Wednesday, January 28, 2009
On Sunday, Jan. 18, we held a book party at my house, which ended up competing with Obama outdoor concert-goers. My daughter Stephanie, who came out from Hawaii for the inauguration, attended the party, as did my daughter Melanie from SC, granddaughter Natasha and baby son from northern Va., and many friends. However, some got caught in concert traffic and had to turn around. One attendee said he spent six hours en route! Besides celebrating the launching of my book, the party welcomed a Honduran family new to this country. The husband/father is Gilberto Flores, a Honduran environmental activist, whom I had helped obtain political asylum in this country. Gilberto, father of nine (two still in Honduras for being over age 21), had recently been laid off his construction job. Party-goers contributed $300 to his family and I’m happy to report that now he is working again, on a job at the Pentagon, where only legal residents, such as himself, are hired. He was a subsistence farmer in Honduras, so living here has meant a huge change. Since he left Honduras, he told us, as many as ten members of his environmental movement, mostly opposed to the clear-cutting of forests, especially mahogany, have been mysteriously murdered. Thanks to any readers who contributed to the family.