28 December 2010

We made it...!

Hardly any time to post…just to say that my aunty and I…we made it! Escaped, we’re with Jackson now and…we’re being taken good care of. It’s sUPeR, SupER sEcREtO!!!

But…still no-one is really sure who killed my father.

If you’ve been following this blog - and I know someone has (I checked my blog stats :P) – then maybe you can help?

To HELP me, it's best to watch from when I started my video blog.

Send me an email at beltrangabi (at) darkwaterbooks.com and post your information there. If you email me I pROmISe I'll get back to you...eventually...and let you know how it all worked out.

Remember...we're on the run, and I don't know when or WhERe we're going to settle.

And once again – thANkS a mILLiOn!

But if you’re NOT Josh Garcia…then I guess I still need to worry about him...

What’s your story Josh, my mysterious, adventurous old buddy?

27 December 2010

I think I've got this working...

It took my WAYYY longer than I expected…pah, it’s always the same with programming.

But I DID it, yAy mE!!!!! :)

I’m going to run for it. And here on http://www.geekgrrlgabi.com/ you can see how I get along.

I’m leaving this place around 1am, Mexico City time. I’ll try and post something right away…

aND yOu CaN hELp Me! sEE yOu thERe!

26 December 2010

25 December 2010

23 December 2010


...and here's what happened when I chatted with Hans Runig...(I pasted it again, from the chat window).

>>> What have you done with the Ortiz family?

You know what I want, Gabi Beltran. I want your father’s research. All of it. Every sample of that DNA sequence. And the names of anyone who knows about it.

>>> The Ortiz family did nothing to you. They didn’t even know about any of this. They were just trying to help me.

And look where your selfish escapade got them.

>>> If I do what you ask – will you let the Ortiz family go free?

That’s negotiable. First I want you to hand yourself over. You and all those test-tubes.

>>> Leave me alone. I just want my life to be how it was.

You know that can’t happen. Not now.

>>>I’m going to the police.

You may find it’s too late for that.

>>>Too late?

You have three days, Miss Beltran. Three days to hand yourself over to me. Or you will never hear from the Ortiz family again.


22 December 2010

21 December 2010

20 December 2010

19 December 2010

18 December 2010

Close Call

That site, btw, is the one that starts with AGYL... (I don't want to post the whole thing here...)

I wasn't sure if you'd know which sequence from the lab results email was DNA and which one was protein. Just put the whole amino acid (protein) sequence in as a URL and you'll see what I mean.

And be careful what you say!

(and here's the chat I had with that strange guy on the site...)

Dr. Bennett! I assumed that after your betrayal, you would lay low.
>>> I’m not Jackson Bennett.
Not Dr. Bennett! Quite a surprise. Who else might know the sequence but Jackson Bennett and Dr. Valencia? Of course, I know you’re not her.
>>> Leave her out of this.
Ah, so you know her too, don’t you? Be careful, the tone of words on a page are as easily read as those from the mouth.
>>> Who are you?
Well indeed, who are you? Please, don’t waste your time answering that. I’ll soon know the answer to that.
>>> You’re the one aren’t you? The one who killed them – PJ and Simon.
Hmm, now you’re getting quite upset! So, you’re in Mexico, if my trace is right.
>>> How can you kill people? How can you take life?
Aha! I wonder – are you perhaps the girl on the vespa – who was visiting Dr. Valencia? La vida es la barata, pequeña, pero el mundo no lo es.

Found in Translation

17 December 2010

15 December 2010

12 December 2010

11 December 2010

10 December 2010

9 December 2010

Found him...

The website is...


Oh and the password…I don’t want to post it here. I went into Habbo and left a note for you on a sticky, in your room.

7 December 2010

6 December 2010

Test tubes


5 December 2010


4 December 2010


Bad News


3 December 2010

No Word

2 December 2010

1 December 2010

28 November 2010

27 November 2010


With Papá away and Mama in hospital, I can’t stay home alone anymore. That kinda sucks!

So I’m staying at the house of a friend.

A neighbour, Señora Jimenez, is looking after our house – she’s the one with lots of crazy barking dogs.

I visit Mama in hospital but she doesn’t recognise me at the moment. The doctors are giving her lots of medicine. I get sad just looking at her because I can see she’s in pain. I wish they could make her better.

Papá does too. He’s called every night so far, to see how I am. We don’t speak for very long. What’s to say? Mama’s no better, Papá says nothing about his top-secret project, and I-

I wish Abuelita was still here. Mama might not have fallen if Abuelita had been at home. She wouldn’t have been lying there for so long, anyway. I wouldn’t have to stay with my friend.

I would at least have my home.

24 November 2010

Mi Madre

Mama has fallen downstairs. She’s broken her pelvis. I found her. It was terrible. She was all alone in the dark, crying.

