so freely greet strangers, and treat people like they are important, even if they don't know them, how easy it is to make real friends. But all of these feelings and this nostalgia are meaningless. The fact is that I am an immigrant. I have married a foreign man and moved to a foreign land. No one understands or cares, why should they? They didn't leave their homeland. I have chosen a lonely path, perhaps. Or perhaps it takes years to build a life, and most people have started from childhood, but I started 5 years ago, as an adult. I am not lonely with my husband; he is a lovely man, and very masculine and very proud. He is always at my side, if I should need someone, he is there for me. So I have the seed of a life here, and slowly, little by little, am meeting people and learning the language to a point of semi-literacy. And I am learning what it means to be Japanese, not in the obvious ways, but the ways that I am sure the Japanese Immigrants miss so much when they have left their home to live abroad. The quiet nature of homelife. What it means to be proud of yourself because you have really tried and prevailed at something, and then to keep going. Patience. The art of focus. And littler things... that I might not notice until I left, to go back to my homeland, and then looking back, realized how they had struck me so deeply. This may also be the plight of the Immigrant. That time and space always move forward, but that your become a part of that moving sphere, and once separated, are lost, in some part, forever. We can never go back. To where we were born, or to the place where we lived for some years.

Immigrants never forget their homeland. They never forget the way that people interacted. They never forget the little things, like how the place looked, the shapes and styles of things, when people smiled, when people connected, the sounds, the smells, the tastes. Those things may fall away with the years, changing, but for the immigrant, and perhaps, for the elderly as well, the nostalgia of a life never goes away. It lives forever in their hearts.

I am planting a garden. There is a Pineapple Guava in it. It is a rare ornamental here. I am also planting all sorts of citrus fruits, which are very popular here. I hope that my garden will flourish. It resembles my hopes.