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18 septiembre
2015

Anxiety

sometimes it is really hard to handle; really, really hard

Anxiety, you probably know the feeling too.

That moment when you suddently stop, trying to realize about all the things that are happening around you, but you can't. ETOOMUCH info, too many TODOs and everything spinning so damned fast.

Control?. You loose it already, you can't decide, you can't think clearly. Always rushing, doing things you don't want to do, things you swear in the past you would not do ever, things you don't like.

Then your mind starts playing tricks with you. It is like if it teletransports you to a different reality, a reality where you picture yourself doing exactly what you really want, desire, to do.

And then it is like hitting a wall, when you find yourself again in your world, no chance to be in that other world, too many things to do, too much running here and there, ending in a sensation that you are loosing your time, like if you had done nothing for the last N months|weeks|days|hours.

But you did, of course you did. Hundreds of thousands of things. But there is your mind again, playing with you, tricking you into thinking all those do not matter a s***, because there is only a very narrow list of things that are, or should be, important.

That's exactly the point where you start to become anxious, the point where you have to be strong-willed, you have to keep cool... dammit, travelling again...

Posted by wu at 10:45 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
03 diciembre
2015

Una tarde cualquiera que te lleva a darle a la cabeza

Con todo el respeto a la gente que opine/piense distinto a mi, de verdad

Ayer, después de que Lara terminase su clase semanal de Judo, nos acercamos a una cafetería a merendar y charlar un rato. Es uno de esos buenos momentos del día, la verdad.

Durante ese rato, en una mesa situada a mi espalda, un grupo de adultos charlaba sobre distintos temas (nada inusual en una cafetería, vamos) cuando un par de personas más se unieron a dicho grupo. Una de esas personas era una niña pequeña. No sabría decir exactamente qué edad tenía, pero no creo que fuesen mas de 5 o 6 años (como mucho).

Y entonces la conversación derivó a algo que me dejó totalmente sorprendido.

De repente empezaron a hablar de misas, de curas y de lo importante que era la religión. Parecían estar muy contentos por que esta niña va a un colegio "de monjas" y ahi les enseñan lo realmente importante.

"¡Si hasta se sabe el padre nuestro enterito!" - Dijo alguien.

"¡Si si, enseñales!" - Dijo otra voz

La niña se puso a recitar la oración, completamente de memoria, sin fallo alguno. Cuando terminó, aquello parecía una fiesta de orgullo y felicidad.

"Hay que ver que voz tan bonita tienes para rezar" - Le dijo alguien a la niña.

En ese momento yo estaba totalmente alucinado. Respeto totalmente las creencias de cada uno, pero a estas alturas no me esperaba algo asi, que sigamos haciendo "lavado de cerebro" a niños pequeños con estas cosas.

En un momento dado, mientras la niña recitaba la oración, un chico sentado en otra mesa hizo un comentario, a modo de broma - "Guau, hacía mucho que no escuchaba yo algo así" - a lo que uno de los adultos de esta otra mesa respondió rápidamente, de forma bastante seca, "Normal, si no vas a misa como vas a oir esto" - O_O!

Aqui en Lugo tenemos este sistema educativo (creo que es igual en el resto de España, pero a lo mejor me equivoco) en el cual a la hora de escolarizar a tus hijos puedes elegir entre dos opciones, colegio público o colegio concertado

Obviamente existen colegios privados a los que puedes llevar a tus hijos si quieres, pagando la correspondiente cantidad mensual/trimestral/anual/etc, pero lo habitual es que elijas entre público o concertado.

Dispones de un colegio de cada tipo dependiendo de la zona/barrio en la que vives, y en el caso de lugo "concertado" quiere decir "religioso" (sea de curas o de monjas).

Recuerdo perfectamente cuando tuvimos que elegir nosotros, para Lara. Yo tenía muy claro que no quería que Lara fuese a un colegio religioso, básicamente por que no estoy de acuerdo con el tipo de lavado de cerebro que acabo de describir y por qué (lamentablemente) yo sí fuí a uno de esos colegios de pequeño (y no son cómo se los venden a los padres).

También recuerdo todas aquellas voces que me decían que si las cosas ya no son como hace 30 años, que si hoy en día ya no hay religiosos en esos colegios y toda la retahíla sobre la calidad de la enseñanza, etc.

