Congrats to David B.!

David Bendezu, aaduna Fall 2011 issue
David Bendezu, a member of the Phoenix Players Theatre Group (PPTG) sited at the Auburn Correctional Facility in Auburn, NY and a former aaduna contributor recently received his Associate’s degree from Cayuga Community College through a privately-funded program administered by Cornell University.  This program seeks to give incarcerated individuals the opportunity to earn a college degree after several years of hard work and study under the instruction and guidance of Cornell faculty members.     

Mr. Bendezu’s work in aaduna, represented his poignant contribution to the larger PPTG staged theatrical work, titled “Inside Out” presented to a select invited audience at the Auburn Correctional Facility in 2011. 

We wish David continued success as he takes those pathways to create a better life for himself.

Congratulation David!  Your Mom beamed with pride throughout the ceremony.  Continue to fill her heart and spirit with joy.

David's work as published in aaduna Fall 2011 issue:

The Day I Saw My Aunt Tanya 

Part 1:

Before I was born in 1987, my mother was told to get an abortion because she had no help to raise me. At the time, my mother was about 8 months pregnant living in Peru and heading to America. Her sister Tanya told her not to get an abortion because she would help my mother raise me if she needed help. Seven months in America my mother calls Tanya and tells her she needs help. So me, a little baby then, heads back to Peru. Tanya, my aunt, raised me until 1992. I remember crying when I left her.

Part 2:

David: “Ma, I need $50 to go to the Liberty Science Center.”
Mother: “Liberty que? Liberty what?”
D: “Ma porfavor you know how much I love science.”
M: “NO! No tengo money. Sorry I got bills.”
D: “Ma, please, please I want to go. Come on.”
M: “Ok! Diablo, tú molesta. You’re annoying! One condition, you’re punished when you get back. No Nintendo, playing outside, only school!”
D: “Yes! Ok thank you, Ma. I love you.”

Part 3:

If anyone has ever been to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey in the mid 90’s, the first thing you see when you walk in was this big ball that opened up to a million spikes. The first floor had all the electronics. The second floor had cool items for sale. The third floor held the big theatre. We watched National Geographic in 3D. The fourth floor held all the exhibits.

Part 4:

The fourth floor had a huge telescope. We watched the sun spots and compared it to the Earth. They had some snakes on show, a huge roach zoo. But, then I saw this ambulance and decided to get in. I played with the horn, the mirror, then moved to the middle where I pretended to play a doctor, then a patient. Then I got out through the back doors and that’s when I saw a car that was crushed into a ball. The children were not allowed to touch the car, only view it. Next to the car they had biography of what happened to the car. The text said it was one of the biggest car accidents in White Plains, NY history. The victim’s name was Tanya, some weird last name. It said that her body was flown back to Peru where her family gave her a proper memorial. I just started crying right there.

Part 5:

Mother: “How was it? Como te fue?”
David: “Ma, what happened to Aunt Tanya?”
M: “Hijo, you were too young to remember Tanya.”
D: “Ma, what happened?”
M: “She died in a car accident in White Plains a couple of years ago.”

Toys Are Us

ALL: I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys “R” Us kid.
A million toys to choose from, that I can play with.
♪ From bikes to trikes and video games,
its the biggest toy store there is. GEE WIZ!
♫ I don't wanna grow up, cuz baby if I did....
I wouldn't be a Toys “R” Us kid! ♫ ♪♪....

David takes the stage.
I used to work at Toys “R” Us, selling toys. Yea, me a convicted felon, used to work at a toy store. I used to help people, and during the holidays I would enjoy seeing the reaction of the children when they saw the toys that they were looking for. I once bought my little sisters a Dora kitchen set. [Says in the Dora voice:]“Hi, it’s me, Dora. Wanna come and cook?” They used to love when I bought them gifts.

June 14, 2006. I am at work and doing what I normally do. (He stocks shelves.)
“Excuse me Miss, do you need any help?”
A lady answers, “No, I’m good, thank you.” David turns around when an elderly lady asks, “Sir, excuse me, sir, I need your help.”
He responds: “Yes, what is it that you need help with?”
She responds: “I’m looking for a toy for my grandson. It’s been all over the commercials. It looks like some pacifier that makes noises.”
David and the customer begin to search.

As I start looking for the toy with the costumer, my boss, Jason, keeps calling for me on the walkie talkie. “Dave, where are you? I need your help up front.” Meanwhile the other costumers were asking me for my help: “Sir, excuse me, can I get your assistance?”
David: “I’ll be with you in one second.”
Boss: “Dave, up front!”
Costumer: “Sir, sir, I am looking for the bike section.”
Boss: “Dave, you better not be horsing around!”
David: “My boss, he’s paranoid. Don’t worry. I’m still here.”
Costumer: “Sir where are the people who work here?”
David: “Please give me a second.”

I finally find the toy. The lady I was helping is very happy. I offer to give her a discount, she accepts and we head up front. Jason sees me, “Where have you been? I have been calling you for over half an hour!”
David: “I was helping a customer.”
Boss: “It doesn’t take that long to help a customer.”
Lady: “Excuse me sir, but he was sincerely helping me. Don’t yell at him. He was very kind to me. We need more people like him in this world.”
What’s crazy about this story is the next day, on June 15th 2006, I found myself getting arrested for assault and robbery. “We need more people like him in this world.”
Yea, ok.