Sunday, July 25, 2010


I recently acquired a digital camera and have been taking pictures of all sort of things in Roatan. I am used to California's flora and fauna, so coming to a tropical setting has made me completely aware of my surroundings. I've been taking pictures of different flowers and these are few of the pictures that had been edited to look their best. These flowers grow on the island and they are wildly located throughout.

I haven't been able to find the information of the unknown, so just marvel at their simple beauty.

This flower I would call a "bouquet" flower because of its quantity of small flowers in one branch.
This is the "bouquet" flower once it's fully blossomed.

These flowers come in a wide variety of colors, such as pink, white, and red. My personal favorite is this red one that is located in West End near the pharmacy. This red one is enormous and beautiful.

This flower has little yellow flowers growing in its ovary.

My favorite part about this particular flower is the difference in colors within it. There's the hot pink, the red, and the yellow. It all combines to make such complexity to a simple flower.

This tropical flower has the feel of velvet, with deep rich green leaves.

I call this one the "Christmas" flower because it would very well fit to the theme quite beautifully. When you first see them, you wonder whether they are real, but they are so real and so different from anything I have ever seen. I will used them for decorations this Christmas.

This is the Hibiscus flower, one of the most commonly known tropical flowers.

My favorite thing about this picture is the texture of the flower being shown. I also like the shadow of the pistil at the south side f the picture; it adds to the small details.

These are just some of the pictures I have. I guess I have grown inspired to capture all of this beauty before we lose it all. But that's another post altogether. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Renegades of Funk"- Rage Against the Machine

This song always reminds me of Thomas Paine. Enjoy!

"In the following pages I offer nothing more than common sense."

So I started reading Thomas Paine the other day because that's what history grads do, and wanted to just stop. I felt it too "old time" for this kind of world, but then I began thinking about what the possibilities are for someone to create a new idea on "common sense." The times of monarchs are gone, so this idea no longer applies to our world. Would it even work?

Thomas Paine has been remembered as one of the radicals of the American Revolution and his writings impacted it greatly. Some say he was the catalyst for the sentiment of freedom to be felt throughout the thirteen colonies. The pamphlet sold over 150,000 copies at a time where men were the only ones, generally speaking, that could read. Some say he was one of the founders of the American Revolution, with the likes of Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington. His "common sense" had that much of an impact for their time.

Thomas Pain was a great writer. He took the ideas that people spoke during revolutionary times and was able to provide an understanding to the masses that proved necessary for revolution to occur. For Thomas Paine it was also essential to live in this time in order to write this lovely pamphlet because it was "destined" for it; I do mean the pamphlet. Now we ask ourselves what was so important about the pamphlet and how can we apply it to our lives? Everything in life is connected, so let's see what we can find.

The first section is titled Of the Origin and Design of Government in General. With Concise Remarks on the English Constitution. Just to give you a little idea of Paine's opinion on the government, "Society is produced by our wants, government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices" (pg 6). We come to find that we govern ourselves according to two sets of laws: society's laws and government's law. In this case, Paine points out that society is responsible for designing our "civilization" providing ideas for growing and "creating." On the other hand, government is solely responsible for "maintaining order" by providing discipline on situations that may be too much for society. While society allows you to grow, government limits you.

Furthermore, the government has sections that correspond to responsibilities in order to create a more "balanced" view of society. With regards to the English government, it has three branches of government, the Commons, the Monarch, and the Lords. While responsibility lies on the fact that all will participate in government affairs, calling themselves a "republic," common practice was that the king decided everything. Now Paine makes the point that the English government in itself is completely contradictory. The purpose of the republic is representation in the government and a limited government. But, the king is still the one responsible for making all of the decisions, especially when it comes to the thirteen colonies. Now we come to the point where we see why there is so much negative sentiment for the English government. They are hypocrites. They show a republic, but all of it is a puppet show for the King to rule everyone.

