Luz (trigger warning)

Amox Ce –

REFLEJOS: Abuelito

Luz was born to Miguel and Josefina Villareal on October 16th of 1979. Her father Miguel an Argentine vagabond met her mother at the coastal resort town of Manzanillo, Colima in Mexico while she was working at the local marketplace selling her family’s produce.

The green eyed, pale faced Argentine had decided to try his life in Mexico after having worked as a dock hand in Australia for several years, he now found himself in Manzanillo hoping to make a living in this blossoming ocean front resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Luz was the first of three children.

Josefina an eggshell brown, dark haired Mexican of Indigenous background couldn’t take her eyes off of her, a beautiful güerita with light brown eyes and hair, her complexion illuminated the room and brought a smile to her face whenever she looked at her.

Josefina just knew that Luz would go places that Josefina could only dream of. She made it a point to remind her over and over as the years passed.

“Luz, mijita, quiero que pongas mucha atencion en tus clases, que bien sabes que en este país los sueños se hacen realidad.”

She would assert when Luz would come home with progress reports saying that she did well on her tests but did not pay attention during classes and when she did pay attention and challenge the teacher it was considered insubordination.

“¡Pero mami!” Luz would protest,

“Es que el ticher no sabe! Dice que George Washington es nuestro forfader y que no puedo hablar en Español porque es Englis honly!”

Luz’s family had moved to Pasadena when she was eight years old. She was angry that they had moved so far away from her beloved Abuelito and all of his stories. Her grandfather Angelino Moreno was a campesino whose family had received the right to farm their ancestral lands after La Revolucion, Mexico’s Civil War in 1910.

Angelino had taught himself to read by sneaking over to the local mission and befriending the nuns as a child. He grew to love books and had invested his meager savings on a small collection of books containing literary greats as well as contemporary writers.

Luz had grown up listening to her grandfather read from Cervantes, enjoying the adventures of the delusional Don Quijote and her favorite character, the bumbling Sancho Panza.

Angelino opened a world of imagination for Luz from paper tigers and the poetic imagery of Pablo Neruda to the poetry of Latin American revolutionaries from Jose Marti to Roque Dalton.

Angelino also had a love for the aesthetic, exposing Luz always his chicle on business trips to the capital, to catch the latest opera at the Palacio de Bellas Artes and to see the frescoes of Diego Rivera, Orosco and Siquieros. They’d make it a point to stop off in Coyoacan to see the home of Luz’s favorite artist Frida Kahlo. While her grandfather could explain the meaning of the Muralist’s public art, even at that age Luz could discuss with her grandfather the meaning of Frida Kahlo’s painful art, sometimes using her tias abusive relationships to illustrate.

Angelino had been a revolutionary himself following the footsteps of his father whom upon hearing of the rebellion on land reform had rushed to fight alongside Emiliano Zapata.

Angelino had joined the Communist Party as a young man having spent time in Mexico City and had been involved in Mexico’s movements preceding the 1960s including the movimiento petrolero.

Angelino since then had been host to many people on his family’s farm. In 1961 for example, Angelino had housed the exiled Salvadoran revolutionary poet Roque Dalton for a couple of days, he would tell Luz of the laughs they had over drinks and of Dalton’s pre-occupation with death. Angelino told Luz amazing stories of Dalton escaping the death penalty twice, once because of an earthquake and the second when the Salvadoran dictator Colonel Jose Maria Lemus was overthrown by a coup d’état on October 26, 1960.

Abuelito would tell her that prior to that he had been recruited by Fidel Castro in Mexico City but had to politely decline because as Abuelito always said,

“Hay que limpiar su propio maranero antes de meterse con el vecino!” Luz never imagined living so far away from her grandfather and his stories, let alone this far away from Mexico.

In Mexico she was somebody, her voice mattered. In the United States she was nobody, ignored and shuffled along, she did her best to stand up for herself but at times would get lost in it all.

It wasn’t easy going to school in Pasadena where there were so many students that the whole experience seemed more like a monotonous rerun rather than an environment that actually challenged her to think independently as her grandfather had taught her. With her Abuelo, Luz could ask questions, learn by experience and it was ok to be wrong as long as you learned from it and could correct your mistake.

In Pasadena Luz could not ask questions, teachers would always ignore her hand in the air, making her blurt out the answer. She was always punished for this even though the boys were allowed to dominate the class discussions. In Pasadena, Luz found from an early age, school wasn’t about learning but about conditioning her not to be herself and for this she hated school.

CIUDAD JUAREZ: La Frontera

Luz was detained for not having citizen papers on the way back from attending her Grandfather’s Funeral.

It was the summer of 2000 she was 20 years old. She had gone with her father because her mom, who was working at a beef processing factory now that they lived in Washington, was not allowed any time off of work.

They were hoping that they could pass the border by foot at Juarez using her student identification card.

Her dad had a work permit being from Argentina and had applied for citizenship status including paperwork for her mom, her brother and herself that was due for acceptance in 2001.

At the border, Luz walked with confidence. She was sure her command of the English language would get her through this time. But she wasn’t really thinking about that.

The whole trip to the funeral and back they had traveled in silence. Thoughts raced through her mind at speeds she imagined broke the speed of light, her grandfather, school, her love life.

Before leaving for Mexico she had been casually dating a guy named Edgar who tripped her out a little, he was cool to be around, they had interesting conversations, and he liked cars, Lowriders, just like she did, you know that kind of love for cars that makes you think of them like children. But there was this dark side to Edgar that she didn’t like, at times he could be controlling having to know where she was, what she was doing and she didn’t like that.

On top of that Javier, at the moment one of her closest friends and past lover was getting serious with his current girlfriend, a girl she didn’t feel was good enough for him. If he only knew how much she needed his advice at the moment. She was sorting through these feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, disillusionment but still maintained her composure.

Luz reasoned that crossing the border was just like making a deal, the more confident you looked the better chance you had of getting your way.

There were lots of people in line on the Mexican side, she noted that there was a lot of Mexicans mixed with a few white tourists holding shopping bags full of souvenirs, you know, Tequila, Mexican Blankets and the like.

She wondered if she would run into any of the Mexican laborers who were crossing back in Washington.

The line Luz was in was moving slowly, the Chicano not much older than her who was checking ID’s seemed to hassle the Mexicans asking them a battery of three or four questions before letting them cross.

A few minutes earlier two of the Mexicans had been pulled to the side by another Border patrolman in a green uniform and were asked to step into a small office. One of the men was in his 70’s with a leathery face, kind eyes and a sombrero. He reminded her so much of her grandfather that she wanted to go up to the Chicano, who was shouting out to the rest of the people in line that those without proper paperwork attempting to cross the border were attempting to break the law and would be found out, that he should shut his trap and be ashamed of himself for being mean to a gentle old man who was just trying to make a living.

She thought of her grandfather, and all the time that she was away from him. She wondered if it was worth it for her family to have moved to the United States where it just seemed to be one problem after another.

Before she new it was her turn in front of this Chicano bullying the Mexicans, she hated bully’s, her grandfather had taught her that bully’s were cowards inside, it was bully’s who had made her family move from Pasadena to Washington, bullies who had made her grandfather sell most of his land to foreign investors after the laws changed and here she was face to face with a bully, policing the border.

Anger and fear raced through her viens.

“So how was your stay Miss Villareal?” The Chicano said eyebrows raised, he was hitting on her, if she hadn’t witnessed his ugliness she would have thought him a chulo but all she saw now was asshole.

“That’s none of your business, here’s my id.” The Chicano was shocked at first, pride hurt that he didn’t impress this hot señorita, he imagined her naked, mouth open, and then continued.

“Where were you born, Miss Villareal?”

“In Pasco, Washington at Lourdes Hospital.” Luz lied, annoyed at his piercing look, she felt like slapping the sinverguenza but maintained her composure.

