Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What is Patriotism?

Today, Lyle’s elementary in school in La Manzanilla, Mexico offered a flag presentation. Once everyone was lined up and in place the 6th graders marched out replicas of the various flags Mexico has had over the years. Then director approached the microphone and announced he would recite the Pledge of allegiance.

All the children and parents dutifully raised their hands to their chests (including Rick and I) and recited the pledge. Lyle raised his hand and half-heartily mouthed the words (afterwards he told me he didn’t really know what the words were). But as I watched him, it occurred to me Rick and I had never talked to him about pledging allegiance or patriotism.

After the ceremony, as the children raced back to their classrooms, I started thinking about patriotism, countries and flags. Do we really need to pledge an allegiance without understanding the meaning? How do we balance Lyle’s US heritage with a worldview? How do we convey allegiance to principles of liberty and justice, humanity and generosity, to all regardless of birth nation?

If I teach him to pledge, just to be dutiful and polite then I’m sending the wrong message. Duty and politeness over principles is never the correct choice.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Lost Marathon

We don’t have a TV in our La Manzanilla house. Well, we don’t have a TV that gets reception we use the TV just to watch movies. Most movies are available on DVD here within a day or two of their theater release. But that’s another post.

This is about our recent Lost Marathon. I have to admit I’m addicted to the series Lost. On a recent trip back to the US for business, Rick bought season 4 and 5 on DVD. I’m not sure if you’ve ever watched a series on DVD but it’s the only way to go! Just when that anticipated commercial break happens….boom, you are on to the next scene, its commercial free heaven.

I feel terribly guilty admitting to doing something so wasteful as watching TV all day, but alas, Rick and I watched 5 episodes on Saturday!

Any other Lost fans out there?

Friday, February 12, 2010

FM3 – get it right the first time.

We live in La Manzanilla Mexico, 10 months out of the year. We have FM3 status and we need to get to Manzanillo to renew our papers. Only problem is we’ve moved and we moved last year while immigration had our paperwork so we just “neglected” to mention it when we received our FM3’s. We figured, “why gunk up the process, we’ll take care of next year.” Well, it’s next year and we finally got around to taking care of it….sort of.

We thought we’d just go to Telemex in Manzanillo, change our address and then have them print out a new bill with our current address. But drat, it’s tough to get to Telemex during the day without having Lyle miss school. So we kept putting it off.

Today I called the office. Guess what? You can change your address over the phone, easy, yeah! After it was changed I asked in my best Spanish if we could stop at the office next week and have them print out a new bill with the new address that we could take to immigration. NO, the address isn’t updated in THAT computer system, we’ll have to wait for our March 8th bill…but our immigration papers expire March 7th!