I am the type of person that gets caught up in life, especially if I am manic. I have to admit, the past seven months have been interesting to say the least. After the entire family did, in fact, contract swine flu I was a mess. Hell, I am still a mess, but that just comes with the territory of living in exile and wanting to go home so damn badly. Let’s play catch up and discuss a little of what has gone on in the city of La Paz since I last updated my blog.
Hmm, just a few days into our swine flu diagnosis the Police went on strike. I am not gonna try and make it seem like it was bigger than it really was, but it was damn scary. I really didn’t want to leave the house for several weeks after that happened. My mom was a cop when I was little and I could never imagine police officers taking to the streets like that.
May I move on to how much the President of Bolivia hates American’s. Yeah, battle cry my ass, living in La Paz and seeing the newspapers, Evo Morales would be happy to see America fall by the wayside. Not to mention his little press conference this past October about relations with the US Embassy here in La Paz. What about how he would like to see happen to the multi-million dollar US Embassy earlier last year. I could go on and on about the President vs. the USA but I do have a point to get to.
I don’t know what it is about me and my kids but we are spotted as American’s everywhere we go. Do we just look different from Europeans? Because they guess before any of us ever open our mouths. Do we just give off this aura or something? I try not to talk to people or make too much eye contact, there is no hiding our light hair or blue eyes and its not like they don’t have native born Bolivians that are light skinned with blue eyes because they do. I promise I am getting to my next point. Since late 2011 we have seen a great increase of kidnappings of minors which makes me hold my kids hands tighter when we are out (we are not allowed out alone without my husband). Our safety seems to be diminishing every month.
We moved back to Downtown La Paz in Sept. 2011 to be closer to the kids school, but it also meant we are closer to all the action. By action I mean protests, express kidnappings, etc, etc. This last year we saw one of the most violent protest in the City of La Paz since we came in 2006. The Miner’s Protest, shortly after the Police Riots, happened within a mile of where we live, including the throwing around of the dynamite. Well, this of course led to me not leaving the house for quite awhile.
Let me go back to Evo for a moment, the President talks such great game about how Pachimama (Mother Earth) has rights how we should treat it with respect, blah blah blah. Look I am all for Green Energy and I believe in Global Warming but Evo does not play by his own rules. Yeah, its just an act, so many of his policies are questionable, he is a true politician. Yeah maybe I am a little biased but he is constantly putting my and my children’s homeland down. I know my country is not perfect, hell what is happening to my family is proof enough of that.
Now to the thing that is really the scariest when you sit down and think about the close ties Bolivia has with Cuba, Venezuela and especially with Iran. This happened right near where we shop for groceries, now what were they planning on doing with all that uranium? And why the hell was it in the section where a lot of American Expats live? The longer I live here the less safe I feel.
This brings me to my ultimate point, family members of US Citizens should not be subjected to years long waits to immigrate. My husband was banned for 5 years without relief for missing an asylum hearing. We have waited out more than our time and we are actually going to be filing to return in a few weeks. I am ready to go home, but I ask anyone that thinks that Citizens should have rights to bring their loved ones home without having to wait, 5, 10 or more years to please sign our petition to eliminate non-waivable bans for family member of US Citizens. I ask this for the tens of thousands of US Citizens affected by these draconian immigration laws that destroy US Citizen families, making us choose between keeping our families together or living the way I do, impoverished and exiled for years. All this talk about comprehensive immigration reform and we are the dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about, but we are here, we are not going away and we will be silent no longer.