Monday, December 31, 2018

South Louisiana 2018: Between the Old and the New

Black-eyed peas for New Year's Eve at Agnes', Opelousas, Louisiana. December 2018.

Yeah, OK, so we had the black-eyed peas on the last day of the old year instead of the first day of the new. But our kind hostess, Agnes, is from France, and it was already the new year in France.

We eat the black-eyed peas to invite prosperity in the new year.

I am already so prosperous.

I am prosperous in:
  • People who love me
  • Good friends
  • Good health
  • Joyful experience of dance
  • Adolescent dreams come true
  • Freedom to roam as my heart pleases
  • Shelter, food, clothing

Well, yes, my sturdy and steadfast car has failed, but that is part of life.

Three years ago, I was the happy guest of another of Agnes' parties:

In this December 2018, I am between the old and new year, and also between my Missouri Year and my upcoming Tucson Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

To Louisiana Again: The Playlist

Louisiana Highway 3083. November 2013.

Finished with the Missouri year, and following my month in Mexico City, I'm on my way to next year's home by way of a several-weeks stop in South Louisiana.

Dropping down to South Louisiana from Missouri is a long, but not-unpleasant one-day drive.

Coming down, my road-trip playlist was so good. It included: 

The winner of the day was the Luther soundtrack.

I especially liked Marilyn Manson's cover of the Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams."

But top honors go to Robert Plant's cover of "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down."

Writing this reminds me of the day I drove down to South Louisiana for my first year of living there, back in 2013. In The Drive to My New Home: Day1, I featured bits of that day's driving playlist:

In 2011, I took my first road trip to South Louisiana, not knowing then that I'd move there two years later. Again, I noted my satisfaction with the music. Here's my post, Louisiana Road Trip, Part 1: Driving Day in Driving Rain.

In the video on that post, a heavy-duty bluesman accompanied the rain and the wipers. John Lee Hooker, I believe.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Mexico City: The Caravan: Family Values

Mexico City. Flowers on stone wall. November 2018.

I said goodbye to "Sara" and "Esteban," the young parents of charming princeling, little "Edgar," and soon-to-be parents of the infant "Yasmina," due any day now.

As I left the guesthouse, this refugee family of the 2nd caravan was on the guesthouse stoop, along with their belongings, awaiting transportation to a new shelter.

Esteban is the man with the glorious voice, which he displays while showering. Once, he stood on the stairs that climb up into the open meeting room, where refugee women, children, and men sleep on the floor on mats. He looked down at me, at the dining table in our communal sala, and sang.

I hope this family finds the safety, health, food, shelter, and employment they seek. The basics that we all want.

Sara, Esteban, little Edgar, and the soon-to-see-light Yasmina - these are the souls who are "criminals"?

No, Edgar and Yasmina's parents are doing exactly what they can do to protect their children.

We in the US are ready to tear gas them out of fear.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Mexico City: The Caravan: The "Invaders"

Mexico City. A little girl's birthday cake. November 2018.

This is the birthday cake for one of the potential "invaders" of the United States.

A little girl who just turned eight.

Before the cutting of the cake, the birthday girl´s daddy gave thanks to God, while holding his daughter in an embrace, for all of the blessings he appreciated for his family and the people around him, and his faith in their future.

This is the same man who, out of the blue, crafted two paper flowers for me last week.

The little girl´s mommy is who runs through reading and math exercises with her daughter and son ... because ... being a refugee means no school. ...

Yeah, so these are the "invaders."

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Mexico City: The Caravan: A Homey Dish

Mexico City - Atol de elote. December 2018.

Last night, one of my Salvadoran housemates introduced me to atol de elote.

"Linda" was rather nonplussed by the rave reactions from me and a Mexican housemate, as to her, this is an ordinary budget dish.

White corn (elote), cream, and cinnamon are the predominant flavors.

Its warm, sweet, thick creaminess soothes your heart and belly like a bowl of oatmeal or cream of wheat made for you by your grandmother.

Although atol de elote may be mundane to Linda, there are others who quite disagree:

Saveur: Guatemalan Sweet Corn and Milk Drink
Global Table Adventure: Creamy Sweet Corn Drink
196 Flavors: Atol de Elote

Mexico City - Atol de elote. December 2018.