Posted by: Ernest Barteldes | December 31, 2009

2009: A Year in Review


When 2009 began, it had been six months since I’d quit my full-time position at a local language center to dedicate myself to writing full-time. Even with the recession, things looked promising. After all, I was getting a lot of assignments, which kept the bills paid… but then many of the papers and magazines I was writing for either started doing most of their stuff in-house or simply ceased publication altogether (RIP Global Rhythm & Foreign News).

However, I must admit that I got lucky. Last April, I was invited to take over a few classes at a local college, which pretty much saved my life and my bank account. So far, it has been a very good experience that has taught me a lot, and reminded me how – with the proper technological resources – teaching could be fun again.

I haven’t, of course, given up on the writing thing (you wouldn’t be getting this weekly newsletter if I had), but having a regular paycheck again has given me more freedom to work on my short story collection and also write from the heart, which turns out is way more satisfying than I thought. Also, with the recession, I am extremely fortunate and grateful to have gotten this job.

On a personal level, things were very positive in 2009. My wife and I continued to travel on a regular basis, and we made a return trip to Brazil last May (to Rio and my mother’s home town of Fortaleza),

Cleveland and Philadelphia in September and more recently to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. I continued to play with the Sal da Terra musical group at the Church of Our Lady of Pompeii in Greenwich Village and have recently begun a new music project that should debut in the coming months.

Of course, there were a few hiccups along the way : I had a misunderstanding with an editor in one of the markets I work in, and after almost a year the situation has not been resolved in spite of all my efforts in that direction; also, my relationship with a family member here in the US has deteriorated to a point that we are no longer on speaking terms. Some plans my wife and I had did not come to fruition due to the uncertainty in the economy, but they were not completely shelved – we just need to wait and see how things evolve in the future. Also, we saw some friends drift away for a reason or another, but at the same time we made some new ones as well…

As the last hours of 2009 pass, I would invite everyone to lift a virtual glass and toast for the new decade to come: May it be a happy one for all of us



  1. Hi Ernest,

    Happy New Year!!!

    We’re probably going to Fortaleza in April to sort out my situation so that I can get back to some semblance of a normal life, relationship, career, etc.

    I really miss the times when we used to play and sing together…. we were actually rather good!

    Do you still have any photos, video footage (as wmv, mpg or flv) of any of our stuff?

    You can find a whole lot of my stuff, including a new slide show of your favourite Paulo Oenio song (Garoto Latrino) at:

    Also the scary pictures of the snow here in Patcham (9 below tonight!) Note my afro in the second picture of the Latin Boy video…. that’s scary, too!!!

    I hope we can find some way to meet up again some day soon.

    All the best,

    Paul (and Christine).

    • Paul

      Unfortunately I have none. Check up with Regis, he does keep a file with pretty much EVERYTHING from those years


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