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Children in Danger: Where is Madeisy Batista?

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Negative Osmotic Pressure pulls people in.

HOP happens today between Myanmar and Thailand, and all over the world. Hong Kongers are HOPing to Taiwan, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and United States. America should take 100,000 Hong Kongers now. Their lives are at risk.

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SpaceX will HOP from the failing State of California to Texas. And from Earth to Mars to beyond. That, too, is HOP.

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We all have seen HOP. Most of us have done HOP. Joining the Army can be a form of HOP. Survive, then thrive. My own family on my Eason side (maternal) HOP’d to Jamestown in 1609. They got shipwrecked on Bermuda after a terrible storm and were stuck on Bermuda for ten months. Made two ships from cedar and landed in Jamestown in 1610. We know this because an author was aboard to make propaganda for the Virginia Company. The author was shipwrecked with my ultra-great-Grandparents. My uncle was born on Bermuda. His name was Bermudas. His Godfather married Pocahontas. Shakespeare wrote a play about the shipwreck: THE TEMPEST.

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Bermuda is today the oldest colony of Great Britain directly because of that shipwreck.

I respect anyone who is willing to risk traveling through thousands of miles of strange lands filled with bandits and heavily armed criminals. The migrants are not to blame for wishing for a better life. We all want that. Madeisy and Miguel are compelled by forces beyond their reach, or understanding. They are too young to realize the power of the waves hitting them, or the perils ahead.

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From Haiti to Chili to Ecuador to Colombia through Darien Gap to Panama to Costa Rica and up, up, up, up — the America where we are descending into chaos.

Masako and I asked Madeisy what she knew about Darien Gap. Madeisy seemed to think this was more of a camping phase of the journey. Chuck Holton did not show he was upset in front of Madeisy, but offered a grim assessment of her near future when we walked away.

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HOP is neither good nor bad. It just is. And who would want to live in Haiti or downtown Portland when they move?

Madeisy and her young brother Miguel are well mannered, other than Miguel is a 12 year-old boy and all that comes with it. When Madeisy wanted a group picture, Miguel flipped a bird. I shouted at Miguel, “What’s wrong with you boy! Act right!” Miguel smiled and retired his middle finger and we made another picture.

Many of the Haitian we met were pleasant and well-mannered, but some of the younger men were violent in their words and behavior. Several were twirling machetes and one flashed at me with anger, “What you photographing!” He was ready to slice. Chuck taught me a trick with Haitians to defuse anger. Say, “Be safe. I will pray for you.” It works. I used it several times over the next several days.

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Venezuelans always ask for money. Chuck said that for years, he’s never met a Venezuelan that does not ask for money.

One Haitian named “Christmas” was very nice. She was large. Very large. Will have difficulty in Darien. She Christmas learned Masako is Japanese, Christmas was especially kind to Masako, saying she knew a Japanese in Haiti. A very good person everyone likes. Christmas said, “Masako. Such a beautiful name.” None of the Haitians asked us for anything except prayers. Miguel asked Masako what it feels like to have iPhone11. But he asked for nothing at all.

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Masako became worried about Madeisy and Miguel. They seem to be very happy children. I get the impression their Mother must spend a lot of time with them. Madeisy was loquacious with Google Translate, saying they will be fine. Madeisy typed in Spanish that they are, “in the company of the Lord.”

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Miguel’s shirt reads, “Everybody has someone in heaven that inspires them to keep moving on.” Madeisy and Miguel seemed so happy on both days. Their mother must be a strong woman.

Madeisy and Miguel seemed excited about the trip ahead. Masako just read this draft, saying, “We were more worried about them, than they were about themselves.” Masako went on to say that Miguel was a “typical young boy interested in tech stuff.”

When Chuck flew his drone, Madeisy and Miguel both got a kick out of that, but you could see these were not “jungle kids.” When Masako started using Google Translate, Madeisy did not miss a beat. Masako and Madeisy were Google-Translating back-and-forth like dueling bangos. Madeisy wrote, “God will take care of me.”

We said goodbye that morning and have not seen them since. I emailed to Madeisy this morning asking about her family. Masako sent messages earlier. No response. Masako, Chuck and I last Madeisy and family at Necocli, on the other side of Darien Gap. The valley of the shadow of death.

Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.

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