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Country Discussion Topics
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Little 'Cheeva'
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Cindi    Posted 01-27-2003 at 18:30:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I went to the flea market to sell a few goats and chickens this weekend and while I was standing there waiting for customers I looked down and saw this little hispanic girl standing there beside me. I thought she was lost, so I picked her up and put her in the back of the pickup with the little goats. "Cheeva...cheeva" she said, and I assumed this meant goat.

I couldn't leave my post so I was hoping that a) her mother would come by and spot her, or b) my girls would come back from wandering and I could take her to the market office.

The only thing I had snack wise was some fudge covered graham crackers that the girls had brought as an impromptu breakfast so I gave her one. She gave me back a big grin that went all the way to her dark shiny eyes. The next thing I knew she was covered from forehead to chin in chocolate.

Jenny finally came back and I told her what was going on and the first thing she said was

"Awwww....she's so cute! Can we keep her?"

No we can't keep her I said, I'm taking her to the office to find her momma. I lifted her up and started in the direction of the office and suddenly the woman from the mexican food booth right across the way came over and claimed her. Her mother and father had known all along right where she was and I guess they figured I was enjoying her company so they let her stay.

The woman took her from me and smiled at me, clearly she didn't speak english. As she walked away the little girl burst into tears and pointing exclaimed "cheeva....cheeva!"

I had one little goat left by the end of the day and I was just about ready to pack him up and take him home. I had been asking twenty five dollars for them. I was making preparations to leave when here came the little one, waddling across the span between her booth and ours with a twenty dollar bill. It looked as big as a road map in her tiny hand.

I looked across at her father and nodded my head and the deal was done. I never learned her name but one thing's for sure, she got her 'cheeva'.


cowgirlj    Posted 01-28-2003 at 07:54:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Awwwe Cindi, that is the sweetest story.
Good on ya'!
j


Patria / PR    Posted 01-27-2003 at 20:52:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Cindi
Thank you for the heart warming post..
If my Beny, Jande, Adrian, Manuel or Andrea should get lost, I pray they have the good foutune to be found by you.

Then again, I'm trying to teach them to find their way back home...

And also to look for Cindi.



DeadCarp    Posted 01-27-2003 at 19:05:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
She probly meant "chiva" which is a kid (goat).
Oh they'll eventually put the critter to good use alright. I went to my (Mexican) buddy's (2-week affair) wedding a few years back and i ate with them a few times. Boy i tell ya - some spicy barbequed goat (cabra picante) and homemade tortillas are hard to beat - especially after all that cerveza :)


Patria / PR    Posted 01-27-2003 at 21:17:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hey DeadCarp
Wow! that sounds goooooooood!
hmm, can I have a slice of lemmon for the cerveza!

My aunt makes a cabrito fricassee seasoned with all kinds of blessings that you can serve over, in, or around whatever, tapas, rice or potatos[oes]. I should learn 'the how to' for this one.


PS: I wonder if everybody's sleeping by now...are you all still hanging around here?


Cindi    Posted 01-27-2003 at 19:18:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, I kinda hope the little one gets to keep him as a pet but I sell to a lot of hispanics out here, pigs, goats and chickens and the few things I've learned is a) don't ever ask how they are gonna put a pig down b) if you ask what gender critter they want, they always shrug, and that's never a good sign c) they don't ever buy chickens for the eggs. I grew up on bbq goat in Texas, they eat as good as anything else, and why not they are grazing animals.


Patria / PR    Posted 01-27-2003 at 21:33:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm sure you want to keep them as customers.
I work in sales; teach them.




Cindi    Posted 01-28-2003 at 03:29:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
You know patria, until you said that I never thought of approaching it that way. I always just assumed it would be easier for me to learn spanish. Now that you mention it, it would be better for everyone concerned to try and help them learn to be here and function in an english speaking environment. Good thought for the day, thank you!


Patria / PR    Posted 01-28-2003 at 10:00:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
-"Teach them". When I said this, I meant it; from a business point of view, and good also for both parts.

When my dad's asked "how did it go in Chicago with your spanish only?" he tells them his boss tought him. A native from Montana. He gave my dad the oportunity to prove himself.

It wasn't easy for a country boy to pack his things and move to another country with a language unknown to him. Life was getting worse by the minute for farmers. My widowed grandmami divided the land among her eight children and everyone moved close to where they could get a job.

My uncle sent for my dad, then 18, to come and live with him in Chicago, they were both single. His boss needed somebody to work in the kitchen of the Palmer House hotel. Life coudn't get any better for him, he wanted to make kitchens his way of living!

He didn't have any experience in cooking, let along in a hotel kitchen. So he took another offer, hehe, plan B, and did the floors, utility and bathrooms. In his free time he would sneak in and help with the cooking. A year later he was release from scrubbing and asign as sous chef assistant.

