Thursday, November 26, 2009

October 2009

October 13 was a lucky day for me. I had my uterus and four pounds of fibroids taken out. I stayed one night at the fabulous Sutter Hospital in Santa Cruz. I call it the Hilton of Hospitals because I had a huge suite to myself, with guest bed for Andre if he'd chosen to stay, a TV with all the channels and a choice of movie videos, the food was as good as any hotel room service, the staff is so nice and helpful....but best of all, no loud speakers paging doctors and nurses all night, so I slept really well.

In the evening we practically had a party in my hospital room with Andre, of course, plus Moy and his wife Lety and their children Erik and Janette, and our Oaxacan neighbors Ana and Antonio and their children Vianny and Xhunaxhi. By the next morning I was off the IV, off painkillers, and ready to go home. My recovery has been incredibly fast and easy. I can't believe the difference between today's hysterectomies and the old days when they cut open your whole belly.

Here I am modeling my friend Linda Sage's handmade stone jewelry. If you'd like to see more samples you can email her at Andre continues to study flute, Spanish and English at Cabrillo College.

The neighbor girls, plus our friends Shasta and foster daughter Mariah, enjoyed making masks at the local community center.

On October 30 we accompanied our friend Lynn to the airport to pick up her fiance Mohamed. They met in Guinea when she was studying West African dance. Lynn wanted our company, but also everything went easier since Andre and Mohamed are able to communicate in French. Mohamed speaks two African languages, but only completed 2nd grade, so his French is limited. He seems really smart and eager to learn English, so I think he'll have a good life here in Santa Cruz. He's already started teaching some dance classes.

Poor Mohamed was so tired after two days of traveling, and starving because the airlines don't feed you anymore, so we stopped for Thai food on the way home. Andre wore his rasta cap to welcome Mohamed who has real dredlocks.

Andre still has four doves, but would like to find a new home for them. With his busy American lifestyle he doesn't have time to enjoy them like he did back in Haiti.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Halloween 2009

I made a little video of Halloween on Pacific Avenue for my YouTube channel: chelseamaya.

Halloween was pretty mellow. Andre worked from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. as a security guard on Pacific Avenue, so I borrowed his rasta cap with dreds and sunglasses to walk around and check out the scene. Santa Cruz had braced itself in advance for the onslaught of local and out-of-town revelers who parade up and down the avenue each Halloween. Plastic wrap protected the trees and plants, portable chain-link fences prevented cars from entering the avenue, cops and private security guards from surrounding areas joined the local forces, and the cost of being drunk-in-public tripled. To top it off, a helicopter circled the downtown all night long, keeping a lot of neighbors awake till past midnight.

Compared to other years, this was a quiet one with an estimated crowd of 20,000 and no violence, much to Andre's relief. I popped down in the afternoon and after dark to photograph and video tape and to say hi to Andre. Mostly I stayed at home and waited for the scarce trick-or-treaters.

Andre and a co-worker for 1st Alarm. A future police officer also patrolled the streets.

A tribute in pink to the Umbrella Man of Santa Cruz. A Day of the Dead couple.

My favorites were this little pirate and a creative portrayal of Frida Kahlo.