“I need to see a birth certificate or valid passport.”

“I don’t have one on me.” Luz rebuttaled,

“We just came back from a funeral, it was a family emergency…I didn’t think of bringing it.” She hesitated as she thought about what to say next.

“Tell me, Miss Villareal, do you always travel without proper documentation?” The Chicano grinned mischeviously. Inside, Luz was thinking

“Oh, Shit” and her mind went blank.

“Miss Villareal, I can’t let you cross without it, I’m afraid your going to have to call home and have them send you your birth certificate.”

“Please, I have school on Monday and have to get back .”

“Well you should have thought about that before you crossed the border.” At that moment her father came noticed she was taking longer than expected, he had gone to call home and let them know they were on their way. From behind the barrier he hollered at Luz asking what the problem was.

“Quieren, Mi acto de nacimiento, dad!” Luz yelled back

“Quedate alli, voy a cruzar otra vez.” Her dad yelled back and disappeared to the line coming from the U.S. to Mexico.

“Sir, you have to let me go, please, out of the kindness in your heart, I’ve got to get back.”

“I’m sorry Miss Villareal, but I’m going to have to ask you to step out of line and come back when you have your documents with you. Have a nice day.” After talking it over with her father, Luz decided to make the best of it by waiting out the period needed to receive her Green Card that were already in process, after all a year didn’t seem like much and she needed some time for herself, to get away from life in Washington.

MANZANILLO, COLIMA: Josue y Tio Chucho

Life with her dictatorial ultra masculine uncle Chucho and family back in Manzanillo got old quick. She decided taking a job at one of the resorts would help her to find some time away from the drama of life with a Mexican patriarch who, for some reason, felt the need to control her every move.

It was here that she met her partner, Josue, a handsome Mexican national, with a lot of dreams and a gentle disposition. Finding a safe space so far from home, after being tormented by her uncle made her stay there at least tolerable.

Luz and Josue became lovers quickly and the conflicts with her uncle became a daily ritual, he would call her puta for coming home late from work and accuse her of being a loose Americana that had no place in his house if it weren’t for her father sending money every month.

Luz had fallen into a depression towards the end of her stay, and only time spent with Josue helped heal the pain.

She also received mail from Javier who had gotten married by then as well as mail from Edgar who seemed to be obsessed with her. She wrote Edgar back telling him to stop writing, that things were different.

Josue was just a casual boyfriend at first, but news of Javier’s marriage brought her into deeper depression as she felt that her close friend Javier had abandoned her in a time of need.

Luz was strong and instead of crying about it chose to take her destiny into her own hands.

Her pregnancy caused a riot at her uncle’s house as he threw every insult he could think of.

“¡Hija de Puta!” He yelled as he slammed his fists into the kitchen table.

“¡Ya sabia que andabas de piruja con ese mendigo hijo de la chingada!”

“¡Y que, tio Chucho, tu no eres mi padre, y nada de esto es negocio tuyo!”

“¡Joder que no!” Uncle Chucho raged.

“Es mas, es mi cuerpo y tu no tienes ningun derecho de reclamarme.” Luz snapped.

At that moment Uncle Chucho back-handed Luz, sending her crashing to the floor. As she recovered Chucho spit on the ground next to her and replied.

“En mi casa, yo soy rey, y desde este momento, no hay lugar para una puta como tu.”

Luz was on the next bus north, after hearing about he situation her family sent Luz her sister’s passport since she had been born in the United States was thirteen and looked almost identical to Luz.

With the money that she had saved from working at the resort and working with the DJ’s at the local clubs she bought plane tickets to Los Angeles and arranged for her father to pick her up.

She bid a bittersweet farewell to Josue, who was furious about the whole situation. Luz, like the mariposa that she was remained calm, knowing that her relationship with her baby’s daddy was all on Josue.