The second section is titled Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession. Now for a long period of time Paine was considered to be an atheist because of his radical views. This section completely refutes that for the purpose that Paine actually believed in the Bible heavily, and he quotes it a number of times in order to show that hereditary right is completely ridiculous. According to Paine, the idea of a monarchy was first introduced by the Heathens, and later adopted by the Jewish kingdom, which was later brought to Europe. Hereditary rule goes against the laws of the bible because every man is born the same way, so by definition they are equal. It also goes against the laws of society because a position of public honors has to given to you by the public, and nobody is born with that right. He makes the point that hereditary monarchs are not common sense because they pose more problems than they solve. (Anyone remember how well a child king rules?)

The third section is titled Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs. According to Paine our goal is to reach posterity, which is succeeding in future generations collectively. The state of American affairs are leading to this goal, but there has to be a fight for it. The English are prepared for battle, and so are the Americans. Paine first begins to describe the relation of America with Great Britain (GB). He states, "I have heard it asserted by some that as America hath flourished under the former connection with GB..." In order for America to be in the place that it was, it need the English because it brought them to the point where they wanted to be independent. But, to continue with the quote, "...that the same connection is necessary towards the future happiness, " (pg 20) is nothing more than fallacious. In essence, there comes a point in time where there is a need for independence from the "motherland" especially when it has been treating you badly in the last couple of years. There was plenty of petitions and talks about the problem, but nothing was ever solved, so to eliminate this relationship meant establishing a new one that wasn't so controlling. Paine believed that America was finally ready to become an independent country.

There is one more section, but that can be skipped since it talks about abilities to win the war.

So, to answer my questions, is there a possibility for a new Thomas Paine to come out with a new "Common Sense"? I think so. There are so many battles to be fought throughout the world with the words used by Thomas Paine. His ideas are universal in that they correspond to anyone who wants to have the right to choose. Now could it be worded differently, ABSOLUTELY! We are no longer in 1776 and our language has developed greatly.

I think that if I were to pick a topic to write about, I would pick immigration. We as a country have lost the ability to think rationally when it comes to this topic because we are so focused on protecting ourselves from threats around the world. But immigration is our right as human beings. We can go and live wherever we like because this is our planet. The government has made it almost impossible for people to move around because of the control that they have for the "borders." While we increase in population, we also deal with the fact that Earth is changing because we have not taken good care of it. There will be a need for immigration once many of coastal places get sucked in by the rising sea level. Problems will arise from this if the government continues to show a strong stance against immigration. Wars will be fought because there will be a need to move. Now I am talking about some hypothetical situation, but I do think there is a need to address this issue eventually because we we'll have to suffer the consequences if we don't.

Just a thought, but I am not going to get carried away. If I were to write a "Common Sense" I would be more articulate, right now I am just babbling. Have fun!

Reference: Paine, Thomas. Common Sense and Other Writings. New York: Random House, Inc, 2003.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The loner...

Does anyone even know what that means?

I've been inspired at this moment to write about how much I hate people. I started thinking about my time in high school and I couldn't help but say, "Man, I hate people!" Now what does that have to do with the word loner? Well I think it goes hand in hand with my complete distaste in the "collective" mindset.

Now before you stop reading this, I will explain thoroughly what I mean by the word "people". This means any kind of group, three or more. This also includes when I am a part of a group of three or more in a setting where we are allowed to speak loudly. The reason this is so irritating to me that I have to touch on such a powerful feeling is because the constant, non-stop, deliberately bitchy attitude that I see from groups of people. Sometimes it's very apparent while other times it seems to come out of left field.

The one thing I can't stand most about groups of people is the judgment. I think its one of the most annoying feelings to have when someone is judging you, let alone a group of fucking people. I mean I truly hate having to see the glare of condensation from certain groups. It almost makes me want to scream, "FUCK YOU!" while giving them the middle finger and telling them all of their indiscretions because they are no fucking saints themselves. That's how much I hate groups of people.

And to make matters worse because the crowd relies so heavily on numbers, the more people in the group the more willingness to act the same, so there is more judgment passed on to you.

So I often avoid settings where I will find myself engulf in the feeling of judgment. If that makes me a "loner" then I guess I am a loner. But I still feel the same way and none of these feelings ever change regardless which setting I put myself in. In high school, I was the one being judge. In Roatan, I was the one judging and the one being judged.

So to end my small post, I will say this...

