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Sunday, November 20, 2016


By Silvia Uribe

Traveling, no doubt, is one of the greatest pleasures for those of us who like adventure, people, new experiences, and surprises. Also, as Gustave Flaubert said "Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." I totally agree.

The first step when traveling, is to think about where to go, and draw a mental map of what I want to see there. I like suggesting a place, and waiting for the counter-proposals that I may get from my travel partner. The decision is always based on the place that offers the most, at the best price. Then looking for comfortable accommodations, also at a fair price, may take some time, but this proves to be a good investment.

I enjoy the investigation part – an elementary step, my dear reader. What is there to discover? The great internet window reveals the answer to me in my own living room, while I sip a delicious coffee. I take mental and written notes of what will later become a reality. With each day, the excitement grows and the wait decreases. The anxiety is unavoidable, mainly, because we leave our obligations behind. We feel we are indispensable.

Finally, the day is here. Maybe we will travel a few hours or many more. If we travel by plane, we accept the idea of a stressful trip, due to the time wasted at airports, cancelled flights or marathons through those long hallways with electric bands that go so slow that using them may mean losing our connection flight. We run next to them instead.

Sooner or later we get to our destiny. Big sigh of relief.

After I get to a new place, I like to go out for a walk on the nearby streets, to know what’s around: the names of the streets, convenience and other stores, transportation, and what have you. Maybe, I want to know this to feel, from the get go, that I’m not lost, and so that things can slowly become familiar to me.

Once I get to the place I will call home for a pre-determined amount of days, I love looking out the window, and filling my eyes with whatever I can see, what’s different, what I never saw before and, maybe, to point at places that look interesting. I enjoy setting the goal to get to those places, even if I don’t know how to get there. This experience, of figuring things out is exciting to me. Maybe little children don’t feel as excited, because that’s their life. They discover new things every day. For us, adults, is not like that. We know and have experienced most things, or so we think. But, when we encounter something new, our sensation progresses from insecurity, to excitement, and once we figure it out, to satisfaction.

Taking a trip and not walking a lot, is not really traveling. During my travel adventures, I walk 6-8 hours a day. I walk, and I also take all kinds of transportation. Because of this, I have traveled by horse, mule, car, bus, motorcycle, bicycle, pedi-cab, tram, metro, train, bullet train, rickshaw, “trajinera”, “gondola” aqua-bus, “aliscafo”, jetski, boat, motor boat, ship, aircraft carrier, small planes, commercial planes, and war planes, funicular and helicopter. Never in a submarine, because I’m claustrophobic, or in a balloon because it scares me to death. My transportation dream? A flying car, like the Jetsons’, but I must wait a few years for that one.

However, what I like the most about traveling is the people I meet. I like knowing, and so I ask them, how they live, what they like, if they are satisfied with their life. I ask them who they consider important life, what they their government gives them, and what it takes from them; what they can and cannot do in terms of social freedom, and what are their ambitions. I also enjoy sharing what they want to know, of course. These interactions are usually a humbling experience, and gives the other person, and me, an intellectual intimacy and understanding that goes way beyond words.

Talking about words, languages come easily for me. But, when I do not speak the language, I truly enjoy the goodwill of people to understand what I say, and  their willingness to make themselves understood. It is like playing “charades”. We use our bodies, our minds, and we get frustrated, and then we laugh, and start all over again, until communication is achieved. Traveling without communicating with natives is not a complete experience to me; I may know the place we visit, but I don’t get to know the culture’s soul.

So, I like those traveling days with no obligations or concerns other than looking for experiences or objects that will remain in my mind and possession, and that I will be able to share with those interested. Today, one can make a book of each trip. Mine have pictures and brief comments. I like this online technology option because that way I  can capture the images and sensations of the moment without eventually forgetting about them or losing the pictures who knows where.

After each trip, my friends ask me if I would go back to the same place. My standard answer is no. It is not interesting to me to see what I have already seen, when there is so much to discover out there. The world is vast, my friend, and it always has something new and intriguing to offer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Por Silvia Uribe.

Cuando callamos, nuestra mente vuela,
nuestras ideas se expanden,
nuestros ojos cuchichean
lo que la boca no osa decir;
eso que intriga, que muerde o que mata,
a veces, lo que ninguno desea oir.

Cuando callamos, el sonido puro
del pensamiento no se interrumpe.
La voz tenue del alma sigue alli
y es como si guaradáramos un tesoro
que a nadie le quisiéramos descubrir.

