In this week of photos of children of Moldova, I would like to introduce you to Lenuta. Like most of the kids in this weeks pictures, she attended a program for abused and neglected children. It was a pilot project. We had space for 30 kids, age 6 to 14, at a time. After asking schools, social workers, and the municipality for applications for needy kids, we got 450 applications. Lenuta made it into the first round. Both her hat and scarf were donated by people from the village for the center’s recipients.
Yes, I am a day late. So, instead, I will do a week long tribute to the children of Moldova. Children who will grow up knowing that yesterday (July 29) their country had a second election after the youth took to the streets in April to demand a free and fair election. Yesterday’s election was not perfect. But, it was a moment when the youth of a county felt listened to. They felt they got to speak. In a place of such dire poverty and little hope, I can only hope that these children (who I haven’t seen since 2004) are forging a way for themselves.
***First, a thank you to whoever took this photo. I can’t find any Georgetown photos in my photo stream– which is sad– but wanted a photo and loved this one. Check out this person’s flickr page for more great photos***
Today S and I went to Georgetown. It is where I graduated from and I wanted him to see the town. I also wanted to feel like we had weekends that were fun and not just filled with unpacking me, unpacking my sister, groceries, laundry and other household chores. I wanted to go out!
Before leaving, my Mom (via phone) asked if I thought i would run into someone I knew. Being that I graduated in 2002 and it is a Sunday in the summer, I confidently said no.
Off we went, wandering, exploring, for some of us remembering for others of us getting to know. We went to Dean and De Luca‘s and S was appalled at the price of dulce de membrillo (quince paste). I was amazed they had it. We went through the uppity mall. We ate at the Tombs (so Georgetown, but the food was good). We toured the campus; S bemoaned the fact that we couldn’t tour the library. I was shocked at new buildings!
And then it happened.
We ran into someone.
Only, it wasn’t someone that I knew. It was a colleague of S’s from his time as a law student at la Universidad de Chile. In a city where S supposedly knows no one; in the school where I could easily know someone; he meets a friend. Ironic.
You may remember that a while back I asked for help creating a song list for our wedding. S was in charge of music for the time we ate and mingled. I was in charge of music for dancing. We did, in fact, put it all together and bring it to the wedding. If you were at the wedding, you will not remember the music. It will forever forward be known as the wedding music that wasn’t.
You see, we were told we could bring in my computer and hook it up to their speakers. So, we did that. Unfortunately, once we were there, they told us it wouldn’t go louder unless we had burned the music on to CDs. Of course, we could have easily burned it, if we had known!!! Oh well. Music no one heard was all we had.
S and I each picked a song to dance to. They were the first two of the dancing part. One was recommended to me by several people, but I had already chosen it. One was something S sings to me all the time to make me smile. Here are the two:
Taken: My wedding
Subject: Me and one of my best friends: Kheli
People had told me that one of the best parts of the wedding is having everyone who loves you all in a room together. I can’t begin to say how true that was for me. Family, adopted family, friends, grad school, college, high school, when I was little. It was magical.
***I know that there have not been many wedding shots, I am working on it. My husband has a prohibition to uploading any pictures that include him.
What is it about human nature that makes us follow routine? If we do something, even symplistic, and it works, we do it again. We make habits.
I was thinking about this because of bathrooms. The new building I work in is large and, at times, maze like. All the womens’ bathrooms are on one side and then mens’ on the other. My office is on the mens’ bathroom side of the building. Therefore, while wandering the halls to different meetings or just trying to find my desk, I try out different bathrooms. Today I was down in the area where I spent five weeks of training. I popped into that bathroom, walked three stalls down, and entered to the right. There was no thought in the process. In a public women’s restroom with a dozen choices, I went to the one I frequented during training.
This made me think.