Pues bien, la niña de esta historía va a uno de esos colegios, y conozco casos de más niños que van a varios de estos colegios concertados y el patrón se repite (no es cosa de un sólo colegio).

Y ahora yo me pregunto...

¿Por qué son colegios que reciben dinero de un estado laico, cuando estan claramente asentando unas bases de una religión concreta en las cabezas de todos estos niños?

¿En serio queremos que a nuestros hijos les llenen la cabeza con este tipo de historias?

Sinceramente, le doy vueltas en mi cabeza y pienso en todas las cosas que querría transmitirle, enseñarle, a Lara y en ningún caso adoctrinar con una religión concreta (ninguna) entra en esa lista.

Podemos enseñarles cosas sobre la naturaleza, los seres vivos, las diferentes culturas, razas y religiones, podemos mostrarles la ciencia y las cosas asombrosas que con ganas y empeño podemos llegar a construir, podemos transmitirles inquietudes sobre cómo y por qué funcionan las cosas, podemos instruirles en cómo explorar el mundo que les rodea y aprender de él... y todavía hay gente que cree que lo importante es eso otro.

Creo que la palabra que busco para acabar este post es tristeza.

Posted by wu at 11:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
08 marzo
2016

Three terrible weeks

and a long road to be walked ahead

I sent this email almost three weeks ago:

Date:Thu, 18 Feb 2016 04:26:24 +0100
From:Me
To:Some-mailing-list
Subject:Bad, bad news
User-Agent:Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

Hey guys.

Last evening my mother suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage.

My father called me when they were getting her to the hospital in Lugo and I quickly went there too. The doctors were really pesimistic there, it seems the amount of blood adding pressure to her brain was too much.

They were helpless there, they couldn't do anything for her so they sent her to Santiago. A couple of hours afterwards she was on her way on an ambulance to the hospital here in Santiago.

Shortly after, my father and me came to Santiago too.

We've been in the hospital and we've talked with the doctors that will treat her. They are pessimistic too. So far they have to wait until tomorrow to do some tests on her, see if they can find what caused it and if there is a way to at least stop the bleeding. Then they will have to find out a way to remove all that blood and then... see if she can wake up from the coma, and how she is afterwards.

Right now I'm sitting in the bed of a hotel room by the hospital, with my father totally crashed laying on the other bed.

Life can be tough sometimes, really.

I'm afraid I won't be online tomorrow. By midday they should have the results of those tests, then they will give us some more information, and I'll get back to you.

Thanks for reading, my friends.

The following ten days I did stay in Santiago with my father, visiting the hospital three times per day (one meeting with the doctors, two short visits to my mother in the ICU). Every time we talked with the doctors, the news were worse. Things were evolving quickly, and towards the worse posible ending.

After the first four or five days (it is hard to tell now when things happened, after so many days there) the results of the CAT scans were totally bad. The doctors called us for another meeting and they told us that my mother was evolving in the worse posible way. They told us there were only two posible endings for this, death or staying brainless in bed for the rest of her life.

The news came over us like a tsunami, a sand storm, a blow so hard that you barely can keep yourself up, standing. My father cried. Me, I can not explain how I felt. Sad (terribly sad), worried and lost.

The next day they confirmed the news, more CAT scans revealing lots of damage on both sides of her brain, lots of already dead zones that could not be recovered. "These are the worse posible news, we are really sorry about it, but it is best for you to know now" - they said.

At that point my mother was still in the ICU, with machines and drugs keeping her alive. Obviously she was totally K.O., no response from her except some movements at some points.

The plan to do surgery to fix/close the aneurysm that caused the hemorrhage was put on hold at that moment, because they started to consider that it was not worth it, to get her through all that surgery for nothing.

And then, something happened. She started to move, to act, to sent responses. They noticed some improvements in her behaviour and conscious levels. They did another CAT scan on her and the results did not show any of those damages they saw in the previous scans!!. The doctors sounded totally surprised - "This is something that happens once out of 100 times, we all should be quite, quite, happy" - they said. That same day, in the evening visit at the ICU it seemed she recognized my father, she tried to smile and then she started crying...

