Ulog #074 | Saying Good Bye to my Daughter

in ulog •  8 months ago  (edited)

Greetings, everyone,
As I write this post, my daughter, Vivian has landed in Caracas (she flew from Puerto Ordaz this morning). From there, she will be flying tomorrow afternoon to Lima (first stop of her trip).

Vivian came to say good bye as I was resting from my kidney problem last week. She needed to be in Puerto Ordaz one week before her departure because the Chilean Visa had not been approved.


Going to Puerto Ordaz to help my daughter get her Chilean Visa.

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On Monday, I was told I was needed urgently in Puerto Ordaz (a seven-hour drive South-East of Cumaná) on Wednesday morning. My daughter was applying for the third time to get a six-day Chilean Visa, which is all she will stay there before she goes to Brazil. The chilean authorities had decided that the power of attorney I had given to my daughter's mother to sign for me, just in case I was not around and all the travel permits we paid for and passed through a court house were useless. I had to authorize her leaving the country in person. Thus, I had to travel on Tuesday. In the past, taking a car or bus to any destination in Venezuela was a simple thing. Now, fewer options are available on a a very limited schedule. To avoid the trouble and delays of the bus, I had to take two cars. One from Cumaná to Maturin and another one from Maturin to Puerto Ordaz.
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The trip from Cumaná was fast and without any incidents to report. The only issue was paying for the car. You see, now with the current devaluation of our currency, paying cash is not an option. The fair was 100,000 Bs. Even with 500 bs-bills that amount represents an awkward pack of money to carry. So, now people rely on electronic transaction and technology is always failing us here. Fortunately, after several attempts, I was able to pay and be on my way.
I arrived at Maturin almost 4 hours later and inmediately took another car to Puerto Ordaz. It rained a little bit in one section of the road, but other than that it was a smooth almost-three-hour drive.

The Uverito forest, according to some, the biggest man-made forest of the world, with more than 600,000 hetares (aprox 1,482,000 acres) planted since 1961. A project started by Venezuelan engineer José Joaquín Cabrera Malo to prevent the Mesa de Guanipa from becoming a desert (the area covers the South-East part of the State of Anzoategui and the South-West part of Monagas). He succeeded and this beautiful forest was one of the reasons I loved to travel this route when I was a child.


All this land was planted with Caribean pine tree and the wood is now exploited by several wood companies.
Entering the State of Bolivar.
The Orinoquia Bridge over the mighty Orinoco River

My princesses. We tried to share as much as we could and make Vivian feel as loved as possible.
The visit to the consulate was tense but at the end of the morning Vivian got her visa. It looked as of the complaint that was introduced in Chile by a relative worked. One clerk seemed to be determined to negate the visa, another one seemed appologetic and willing to right a wrong. We celebrated with some ice cream.
In the parking lot of the Orinokia Mall. There was a shooting incident in the building behind us the next day and 4 men were killed. We were running some errands in the mall while this was happening. (http://www.noticierodigital.com/2019/09/cuatro-delincuentes-abatidos-deja-cicpc-enfrentamiento-puerto-ordaz/)

My daughter's last day in her maternal grandmother's apartment.

I had to return to Cumaná yesterday. I would have loved to have been able to be with her in Caracas, but it was impossible for me to stay longer and cover the trip and staying at Caracas. To save some money I took the night bus from Puerto Ordaz directly to Cumaná via Puerto la Cruz (Anzoategui). The 7-hour drive became 12 thanks to the constant checking at the national guard's alcabalas (La viuda, Anaco, Santa Fe), but I made it safely and without major incidents to report. My kidney feels swollen but it does not hurt that much.
From Cumaná I send my daughter all my love and good vibe so that she can have travel safely and without incidents and can start building a new and better life out of this mess. We hope to join her soon.


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Glad to hear you're feeling better, though still having some pain, and that your daughter finally got her visa. It must have been tough making another long journey after what you've been through recently. God bless you & your family!

Thank you very much.
It has been tough, but mostly mentally. My body is going back to the way it was before the kidney problem, but my mind is playing tricks yet.

