Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Mr. B goes to the office

I took Mr. B to the office with me today. We decided to have the dog adapt to our life. He did great. He likes being with people. Mostly he sat up on my sofa and looked out the window, barked a few times at something outside. He ran around some and explored but then would come back and hang out with me. He's a good dog on day 3.

We are supposed to get 2-5" of snow tonight. I like the snow. There is such a peaceful atmosphere during and right after a good snowfall. If there is that much, school will be closed and we will work from home.

My 24 year old daughter is going to Thailand on February 2nd. She has been planning this trip for a year. She is going with a friend and they were going to backpack through Thailand for 7 weeks. Since the tsunami she wondered if they should postpone but have decided to go. They are looking for ways that if they went to the areas hit they could be of help. They are checking out a couple of places. They are also going to northern Thailand, the east coast and maybe Vietnam. Should be an interesting trip.

She went on the same kind of trip back in March of 03--with the same friend, they had planned for a year and they left the day we bombed Iraq. Lots of folks gave her advice and tried to talk her out of going. They went for 7 weeks and had a great time. It was very educational. She stayed in hostels in Eastern Europe that were still housing Bosnian refugees. She learned a lot about other cultures, most interestingly how Americans are viewed in each and why.

Speaking of other cultures. Our faith community is involved with a low income apartment complex. The residents are mainly immigrants. The majority of whom have only been here 2 - 5 years. There are people from Somalia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Vietnam, India, and other parts of the world. We have found different opportunities to serve these folks. We partner with a non-profit agency that brings family support in so many ways. Some of us are tutoring children in their after school program. Others are going to spend time with adults "talk time" as a support to their ELL classes. They are going to meet in small groups for conversation. We participated with a Festival of Lights party in December. Our community was able to buy over 100 gifts for the children at the party. The theme was "wish upon a star" as the children came in they were given a star to write their name and age on. Then a wish. They turned the star in at the gift station and were given a gender/age appropriate gift. You know what some of us found so interesting? Most of the wishes went like this, "I want to be a doctor" I want to be a player for the NBA" "I want to be a teacher" "I want to help people"

I thought about the immigrants that came here from my own family, from Italy, Spain and Mexico. When you hear the stories of immigrants coming for a better life, they wanted to have a business, give their children education, they worked hard. These children are first generation immigrants and they take their education very serious. I asked one young girl that has been here for 2 years if she missed her home. She said no! I never want to go back. Everyone is poor and there isn't any food. She wants to be a doctor. It is eye opening for me.

More on this later...

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