This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Honestly, it’s been a long time since we’ve asked that question, especially after meeting our friend, translator, and “comrade in arms” on this blog, John R. Bopp. Since then, all our doubts have dissipated, and we understand perfectly.
John still hasn’t decided to film a video explaining his reasons why he’s happy in the Basque Country (or how weird it is for him to be talking about himself in the third person), but we hope he’ll get inspired. However, his “neighbor” to the west, Bart Farrell, has. John is from Nevada and Bart from California, two states that share a long, straight border with a crick in the middle of Lake Tahoe.
They both ended up in our country for love; both revere Basque cuisine; and both are thrilled to live here. It is a truth universally acknowledged that Basques are born wherever they please, and these two decided to be born in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada (the “good one”, with Lake Tahoe and Yosemite), albeit on different sides.
So why are we telling you all this about the Basques who were “born in the USA”? Well, for one simple reason, which we’re sure some of our readers have already guessed, but which we couldn’t resist sharing anyway.
Bart has a blog called Good Morning Bilbao, and a YouTube channel called This is English!, and it’s on this latter source where Bart’s given us a great gift. Now, we do hope he doesn’t mind we’re on a first-name basis already; after all, he’s been living here for six years, so he’s probably realized how hard it is for us Basques to stand on formality. Not that that in any way means that we’ve lost any respect for our videomaker. But that’s what you get when you live in a land where everyone is nobility.
This gift is a video where Bart explains why he’s so happy living in our land. And he does so with an absolutely positive vision that should make us all step back and reflect on how easy, and sterile, it is to live in a state of permanent self-criticism and dissatisfaction. Wanting to improve our Basque society doesn’t mean we have to always be pointing out everything that’s wrong–that’s unacceptable.
Finally, to answer the question we posed with our headline, we’re reminded of our responsibility to always leave things better than we found them. It’s a statement of principles, and a call to attention.
To finish off, we’d like to remind all those Basques born anywhere in the world who’ve come to our land to integrate into it and make up a part of it of what we wrote back in 2012 on Aberri Eguna:
We will accept anyone, from anywhere, who wants to share with us the luck of our people, as a brother.
So, to all the Barts, and Johns, and remaining Basques who chose to be born elsewhere: