Queer African Reader/Libro Africanx de lectura jotx


I’m so excited to read this book!  ¡Estoy muy entusiasmadx en leer este libro!

I have begun to read the introduction, and although I don’t use the word “queer”, largely since I see that it refers almost exclusively to politicized white non-heterosexual people in the U.S., I appreciate the definition that the editors, Sokari Ekine and Hakima Abbas provide in the introduction (p. 4) – “We use the term ‘queer’ here and in the title to denote a political frame rather than a gender identity or sexual behavior.  We use queer to underscore a perspective that embraces gender and sexual plurality and seeks to transform, overhaul and revolutionize African order rather than seek to assimilate into the oppressive hetero-patriarchal-capitalist frameworks.  Queer is our dissident stance, but we use it knowing the limitations of the terminology in relation to our African neocolonial realities.”  Ya comence a leer la introducción, y aunque no uso la palabra “queer”, más porque la veo usada casi exclusivamente para referirse a gente blanca no heterosexual en los EEUU, aprecio como la definen en la introducción lxs editorxs Sokari Ekine y Hakima Abbas – “Usamos el concepto ‘queer’ aca y en el titulo del libro para significar un marco político en lugar de una identidad de genero o de comportamiento sexual.  Usamos queer para subrayar una perspectiva cual abarca la pluralidad de genero y sexualidad y cual busca transformar, revisar, y hacer revolucionaria la orden Africana en vez de buscar asimilarse a los marcos heteros-patriarcales-capitalistas.  Ser jotx es nuestra posición de disidentes, pero lo usamos reconociendo los limites de esta terminología en el contexto de nuestras realidades Africanas neocoloniales.”

And Awino Okech in “‘In sisterhood and solidarity’: queering African feminist spaces” defines (p. 27) “Heteronormative is used here to refer to institutions, structures of understanding and practical orientations that make heterosexuality seem not only coherent, i.e. organized as sexuality, but also privileged.”

Y Awino Okech “‘En la hermanidad de mujeres y solidaridad’:  Jotiando espacios feministas africanos” define “Heteronormal se usa aca al referirse a las instituciones, las estructuras de entendimiento y las orientaciones practicas cuales hacen que la heterosexualidad parezca coherente, o sea organizada como sexualidad, y además privilegiada.”

Clear and crisp, I can’t wait to learn about queer African analyses and experiences! ¡Claro y escueto, estoy anciosx en aprender de las analises y experiencias jotxs Africanas!


Arnica, lavender muscle oil/Aceite de arnica y lavanda para los musculos

I’m excited to have made another batch of arnica oil!  It is such a friend to relieve sore muscles and stress release.  I always work to use organic ingredients, and Mountain Rose Herbs is the best!

Estoy entusiasmadx que hice otra cantidad de aceite de arnica.  Es unx amigx para aliviar los musculos dolorosos y para sacar el estres.  Siempre lucho para usar ingredientes organicos, y Mountain Rose Herbs es de lo mejor!


Resistance/Protection of Our People Ramps Up/La Resistencia/Protección de nuestros pueblos surge

For any one who had any hopes that Drumpf wasn’t going to be such a bad/pathetic/cruel/racist/fascistic president, this first week shattered those hopes. For the real, it is not just about the man, it is about the country that produces the epitome of the ugly american/aka gringo.  Drumpf’s racism, misogyny, xenophobia, fascism, has always been a part of the U.S. as apple pie, others just hid it better as they bombed poor and working Black, Brown, Red and Asian people around the world, on the ideological low.

Pa lxs que tenian ilusiones que el Drumpf no iba ser presidente tan malo/patético/cruel/racista/facista, esta primer semana acabo con ese chantaje.  Para decirlo deveras, esto no tiene que ver solo con el hombre, tiene que ver con un país que produce la sima el gringo feo.  El racismo, la misogenía, la xenofobia, el fascismo siempre a sido parte de los EEUU, tan gringo como la torta de manzana, lxs otrxs solo lo pintaron mejor mientras a la vez le hechaban bombas a gente Negra, Morena, Roja, y Asiatica en todo el mundo, ocultado ideológicamente.