Papá is halfway around the world in Switzerland meeting with that company, Chald… something. Anyhow, there was no one to collect me from school.

I knew there was something wrong. My mom was supposed to collect me that evening because Papá couldn’t. And when I asked someone to call Mama there was no reply.

The doctores said that Mama is lucky I arrived when I did. She was in a bad way.

She could have died. I don’t like to think about it…

22 November 2010


There was so much blood outside my school today!

I was at recess when it happened. These two older guys were fighting on the street outside. They were arguing. This guys in my school had been watching them. I overheard them say it had something to do with money.

One of the guys who was fighting wearing our school uniform. The other guy, no one recognised. He wasn’t wearing a uniform.

There was a van at the side of the road. It looked like the other guy was trying to drag the boy from my school into his van.

The guy from the van pulled a knife. There was blood all over the place. I screamed. Not just me - so did everyone. When the teachers came they were shouting at us to be quiet.

Our school doesn’t have that kind of violence. We don’t have metal detectors, not like the state schools. Normally we don’t have problems with knives or weapons.

I hate knives.

They are real scary. It’s part of why my parents don’t allow me out on my own. I’m not even allowed to walk to school. Some of the kids have drivers who take them to and from school. I have Mama.

The boy from my school was real badly hurt. But the other guys just drove away before the police arrived.

The rumour is: the boy’s older brother owes the van driver money. The van driver wanted to kidnap the younger brother until he got his money. Kidnappings have always been high in the city, but recently they are getting worse.

Everybody is like, really scared.

19 November 2010

Institute de la biotecnología

Just in case you’re thinking I’m a little obsessed with my dad’s work – forget it!

But I am obsessed with ice cream. And my dad’s lab is near the best ice-cream in the world.

Now do you see the connection?

My dad works at Temixco Biotech Institute, about 65 kilometres from Mexico City. It’s some famous, big-deal Mexican science facility but even better, it’s near to the town of Tepoztlan, home of the famous Tepozteco ices.

If you’ve never tried them you don’t know what you are missing. And that’s fine – more for me.

I never miss a chance to visit my dad’s lab – I always persuade him to drop by Tepoztlan. When we have more time we even visit the pyramid ruins, at the top of cliff.

He hasn’t taken me there for months though. Papa says things are getting really frantic at work. Some big scientific breakthrough, all very, very secret.


16 November 2010


I have now read all the HaRRy PoTtEr books. The series is finished - finally. I can get on with my life!

No, it hasn’t taken me this long to read the last Harry Potter book. I just decided not to read it right away. That meant avoiding the films too (and it’s not because I’m crazy for Daniel Radcliffe, Kasper Castillo, so don’t get started).

I wanted to make up my own mind about whether it was good or not. I don’t get much time for reading, not when I have so much school work to do, and my computers. Plus, I have to leave some room for friends.

Harry Potter had to wait. But it was worth it!

I won’t spoil the ending for those of you yet to read it. I just wanted to say that reading them one after the other over the past few months has left me agotada.

Yeah…I definitely need a rest.

I don’t think anyone could live through what Harry has to live through without a heart attack. It would have finished me!

14 November 2010

God's Programming

Papá was very excited because they delivered a big new machine to his lab. An automatic DNA analyzer - it cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

I asked Papa how you use it – he laughed.

“Who knows” – that’s what he said. “There’s a special technician who operates it. I just send off a test-tube and they send me back the DNA sequence!”

I was supposed to be showing him about information bits and there was my dad telling me about his brand new DNA analyzer. I thought he might be interested in me for once. But, he’s kind of distracted when I tell him.

It always comes back to his work.

I guess genetics is kind of interesting. NOT!

I wish my dad would notice that I don’t care enough to want to study it?

12 November 2010

Blocking Traffic

Papá was trying to tell me how alike we are with our programming. Me with computers, him with DNA – it’s all the same thing. I was showing him a program I had created to stop websites hacking my computer. ¡Está padre! But, it still needs some work.

Imagine a city with roads, and rivers, railways and footpaths, all leading into it. A computer doesn’t have roads. It has ports.

Ports do the same thing as roads, really. A road lets in a car, a port lets in data. Simple, see?

So, by blocking a road or closing a port you prevent cars or data from getting through.

I want to make my computer invisible so that other websites won’t even see it.

Papá was impressed. We have a small network at home and I showed him how to connect to my computer from his. Then I showed him what happens when I close the ports.


The Dogman

Anyway, Papá was telling me how similar computers and genetics are.

All data stored in computers is made up of ones and zeros. It’s like a secret language.

If I wrote 1001010111100010110100011101000101111, all those ones and zeros (each one is called a bit) could mean something like “Hi, Señora Estrada”.

(It doesn’t really, but you see what I mean.)

I explained to Papá that bits work like a light switch so that they are either on (1) or off (0). He told me that computer programs are man’s answer to God’s programming!

