Friday, December 11, 2009

Book Sales Up Slightly, Day in an Interpreter’s Life, Successful Human Rights Day Gathering, Zelaya Announces Jan. 27 Exit from Brazil Embassy

If anyone reading this blog has ordered my book or recommended it, thanks, perhaps you’ve contributed to a slight uptick in orders made recently on after a dismal showing in November. Or maybe it’s just the economy recovering slightly?

Some readers have expressed interest in topics other than Honduras, which, at a distance, may not seem such a pressing problem and has tended to become rather repetitious, though, no doubt, Hondurans don’t see it that way. So, I’ll change the subject briefly. As an interpreter, I participated in a meeting yesterday at Children’s Hospital with an entire team of ten, including doctors, nurses, nutritionist, social worker, child welfare workers (altogether a rather intimidating line-up), and a Hispanic family whose son with congenital kidney problems has had a failed transplant, now undergoes dialysis 3 times a week, and the parents, who are separated and have 3 other children, both work and are having trouble keeping the son on the proper meds and diet. The parents already must take time out of work to take the boy to dialysis and pick him up afterward and they expressed resentment at having to attend this long meeting, which they felt was blaming them for his poor blood stats. They acted really stressed out and defensive and tried to attribute the problems to his condition, but his physician said, if that were the case, there wouldn’t be such extreme fluctuations. Their son, who was present in the meeting, stood up for them, calling them good parents. A youngster like that needs very precise monitoring and, perhaps, because they couldn't do it properly, his transplant failed (just a guess). At least, I felt that was the unspoken undercurrent in the room. Now, his blood counts for potassium and other dangerous substances were fluctuating wildly, unlike before, perhaps threatening his very survival. Finally, the parents, who share custody, agreed to allow a Spanish-speaking home health aide (also present) visit over the next two months to see if she could regulate the situation. The boy himself, a young teen but very small for his age, was told that he must also take responsibility for his meds and for avoiding harmful, but perhaps attractive foods being eaten by his peers and siblings, such as bananas, French fries, and sodas. It must be incredibly hard for separated parents taking time away from work on an ongoing basis to tend properly to their son, while also facing economic hardship and the need to care for three other kids. I appreciated that at least they seemed willing to work cooperatively on their son’s behalf.

Last evening, we had an overflow crowd in the upstairs section of the combination bookstore and eatery Busboys & Poets at its downtown location. There was standing room only at our Amnesty International Human Rights Day event, which featured speakers, the signing of letters and postcards for our prisoners of conscience, and general conversation. But it was cold outside at the end, really the first real below-freezing cold we’ve had this season, our recent mushy snowfall notwithstanding. A friend and I looked around for a bus and got one only part way to our destination, as we live near one another on Capitol Hill. We ended up walking about 12 blocks, which would have been more pleasant in balmier weather and if I had been more appropriately dressed. My friend at least had gloves.

Back to Honduras: there was a flurry of excitement when it was announced that Zelaya would be going to Mexico, then that he was not going after all. His presence must be a royal headache for the Brazilian Embassy and the Brazilian government and Zelaya himself must be getting cabin fever. Now Zelaya is saying he will leave the embassy by Jan. 27, 2010, the end of his term, but going exactly where has not been specified, maybe he doesn’t plan to go anywhere? The risky part will be when he actually steps outside the embassy. Sounds like he may be planning to leave the country and I just hope he makes it safely to a safe haven and doesn’t try to stick around. Haven’t seen any reports about the demonstration that Zelaya’s followers were planning for today.

Zelaya will leave Brazil Embassy by Jan. 27
Associated Press
Friday, December 11, 2009

BRASILIA-- Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya says he will leave the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras by Jan. 27, when his presidential term ends, according to an interview broadcast Friday. Zelaya said in the telephone interview with Globo TV that he wants to leave soon but did not say where he will go. He has been holed up in the embassy in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa for three months under threat of arrest if he sets foot outside the building.

Zelaya's comments aired a day after Honduras' coup-installed government said he is free to leave the country, but not as president. The top-ranking Brazilian official at the embassy also told Globo TV that Zelaya must leave by Jan. 27. Francisco Catunda did not say where Zelaya might go, saying only that it would be "another destination." Officials at Brazil's presidency and at the nation's foreign ministry did not immediately return telephone messages left Friday seeking comment.

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