It would be up to Josue to decide if he would leave his home, his patria to follow the migration of the Monarch Butterflies that gathered in the nearby mountains of Michoacan in the spring to mate then traveled back to the Horse Heaven Hills and Blue Mountains of South Eastern Washington.

TRI-CITIES: Adriana

At home, Luz began taking courses again at the local college, with renewed strength. Knowing that a new life was forming inside her, gave her the utmost pleasure she had never experienced, she still looked upon the world in that critical way she had always seen it through but now, now was different, she had hope, she had a reason, a responsibility to make it and she cared again.

Conversations with her old friend, Javier, became more frequent as he admitted that she still held a special place in his heart. He reminded her of all of the drama that she was glad to have gotten away from and that she missed and loved so dearly.

After all, she was home. Luz pursued a nursing degree, and shortly became a Certified Nursing Assistant after which she took a job at a nursing home, working from 2:00 in the afternoon to 10:00 at night to be able to keep taking classes in the morning.

Josue, did not decide to follow the Monarch migration until the spring of 2001 a few months after his daughter Adriana was born.

Deep down, Luz was angry that he wasn’t there when she was in labor. It was like her high school graduation in 1998, among the sea of families and friends of the 400 member graduating class, only her immediate family and Javier were there to congratulate her, to share in her moment.

She felt the loneliness of feeling unwanted, uncared for, and undesired by those whom she wanted it most. Those who were supposed to be family, after all this was Josue’s daughter too.

It was hard living in her parent’s basement with her daughter and Josue added on to the family members she was responsible for. Josue turned out to be exactly what he was when she met him, he was her chulo with grand dreams and wasn’t about to lower himself to the status of a mojado, an undocumented laborer.

Luz had to pick up the slack, still working; she depended on her grandmother to take care of her daughter since Josue would sleep in most of the time while she was at school. She soon realized that living with her parents, and Josue wasn’t working out and was not acceptable. She longed for her own place, but it seemed like the harder she worked the more behind she was getting on her schoolwork and on spending time with Adriana.

She was happy that her baby had her father there and that she was really attached to him. On the other hand Josue was in a state of nihilism, depression from being away from home for the first time, this is why he did not have the energy to wake up in the morning or to go out and look for a job.

In the beginning Josue had tried finding work in different places, but his inability to speak English and his state of citizenship stood as a concrete wall keeping him on the “un” side of employment. The only work he could do would be in agriculture.

Josue was from the coast, from a tourist city, Manzanillo, born and raised. He didn’t know the first thing about agriculture and was used to working in air conditioned resort night clubs and having the day free to do whatever.

In Manzanillo, Josue was a DJ, a popular one at that. In Pasco, Washington, thousands of miles away from the border and even farther away from his home, he was nobody.

Luz knew this and hated it. She hated the fact that she was responsible now, not only for her daughter, but for her partner, for her grandmother, for her family. Every time someone was sick or didn’t feel well, it was Luz who nurtured them back to health.

In the winter months when the whole family would get sick, she would always be the one making them soup, comforting them, serving them.

On top of that she had school and an eight hour shift in which she did the exact same thing but for strangers. Luz had a lot of heart, endurance. She loved her family just as passionately as she hated her situation. Who would be there for her?

In those rare moments, when Luz felt like she just couldn’t do it anymore, when she was ready to just break down and give up, felt that nobody cared about her or appreciated her, Javier would call.

He’d tell her he dreamed of her and decided to call. He always seemed to call during those toughest moments, when she was just about to transition or had just recently gone through something.

Since graduation, Javier had been there when her grandfather died, when she wasn’t allowed back into the United States, when she found out she was pregnant, he even came to visit her a few days after she had given birth to Adriana. Javier was non intrusive in his manner, she knew that he loved her, that he cared and didn’t expect anything in return. She was glad that he was still her friend.

PASCO HIGH: Javier

Luz met Javier when she was a senior at Pasco High. At the time Pasco high was the largest public school in the state of Washington in terms of population. Walking through its wide halls, Luz usually stuck to her homegirls whom she had known since she became a student at Pasco High when she was a Sophomore and they had moved from Pasadena.

