I had a great weekend. After all of that canvassing, Alejandra invited me and a few of her friends to go pick some blueberries. It was really fun and the blueberries were so delicious! Ever since she moved from Chicago to southern Illinois for school, she’s been doing all types of rural things like that.
It reminded me of all of my mom’s stories about labor organizing with the migrant workers. Except in this case, it was just picking blueberries for an hour rather than all day, and we could work at our own pace. I can’t even imagine how people work all day in that heat. I like going on outdoor adventures, but working outside all day in hot and muggy weather seems like a bad idea. No wonder they were always fighting for more pay and better conditions. They deserved it. And they still do.
We didn’t spend too much time out there in the hills because it was over 100 degrees and high humidity. Also, Alejandra says the prices have gone up again this year due to another summer drought. So we didn’t want to pick more than we could pay for. But it was fun while it lasted. I spent a little time talking to Ermete, which was nice. I also talked to Alejandra’s friend Jess for a long time. Mi prima knows a lot of charming and beautiful people!
In other news, Miami has been hit by another storm. It wasn’t as bad as Florence but it did cause a lot of problems. Maybe it was for the best though because now people are taking the idea that Miami is permanently underwater seriously. This idea is obvious to me, but so many people are still in denial. How can a major U.S. city just be underwater for good? Nothing like that has ever happened before. We’ve had some hard times in coastal cities for most of my life, but this is the worst the U.S. has ever seen. Miami really is underwater.
It’s been interesting for me to see how people in southern Illinois respond. Most of them have probably never been to Miami. But I go to the bars and restaurants with Alejandra and I hear all of these people talking about it. “How can this be happening? What can we do? This has to be global warming. Why haven’t they made fossil fuels illegal yet? We have to do something.”
These are all good questions. It’s good that people as far away as Illinois are this upset about what’s going on in Miami. I’m really excited about the panel discussion on Wednesday. We can start coming up with some serious answers to these questions.
I’m a little nervous about it though because I found out that there will be a speaker from the Green Front on the panel. That means everything will be much more dangerous. Homeland Security will have people there. Those crazy anti-green militias might show up. I don’t know what the ones in Illinois are called, but I’m sure they’re at least as crazy as the ones in Florida. There might be arguments, fistfights, loaded weapons, people getting arrested. But I’m still going to speak. I’m not Green Front, so they can’t arrest me just for talking about Miami. Not yet, anyway. And my mother was a community organizer, so I’m not going to let anyone bullying me into staying silent. I’m not very political, so this is the first time I’ve been on a panel like this. But I will say what I have to say about Miami. They can complain, but they can’t stop me.
I may not post tomorrow because I’ll be continuing the job search and meeting with a few more of Alejandra’s friends for dinner. Maybe I’ll post something small if I have time before bed. Either way, you can be sure that I’ll post something after the meeting on Wednesday, even if it’s very short. That way you’ll know that I wasn’t captured by Homeland Security or the anti-green militias. I say that jokingly, but only half jokingly. Wish me luck.