So, it will take all of us, to get rid of this rotten system, through the democratic means we have access to.  This is the revolutionary moment we have all dreamed of, what you gonna do?  I have always believed throughout my 50 plus years, that the best part of the U.S. are its people.  Not all of them, but the people who really love, who really are in solidarity, who really put themselves on the line. Whether they are christian, muslim, jewish, hindu, pagan, agnostic, atheist.  And I have repeatedly seen it throughout all these years, but we really have to ramp it up yesterday.  How do we go beyond marching to transform this epitome of the U.S. nightmare we see playing out over and over again, and which Malcolm X called out clearly?  I think we have to continue to use our imaginations, our solidarity, our love, our connections, our clear-eyed analyses, and our refusal to collaborate with evil.  I think many of those voters for Drumpf and his billionaire fascist backers, if not yet, are now or soon going through buyers’ remorse because look at the charlatan that many of us fear we would end up with.  American as putrid apple pie.

Entonces nos toma todxs, pa sacar este sistema podrido, por medio de las vias democráticas a las cuales tenemos acceso.  Este es justamente el momento revolucionario con cual soñamos, tu, que vaz a hacer?  Siempre, en mis más de 50 años, he pensado que lo mejor de los EEUU es su gente.  No toda, pero la gente que verdaderamente ama, que verdaderamente esta en solidaridad, lxs que ponen el pecho.  Incluso lxs cristianxs, lxs musulmanes, lxs judixs, lxs hindues, lxs paganxs, lxs agnosticxs, lxs ateos.  Y lo he visto tras todos estos años, pero tenemos que adelantar su surgimiento, ante ayer.  Y como vamos al más alla que las marchas para transformar esta cima de la pesadilla gringa, cuya toca esa misma cancióncita año, tras año, tras año, la cual Malcolm X apunto claramente?  Piens que tenemos que seguir usando nuestra imaginación, nuestra solidaridad, nuestros amores, nuestras conexxiones, nuestras análises claritas ojos abiertos, y negar colaborar con lo malo.  Pienso que muchos de esxs quienes votaron para Drumpf y sus patrocinadores facistas multi milionarios sienten o van a sentir remordimiento de compra, hecho el chantaje que muchxs temiamos que resulto.  Tan gringo como la torta de manzana pudrida.

Impeachment certainly won’t do it, although the right almost did it for much less against philandering Bill.  Who wants hyper homophobe/misogynist Pence, with the same billionaire players in probably the least representative government since Jim Crow times?  La destitución no lo lograra, aunque la derecha casi lo logro por mucho menos contra el mujeriego Bill.  Quien quiere el super homofóbico/misógino Pence, con los mismos multi milionarios patrocinadores facistas en uno de los gobiernos menos representativos desde los tiempos de Jim Crow?

We are the people, the mighty mighty people!  ¡Nosotrxs somos el pueblo, el pueblo todo poderoso!  

The Women’s March Continues Year Two of the Resistance to the Current Fascism/La Marcha de Mujeres Sigue con el año dos de la resistencia al facismo actual

Desde Ft. Worth, Texas con mi hermanita Teresita y sus compas/From Ft. Worth, Texas with my younger sister, Teresita and her buddies –

hasta yo en Nueva York, con mis cuates/to me in New York with my buds –

As Angela Y. Davis says in Freedom Is A Constant Struggle  Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of A Movement – “Since the rise of global capitalism and related ideologies associated with neoliberalism, it has become especially important to identify the dangers of individualism.  Progressive struggles–whether they are focused on racism, repression, poverty, or other issues–are doomed to fail if they do not attempt to develop a consciousness of the insidious promotion of capitalist individualism.  Even as Nelson Mandela always insisted that his accomplishments were collective, always also achieved by the men and women who were his comrades, the media attempted to sanctify him as a heroic individual.  A similar process has attempted to disassociate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the vast numbers of women and men who constituted the very heart of the mid-twentieth century US freedom movement.  It is essential to resist the depictions of history as the work of heroic individuals in order for people today to recognize their potential agency as part of an ever-expanding community of struggle.”  Como nos cuenta Angela Y. Davis en La Libertad es una Lucha Constante  Ferguson, Palestina y la Fundación de un Movimiento – “Desde el surgimiento del capitalismo global y sus ideologias parecidas asociadas con el neoliberalismo, ha sido sumamente importante desarrollar una conciencia de los peligros del individualismo.  Luchas progresistas–sean enfocadas en el racismo, la represión, la pobreza, u otros asuntos–estan en peligro de fracasar si no buscan desarrollar una concientización del protagonismo insidioso del individualismo capitalista.  Aun Nelson Mandela siempre insistio que sus logros eran colectivos, a la vez que siempre fueron logrados por hombres y mujeres quienes eran sus compas, aunque los medios trataron de santificarlo como individuo heroico.  Un proceso parecido trato de desatar al Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. de las grandes cantidades de mujeres y hombres quienes eran el mero corazón del movimiento de libertad del medio del siglo XX.  Es clave resistir las representaciones históricas como el trabajo de individuos heroicos para que el pueblo hoy reconozca su agencia potencial como parte de una comunidad de lucha que siempre es más incluyente.”

