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.