Living in the USA

It was a stressful week.  Deadlines loomed. People didn’t return my calls. Stories fell through. I couldn’t sleep. It snowed again

On Thursday, finally, Ramon Mota came through. He’s the manager of La Posada, a dormitory in Pasco for migrant workers about to open in time for growing season.

Ramon gave me the tour. The rooms include bunk beds, a shower, microwave, fridge, and a 20-inch TV mounted above a small dinette–a bit cramped for four people, and forget about privacy. One person may try to sleep while another bunk mate drinks a beer and watches the ballgame and another microwaves popcorn. The rooms for families are slightly larger: bunk beds for the kids on one side, a double bed for Mom and Dad on the other. Down the hall, residents can share a community kitchen and laundry room (with perhaps too few washers).

Not the Ritz Carlton, but a lot better than sleeping in a car or along the riverbank without toilets, air conditioning, or a lock on the door.

As I finished the final edits on the piece, I thought about the people who will spend the summer at La Posada in between their shifts working in the fields and processing centers. In the best conditions, it’s a hard, nomadic life. When they move in next month, I suppose these people will consider themselves lucky. It could be worse. It has been worse. I imagine a lot worse.

And I sweated over a deadline.

To put my life into further perspective, while stressing out this week, waiting in the espresso stand drive-thru, I listened on NPR what people in Libya face right now.  

I’m so glad I’m living in the USA. 

You can watch the story about La Posada and the other stories in the KNDU/KNDO series, Where we Live.



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6 responses to “Living in the USA

  1. Matt

    I am thankful I live the USA as well.

  2. Mike J.

    A couple years ago, we held a garage sale in the neighborhood. My neighbor sold his old broken down truck camper to a family working in the area. It was a hot time of the year, but they needed someplace to sleep and stay out of the scorching sun.

    As he delivered the camper, he realized this was just 1 of many families that come here to work, needing out of the sun and a place to sleep.

    He recalled rows of old broken down camp trailers and truck campers housing these workers. When a “new” camper comes in, they all come together to help set up. No A/C, Porta Potty’s and a family that’s just happy to have the opportunity to live the dream.

    Reading your blog brought back memories and makes me cherish the life I have. People complain about waiting 45 minutes in a crowded lobby to speak to a Social Security rep. A woman told me about sitting in Mexico for 6 hours only to have the window close or find out she was in the wrong line and would have to wait again.

    We sure do get spoiled!

    • I used to get annoyed when I had to wait in line a few extra minutes at Fred Meyer. Now I peruse the tabloid newspaper headlines–always good for a laugh and it makes the wait go quicker.

  3. TJ

    Places like La Posada are crucial in our Valleys. Thanks for covering this.

  4. Janet

    Nice job, Kevin. Welcome to the world of blog.

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