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Saturday, 22 December 2012
My Story - Bea Kiddo PDF Print E-mail

more to Venezuela

2002 (best year in the SO by far!!! So free!!!)

Thanks for all of your patience. And now for another installment:

I remembered a few things about Venezuela and I wanted to add to that part.

In total, I was in Vza for about 8 months, before returning to LA. I was unable to speak spanish, which is the language, but I did have a translator, which was the recruiter who came with me.

The place they gave us to stay (chosen by staff of the org) was about a 1/2 a block from the org. It was a huge 3 BR, 2BR in a high rise building. Looking back, actually the place was quite nice. I remember there were metal bars on the door. I couldnt figure out if that was to keep people in or out. The place had two elevators - one stopped at all of the even floors, and one stopped at all of the odd floors. And when one was broken, you would have to use to the stairs. Well you could get up to the basic floor number and then walk up or down one flight. I think we were on the 11th floor or so.

Eating: Oh my goodness. What we take for granted in the US!!! Venezuela has food, but not much in variety. They do have beef, pork and chicken. They do not have vegetables, except potatoes. Trying to make a salad.... well, they had some strange looking lettuce and beets and that was about it.

They did have some American "restaurants" (By the way, spending more than one dollar on food there means you are rich) such as Wendys, Burger King, TGI Fridays and Tony Romas.

Thursdays were great because down at the mall they had a movie theater and we would go there and see a movie Thurs night. It was ladies night, buy one get one free on the tickets. We loved that part. The tickets to see a movie were only like 2 dollars. And they were all American movies with spanish subtitles. So I could always find a movie to see.

And I would always find an excuse to go!! Mainly it would be my stats were up. But if they werent, either she just got a recruit, or I got a completion, or something. I think we hardly ever missed a week.

Being UC in an empty org, there was very little for us to do. I only suped the courseroom in late afternoon. I think later we also had a night class, which I also suped. So easy, but I still hated being a sup.

In that scorching hot weather, it was nice to have AC. We only had AC in two of our rooms, which were the C/S Office (where my computer was and where I sat to play cards all day long because I had nothing to do until course started) and the courseroom. :bored:

Anyways, on Thurs we would have lunch at Wendys (we had to take the bus there as it was about 2 miles away) and then dinner at TGI Fridays at the mall). The life we were living there was like the rich life for those people. The org wa funding us, but at the same time, the staff were not well paid, not well fed or anything. They did set up a program where each staff member could get money deducted from their paycheck and it would go towards food and they would provide meals for the staff. It was essentially a glorified version of beans and rice, from what I could tell. They invited us down to try it. And I politely refused. Looking back, I should have. I think I kinda seperated myself out from the staff.

The staff and all the Venezuelan people were so nice (It was the Columbians who were coming in and starting the violence and trying to live off the country and get free everything).

Also we were off on Sunday mornings and we would wander around to do shopping alot. They have alot of shops that we could walk to nearby to the org. They mainly were like drug stores where you could get shampoo and things.

Oh, my god, I just remembered this!! This was great. It freaked the heck out of my recruiter. Ok, I am loud when I talk sometimes, and I dont notice it. And I was speaking English, which no-one knew, ok? So we went into this one store and we were looking at different things and I saw that stuff for "cellulite" (granted, I likely didnt need it. I weighed all of 105 when I was there) that you could put on your legs and so forth. I was interested in buying it. Lucy (recruiter) came over to see what I was looking at and we were checking it out. And then I saw that it had perfume in it!! WELL, you can't have perfume in the Sea Org, as you know! I was mad and I really wanted it!


We wandered off, looking at other things. And later, not thinking how loud I can be somtimes, I said (really loud) "who in the heck is going to smell my butt!!!" And Lucy (the only one who could understand me....):

I really didnt care. And so I bought it.

Also, we used to go clothing shopping too. Not to be too boring for guys reading this, I will try to be brief, but it must be said, ok? Well, before the violence started (which started about 4 months after we were already there), we were able to go downtown and they had some pretty cool clothing shops there (this is in Valencia). I found one store there that had alot of clothes from Tommy Hilfiger (which I like because they actually fit me properly where others do not) and I bought a ton from there. And then closer to the store there was one store called "Tijarazo" (I think, I speak spanish now, but I cant spell, ok? It means "to cut", like a discount store) and they had all kinds of cool and weird things. They had the real brands and also the take off brans. We would go in there and laugh our heads off at some names they had to trick people "All Navy", "Ann's Taylor" "Tomy Higfligler" LOL.

I was able to sort through it all and I got some really good stuff for nothing. I still have alot of it actually. It still fits me.

------

One thing was that when I was out there, the org had to provide the Sea Org bonus to us. That was hard for them and wiped them out for one week. See, the thing is that American money and their money do not translate exactly. Back 5 years prior, 62 Bolivars (their money denomination) was one dollar. When we were there, it was 1600 to one dollar. So you can imagine how far American money could take you. One dollar was a LOT of money. And to top it off, I was in the SO for like 15 plus years by then, so my bonus was alot. I think more than $500.00. THe whole org made like $2000.00 per week or so, so after everything went uplines, that was leaving nothing for them. And that made me feel bad.

