Once upon a time: I didn’t like children

There was upon a time, where I thought the most important things in life were economical success, travels, status, and money. In other words, I was a cold-hearted bitch.

Some people still thinking I am that person, but they are granted their opinion, FYI (For your information) I think I am a softy-walking marshmallow. But we all got the right to our opinion so that I won’t fight it. But we all got, as well, the right to change and to become better persons, and maybe that’s why we have changing life-moments.

And God knows I’ve had so many changing-life moments..!! But in this case, the breaking point came when I was hired to teach children in the Japanese elementary Schools.

 At that time that was a dreadful prospect. Because I couldn’t even stand the sights of those mini-humans. But I needed the money, so I took the job.

 If you met me in person now, perhaps you would think I am lying, but as I don’t like lies, you can be sure that I am absolutely honest, when I say that when I got hired to teach children, I couldn’t even stand the sight of them. I thought them as humans on the making. Some sort of half humans, who were not quite there yet and who were rather annoying and not even interesting enough to deserve my attention.

 My first day, I was obviously nervous, and I was begging the Lord to let me go back to the corporate world, where I belonged, or so I thought at the time. But five years would pass for me to return to the corporate world, where I finally found money and the other shenanigans (silly things) I have been looking for.

 I thought I was happy but every time, I faced bumps on the road, I remembered my little children, whose faces would light up as soon as I entered the classroom. I remembered our songs, and I know they still remember them as well. And above all, I remembered their dirty little hands covered in mud and unthinkable bacterias while their little eyes looked into mine telling me how much they loved me with their sweet innocent voices.

They did love me unconditionally, and with that avalanche of love, I learn to understand them, to listen to them, to love them. And to love my inner silly banana side. I was their teacher, but it was them who taught me to love.

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Music: Musical notes and words

The earliest memories I have of music involve a piano, a guitar, and my grandfather’s sanshin (Okinawan guitar of three strings).

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We would enjoy music together. But don’t misunderstand my words, the musician was my grandfather. I was only the audience. He would play beautiful songs for me every afternoon to save us from the boredom of the routine.

He would play unknown songs, and the musical notes would dance in the air bringing us smiles. And if for any reason I couldn’t find grandpa in the house, I just had to follow the music notes hanging in the air. They always guided me to him.

And since then music has accompanied me in everything I do, even this humble post, without music, would simply no exist. And If I play the correct tune, I feel my heart opening causing the words to start pouring themselves on the paper. However, we all know very well that most of what I write it is not always entertaining nor interesting, but poor letters are better than nothing.

Curvy girl: learning to love her juicy bits

Although during my teenage years I loathed my curves, I have to admit that I have grown fond of the generous flesh that surrounds my bones. Tenacious flesh that has resisted diets and exercises.

During those innocent years of my first youth, I tried every possible diet. As there were always “helpful” people, who let me know what was wrong with my body, I was very well aware of what parts of it should be covered the most as they were exceeding in size and proportion I was told. That’s why I was always up to date with the newest miracle that would promise to give me the body I was never destined to have.

In other words, I was the subject of different experiments from “well-intentioned friends,” but I have to say that once maturity finally settled down in me. And I got rid of those “friends” I found out that I was never meant to be a slim beauty, and I am more than ok with it. I am, in fact, I am happy with it.

I rejoice in my juicy bits, I really do.

And in my personal journey to self-love, I learned that I am a happy curvy girl, with a merry soul, who, every day learns to love her juicy bits all over again.

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We are all one

 

It is no secret that lately the world seems to be upside down. Hatred, racism, and terrorist attacks make more headlines than ever before.

But why? Where did we go wrong?

We seem about to fall off the cliff. We seem to walk deeper into obscurity when what we want is to see the light. And yet somehow, we can’t wake up from the nightmare.

Human beings are born with a good nature, and there are many types of research and studies that prove this statement. However, in the process of our education, at home and school, we are taught that our religion is better than all the other religions in the world, that our country is the best country in the world, that our language is better than all the other languages in other words. In other words, we are better than all people in the world.

We are taught since forever that we are different and better. 

Nobody tells us that the persons beyond our borders are as human as we are, that their religion is as true as our religion, that their language is as beautiful as our language, and that their country is as beautiful as ours.

We are not taught to respect and to love but to segregate. Our parents, the school, and our societies do not teach us that we are all in this world together. And being in this world together means we are all brothers and sisters. We are all neighbors.

We divide human beings into races as if such thing existed.

According to anthropologists, we are all homo sapiens descendants of the same African woman who provided life to her descendants, us. We are all her descendants. In other words, If you are alive today, and you are reading this, you and I, whatever, the color of our skin, are united in more ways we can ever imagine.