This is a breath-taking account of your trip. Thank you so much for putting it together. I can't imagine how you must feel though. Will she be gone long? I know you've already told us but I can't remember why she is going. I am happy the visa got straightened out.

Hi, @owasco. Thanks for stopping by. She may be gone for a long time, given the current circumstances.
In Chile she will spend only 5 days. In Brazil, hopefully she will attend college and pursue a career, maybe move to the States when she is financially independent. That's the plan.
Venezuela is not home anymore. We feel like perfect strangers here. We, fools, trying to impose an imperialist mentality of efficiency, honesty, cleanliness, beauty, order, peace and quiet. We are seen as snobs.
I remember when we came back and Vivian started first grade in Puerto Ordaz while I found a place to rent in Cumaná. She spoke broken spanish and she was always complaining to the teacher about her classmates habits (agressiveness, theft, bullying, etc.) and the teacher approached me and told me that she needed to accept that things were the way they were here; that she was not special.
We have stayed all these years for different reasons, none of which being our solid belief that things are getting any better any time soon.
I wanted my children to love this country, but this country is spitting its children up.

I am bereft to hear this. But I have some questions. Who thinks you are snobs? Why you? Where did you live before moving back to Venezuela?
In this country (US), we are harming the children with vaccines, even before they have a chance to walk.
It's everywhere in different forms. All governments ultimately become traps of, by, and for humans.

Yes, I am fully aware of how governments in different parts of the world can harm the citizens they are meant to protect. The thing is that in some countries the influence of the government in every aspect of life, the importance of politics in your daily life is not so ubiquitous. In the 7 years we spent in the States my two daughters were born. They lacked nothing (especially medical attention). We were treated well.
I guess we were lucky and college towns do not speak for the whole country, but still, that was our experience and it was a possitive one for my family.

In the last 20 years, the populist governments started by Chavez developed an anti-imperialist/nationalist rhetoric. This rhetoric, among other things, emphasized the importance of our indigenous peoples and customs (go ask our indians how well they've been treated https://www.survivalinternational.org/news/12090 ) and a rejection of anything foreign (including clothing/fashion, technology, traditions, food, etc). This has always been a cynical attitude considering that every government official enjoys the goodies of capitalism and they are not afraid of bragging about it. There are hundreds of images that have circulated of their shopping sprees in the capitalist malls of the world, etc.

Any behavior that tended to criticize their totalitarism,their corruption, their contradictions, their destruction of our health and educational systems, their political persecution, their improvisation, and their mediocracy was seen as pro-yankee, pro capitalism, pro-empire, in short, as treason.
The fact that we had lived in the US (while I attended grad school) only made it worse, but you do not even need to have traveled abroad to be considered a classist pig here.

The poor population, which increased dramatically (because now it includes the middle class) during populist governments that promised to even the odds and vindicate the poor and downtrodden, is supposed to embrace poor things, broken things, dirty things. How dare you demand a clean hospital? (I hope I can get the pictures from ours, I gotta make that post).
Our children are denied everything these days. You have to hear the stories of the women delivering their children in subhuman conditions at hospitals that look like war zones; if the infant and the mother survive the hospital, they have to face the costs of those vital first months. Only the rich can afford the full diet and supplies needed. Then, the medical checkouts/visits, just out of budget (the free places crowded and filthy--kids may be healthy and leave sick after being in contact with contaminated facilities). Then comes schooling, recreation, and we can go on and on listign the things they cannot afford.