Los pensamientos se esfuman con tan poco
y el silencio es tan efectiva proteccion,
que si lo rompemos primero
el pensamiento vuela y se escapa 
de la mano de otro pensamiento seductor

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Por Silvia Uribe.

(Para Adolfo)

No te vayas aún, hay tanto por hablar
Tanto que decir, tanto que preguntar,
A pesar de ser cercano, no se te conocía,
Hasta que un buen día, por fin, nos pusimos a charlar.

Te fuí descubriendo de a poco
Y  fuí apreciándote cada vez más
Ví por primera vez a esa persona
A la que es tan sencillo querer y admirar.

Te extranaremos todos; mi madre en especial,
Tus bromas, tus cuentos y tu memoria sin igual,
¿Quién nos relatará la historia?
¿Quién nos dará nombre, fecha y lugar?

No te vayas aún, todavía hay tanto por hablar,
Cuando te vayas nos quedará un vacío,
Que solo a tu retorno se volverá a llenar.


Monday, May 9, 2016


By Silvia Uribe

Maybe I should start with a full disclosure. I am an independent thinking Democrat, which, to me, only means that I don’t follow, or agree, on everything with the Democratic Party. By default, this also means that I have the ability to see, and agree on certain points coming from the opposite side. What? I know, I know. This not only raises a few brows here and there. It also puts me in the “endangered species” category of the, so called, political pragmatics. Precisely because I am an independent thinker, I would like for everyone to be one. However, this seems a lost battle these days when we, as a country, are so polarized, so intolerant of others’ opinions, and so close minded, with the cliche attitude of “it is my way, or the highway.”

The result of that extreme polarization? Donald Trump and his boisterous campaign. In my humble opinion, he is also the result of the lack of imagination and vision on the Republican Party side (sorry Republican friends). If we look back on how things developed, we can vividly remember that the Republican Party never liked Trump as a candidate; they thought he was a “joke”, at the very least. Joke or not, however, Republicans were afraid of him and his threats of creating a third party “if not treated well.” They thought that if he did, it would weaken their party, so, they let him be. By lacking action, they also allowed him prey on people’s primary instincts: fear, anxiety, anger, desire for power, hatred. He used then and now, the "psychology of the masses", as they call it. By the time Republicans were willing to do something about it, it was too late. They most likely will have an unscrupulous presidential candidate, who in his own words, is “greedy for power” and doesn’t care that his inflammatory words can cause riots, or even the possibility of people physically and verbally attacking members of “undesirable” groups, i.e. women, Latinos, Muslims, and counting.

The only good thing that I see about Donald Trump is that, now, many Republicans and most Democrats despise him, and are able to see him for what he is: a fraud and a danger to this country. Hey, we have not agreed on anything else for years now!

The reason that I write this column at this point, is because it is sickening to me to think that the Republican Party could give its endorsement to this “trumper” (urban dictionary: A brash, pretentious, narcissistic man who makes outrageous, controversial statements and engages in attention-seeking behavior for money or fame.) who's willing to trump up ( to devise deceitfully or dishonestly. Fabricate.) everything and everyone. His opponents, and other party members, from Chris Christie,  Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina to the Bush family and even Paul Ryan have declared their distaste for Mr. Trump, but some of them have, and others might gather around him, and give him  their endorsement after having a few meetings with him at the White House next Wednesday. Seriously?

Do Republican Party members really think that they can trust this guy? He is going to say anything in order to get his hunger for power satisfied. These are a few examples to prove it:

-         -  Trump  has criticized candidates who raise money for their presidential campaigns – He is, as we speak,  getting ready to raise serious money and has a Super PAC already in formation
           - He has said that he doesn’t want illegal immigration (I would rather have those who work on the fields to have the opportunity to live here legally too) and wants to deport people left and right, but he yesterday said he loves Hispanics, and celebrated 5 de Mayo with a “huge” American style tostada bowl.

-         -  He said at a debate that he would order the military to use torture with terrorists, waterboarding or worse, and then when confronted in an interview he said “I would not ask the military to do anything illegal”

-          - He, from the get go of his campaign, has attacked  women. He now wants to gain their vote by being quasi-charming (not really), and so on.

Paul Ryan said that he is not ready yet to support him, unless he thinks that Trump will run a campaign of which Republicans could be proud. Is this a possibility in Ryan’s mind at this point? Is he, and others, ready to go ahead and endorse him just to have a vocally (not politically) strong contestant against Hillary Clinton? I believe it is morally wrong that they are willing to put our country at stake that way.

Sad. Very sad.