Posted in animal rights, chaos, friendship, Uncategorized

My Expectations Were Low

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/expectation/

Watch this video from Keith Olbermann it is powerful,well said and without undo partisanship. It is not important if you are a Republican or a Democrat, you need to watch this video if you own a pet, if you care for animals. Here is another link to what is happening to the USDA and our animals under the Trump administration. This administration is making it impossible to find out if abuse occurs in puppy mills, in laboratories, if the food you buy is safe for your pet. If you make a complaint no one will know. If you want to investigate about a breeder you won’t be able to find information.I don’t care what your political affiliation is, if you own an animal this should be a concern to you!

Before the election I did mention several times on my Facebook page  that Trump’s sons hunt wild game for trophies. I made no secret of my disdain for these offspring of Trump. It is obvious to me they were raised without compassion for living things. That is an elephant tail in the hand of Donald Jr. He is a monster to have cut off a tail of such a gentle beast and is holding it in his hand like he is so proud to have done such a deviant act.

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What causes people to become so cruel, so aberrant? I started researching this and there is very little about why these people do this. There is a correlation to children hurting animals and violence in adulthood. Also it is known that people who trophy kill have a lack of empathy, and disregard the needs of others in their lives. They also feel a need for control and find it by killing wild beasts they have no intention of eating. Narcissism is a prevalent trait in these people such as Trump’s sons. I can certainly see where they get the narcissism from.

So perhaps this is why Trump is eliminating the need to protect animals in the USA. He has no compassion for them as he doesn’t own a pet and from what I have researched never has owned one. Trump is eliminating a lot our safety nets for the environment, water, pollution, and more. These are all of great concern to me. It comes down to money that lines the pockets of corporations. They will make more money if they don’t have to apply safety for the well-being of the animals or us the people. Because the environment is our future and our children and grandchildren’s future. Animals deserve safety nets too. Every animal has two eyes, two ears, one nose, and one mouth, we all share this. We are all equal under the law of the Universe.

During the election season my expectations were low about Trump winning. I just couldn’t believe anyone would vote for a man who was caught on tape saying what he did about women, or how he mocked a disabled person, the extreme lying that was shown on past tapes of him saying exactly the opposite of what he would be saying a month later. The hate I witnessed at his rallies also shown on filmed footage. I believed in the humanity of our nation. Now, not so much. I am sure many of us have lost friends on both sides of the aisle because of this election, but I didn’t until recently when I spoke up about Trump’s latest surprise with the USDA.

I had a friend whom I have supported with much love who owns an animal rescue and sanctuary. During the election season he posted many rants, fake news and support of Trump. I never commented because he was my friend and I wanted to stay out of politics. I do live in Colombia and I am an expat, but I still vote. I just felt that I live in another country so I wanted to stay away from all the division and hateful rhetoric I was seeing in my Facebook news feed. I have a very peaceful existence and like I said earlier in this blog, my expectations for a Trump win were low to non-existent. When Trump won and all the news showed the Russians interfered, I was shocked. But not surprised. I don’t think Trump would be in the White House without this interference which I am not going to go into except to say I wish we could prosecute all who are treasonous and I do believe Trump is hiding his ties with Russia. I would love to have a do over.

So let me examine what happened with this long time friend. I kept seeing his rants about politics even after his candidate won. He would post something fake, and then he would be called out and he would take it down. He would then show his lovely animal sanctuary and his good work and it was so confusing to me. I couldn’t put the kind person I knew who loved animals with supporting a man who has sons who kill endangered animals. I did one time write one thing on a post about this and he said in response that the future of the world was more important. Now, think about that. A man who has an animal refuge ignores the brutal murder of defenseless animals. I didn’t respond and just let it go.

Then he posted a video the other day saying how lovely his sanctuary is and how much peace it brings to him. I am a passionate animal and nature lover. I just couldn’t help but post this video to his comments. I wasn’t sure if he had seen it nor knew what was happening to our animals that I though both of us were committed to. He wouldn’t even look at it and dismissed my post as political. Now, again I will say it is a bi-partisan issue as it concerns anyone who loves and owns animals. I said as much and that he should just look. He dismissed it as propaganda. The person who posted fake news for months dismissed this real news as propaganda. I called him out on hypocrisy. I lost his friendship in the process.

I hope by writing this everyone will think of their passions in life. If you own an animal rescue you should be concerned that the new President is harming animals. I don’t care who would be elected…I would not stand by this horrific loss of the safety nets for our innocent creatures. I would call it out and I would say it was wrong. But that is just me. I am a person of integrity and I thought he was too. Now I don’t. I am disappointed and  saddened. I doubt I can ever be friends with him again. I see him as a hypocrite and only caring about his world on his land with his animals.But hopefully he will read this and I have one question for him. “How will you keep saving animals if you are unaware of the fact they need saving because the one place that regulated their well-being is gone?”

