Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Gone Fishin’…

14 Aug

Gone fishin’…well movin’ actually…

I’ve taken a proverbial fishing trip from my online duties this month… and have officially turned into Chicken with Her Head Cut Off…as I find myself back home in California preparing my things for THE BIG MOVE. (I’m heading east ya’ll…really east…like Paris, France east.) I’m up to my headless torso in boxes, bags, and thirteen years of life everywhere. How does one tiny person accumulate so much stuff?? (In my own defense, I am a Cancer. Comes with the territory.) Needless to say, this leaves me little time to write anything. And even if I wanted to write something, most of the time I can’t even find my computer a midst the carnage of the grand battle between me and my stuff. Fyi…I’m losing. Stuff – 1. Headless Chicken – 0.

As a quick behind the scenes as of how I got to this point…Pierre and I decided to call Paris home for a little  while, and with this comes lots of joy (I mean, come one, I’ll be living in Paris! Need I say more?!) and sadness (I’ll be moving away from one of my most favorite states in the country and from some of the most amazing friends and sister a lady could have). Actually, I like to think of  this whole move as my stuff is relocating to a cheaper home (aka Mom’s basement) while my spirit still resides here. This helps with the coming to terms of it all. Fortunately, I’m so insanely busy between packing, selling, and warring that I can’t think about it all. I’m sure once this is all over, it’ll all sink in. Til then…has anyone found my head??

Here’s a little video that accurately portrays just how I feel. Torn between here and there…

http://vimeo.com/25451551

And to throw in some lagniappe … my good friends in Puerto Rico just finished their new documentary on skateboarding on the island are looking to share it with the world. Five years of blood, sweat and tears went into it and now their hoping to get The Holy Grail of the film world…distribution. Their project is on Kickstarter. Check them out and if you feel so inspired, help support their endeavor and make their dream come true.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1672395135/ejkei-a-documentary-about-skateboarding-in-puerto?ref=live

See you in Paris!

And Now A Word From “El Padre”

30 Jul

Greetings gang! I’ve been a bit MIA this past month as I’ve been completing an intensive French course that has left me intensively Frenchy-fried. But alas, the class is done, and I can resume my post as blog poster.  I’ve got plenty of stories to tell of my adventures in France this past month. However, until then, I cede the keyboard to my very first guest blogger, my father, hereby known on this blog as “El Padre.”

In an attempt to share points of view and slices of life from all around the world, I asked El Padre to share a little something about a topic he is very passionate about…Puerto Rico. A few days ago, El Padre called me to chat, and in that chat El Padre mentioned that on that day, Puerto Rico celebrated the life of a one of its illustrious patriots, Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa. With El Padre’s desire  to always teach his daughter something new, he shared with me some information regarding this important figure in Puerto Rican history. Touched by El Padre’s passion for this subject and happy to have learned something new about my culture, I asked El Padre to write something to share on my blog.  And he did.  Enjoy!

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Illustrious Medical Doctor Commemorated

Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa

On July 27, the people of Puerto Rico commemorated the birth date of one of its most illustrious sons, Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa (1857-1921). He distinguished himself in many areas during the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Among other distinctions, he was the first Puerto Rican to obtain a medical degree from an American university; in fact, he graduated at the top of his class at The University of Michigan Medical School in 1880.

He was born to a humble family of artisans and remained humble throughout his very productive and notorious life. He was born “mestizo” with European, African, and Amerindian ancestry. He felt that people of mixed raced like he had little chance at advancement in the island (Puerto Rico) due to colonial prejudice which favored European descendants. This belief paved the way for him to move temporarily to the United States to learn English and pursue his ambition of becoming a medical doctor.

This belief also paved the way for his pro-statehood political stance. In 1899, one year after the US invasion of Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American war, he founded the pro-statehood Puerto Rican Republican Party. However, even though he favored statehood, he zealously guarded Puerto Rican identity and strongly believed that Puerto Rico should retain its Spanish language and culture.

When the United States Navy bombarded what today is known as “The Old San Juan”, and blockaded the entrance to the San Juan Bay in 1898, Dr. Celso Barbosa, with the company of other doctors, crossed the Bay from the town of Catano in a ferry boat to aid the wounded Puerto Ricans and Spanish soldiers, coming close to been hit by cannon fire. For this bravery, the Spanish government recommended that Dr. Celso Barbosa and his fellow doctors be awarded The Naval Cross of the Order of Merit, the highest honor of its kind.

After Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in 1898, the President of the United States, William McKinley, in recognition of Dr. Celso Barbosa’s accomplishments and stature, selected him along with four other distinguished Puerto Ricans to form part of the President’s Executive Cabinet, where he served from 1900 to 1917. During that year he became a member of the Puerto Rico Senate until he died in 1921 at the age of 64, 90 years ago.

Even those opposed to Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa’s political philosophy recognize this man’s integrity, humanity, and unwavering defense of the people of Puerto Rico’s best interests.

Painting of Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa

Footnote: The author of this review, Frank Vieras Alejandro, M.D. assumes responsibility for the historical accuracy of its content.

La Isla del [En]canto

30 Jun

I decided to brush off my political hat and throw it on my neo-Parisian head to bring you this slice-of-life from one of the places I call home, Puerto Rico.  A fellow Puerto Rican friend shared the link below with me, and I felt it important to share it with you.

By the way…

La Isla del Encanto translated means ” The Island of Enchantment”. La Isla del Canto loosely translated means “The Island of Song.” Why the Island of Song? Because with a strong, independent cultural foundation, Puerto Ricans shout out/sing out against the odds to fight the hard fight to save the island they love.

http://aljazeera.com/programmes/faultlines/2011/06/2011627132222888846.

Now mind you, as with any country, there are my political perspectives on the island. This is just one of them.

With love to all my Puerto Ricans out there raising their voices against all odds, I stand in solidarity from far away.