Thursday, August 30, 2018

This Ethiopian Village Needs a Teacher

Además de una experiencia asombrosa en Etiopía, tuve la suerte de conocer a Tadi. Él y yo trabajamos juntos en el aula todos los días que estuve enseñando. Es una de esas personas únicas y merecedoras de la oportunidad de realizar su sueño de ser profesor de su aldea. Sin él no hay ninguno.

Besides Ethiopia being an amazing experience, I had the good fortune to meet Tadi. He and I taught together in the classroom every day while I was there. He's one of those unique people who truly deserves the opportunity of achieving his dream of becoming his village's school teacher. Otherwise, there's none.
At the moment the page and request are in Spanish, but don't let that stop you from translating the text and making a kind donation of $5 or $10 so that Tadi can get certified as a teacher for his (and now my beloved village of Dhadim).

Tadi's little son
On his wedding day

Friday, April 20, 2018

Small Talk and Other US Norms

I first thought people were cold and distant, especially when entering shops and cafés, because they didn't engage in friendly chatter (small talk). Now I understand that it's more cultural than I imagined!

Learning about the culture of a country can be daunting and it very often remains at a superficial level. However, it's useful to have an idea of what to expect if you're contemplating visiting a country. 

So here's are  ten things you should know about the USA:

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Ferns and Fragile Things

Sagebrush is such a cool plant, so tough, so strong. I mean, who wouldn't want to say that she's a sagebrush, a badass plant? Regardless of hot furnace-like winds, she holds her own and gives some back, even making cowboys and ranchers wear chaps and thick gloves. I have tried, most of my life, to be a sagebrush, but, I'm not. Instead, I was a born little, an untimely runt.

My parents were 19 and other than following the social norms of the times, which mostly meant marriage some months before my birth, they were on the whole, unprepared, totally. Neither could handle the commitment of marriage, that included jobs, in-laws, and a myriad of skills, not to mention a baby, and they went their separate ways when I was just two months old. Decades later, I still revisit the sentiment that's followed me throughout my life; a fatherless daughter is a very vulnerable being.

My mother went into labor prematurely, when I was quite tiny, just 6lbs.4oz. The hospital staff had been ordered to wait the doctor's return In those days that's what they did. So, when my mother's contractions increased and I began to travel down the birth canal, the nurses clamped my mother's legs together to stop my early arrival, something they weren't able to do, and something that would be criminal today. I was finally born, a little girl to my father's chagrin, and weak with compromised lungs. Breathe, baby just breathe.

Breathing has ailed me all my life; asthma, bedrest, modified PE, and assorted respiratory illnesses that plague me each winter with the common cold. Sometimes I just forget to breathe in general, like I'm not really living , and so I have to remind myself. Breathe, baby, breathe.

So, very clearly, I'm definitely not a sagebrush, the rugged stuff of fighting lore. It's taken me almost fifty years to accept it.

No, I'm wonderfully something else, altogether. It's taken me all my life to understand, accept and love something different about myself, and it's this: I'm a fern! A fern, that in warm light and in forest mist delicately unfolds its lovely fronds towards the sun and sky. Ferns are unique with two separate living structures, the sporophyte and the gametophyte – both free living. When I draw, I love to draw ferns. I love ferns' uniqueness. When I visit the nursery, my favourite area is the ferns, so lush, so green, an ancient throwback to the primordial. Yes, I'm frail, a quiet observer, fragile, but I'm stable. I've been around a fossil-long time. I'm a tenacious survivor. I embrace that I'm a fern.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Via Cruces Viviente

"And on the night He was
He broke bread and lifted it up and
gave thanks."
1 Corinthians 11:23-24
If Jesus can give thanks, IN THAT, I can give thanks in everything.

Tonight. Live reenactment of the Stations of the Cross
Via Cruces Viviente

Friday, March 9, 2018

Susana's Tree

Beautiful creation by talented Susana Rodriguez

by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Source: Poetry (August 1913).
Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918) was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for his short poem titled “Trees” (1913), published in the collection Trees and Other Poems (1914). A prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his religious faith, Kilmer was also a journalist, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. While most of his works are largely unknown, a select few of his poems remain popular and are published frequently in anthologies.

Paul Robeson (1898-1976) sings the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

In the Bleak Midwinter

Parador de La Granja de San Idelfonso, Spain

In the bleak midwinter
Frost wind made moan
Earth stood
Hard as iron
Water like a stone
Snow had fallen
Snow on snow

Snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago

Our god
Heaven cannot hold him
Nor earth sustain
Heaven and Earth
Shall flee away
When he comes to reign
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The lord God almighty
Jesus Christ

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air
But his mother only
In her maiden bliss
Worshiped the beloved
With a kiss

What can I give him
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb
If I were a wise man
I would do my part

What I can I give him?
Give my heart
-Christina Rossetti, English poet, 1872

#loreenamckennitt #inthebleakmidwinter #poetry #englishbards #jacobcollier#instrumental #snow #jesus #worship #spain #europe #peakyblinders#together #paraguas #umbrella

Friday, February 16, 2018

Holiday Planning in February

The Historic Old Mission Santa Barbara, California

While in the US the number of unused vacation days has reached an all time high, Europeans continue to take vacation planning very seriously and begin thinking about summer and fall getaways, formulating their dream trips, almost as soon as Christmas is over. Unlike so many of my American counterparts, who feel guilty taking time off in our workaholic culture, I find it's such a nice healthy mental escape during the dreary days of January and February, not to mention actual time away! It lightens your spirit with hopeful expectations of looking forward to someplace and something wonderful in the months to come. Last September was one of those times I'll treasure forever; three weeks staying with @thatferalchick, meeting my now dearest @feldtkeller and his family, seeing @risas_peaces and some best girlfriends, sisters really, for a weekend of sharing.
It's dreary outside now, but sunshining inside with all our new plans.

#travel #travellingthroughtheworld #momvisits #daughters #ilovetravel#travelling #viajando #nottooold #europe #santabarbara #camissions#workaholic #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalescape#sisterhood