Juan has his game face on

I’m just wondering that when the safety net called unemployment insurance finally runs out at the end of this month for all the 2 million or who have lost their jobs, if there will be a hutesium et clamor (hue and cry) from the Tea-baggers over it. Probably not. Doesn’t concern them. They’re “taxed enough already” they can’t think about our fellow American citizens. Let them eat, whatever. I have my social security and my medicare. Is this the change we signed up for? Can a whole political party/movement be so callous? I guess so. Look in the mirror TP people. But for the grace of God go you.

Speaking of the me-first party, time to shift gears to focus a bit on the others-first party, you and me. I know that most Americans are not as selfish as the TP crowd. That was evident on Saturday when the folks at St. Peter’s Pacifica drove the 100 miles or so down to Pajaro with two fully loaded trucks. The community is part of Watsonville and is made up of mostly migrant farm workers, families who have left their homes in Mexico to find work and a better life here in the states. There’s really no need to go into the type of work they do for us during the harvest of our fruits and vegetables. You know all of that. Our focus was to bring a small bit of joy into the lives of these human beings during Christmastime. For months, a group has been collecting food, toys, bedding, electronics and clothing. Then two trucks, stacked to the rafters with the goodies make the long trek down hiway 1, past Half Moon Bay, past Santa Cruz and past Aptos turning off at Salinas Road toward Watsonville. Our Headquarters was Our Lady of The Assumption church.

After a couple of hours setting up the hall and unloading the goodies for the 47 families that would be our guests for the afternoon, we waited for them to arrive and arrive they did. These are the folks who scrape by from day to day to make sure Safeway produce is fresh. Face to face with these people brings the whole idea behind who picks what into focus. Young families with 2 or 3 children born here. Beautiful children and close knit family structures and incredibly deep faith. I and several others made “runs” to bring the food stuffs and toys home to those who did not have rides. Three of my stops were in the same run down motel-apartment complex. Not many words were spoken as I and others unloaded our cars and trucks, but the appreciation was in the faces. It’s funny because I didn’t stop to think how blessed I am to have what I have, but instead I appreciated them for what they had. I have found, through the years that when I do think how lucky I am, I am placing a wedge between myself and the people with whom and for whom I am serving. It’s kind of a class separation that takes place in my head. I am this and they are that. Us vs them mentality which does not do much for building communities of understanding. Being with and for others is the phrase, the emphasis is on the with part. The people we drove home from the hall were from Oaxaca, Mexico. On a map you can see just how far it is from the border. What I learned is that the people from this state speak a different dialect, almost Indian, from the Spanish we presume is spoken all over Mexico. So add that handicap to these immigrants making it to the rich Pajaro Valley of Watsonville with small children and not being able to communicate with other Spanish-speaking peoples of California. Unbelievable.

Kathy and I didn’t do much in the long run, but in the short run all those who worked with us and with whom we worked benefited and were enriched by the people we met. Next time I go to Safeway I will hold that produce a little longer thinking of our new friends and wondering if the little one has learned to ride is bike yet. Time for the “Dream Act.”

and so it goes…