How did I choose this particular toilet? Why is it human nature to have a toilet and not choose any other open one? Sure. If mine were filled (or gross), I would move on, no tears shed. But still. I gravitate to one. At my old office, there were only three choice. I used the middle one. I know that other colleagues had their toilet of choice as well. I can’t figure out how I decide, but the more I think about it, the more I know one some level I have made a decision.
I didn’t really want to write a post about toilet choices… for the obvious reason that this is only going to bring more nasty google searches to my site. Also, my mother reads this (Hi Mom) and a high school teacher (Hi Alice).
So I thought of other examples. I walk my dog. As long as a hill is not involved, when we leave the house, the walk starts to the left. Generally, we walk in a circle– around a block, around a park, around in a circle… but we always start to the left. At my host parent’s in Chile, we started to the left. Here, we start to the left. At my parent’s house, we start to the left. In Texas, we started to the left. The circles themselves are different- some clockwise and some counterclockwise. It feels wrong to start out the other way. Why is that?
I have other examples… but perhaps I will let you, the reader (or friend, former teacher, family member, lurker, stranger, or blog friend), think about the topic and add your examples. Also, if you have an answer to my why, please do share.
Every so often, I like to do a post on how people find me. I think of my stat counter as a constant source of entertainment and disdain. A while back Kyle turned me onto another photo blogger – Bobby Earle. He did a really interesting twist on the how people find me, by looking at how far down the google list his blog showed up.
Let’s steal that idea and see the results here:
- clare says – number 1 of 3,320,000
- chilean men – number 2 (after Kyle) of 34,600,000
- spring flowers – not on the first 15 pages and yet 216 people have found me this way.
- pokemona – number 2 of 2,000,000
- moldova sex – number 10 of 3,230,000
- human trafficking songs – number 1 of of 309,000
- fried bees – number 6 of 896,000
- psychology of a prostitute – number 5 of 449,000
- human trafficking chile – number 8 of 770,000
- amok trei – number 4 of 3,550,000
What does one do at a non-traditional wedding where each party for their own reasons objects to the way religion and state organize and define marriage?
Well, in our case, we focused on other things and left the ceremony up in the air for quite some time. We focused on cake. And on picking a wonderful restaurant that we love. We focused on the menu, visiting several times to sample different dishes. Then, we focused on us, and finally being together and enjoying one another’s company. Then, as life will have its way, we focused on moving across the country, my grandmother’s death, my new job and life.
In the end, one of my closest friends did a lovely ceremony. I had picked two readings that I thought reflected us and my cousin and another friend read them. No much planning or tradition went into it. But it was beautiful and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Here are our readings:
From A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works “Being in Love” (edited by Clare)
“If the old fairy-tale ending “They lived happily ever after” is taken to mean “They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,” then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense-love as distinct from “being in love”—is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be “in love” with someone else. This quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”
– C. S. Lewis
From The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran:
And a youth said, “Speak to us of Friendship.”
Your friend is your needs answered.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
Then Almitra spoke again and said, “And what of Marriage, master?”
And he answered saying:
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Well, perhaps you are waiting for news of the wedding, and perhaps you are not. Still, I am sure more information is yet to come. But, like so many things in my life, this story should start with a cake. Yes, yes, yes. There was the happy couple’s meeting in a high school in rural Chile in 1996, but that is an old story.
The cake was a central theme in the wedding. It sat in the middle of the room. It was discussed by the master of ceremony as she talked about us and our vision of wedding and togetherness. It was too complicated for people to remember and I had to keep explaining. It was a thing of beauty. The largest pieces with 13 layers!
It was irresistible. It was three separate cakes. The largest was a chocolate cake with ganache frosting and chocolate mousse filling. The middle was a yellow cake with Irish coffee mousse filling and white frosting. The smallest (a regular size cake) was a white cake with fresh strawberry and cream filling and chocolate ganache frosting.
It was all most people could do, but use all their self will to not stick a finger into the deliciousness and devour the cake before dinner.
See? really hard!
**Photos taken by Ari Rosenthal Photography. Photographer: Chris