Siberian Fir Essential Oil/Aceite Esencial de abeto siberiano


My dear friend Katya brought me back this powerful essential oil from her visit to Mother Russia.  That was so thoughtful, as she knows I am very interested in Siberia, its aboriginal people and the rest of its nature (like Lake Baikal, the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the flora and fauna). She outdid herself, she translated the whole insert from Russian to English!  Friends are the best, for their thoughtfulness and solidarity!  Mi querida amiga Katya me trajo este aceite esencial poderoso cuando regreso de su visita a Madre Rusia.  Eso fue tan amable, como sabe que estoy tan interesadx en Siberia, su gente aborigen y el resto de la naturaleza (el Lago Baikal, el ferrocarril Trans-Siberiano, la flora y la fauna).  ¡Aun se supero en ser amable en traducir todo el inserto del ruso al ingles!  ¡Lxs amigxs son lo mejor, en su amabilidad y en su solidaridad!  It is below/sigue –

User’s Guide

Siberian fir – abies siberica produced by Aspera

100% Essential Oil

The Siberian fir is a coniferous evergreen tree up to 30 meters in height, with a narrow pyramidal crown. The trunk has a 60-cm diameter, with a smooth, dark-grey bark and a yellow-gray shoots. It is in the pine family. The cones are light-brown, cylindrical, and 5-6 centimeters in length; they disintegrate on maturity. The tree grows in soil that is not overly moist, up to 2000 meters above sea level, in Siberia and the northeastern part of European Russia.

Essential oil of Siberian fir is derived from the needles and young shoots using steam distillation. This essential oil contains no less than 40% bornyl acetate and 45% monoterpene hydrocarbons. Camphor (white crystal or powder form) can be extracted from Siberian fir essential oils. The oil is light, freely running, and colorless. The aroma is fresh, cool, and redolent of pitch and pine.

Effects: Essential oil of Siberian fir tones, increases endurance and active strength, reduces stress and chronic fatigue. It is an aid for frostbite. It improves the body’s function in cases of cough.

Cosmetically, it is used to tone, clean, and smooth the skin. It enlivens, increases the skin’s protective functions, and removes festering rashes. It removes the smell of sweat, especially heavy sweat of the feet, and can be used as a natural deodorant. It reduces dandruff and strengthens hair. The oil is a great deodorizing aroma for use in saunas and banyas.

Ingredients: 100% essential oil of Siberian fir, extracted through steam distillation.

Types of use:

Cold inhalation: Place 1-2 drops of essential oil into an aroma medallion or on a napkin, and breath in the aroma for 5-10 minutes.

Perfuming the air: Fill an aroma lamp with hot water, add 5-7 drops of essential oil for a 20m^2 area. Place a lighted candle in the lower compartment of the aroma lamp. The candle will keep the water warm. Do not allow water to boil. You must keep adding water periodically. The procedure can take 15-30 minutes.

Massage: Mix 3-5 drops of essential oil with 1-2 tablespoons of any plant-based oil (jojoba, peach, almond, etc.) or massage cream. Apply to skin, and then massage the affected parts of the body until the oil is completely absorbed.

Bath: Add 5-7 drops of essential oil to a bath of 37-38⁰ C water, along with one table spoon of emulsifier such as milk, honey, sea or cooking salt.   The bath should take 15-30 minutes. After getting out of the bath, do not rinse off, just towel dry.

Compress: Add 15-20 drops of essential oil to one liter of water at room temperature. Immerse a cotton cloth into the water, wring out slightly, and place the cloth on the affected part of the body. Cover with compress paper and then wrap with a warm cloth or shawl. Keep in place 30 minutes to 2 hours – the time should be increased gradually with use.

Cold compress for frostbitten areas: Mix 15 drops of essential oil with one tablespoon of any plant-based oil (the best for this purpose is macadamia). Place on the skin and wrap with a cloth to keep warm.