One time, after 3 months of being there, we found that our Visas were going to expire (yes, we had Visa's. Yes, they were easy to get. All you had to do was show you had money to spend in the country and they would let you in. I think we came in with 200.00 which was plenty). Anyways, we went to get them renewed and they were telling us that we could not get them renewed. They said we had to leave the country and then come back in. That was all we could do. Then they told us that Curacao is 20 min flight and we could go there, as it is another country. So we then had to go over there. We did it on a Sunday. We flew out, had lunch on the beach there, and then returned. Man, that was so beautiful!

It was like going to a resort!! THe only problem was that we only had $20.00 american money and the rest was Venezuelan money. They would not exchange it because of the civil unrest in the country. They flatly refused. We had a chance to change it at the bank before we left, but we thought it would be no problem, but of course it was. (Whenever you visit another country, dont expect it to be the same as the one you are from!! You can get in trouble that way!)

Anyways, we did make it back ok. And we got our Visas renewed. Yay!

Also, cigarrettes: the only brand they had besides something made locally, was Marlboro menthol. And so that was what I was smoking for a while. The whole time I was there. It took a while to get used to them, but it was alright. (I have since quit smoking - years ago).

Sometimes during the heavy protesting, the shops would all be closed and it would be hard to find food. We were not eating at home, but eating out every meal. Finally, we decided to do gracery shopping and we could eat at home. We did have a kitchen there and it worked (though it was dated). So we went to the local shopping market to get food (one thing was great is no schedule. We did whatever, whenever. No waiting till Sun, or after post to do it. Had we been around other Sea Org members, they probably would have tried to enforce schedules, but not for us!!! Really, I should have stayed there. It was pretty cool. Actually, I would love to go back and visit someday, but I think it is turning communist now, per the news I have been seeing).

Anyways, grocery shopping was a joke. I mean, the store is the same size as any you would find in the US, but my gosh!! They had nothing. You would go down one isle and they would have toilet paper, salt, mustard, cold cereal and baby food. The next isle would be exactly the same, but moved around to look different. Every isle was like that! And the veggies section was potatoes and onions. Thats it. This was a HUGE market. We did find some eggs and bread and some meat for breakfast and lunchs.

………………………………….

 

Couple of more random things here and I will let you all go for now (until my next installment...):

At one time there were two NWC recruiters there (NWC for Flag, not ours, which was uh, I guess, the main office). THis redheaded kid and another guy who was from Venezuela. The crap those two would get themselves into!!! See, they would travel all over the country doing recruit interviews. Mr redhaead did not speak a lick of spanish. But that didnt matter, I guess. Anyways, there are two ways of travelling. Both are by bus. But one type is nasty, no AC and they are very inexpensive. The other is like a coach bus and they have AC, movies, etc. Well, the cheaper ones are frequented by drug dealers and criminals. And these two recruiters knew that. One day Tyler (redhead) came and told us that his passport was stolen again (it got stolen like 6 times. The American Embassy was sick of seeing him. They didnt even need any ID, because they recognized him every time he came in to get a new one. Getting to the embassy is a two day thing too - it was not close by. that is another story). Anyways, I told them to take the coach bus to wherever they were going. THey wanted to save 50 cents and take the other one. And of course it got stopped and 1/2 the people got carted off to jail. Since Tyler did not have a passport, they were ready to take him too. EVEN THOUGH he did not speak a word of spanish and was a flaming redhead. It was so obvious he was out of place. If he went to jail, that would have been very bad for his own safety. Finally, the other recruiter with him bribed the military and they let him go. <--- (Tyler)

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Ok one time there was an event. Which one would it have been? Uh, I guess Sept would have been Auditors Day. So we were told the event was up the street. One thing you need to know was that any meetings were severely looked upon by the military police and they watched for any and broke them up. (yeah, you guys got it easy in free countries. Enjoy it). So we went to the place and there were alot of people already there. So we hung out for a minute or two and I was looking around. I was in my UC uniform. The people kept looking at us in fear. Then I started to notice that these were people I had never seen before. I mentioned this to my partner and she asked around. We were in the middle of a meeting planning the next protest actions of the democrats in the area!!! These were the people the president was looking for to eliminate!!! (Good hearted people, but dangerous to be around because they were against their government). Oh my goodness we ran out of there as fast as we could!!!

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Thats enough for now. (next time I will tell about the guy with the Clear bracelet. Long story....)
………………


2002 still....

I remember another time when I was suping in the courseroom in VZA at night and the ED and Senior C/S were there on course. It was about 8:00 pm and course was to go until 10:00 pm. Someone came and told me that there was a military take-over in the country and that they were going to enforce a 9:00 pm curfew. That meant they would shoot anyone still on the streets past 9:00 pm. That meant that we had to evacuate the entire org and get everyone home before then. And so I ended my courseroom early (I could get declared for that, but at least I wouldnt be killed).


