Lets Get Married and Move to China
These last few weeks I spent visiting family in Puerto Rico and North Carolina. On my last plane back to San Francisco I sat by a couple who had just eloped and were on their way to teach in China. They met at a small private Baptist college in Virginia from which they'd graduated and moved on with their lives, then re-connected years later on Facebook. On a boring late night they stumbled on FB chat and talked about all their relationship failures. In the mean while, another college friend posted an opportunity to teach abroad on his wall. And before you know it he was saying, "let's get married and move to China!" "I still can't believe I'm married and on my way to China," the woman told me.
A couple of weeks before, on a plane ride to New York, I sat by an ambassador and theologian who speaks eight languages and people hire him to make translations from ancient scripts. He told me he'd always been drawn to spiritual quest and had studied and practiced most major religions until he found one that changed his life from night to day. We chatted the entire trip, and I asked him a lot of questions like: How do you explain the trinity? What do you think of pagan and/or alternative religions, including some that offer alternative education methods, which claim to be able to enchant or jinx and millions of people around the world believe in them? Do you believe in miracles? Why did you choose to follow one religion over the others? Who or what is God to you? Have you spoken to or felt God? What did he say? Where did you feel him? We had a really interesting dialog. He responded very gracefully and thoughtfully, and was even humored with my inquisitiveness. He had some really interesting answers, and quoted several ancient sacred scriptures from before the emergence of Christianity. At the end of the trip he gave me a book and made a little diagram of the languages the different sacred scriptures were written on on the back of it. He told me that I was a good person.
On a plane ride from New York to Puerto Rico I sat by a dark skinned lady with dyed blonde hair who spoke very fast, and was accompanied by her anxious hyper active five-year-old grand daughter. I was really tired and wanted to nap, but after complementing on how cute her granddaughter was, the lady kept tapping me on the shoulder to speak to me. And I had to escort the little girl to the rest room a couple of times because she really needed to go and the lady wouldn't get up to take her.
Visited my dad who had been hospitalized in San Juan since June. Talked to him a lot but not very deep. We joked about how every time he took me somewhere when I was a kid without mom we got in trouble. Like the time I got home with the silly idea of buying a monkey, the time when mom asked dad to buy me shoes and I came back with cowboy boots, or the time he took me for a haircut and I came back with a hip-beyond-my-age cut he let me pick from a magazine. It made me think, was he doing it on purpose to piss my mom off, or so he didn't have to babysit me? Was my mom taking it too seriously? Or did we just lost all seriousness when left unsupervised? The doctors decided he was okay to go home on my third day there, and we headed to Mayagüez where I was born and he still lives with his new wife. Met his in-house nurse Casandra who is very nice. Took a lot of pictures of the landscaping and of a sculpted
Taíno rock I've always liked.
Taíno sculpted rock
Visited my grandparents. My grandma picked very unusual colors for the exterior of the house. When my grandpa noticed me looking around he said: "So what do you think? I tried to stop her because the colors seemed awfully bright for an exterior, but she insisted." Now their house can be easily spotted from a satellite. I told my sister over the phone and sent her a picture, and when my sister asked grandma why she picked those colors she said because it was in style, "mango avocado." I think she's a tad bored and is trying to get attention. Well, she got it! Still, it was a bold adventurous move. My grandpa has a little bit of Alzheimer and keeps mixing up everybody and forgetting our names.
Waiting for my next flight at the airport I met a woman from Puerto Rico who was going back to veterinary school in Raleigh after visiting her parents, and was transplanting with her a cute little satito (mixed breed) puppy her parents rescued. While waiting to get on the plane the pup managed to get himself out of the doggie backpack to take a piss. Everyone else frowned, but I thought the puppy was pretty smart to pee outside the backpack before getting on the plane.
Spent the following week with my sister and my baby nephew. A lot happened in one week: Baby got his 16 month vaccines; when you ask him what his favorite food is he now says nana (banana); I taught him to call me tití (aunt in Spanish); I fed him; we went to pick blueberries; we ate blueberry pancakes; he throws the food he doesn't like on the floor; picked him up from his crib in the mornings and he hugged me, gave me kisses, and helped me change his diaper by being still and even holding his legs up in the air (my sister says he usually moves a lot, so that's how I know he was helping me), he also pointed to the light switch as if telling me it would be easier if the lights were on, but I was worried the light would be too intense for his eyes that early; while babysitting him I accidentally locked us out of the house in the back yard in 102 degree weather, after desperately looking for an exit and finding everything locked, he pointed out to a hidden exit that was open and we made our escape, after sitting in the driveway for a while I was like "what are we going to do now?" and he pointed to a house, so I said "good idea!" and went and asked the neighbor if I could call my sister to let her know we were locked out, and we were saved; their little house dog sniffed my door to let her in when I was in a room, slept on my feet, and stayed in the bathroom with me while I bathed; I learned a lot of new stuff about toddlers, like that they pretend a lot: to cough, to laugh loud, to cry, and to not know right from wrong testing their limits etc. By the end of the week he knew he couldn't fool me anymore and I started gaining some of the respect I lost when I locked us out, usually when he did something wrong he followed with "uh oh" or "ooo" and a kiss, TRICKY; he liked it that when he did something crazy I'd do something crazier back, it made him laugh; I also learned that the solution to all fuzz or cry is the magically delicious CHEERIOS. Thank God for Cheerios!
*If anyone is wondering where his plate is, lets just say that when put a plate in front of him he immediately uses it as a Frisbee, so his mummy had to come up with new tactics.
Anyway, I really wasn't ready to come home, it felt so good to be surrounded by so much love. I can't wait to be surrounded by lots of the love of a family of my own and I can go visit my family with more love to share.
You never know, one day two could be feeling the same way on different coasts of a country, going about their lives, stumble upon each other by chance on chat, and next thing you know on their way to China they are. Everything is possible!