Monday, November 30, 2009

The Rule of Law and Self-Governance Win in Honduras

Great news! The Presidential elections in Honduras went well and is being recognized by the US and by key countries in Central and South America, as well as Japan and Germany. This bodes well for the long-term stability of the country and for our work to bring electricity to rural communities there! Here is an excerpt:

"Almost 400 foreign observers from Japan, Europe, Latin America and the U.S. traveled to Honduras for yesterday's elections. Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, the German parliament and Japan will also recognize the vote. The outpouring of international support demonstrates that Hondurans were never as alone these past five months as they thought. A good part of the world backs their desire to save their democracy from chavismo and to live in liberty."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Joy in the Unexpected

I don't normally blog about things that are this personal, but I feel like writing tonight, and it's been a while since my last post, so I figure I owe you something. The last few days have been filled with intense emotions for me. I have had times of strong joy, hope, disappointment, and most recently, compassion. I can't explain what seems like a recent increase in what you might call my emotional microphone, but things have been effecting me stronger than normal. Since Sunday, I have wept three times. When I tell you why, you may be surprised at the diversity of the experiences and the apparent oddity of some of them. Then again, by now my oddity shouldn't surprise anyone.

1) The first time it happened was driving from back to my home in Central Texas (not to be confused with Central America, to where I sometimes go, but usually by plane) after visiting my mother in Houston. She had minor surgery and needed my assistance while she recovered, but that was not the source. For the drive home I borrowed a couple of CD's to play in the car: John Denver's Greatest Hits, and Les Miserables. Now "Javert's Suicide" always moves me, so that time didn't count, but what caught me by surprise were the emotions of joy and hope brought on by Denver's song "The Eagle and The Hawk" for which I have posted a little video. (I didn't make it.)

Here are the lyrics:

I am the Eagle,
I live in high country,
In rocky cathedrals
That reach to the sky.

I am the Hawk,
And there's blood on my feathers,
But time is still turning,
They soon will be dry.

And all those who see me,
And all who believe in me,
Share in the freedom I feel when I fly!

Come dance with the west wind,
And touch on the mountain tops,
Sail over the canyons,
And up to the stars.

And reach for the heavens,
And hope for the future,
And all that we can be,
Not what we are...


Geez, it almost makes me like Obama.

2) The second time I wept was tonight. Without going into a lot of detail, The M and I met a young woman who had come from an extremely difficult past, and whose daughter had been taken by Child Protective Services yesterday. My heart really broke for her and for the little girl. I find it difficult to write about, and yet I don't even really know her. I wept, right there in front of her and a lot of other people, and the only way I could have stopped it was to have left the room. But I stayed. I believe, frankly, that this was the touch of the Holy Spirit. I am grateful for these deep feelings of compassion, and I know they have been cultivated in me for both my blessing and God's purposes.

3) So later tonight, The M and I were watching a recorded episode of "So You Think You Can Dance". We only watch recorded shows so we can fast forward through the commercials. One commercial, and I don't even know what they were advertising, had a shot of Darth Vader standing next to Oscar the Grouch. What? Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch? Are you kidding me? That was the most unexpected pairing I could have ever imagined. But even more unexpected was that it made me weep. Just a little, you understand, but the absurdity of it made me laugh, and the laughter brought joy, and the joy was intense enough to make me tear up. All in about one second.

Far out.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fall Fest Pics

Jono's school recently had its annual Fall Festival fundraiser. The M is not just "a member" of the PTA, but this year she is some kind of officer. This means she does a lot of work for no money. She's not the boss of the PTA, you understand, but she's very involved. You could say she's sorta a bridesmaid of the PTA, or the assistant manager of the PTA. They are thinking about calling it the PT&MA.

[The M having fun with her friend Susan.
The stripy shirt was part of her uniform for the evening.]

At any rate, thanks in part to her hard work, the festival was a success. Unfortunately, it took her about a week to recover, having thrown out her back making posters and doing other crafty activities in the days preceding.

One of her roles is that of "Historian" which means she's supposed to take pictures of stuff that goes on at school throughout the year. I was delighted to help her out in this respect and walk around snapping pics of the folks. I have attached a few of my favorites with which to solicit complements and feed my ego.

[Face painting is a time honored festival activity.]

[The soccer goal event was a kick!]

[And "Baseball Extreme" was a hit!]

David's Banner Day

David swims on a private swim team that practices at the YMCA not far from Orangehouse. Since August, he has been working very hard to move to the next higher level of swimmers. Among other requirements, he had a particularly demanding practice in which he swam over two miles one evening. Over a mile of that total was without stopping!

Yesterday he was officially admitted to the higher group and had his first practice with them! I'm very proud of his hard work and determination. And to top it off, we also found out Friday that he made the 7th grade basketball team. Yea David!

[This is a warm up session from a recent
swim meet in Austin at the UT pool.
David is the one doing freestyle.]