Saturday, September 18, 2010
First and foremost, I apologize for the lack in updates. The truth of the matter is, I got stuck when it came to updating for June because it means writing about something that I´d rather not accept happened, let alone have to write about it. In June, shortly after returning from a study abroad program in Spain, my boss, Bolívar Tello, suffered a cerebral embolism and passed away due to medical negligence. He leaves behind a wife and three children, ages 15, 12, and 5. As I wrote earlier, his temporary absence while in Spain was tough on the office, both personally and professionally. If you had asked me a few months ago, I would have said that his permanent absence was unimaginable. Bolívar Tello wasn´t from Zapotillo, but was considered absolutely Zapotillano. He agreed to move here to better develop and care for the Ceiba reserve. He was wise, passionate, and gracious. He worked on the project for nearly a decade, seeing it through all sorts of hardships and difficulties. He was undeniably dedicated; normally the last one to go home. He had to set an alarm at lunch because otherwise he would forget to go and his wife would call, annoyed that his lunch had been left to get cold. For Bolívar, the work week wasn´t Monday through Friday, it was 24/7, year-round, whenever something needed to be done. He loved the people of the communities and looked to help them in any way he could, though the majority of them had doubted, denounced, or rejected him and his help at one time or another. He united our office not only as coworkers, but as a family. He was warm, sincere, and open; never judgmental. He didn´t know the meaning of minding his own business, because everyone´s well-being was his business. He was a joker…his laugh was the one most often heard ringing through the office. He taught us to enjoy each other, enjoy the work, and enjoy the forest that we were working so hard to protect. Bolívar wasn´t just my boss, he was a mentor, a friend, an inspiration. There´s no way to replace him or to recover what we´ve lost; our only consolation is to honor him by following in his footsteps.