Thank you for that considered response!
I didn't mean to suggest we have it just as bad, I hope you didn't think that. But our rights and freedoms here are fast eroding with the ascent of socialist sentiments and I fear we are on the same path as Venezuela. Our LGBTQ population perhaps is being used as the indigenous was used in Venezuela to "prime" us into believing a government led by the Socialist Democrats would be somehow kinder and more fair than that of Trump's, for instance. If it were to come to mining for gold (as in the case of the Pemon) they would no longer be considered worthy of such protection (that's a stretch of an analogy but I hope you know what I mean). Meanwhile, we the ordinary citizens spend more and more time proving we have complied with all the laws.
Medical treatment is fine for those of us with common illnesses. But it is exorbitantly expensive for those with illnesses that are more serious, putting treatment out of reach for a great many, even those with insurance. The hospitals might be gleaming, but actual care is a hard thing to find and pay for - you will be "treated" only for the condition you were admitted for and must leave and return if something else is found while you were there the first time. It's getting absurd. With vaccines harming all the children, red flag laws being passed, gun control coming at us HARD, life for me has become a frightful thing.
I still have my home, plenty of food, music, art and relative safety so for now we are limping along.
Questions: do you support the current actions of the US in Venezuela? In the tiny bit of research I just did into the Pemon, I found the corporate name ARCO, an American oil company now under the auspices of BP. Are they related?
Yankee has become a euphemism for American? To me it means from the northeast of the US.

Not at all, I totally understand what you meant and I agree with you that people in the States, as well as in any other part of the developed world, should be really alarmed at the way people's rights and social equality is being handled.
I do not have the facts and figures, but I'm sure social inequality's gap must be widening everywhere.
I know about the terminal/chronic illness issues when it comes to insurance. In fact, I never understood why insurance companies did not cover pre-existing conditions. As I said, we were lucky we did not need medical attention for serious diseases. It is a tragedy for me that the american government can be so lenient and accommodating with corporate america at the expense of people's suffering.
I have not research this ARCO company you mention. I don't know if it is involved in the gold exploitation in venezuela. I don't think so.
The whole project is called "arco minero", I guess because of the shape of the territory involved. As far as I know Russia and China are the ones with companies doing the looting of the gold, but I would not be surprised if other "bipolar" countries such as Spain or France are also involved. I know how dirty international politics has historically been. I would notbe surprised if one day the americans tell the chinese and russians, "look, we'll let you keep your business, we'll split the goodies, just help us get rid of him." And the next day Maduro will miraculously state that he thought it through and he has decided to step aside so that the country can move in a different direction.
About the Yankee, yes, it has a historic meaning in the US, but in latinamerica it refers to any gringo, as part of the socialist/communist rhetoric.
I support any innitiative that can put an end to the Maduro/chavista regimen, but since January we have been told that his days are counted. The counter must allow for a very long number of day. In the mean time people die ona daily basis because the crisis gets worse while politicians meet in expensive hotels and enjoy expensive drinks trying to come up with an idea that would not make them look too cynical.
With all the crimes and acts of corruption the chavistas have commited I just cannot understand why it has been so difficult for any country that says they want to help to just do something convincing and definite.

Because they all want to be among those who come out on top in control of the resources.
Do you think, if the rest of the world left Venezuela alone, Maduro would be re-elected? Who, or what, would the people there like to see in power?

Oh, yes. He can be reelected until he dies. No question about it. They control the voting system and they have been "buying" votes for years (most public employees must vote for the government or else). Most of the 5 million people who have left the country were opposed to this government. Everything is against us now if this were to be decided in the polls.
People want new faces in government. People would like some decency back in the main office, people would like the president to stop being a charlatan promising castles in the air.
We have people who could do the job but I am not sure they will have access to power if we ever get rid of this pest. Those lobbying to substitute Maduro have shown some conflicting signs that makes me wonder how effectively they'll carry out a transition. I am not as naive as to think that nothing can be worse than this. I know this can be way worse if we get to an all out civil war, but it would be nice to just not see the faces of the same pricks who have ruined us and laugh in our faces all these years.

So much to go through... 😓

I'm glad to hear everything worked out and that all is well 💕

Sending extra reiki, prayers and love to help support your healing & wellness as well as for safe travels for your daughter 🙏

Namaste 💖

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Thank you so much. She needs all that good energy and wishes.
Blessings to you too.

I was so glad to read this headline yesterday, and only got here this morning. And I see your next post that she is safely in Chile. What good news! Popping over to read that now.

