26 de desembre 2011

if I could be that strong mountain

Quick report from my little universe.
Little universe is telling me to climb that mountain. While I surrender: to thoughts, to Morpheus, to love and to that confusing moment of transition that leads to excesses and impulsive actions. I love the craziness of impulsive actions. They can change the course of the whole day, week, sometimes they can change your life.

In a thanking round I thank the universe so many times for throwing these gifts at me. I admit I sometimes don't quite know what to do with them. Ashamed, I ask for forgiveness and promise to be a better learner. I have so much more to learn, it is an exciting road, but filled with obstacles. You trip on them and have to get up alone. The ones you thought where along the road vanish. Same old.

 Rivers, my new passion during my trip to the South Island. I've always wanted to live by the sea. But rivers carry so much magic and so much laughter.

I've taken some time off from things happening and I just let them happen. Quick sand, a new fantasy. Artax in "The Swamps of Sadness". Artax succumbs to the sadness. Such a beautiful metaphor. I pray to the infinite expanding space to manifest the meditative mountain where thoughts flow through waterfalls to the river of life. One of those exhausting tracks uphill. But the weather at the top is an amazing evening blue.

Preparing to say good bye to the magic beauty of New Zealand.

With an unfulfilled cycle, I didn't want to have to come back. I might just ignore it and accept the loss.
What can I say:  

Cal dir adéu a la porta que es tanca i no hem volgut tancar.

12 de desembre 2011

créer des liens...

Back indoors and in a reflecting mood, I would like to share latest developments and events with those who care.

Goal-less time after finishing my teaching degree in Auckland, celebrating major milestones in my life. Conscious and unbounded of the dream that never existed. In peace with that. Happy.

This morning is the result of a celebration. This morning is a hangover of months of learning, and unlearning what was not necessary any longer. Attempting to put all into practise is creating a force field I need to overcome. Contrary to the title of this post, I am undoing des liens. It is a very difficult process. It is a strange mental process that hits me and carries me down to limboesque transitions. It still surprises me when it's there. I see myself pretending it's not, resisting to a change that is necessary. I have never paid so much attention to energy as now. I can feel it changing with every slight modification. I can't control it. I don't know how to let go. And yet, I feel it is going to happen soon. I hope I'm well prepared.

My new home, NZ. The NZ chapter is slowly closing. A new one opening. This is a new beginning and the excitement of beginnings leaves all in the air, which always scares me a bit at the same time.

I wake up and prepare my espresso. I hear the coffee boiling, the steam whistling and the aroma of the coffee travelling through the corridor. The sound, taste and smell of a day beginning.
Il faut des rites. Elle fait ses rites. And for a while, she feels like writing again, after admitting that she didn't do as much reading as she promised to.

I have been able to see more of New Zealand and set off travelling, the need came naturally and I was glad to welcome the travelling bug again. Thanks to the rowdy rebels for being the best company one can imagine. It sounds like farewell, yes, but paths cross and split. On this planet and in this amazing trip called life.

When I was in Vietnam I met an extremely interesting person, maybe one of the most cultured and captivating human beings I have crossed paths with. I have talked about him before in my blog, because he is truly admirable. He is a journalist. He called me an emotional writer and told me people like to hear names, numbers and see proof. I try to capture things in such parameters, and in the end I bring back sensations...

This is a more journalistic try...
It is December and Summer hasn't really settled in NZ. We have been blessed with some amazing days but the clouds have found the way to the Island of the white cloud...
After my graduation speech I joined the GPNZ campaigning team in Mount Manganui. The place had witnessed the oil spill disaster, spilling nearly 300 tons and killing around 20000 birds. The guys have been campaigning incessantly in a place surprisingly reluctant to cooperate. It was heartbreaking to find out. Paradoxes of life.
I have moved further to Coromandel where I have seen the most spectacular coastal landscapes to the point of seeing myself hyperventilating until I could stop, breathe and feel one with that nature in front of me, in a meditative state. I have no camera to show what I saw, but I still go back to the images in my mind, to that great place of light to recall what I felt.