One day, walking down a flight of stairs on the south eastern side of the main building she noticed Javier coming up the stairs. He gave her a smile she just couldn’t ignore, she smiled back thinking,

“damn, he’s smiling at me…” as she walked down further, she looked up and there was Javier at the top still smiling at her in confirmation of her thoughts. Time went by and she forgot about it, remembering only when he would walk by with his friends and smile that sexy smile that made her feel beautiful, she wondered what his name was, but gave him no other thought except que chulo era.

It felt good, Luz had recently been dumped by her own chulo she had been with since she had gotten to Pasco, for a white chick.

Javier’s warm smile did wonders for her self esteem in the moment. Luz and Javi became friends and then lovers throughout the course of their stay in Pasco. Luz liked that Javi was intelligent, and enjoyed his company, talking critically and creatively about the world around them. Javi, unlike other guys she had gone out with actually listened to her and made her feel important.

They were both very busy people, sometimes, when Luz needed companionship, Javi wasn’t there. The guy was always doing something, whether work, play or on the move, most of the time she could only get a hold of him on the cell.

Luz needed more, she liked Javi, but was afraid of loving him, he was independent and didn’t need what she thought she could offer. With Javi, her role was different from what she was used to, Javi didn’t spend every single second with her and didn’t seem to want to, Luz wasn’t used to this kind of relationship. She liked to know that she was needed. Part of her felt if she had a boyfriend she couldn’t go out, though Javi expected none of that which put her in a position of pursuing her own interests.

It was after being with Javi, who she thought was a good boy, that she realized she didn’t need a boyfriend at this point of her life. She needed to explore the world, enjoy youth.

Javi took it hard when she broke up with him, but they still stayed friends. Luz knew Javi knew so little about her past that she didn’t want to hurt him with it.

She kept it secret from him to the best of her ability but it kept eating at her so she felt she needed to do something about it and this way made the most sense. Not knowing this guy like people from the past, would stay with her for a long time after.

PASADENA: Abel

Luz didn’t always live in Washington. When she was younger her family lived in Pasadena, CA.

She loved going to Dodger games with her dad, she remembered having a hell of a time there. Her relationship with her dad was strong, though it could never compete with her Abuelo.

Luz and her dad were inseparable their first few years in Pasadena. That was until she started dating.

She loved her first boyfriend Abel, first loves always hold a special place in your heart.

Abel was just as old as her and they were really good friends before they got together. He would always be over or she would be over at his house. They enjoyed rough housing, watching WWF, playing video games and just hanging out.

Abel treated Luz very well, and also loved her. Abel was a cholo, a down one too, and Luz was attracted to the way that Abel was able to exert authority by his mere presence.

On top of being very smart, Abel was also a beautiful, powerful man with a great body and strong character. Abel was a natural leader and Luz had his back no matter what.

La Vida had its drawbacks, but for a fifteen year old girl, the lifestyle was a great adventure in the concrete jungle.

Luz became an urban warrior, placas to prove, butterfly just below her panty line underneath her four pack and a nahuatl numeral 13 (two bars below three dots) on her chest. Something she had brought into La Florencia from her Abuelito’s Nahuatl lessons with a constant reminder of their own tribal language, her mom’s family was Toltec.

Luz was down for whatever, joyrides, delivery, negotiation, turf control, what ever it took. Luz and Abel had a business to run, in the form of a kingdom. She was always there, partners in crime, knew the ropes better than most guys and she kicked ass so they called her “La Bruja.”

The year was 1994, with police brutality in Los Angeles at a high, Rampart Crash maniacs shooting to kill, it all reminded Luz of the struggles her Abuelo would tell her for revolution.

Using tactics from Guevara’s Guerrilla Warfare that Luz had read about trying to keep a link to her Abuelo, she helped establish rules of engagement where they’d only fight battles they could win and use weapons the police were using, which meant most of the time they were on the move.