Hi my friend
What a nice gesture to have made all this journey to help your daughter. I hope she can start a new life in better conditions. It must be difficult as a father to know your daughter far off but probably its the only way to have some hope...
Best regards

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Hi, @achim03. Thanks for stopping by. It is hard indeed. All these years we have been demanding from our kids the kind of endurance and maturity that was not demanded from us as we were growing up. We did not face the limitations and hardships our kids are facing and we want them to be strong and diligent.
We are in a way waiving our duties because circumstances restricted our capacity to be responsible parents, providers.
That is both painful and embarrassing, and yet, we had no choice.
The biggest obstacle will be faced this afternoon. Passing immigration in Miquetía will be a great victory.

I feel so endeared to you. Steemit connects people uniquely, and not because of the exchange of a dribble of currency as so many think, but because it connects culture and people who's lives would not cross on other platforms where the "friend" suggestions are generated within the current circle and contain an insular exposure.
I have learnt a lot from you. Not least of all I have learnt to get up and try, to be gtrateful to be even able to give my children food and shelter. I have a fledgling orange tree in my garden. It was nearly run over 1000 times by the neighbours truck recently, but it still stands. We are heading into summer, I hope it flowers. Every time I look at it I think of you and the children in the market. How their gesture gave you back hope.
You looked tired and beaten by you dwindling hope, then the next post had you 10 years younger and giving out books to children with smiling faces.

I don't like to read this

We are in a way waiving our duties because circumstances restricted our capacity to be responsible parents, providers.
That is both painful and embarrassing, and yet, we had no choice.

The journey you describe here, and every ulog you have articulately, heart wrenchingly and bravely shared has been spoken from the soul of a parent doing absolutely everything for their children.
Not being able to easily and safely provide a passage of privilege to our children at every turn, does not render us failures as parents, but rather triumphant.
I have experienced a kidney stone, with access to pain relief and hospital services, not traversing dangerous boarder checks and uncertainty. I distinctly recall the 20 minute car ride to the hospital, where I knew I would receive relief and safety. It was a harrowing 9km trip in dense traffic, that I can also reflect on with gratitude now thanks to you.
Although our circumstances are worlds apart I am no stranger to parental guilt. My children miss out on things there friends take for granted due to the limits of my health. I once described the guilt I felt to a friend. I told her I felt terrible for not seeing my children for 4 weeks while I was in hospital. She told me she had recently been on a holiday to Europe and left her kids with there grandparents, and had no guilt, and that I had not chosen my situation. I am so grateful for her words, they helped me immensely.
The embarrassing componant is a challenge too. I am in the process of accessing community help and it is hard to let go accept. But I promise I will focus on being grateful for having community infrastructure as I relinquish my ego, if you too can forgive yourself for things not of your creating. Take a moment to be proud of all you do for your family, community and country. Your ulog speaks for so many.
You are not a failing generation of parents. You are heroic. In the midst of the turmoil I'm sure it doesn't feel that way and I fear my words may read as condensing, I'm sorry if they do, they are well intended.
This post is testament to a single triumph despite the hurdles, and parents willing to do anything they can for their child.

Thank you so much, @girlbeforemirror for your touching words. They did not sound condescending to me. I appreciate your honesty and your sensibility.
I do have a lot to forgive myself for.
When I finished my studies in the US and had to come back in 2008, even though the country was not as fucked up as it is now, I remember that young lady who is now in Chile, then 6, crying as asking me why people were the way they were; why we did not take them and put them on a plane and let them see other ways of living and behaving so that the country could be pretty, she also asked me crying why I had punished her like that. She wondered then, just like she wondered when her mother and I divorced, whether she had done something wrong to cause the uprooting.
It's been hard, to say the least, to carry all that load.
So, I thank you kindly for bringing the principle behind that blaming game to my attention.
I keep working on it.

Sending best wishes to you and all of your family! You've been through a lot lately, with the trips and kidney issues. Hoping better things coming your way soon.

Thank you very much, @kenny-crane



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Thanks. I'll keep that in mind

Oh, mi amigo, gracias a Dios todo le salió bien y pudo ayudar a su hija y despedirla.

Gracias, amiga. Dedos cruzados para que salga de Maiquetía sin percanses.

I really hope that you can join her soon.

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Thanks. It is a must now

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Thanks for the support. I appreciate it