Saturday, November 22, 2008

La Casa de Junny

Yesterday was an important day, a - small, perhaps, but very important -social progress day in Puerto Rico.

Yesterday the first in Puerto Rico assisted living house for people with mental retardation has been inaugurated in Mayaguez by AMPI: Associacion Mayaguezana de Personas con Impedimentos.

The house is called La Casa de Junny - named after Junny, a person with mental retardation, who died a couple of years ago.

It is a very nice house. Large, with plenty of room for 8 people and with separate appartments downstairs for the caretakers.

Until now in Puerto Rico adults with mental retardation could only live with their families - if they were lucky enough to have families able to house them and take care of them, or live in oldfashioned, often dehumanized institutions. Now it will all change. They will be able to live independently, yet assited by the caretakers they need.

Casa de Junny has ample space for both togetherness and privacy for its occupants.

It has an ample formal living room

Here filled with AMPI's employees preparing for the house's inauguration

An entry parlor

An ample dining room

adjacent to the living room

and a comfortable family/entertainment room in another part of the building
with a flat screen TV and a nice sound system

There is also a little study, where we hope to have a computer soon

There is also a well equipped
eat-in kitchen with storage and laundry

with a large adjacent terrace, serving as an outdoor living and dining room

balconies on three sides of the building

and a large yard with fruit trees, plants and lawns to use for outdoor exercise.

Last but not least
There are six individual bedrooms upstairs
each of them different
to accommodate various preferences of their new inhabitants
each of them comfortable
and each lovingly arranged
by AMPI staff and volunteers, thanks to generous donations from the people of Mayaguez and surrounding communities.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It starts so innocently

My Puertorican teenage cats wake up and start grooming each other...

Grooming, grooming...

Grooming, grooming....

When suddenly.... a fight erupts!

Fighting, fighting....

Fighting, fighting....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taino Indians

Today's brunch meeting of the Mayaguez International Friendship Club was devoted to Puerto Rico's heritage: Taino Indians.

Sebastian Acosta from Cabo Rojo presents Taino Indian's culture
It was a double treat: Sebastian Acosta from Cabo Rojo, a devoted Taino culture enthusiast prepared an exhibition of Taino artifacts and gave a presentation on Taino's life and customs.

And a dance and music group Raices Sagradas brought the very sad Taino history to life playing and dancing it.

If you want to see a Raices Sagradas performance by yourself, you can: there will be two performances in Yauco on November 28 and 29.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No luck with the car... :-((((

Shock absorbers, fluid and coolant exchange... all of it is going to cost me today close to $900!!!
After I spent about $ 500 on it last month (starter, oil change, belts, air filter).
And it irks me that I have another car, waiting idle for me, on the mainland. :-((((

Boy, is life on this island expensive!!!! Sigh....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


An early evening view from my balcony . The weather's fine!

I finely ( after 2 and a half month) got a cable TV and internet at my new place.

Long story: All utilities: electric, water, cable is in my landlady's name and she wants to keep it that way. She is a nice and wellmeaning lady, once you learn to know her, but she was absent most of the time and I had a lot of troubles to get in touch with her. Finally this month I decided to postpone paying rent until everything I needed fixed got fixed.

Looks like it worked almost like a charm: less than two weeks and I got a missing window screen, cable fixed, internet installed and a plumber is supposed to come later today. So now i can post some pictures of my new place - as it is now.

And here is the same view in the middle of the day. A boat is passing in front of Desecheo island. (Click to see the details)

My guests (Katrina and Disa) in an animated conversation one Saturday afternoon

Here is my kitchen
my living room...
with a good luck "goldfish" I once bought on Galveston island now hanging in a Puertorican net...

When I drag the table - and chairs - back inside from the balcony, they serve as a dining room/study.

Definitively minimalistic... save for the abundance of cats everywhere! Cats by the table...

Cats on the table...

Cats in front of the TV...
Cats in my recliner...

Cats in every corner...

Cats in cat beds...

Cats on top of the refrigerator...
Cats on top of the world... er.. on top of the stackable washer and dryer ...

Cats on the balcony...

...and all the cats in my bed! It's time to retire - they tell me: come on in, there is place for you, too! :-)

It's night already. Behind the bedroom window a silvery moon is reflecting in the sea...