Wednesday~Jan. 12, 2011~ My computer crashes, no Internet. I decided to continue packing and finishing the posters! My departure time was fast approaching and I had to make sure everything was packed and nothing left behind. The letters were all printed. I figured the best way to deliver them was that I would not place them in a box, or a present as I had originally had planned. I would just wrap a little blue ribbon around them. This way the letters wouldn’t attract suspicion if I was to be stopped by a security guard.
~Thursday~January 13, 2011.- I depart for Miami, all my bags were packed, the posters, the candles, the letters and I were packed into my little car for a new adventure. My first protest/candle vigil to Save the Blood Dolphins. To bring more awareness to this cause. To help those trying to save the dolphins and for the people and the children of Taiji.
My journey would take me on a 5 hour drive and over 302 miles one way. I decided to do a video to document the journey. An hour and a half into the journey I decided it was time to start filming just as I’m passing Orlando. The trip didn’t seem so long as I was planning some strategies on how I would get into the building, if I was stopped or kicked out.
But first I had to meet a new and a very important person in my life, my new grand-daughter, Mila Rose, she was just born and I had to hold her and tell her how much I loved her and that Grandma was on a mission, a mission to save some dolphins. But she was too young yet to know all about activism and dolphin rescue. She was only a few hours old and soon enough she would learn about the fish in the Ocean and about her Grandmother.
Being that it was also my birthday and all my friends and I had already made plans on the celebrations I set off from the Hospital to my dinner invitation. First a couple of detours. I stopped my and videoed the Richard O’Barry Drive which was just recently inaugurated on January 8th by the City of South Miami and attended by Ric and Lincoln O’Barry.
On the way there was also the infamous Seaquarium, Home of Flipper the Dolphin, Lolita the Killer Whale and where Ric O’Barry became a well known dolphins trainer. Heading North on I-95 I enter the Downtown District and head for my best friends home.
The view over the bay at her apartment located over the 42nd floor of a gorgeous building overlooking Biscayne Bay, we celebrated my birthday, to a wonderful turnout at the vigil and of course for my birthday and for the Dolphins.
Friday~ January 14, 2011 – Miami, the Magic City, this city never sleeps! Living off a major street is quite lively and the traffic never stops. Having left this wonderful city moved to the burbs. My type of suburbs, 100 miles from the nearest largest city in the state yet close enough to a medium size city of Ocala. I live in a city nestled in the only small hills that exist in Florida. Yes there are hills! 180 feet over sea level that is where my home is located, a quiet area outside the city limits. So sleep didn’t come quite easily and was a bit fog headed but I continued and got ready, after a cup of espresso coffee and headed once again to the Downtown area. I knew where I was going, lets face it I have lived in this city for the past 50 yrs.
I proceeded to find the parking lot and drove up and parked in the delivery section. This man yells to me and I respond “Excuse Me?” You cannot park there unless you are a delivery company! Well I’m not a delivery company but I’m here to deliver just this parcel and I won’t be long. “Well you have to go inside and park in the building, your car will be towed.” So I started the car back up and proceeded through the parking garage to the 7th floor. To make a long story shorter. I get into the elevator from the Ground floor and proceeded to go to the 32nd floor where the Japanese Embassy is located. The elevator door opens and I’m here so I proceed to go to the security checkpoint. A security guard ( a woman) asks me what brings me there? I respond, I’m here to deliver to the Japanese Consulate these letters.
Security guard: what type of letters?
Me: Letters from a hundred people that have asked me to deliver them in person to the consulate.
Security guard: But what type of letters, so I showed her. (I had a very well written letter as the first one and she read it.) NO ~I’m sorry I cannot allow you to do that.
Me: Please I have traveled so far to deliver these letters, can you just please take it to the young lady at the window?
Security guard: No I’m sorry. I just can’t allow you to do that. We have had many people here and they protest outside.
Me: Oh really and why is that? Where outside? (Sometimes its best to play dumb and be passive than aggressive.) I said to myself oh yeah…if you only knew what I was planning you probably would not be so nice as you are. I knew this was this woman’s job. I left and told her to have a blessed day.
I figured the best thing to do was to leave and not call attention as I wanted to be able to “run silent, run deep”. I’ll be back, baby.
Traffic at 4:00pm in Miami is the same as at Noon it never ends. I manage to make it at 4:15pm. I parked at the meters in front of the building proceeded to light my candle, blow up my dolphins and pull out the posters. Me, Myself and I. We were going to make that difference. The Metro Rail train roars above and I point the posters so that everyone can see them. The traffic is coming from the North and I point both posters, “Save the Blood Dolphin$ and Japan Kills Dolphins”. I was mad and I was going to make my point. I had traveled a long way and was angry for I knew that at about this time the banger boats would be pulling out of the harbor, the Positive Change for Taiji would be walking and lighting their candles. I felt I needed to be in unison and we shall be!
A young man in an SUV honks lightly and I nod my head, lots of people read the posters and probably wondered~ WTH? another crazy person in the streets! I was not going to waver, falter or quit. There was no other people with me, I was on my on personal quest for growth and inner strength. I hear a voice behind me ~ Hi…I turn around and see the Sea Shepherd logo and the name running down the arms…I looked into the face, someone I didn’t know but I knew I could trust, he was wearing Sea Shepherd garb. He was one of my heroes, Chris. We started talking to each other as if were long time friends. This was great. I asked him to take my pictures, all the time thinking about my members and I took pictures of him too. He was awesome!
Not a little while longer, Suzee and Dayana show up we were the Fantastic Four. We lit the candles, I brought out some more Dolphins and we were together once again as if we were old friends. The security guard that was working the 32nd floor comes out and I looked at her and sheepish I raised my hand to my cheek and wave hi. I guess I will never be allowed on that floor. I was informed that she has kicked out and personally escorted some of the protesters. I guess I was lucky that was not my case.
Something about protesting, activism, we all are one and no need for long introductions we become friends as soon as we speak. We fight for the same causes. The time flew by, the wind was a little nippy, nippy for Miami weather. We decided to call it quits at 7pm and I had another celebration to go to. The celebration of a successful vigil. The Fantastic Four made a difference, we had hundreds of people counting on us and we did it, not for ourselves only but for all of those that were unable to make it, for those that sent their hopes and dreams with us.
My hope and dreams are for all the animals to live in our world in peace with us humans. Until then, we have to start to teach our children about Conservation !
For the Dolphins, For the Whales, For the World!