Danube River. Pretty cool to actually see the river that so many songs were written about, even though it is grossly polluted.
Me in front of the Bratislava castle.
Presidential palace in Bratislava.
View of the Bratisalava castle from Josh and Olga's house. Josh and Olga work for the Lutheran Church in Bratislava, and help to coordinate Kaija's volunteer program, and also let us stay at their flat.
Since I know quite a few immigrants and their supporters, I will be participating in this moratorium on purchases. I participated in the "Day without immigrants" last year, but I think we need to make an even stronger statement now. Not buying anything "unnecessary", besides food or medicine. It won't be that hard for a week. All I have to do is give up my happy hour for one week. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Immigrant groups announce boycott "The economic gears of this country are dependent on the 12 million undocumented workers here." By Elizabeth Aguilera Denver Post Staff Writer Article Last Updated: 03/09/2007 12:36:42 AM MST var requestedWidth = 0; Immigrants and their supporters plan to keep their money at home for a week. No new televisions, no extra clothing, no wiring money to family members abroad or even paying for a photocopy at the consulate. The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, which represents nearly 80 immigrant groups statewide, on Thursday announced an economic boycott set to begin March 25. "The economic gears of this country are dependent on the 12 million undocumented workers here - it cannot work by itself," said Ignacio Ramirez, of Immigrant Families in Southwest Denver. "We play an important role in the economy." Representatives from Padres and Jovenes Unidos, the American Friends Service Committee, Coloradans for Immigrant Rights and the Muslim American Society gathered in Skyline Park in downtown Denver to announce their plans. The boycott is set to begin after a group of 10 Colorado activists travels to Washington, D.C., to lobby for immigration reform that includes a pathway to legalization for illegal immigrants and support for the DREAM Act, which would help undocumented students access college. "We hope to educate the Congress more about the situation immigrants face and the need in this country for reform," said Marvin Correa, who is traveling to D.C. for Rights for All People. "This is a situation that cannot continue." U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Littleton Republican, says an economic boycott will make little difference: "What this group is looking for is not 'comprehensive immigration reform' but an amnesty and pathway to citizenship for people who have broken the law." Boycott organizers are printing 50,000 fliers and are urging immigrants and supporters to avoid spending money on anything except necessities such as food and medicine. They are also discouraging immigrants from sending any remittances abroad and to avoid any consular transactions. Immigrants want to send a message to Latin American governments, which rely on more than $30 billion in remittances annually, said Ramirez. The Muslim American Society is on board, said Hashem Malik. About half of the 10 million Muslims in the U.S. are immigrants. "It's sad to see that spending dollars are welcome, but when it comes to representation, it's invisible," Malik said. "When corporations see the money walk out the door, they pay attention." Staff writer Elizabeth Aguilera can be reached at 303-954-1372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few weeks ago I was walking to work from the bus stop downtown. Along Colfax there are a large number of rental properties, some of which are for low-income people. The sidewalk was strewn with clothes, bedding, a bed, a couch, bookshelves and piles and piles of trash. An eviction had taken place. Also, in my own apartment complex, which can also be classified as low-income, because face it, that is what I am, an eviction took place around the same time. With both dumpsters overflowing with someone's belongings and baby clothes scattered in the alley. How dehumanizing! What can be more disheartening than to be struggling to pay the rent, maybe even late with the rent and to come home to the apartment that is standing between you and homelessness and find all your belongings outside and the locks changed. I am not sure that there is any way around this, but there has to be a better way. Everyday I am so grateful for the fact that I have such a positive position in life. I have been blessed with so many things over my lifetime, and while I am indeed "low-income" right now, I know that I will not be here forever. I was able to go to College, and come out with a minimal amount of loans. I was able to make the decision to voluntarily earn NO MONEY for an entire year. I know that I can move back in with my family at any time. I have a job, and the education and life skills to keep it.
I really hate this time of year. Winter has gone on too long, I am tired of it being dark and cold and I start to get really restless. In order to keep myself sane, I am trying to make the best of it right now. That includes appreciating the small things. When I started my new job, I also started commuting by bus. In the course of taking the bus everyday, I have observed a number of small acts of kindness. I see people routinely give up their seats for elderly passengers. I watched a woman pay another woman's bus fare. I watched a high school student carry an elderly woman's cart up the bus steps. I see people stop and ask the bus driver how he is doing, in a genuine way, not just the cursory way that we so often ask. I think I am a happier person when I stop to appreciate the small things and do some of them myself.
Last week I went to a fundraiser for an agency here in Denver that teaches English as a Second Language to immigrants. This agency tries to keep a low profile, which is why I am not mentioning it by name. Anyway, I went with my roommate Karla and our friends Thane, Erin and Linnea. We were five of approximately 15 white people at an event with over 250 people! It was so unique and informative to be a part of an event where for once, Latino people are the majority and Spanish is the norm. I could hardly understand a word of what was being said around me, and I had no idea what I was eating, but I loved every minute of it. And I discovered my new favorite beverage, Orchata, which is sweet rice milk with cinnamon and nutmeg. It was interesting to feel how so many other people feel everyday...
I am on-call this weekend at the Ronald McDonald House and every time I go up to the second floor I have to walk past this room with a sign on the door. The sign reads, "Please pray for our little angel Jadelyn. She is waiting for a liver, pray that it comes soon!" I am struck by the fact that in order for this baby to live, another baby needs to die. The parent's who made this sign are in a sense saying, "Please pray for our little angel Jadelyn. She is waiting for a liver, so we are hoping that some other family's little angel does not make it so we can have the liver!" I am an advocate for organ transplant (I did an internship with the National Kidney Foundation in College) but the human drama involved really sets me back. In order for one child to live, some other child has to die, and in the case of organ transplant, a sudden death. I guess it goes to show that nothing is ever easy. I know the families at the house, and I want to support them and hope that things turn out well for them, yet, there are many other families out there with similar tragedies as well.
I barely made it home to Bozeman, but once I got there, it was wonderful. I got to go to all of my favorite restaurants, randomly ran into some people from HS and spent alot of time with my family.
Katie and Melissa opening packages.
The cousins playing poker. (Melissa, Katie, Matt and Justin) Me, Katie, Melissa, Meeko and Annabelle taking the requisite Christmas picture that mom gets so wound up about. Me cuddling with Baby Emma. Emma is my cousin Matt and his wife Heather's second child. Katie, Me and Melissa at MacKenzie River in Bozeman.