Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Since my hip replacement surgery , my left derierre has grown to what seems to me to be Star Jones proportions. Indeed, my left side is a full two sizes bigger than my right side. While some friends and admirers find my new girth pleasing,I have not been able to find a pair of jeans that fit/don`t hurt since April.
Does anyone have any suggestions or experience in fitting a lop-sided touchus?
Post Script- Keep your eyes open for the next addition of working with a disability.I
Monday, November 23, 2009
In Leon, Mexico there have long been rumores that wealthy ladies go to this particular plastic surgeon to get their booty fat taken out and made into soap ala Fight Club.
Apparently Peru has got the same idea. At least the states and Mexico find the fat after its sucked out.
The Link is Below
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Every Friday after work, I reward myself to a beer, as per family tradition. My favorite, Bohemia, is always two for one at Oxxo, or as it is now known, 'La oferta de La Coja' (in English, La Coja Friday Special). When I sit down in the middle of Plaza de la Paz with my Bohemias on my Friday afternoons, I ponder suggesting this practice to St. Peter someday.
Yesterday however, turn out a bit differently. As I was looking for a place to sit, I came upon a man who is blind sitting in my usual spot. Navigating any place, no less the alleys, buses and dead ends of Guanajuato, is no easy task. When I see a person with little to no sight making his or her way around the city often leaves me staring in amazement. With a little liquid confidence in me, I offered him my other Bohemia. The man took my hands into his and thought for a moment. "Young lady you have arthritis dont you...." He might be a witch or perhaps a conman, but either way I had to find out who this man was.
Miguel Ramirez sits outside Plaza de la Paz everyday from 1 to 6 pm. A double sided, dual language laminated sign adorns his neck with the following message. "I am blind and cannot work. I am glad to give you any type of candy I have for your help. Thank you and God Bless You, Miguel". Mr Miguel is very upfront about his disability. He is proud, and rightfully so, of his abilities to get what he needs on his own.
He began working in the mines of Guanajuato and those on the border from an early age. He acquired his disability eleven years ago when a rock fell on right side of his head. Upon asking for his government disability pension, he was offered pain pills and nothing more. Lacking support from the government, he went looking for work--any kind of work, but found nothing. According to Mr. Miguel, the current governmental culture in Guanajuato is such that if one has a disability, the possibility of employment is nil.
Mr Miguel however is quick to point out that although the current government does not dedicate many resources to people with disabilities, empowerment in Guanajuato does indeed exist. His childhood friend, the former governor Carlos Romero Hicks, found him a fairly accessible house. Several local surgeons have helped to form a local blind coalition, Nueva Luz. Nueva Luz has no monetary funds but it rich in human resources. At the local Casa de la Cultura, experienced blind people teach other blind citizens how to navigate life. The coalition looks to empower its people with classes on cooking, taking the buses, braille, and ones civil rights.
What endears me most to Mr. Miguel is his ability to relate. He gave me directions to new more accessible routes to my house and to shopping. He asked me how I climb the bus, manage to stay on and eventually step off. Perhaps the comment that will stay with me forever though is " Juntos si podemos senorita. " (If we stick together, we can do it young lady). Mr. Miguel, I couldn't have said it better.
Post Script- Bohemia really is the best beer in Mexico.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
As I search for a job, I am reminded daily of one of my most irritating/endearing memories of my Gramps. Every time I would try to sleep in, he would burst in singing the Silhouettes' hit 'Get a Job' with my cousin singing back up.
Let's be honest. Searching for a job just plain sucks. To me, its like going on an arranged marriage interview. Everything from your intelligence to your appearance to your fidelity will be at least subconsciously excruciatingly critiqued. In the last eighteen months, 65% of my friends who are not students have been laid off and/or underemployed at some point. While many in my generation are daydreaming about that fancy engagement ring to a country with benefits, it seems most of us will be old maids for the time being.
However tough it is for the general population of my age group to find a decent job, people with chronic diseases/disabilities face more of a job battle than a search. The rate of employment for people with disabilities as of 2000 is a shameful 55.8%. While I cannot find reliable statistics for the same population in Mexico, it is even more dismal.
The next series of post will focus on the employment market, job search, unique opportunities and differences between the US and Mexico.
'Preaching and a cryin, tell me that I'm lyin bout a job that I could never find...Get a Job'
Post Script- Please pardon the lack of posting in the last couple of weeks. Life Happens occasionally.
Monday, November 2, 2009
The slick haired men with Mexico City plates looking for una party have left. The hippies have moved on to better and higher experiences. The man in the giant condom suit has pulled up stakes to continue spreading his gospel elsewhere. Ladies and Gentleman, the 37th Festival Internacional Cervantino has come to an end.
What is a Cervantino? El Cervantino is a textile of all the beautiful Mexican arts combined with the traditions of the foreign guests of honor. Although its origins have been attributed to the writer Miguel de Cervantes, it is very Guanajuatense in nature. Started in the cradle of Universidad de Guanajuato thought, the festival is the only time of year the city stops gossiping and instead converts its energy into a large three week fiesta. When the over 2,300 artists of all kinds converge with the 500,000 tourists, Guanajuato explodes with color. Music, opera, danza, theatre, and academic activities flood the city along with its pilgrims that camp in its parks.
However, for me the festivities are more limited. Although it has been said I am an enthusiast of the occasional drink with friends, my venues were more contained this year. As I try to get off buses that will not stop for the slow footed or try to climb the impressive amount of stairs at the University, I think about these difficulties. I think about how I will get my friends with physical disabilities through restaurant doors, my house, a club. The entire month of October, I have looked for solutions. Indeed accessible transportation, hotels, restaurants and parking do exist. Unfortunately, they are not many.
I do not mean to say that this city is oppressive or unwilling to accept the disabled into the fold. Guanajuato is a city is full of life and learning. However open it may be to change, the change will not come until people with disabilities start to demand it. That is why I invite all of you to visit. Let's make ourselves visible.
For more video/pictures refer to "Adventures of La Coja" Facebook page.
For more information and images, visit http://festivalcervantino.gob.mx/fic09/bienvenidos