The doctors quickly scheduled the surgery and she went through it last friday (from ~09:00 to ~14:30, quite the time). Two days later she was sending responses again, no complications appeared during the 48-hour-period after the surgery.

Yesterday evening they got her out of the ICU and into a regular room. I couldn't be there with her, but my father took care of everything there.

A couple of hours ago I called my father, to check the status. He turned on the speaker on his phone, so I could talk a bit to my mother (just as we have been doing since this all started). "Hi mom, how are you?" - I said, not waiting for any answer/reply.

"Hi son... I'm fine..." - she replied, with a very low and very very slow voice. she was talking again!!.

There is a long road ahead of us all, a large recovery time to be passed together. But at least now we can work, fight and move on.

Posted by wu at 11:38 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
17 abril
2016

Moving through the big city

It had been a while since the last time I did this

Image of the Athens Metro, from the wikipedia

(image from the wikipedia)

Eleven days ago I hopped into a plane in A Coruña. That was the first part of a trip that would take me to Barcelona, then Athens, then the island of Naxos, in the Aegean Sea. We were going to have another International Pizza sprint, but that's a totally different story, I just wanted to add some context for this short story.

Yesterday I arrived in Piraeus around 15:00, as part of my trip back home. I did step down the boat (Blue Star Naxos) and I went to the Piraeus Metro station.

I was a bit excited. Moving around big cities is something that always excites me, specially if I'm not in a hurry to get quickly somewhere. I like to take my time, see what is happening around me and try to stop and watch even the smaller details.

Before going to the Metro station, I gave my bigger backpack to my friend Panos, so he and Oscar could take it on their motorbikes. Then I picked up the smaller backpack and a bigger piece of luggage, one of those harder suitcases with wheels (that they couldn't carry on the motorbikes). I also checked I had a book with me, real paper book this time, it was a novel from Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the shore.

In Piraeus I bought a single ticket - "ένα εισιτήριο παρακαλώ" - I told the woman behind the desk, trying to put the little greek I know into good use. At this time of the year, at that time of the day, nobody was there to buy tickets so it took less than a minute.

I got my ticket and I stepped into a wagon of the train for the L1 line which, after around 10 minutes of wait, got me right away to Monastiraki Station. This line, up to Monastiraki, is not the usual Metro line, subway-like, underground. It goes all the time outside (at least until Monastiraki), so you have some nice views from the train (specially near the stations of Kalithea and Petralona).

The Metro station of Petralona, image from the wikipedia

(image from the wikipedia)

Even having some nice views, I couldn't stop looking around me, tracing the faces of the rest of the people in the train. I know I shouldn't do that, and maybe one day I'll get in trouble because of it, but it can't be helped, I can't stop looking into them, trying to imagine where they are going or how their lifes could be like.

On each stop, more and more people were coming in. When we got to Monastiraki the train was full already, and luckily I went down there, as a lot of people was waiting to get into the train.

I took my time and walked calmly towards where I should take the L3 line, towards the Airport. To get there I had to go downstairs for a couple of times. When I got to the first set of stairs, a huge queue could be seeing where the automatic stairs were going down. I took the suitcase on one hand and I started going down the regular/non automatic stairs.

What a picture, full crowded narrow automatic stairs vs lonely guy walking downstairs with a big suitcase on his hands.

Then I had to wait like 15 minutes until the next train would come, so I took Murakami's novel from a pocket and started reading. Five minutes later I noticed the metro stop was totally filled up with people. Some where chatting, some other rushing through the crowd. Some girl started laughing out loud.

Then a train arrived. Lots of people got out of the train, then almost everybody around me got into the train. It was like watching a tide, one of those big/strong ones, when the sea gets for quite the distance into mainland, then retreats. It was not my train, so I waited, lonely again in what looked like an empty tube sitting below the busy city of Athens.

When my train arrived, the stop was full with people again. I managed to get in and I found a good spot to just stay for the long trip ahead (~50 mins).

It felt totally like being in a can of sardines (well, at least I guess the sardines would feel like that if they were alive). On every stop more people were coming in, but not much people was leaving the train. At least it was not too hot in there.

I closed my eyes for a moment and I got traces of conversations around me, everybody talking fast and loud. Greek, English, German and French, those I did recognize. A couple of tall, blue-eyed blonde women were talking in some language totally strange to me.