Nobody is better than anybody because of their color of skin, religion, language, social position, nationality, sexual orientation, and education.

Nothing, absolutely nothing makes us better than another human being.

Hence, let’s forget about what we have been taught, and let’s instead start seeing each other with respect and love.

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Angels with warriors’ souls

Date: July, 30th 2017

Place: Tokyo

Temperature: So hot hell seems cool in comparison

Mood: Yone oni

 

On this disastrous day, everything had gone wrong, as if God had given control of my life to the demons of my nightmares. Everything was just going wrong.

And to top it all, I needed to go shopping in the blistering heat of the summer. I was literally stomping my way to the supermarket when I heard a demanding voice:

“You better get out of here because this place will be dangerous in a few minutes more.”

I turned around, and to my shock, I had to hold back tears because, in front of me, there was a little boy, a little angel, who showed signs of Down syndrome.

In one second my mood changed and decided to obey his request

“I see, thank you for letting me know about this matter.” I said

“Of course,” he said, “But you better get out of here because this place will be dangerous in a few minutes more” he repeated his orders again.

I promised him I’d be careful and he seemed pleased with my answer.

Then a minute later I understood what he meant all along.

He and his brother were about to race each other, so the race was the “danger” the little angel was talking about.
I couldn’t help but smile. That was the first time I smiled on that day.

Obviously, our little champion beat his brother fair and square.

There in the finish line were our little champion, his older brother, his youngest sister, and dad. The dad and I exchanged bows, and our little champion granted me a smile and a wave.

And it got me thinking that there are thousands of people like me, who,  sometimes can’t see anything but their own problems, or can’t feel anything but anger or hate.

But luckily there are people out there, angels with warriors’ souls, who, have the power to make everything look better, to make the days brighter, and to make us understand that there is love in everyone of us.

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Just say it: Don’t worry about your accent

 

I always think that worrying about our accents when we are learning languages, it is indeed a waste of time, which will only extend and delay our learning process unnecessarily.
At the beginning, we just need to practice, talk to yourself in front of the mirror, talk to yourself while you are jogging. In other words, talk as there was no tomorrow.

I remember preparing for my first cultural exchange in the States, in the very same way, I would go for a run and start asking questions to myself and answer them as best as I could. I am very inquisitive, you know? 🤓

I know there are many books out there that advise the opposite of what I am saying here, that’s why you might probably be doubting this little post. Fair enough.

But, I am sure you have seen parents teaching their cute little  babies to talk. Do they focus on the babies’ accents? Or do they focus on making the baby talk?

As you could see in that little example, to learn a language, the first thing we have to do is to produce language. As our brains assimilate the new language, we will naturally go into the second stage, which is brushing and polishing not only our pronunciation but also vocabulary.

So in other words, Just say it 😁

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La soledad que me acompaña

Porque soy una mujer muy habladora, y de risa contagiosa, muchas personas piensan que me encantan las fiestas, la compañía, el tumulto y el jolgorio. Pero a decir verdad, a mí nunca me han gustado las fiestas. No me gustó nunca beber. Y aunque probé mi primer trago a los 17 años, de la mano de una orda de tías menopausicas, a las que pronto alcanzaré en edad, nunca conseguí entender el placer de beber hasta perder la conciencia. O la noción de uno mismo.

Pero la verdad, la verdad desnuda y descarada, es que a mi me encanta mi soledad. A mi soledad y a mí no nos gustan las fiestas, no nos gusta el ruido, no nos gustan los grupos grandes de personas. Ni el descontrol.

En cambio, a mi soledad y a mí nos encanta refugiarnos en el silencio de los libros, en la tristeza de Romeo, en la valentía de Arturo y en la ciega lealtad de Sancho Panza, con quien guardo un gran parecido físico.

Me gusta perderme en mi mundo, me gusta esconderme en mis castillos de nube al amanecer, cuando la distancia entre el cielo y la tierra no es más que una sombra agazapada entre las montañas.

Y así se me pasan los días, soñando y caminando por los senderos que la soledad me señala y de los cuales debo volver cada tarde. Justo a tiempo, para volver a verlo a él. Y reencontrarme con la vida.

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Una noche solitaria

Henos aquí en otra noche de luna lunera cascabelera, en donde a mi cerebro se le ocurren ideas, llama recuerdos, e inventa historias que nunca acaban de empezar pero que mueren al alba.

Y aunque quisiera dármelas de poeta torturada, yo diría más bien que es todo lo contrario. Diría que vivo en el espejismo de mis delirios, donde creo ser la heroína de mi historia, una especie de cenicienta, con melena encanecida, y armadura de plástico.