He said that DNA is like all those bits (ones and zeros) and is God’s universal language for programming everything from pineapples to monkeys and human beings.

While bits are either 1 or 0, Papá said, the bases in DNA can be either G, C, A, or T.

DNA makes RNA makes protein – may dad said. He called it the Central Dogman of Molecular Biology.

At least – I thought he said Dogman. That would have been cool!

But it turns out he actually said ‘dogma’. It’s like ‘the central belief’.

Not as cool as a Dogman.

10 November 2010

Gusto Musical

Abuelita always thought I was a bit of an oddball when it came to music – I know what I like and I know what I don’t like. She had a sense of national pride –for singers like Luis Miguel o Los Fugitivos.

ThOSe sOpPy lOVe sOnGs aRe aLL a liTTle… cUrSi!

I guess I’m a little different to some of my classmates. I don’t like rap, hip-hop and especially not reggaeton! Yuk!

I guess I’m a rock chick. Anything with a strong guitar sound will get me on my feet – Papá’s caught me a couple of times, dancing on my bed, just jumping up and down really.

My favourites groups at the moment are:

  1. Bon Jovi
  2. Coldplay
  3. Metallica
  4. Rodrigo y Gabriela
  5. U2

And, I have a soft spot for my dad’s favourites too. He likes the Rolling Stones and Clapton and The Police.

You know, the typical, old guy stuff...

8 November 2010


I loVE tO pLAy aRoUNd wItH lITtLe prOGrAms.

Creating computer programs can be real fun. Though, I think you need determination to solve puzzles. I guess that’s what Papá was always going on about with his work – trying to make a mouse glow, or turning a frog into a prince, or whatever he does.

GeNéTiCa! PAh!

Computadoras are where it’s happening. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when it all comes together and you solve the puzzle you set yourself.

Try this game. The Towers of Hanoi is a great example of decision making – and mostly that’s what programming is – you have to choose how best to carry out a task. Programs are designed to make decisions depending on what they are told to do.

If you play the Towers of Hanoi, and try to work out the quickest and best way to move all the discs, then your brain is running through a set of questions and trying to decide the best way to do it:

Where shall I place disc 1?

I can’t put disc 2 on disc 1, so I have to put it on the only free peg.

Should I move disc 1 on top of… well, you get the point.

ThAt’S eXaCTly wHat A prOGraM dOEs. YoU uSe tHOse dEciSiONs tO Do sOMe exCeLEnTe tHIngS

7 November 2010

Science is aburrido

I dON’t gEt wHaT’s sO iNTerEsTIng aBoUT lOokINg aT thInGS tHaT aRe tOO smALl tO eVeN sEe.

Papá looks at “the building blocks of life”, he keeps telling me, but I just think we’re made this way for a reason. Why are they playing around with what makes us human?

He’s tried in the past to get me interested (I really think he wanted me to take after him - seguir los pasos de alguien). Once, we did this experiment to extract DNA from one of Mama’s rosa bushes, where we mushed it up in a blender and did some kind of separation with alcohol. At the end of it we had this stringy white stuff that was DNA. At least that’s what Papá said it was. I thought he’d spat in the test tube while I was watching the televisión.

When Mama saw where Papá had snapped the rosa off, leaving just the stem poking out of the bush, she was furioso. We had already sworn Abuelita to secretismo (she shook her head and hid away in her room – she hated lying and found it difficult that Papá could never tell her about his work) and told Mama it was one of the neighbourhood perros (they bark all day long, so if she went out and hit one with the broom, I wouldn’t mind).

I’ve just found the experiment we did. It’s here if you want to give it a go for yourself.

Papá always told me never to do any experiments unsupervised. Like he thinks I’m still a little girl and interested in science.

4 November 2010

Secret Projects

PaPá dOEs a lOt oF tRAvELling – hE’s a moLEcuLar bIoLoGIst, reMeMbeR?

Usually he has to go where the work is (he works for himself and companies hire him). He’s always jetting off to Switzerland or somewhere exotic for some aburrido, sciency conference. Boring guys talking about boring subjects.

He was getting really excited about his latest employer, some company called… er… I wasn’t listening… Chad… or Chal… or Chan… something.

Papa never tells me what he’s going to be working on. When I used to ask, he’d go all quiet, make sure no one was around to listen and whisper in my ear: “Es un secreto”. And off he’d go, laughing to himself.

Oooh, big, secret, money-making science ideas…

Don’t worry Daddy. Your secrets are safe with me.

(Like he’d ever tell me! You’re crazy!)

3 November 2010

Lucha Libre

mY tWO fISh, MyStERio y EpHeStO, aRe nAmED afTeR mAskED wReSTlerS fRoM frEEstYLe pRo-WreSTliNg. I dOn’T reALly lIKe wReStLing bECauSe iT’s jUSt bIg, sWeATy mEn gRUntIng aNd thROwiNg eAch oTHer arOUnD. But, it’s so big over here that you can’t help but see at least one masked man every day.