1. I hate groups of people.
2. I am a loner because I hate groups of people.
3. I like being a loner.

Now there are many reasons why I am a loner, but for now this is just one.

So as I head out to the beach, I will take my book to read and swim in order to have my "loner" time to myself. And I hope that I won't get hit on today...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Headline of the Day- "Top Mexican anti-drug official resigns"

By the CNN Wire Staff
July 15, 2010 -- Updated 0028 GMT (0828 HKT)

(CNN) -- "Mexican President Felipe Calderon has announced the resignation of Interior Secretary Fernando Gomez Mont, who oversaw security efforts against drug cartels in Mexico.

"Gomez Mont will be succeeded by attorney Jose Francisco Blake Mora.

"'Currently, the country is facing challenges, but I am certain that us citizens, political actors and government have the potential, the duty and the will to surpass them,' Gomez Mont said.

"As interior minister, Gomez Mont oversaw the security strategy of the country against drug cartels, a battle that has cost thousands of lives. He also was in charge of operations such as the closure of an electric utility that had become inefficient and bloated, which was seen as a challenge to the power of the electricity workers' union.

"Blake Mora is an attorney from Baja California state who served as chief of staff to the state government from 2007 until this week. Previously, he was a councilman in Tijuana, as well as a state and federal congressman.

"Calderon also announced the resignation of Patricia Flores Elizondo, a senior presidential adviser. Mexico's current economic minister was to take her place as senior adviser, and Bruno Francisco Ferrari was named new economic minister."

I sit here watching Fox News because I like to hear what the competition is saying, even if it is non sense. I hear them speak about all of the illegal immigrants in Arizona. I hear them speak about two girls that were raped by illegal immigrants in AZ, and it is happening everyday (I am sure that's a lie). I hear that the federal government is not doing enough about the problem in the borders. I hear about the Democrats and their incessant pressing of a new policy instead of following the law.

Yet I don't hear a word about all of the human trafficking going on in the States. I don't hear about the farms and factories that employ the illegal immigrants, which are brought here by these companies and then fired once they are no longer needed. I don't here about a plan to help the Mexican government tackle the issues of drug use in the US because that is the main reason why the cartels are coming over in the first place.

If "Republicans" or "Tea Party" members want to solve the issue of illegal immigration, then they have to take a close look at where they are living! We live in a country that was founded by immigration down to Native Americans that first came through the Bering Strait. That's not the ONLY point I make when justifying a natural right as a human being. Not only that, but this country thrived from immigrants coming all over the world to bring businesses and ideas. We employ so many illegal immigrants in so many fields because Americans are not going to pick up diapers or berries or corn. They are not going to chop off McDonalds' meat at minimum wage. We are so accustomed to living above everyone else in the world that we as a society are unwilling to see ourselves as anything less than better. And we are so addicted to drugs, that we cannot even imagine a world without them. A study was conducted that showed the dismantling of society if drugs were to just disappear. it heart breaking that we blame Mexico for bringing the violence to AZ, yet we completely neglect the fact that the drug business is booming and we are paying for it!

We also need to realize that the border will ONLY be protected if the infrastructure in Mexico is aided. That's where the problem is and that's where we need to invest in order to truly solve the problem. As a Mexican cop, imagine choosing between a less that $500/a month paycheck or $1,000 bribe? There is no way to obtain loyalty without providing something better than the other guy.

The reason why I bring this up is because everyday some official is shot in Mexico or some talented agent has to resign because his life is at risk. We need to, as a continent, realize that illegal immigration has a lot to do with the fact that we blame the wrong people for the problem. The illegal immigrants are products of their environment. If there were decent wages in Mexico and little chance of getting killed, then they would stay home.

We continue to blame, blame, blame, but when are we going to just look at the facts and fix the problem from there? Maybe when I run for office...


Thursday, July 15, 2010


Recently I've been watching the clouds come by the island and I've been inspired to take pictures of them. Considering that it is beginning of "rainy season" I will be seeing plenty more to come.

These two are the same set of clouds in the same area. I think that's what comes with inspiration. Clouds are so free to move freely through life with their purpose. They constantly change and the beauty of a cloud represents so many things to many people (heaven anyone?).

