lunes, 10 de septiembre de 2007

The Herald Tribune

Victoria Burnett del Herald Tribune también se acercó a Muxía a entrevistar a María Amelia

Spanish 'granny' dissects past and present on blog

By Victoria Burnett

MUXÍA, Spain: Her readers call her "the little granny," and for eight months she has engrossed them with her ruminations on the present and her recollections of the past. Since her debut in cyberspace in December, María Amelia López, 95, has drawn thousands of readers from across the globe with an incisive blog.

This Internet journal ( is a meandering chronicle of old age sprinkled with vivid reminiscence and her take on contemporary life, from fashion and workers' rights to Basque terrorism and Iran's nuclear pretensions. Since her grandson, Daniel, 35, set it up as a birthday present in December, López's blog has received 350,000 hits and drawn responses and, increasingly, media attention from as far afield as Chile, Venezuela, Russia and Japan.

"It's a whole new universe," said López, an elegant woman with high, arched brows and a keen stare. She dictates her entries to Daniel. "It's like having a conversation, and those who read what I say become my friends."

López, who now calls herself the "world's oldest blogger," discovered the Internet late last year, when she heard a voice coming from a computer - her grandson speaking over the Web to a friend in Mexico.

"I thought, 'What is this thing of the devil?' " she recalled, speaking in the computer room at the town hall of this quiet town on Spain's northwestern coast.

When her grandson explained, López seized on the Internet as a way of keeping up with the world.

"I told him, 'Between the life that I have led and the life into which you were born, there is an enormous difference. I want to understand your culture. I want to be on top of things,' " she said.

Daniel set up the blog and showed his grandmother how to use the Internet to read El País, the Spanish newspaper. He prints out biographies and news articles from the Web for her to read, as well as responses to her blog, she said. Nearsighted, she says she tires quickly of reading text on a computer screen.

By turns insightful, amusing and mundane, López's blog reports on the world she sees during the summer from her seaside balcony in Muxía, where she was born, and from the Galician farmhouse where she lives with her grandson the rest of the year.

She blogs sporadically, sometimes once a week, sometimes every day, chronicling her swollen joints, her bouts of dizziness and her trips to the doctor. She charts the progress of the construction work on the apartment building next door in Muxía, lamenting the apparent lack of safety measures and the rudimentary apparatus; she complains about poor broadband penetration in Galicia.

López turns her eye from modern fashion to Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. In January, she wondered how the girls in church could stay warm with "their little knickers showing and their hips all bare."

Not that she is against all new fashions, she added. "A miniskirt with a pretty pair of legs - that, I love," she wrote. "But you really need to have good legs."

In May, she sent regular updates from her trip to Brazil - her first outside Europe - and posted pictures of herself dancing and wading in the sea.

When ETA, the violent Basque separatist group, formally ended its cease-fire in June, López turned her sympathetic cybergaze toward Zapatero, who had tried to broker peace. "You did what you could," she wrote in her blog. "And you'll still make it if you can, but it's a very hard thing to do."

The prime minister is among hundreds who have written to López to commend her vivacity, wish her blog a long life or seek counsel, she said.

"I have kids asking me what career they should follow, but I don't feel qualified to advise them," she said.

If the Internet has provided López with a new way of connecting to the outside world, it has also provided a path to her country's sometimes painful past. López was 25 when Spain's civil war began in 1936.

In a March blog, López described how she and her family, who supported the republicans fighting General Francisco Franco, were protected early in the civil war by a soldier who happened to be in their village. "I don't know if he saved our lives, but he definitely saved us from a good beating," she wrote.

A reader from Madrid, Joaquín Polo, read her account and wrote to tell her that he believes the soldier was his uncle, Luis. López then realized that she knew Polo's parents and marveled at the coincidence. "The Internet opens paths and opens up the past," she wrote.