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Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, Colombia, Colombian life, expat life, Medellin, Colombia

I Will Always Recognize Achievment

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/recognize/

Medellin, Colombia is a city with a past. A dangerous past. A city of people with great pride, they call themselves Paisas.  Paisas feel they are different from the rest of the Colombians, because of their history that is intertwined  with Medellin. They have seen the worst and now they have seen the best. They have lived with the horror of Pablo Escobar,  the FARC, barrio warlords, gang leaders, unimaginable violence. They have a  past that lies dormant in their memories of what Medellin used to be like, something we Americans can never understand. After moving here I saw a different world view, one I hold inside my heart. But now they have stability while the tourism industry has grown 260% since 2002. They are very proud to live in Medellin, but they are still getting used to having foreign people come to visit this once very uncontrollable city.  They have those horrible memories that will never leave them.

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Poorest barrios before transformation
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Before and after transformation
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Transformation

Sergio Farjado mayor of Medellin from 2003 to 2007 started the talks about improving Medellin beginning with the poorest areas. A bottom up strategy that has worked. I had two wonderful tour guides while visiting Medellin and both were from the poorest areas, they had many stories to tell. Most importantly, they both were not old, Manny was in his mid-thirties and Camillo was around 23 or 24 years old. They both used what was offered by the government to improve their lives. Both are successful and proudly independent, not wanting to take anything more from the government. They are truly proud Paisas.

My first guide Manny was from a barrio that has been transformed with escalators to allow the poorest to reach public transportation easily. To be able to get to work without the steep climb up and down the mountains. He told stories of the area we visited. Manny remembered the army had to use helicopters to begin projects in these areas as they were so dangerous. He spoke of dead bodies being placed outside the homes planted with grenades so the police and military could not enter to help the populations of these poverty-stricken areas. They couldn’t even remove the bodies to bury them. It was quite sad to hear this from someone who actually witnessed such brutality. But with persistence the truly needy and their homes have been reinvented. Manny said many innocent lives were lost. However, now the violence is replaced with libraries throughout these areas, programs for the poor to send them to school, to give them loans to start businesses. Every public park in Medellin has free WiFi. Colombia and especially Medellin has shown you can take the people from the most needy areas and give them a reason to break the chain of violence and drugs.  The above photos show the images posted in an office at the top of the barrio I visited, before and after transformations. Here is a video I took of the ascent to the top. You will see the street art which is used all over Colombia as a way of expression to show the past and the new future. This street art is a favorite part of my love of Colombia. I love to see color, a lot of color. I also love light, not darkness. The homes are so bright and cheery in these under privileged areas.

Colombia is spending millions on infrastructure to improve all the big cities. Cali, Colombia which is closest to Villa Migelita , my Bed and Breakfast, is transforming areas also. What is really fantastic is that all the walking areas throughout the large cities in Colombia, have a strip in the middle of the sidewalk for the blind to guide them. Wonderful, thoughtful ideas are being implemented! Unlike the USA, Colombia is not using the tired line of trickle down economics of the rich vs the poor. Colombia is showing the world that improving and giving to the poor is a way to get the whole economy thriving and raising people up to achieve great things! Medellin alone went from 40,000 tourists in the year 2010 to over 4 million visitors in 2016.  I arrived in Colombia to live in 2011. It is not difficult to get a Visa to live here. The only thing that needs to be emphasized is that Colombians are super polite people. They do not want to offend anyone, but they are noticing the bad behavior of some tourists. Check out this photo.. Please, thank you and a nice greeting in Spanish really impresses all Colombians.medellin-113
Another amazing part of Medellin is the super fast metro system built during very turbulent times in Medellin, also the cable car system  is phenomenal. While in the city I used this metro and cable car system more than taxis! Wonderfully clean, because no one will destroy what they are so proud of! If disabled, older, or pregnant, a seat is offered immediately by all who are nearby. I watched and observed the behavior of everyone. I am so proud to live in this country  as an expat.

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The cable cars of Medellin

A tip to those visiting Medellin. Use the free walking tour offered by Real City Tours. My guide Camillo was fantastic. He was informed and educated. He is from the poor barrios, but has a degree in bio-medical engineering. He is bi-lingual, he is charming, and he is making money taking these tours around his city of Medellin. He is what we should strive to be in this chaotic world. I cannot say enough about his intelligence, drive and knowledge. He rose from poverty to become a part of sharing the history of Colombia’s success, and also his success. I often say to those who make fun of other’s accents, “Do you speak another language?” “Can you rise from a past that had you living in violence to having a college degree?” “Are you successful?” I think success is based on what you accomplish, not just money. I told Camillo, you must make your family so proud. He was so modest, so polite, and so intelligent.