After a break to sort paper stuff in Auckland (still busy at the moment) we set off to visit Cape Reinga, the most northern point in New Zealand. We were welcomed by a thick mist, we made it to the lookout and then nature opened up to show us a furious fight between the Tasman and the Pacific sea, representing the Ying and the Yang, the union between man and woman, a unique manifest of the power of nature that doesn't cease. I opened this post with a picture of it. Amazement overtook us and we sat there mesmerized observing the show of mother sea. The mist came back after a while and gave us the sign to move on.

The next day we descended the dunes in body boards. It was a great adrenaline kick, and I must say I enjoyed myself greatly watching others glide down. Crazy fun.

We had dinner around the Waipoua forest and observed the oldest kauri tree in NZ. As Shai, my Catalan connection in NZ would put it, New Zealand feels like a theme park. To me it is this gorgeous and friendly place where wicked people and wicked phenomena of nature meet. Thanks to the Maori culture the country has a soul, a meaning, a heart and a lot of magic and energy.

This is a short "taste" of what it feels to be on the road again. A true blessing. My life has mainly consisted in travelling since 1994, when I set off to the States and visited the whole country at the tender age of 19. I felt something I never felt before, an absolute crazy need to move with the Earth, I am in love with this planet.
I am looking forward to more travelling and more moments. I must admit my responsibilities here and some very unfortunate events back in the Netherlands put me off a bit from being able to fully enjoy. It reminded me I am not totally free, that I am dependable. It irritated me to have to abruptly reconnect to that, but after my little inner tantrum I have managed to calm myself down. The arrival of acceptance. It is the way it is.

Seeing my family soon to feel their warmth and their love. Let the aerial roots set to the ground to remind me where I come from, fill me up with something I can't describe, yes, I'll call it a soft landing of the aerial roots.
Hopefully seeing my cigroneta, my better half, in Amsterdam, if not in Paris, even if it is for a day, I need to hug you, feel you and enjoy the fact that we are, and we'll always be.

A sweet melancholic, half asleep loving breeze making its way through the rain.
A need to hug the world, softly, into my awakening.


13 d’octubre 2011

Nap time heroes

On post-practicum syndrome. The dreams about misbehaving kids have ceased along with the pressure of constant creativity and time management (I should be planning). I am slowly becoming better at doing nothing and having the longest sleeps and naps, hmmmm.
In my affordable city holidays I have recovered the good habit of reading.

There are some Time magazines spread in the house. I browsed the "Time 100" issue and realized there were 3 educators among the most influential people in 2011.

Each of them had a goal and they thought long term. They decided to advocate for education, some did after an experience, a sort of revelation that made them change career direction completely.

I applaud these people and respect them as role models.

I would like to share this information specially with those who have decided to follow the path of education, our very noble and very underrated profession:

Geoffrey Canada (born January 13, 1952) is an African American social activist and educator. Since 1990, Canada has been president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone in Harlem, New York, an organization which states its goal is to increase high school and college graduation rates among students in Harlem.
The organisation today covers 100 city blocks and serves 8,000 kids, providing not just a good education but also early-childhood programs, after-school services and guidance to help parents play a key role in their kids' learning. Every day, Canada is driven by a deep belief that all children can succeed, regardless of race, wealth or ZIP code.

Ron Bruder is the founder of the Education for Employment Foundation (EFE), which hosts programs that teach Middle Eastern youth basic workplace skills.
on Sept. 11, 2001, Ron Bruder suffered through the hell of not knowing if his daughter Jessica, who worked near the World Trade Center, was dead or alive. Jessica was fine, but Bruder's life had changed forever. He had been an extremely successful real estate developer, but now he had a new mission. He spent the next few years traveling through the Middle East, looking for ways he might help. Over time, he learned there was a need for practical education programs, programs that taught high school and college graduates skills they could bring to the workplace. And so Bruder, 63, began the Education for Employment Foundation (EFE), first in Jordan — where at-risk youth learn air-conditioning repair — then in the West Bank and Gaza (where engineers are taught to be construction managers), Yemen, Egypt, Morocco and, soon, Tunisia. EFE is growing exponentially: there will be 1,300 graduates in 2011, 2,000 projected for 2012 and 5,000 for 2013.

Azim Premji, chairman of the information-technology powerhouse Wipro Ltd.

A pioneer of India's IT-outsourcing industry, Premji helped unleash a generation of skilled technical professionals who make up India's growing middle class.