Sentada en este sofá, a merced de grillos, mosquitos y cigarras nocturnas que tienen a bien hacernos compañía, trato de tejer historias, pero las ninfas que inundas mis noches, se niegan a hablarme, y las letras caen una a una como gotas de lluvia.

Simplemente nada desea quedarse en el papel, las letras han decidido hacer una huelga y se descuelgan una a una del papel. La “h” le ha pedido perdón a la “j” y se abrazan como hermanas, la “y” y su eterna rival la “i” se van de la mano. Al menos esta parece ser una noche de reconciliación entre ellas, aunque a mí no me quieran dar ni las buenas noches.

Sólo la pequeña “o” parece mirarme con cariño, pero ha venido su mamá, la “O”, y se la lleva de la mano. Es esta, en verdad, una noche solitaria.

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Cazando historias

Caminando en medio de la ciudad, del bullicio, y de las incertidumbres de la vida misma, me pierdo, porque a mí nada de eso me importa. Lo que a mí me importa, son las personas y su ajetreo, me concentro en su ir y venir, y las observo. Trato de leer sus rostros, como quien lee cartas olvidadas.

En cada gesto trato de adivinar sus sentimientos, sus intenciones y sus miedos. Y espero a que sus miradas me hablen, y me revelen sus historias. Pero no las historias que se comparten con las amigas a la hora del té sino las historias que aparecen en medio de la noche como almas en pena reclamando justicia. Esas historias que llevan secretos malditos y que aún en sueños nos acechan.

Todos tenemos esas historias en nuestro bagaje.

Pero yo creo, que no las guardamos dentro de nosotros, porque entonces no podríamos vivir. Pienso que las echamos al universo a que se pierdan, a ver si la suerte nos acompaña y se extravíen por ahí, y encuentran a otro más desgraciado que uno para torturar.

Y ellas se van vagando por el mundo, extraviadas y solitarias, pero sabiendo bien a quien pertenecen y buscándole. No importa si habéis cambiado de dirección, de ciudad o país, porque ellas siempre sabrán como encontrarle. Aun así hayan pasado decenios, ellas sabrán reconocer a quien las abandonó, y su furia no tendrá piedad.

Esas son las historias que yo colecciono, he capturado algunas ya, y aunque pueden infringir miedo en algunos, yo las amo, porque reflejan nuestra verdadera naturaleza, no lo que aparentamos ser, sino lo que somos cuando creemos que nadie nos observa o pensamos que nunca nos cacharan las mentiras. Esas historias que nos recuerdan que aunque vivamos en un mundo superpoblado, en realidad, nos encontramos solos.

 

Is multiculturalism an advantage in a homogeneous society?

Working with people from different nationalities, although, exciting and thrilling, it is not always a piece of cake. But I love it.

Moving without realizing it, among various cultures and languages in the same building can be a daily adventure. You never know what’s going to happen. You never know when the Latinos are going to snap at you, with their rather hot-blooded temper.Nobody knows. Even Latino people themselves don’t know when they might snap. Believe me. I should know since I’m a Latino woman and the one who always snaps (Ooops, you didn’t read that here)

But seriously, working in a multicultural environment is interesting, it can be an incredible learning opportunity because you can always learn exciting and fabulous  things about other countries and cultures

And why not? Even learn a new language

Knowledge of different languages also gives you a rather deep insight into the culture you want to know better. And in my humble opinion, a powerful tool when trying to connect with the locals.

It doesn’t matter if you speak the local language, as a barbarian, as I do. The effort is what counts 😉

And in this multicultural maze, you learn to adapt, to change your cultural skin as it were a jacket and to communicate in various ways to suit your audience.

But what happens, when you are a multilingual and multicultural person living a homogeneous society, where even the concept of multilingualism is barely understood. These societies still exist in this globalized world. And they still discovering the world beyond their borders as if they were discovering hidden moons in their backyards.

I am lucky enough to live in one of these societies, and I must admit that is not always easy, I find people staring at me when I speak with my husband in English. And even at the supermarket, people try to take a peek into my bags. You might want to know why. And the answer is because they want to know what I eat as if I came from Mars. This behavior is quite rude for many. And I agree. But in those moments, I remind myself that I am a teacher, and that understanding is vital to educate not only my students but society. Because I have decided to stay and to teach what I know. Share what I have. And nurture the people around me to let them know that the unknown world they might fear is not so scary after all.

So answering my question, I would say that multiculturalism is an advantage in a homogeneous society but not for ourselves but for the good we can do to others. What do you think?

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