I also like to take pictures of clouds in sunset because they bring to life the colors of the sky. Sometimes it can be a hint of pinks and blues, or it can be a fiery yellow and orange.

Clouds represent the nomads, the people who chose to leave their home in search of their path. I have found that through leaving, you begin your path and write it yourself, just like clouds do. The moment the water evaporates into the air, clouds begin their journey through the world in search of their path. And destination.

"Devil"- by M. Night Shamylan

Check this trailer out. This movie seems like it has the potential to kill! We'll see if its any good...

Hot for teacher!

As some of you may know, I am currently down in Roatan, Honduras attempting to find myself. I have found some semblance of what my life should be and due is due in part to my teaching experience.

The last time I left off I gave my last director a big "L" for loser, but it was simply because I truly felt the school was completely detrimental to the education of all of its students. This is only an opinion, but I do consider myself knowledgeable based on experience. So when I got to Roatan about one year ago, I chose to start all over in a school where i would feel most at liberty to create something more than just what was in the textbooks. And boy did I get the opportunity of a lifetime!

I met with the director of the school that I wanted to teach at. Two ladies introduce themselves (I will simply give a M and T for their privacy) and we began to talk about our "passion."

As I progressed, I began to give my disgruntled claims to my past experiences. I told them absolutely everything that happened to me in San Pedro Sula, sparing no detail. I wanted them to know that I was not looking for that kind of environment EVER again! I dealt with complete inadequacies of a bilingual school, so I wanted something different.

M discussed the different options with me and even mentioned her ordeals with the Honduran school s one going ystem, so I was pleased to know that I was not the only one going through such a difficult period. As I finished my disgruntled talk, we began to discuss possibilities. With the school, the possibilities seemed limitless. This was a brand new school attempting to find a niche that worked for the students and the teachers.

I began to explain that what I wanted was a working environment in which I was given an outline to perform my tasks and be allowed the opportunity for creativity. I was given the salary expectations, and was told that I would receive a call soon enough.

Well a month came by, and I received my phone call. I had gotten the first grade teaching position, which I must admit I was not too excited for. I went to school and accepted my position, even though I wanted high school, but was satisfied nonetheless. As I came in, I was told by M to read "The First Days of School" by Harry K.Wong; it would be a great way for me to be introduced to the idea of "and effective learning environment." I read the book and based my class on the principles taught by the book.

With this book, I new exactly what was expected of me as a teacher. I needed to be prepared. I needed to be prepared for every single minute of the day in the classroom. I took this extremely to heart because I had the first graders. To me, they are little kids who still want their mommas. But then I also remembered the importance of learning how to read the first chance you get. And I remembered being an ESL student, so I had to take this as my life goal, and that was to teach all of my students the fundamentals of first grade so that they were ready for second grade. This book gave me the key.

My philosophy went past preparation; it meant that I had to be ready to teach the first day of school. But it wasn't the material, such as math or reading, that I had to teach. My first days of school were focus on setting the classroom up fr the students to have an effective learning environment. So, I had to teach rules of the classroom, rewards for good behavior, and consequences for bad behavior. Everything HAD TO BE PREPARED!!!!!

My consequences were pocket cards that told you which color of behavior you were in for the day. Each color represented a consequence for behavior. It was wonderful because the students just love it and loved to get the "white card," which was always good behavior.

Rewards were treats, and surprises, but mostly the satisfaction of contributing to your class with good behavior by receiving a happy face.

With these two concepts, my class was almost ready to begin its course. All I needed were the procedures, or "management" plan for the classroom. It was simply having everything written down about every possible scenario in the classroom. From going to the bathroom to getting your lunch to beginning of the day; everything had to be planned and taught to the students in the first week of school. The reason is that first impressions are important in the classroom. The way in which a teacher chooses to introduce their classroom at the beginning of the year, then that is what the students take from it and will respond on to that setting. So if the teacher is lazy about preparation, had no rules, or consequences, and does not have procedures listed for every minute of the classroom, then it will remain so for the rest of the year.

