Wednesday, October 13, 2004

the american dream

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i bet by now you've heard about wangari maathis' recognition. totally cool.

stories such as these resonate deep within me. its that whole american dream thing especially when its etched in the mind of an immigrant. does it happen. is it real. when do you know you've grasped it..does it include being saturated in debt? last saturday was the 3rd year annivasary since i landed in america. & what a ride it has been. i marked the day with conversation and a wig..another faith/hair venture..anyhows, so i was thinking, i can't believe its been three years. it's only just yesterday i had no pooky, baby sitting and terrified of crossing roads. we take a step at a time, rest our weary feet if we have to, look back, give thanks for the journey & keep on moving.

i'm learning to slowly, and sometimes excruciatingly so, to trust the process. i admit, i didn't have the foggiest idea that this transition from home was going to be so hard and bittersweet. a friend of mine b also from home says once you get interested in who your congress - person is, know you are getting comfortable.. leaving is never such sweet sorrow, its the ultimate misery.

nakachi wonders what's up with the diamond ring. i am very conscious about that and i did my research before i decided to get one. karma can be such a bytch. i do not want my fingers to be stained with blood.

i'm turning 28-ish. in december..almost 30!! (interjection SCREAM) i'm besides panic now. at least most of my gfriends aren't hitched yet. it's not that i have THAT many friends, which is a relief. I mean, id be swallowed in MAJOR peer pressure. my roomie got engaged two months ago and its all about WEDDING WEDDING WEDDING..i so wish she was getting a ken-america wedding.. with ngurario and all that..

i was kinda getting euu about the blog. not that i didn't want to write anymore. concerned mainly with the direction of it. i have all these things swimming in my head, what is appropriate for public/private consumption. my blog, for all terms and purposes is essentially for me. and yet, im voyeuristic. i like to peep into peoples' spaces, see whether there is any intersection, any familiarity, any comfort in their travels. & you know i won't stop...

"My American dream has turned into a nightmare," she said, over a glass of strawberry Kool-Aid in her listing trailer. Until recently, she had made a life on $7.50 an hour. She has become a temporary worker in a plastics plant that used to be based in Michigan, earning minimum wage, no benefits, no security. Her husband, Miguel, is unemployed. The mortgage on the slapdash home is in peril.

"I worry about the future," she said, echoing the sentiment of blue-collar and increasingly of white-collar workers from Los Angeles to Detroit, people who find their jobs being shipped to countries where wages are a small fraction of theirs.

When VF Jeanswear, the maker of Wrangler and Lee jeans, announced in September that it was moving the last of its jeans production and more than 1,000 jobs to Mexico, it was the death of that industry in a town once known as Blue Jean Capital, U.S.A. Levi Strauss, Sun Apparel, Wrangler, Lee and Farah do not make jeans here anymore.

Proponents of increased international trade say that it ultimately creates more jobs in the United States and lowers prices for consumers here.

But in the 11 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as Nafta, was ratified, more than 17,000 garment manufacturing jobs have gone away, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, some to Mexico, some to China, and some to China by way of Mexico. Gone, too, is the good American life described by women like Mrs. Miranda, who has two teenage children. The $7- to $10-an-hour job, the health insurance, McDonald's double cheeseburgers, the $200 apartments in the back of a day care center with a communal toilet, all gone. < more > (user id: kiparangoto/ pwd: muthoni )


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