Archive for April, 2009

Unconditional love

Because they make our lives so much better, and because they teach us a lesson about love every day… this post goes to all non-human animals!

Happy animal’s day!

 

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Unfortunate event #6

Waking up late for work

(not for him, anyway…)

Hilarious (and I can’t even understand what they say!)

World Malaria Day

I always wonder why we assign a whole day to a disease… wouldn’t it be more encouraging to dedicate the day to the fight against that disease? Or to the promotion of awareness? Or to its prevention? Why not call it World Malaria Prevention Day?

There is little I can say in this post to express the extent of the crisis that malaria represents for the “developing” world, so I’ll just leave you with some figures:

There are between 350 to 500 million cases of malaria worldwide every year, and more than one million deaths.

90% of the cases of malaria occur in Africa.

Malaria kills more African children than any other disease (1 child every 30 seconds).

There’s a simple solution that has shown to significantly reduce the cases of malaria: the use of insecticide-treated bednets. 

So this World Malaria Prevention/Awareness Day, if you feel like giving, please think about donating a few bucks and helping make bednets available to those who need them! Otherwise, you could sign a petition.  

MyBednet.com provides nets for usd5.

Nothingbutbednets.net – a UNF iniciative, provides nets for usd10.

MalariaNoMore.org

And a little video, for awareness’ sake :)

..The Infinite Poem.. /Haiku #11/

A cloudless dark night.
Static tears lit the blue;
his pale love was gone.

Unusual finding at the bookstore…

… ok, for those of you who don’t know about it yet, I got a job working at a medical center as a medical assistant (today was my fifth day, and the first day on my own :) 

[oh, there’s something else I might have forgotten to tell you… I’m on the verge of dropping Medicine and dedicating all my energy to Education alone (right now I am studying both), but that’s a story for another day. I know, I have quite some explaining to do :P ]

Anyway, as I came out of work today, I passed by a bookstore that’s right in front of the bus stop, looked quickly at the books exhibited on the window and kept walking…

Bookstore window

I kept walking for as long as the visual cortex in my brain took to connect to the part of the cortex that deals with memories. Then I stopped, suddenly, and walked a couple of steps back, to give the books a second look. And this is what I found!

Socorro Diez

Socorro Diez, by Elsa Bornemann      :D

What a recurring topic in these last days!!

The Horror genre is dead.

(Probably half of the people reading this post were caught by the bold statement I used as a title, and figured they’d argue in favour or against it. Sorry, it was just a catchy title and I thought it was nice, that’s it… I won’t be theorizing on the essence of the horror genre… The other half are probably my faithful friend-readers, who read whatever I write out of friendship and support. You, unlike the other half, might find this post interesting, but even if you don’t, I know you’ll be nice enough to read it… so thank you!)

 

I’ve spent many of the last days at my uncle’s house, going through my aunt’s* books, deciding which ones I’ll be keeping, which ones I’ll give away and to whom, and which ones just have no chances of ever being read again (understand me, I love books and I wouldn’t think of myself as capable of throwing books away, not even a bad a piece of literature… but some are so old that they basically disintegrate as you hold them). The amount of dust that covered those books and turned them into objects of unrecognizable shapes was such as I had never seen before. So much, that it made me think that there might be some truth in that story of a supernatural being who created other beings out of dust… who knows, I could have built a city from it, but I’m too lazy…

I took 20 to 30 books at a time out of the shelves, then cleaned them with a cloth (or basically sculpted them out of their dust into books again) and separated them in piles according to genre, audience and possible destination. I couldn’t help feeling that as soon as I took some books out, new ones would emerge from who knows where and take their place on the shelf; the job seemed endless. In fact, I still haven’t finished such task, and I am afraid of returning to the house and finding that no shelf is empty anymore… [maybe the books have a life of their own and the ability to move, and they make full use of their attributes while I’m distracted operating on a single one (who sacrifices its place in the shelf for the benefit of the wider book-community)].

Hmm… did I mention that I am allergic to dust? (Maybe you should have been warned before you started reading the post…)

Anyway, the last time I was at my uncle’s I went through the shelf of literature for children and adolescents (my aunt was a teacher), and found many of my favorite books from when I was little. She kept all my favorite books… in fact, she would always ask which books I had liked every year and use some of them with her students.

I found books all the way back to when I was four and just learning to read. I was especially happy to find the classics (my classics..) I read when I was between six and eight, and crazy about reading. Their pages yellow, two or three layers of dust on top, but still the same magic contained between two covers. I went through my favorite ones, and cleaned them with special care:

Matilda and The Witches by Roald Dahl: I loved these books, I remember reading them over and over, and wanting to be Matilda and own a mouse that played tricks… hehe

– The whole collection of The Little Vampire, by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg: I was absorbed in the reading of these books. I remember I bought the first one at the big book-fair of Buenos Aires. I bought it because it was on sale and no one would buy it. I would tell my classmates about it and no one knew the characters. At some point, later on, I even doubted that the book really existed, because even now I talk to people of my generation and nobody seems to know this collection. But then I found it at my aunt’s house and I confirmed it was not an illusion… Now I look it up, and it turns out that it was a big bestseller from the 80s… Maybe the Harry Potter of the 80s? I wouldn’t know, I haven’t read the latter  but from what I’ve seen in short bits of the movies, I would say the recipe is pretty much the same, uh… (yeah, those against -or in favour of – this statement, feel free to post comments!)

Socorro and Socorro Diez, by Elsa Bornemann: I had completely forgotten about this book… I hadn’t seen the cover in at least 18 years, but as soon as I saw it again, images of my childhood irrupted in the room, and I could see myself in the same setting in which I read it originally. Horror stories for kids: great stuff! Roald Dahl’s horror was probably better quality, but these were short stories that you could finish in a break between lunch and going back to school. I loved them! I remember being inspired by the style of this author. But I haven’t read her stuff since then, maybe now I wouldn’t like it.

socorro

So I left my uncle’s house with a couple of boxes full of books, but I left even more books in big black bags in my aunt’s room. The next day I drove with the boxes to the house of my aunt’s favorite student, who ended up also being a good friend of hers. I left with her all the books about theatre and all the theatre plays she had, and some other that she might find interesting. Then I also left some books to give away, which she promised to pass on to people who’d appreciate them.

—————-

As I was going to uni today, I got on the bus and sat on the very last row of seats, next to a woman who was reading a book. As she went through the pages, I immediately recognized some lines and the font of the book. This woman was reading Socorro, the same out-of-print, 1989 edition as the one my aunt kept in her house, which I had forgotten about for 18 years!

The pages were yellow, the edges were worn… just like the book I had had in my hands some days ago. I couldn’t help reading a bit of it over the woman’s shoulder. She looked at me a bit annoyed, and I told her that I hadn’t read the book in a very long time, but that I had very fond memories from reading it in my childhood. She smiled. I asked her where she got it from, and she said she got it from a friend who had inherited it from another friend. 

My heart started beating fast… could the book have mysteriously made its way back to me? I had to find out. I asked the woman if I could check the first pages, my aunt always identified her books by writing her full name on the first four or five pages…

.


———————————————————————————————

*my uncle used to live with his sister (my aunt): Manuela.

..The Infinite Poem.. /Haiku #10/

Rain

Morning after rain –
embarrassedly, the blue sky
looks in the mirror.