I am finally coming out of hiding. I have not written in more than 4 years on this blog despite the fact that I still live in Cartagena. Working at a bilingual private school and getting married muffled my voice so only I could hear it. Thoughts have been bouncing around in my head for years, but I usually saved the water downed versions as examples for my students' writing assignments. I always wanted them to be able to express themselves as well as possible, so they would be heard. I learned a great amount from those students who truly tried to communicate and reach another human being.
Despite all the entertaining garbage I wade through on my phone, I still believe that a well-written, heartfelt article can float to the top, be remembered, and provide a lesson. An article can refocus someone and provide an impetus of change. Right now on the Colombian news feeds, Trump is throwing paper towels to people in need. Yes, it is vulgar, but instead of screaming at the screen and then sharing the article, I am going to try something new. Maybe I will send money, supplies, or just a nice email in support of San Juan Mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz.
The Las Vegas shooting is insane, especially after living in Colombia for 7 years. I look over my shoulder every time I walk my dogs in a park on the Caribbean. It is an unfortunate habit based on petty crime statistics, and knowing the difference between the haves and the have nots is only a few blocks away. What is Mr. Paddock's excuse? What brought him to the state of looking over his shoulder and then gunning down hundreds of people? All I can think of is stress and paranoia. Gun control and mental health services need to be stepped up. I better write my representatives. Insane and dangerous are not adjectives I want associated with the US. I have enough of that in my backyard.
I have come out of hiding to encourage real communication, not to entertain nor shock. I express myself to reach another. Hopefully, we can humanize the digital age and become visible from behind the screens. Hopefully, we can all come out of hiding.