 

Camillo would make any mother proud and I told him so. He was delightful, smart                  and fluent in English because the Colombian government gave him a chance to become all that he could be! I was so impressed with his stories and the walking tour. It is free, and a tip is your price.  Again I emphasize, be kind, be generous, and enjoy the culture of Colombia. Don’t be cheap because you can be. I had that happen with recent guests. They ignored my lovely and hard-working maid after 33 days of being cared for by her. I will never allow that to happen again. Please remember to give thanks to those that give you good service here in Colombia. We don’t tip like in the USA. However, tips are to be given to those that become part of your stay, part of your journey.

The last part of our walking tour was at a park for concerts in Medellin. This square also features the art of the artist Fernando Botero. In these last photos I will show there was a lesson present. A bomb blew up his sculpture of The Bird in the 1990’s. This bomb killed a little girl and more than thirty people. The perpetrator was never found. The Colombian government wanted the sculpture immediately removed. But the President of Colombia received an important phone call from Botero himself. He said “leave it there to remind all to fight against this terrorism” So they did. It is a reminder to all who live in Medellin of their past. One they need to remember as the future unfolds with the prosperity and growth of Medellin. Colombia is now a thriving and innovative country. A country of proud people with a past they would like to forget, but never will. We are the future. People like me, an American who lives here in Colombia and is showing the world that a terrible past can evolve to a wonderful future. Maybe that is why I feel so at home in Colombia. I know the past does not define who you are.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Colombia, Colombian life, Dogo Argentino, nature, photo challenge, Uncategorized

A Path to Success for 2017

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/path-2016/

When I moved to Colombia in 2011 I never thought I would be enjoying the wonderful life I have today. Colombia has moved on, just like I have. Peace is on the horizon in Colombia. I have a life filled with peace and nature.

I will never say I am completely happy, I don’t believe it is possible. But I will say I am grateful. I am grateful I had the strength to go through 6 years of improvement. I have worked hard. I have turned my life around. I left a destructive and very dysfunctional life. I have found my niche in Colombia.

Be kind to yourself. Stop the mad dash for a Christmas present that will probably be put in a closet to be re-gifted. Christmas is for children, and they enjoy those wonderful presents. As for adults, isn’t it better spent enjoying the beauty that surrounds us? Whether it be family, nature, inspiration, happiness where you can grab it, friendships, animals, travel, anything that really moves you in your core. Embrace that, not material things. You can stop right now. Just be you. Enjoy those who you are blessed to have in your life. Nothing is ever perfect. I know that. But look around and make a list of all that fulfills you.

I live in a beautiful home in Colombia. I have the love of my animals. I have my business and wonderful guests who give me new perspectives on everything. They give me companionship, they give me laughter, they give me their thoughts on my Villa in Colombia, they teach me new recipes, they give me comfort and support, they give me a life filled with purpose. I have discovered all those years of working as a flight attendant has given me a lifetime of training to become the mistress of my own domain. But, I have learned to include other’s opinions. That is a path I embrace.

When you have a life of meaning you have it all. This is the best present  to yourself. I know that from my past. Life is too be lived in the now. If you can appreciate what this season really means, no matter your religion, your beliefs, you can find your path. If you can look around your home and see anything that makes you smile with fond remembrance, just one thing you are grateful for, you will be ahead of others who are rushing to buy a present that means nothing. Carve your own path to success in 2017. It might be a small path, but it is a beginning.

Stay strong, stay focused, stay determined and you will find your path to success. I have.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Save Our World by Saving Our Wildlife, all Creatures, and the Environment

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Singular Sensation.”

We are not alone on this planet, us humans. We are part of the planet, we depend on the trees, the insects,the wildlife, the flowers and the atmosphere to live. So I ask; why such indifference from so many about what is happening with our planet? I know I am not young anymore but my son and my granddaughter will be living on in this world. I hear politicians say constantly “we need to save this or that for our children and grandchildren” but these are just words mouthed with indifference. If we really cared we the world, all the nations, we would join to save this planet. CHANGE. It needs to start now, not tomorrow, not the next generation, NOW. I would wish this blog would be shared over and over to make a difference. I have a Facebook page which I share videos of my life at Villa Migelita and fun videos of animals and nature. However, the truth is harsh. We are seeing the animals die needless deaths by our hands, or the insects die

from pesticides that are put on food we consume. We the people can stop this. But when will we? Do we care enough for the next generations to keep this planet going? My only hope is enough of us will protest, write, report, draw attention and keep sharing our thoughts on what we should do to stop the destruction. Stop the poaching, stop the murder of innocent animals, stop the pesticides that kill our bees and butterflies, stop it now. That is what I wish would go viral. The love of all creatures, not just us humans.