More fun and more work to tell about.
First the fun. We recently traveled to Phoenix with our roommates, which is 6 to 7 hours from El Paso. It was a fun road trip. Beautiful desert and mountains, good music, competitive alphabet game, 5 sweaty bodies packed in a Honda Civic. We stayed at the Phoenix Jesuit Volunteer community's house for two nights. Our reason for the visit was to attend the National Day of Action protest against Arizona's recently passed immigration law, 'Senate Bill 1070.' It was a powerful, peaceful 5-mile march to the capital full of families and people of all ages, races, and parts of the country.
The law states that Arizona state police officers will have the right to request people to show documentation of their legal residence in the United States, at any time, if there exists "reasonable suspicion" that they could be "illegal immigrants." We feel that this law is a civil rights violation since reasonable suspicion comes down to skin color and language spoken. In other words, many brown U.S. citizens and legal residents will be harassed because they are reasonably suspicious. We also feel that comprehensive immigration reform by the federal government is desperately needed, rather than than a harsh state law such as this one. Wouldn't it be odd if we always had to carry proof of our citizenship?
Check out a recent article on this subject.
Okay, sorry to include all of that in the 'fun' section. I continue to play softball each Sunday, which has become more exciting now that Twins are playing (I pretend I'm Joe Mauer). My roommate Carlos and I have been playing tennis. And the world cup has started! There's a great Spanish language channel on basic cable that broadcasts every game, so that has been occupying a lot of our time. It's hard not to cheer for Mexico down here. This weekend we are going camping in the mountains of southern New Mexico with the whole house and Carlos' parents from Juarez.
The garden is doing okay. We had maybe a 33% success rate. The heat and sun fried a lot of our plants, even with everyday watering and partial shade (and prayer). But we're eating squash, spinach and green beans now.
Leti has had great success with her teacher certification tests, which is nice since she has already been hired! Studying has continued to occupy a lot of her time. But not anymore! She is very happy about that. She has been in close communication with her family because there has been a lot going on. Her sister, Sheryla, is pregnant, so we are very excited to be aunt and uncle again. Natalia, who is like a sister-in-law, is doing an internship in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the summer. Leti's brother Joel will be visiting Natalia, and not us. But it's okay because there is talk of another family visit to Minnesota soon!
In other news, if you haven't heard, Senora De la Cruz has been hired to teach Kindergarten at Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion Elementary School in Eden Prairie. She's pumped, and she starts August 16th. I'm not exactly sure what I'll be doing. I might work Saturdays at a post office and also substitute teach during the week. I will continue to job search, as a few employers have told me they needed someone right away when they learn that we won't be in the Twin Cities until August. I also might go back to school for teacher certification in June, 2011. We'll see . . .
Our plan is to be home around August 15. Be home soon, and we miss you.
I wanted to inform you all of a few other unfortunate events that have happened on the border. It's a very unique place. A beautiful shared community and culture, and a shared heart-breaking tragedy as a result of a broken U.S foreign and immigration policy and a corrupt Mexican government. Prayer is needed. Please glance at the following links:
El Paso Times, June 8
San Diego Union Tribune, June 1
El Paso Times, June 7