Really, I named my fish after luchadors because they are dumb. They both make the same breathless, puffing faces. It’s so ugly and funny. Luchadors never see the setup either – when their opponent does a flying headscissor they never see it coming – talk about short memories!

My family aren't known for keeping pets - they're all too busy with work. But my aunt did have a little cat called Isabel.

We all called her Isa.

2 November 2010

My Family

PaPá iS aLWayS aWAy oN buSIneSS, sO MaMa aNd AbUEliTa, pReTTy mUch, bROugHt mE uP. EvEN wHen pApá iS hOMe I hArDLy sEe hiM bECauSe hE’S sO oBSesSEd wItH hIs wORk.

Before Abuelita died, she used to say that’s where I got my determination from. She was the same though. Nobody ever won an argument against Abuelita. She was a testarudo old lady. Once she’d set her mind on something, there was no way to change it. She’d give you un golpecito just for trying. Not that it would hurt – Papá used to clutch his cheek like a little boy, while she would continue to wag her finger, just to wind her up. And she’d brandish a rolling pin until he fled the kitchen, laughing. Territorial as a gato (miaow!), prowling the kitchen and salón, keeping the rest of us in order.

Papá loves his genetics, but I love computer programming. OK, I’m a nerd, get over it!!!!

I guess the only difference between him and me is that I’m playing around with software programs and he’s playing around with DNA. At least I think that’s what he does.

It all sounds kinda boring.

WhAtEVer! It’s still programming.

Occasionally, he tries to interest me (seems to think science is cool), like, a couple of years ago he was going on about a breakthrough in fighting malaria…

I’ve just Googled it, and actually it’s a “breakthrough in understanding the genetics of” blah blah blah.

See, like I say - boring.

But you can read about it here if you think you fancy becoming a scientist.

Why do these things always have something to do with fruit flies?

AnYWay, iF YOu wAnt tO sAVe tHe wOrLd - wEAr a wHitE cOaT.

1 November 2010

About Me

mY naMe is gAbi.

I was born Gabriela, but the only people who call me that now are the boys when they’re trying to be chistoso. The only thing funny is the way they run away when I threaten to kick them in the- (Señora Estrada has told me to save my insultos for playground).

ApoLOgiEs iF yOU’ve aCcIDenTAlly fOuND yoUr wAy heRE bUt I’Ve gOt soMe aBuRRido tHiNgs I haVe tO wrITe tO pRovE a bAsIC kNoWLedGe oF EnGlISh:

Like, I am 14 years old. I have no brothers or sisters. I have two fish. They are called Mysterio y Ephesto.

Mi papá is a molecular biologist and mi mama is a housewife. Mi abuelita (papá’s mama) used to live with us.

I live in Tenochtitlan (that’s what Ciudad de México was called before the Spanish trampled everything – so they keep telling us in history classes – yawn!) I’ve lived in Ciudad de México my whole life. In fact everyone just calls our city ‘México’.

It might sound like a great place (it’s one of the world’s largest cities) but Mama refuses to let me go anywhere unsupervised. I can’t do anything myself, like go into anywhere with just my friends.

Pues, mira – I want to be free to enjoy myself. OK! Like, I know the city can be a dangerous place. It wouldn’t matter so much if we were poor. (OK we’re not rich but, you know what I’m saying, we’re not poor, not like some of the real poor people we got here in Mexico).

You don’t need to be rich to be kidnapped in Mexico. Pretty sucky, but that’s the truth. Just if you ahev a nice car or maybe go to a nice school, is enough to make you interesting. Newspapers are always full of murders and kidnappings. Mama has always said that we just can’t risk going out alone.

It’s just that round here all the faces are the same, and you have to put up with the same idiotas (tHIs mEaNS yOU KaSPeR caSTiLlo – thE nEXt TIme yOu sPReAd rUmORes aBoUT mE I’M gOInG tO tELl eVEryOne tHat yOU eStAS enAMorAdo dE lEOni MoREnO).


31 October 2010



Lo siENto, SEñora EstRaDA, i Am tRYinG To gEt on wItH tHIs. IT’s jUSt… ¡aBuRriDo! (ThaT’S bORinG in ENglISh).

See, this is easy! Anyone can write in English.

I bet I can even put Español words in all the right places too (I love it when people can talk two idiomas and they keep switching between them as if they’re one language – ¡Está padre!).

¡Auxilio! Help!

I’ve been forced – contra mi voluntad – to keep an online diary for my English class. I need to prove I can speak English - ¡guau! – as if I am a 10 year old.

MaNy wOrDs Are sIMiLar aNyWAys. DoES it ReALly maTteR wHIch oNe I uSe?