Meanwhile my mom was also living in Chicago with her single brother, her mom had died when she was 15, and the only one of 8 children still living with their mom. So she had to move to wherever her brothers and sister were living. They met in Chicago and got married. I was born nine months later.

My dad was doing good, and like everything in life, if you want to get there? better find a map fast!! he did and got behind the wheel without ever looking back. The language was no problem for them, but they missed PR enormously.
Soon they decided that they could still work hard where home was. He would find a hotel kitchen that needed a cook.

We moved back to PR when I was three months old. He got settled and found his niche in kitchens again.

Life changed for him again and he was asked to voluntarily come out of the neightborhood bar and join the navy; the two navy officers waiting for him outside that is...he just wanted to have a drink with the boys before reporting to the navy headquaters in PR. Maybe they thought he needed a ride?

Guess who was the wonderful cook you were always greeting for the great food on the ship??
He was in the navy for only three years.

My dad's now 72 years old, and he's resume's quite impresive.

You know Cindi? I won't live enough years to thank my dad for allowing me to grow up in PR, although I'm sure we would have made it in Chicago also, but the suport my dad had from his Montanes boss was priceless.

We all know why people has to move to another country, so what else is new. And I know I'm not alone in my opinion that when you chose to do so, you should also try to fit, to assimilate to the country's culture. It doesn't mean you have to give up your own one. Time is what I hope it's all it takes for them...and tolerance from the rest of us.

And I'll say it again, if I get lost, I hope is you who finds me...hehe




Cindi    Posted 01-28-2003 at 11:17:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Patria, you're too funny, if you get lost e mail me and I'll come after you. Sounds like your dad had a pretty good life all things considered. I am tolerant of the ones who come and try to learn, as I have tried to learn to speak spanish, but I have a probelm with anyone from any country who comes here and doesn't try. If I moved to a different country it would be the first thing I would do.


Patria / PR    Posted 01-28-2003 at 15:13:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Puerto Rico has some great advantages for people who wants to move to the US; we are a US territory, therefore, US citizens , and our weather is tempting. Spanish is the official language, although english is tought from pre-school to college but only 31p/c are fluent, the rest either won't 'learn' it because is dificult for them to learn another language, or believe they won't need it, and some just don't care, for political reasons, but this is another $20.

PR mesures 35x100 miles, roughly the size of the state of Connecticut, population is 3,817,317 (2001 estimate), including the european, asian, north-american/Canada and of course latin-americans communities, and still counting.

Not everyone of them speaks spanish, most will just stick to english, and hopping that the only people they find in their way are the 31p/c of the puerto ricans who speaks english. It won't happen of course. Does it ring a bell?

I know exactly how you feel Cindi, and also that this is a somewhat delicate issue. Everybody has their own opinions, some will keep them to themselfs and some will get caried away when the need to be heard is bigger than their common sense. But who's to blame? I'm sure we can all come up with the right answer, bud sadly enough, will differ from one another.

I've met many, many great folks like you and my dad's boss, people that had gone the extra mile and out of their way, kicking aside race or cultural barriers, that btw, for good or worse might take us yet to another war.

Gotta sign off the soap now, my God, sometimes I shouldn't even get out of bed...




Cindi    Posted 01-28-2003 at 02:24:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
I couldn't survive without them! And you won't meet freindlier people. We stumble all over trying to communicate, but it's always good for a laugh for everyone!


DeadCarp    Posted 01-28-2003 at 07:04:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good point Cindi - i used to work with a fella named Felipe, he was in his 70s and THE hardest-working man i ever met. One day he gladly hand-mixed 40-some wheelbarrows of stucco by himself (and refused help "Mi trabajo" :). (We were beyond extension cords on that job.) He knew very little English so pretty much did what was obvious and you couldn't stop that guy! One break time i wondered what he was doing behind the truck - here he'd dug out a bunch of rusty skilsaw blades from the gang-box and was polishing them up with handfuls of sand.
Felipe had a big family in Guadalajara and his goal was to send home $20/week. If he could do that(no biggie) he only had to work summers, his kids got their cars and educations, he could add on to his house and live like a king. And he had the knack of spotting a gun a mile away - we'd be sitting in a coffeeshop and he'd whisper "arma-pistole" and pat his side - sure enough, i could see the outline under the guy's jacket. We sure had fun that summer & it was interesting. I remember he had a weakness for donuts & didn't appreciate Catholic jokes. :)


Cindi    Posted 01-28-2003 at 09:24:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
All of the guys at our roofing co. were mexican and only one of them spoke broken english. They were the nicest guys, I loved laughing with them as they tried on english and I butchered spanish. On rainy days I would call willie at home, no trabajo today willie, si, comprende, comprende.


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