The Albuquerque Bio park is an oasis of water in the desert.
There is an aquarium, rose gardens, a gift shop and museum, a restaurant, and a little train that blows its whistle as it takes kids on a sedate ride through the grounds. The Park has been here over thirty years and is a result of private and public money pooled.
In the aquarium, Alma and I are below ground level, separated from fish by large glass panels that are the edge of their world and the beginning of ours.
In one tank, jelly fish float, almost transparent aliens with internal power plants lit up like Christmas ornaments.
Taking pictures for her Facebook pages, Alma returns to Marinduque in December. With family, a coconut farm, and the beginnings of a pig farm, she has reasons to be there. We humans have roots that keep us grounded. Jellyfish hold to nothing.
Recently an uncle who raised her and her brothers and sisters, after they were abandoned, passed. Working in Chicago, all she could do was wire money back to the Philippines and say a prayer for the man who took her in when no one else wanted her.
To have a hard life and still be enchanted speaks volumes about the human spirit.