Inspired by his belief that a strong educational system is essential to sustaining the economic growth needed to pull millions of Indian citizens out of poverty, Premji, 65, is deeply involved in efforts to provide universal primary education in India. The Azim Premji Foundation supports programs that reach more than 2.5 million children.

He also made a $2 billion donation to his foundation, the largest charitable contribution in the history of modern India. Ultimately, how he approaches philanthropy could prove to be just as important as how much he gives. His philanthropic work has been characterized by collaboration and transparency. He is setting a remarkable example for those who have benefited so enormously from India's economic expansion and are looking for ways to give back.

Henry Kaniuk, or H-dog (last row, left). During his long teaching career he has been tempted to quit more than once, or twice. But still there, showing love and passion for teaching. His experience and know-how was rewarded with a position as staff support. Thanks to him, some pre-service teachers have found their inner teachers, they have received first class support and he has managed to turn many generations of beginning teachers into a caring and supporting group with a greater sense of self-confidence and humour!
It is great to feel part of a change and see students progress and it is also great to know someone is there for you to help you out when the boat rocks a bit. Thanks to him we have learnt to ask for help. Be able to find emotional support, a help needed as much as the professional one. And as he says: if you need to, there is always a box of tissues in his office.

Admirable. Thank you.

14 d’agost 2011

nose updates

I don't remember if I was 10 or 12. What I remember is that I loved playing competitive games in my parent's swimming pool with the kids I grew up with. From swimming to diving, I spent hours in the pool from sunrise to sunset.
During that time I really liked this guy. All I remember is that he was a great swimmer... And his speedos :-&.
My best friend was playing as well, he had just thrown me out of the spring board and I was diving towards the stair when I felt something that pushed me to the bottom of the pool. It was my best friend's heel... On my nose.
The pain was excruciating. They put me under cold water and I hardly bled. Weeks later my nose was out of place and as I was developing, and coming from a family of prominent noses, my nose was very big and crooked.
Bad for my teenage years. I was known as the girl with the eagle nose. Big and red at the top, most of the pictures I have from that time were me with open mouth, as I couldn't breathe through my nostrils.

When I was 16 we booked my operation. Correction of the nasal septum. I shared room with a girl who just began at my school and was being operated of the same, the same day and from the same doctor.
We had lots of fun while in hospital. We probably spent 3 days there. My friends came to visit me. I even enjoyed hospital food and managed to lose weight. When I was a teenager I was obsessed with loosing weight as my body slowly developed from a sporty figure to a full figure woman: big boobs, big butt, big trouble... as I was always on competitions and weight played a role.
Weeks later the operation failed. The tip of my nose fell. I went back to hospital, this time a little correction... they broke my septum again. I left it there as I was able to breathe great and I managed to be more effective in my training. All was sweet.

My Rudolph nose reappeared 10 years later during a liaison translator job in Frankfurt. The tip of my nose developed a perfect round red circle and it was painful to touch. I used to disguise it with make up and some balm a doctor gave me.
3 years later that round spot gained relief and I was able to push it down. Puss always came from the right side and it was a question of weeks that the spot would come back.
Until one day it was so prominent that I squeezed it and puss and blood came out of the skin like a hose and opened a big hole on the tip of my nose.
The doctors that checked me found a strange body in my nose. It turned out to be another mistake from the doctor in Barcelona. He used the wrong thread.
Nose was open, they found a donour and nose was... totally replaced. It was an emergency operation as I was at risk to let the infection come into the breathing channel and to my brain.

Long story short, during a trip to Brazil March 2010 I found out my nose was tender again and I had puss coming from both sides.
Back to the hospital and new appointment for operation. Number 4.

Since images speak louder than words, it has been now 1 and a half months from there, and this is how it has evolved:

Day one, still a bit dizzy from the anaesthetics. See they used my left ear to fill my nose. Ear is covered, it was bloddy. I was in Amsterdam, I couldn't help thinking of the pain Van Gogh must have gone through.

Week one, eyes already almost normal. They were quite puffy for a while.

Week 2. They removed the cast. I had some plastic discs on the sides of the nose. It was annoying and disgusting, since my pores couldn't breathe and a lot of dirt and sweat would build a creamy film. They were painful to carry, later on I developed a bleeding sore from the plastic cutting through my skin.