This week, a tear rolled from behind her thick spectacles as she read an article on her blog contributed by a reader about Francisco Sánchez Adanza, a priest she knew as a young woman who she said helped leftists during the civil war. "He saved a lot of lives," she said in a quivering voice, pressing her nose to the computer screen and reading the text aloud. "He was a saint, a true saint."

As the summer draws to a close, López said, her next project is to learn to navigate the Web more extensively and, maybe, learn a language.

"Elderly people like me - and there are a lot of old people who are younger than I am - should all have someone who shows them how to use the Internet," she said. "You have to stay informed."

See other posts in English (>>)

20 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

A regueifa esta na mesa
e no medio ten un buxo
levantese voste señora
e mire si a galiña puxo.

Ai que para canta-la regueifa
entre hoxe e mais mañan
o que me conteste de lado
aquel e o meu irman.

Inda chei de votar unha
dendes da pola dun pino
para canta-la regueifa
valemos eu a mai-lo primo.

Meu primo non lle da ben
que non as sabe cadrar
pero dempois salen ben
que te ten moi bo cantare

Unknown dijo...

Leyendo el IHT he llegado a este blog y me ha emocionado ver la fuerza y la ilusión con la que usted llega a todos nosotros.

Muchas felicidades y ánimo!!

Anónimo dijo...

Greeting from Boston!
Today's Boston Globe ran a beautiful story about you and your blog. I am so sorry I do not speak Spanish and can not follow your story :(
You are an inspiration to us all!
Best wishes, Kathy Maister

Anónimo dijo...

You are in English as well!!! Wonderful!

Anónimo dijo...

Gago se mea en la cara de Henry y Vieira

Anónimo dijo...

aupaa! ni mi abuela de 80 años escriviria en un blog!

Cynthia dijo...

Maria Amelia rules! Besides having a beautiful name (my Italian granny was Amelia), she is a lesson to all of us on getting old. Although she's younger than most people I know!

Hasta la vista, baby!

Cynthia from Boston

Poobsh dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Poobsh dijo...

Yo enseño español en Massacusetts, USA, y ¡estoy emocionada para compartir su blog con mis estudiantes!
Creo que Ud. es increíble y un modelo para todos. A entender una cultura y abrazarla, es lo que tenemos que hacer.
Buena Suerte, Profe.

eileen dijo...

felicidades y buena suerte para el año 96!

Anónimo dijo...

Hola yo vivo en los Estados Unidos pero tengo una suegra que es gallega y vive en Pontevedra. Siempre le dicimos que nos escriba por internet pero le tiene miedo al ordenador y ella es mas joven, 84 años! Me parece que la mejor medicina para la gente major es comunicacion y que mejor manera de conocer a todo el mundo que por el internet!

klavaza dijo...

Me emocioné de nuevo con la nota del diario. Lamento que mi madre nos dejara en mayao pasado, le hubiera encantado leerte.

Gerardo Donoso dijo...

María Amelia....
Aprovecha por favor y diles que piensas de la guerra en Irak.
Saludos desde Chile

Anónimo dijo...

Estimada Sra. Amelia,
Somos una clase de español de un colegio de los Estados Unidos y
nos gustó mucho su sitio en el Internet. Le felicitamos en su vida increíble y Ud. nos ha enseñado que ser activa es ser
joven. Buena suerte, y nos
gustaría recibir mensajes de Ud.


Los estudiantes de St. John's Preparatory School
Danvers, MA

Anónimo dijo...

hola señora Lopez.
me encanta que Usted esta todavía en tan buena forma!De veras no parece en la foto que tiene 95 años ya!saludos desde alemania!

Que sigue teniendo tanta fuerza y alegria como hasta ahora!

Anónimo dijo...


I'm from Finland. I saw an article about you and came to see your blog.


Anónimo dijo...

Usted es una mujer inspiradora. Dios los bendiga!

eternal dijo...

I think it's wonderful to see the stories and wisdom of an elder in a forum like this. You are an amazing person.

Babe dijo...

What a great blog! You seem like such a sweet lady. Keep telling your stories!

Anónimo dijo...

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