Several stops later, almost everybody was gone. My stop was the last one before the airport, Koropi, and the few people that was still in the train stepped down in that stop too.

At Koropi Panos and Oscar picked me up with the car, for the next part of the journey.

Posted by wu at 18:25 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
05 mayo
2016

The Flower Power Sprint

The third one already in naxos!

Flying towards Greece

Exactly one month ago I had a long traveling day with r0sk. We left Lugo in the middle of the night and we got in a plane in A Coruña while it was still dark outside.

After a one-hour-and-something flight we arrived in Barcelona, where we got in another plane, this time the destination was Athens, Greece. We were on our way to one of our regular International Pizza sprints, when all the people working on the same project meet to work hand by hand for a few days (and then have lots of fun, of course).

We did stay in Athens for a short time, but there was time enough to meet our friends George, Javier and Pantelis for some drinks and dinner, everything organized by our Athenian host, Panos. We had a really good time there.

On the next day we took the boat at the pireus port, destination Naxos, the biggest island in the Cyclades (yeah! once more!).

Relaxed travel by boat, I had the cycling helmet and a good book with me

It took us around 5 hours to get to Naxos. We had plenty of time to talk with Panos and Rika and update ourselves a bit on how everybody has been doing for the last couple of years (specially with Rika, as I hadn't met her since 2013).

Just before arriving, the boat did a short stop in the island of Paros, it was time to go to the back of the boat and enjoy this view I love every time I go there.

The port of Paros (left) The port of Paros (middle) The port of Paros (right)

In Naxos, Sascha was waiting for us at the port. It was midday and we were hungry, so we had the first lunch in naxos (good quality food, as always!).

Sascha, Oscar, Panos and me, having lunch with views of the port of Naxos

We spent 10 days in the island, with 3 work days, 1 resting day (cycling!!), 3 more work days and 2 social days (that is, having fun all the team together). The last day in the island was mostly for packing up and taking the boat back to Athens.

For this sprint, Sascha found a very nice small house in a village in the mountains, Damarionas. Really nice and comfortable house, with everything we needed and awesome views.

The views from the roof of the house in Damarionas The view from the office early in the morning, with laptop and fresh coffee One of the narrow paths in Damarionas, between the houses A square in Damarionas, nice classic aegean island styled one

During this sprint we met the new team member for the first time, Grigori, and we had a very nice coding sprint (well, I had a tough time due to a problem in our production server, which took me off the sprint workflow for a while). We worked in a variety of places, in the house rented for the sprint as well as in some cafés

Oscar, Panos, Sascha and Grigori, working from a café in Halki

Sascha and me went cycling. As he liked to call it, my personal "cycling training camp". We had some nice rides and lots of fun (I even did beat the 100km barrier). He lend me his Kona Jake, which fit me perfectly well (same size and geometry as mine).

Me, sitting in the shadow of the church in Stavros Sascha, sitting in the shadow of the church in Stavros

In the social days we did a social ride, on the dirt roads by the beaches, in hybrid bikes provided by Naxos Bikes. We also went to a climbing/bouldering gym and we did our traditional walk/hike to the temple of Dimitras.

We had lots of good moments during the sprint (it wasn't only working and cycling ;-P), we ate lots of good food... Just another great sprint!

You should check both betabug's and r0sk's posts about it (r0sk has looots of good pics also!)

Here are some more pics I took myself:

We all wearing our sprint t-shirts The old building for what once was a Kafeneion in Kaloxilos View of some hills from the road that goes to Hora (1) View of some hills from the road that goes to Hora (2) The little port of moutsouna, with some waves breaking against shore Me and Oscar, so happy to be in the sprint Sascha looking over a road we were about to ride on Me looking over a snake of a road I climbed Oscar at the climbing/bouldering gym Sascha climbing, Oscar looking at him Me during the social ride Panos, Oscar and Sacha, under some shade in Mikri Vigla Panos, Sascha and me, unpacking the stuff to go for a swim Panos, me and Sascha, enjoying some milkshakes after the social ride Walking/hiking towards Dimitra's temple The famous Portara of Naxos, from the boat I've the Portara in my hands!

Posted by wu at 02:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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