So I picked to prepare and it turned out to be a gold mine! I will explain through my posts, but let's just say that the classroom was a success. It made me realize how possible this could be for me to be a teacher. I was very good at my job, and I must say I loved doing every moment of it! So there comes a point in time where everyone makes choices in their lives that will have a tremendous impact. I want to be a teacher.

It's funny how once I hated children, but now I am happy to work with's easier to mold them...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Diving...the final frontier in Roatan!

My wonderful future husband has given me a great opportunity to go diving. Now if anyone does not know what I mean by diving, I don't mean to jump into the water head first. I mean taking an oxygen filled tank and going underwater to find the most amazing creatures that we have never seen on land!

I am really nervous about it because I've began reading my textbook, and so far what scares me the most is having my lungs erupt as I come up because I am not breathing! Yeah, those are the kinds of risks you take while diving, but in the end, I have heard many people just say wonderful things about diving. I haven't heard anyone say that their lungs ruptured, but again, one can only thing of the worse and not find the thrill until completed.

As soon as it commences, I will give plenty of information along the way because it's quite exciting! In the meantime, check this video out of divers in Roatan with sharks! Enjoy!

Speaking of Personal Legends...

Lebron James continues to take a beating for making a choice that will definitely take him to the next phase of his life and career. Some people say that he is selfish. Some say that he is too selfless and doesn't want to "work" to win the title. Some people say that he is just taking the "easy road." And the best, he is a despicable coward with little value for integrity.

Lebron James takes care of Lebron James. He KNOWS what he wants because he is the only one that listens everyday to the thoughts going on in his head. He is the one responsible with dealing with all the consequences of making choice for himself. I do not blame him for leaving the Cavaliers. He has made the best choice for himself based on what he tells himself and what he wants out of his life.

Right now, we ALL know his goal: to be a NBA champion. He chose to leave the city he was born in because in seven years he did not win even ONE! The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Based on that fact, Lebron must have believed that if he stayed in Cleveland, he would not win a championship and was crazy. So he took a look at his options and saw what was the BEST scenario to win the championship, and so he made his choice.

Now I say choice and not decision because decision just seems like there is no choice. Lebron James had plenty of choices, but in the end it was the Heat that took him based on the fact that they have the players to assist Lebron in winning a championship. Now I know a lot out there claim that he will be second to Wade, but let's get something straight: the season has not started and nobody knows that. The only thing we do know is that based on the past, these three are superstars and together there is a great chance that GREATNESS will take place for all of us to see. Now that's why everyone should be excited!

Lebron James made the right choice because its his to make. He has nothing to give to anyone, including Cleveland. He spent seven years attempting to bring glory to a sad place. He spent seven years assisting the economy so that many would have great opportunities. But he is finished, and he is allowed to leave once the contract is OVER. And one person cannot control the economy of one place; that's not James' responsibility. For fuck sakes, he could go and live in Africa for the rest of his life if he wants to. It's his life and he chooses what he wants to do, whether everyone agrees or not.

To finish my entry, Lebron James has shown me how much heart he has for his purpose in life and how willing and open he is to following his dreams. He is even more of an inspiration to me because here is this guy that EVEYONE is looking at making a great choice for himself while listening to the world mock him and insult him, yet he really does not let it affect him and his path to self discovery. His faith and his loyalty is to himself and to his "personal legend." That is very admirable because he is doing something that many people hate, but in the end all that he needs to see is results. I think Lebron will win many championships because Lebron is destined for it, and he has taken another step towards that direction.

Congratulations Lebron James! I found this picture appropriate simply because that's why he does what he does: to follow his heart.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Back from Hiatus...

Hello everyone and welcome again to the Travel Companion...

I truly must say that I have not been inspired to write in my blog. I stopped because I started working at my craft, and I just lost interest in writing about my experiences in Honduras in conglomerate with the books that I read. I still want to write about books, but less about them and more about me. I guess the blog is the new way in which an ordinary person can write their feelings, as oppose to a journal, but now share it with the world. I am not sure I want to share such personal feelings, but then again, I could care less what anyone thinks of me. So lets continue on and see if we can reach a new level of fame...

