Stories from Quick Reads and Latin America
Some months ago, on her blog Anchas Alamedas, blogger Solentiname started to share the different stages she's gone through, since the moment she found a lump in her breast. On her latest blogpost, she writes to someone she calls Mimí and she tells her how she felt after the surgery she experienced few weeks ago. She tells Mimi about her feelings, doubts, pains and joys:
No te preocupés porque no me ha dolido nada. Ha sido incómodo, pero cuando uno se salva de una cosa de esas, entrega endosado el derecho de quejarse, ¿verdad? Me siento casi obligada a la felicidad absoluta, a la perspectiva, al esto es preferible a un cáncer. [...] Y resulta, además, que yo no sé bien cómo sentirme. No me siento sobreviviente de cáncer, no siento que tengo derecho a ese título. [...] He pensado en tomarle la palabra a todas las personas que me han dicho que les dejara saber si podían hacer algo por mí y decirles que sÍ: que le paguen a todas sus empleadas una mamografía, que hagan una campaña, que salven así aunque sea una vida.
Don't worry, this didn't hurt at all. It has been uncomfortable, but when you manage to overcome something like this, you give up the right to complain, right? I feel almost forced to absolute happiness, to perspective, to the this is better than cancer. [...] And besides that, I don't know how to feel anymore. I don't feel as if I survived cancer, I don't feel entitled to the label of survivor. [...] I've thought of taking at their word to everyone that asked me to let them know if they could do something for me and I will tell them yes: pay a mammogram to each of your female workers, make a campaign, save at least one life.
She ends up saying:
No sobreviví a nada Mimí. No siento que la vida me esté dando una segunda oportunidad de nada. No me siento con una misión en la vida. No me siento especial, diferente, escogida. No me siento distinta.
I am not survivor at all, Mimí. I don't feel life is giving me a second chance of anything. I don't feel I have a mission in life. I don't feel special, different nor chosen. I don't feel I'm distinct.
Thus far, no-one in Cuba has contracted the deadly Ebola virus and the government wants to keep it that way. Havana Times reports on “increased control measures to prevent the possible introduction of Ebola into Cuba”, adding that The Ministry of Public Health and other supporting agencies are being extra vigilant with monitoring any visitors arriving from high-risk countries.
“One thing is that books satisfy users’ curiosity, and a very different one that is that it might represent the identity of the community them belong to”. Argentinian librarian Daniel Canosa questions the role and function of local libraries. On Infotecarios network he writes:
Las bibliotecas indígenas, [deberían] generar conocimiento desde la participación local y comunitaria, ofrecer un modo de entendimiento, que es a la vez una manera de construir identidad. El tema es si lo que ofrece la biblioteca representa lo que cada comunidad sabe y conoce, si lo que construye el bibliotecario con su comunidad permite una genuina afinidad con la memoria histórica del pueblo. No se tratan de ideas nuevas, pero es necesario avanzar interpelando las mismas.
Si las bibliotecas difunden la producción de la gente de su lugar de pertenencia, entonces no sólo las elites tendrán presencia en el mundo de la información.
Indigneous libraries [should] generate knowledge from local and community participation, provide a way of understanding, that in time is a way of building identity. The thing is if what libraries provide represent what each community knows, if what a librarian builds with their community allows a true affinity with people's historic memory. This is not about new ideas, but things should move forward questioning those ideas.
If libraries spread people's production from their own places, then not only the elites won't be then only ones in the world of information.
The author highlights the fact that burning libraries, as happened in the past, eliminates peoples’ memories and therefore their identity. He also highlights the works by Colombia Indigenous Peoples Basic Library, puts into question publications by Abya Yala Ecuadorian publishing house and presents an instance of “social inclusion” with Eloísa Cartonera Cooperative from Argentina.
Under the premise that AIDS is the second cause of teenager deaths in the world and the nvisibility for vulnerables populatons in this field, Puerto Rican journalist Natalia A. Bonilla Berríos writes about the participation of L’Orangelis Thomas Negrón, HIV carrier from birth, on the XX 2014 AIDS International Conference held last July in Melbourne, Australia.
Thomas wonders how accessible is life expectancy for teenagers and young people living with AIDS in the world? And she develops an answer:
Hice mención de las poblaciones claves y cómo, el no reconocerlas es una agresión a su propia existencia, y más aún cuando se es adolescente. La expectativa de vida, que se dice que es la misma que las personas que no viven con VIH, y cuán real es esto, cuando hay países que criminalizan el VIH y la homosexualidad; cuando quienes hemos vivido toda la vida con VIH no sabremos qué pasará con nuestros cuerpos en cinco o diez años porque no hay estudios suficientes; cuando las mujeres y transgéneros somos víctimas de violencia de género; o cuando migrantes y trabajadores/as sexuales no tienen acceso a la salud. Sobre todo, el hecho de que países desarrollados están a punto de firmar acuerdos que afectará el costo de los medicamentos genéricos de los cuales los países en desarrollo dependen.
