Welfare Queens and Body Bags

Source: Welfare Queens and Body Bags

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Messy Kids…

Hello! I’ve been a bit under the weather for the past few days, and my mother-in-law is coming this week to visit us for several days, so I figured no fresh blog entries for me. But I really missed my blog, and I decided to cheat a little bit by posting a link to something I wrote about four years ago, when I was part of the writing group called Writing Mamas, based in SF Bay Area. It’s my blog, so I can get away with recycling my own stuff now and then, right? So here is one little post, pretty trivial but true to this day, if not more so. If you feel like commenting, I’ rather you do it here, as I have no moderating access to Writing Mamas website, so I will not be able to reply and interact. http://www.writingmamas.com/2008/06/my-perfect-child/

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The Bizzare and The Beautiful

Young banana trees in our backyard.

This morning I woke up at 4:45 to some weird loud engine noise coming from the outside. What the heck was that? It did not sound like a car or or motorcycle, was someone flying a plane in our residential neighborhood? My mind just could not place it. I dragged myself out of bed and went out to the balcony to check things out. It was still dark, but I could see some strange wheeled piece of machinery blinking and slowly circling my neighbors yard, releasing sparks and white thick clouds of steam and smoke, along with the burned asphalt smell. Were they welding stuff? Paving their backyard in the dark, at 4:45 am? I may never know. It was just bizzare. Puzzled and irritated, I scratched my head and thought that, since I am up and about, it would be a good time to grab a cup of coffee before the little one wakes up.

About 20 minutes later, as the sunrise lit our backyard with soft morning glow, the machine at the neighbors’ yard made its last strained puff, its engine sputtering and then finally growing quiet. I sat on the patio floor with my cup of industrial strength coffee, “criss-cross apple sauce” style, just like I used to sit with my little students for their Circle Time. I looked at our two banana trees, so still and beautiful, with big drops of last night’s rain glistening like crystal beads on the edges of each leaf. Kona the cat meowed and begged to be out. I reached to open the sliding door, she filed out with a soft purr and sat on my lap. It was good to be awake.

Then my eyes moved to the barbed razor wire right above the banana tree, in all its rusty menace. That coexistence of serene beauty and ugly reminder of potential danger is something that never fails to suprise me here in El Salvador. I talked about it with people who were born and raised here, or who lived here for a long time. I was told repeatedly that they hardly even see it anymore, it is just how life is. I am still not used to it, and I don’t really want to become immune to it entirely. Perhaps, this should be a whole other blog, before this one gets too long in the tooth.

I took the picture above this morning before I scurried to type this up.

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Hello world!

Well, here I am, finally doing this blog thing. It is something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but being the procrastinator that I am, never got around to doing. Of course, here comes a trusted friend to give me a much needed push and nudge in the right direction, and my fingers are actually typing this first post. Those of you who are as busy, lazy, fearful and neurotic as I am would understand what a big deal this is.

First, I had to decide whether I would blog as myself, or as an anonymous writer, perhaps under a pseudonym. Although there are pros and cons to both ways, for now I have decided to be myself. Hey, at least this way some of my friends would read this if not out of curiousity, then may be out of polite pity. If this does not go so well, and I get too tangled up in trying to appease everyone I know and to maintain a certain online persona while compromising the intergrity of my writing, I can always pull the plug on this Sveta Kim blog thing.

I had this vision of some literary gem of a first blog post in my head, and that vision totally went down the drain early this morning. My little one woke me up at 3 am. She started sleeping throught the night about three weeks ago, and has not been up at such an ungodly hour for a long time. Yet here she was, at 3:15 am, wailing. How did she know it was my first night without my husband, who is traveling for work for a few days this week? I was already cold and lonesome in our bed, and now this. I got up to check on her, tiptoeing to her room and quietly peeking in. She seemed fine – wailing, but not tangled up in her mosquito net, or stuffed under the breathable bumpers, or stuck in that one spot where two crib wall bars still have a gap between them. I went out to the living room, got my laptop out and spied on her through the webcam. Then my mind went through the whole “Should I get her? Leave her alone? What is best for her? Will this mess up sleeping through the night thing?” line of thinking.

To distract myself from this self-torture, I decided to check my email. What do I see? An email from my husband telling me that there are weird charges on our Visa card that we share. I go look for my card – and it is strangely not in my wallet. Everything else is there, including cash, but not the Visa card.  Lovely – just as he is traveling and relying on that same Visa account for his expenses. There are tons of credit card fraud in El Salvador, and we are frequently warned to be very careful with our cards and where we use them. So instead of creating a fabulous, worldly, exciting and thrilling first post, now my mind is anxious about the credit card and tired from the sleepless night, and you get a very ho hum blog. I guess that’s how life is, especially life with a six-months old in a crime-ridden country. But I did it – I wrote my first blog entry! Now Ms. Anastasia is up from her morning nap, which means I have to say good bye. Until the next baby nap, or a case of my insomnia – whichever comes first.

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