And another time the Senior C/S came to me and showed me an article in the news about a guy who was sitting in front of the courthouse in Caracas saying that he was going to starve himself until the President resigned or something like that. The Senior C/S told me that this guy was a Scientologist and then somehow the president found that out. It also turned out the guy had a criminal history... a very long one. So this was a potential big flap for the church. Also, he was wearing a Clear bracelet in the photo on the front page of this paper. He was not Clear and noody knew how he got the thing. So then I sent a telex to OSA in Mexico (way up North from us) about it. And they must have fixed it, cause soon afterwards the guy was doing those robotic "peace" ads the church is so known for.


I remembered one more story: trying to find pinksheet paper. That took me 4 days to find. It just does not exist. They do not have pink paper in the country that I could find!!! They had TONS of goldenrod folders though. That was odd. I searched the entire town for pink paper and I finally had to settle for buying pink tissue paper on a roll and getting it cut down to size. That was all I could do. That was my first introduction to the country and its resources, actually.


I really enjoyed being out there, but also at the same time, missed my family, and at the same time, while I was out there, I got my official divorce paper. That was upsetting. We were already separated for a long time, but it hit home with the letter. And the interesting thing about it was that when I got back to LA he asked me out to breakfast and we went out to eat and got along great. He later ended up going out 2D and routed out. He is/was a sweet guy and I have nothing against him.


Next installment will be my Comm Ev back in LA. I hardly remember it, hopefully it will come to mind soon.
……………..


Part XIII

2002 (I guess) and maybe part of 2003 also... (gettin' foggy on time here)

Prior to leaving to the airport to go back to the US, the FBO of Vza Org asked me to bring 2,000.00 American cash and give it to Gold people to buy another e-meter for the org. So I was carrying this cash with me, plus whateve cash I had.

So my flight was cancelled on Delta due to no gas. But Continental was still flying out and they managed to get me a flight on that. Going through security, I had my emeter with me and I did not speak the language. That freaked them out when they x-rayed it! And they asked me to explain it. Luckily, I had copied info out of What is Scn on what the meter was (spanish version) and let them read that and that seemed to be enough for them. They let me through.

So, I was finally on a flight out of Venezuela. I had a long stop-over in Houston, which was also where I had to go through immigration. (not a problem as I was American with a passport and all).

So I was in Houston for many hours, and with this cash. What my point is here, is that if I wanted to blow, I could have. THats all my point is. I should have, though at the time, I was still dedicated Sea Org member, etc.

So I get back to LA and get put immediately under 24 hour watch. I was like !!! I had plenty of oportunity to disappear, blow, whatever, and I came back by myself and they put me under watch!! Asswipes!! And I was under Comm Ev and not allowed on any of the bases. I was only allowed in the berthing building, where I was doing renovations under watch. I barely remember it.

And I remember that one of the Comm Ev members was a girl who had been flirting with my husband when we were still married and she was involved in convincing him to divorce me. The members are supposed to be unbiased. I tried to request another member and they would not approve it (they, meaning IJC). So my Comm Ev was done, blah blah blah. I remember they asked me if I wanted to be in the Sea Org, and I said yes (who knows why, cause I really didnt). Their final outcome was to kick me out of NWC and make me go to a lower org. NWC spent a while trying to trade me and finally worked out a trade with ASHO, after a while.

But I gotta back up in my story, about my step dad. So when I got back, he was basically in and out of the hospital constantly. Luckily, my mother was allowed to watch him and was not stuck on a post all day. She was able to care for him. THey put him in a home care center, where they were keeping him until he passed (he had stomach cancer).

Meanwhile, my nephew had been diagnosed with cancer as well (at the age of 2) and was treated and was in remission (he had 15% chance of living at the diagnosis. He lived to the age of 6). He came by to visit his step grandpa and he brought with him a red balloon. He visited with grandpa for a while, then brought my mom over to the side and whispered "when he dies, release this balloon to heaven so he knows where to go" . At that time I think he was 4 or 5. So sweet.

And my step dad and mom had signed "do not resuscitate" (sp?) papers. So when he passed, mom and I were both there. She went in before me to check on him and came out all freaked out and told me that his vitals were going down!! She didnt know what to do. I told her to go over and hold his hand and tell him that its ok to go (because that is what they both wanted). And he passed peacefully. Bless his heart.

He had a very funny roommate with him, who made all kinds of jokes about things and was very learned. We were telling him about Scn briefly, and about spirits and things. So when my step dad passed, this neighbor yelled out (in a friendly way) "take me with you!!". It gave us all a good laugh at a tough moment.

The nurses came rushing in with equipment to bring him back, and we stopped them, saying that was his wish.

My mom was crying hysterically, which I dont remember ever seeing before. I took her for a walk, which the nurses really did not understand why she did not want to be by his side. She then called my brother and told him she released the balloon. He knew what that meant.

I do not remember the service, though I do think that I was allowed to go to it.

Some point after my Comm Ev, there is a gap there where I was still working for NWC, but not allowed to musters and all that. So I was helping in the C/S office at ITO.

And that was when an FCB staff member went Type III and needed an Introspection RD. That story coming up next.
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