Saturday, October 24, 2009

2009- USA-Daniel Arthur



Happy to have my 'son' from Ghana- Daniel Arthur here. He just arrived last Monday and it has been wonderful having him here. He will be here til the end of December. What a delight he is. It has been interesting to 'see' things through his eyes....

"The roads are so big" "The people are so big"

"The TV tells you to eat all the good food, and then they tell you to join the program to lose weight" (his comment on the commercials) :)

"Where are the poor people" We showed him the 'poor' people- but you see it is all perspective- compared to the poor people he has seen- they still have more. It is like the old Ghanaian parable of the man who had only one shirt and one pair of pants...so he decides he will go in the jungle and climb up into a tree and hang himself. he carefully takes off his pants and shirt and folds them at the bottom of the tree and climbs up to hang himself- while he is just about to hang himself, along comes a naked man...he sees the clothes and says, "Oh wonderful, how blessed I am to have found a pair of pants and a shirt"- the man in the tree looks down in dispair because he realizes he did not appreciate what he had. And so Daniel says, "There are many here who do not appreciate the little they have."

Yes, it has been interesting to see through fresh eyes. Oh I hope my eyes stay clear!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kota Kinabalu- 2009- Truth stranger than fiction

In my life, I find truth to be stranger than fiction. Often I hesitate to even tell people the things I've gone through or go through because eyebrows curve up with the slightest hesitation. The curve asks the silent question, "Could this be real?" When I see the curving of the eyebrow, the furrowing of the brow, bewildered faces, all I can do is laugh. I laugh at life and how incredible it can be.

This weekend my mom called me from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (East Malaysia). My parents have been living there for the past 3 years. They travel extensively; however, KK has become their home base for now. My parents have lived in Singapore and Malaysia for 54 years....in that time they watched the birthing of both those nations....they also have been involved with people. All sorts of people! I grew up with interesting housemates :)...let's just say, when the mental hospital couldn't handle a patient, often the patient would end up living with us! Enough said! (now you know why very little shocks me)

One day I might tell some of the funny stories of growing up in our home. But for today, I am just sitting here totally amazed that my parents have managed to find themselves back in the midst of helping someone in a bizarre situation. They were asked to help a woman who had found herself in a strange situation.

The story starts with a man who thought he was some kind of prophet or 'man of god'- he apparently convinced some others he was a prophet. There were three women followers, in particular, who gave up everything for him. In fact, their families knew this must be a cult. No matter how the families tried they could not get these women to come home. Then the leader 'disappears' or at least he doesn't appear. This didn't set off any red flags because he was known to spend time meditating and being 'holy.' It should have made people sit up and think, "where is the guy"...but it didn't...13 months went by and then the police finally broke into the house where those women were. What did they find?

They found the man- dead. He had been dead for 13 months. He had told his followers he would be resurrected from the dead. The women wrapped him up and waited...they waited 13 months...until the police finally confiscated the body and sent them to the psychiatric hospital.

So, where do my parents come in on this story? You guessed it; the woman was released from the hospital and my mom is supposed to help her. My mom told me one policeman was overheard saying to the women, "Your God only took 3 days to raise from the dead...why were you still waiting for this man?"

A link to the news story

Thursday, October 8, 2009

USA- speeding train

Everyone keeps saying, "Life is moving so fast." Life has felt like a speeding train or some kind of carnival rollercoaster for so many years. Has it always been like this? Is it like this for everyone else?

Children don't seem to think life moves fast enough. "Are we there yet?" "Why is it taking so long?" "When will my birthday come
?" The days plod along slowly. They tease the child with promises of what will be.

When does life get on the fast track? I'm trying to remember when I started feeling like life was moving too fast. My daughters are already telling me, "Mom, I wish life would slow down, I have no time to do...this...that..." I told them the other day, "MAKE TIME" - don't allow life to push you along- you take control of life.

I'm just rambling- just thinking- what makes
life go so fast. When I talk to the old ladies at the nursing home, they tell me life barely crawls. So maybe it is all our activity which makes life speed up. The busy schedules, the work, the appointments, and the needless running around.

The more I think about it, I think University i
s one of the first stops on the bullet train line. ..."All aboard...the LIFE train is ready to leave the station..." My Cassandra - the face of Northwest University- I wonder how many people her picture will entice to get on the fast track.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ghana- traffic

When Reflections did a blog update about driving it caused my mind to wander back to the topic of driving and traffic in Ghana. In Ghana, you weave in and out of traffic, from the left to the right side of the road. You squeeze in-between cars, trucks and vans, barely squishing through, all the while trying your best not to hit a pedestrian.

Lovely white lines adorn the tarred roads. They do look quite straight; however, there is little purpose for them being there. The lines indicate there should be two lanes; in actual fact, the two lanes span out into four lanes or more of jumbled cars. The amazing thing is each car makes it through with a minimal amount of accidents. Sometimes there are three lanes which transform into six lanes of traffic.

Here you see a picture of...no not a car park or parking lot....this picture is what used to be Tetteh Quarshie Round about. It has since been made into a lovely overpass. The traffic is not this bad anymore, however, coming out of East Legon, the lanes disappear and the amazing transformation into a blob of cars happens prior to straightening out.


When I first came to the Seattle area, I was warned of the 'traffic.' I kept wondering where this supposed traffic was. I left early in the morning, late in the afternoon and at other miscellanious times, but I never could find this traffic jam people talked about. It occured to me, everyone has their own version of what 'traffic' looks like. Seattle traffic compared to Ghana traffic was not traffic at all. It is, again, a matter of perspective.

It would be interesting to find out traffic/road stories from other parts of the world. What is their perspective?

....And then there were more...

We started with two. It didn't take long for us to add three more to the mix, making us ongfamily5 for quite a long time. Before we kn...