As recently as yesterday, I finished reading the book "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. To give a brief summary, this is the story of a boy named Santiago, who lives on the plains of Andulusia in Spain and herds sheep for a living. He begins to have vivid dreams about a treasure awaiting him at the Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt. He soon begins the quest to find this treasure, and in essence, find himself. The book calls it his "Personal Legend" where every living being has one and must attain it in order to reach the true purpose of one's life. Through trials and tribulations, the boy finds the love of his life, and he finds out that the journey is in essence the personal legend finding itself. He also finds his treasure in a place that he least expected to find it, but you need to read the book to find that one out.

This is the first time I have come across a book of spirituality that I have been able to read. I am not a big fan of religion, and have no real concept of spirituality. I will say here and now that my religion is the freedom of the human being, written in the US Constitution, and my spirituality is based on the ideas of possibilities. My mind is open to endless ideas about the world, but I choose to embrace them as theories, and not concrete facts.

To begin my discussion of this book, I must say that I really liked it. Coelho has a very interesting take on the world and his surroundings. Everything is one, and everything in essence can speak in one language, the language of the heart in the soul of the world. Because we can all speak this one true language of "life," we all function in a similar way. Some living thing, like a single-cell organism, has a purpose to live as a single-cell organism. That is its "Personal Legend." The bees that travel many different planes to find pollen for their nest and cultivate their honey is their "Personal Legend." Every SINGLE living organism in this universe is connected in the fact that we have a purpose to fulfill in our lifetime.

As human beings, we are truly complex creatures with millions of thoughts and feelings that allow us clarity or mist through our paths of self-discovery. Because of the fact that we have created our world based on what we need, we have alienated the surrounding creatures that give us the answers so many of us are desperately trying to find. Coelho uses the term "omen" to describe these signs we seek to guide us. An omen is anything perceived or happening that is believed to portend a good or evil event or circumstance in the future; portent. An omen is also a sign of the language of the heart guiding you on your path to your "Personal Legend." I call them a gut feeling, but there is definitely more to it.

When reading the story, I found it very curious that most of the omens came from other living things, like butterflies or hawks, and it made me wonder how many signs I've been missing while on my path to self discovery. What we often forget is that our lives are all connected by the simple fact that we are alive. Everything on this planet has that one thing in common, and it always the most difficult thing to understand between one another. We see ourselves as different, but the energy that is "life" is in all of us, and it that sense, we are capable of finding our way through life by looking at the life surrounding us and know that although we are one individually, WE ARE ONE COLLECTIVELY. That means that searching for your true path means searching with every other living thing that is searching for theirs. We are not alone, and we can use the symbols and living things around us to find out a little about ourselves and about life.

In order to find one's "personal legend," one must know what that personal legend is. How do I find that out? By looking into your dreams and wondering about yourself and the world around you. Why is it so easy for the bees to find their purpose, but yet so many people all over the world live in complete depression without realizing their true potential? I don't know. I was like that for a period of time where I felt completely lost. I did not know who I was nor did I know what I wanted to do. I forgot about myself and it took me 8 years to realize that I was on the right path to my self discovery, and this was a trial and tribulation for it. When we realize what our path is to discover who we are, we realize that every single problem in our lives has been sent there to test the fact that you will become your personal legend. You see, I've always wanted to be a lawyer. Every since I can remember I wanted to be right all of the time. For a while though, I thought of myself as completely lost and useless. I felt I was a joke and an inconvenience, so I chose to leave my surroundings to find something different. I took the journey of a lifetime to Honduras, thinking that I would find a new home in this country. What I ended up doing is testing myself on the complete limits of my capabilities. I also extended my capabilities to endless possibilities. I now FIRMLY believe that I can do anything that I set my mind to because all of the trials that I have gone through brought me back to my personal legend of becoming a lawyer, well more specifically law professor for I have found an AMAZING passion for teaching. So again, I think I was just able to see, and so many people see while others get lost in the trap of suffering and complaint, which could be the reason they never find themselves.

It's pretty fascinating to me to have this mentality because I am truly grateful now to all of those great ones and assholes (won't mention any names) who made life possible and impossible for me at times. Thank you for your genius and idiocy and I hope you find your own personal legend.