Last visit to the hospital JUL 19. They removed everything. I could breathe!

As per today. Sitting and blogging (and exercising the art of procrastination). This is my beautiful side. The nose got a bit misplaced, I think because I jumped in Barcelona from the very board that was the beginning of all. When I dove in the pool I felt a weird pressure. I think that's when the nose got a bit misplaced.

The tip has moved a bit to the left. It is hard to appreciate on the naked eye, so overall I am quite happy with the result.
The bio-stitches have fallen from the ear, but I still have stitches on one side of the nose. They won't fall. It is a bit painful to touch. Yesterday I attempted to pull them. Ouch!
Ok, I will wait.

Whenever I'll have more time to procrastinate I will scan images I brought from Europe, where you could see the hole that developed in my nose.


Fent brut per fer net.
It is quiet in my head.

04 d’agost 2011

Anglosaxon rigidity in an American oriented society

While filling an academic paper I have had the major need to throw non-academic founded thoughts somewhere before they could filter somehow in my objective politically correct version.
I am currently writing about foreign students arriving in NZ and their potential problems in having to follow schooling in a different language.
And it really hits me.

Understand another language as: English.
Maori, co-oficial language, is taught as a foreign language. Its fluency is not compulsory. They managed to keep it which is already grand. I hope it helps students understand their Pasifica peers more and pakeha in general learn to read the soul of their country from the original inhabitants.

We are talking about students with English as a non-mother tongue and the difficulties they can encounter when being taught in a foreign language (English). And since we are politically correct we won't say that the majority of students that might have potential adaptation problems are Asian or Pasifica students.
Culture. They come from a collective oriented society to face an individual oriented society. That is the main cultural trait I can think of. On the other side, the politically correct form of academical research papers won't let me say that while students of Western societies might face this or that issue to readjust, their Oriental-Pacific peers are already regarded as second class foreigners. Sorry, but this is the unofficial version, the one I learnt from hearing people talk.

I always blamed my parents not to take me to a school overseas. I finished my education in Germany, in German. The uni there was aware of us foreigners and we were divided in translation groups between "translators into German with German as a mother tongue" and "translators into German with German as a foreign language". We really appreciated the differentiation and in fact we chose that institution because they make that difference. It never created a German vs others division. The major division consisted in: cosmopolitans vs non-cosmpolitans, it was easy to tell. To begin with because being a mother tongue speaker of German didn't necessarily make you a German (took me a while to understand as a Catalan).
But I am talking about foreign language students, with surely another way of viewing language and culture.

Stick to the main subject

Back in Auckland I am trying to stay diplomatic and stick to the paper resources that relate to NCEA, curricula and PISA reports and leave all these perceptions aside.

NZ claims to be a very international country. I wonder if that means that, in its young age, and despite the isolation from the world, it failed to find its own character. Despite having Pasifica inhabitants to learn from, they regard them as 'the other group that lives here and does their stuff, and some is cool' and adapts the neoliberal pattern of the American way of life: Cars, drive troughs, take aways, pay for health and live to work. Combine this with whites generally as exciting and passionate as Brits are: cru-di-tos. So more or less. The closest thing to the American dream doesn't happen in Kiwiland, by the way. It is called Australia.

Maybe, in some years their original settlers will grow and modify the society, but if, the change is still many years away.

In fact, this is just an impression. I need to learn a lot more of this 'multicultural' society and be able to contrast what I read, with what I see and what I feel. I am quite new to this.

Partly relieved, now that I got rid of these hovering ideas, I can continue academically and politically correctly reflecting about the challenges I will face in meeting the needs of learners of English as an Additional Language.

Suggestions are welcome.

30 de juliol 2011

haz turismo

During my highly enjoyed European summer break I watched "fight club" again. This time it filtered deeper in my brain, it changed something in me.

"Everything on a plane is single-serving" I quoted The Narrator in my thoughts when boarding on my plane back to Auckland.
On my plane to Auckland I made a single-serving friend.

His destination: back home. His residence: Afghanistan. His occupation: army.
I wouldn't have spent so much time talking to him if we were not forced to stay buckled in our assigned seats inside a pressured cabin for 15 hours straight.

