I drove through Del Rio on my recent Texas trip to San Antonio and Austin so had a few hundred miles of fairly deserted desert/prairie/hills to contemplate the reality of being a refugee…I didn’t see the Del Rio bridge under which a few thousand Haitian climate refugees were sheltering but they were very much on my mind. The UN Refugee Agency estimates there are 82.4 million people forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2020—displaced by “persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order.” What’s not directly stated is the number of these that are in some ways, directly or indirectly, climate-change refugees—the UN says there were 21.5 million in the spring of this year. What we do know, given the general incompetence of every single governmental entity in the world and their universal inability to solve any problems of conflict or climate whatsoever, the numbers will only grow.
I am one of the world’s fortunate, tooling down the highway on my way to visit granddaughters, an elder with family and friends within visiting distance, all of us relatively safe for the immediate future. I try to imagine not knowing if my elderly brother, my dear sons and grandchildren and cousins, are even alive much less safe. I try to imagine knowing I would never see them again. And not knowing if my friends survived the last riot or bomb; did any of them drown in the last hurricane? I try not to think about the future when some or all of the people to whom I’m close will surely be among the displaced and lost. Those of us surviving the guns and drugs will likely be starving or gasping for breathable air as we continue to kill the planet at an ever faster pace. I am so angry. And feel so hopeless.
HOWEVER, these post are intended to be about my happy visits to see some of those people whom I love and cherish…and, among the younger ones, where there is still hope for the future.
June, 2021 was spent back home in Minnesota; this last week of September with granddaughters in Texas. In both places, family and friends…what really matters when all is said and done. This post, People in My Life: Texas, will cover the most recent pleasures of Patricia and Teresa, in their respective cities of San Antonio and Austin, with their respective companions, Luna and Jon. It will be followed by People in My Life: Minnesota/South Dakota.
Patricia has a great job, just passed her dental assistant test (and has plans to become a medical coder which involves way too many numbers and not nearly enough adjectives for someone like me—who can barely count), a comfy apartment, and the world’s prettiest, smartest, most compatible roommate.
On Sunday, Patricia and I drove over to Austin, where I would hang out another couple of days with Teresa and Jon, and friend Celia and I could travel plan, no easy task in the time of covid.
Teresa’s working remotely for her San Francisco engineering firm and Jon’s pursuing his doctorate at UT Austin. Just moved into a pleasant apartment with a grandmother’s room (I’m pretty sure that’s what they said it was…); they do need a dog but I’m told that Jon’s very nearly as nice a roommate as Luna.