Abel was killed in a shootout between La Florencia, a rival gang and Police. Luz hadn’t been there because the days before she had gotten jumped by Cholas of the same rival gang who wanted a piece of their empire.

Luz had gotten a bat to the jaw and nose both broken in the process.

Abel, leading the retaliation had walked into a sting and was killed in the crossfire.

Luz’s family moved to Washington in the aftermath as part of the exodus of Latino families from southern California in the 1990s. Most of which were seeking refuge from the state and gang violence, police brutality and the lack of jobs created with the pre-stages and implementation of NAFTA.

IRAQ: PesaSueños

03/03/03

Dear Journal,

I never thought I’d see a war when I signed up for the Army back in the Spring of 2002. Yeah, it was after 9-11 and after talking to Javi about it in one of his periodical phone calls, he got me at work this one time, on my break of all times.

Ese muchachito, he kept telling me not to do it, after I let him know I was thinking of enlisting. In fact I’d been talking to a recruiter, I had few choices. This going to work, school and then taking care of Adriana and Josue was driving me nuts, and then my mom’s all telling me I should have married Javi ‘cause at least he wasn’t lazy and he loved me. Como ves? I’m glad I didn’t marry Javi ‘cause if I had I’d have no family, they’d all be on his side.

Besides Josue gives me what I need and more, he sure ain’t lazy in the bedroom!

At least he takes care of Adriana during the day and I don’t have to worry about putting her in the daycare.

They’re going to ship us out pretty soon. They already tried once to Turkey, but they changed their mind.

I didn’t make very many friends in Basic. But those I did who came along with me in the Nurse training are very down and they know what this country’s doing isn’t right, I guess we’re there just to patch things up when the people fight back.

It’s actually interesting the things they had us doing in training it was all hands on so we were like forced to be careful in what we were doing or miss out and have to do all the cleaning work. I kept up the whole time. The whole thing is better than wiping up after elders at the home like I did before I went to basic.

…the conversations are different though, now it’s more talking with the doctors and other nurses than with the actual patient. I’d like to be a doctor one day, a plastic surgeon. I’d like to make people happy with themselves.

Doing this, going to Basic and everything was my last resort as I couldn’t keep up paying out of state tuition, working to come up with it and then be the emotional support for all my family, my grandma, mom & dad, sister, brother, Adriana and on top of that Josue!

Basic gave me time to vent, when they said hit it hard, I did, and I even kicked some macho ass. It got old after a while.

I’d stay up thinking after lights out, wondering what I was doing there, I thought about Adriana mostly, how she was doing. I just couldn’t handle all the drama of home. I swear if Josue would have been able to get a job and we could have moved out and had our own place I wouldn’t have left and I wouldn’t be here writing the night before we’re supposed to leave to get prepped for Iraq.

Dios mio, tengo miedo.

The family’s taking it even harder, so I have to keep a straight face. How I wish I had someone to talk to about it all, for now you’ll have to do.

I joined up in this ejercito to get my nursing certification, but I also hoped they would speed up my papers and Josue’s too. That way he could get a job somewhere he’d want to work at.

I saw in the news a few days ago of a Guatemalan soldier who was killed in action whom they gave citizenship to, but only to him and not his family. My recruiter said that by joining it would speed up the process, but I have yet to see any hurrying.

Javi’s sister was supposed to be in Basic with me, I wonder what happened with her, I never saw her, but Josue told me he called and they talked.

I hope Javi can get over his thing and come visit sometime and talk with Josue. He wrote me this letter sigüiendo con que me quiere, asking me to leave with him, I…I was so torn, cause at the time Josue was being an ass and the whole family was just demanding from me, and just then he called, like if he had planned it that way, it freaked me out, but it was just enough of a shock to get me out of that thinking and back to reality.

Javier is married!

Can you believe after all this he still loves me, in that way.

I’m glad we just stayed friends cause I needed that sense of worth at the moment, some of that me time.

I could never cause Javi’s wife the pain, and then with Josue.