Mouth and nasopharynx rinse: Add 1-2 drops of essential oil to one-half cup of warm boiled water. Mix, rinse the mouth, and spit out all liquid. Do this in the mornings and evenings.

Oil mixes for cosmetic procedures: Add 1-2 drops of essential oil to a tablespoon of any plant-based oil (jojoba, peach seed, olive) and mix thoroughly. For care of the face and neck, dab a few drops of the oil mix on the tips of the fingers and massage into the face and neck with light massaging movements. For cleaning the face and neck, use a cotton pad moistened in warm water and wrung out. Place a few drops of the oil mix on the pad and wipe the skin.

General recommendations for usage of essential oils: Before starting to use an essential oil, it is necessary to conduct a test for allergic reactions: Mix one drop of oil with 1/3 teaspoon of plant-based oil and apply to the inner forearm or behind the ear. Put 2-3 drops of essential oil on a handkerchief and periodically inhale for the duration of one day. You may use the oil only if in the course of 12 hours you do no develop and allergic reaction on the skin, a headache, coughing, shortness of breath, running nose, or swelling of the face.


-Do not use undiluted.

-Not for internal use.

– You must follow recommended dosages. For children and the elderly, it is recommended to use 1/4 to 1/3 of the regular adult dose as described in the instructions.

– Avoid getting essential oil in the eyes. In case of contact with eyes or on mucus membranes you must wash it out with large quantities of water.

COUNTER INDICATIONS: Individual intolerance to the oil. Not for use by people with epilepsy, pyelonephritis (kidney infection), allergy ailments or bronchial asthma.

Not for use during pregnancy or for children under 3.

Essential oils that pair well with Siberian fir: Cinnamon, lime, bergamot, grapefruit, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lemon, lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus.

Storage: Store in tightly-closed bottles, between 15 and 25⁰ Celsius, out of reach of children.

Retail format: 10 mL bottle of dark glass

Use-by-date: Three years from production. (Date is on the container – remember that European date format is day/month/year not month/day/year).

Friends & Comrades Forever!/Amigxs y Compas de Siempre!

As we start a new year, I am grateful for all my friends and comrades.  These relationships and work are what gets us through and transforms the world!  Al inicio de un año nuevo, agradezco a todxs mi amigxs y compas.  Estas relaciones y trabajo son lo que nos llevan adelante y transforman al mundo!



Goodbye 2016, Gear Up for 2017!/¡Adios 2016, Prepa pa Luchar para el 2017!

Some great end of 2016 news – I won my housing court case, and I passed my second exam in my geography doctoral program at a still public university.  S0 many people are saying what a terrible year 2016 has been, but it has been a better year for me than last.  I made steady progress towards my degree, learned a lot, really got my field work going in Colombia, finally won my 4-year housing court fight, and I got a great new job at the College of Staten Island teaching introduction to geography to two huge classes of students.  And it’s not over yet!

Algunas noticias buenas al fin del 2016 – gane mi caso para mantener mi hogar, y pase mi segundo examen en el programa del doctorado de geografía en una hasta el momento universidad pública.  Mucha gente habla de que el 2016 fue un año tan terrible, pero para mi este fue mejor que el pasado.  Logre muchos avances hacia mi diploma, aprendi mucho, arranque con mi trabajo de campo en Colombia, por fin gane mi luchade 4 años para mantenerme en mi hogar en la corte de vivienda, y conseguí un trabajo regío en el Colegio de Staten Island donde enseño introducción a geografía a dos clases gigantezcas de estudiantes.  !Y aun no se ha acabado el año!

At the same time, I honor all the people who have been going through it, especially in Syria, and with the election of another even more oligarchic/plutocratic administration in the U.S.  This last one is full of opportunities to mobilize and build, and the former is a deep, deep reminder of the horrors of war.

And Colombia finally has a peace agreement that looks like it is here to stay.

A la vez, reconozco a toda la gente que no lo ha pasado bien, particularmente en Siria, y por medio de la elección de otra adminstración aun más oligárquico/plutocártiico en los Estados Unidos.  Esta última esta llena de oportundides para mobilizarnos y construir, y la primera nos da un profundísimo recuerdo de los horrores de las guerras.

Y Colombia por fin tiene acuerdos de paz que parecen que van a durar.

Gracias profundas a toda mi gente linda/In deep gratitude to all my dear people!  



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