Going on Vacation

I’m going to be on vacation and traveling for the next month so I won’t be able to post as much as I have been. However I will be posting on a few key dates that relate to our story. I’m also going to try and do some video interviews with family members. Keep an eye out for those.

My picture in a 1982 Honduran newspaper

The other week I wrote about the time I spent in the orphanage in Honduras. In that post I mentioned that a picture was taken of me that was made it into the newspaper. While we don’t have the orginal copy of the newspaper I was able to scan the two photo copies we have.

The funny thing about this picture is that you can tell right away its me. My mom points out even my hair looks the same.

Dufar on Google Maps

Two weeks ago Google and the US Holocaust Museum released an update to Google Earth that highlights the crisis in Darfur.

On the map you can zoom down into the different villages and see which ones have been burned.

I’m really glad to see this kind of thing happening because it makes it harder and harder for Sudan to claim nothing is happening

Technology has a wonder way of making things very transparent.

If you would like more information about the situation in Darfur please look at the Wikiepdia entry and www.savedarfur.org

Memories – by Nelson/Roberto

I’m running as fast as I can. I stop short at the gate fence. In a few quick moves, I jump up, grab the top, swing my legs over and jump down on the other side. I keep running only to be greeted buy the dog. Before he can get near me I duck into the door way to my left. Jumping over some paint cans I turn sharply to the right and hid behind some boxes. I’m out of breath but I try not to make a sound.

I stay here for a minuet. I don’t hear anything. Slowly I creep back into the hall way and look around. Poking my head into the next room Ernesto looks up at me and laughs.

“What are you doing?”

“Shhh..she’ll hear me” As soon as I say it I hear screaming coming from the next room.

I turn to run again but the stupid dog followed me into the room and is in my way. Great no where to go. I turn, knowing whats coming next.

“I GOT YOU!!” My little sister screams as she grabs my shirt. I try to loosen her grip and tell her she is stretching the shirt. No good. Shes got me and she is NOT letting go.

Giving I pick her up in my arms and we head back to the house to get something to drink.

I often think back to those days when she was a little kid and we would run around the house chasing each other. It was so much fun. I have so many memories.

There is a gate outside of my father’s house in panama. The entrance had a nice little ledge just big enough for someone to sit. I use to picker up on my shoulder and put her on the ledge when she was being “bad.” She would laugh trying to figure out how to get down.

Then there was the time I broke her bed. I picked up and pretending to be a wrestler dropped her on the bed. It completely fell apart. She was fine but started to cry when she saw her bed in pieces. We were able to fix it right up and minuets later she was grabbing on to my shirt again like nothing every happened.

I’m so glad that I have been able to be a part of her growing up. She is a lot older now and has become a wonderful young lady. I still remember the little girl who ran up to me that first night at the airport. She will always be my little sister.

Meeting my sister and growing up with her has been one of the best parts of this entire experience. I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

I know how much she looks up to me and that is where I get so much of my motivation. Her pictures hangs on my wall and I always look it when I am feeling down.

Many families are spread all over the world and don’t get to see each other as much as they would like. Thats not an option for me. I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure we’ll always have memories to look back on.

My thoughts on the Virginia Tech shootings

I thought I would take a sec a reflect on yesterdays events. I know its a little off topic for this blog but at the same time I think its important and its been on my mind.

Last night I was watching news coverage on the events and they had this “expert” from NY talking about how this should have been handled like a terrorist attack. He was saying that the school should have been shut down right away as soon as the first bullets were fired.

That’s easy to say now. I’m sure the school responded as they thought was appropriate. I don’t think it handling it like a terrorist attack is the right thing to do either. Just look at what happened here in Boston a few months ago with the bomb scare. The city of Boston over reacted and created a huge mess.

My dad was, right Americans need to blame someone. I think blaming the school it to easy. In these situation you can ALWAYS do something better that MIGHT have saved more lives. But really there is no way for the school to know that this guy was going to start shooting people. Its not there fault he went psycho.

If you must blame someone blame this coward to senselessly attacked people and then took the easy way out by killing himself. I can just see it now. There is going to be an investigation into Virgina tech to see what when wrong.

I’m sure the school could have done something a little better but this guy was determined to kill people. He had it planned out. He chained the doors and had spare clips. I mean how do you plan for something like that? You can’t and trying to have some plan in place for an event like this isn’t going to help either.

What are you going to do have everyone in every school walk through a medal detector? No you train for the worst and pray it never happens. Its a tragedy and its horrible but sadly these things happen and they happen all over the world.

In fact I find it interesting that we as Americans are so upset about this when these things happen everyday in Darfur. If 33 people were killed in a tiny African village would anyone care?

I don’t really have a point. I just think the whole thing sucks. Its sad that these thing happen both here and around the world. My heart goes out to the family and students.

One a side not this is a pretty bad week in modern American history. Things that happened this week:

Columbine Shooting – April 20th 1999
Oklahoma Bombing – April 19th, 1995
Woca Texas Fire – April 19th, 1993

I’m not suggesting there is a connection its just interesting that they happened around the same time.

Phone Call – By Nelson/Roberto

May 1982

Shortly after Eva saw our mother for the last time, my mother urged my grandmother to take the children and move to Costa Rica where they would be safer. In 1980, Mama Chila packed up the family to live with my aunt Vilma who had been in Costa Rica since 1978. Mama Chila brought with her Vilma’s two children Evelyn and Jacqueline. As well as Ana’s two children Eva and Ernesto. I had not been born yet and our father Luis was in Cuba recovering from the bullet wound.

Earlier that year, Vilma had married a man named Eduardo who was the son of her employer. It was not the best arrangement since Eduardo did not treat Vilma well and occasionally threatened to deport her is she ever left him. Mama Chila and Vilma both worked during the day to provide for the children. Eduardo who was not as ambitious and stayed around the house most of the day.

They didn’t hear much from Luis or Ana. Because of the war it was very hard to send messages. Ana wrote occasionally and the messages where usually delved in person by someone who was involved with the revolution. It had been a few months since Ana had last written. Then one day something weird happened. They received a phone call. Ana never called because it was much to dangerous. Mama Chila and Vilma were both out but Eduardo took the call.

Eduardo sits at home watching TV. Its about 3:30 in the afternoon. My aunt Vilma and grandmother Mama Chila have not come home from work yet. Eduardo lazily flips through the channels waiting for the two of them to come so he can eat. Just then the phone rings. He glances over at it wondering if he should bother picking it up. Reluctantly he stands and wonders over to the phone.


“Hello…is this Eduardo?” an agitated voice replies on the other side.

A little surprised by tone of her voice he replies “Yes…who is this?”

“Its Vilma’s sister Mila” She says nervously

“Mila! How are you? We haven’t herd from you in so lo…”

Ana interrupts him “Eduardo I’m sorry but I don’t have much time. Is my mother there its really important.”

Slightly annoyed by being cut off he replies “No they haven’t returned home from work yet but they should be home soon. You should call back later.”

“No there is no time can you give her a message” She is even more nervous now as someone is yelling in the background.

“Yes of course, whats wrong?” Eduardo questions.

“They found us I don’t know how.” she sounds scared now “I have to go. Tell mama chila I love her and…” she pauses slightly “tell her to take care of my kids…”

The phone clicks and Eduardo not knowing what to make of this stands for a second listening to the dial tone. He hangs up the phone, puzzled by what just happened and sits back down to watch TV.

Sometimes I wonder what it must have taken to make that phone call. She must have known when she made the call she would never see her children again. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

That would be the last thing we ever herd from Ana. We never knew what happened to her after that and most likely we never will.