We chose our paths but our hearts are still entwined.

Sometimes I wish I would have met Javier later, when I knew what I wanted, not in High School. Fuck.

6/20/03

Dear Journal,

Iraq is such a beautiful place if you get a chance to look at it. It’s the cradle of civilization where the Tigris and Euphrates meet, beautiful people that look just like mine, serene desert, so much history…and here we are, representing the country that would destroy it all for the sake of oil.

I’ve been stationed at the 28th division field hospital here in Baghdad. I treat soldiers and EPW’s, Enemy Prisoner’s of War, most of them are just kids, just like the soldiers.

We have U.S. soldiers lying next to EPW’s and at least I try to treat them both the same, but some of the EPW’s are just babies so I stay with them a little longer and the soldiers don’t like that.

All the work, every day keeps me from breaking down and crying. I treated a little boy today, he was caught in the rubble for who knows how long, most of the heavy artillery is gone now, but there’s still some left trying to bring order to chaos that we caused in the first place.

He was in such bad shape, but his little eyes were alive, he’s a fighter, a survivor.

He could have been my child, he had Javier’s eyes. Even though I haven’t seen him for so long, I think of him often now. I ask around all the time when another unit comes in to see if his sister is here too. It’s tough being here if you don’t have your memories. I won’t even start about Adriana. I miss her so much, damn…If Josue would have been halfway interested in my wellbeing he would have asked me not to sign. But I can’t blame him, I wanted this too, but not this.

I saw a woman, she had passed away as a causalty of our soldiers who mistook her for one of the guerrilla attacks we’ve been experiencing here, she looked just like my abuelita.

All the soldiers are paranoid, some feel its ok to number their ‘rags’ or kills of enemy combatants.

I’ve seen these enemy combatants and they’re all children.

There are some good soldiers out there, like the Iraqi’s the majority of our army is made up of youth.

There’s this compañero they call “Turtle,” I saw him stand up to the others for harassing the locals. There’s rumors that he reported this other soldier for raping one of the women they questioned while on patrol, there’s so many sinvergüenzas no wonder they attack our outpost with what ever they can, rocks, makeshift grenade launchers, small pistols.

They just ignored him though, but at least he stood up. I have a crush on him!

I hope I don’t get caught off guard with the attacks though. I take care of the injured from both sides; it’s mostly women and children coming in.

My commanding officer said I’ve been doing a good job. She’s been a nurse for a long time and I think she knows more than many of the doctors we have working with us.

The other day a night ambush almost hit our medic tent; I think it was a rocket propelled grenade, a dud. It scared the fuck out of all of us since we could have all been dead.

How could such a beautiful place, even in ruins feel like such hell?

The longer we stay here, the more they’re going to resent us. I should have gone into politics and gotten this pinche Presidente baboso impeached…pero, it would have probably been the same no matter who is president. This country serves only those with privilege at the expese of everyone else.

Ay, I miss my baby. I wish I could write to her, or something, pero all I can do is to wait until they pull us out of here so I can call back home, even though they only give us a couple minutes in the first place.

How I long to hear her voice, to know she’s alright, that she won’t grow up in an environment like this.

When I go home, I promise myself I’m going to tell her everything and why violence isn’t worth the results no matter what. This is a place of immense sorrow and grief.

I want to go home.

I started praying again. I think it’s what people do when they feel like there’s nothing they can do. I’ve prayed for mi hija, mi familia, Josue.

I pray for all of the people that I treat, that we give them all we can to make their suffering ease. I pray that our government start pulling out of Iraq and let the people heal.

I know some of these prayers are impossible, but that’s what you pray for isn’t it?

Lo imposible.

That we achieve true peace, balance of power instead of the monarchy of power we now live under.

And for many other things, that I get my papers!

We’ll I’ve written as much as I could in these dim lights they let us have here in the barracks.

I better stop cause it’s hurting my eyes, maybe next time I write I’ll be back home, I hope…

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