Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Today, we are heading out to Rice Lake, our final destination for the season. Once there, we will start looking for a place to live. We will try to have a camping trip in northern Wisconsin one of these weekends before leaving for the RGV.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Depending on my route, I may have to drive between 1.5 to 2 hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. This means overtime for me every week during the season, maybe 10 to 20 hours. This is good for the company because hiring a full-time bus driver would cost more than paying me the overtime. Sadly, the job also means that I am not officially a migrant. By definition, migrants work in agriculture or food processing. On the bright side, I'll be participating in a program that helps migrants and their children. In addition, the company is willing to fund my education for both jobs.
There are tons of benefits for getting into this seasonal program. I mentioned some. The most important, overall, is that my wife and I will be able to spend weekends with the kids. We plan on enjoying weekend getaways to the campsites north of Rice Lake with the family. My daughter wants me to teach her to fish and I would not mind teaching her. I can visualize the whole thing now. When I leave in October, deer season will be underway. Maybe I can tag along with some local hunters before heading back to the RGV. I probably won't kill any deer. I'm not against killing deer, it's just that it would be a waste. My family won't be here to help me eat it.
I just remembered something, I got a call from HEB recruiting last week on Monday. Geez, they took their time in deciding. I've missed good opportunities due to hesitation. I think they did too. I'll call to find out more details, maybe they will keep me in mind for the future. They do pay well for the RGV.
There are consequences to getting hired as a HeadStart teacher. For one, I need to study Early Childhood education to get certified. It will be paid by the company, but in return they expect me to return next season. This impacts my decisions for the Winter and Spring and my work prospects back home. I still have difficult decisions to make; but, at least with money more options open up. I can understand the plight of everybody struggling to make ends meet in the RGV. It's tough to make it on meager wages. For the first time in years, I feel hope.
If you're a victim of crime....don't remain silent.
There's help out there. The Office of the Attorney General serves victims of crime by administering the compensation to victims of crime fund and related grants, and by offering training and outreach programs.
The Attorney General's website is http://www.oag.state.tx.us/victims/victims.shtml or you can call the office at 512 463-2100.
In addition, A buddy of mine also works for A Child Advocates Center for any children victims in Hidalgo County (IN OUR VERY OWN GREAT CITY OF EDINBURG Office, 956-287-9754)
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Our second day in Wautoma, we went to find out our job prospects in Rice Lake via the Wisconsin job center. We were back and forth on deciding to either stay there to work or head to Rice Lake as we originally intended. We got some good "intelligence" about our prospects up in Rice Lake, so we chose to bring my wife to Oshkosh for Migrant Headstart training. We are reasonably certain that we can find work for my mother in Rice Lake. While here in Oshkosh, a teacher assistant decided not to participate in the program for Rice Lake, so I got the job. It means that I will have to take classes to become a certified daycare provider. This means that I'll also have to come back next summer to participate in the program. My wife and I eventually want to open a daycare center, so it's not a bad deal in the long-run. We also visited some of my relatives in Plainfield.
Yesterday, after I was informed I got the job and we made arrangements to house our family here at UW-Oshkosh, we went to Wautoma to get our stuff. Wouldn't you know it? We went through a severe thunderstorm and tornado watch. For a while at the camp, we were concerned about some clouds that were hanging too low for comfort. There was a heavy downpour and some hail. Things cleared up and we came back to Oshkosh with our stuff.
This morning, we went to the first day of training. Today is also my daughter's birthday. We will celebrate this weeked. We'll be done next weekend. The kids, who have never left Texas except to go to Reynosa are loving it up here. The days are nice and the nights are cool. I understand that Rice Lake is about 5 degrees cooler than where we are now. I can't wait.
Once we arrive there, it is likely that we will share housing expenses with another family. In other posts I will tell you about some ways that migrant families manage their cashflow to make the trip worthwhile.
One thing that I want to impress upon you is the sense of community there is amongst migrants. In many cases, extended families travel to the same areas. With the limited availability of good Mexican people up here, migrants marry other migrants from unrelated families. Thus, the population forms a sort of nomadic village of sorts where word gets around. On the downside, gossip gets around quickly. On the upside, the social network also helps migrants find work for each other. It really is nice to see migrants look out for each other in that respect.
There are also those families, like my dad's side, who have stayed put. Most migrants in the Wautoma area who have gone there for years know my grandmother Luz. She has always visited camps to teach the Cathechism classes to kids. There are social services workers who have made lifelong careers of helping migrants. People like this know almost all the families and they all know these people.
I don't want to paint the picture that migrants are all a bunch of noble rustics working in pastoral settings. There are scoundrels who make their way up here knowing that employers need workers and are willing to pay good money. These scoundrels earn a paycheck and steal whatever they can get away with. Overall, most migrants are here to work hard at an honest living and go home. Still, some people come here knowing that they will get paid well, but have little intention of earning their living.
There is so much to be said. I have started writing about this in my written journal to help me sort through the experience and information I am gathering. Right now, the whole thing is disjointed as I have only today had a chance to connect to the Internet (thanks to UW). There is also the whole desire to spend time with my kids. They are liking the dorm experience. My daughter is now thinking about college; I'm so proud.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Magnus packing for wisconsin
Originally uploaded by rgvlife.
Not to be left without something to do, our son decided to pack his toothbrush. We tried explaining to him that he would need his toothbrush handy so that he could use it on the trip. He was unmoved by our arguments and continued packing.
This will be his and my daughter's first trip out of state. They have never known anything other than Texas or Reynosa. In some ways, this trip is about more than just work. We'd like our children to see what else is out in the world by going to work if we can't venture out on vacation.