Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Who would have ever thought being homeless could be a goal?

More and more each day it sinks in just what this change in our life will require...and how fulfilling it can be.  My friend JuJu said it best on her comment how all our stuff can be like an anchor around our neck.  Every time I think of ridding ourselves of everything it feels light and gleeful, not the emotion I was expecting.

Part of me wants to rush home and start to make it a reality, but in fitting with our new lifestyle I plan to savor and enjoy each day left in our little abode on wheels.  I've thought about changing the name of the blog to "Senior Moments" to capture the life of an aging couple and our experiences, but I'm afraid to lose my readership.

The first thing I did today was make a list of all the websites and places I need to change our email on.  I want to strictly use a gmail address so when the Charter account goes away I know I have it all prepared.  Along with that I will set up everything to be paperless so we are less and less dependent on mail service.  That will be my project for tomorrow.  One thing at a time or we'll get overwhelmed.

After a light breakfast while Left Brain read the paper laying on top of She Devil, we headed out to Laguna Atacosta for more hiking.

We weren't able to take it all in before and the day was humid and getting warm, but overcast which helped.

There wasn't much water in the area where the gators live but I was startled to see one floating in the "gator tank"...sort of a concrete bathtub for large reptiles.  
He looked very happy to be there.

We hiked around and sat in the photo blind and watched the birds for a while, finally spotting the infamous "green jay" I kept hearing about.  More photos will be shown in tomorrows blog as I haven't had a chance to work with all of them.

When we returned to the canned ham we took sat outside for a bit in the shade and read our kindles before attending the presentation at the club house by the border patrol.

They brought in three border patrol agents and a drug sniffing dog.  To demonstrate the dogs skills they hid a small amount of marijuana and turned the dog lose to find it.  I thought it would have been funny if he went and stopped by one of the campers here, but no...he found it.

They answered questions about the dog training and special gear they wear when tracking illegals through the cactus and brush. The war on drugs is fierce down here and he said not to cross over into Mexico except for the one spot we had, and to walk across, not drive.  We had planned to go back but now I'm not as excited.  They talked about finding mass graves of tour buses that were pulled over and executed.  This is one of those times you're actually safer keeping a very low profile and in small groups.

They showed us a couple of videos of how the cartel operates and warned us when starting the second one that it was very violent and graphic and anyone who wanted to step out should do so now.  I was not prepared for this, even with the warning.

It showed two men who had smuggled drugs for the cartel and then took money from the US as snitches...and got caught.  It was a man and his uncle.  The film was shot by the cartel and sent to the US to show what happens as a warning.  To call it gruesome would be an understatement.

The two men had their hands tied behind their backs and looked as though they had been beaten or tortured already.  Then they used a chainsaw to decapitate the uncles head while making the other man watch, since he had brought his uncle into this.  His death was not so quick and much more painful.

What appeared to be a very dull knife was used to saw across his neck with several stabs made to the chest and shoulders.  You could hear the air coming out through the trachea as he wasn't able to voice a scream anymore, just air.  They kept sawing away until the head was severed and placed on his torso.  I thought I was going to throw up.  It's one thing to see violence in films and know it's staged and has special effects used, but this was real.  It was very sobering.

Some of the questions asked were if the wall was helping and it definitely is.  There is about 12 miles of wall in our area and it has significantly cut back the number of illegals crossing as well as drugs coming in.  The drugs that are taken are transported to Houston to be incinerated, but taken in trucks that appear to be other cargo such as Walmart trucks.  Even the agents don't know where the facility is.

Someone asked what the agent would like to see done to end the drug problem.  He explained that if you kill one of the cartel leaders another instantly comes in to take his place.  What he would like to see done, and in all honesty, is to see planes with Roundup sent over the fields to destroy the product.  They have the technology to spot humans from the helicopters, it wouldn't be a hard thing to send a plane or a drone over the growing fields.

The drug problems are starting younger and younger with many children starting milder drugs at the age of 10 or 12.  Children are also used as runners since they can't be arrested as an adult.  The agent spoke of one young 17 year old being caught by them 26 times.  They are waiting for his 18th birthday.

It's a very serious problem and it feels odd to be so close to it, but I feel that where we are staying is far enough away from the border to not be in immediate danger. I'm just hoping I can sleep tonight without seeing those two men dying, it was a bit more reality than desired.

Long Live the Queen staying on this side of the border

1 comment:

  1. Massachusetts is feeling a lot safer now. I would have had to leave the room and not watch the film. You are much braver than I am.

    I am so excited for you about traveling about the country in a home on wheels. I can't wait to see the photos of the green jay. I've only seen them in pictures. Just think of all the beautiful birds and wildlife you will have the opportunity to see and photograph! Wow! You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.