Thank you Therese Patricia Okoumou! None of us are free, if one of us is chained.
There is so little to be proud of being an American in Portugal on July 4th 2018. I awoke this July 5th to the news of her (s)heroic act, in my mind, Therese Patricia Okoumou stands tall with Bree Newsome and many, many, many others, too numerous to name here. Numerous, yet a small minority as most Americans were grilling, drinking and setting off fireworks on July 4th; celebrating the allusion of freedom.
Of course, the list of those of privilege who celebrate each Forth Of July without any remorse; seemingly oblivious to the history of colonization, genocide of the American Indian, the enslavement of Africans and how that legacy lives today in the oppression of women, LGBTQAI+, people of color, folks of low to no means, this list goes on and on and is perpetuated in the school to prison pipeline that insures oppression is a profitable business in this so called land of the free and the home of the brave.
You inspire me Therese, and hence this video, which I dedicate to you. As we say in Portuguese; Obrigado! This Veteran For Peace salutes you Therese Patricia Okoumou, thank you for your service.
July 4th in the U.S. is Independence day. As a veteran and a supporting member of Veterans For Peace, July 4th is a special day for me. It is a day that I typically set off for a long hike, get away and definitely do not want to be around any fourth of July celebrations which glorify war with explosive fireworks.
This summer I am in Portugal, working on a documentary about the wildfire situation here in Portugal as they relate to climate change. Desertification and climate refugees are issues which will have a huge impact on this country and it’s people.
As luck would have it, the Free Party is hosting an event in Lisbon which I’m looking forward to attending. It will most likely be in Portuguese and I anticipate most of it I will not understand. No matter, showing up is important to me and it will be an honor just to breathe that air.
The event description:
242 years after the Independence of the United States of America, FREE asks: “Against Global Trumpism: A Declaration of European Independence?” A conversation with Rui Tavares, historian, former MEP and founder of FREE and Richard Zimler, journalist, writer and Portuguese-American professor
Google has a mobile app, Google Translate, which is simply amazing IMHO. It’s not that it works that well yet, however what it is attempting to do and currently does well enough that I use it quite often, is allow you to point your mobile device at, say a sign, and it translates that sign in real-time.
Here in my castle, an AirBnB condo decorated in what I like to refer to as Nuevo Portuguese Gaudy, there is a picture on the wall with text naturally in Portuguese.
Here is Google Translate in action:
The text in the framed wall picture is in Portuguese and the text on the phone’s screen is >>mostly<< English. For some reason calma is calma on both and perhaps the correct English is calmer.
My translation at this moment (esta momento – that one is easy) is:
It’s not true that the night is calmer than the day
Google Translate is most useful when I’m out and about, a stranger in a strange – to me anyway – land. Strange not in a odd way, but an unfamiliar one.
I’ve tested this text:
não. não. é Verdade que hoje a noite esta mais calma.
- google translate
- Microsoft Bing
and none of them provide the same translation and I’m still not exactly sure what is the best english translation.
So, I’ll ask a Portuguese amigo next chance and update this post with their translation.