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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

December 02, 2010

Hope

A Traveller on a long journey was near his destination but received a painful stone in his shoe. The Traveller said, “I have the courage of a thousand men yet I am made lame by this stone” and so he sat on the ground and wept. A young man with no legs approached The Traveller and asked, “Why do you weep my friend?” and The Traveller replied, “I have the courage of a thousand men yet I can no longer see my destination”. The young man with no legs looked at The Traveller for a moment then said, “It is not courage you need now, it is hope” and the young man with no legs carried on his way. The Traveller sat for some time watching the young man with no legs move off into the distance and said, ”This young man has a far greater stone than I!”, and then picked himself up and carried on his journey. The stone was unbearable and he winced in pain yet after some time it loosed itself from the shoe and The Traveller was free from the torment. The Traveller looked up and could once again see his destination and had hope.

The Mayor of Ciudad Juarez, a current area under severe conflict, bordering El Paso, Texas spoke about people not needing more police, army and guns but about hope. The people there need to see that their future can improve, that the stone in their shoe is not permanent and that they can still move forward, with 2000 murders in the area this year alone it is a painful stone to bear but there is hope.

I was going to write a rant called: Mexican Pride – The Façade, because I’m annoyed at the lack of pride witnessed here. I’m not one to paint with a big brush so please forgive the generalizations but I’ve been puzzled and down right upset about the people here pretending to be proud of their country when it is really a smokescreen for something much more painful. While I recognize that a percentage of all humans behave in particular ways the weighting of those behaviours can be more or less favourable depending on geographical location or maybe other factors but it’s not for me to study.

When you see the evidence of the pride and passion of Mexico in the every day life you can see these things in abundance:

- Garbage all over the place, I can not count how many times I’ve seen people just throw pop bottles and other garbage on the ground around them.

- People might diligently sweep the garbage from their door into the street as though their community deserves no better.

- The population takes advantage of each other as well as outsiders, there’s a terrible level of caste and class distinction. It’s most evident in the name calling for me; I’m called Güerito (sounds like Whito, is intended to call you white), does that mean I should call them Yellow? They call me Gringo (likely meaning foreign troop and historically referencing US occupation of Mexico in the late 1840’s possibly meaning “Green- Go”) but does that mean I should call them wetbacks? I typically pay double for everything; today it was quadruple the going rate!

- The lack of regard for the laws of the country, keenly evident in the general traffic. Less evident is the actual ignorance of the laws (Mexico has very good systems in place, we’ve been researching), the lack of contribution, cash transactions not recorded, unfinished buildings that detract from the community so they aren’t required to pay taxes, etc.

- The corruption, contributing to it (cheaper to pay the ‘bite’ than the fine - which is often NOT true), accepting it or worse doing nothing about it.

It doesn’t matter what people say, actions speak louder than words and until we got here I couldn’t really understand why Deya and a few other Mexican born Canadians I know are not very proud of their country of origin. I get it now and for the first bit I too was upset about it but I just realized, after reflecting on what a good friend told us, that people need hope. I have sympathy for the people here now. I don’t know what the answer is but in there somewhere lays hope and while the stone might be big, the destination is still there not far ahead.

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