I mentioned key populations and how no acknowledging them is an aggression against their existence itself, even more for teenagers. About life expectancy, said to be the same as individuales who live free of HIV, and how real that is, when some countries penalize HIV and homosexuality, when those of us who have lived our whole lives with HIV don't know what will happen with our bodies in five or ten years as there are no enough researches, when women and transgenders are victims of gender violence or when migrants and sex workers don't have access to healthcare. Above all, that fact that developed countries are about to suscribe agreements that will affect the costs of generic drugs, on which developing countries rely.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandes launched the program “Desarrollemos Honduras” (Let's Develop Honduras) alongside civil servants and community members. Hernandes explained that if a house has a damaged or a dirt floor, it should be replaced with a cement floor; or prioritize according to the family needs, and:
Cambiar los fogones tradicionales por los ecofogones. Yo sé que en muchos lugares, tal vez no sea el caso de las casas aquí, es triste preguntarle a la gente cuánto paga por la leña y la gente no sabe, hay que explicarle (…) A veces a la gente se sale más cara la leña que la comida.
Replacing traditional stoves for ecologic stoves. I am aware that in many places, maybe not here, it's sad to ask people how much do they pay for firewood and they don't know, we have to explain them (…). Sometimes, people pay more for firewood than for food.
Twitter users posted pictures and their opinions:
— Lissi Matute Cano (@LissiCano) julio 29, 2014
LET'S DEVELOP HONDURAS started today at El Reparto community. Painting my neighborhood program will create 150 positions for young people from the community.
definitivamente vale la pena, a contribuir para que se deje ver mejor, Desarrollemos Honduras/… http://t.co/coblUp1jIJ
— Julio César Quiñonez (@jamaica2001) marzo 12, 2014
This is definitely worthwhile, let's all collaborate so it all might look better. Let's Develop Honduras.
Google Chrome finally becomes “legal” in Cuba and blogger Yoani Sanchez says that she gleans great satisfaction from “knowing that the opinions of citizens interested in the free flow of information and technology influenced the elimination of this prohibition.”
The Peru Tournament is a promotional football event where several teams from all around the country take part, aiming pass to first and second divisions. The champion earns a place in first division and the runner-up moves forward to second.
On a match played on August 10 during 2014 tournament between Minsa FBC and Expreso Inambari in the Peruvian departmento of Madre de Dios, several cows interrumpted the game. This unsual incident shows the pitiful condition of an event that doesn't have the most elementary safety measures, which is especially regrettable in a country where football is king of sports, in spite of the poor results.
Twitter users couldn't wait to express themselves:
— Mojigata (@Moji_gata) agosto 13, 2014
Cows interrumpt a Peru Tournament match LOL!
— FPietro Vidella (@Underground_Vip) agosto 13, 2014
On our way to World Cup. Unheard of: cows invade the field during a Peru Tournament match.
Manada de vacunos invade cancha en Copa Perú. En este caso, “el equipo sigue con vida” tiene sentido literal. https://t.co/OOEXK17ajf
— Juan Carlos Ortecho (@jcortecho) agosto 13, 2014
Bovines invade field on Peru Tournament. On this case, “the team is still alive” has literal meaning.
Journalist Henry Panduro posted a video on YouTube:
The International Unión for Nature Conservation (IUCN, for its name in Spanish) on its official page on Facebook, makes a call for communites and populations that live in protected areas in South America to submit their videos to take part in the contest “Inspiring stories of protected areas”, aiming to share those stories to the whole planet. Those who want to take part can submit up to two self-produced four-minute videos with copyright.
The awarded videos will be exposed during the IUCN International Congress of Parks.
To participate, just fill the application form with your information before August 14. You can also participate by choosing among the videos already uploaded to participate.
For more detais, visit the site on Facebook.
Emancipation Day, the anniversary of which is marked in several Caribbean territories on August 1, inspired two Jamaican bloggers to consider the occasion more closely. Nadine Tomlinson quoted Marcus Garvey on the importance of emancipating the mind, while her compatriot, Jean Lowrie-Chin, thought it significant that August 1 also marked the day that Juliana Deguis, a Dominican of Haitian descent, was finally declared a citizen of the Dominican Republic. There was widespread outrage across the region last year after the Dominican Constitutional Court made a controversial decision to deny citizenship to everyone born in the country to illegal immigrants as far back as 1929.
On her blog Historias de una mujer lobo (Stories of a female werewolf), Natalia Cartolini reflects on the reasons why a trip can be beneficial as, in her opinion, “the fact of visiting new places or meeting new people from another perspective is important at any moment. It doesn't matter if you go out within your own city or its surroundings, just open your eyes to a new point of view. Do something different. [...] But as the further from what you are familiar with, the more you will be able to find yourself, as you are aware you are the only one needed to survive.”
She ends up her reflections saying:
Entonces, imagínate escuchar tu música instrumental favorita mientras caminas por la calle. Todo se transforma. Ahora tú eres el protagonista.
Por un momento eres un Gatsby, en otras, un vaquero o un montañista. ¿Quién detiene a la imaginación? Sólo tú. Sal de tu sitio y aprovecha lo que tienes alrededor tuyo. Porque es tuyo.
So, just imagine you listen to your favorite instrumental music as you walk down the streets. Everything gets transformed. Now you are the leading character.
For a while, you are a Gatsby, some other times, a cowboy or a mountaineer. Who can stop imagination? Just you. Get out from your place and take the most out of what you have next to you. Because it's all yours.