Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘hispanics’

Moleskine: The official unofficial journal of the Year of Giving

I keep all my notes from the people I meet in a small Moleskine notebook.  I had filled up my third notebook and today I cracked open my fourth one.  By the way, Moleskine was very cool and sent me six notebooks when they heard about my project!  I use the small pocket-size ones and they sent me the exact size I use in a variety of styles.  Some have hard covers, others have soft covers.  I think I prefer the hard cover ones – they seem to hold up a little better as I schlep them around with me every day in the elements.  Anyways, thank you Moleskine!  You guys rock!

I used to live in Mexico when I was in high school and for a short while in college.  I have a very special place for the people of Mexico, especially those from my “home town” of Guasave, Sinaloa.  

1,000+ people attended the celebration (photo: Reed)

2010 is the year of the Bicentennial Celebrations in Mexico. This wonderful country is commemorating 200 years of independence from Spanish rule and 100 years of its revolution that began in 1910 and toppled dictator Porfirio Diaz.  Mexican Independence Day is September 16th but is often celebrated on the evening of the 15th.  Here in Washington there was a huge celebration put on in the outdoor courtyard at the Kennedy Center that was free to the public.  As I listened to live music and watched the jubilation unfold, I noticed a large Mexican flag in the center of the courtyard.  I decided to give my $10 to whoever was holding that flag!

Diego is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo: Reed)

Diego, whose real name is Dagoberto but nobody calls him that, stood in the center of the crowd holding the red, white and green flag.  Originally from the state of Chihuahua which is located in northern Mexico, the 21-year-old has lived in Maryland for two years now.  His father runs a security company that provides services to a branch of the federal government.  Diego, who is the middle of three kids in the family, works there with his dad and also takes English classes.  Although he likes being able to work with his father he hopes to get his degree and establish his own career.

“I want to succeed,” he says with pride.

There were fireworks after the famous Grito de Dolores. (photo: Reed)

“This is an important day for me and all Mexicans,” Diego told me in Spanish.  “It’s a day that we spend with our friends and families.  It’s a day that makes me particularly proud to be Mexican.  It makes me cry.”  He smiled and added, “I’m just kidding about the crying part, but really, it is very special.”  

There were about a dozen of Diego’s friends around us celebrating.  I let him go with one final question, “What will you do with the $10?”

“Well, I have been thinking about that.  At first I thought I would just buy me and my friends some beer tonight, maybe some Modelo Especial, but I think I have changed my mind,” he said pausing and looking far off into the crowd.  He looked back at me and said, “I would like to give the money to you.  You are doing lots of good with your project and I would like you to have my $10.”  I explained that I would be happier if he did something else with it, but it’s not about me, it’s about what he wants to do with it.  He said he was sure about his decision and placed the $10 back in my hand.

Diego decided to give me his $10. Thank you Diego! (photo: Reed)

I thanked him for the $10.  We took this photo together and exchanged some final words in Spanish before saying goodbye and wishing each other the best of luck.

Read Full Post »

You might have noticed that I have skipped over Day 101.  I am still doing a little research for the write up and hope to get that posted soon.

By the way, for those of you who want to vote to determine who will join me at Clyde’s Restaurant, make sure you go to Day 88 before Friday.  I will then tally the votes and contact those who have the most votes and schedule a time to go to Clyde’s!  It’s going to be fun.

Last Friday evening I was on my way to see my friend Michael in Man of La Mancha at the Greenbelt Arts Center.  Michael plays the lead role of Don Quixote, and he is awesome.  He sings the most beautiful version of The Impossible Dream that I have ever heard.  There are still performances for the next two weekends if you are in the DC area and would like to see it.

As I was waiting for my friend Jeff to pick me up, I found Gloria waiting at the bus stop.  A few buses came and went and I noticed she wasn’t getting on them, so I decided to say hello.  

Gloria, originally from El Salvador, has lived in Washington, DC for eight years.  We spoke in Spanish which gave me the opportunity to practice my language skills a little.  She told me that she was waiting for her ride to pick her up. 

I asked her what she liked about living here in DC and she said, “the snow!”  She commented on how beautiful she thought it was.  It makes sense.  It’s just something you are never going to see living in El Salvador.  “We couldn’t even leave our home for a couple of days because of the snow, but that didn’t bother us…it was beautiful!” she remarked.

I asked her what she was going to do with the $10 and she said she was going to use it to help pay her phone bill.

Right as we were speaking her ride pulled up and she hurried on her way.  I didn’t get her contact information so I am hoping that she reads this and reaches out to me.

Gloria, si Ud. lee esto, por favor éntrese en contacto conmigo.  Me gustaría seguir en contacto con Ud. y invitarla a la celebración que voy a hacer al final del año.  Adjunto hay un mensaje de vídeo para ti!

Read Full Post »