With so many hours ahead I needed to know the reason: why are you in Afghanistan?
He answered he wouldn't get a job back home. Besides, he'd be bored. It didn't satisfy the philosophical depth I wanted to reach with the question. And his simplistic answer woke memories of a song:

Haz turismo invadiendo un país.
Make tourism invading a country/it's cheap and they pay your accommodation.

He said those people lost so much that they would work doing anything. He implied they almost employ them as slaves.
He also said the troops won't leave any time soon because they are now an economical source for the country they, ironically, brought to misery to begin with: the army consumes, he said: things are really cheap there. I could picture a bunch of shaved-head young soldiers having a blast, having huge houses, eating out every day... What about that for a Stockholm syndrome.

Make tourism invading a country.
Free accommodation.
...They won't want you to leave.
...They will give you their women, they will sell you their kids.

That song regained sense.


28 de juny 2011

sweet returns

Some months ago, I was leaving NL with a dream in my mind. The trip seemed to last forever and it was filled with uncertainty.
It feels I am writing backwards, looking back now on what I should have recorded then. I did, in my notebook, never published, I tought it was just going to be an unjustified fear. Who would have told me my dream was going to turn into a nightmare, and what to do with it?
Then I promised myself in Sydney, January 2011 to follow my intuition, to listen to my guts and act accordingly, against my rationalizing... on... and... on. Guts are right, and so are the facts. Sometimes the mind can be weak, trying to accommodate us in our dreamworld.

Part of my first weeks in my new environment consisted in sitting, sorrounded by brown and crimson, wondering on humanity, contradictory feelings, on how little one can do when one wants to do so much I was on my own. Well, worse than that.

- friendly reminder: even if you are a fighter, please consider that a surrender on time can be the best of victories.

My little bubble was too uncomfortable to stay in it, its explosion is going to make an awesome novel one day.

I left NL in one of my best Summers and upon return it seems it reconnects as if that Summer would have never ended. We are all a bit more tired and we are all fighting, struggling or giving it up, depending on the cause. We are most of us there creating that unique network of special people, giving light to this city that tends to be too dark, too often.

Upon arrival I felt part of that light. A part of a family.

It takes experiences to see people you love and think: no explanations needed. That's how we are and if that's who we are, that's how I love it.

04 de juny 2011

contained emotion after fraud police

I haven't updated a single entry upon my arrival to NZ.
I accidentally became too focused on circumstances, forgetting about my life and the exciting notes I had taken during the inspiring AFP concerts. I will really have to add a reminder each time I see my focus shifting. It happens way too often.
AFP gave me the wake up call again after watching a video of a closing speech she gave where she mentions the "fraud police", it is a long speech, but I recommend it.

We make the common mistake to compare ourselves to people we admire profoundly and sometimes we get stuck in wondering why can't we have a little bit of what they have.
I tend to choose someone extremely talented to admire, so I can remind myself I will never come that close, it is a self-punishing thing, but since your goal is way too far, it is justified.
We focus too much in what we lack and allow us to fall into a "Teufelkreis". Not a single nice writing and the idea of a novel rarely being worked on. Not best times for the muses.

Half way to go.
It is winter, I have been leaving the house before sunset and made it back after sunset every day. Darkness and exhaustion. Guilty. Most of my hobbies have been put aside. Later.
And it will take some time.

Today's feelings:
Reconnecting to roots and the loved ones.
7 weeks is too long - finding

02 de febrer 2011


Seems people know little about NZ. No wonder. It is a remote island in the ass of the ass of the world, colonized by whites and functioning surprisingly occidental.

Here I am entering a well deserved intellectually oriented hiatus in a country I believe has a very encouraging level of literacy, education and a decent average IQ.

While I was looking for accommodation I bumped into the blog of a possible host. One of his posts really summarized my Shaekesperean interest to prevail in memory, leave written proof behind, to live after death.
He wondered about the possibilities, to be or not to be referring to a stationary situation where, although being established, you feel it is not really where you want to stay, set roots, it's not quite you... (hence to be or not to be).

The tricothomy between love, life and work was very well fetched and made me empathise with it.
I need not speak much about work, I am still celebrating managing not to work for one year. 2011 will be another one, and then work has to make its way... And I am putting my energy in, for once, trying to get a rewarding job. Make a career out of my hobby.

