Back Home from Tokyo

My visit to Japan ended too soon. On the last night, I had a wonderful dinner with many of my new friends at the Bird Cafe, hosted by Nobuyuki Kamara, the cafe's owner and a great cook. I also met Ray Sandoval, a Chicano/Japanese guitarist orginally from Tucson, Arizona, who has been in Japan studying. He came with his girlfriend, Atika Shubert, a reporter for CNN. Ray's music has been sold in Japan, by Barrio Gold/Music Camp Entertainment, bringing a Chicano smoothness and Mexican soul close to his Japanese roots. I also want to thank Ray for taking the time to have coffee with me, and for the great conversation, the next morning.

There is, of course, so much more to see and enjoy in Tokyo. I barely scratched the surface. On the way to the Tokyo/Narita airport with Shin Miyata, I began to take in the vastness of this city as we crossed a massive bridge. I truly hope this is not my last visit here -- something I will have to work on in the near future.

My family came for me at LAX after a close to 10-hour flight. It was great to be back in LA, where I am at home, and to see my wife Trini, my daughter Andrea, my son Luis, and my granddaughter Catalina (my son Ruben was working that morning -- but we hung out later in the day).

Again, I came home to tons of work -- writing deadlines, hundreds of emails, a box of regular mail, and preparation for more trips. And the funding and outreach work I do for Tia Chucha's Cafe & Centro Cultural.

Still it's a good life -- for which I am truly grateful. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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