The question about the personal attitude towards life involved for a while the three factors
below. This is how it sort of looks like for me:

Work: In the worst of cases it will remain just work.
Love and being loved: will never be easy.
Friends: they also need to find their place in life, which is not always by my side.

Each of us are responsible of our own life.
After my long pondering between "to be" or "not to be" I decided to take a new course of my life...
Far away from the love, the friends and the work.

I've decided to stay in the other side of the world.

Hello to my new home: New Zealand!

12 de gener 2011

gràcies, merci, danke, bedankt

2010 is over.
A year full of amazing experiences and emotions. A year where I had the opportunity to change the path I was on and instead of travelling around dared to slowly start taking a trip within myself. It has just began... my steps are still tiny, but they point ahead.

I am thankful I met people who make me want to go on and give meaning to every single step. Lucky me.

Thank you to my family, because you are by my side and you are understanding. I know I can be challenging and often I wish I was just sitting in the living room, sipping Penedès, laughing.
I am glad you take me as I am and lately, were able to listen so openly to things I didn't dare saying and didn't judge, you supported me and understood my pain. I feel so relieved and so proud of having you!

My second family in Germany... What can I say. Kieferland, can't wait to see you again. "Los Ulf", you always encourage me! Come visit soon!

I am grateful to have met the most amazing 4 women earth has seen: my sister, my girlfriend and my two "redheads" in Amsterdam. Thanks for that 24th of July. You opened my eyes. I truly love you and love the connection we have. I love talking to Bego and miss her when it's been a few days. Pats, you right see through me. I am glad you put those symbolic toothpicks in my eyes whenever I don't want to open them. Ik ben wel stoer, hoor!

Along the path, I have met people that made the challenge worth.
Thank you Fede, so unique the chemistry between the two of us. We explored our deepest emotions and our so antagonistic lives. Thanks for letting me peep into your life and let me bore you with my morning of juice, Lala and avocado ;-). I am proud to be called your older sister.

I am thankful of my Hühner, because we together can be one messy stall, and I love every colourful minute with you. I cross my fingers for our next Hühnerhaufen. I need them.
With it I am thankful of all the extraordinary people I once met in Germersheim and the very close tights we have, as we all share the same passion. There are no other people who understand the context, cotext and the hidden speech acts better in one single gesture and a minimum of 4 different languages at a time! Ah, we speak the same language(s)... Us sweet freaks.

Thanks CREA to allow me meet the most interesting individuals who opened me to many more possibilities. Thank you Arnica, my guru. Thank you Manu, through you I met the amazing "Inside" crew.

I thank our trip to Brasil, Leo. So inspiring. The music, the poetry, the writing and the routines we developed. I know you still miss my facial exercises (ha-ha-haaaa).
Thanks Chico for introducing us to two admirable and amazingly strong men, who fight for their right to love without "preconceitos".

Thanks for this Summer and the moments we have spent, the whole Amsterdam and NL bunch. Too many names and so many backgrounds. Simply: We have shared a lot and I really treasure the years during which we all have evolved.

Thanks Hilary for being the wise voice that soothed my emotions, the voice of experience. You are a lovely human being.

Thanks July for that bit of heaven that came to my apartment from the US. Those 10 days of living together in love, harmony, wine and yummy food. I am sure we learnt a lot from each other... And we had lots of fun in the process!

Thank you Lucas. I am glad you let me peep into the past and helped me leave it behind to make me realize of a bright future ahead.

... Thanks to the lovely 'strangers' in Auckland from whom I found a helping hand to find my way back when I didn't know where I was. My gratitude is big, I'll be there when you need me.

... Thanks to the couple of intense days in a real home where I could talk to the person with the warmest heart ever, the one who could empathise and helped me solve a puzzle pointing me at the missing pieces.

My new life references in OZ I am sure I still have so much more to share with. Nick, that easy connection we have... I just can't get enough of it! skydiving next on the list!

Sergi, sure we don't need each other as much as before, but I will still share my deepest secrets with you.
My friends in Barcelona. I am thankful we have kept our connection all these years. I am thankful I have you. You belong to my roots.

Aerial roots the song said. I am so thankful to have the opportunity and so happy to start 2011 down under, and stay for an extended period of time this time.
I always wanted to give it a go. It took some effort, but it was well worth it.