Character called Catherine…

I would like to share with you all a recent note i got from a friend of mine. (i would also love to plug her blog, which i will do in a little while). She would be describe more so by her role as human guineau pig- which she is damn proud of. If you like this little article I would ask that you take the time to venture to and read her weekly blog that captures her hand at giving up consumerism this year.  To read her little article The balance of the long term and short term please follow through to the next page.

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Rain Rain go away!

Everyone remembers the childrens rhyme “Rain Rain go away, come again another day!”. This is exactally how I feel today. Over the last 24 hours my town has recieved at least 10 inches of rain and … IT IS STILL RAINING! As friend of mine so elloquently put it “That is what happens when you live on an island.” I’m just so fortunate that I live in a second story walk up that is located on “High ground”.  Some of the pictures below are of my town and the surrounding communites. For more information- or pictures please check out


Culture clash

Sometimes it feels as if the worlds that I live in are connected and coherent. Then things happen and it proves to me how far each of my worlds are. Last week it was proved once again.

Every culture has their own tollerences. What is acceptable and what is not. I don’t doubt that often missunderstandings arise out of the smallest of differences. For instance one can ask for a rubber in England and be handed an erraser, yet in America a flushed face stammering “You would like what?” would be all that one recieved. ….. The list goes on… Just as it did last week.

Last week a friend of mine and I were crashing our African Brothers house for the evening. A communal meal of hot chille con carne was in the cards (it is always a wiser disicion for me to make hot and spicy food that I like verses the peanutbutter/ hot pepper combination that the sudenese men find so attractive while i choke down 3 ant-acids and pray that there is enough milk and bread in the house to allow me to put a small amount in my belly.) and well… The evening at first was going grand. We sat 3 Sudenes, 3 Americans and 1 lone Ethiopian around the small endtable that held the splendor of our evening meal. Jokes were exchanged as we all commented upon the differences between Africa and the United States.

Unfortunatly a joke was pushed a bit too far. One friend told my American sister to move so I could sit next to the boy they were teasing me about marrying. He told her to come sit with him. She, due to her past as a dancer, took it the wrong way. Within minnutes, my lone African brother was covered in tang. I couldn’t believe it and neither could anyone else. Now you would have believed it would end with an apology from her for squirting him with tang and for him to say sorry that the joke was misconstrued. But no…. lets just say that 2 of my other African brothers didnt know when to drop it. In less than an hour a screaming match ensued causing us (not just my american sister) to be evicted from the apartment by a man that would not listen to reason. In fact his behaviour was even worse than that of hers when she squirted the tang. He would not accept an apology from her, and made sure she knew that he was the “man”. Even my brother that we came to see at the apartment was not allowed to accept her apology by these 2 men.

Now in the end My american sister, my ehtiopian brother, and one of my brothers from sudan are all on good terms. The other 2 i’m sad to say are still not speaking to us. Nor do i think we will be speaking to them while they hold to the attitude that they are above all others. Grrr. sometimes it is fustrating. As the world shrinks you would think these clashes of culture would be less intense and that people would be more tollerant as well as patient with misunderstandings. Unfortunatly, as proven last week.. sometime this is just not the case.

London Bridge

Just about every child in the United States has heard the lyrics:

London Bridge is falling down,
falling down, falling down.
London bridge is falling down
My fair lady

in memory

Well that song rang a bit too true last Wednesday. At around 6 when traffic is at it’s worst in the Twin Cities, the Minneapolis I35W bridge gave way. The event was terrifying for all of us. Especially for those who had friends and family members who normally travel that route. I am thankful that on that day Allah spared 2 very important people in my life. One my cousin who for some reason ended up leaving work late and never making it to the bridge that he takes to and from work every day. The other a good friend who with a bit of luck and a lot of misdirection ended up turnning off I35w just prior to crossing the river and ended up on the opposite bridge enroute to another friends home. We consider ourselves fortunate, even when we realize just how much was lost. The official count stands at 5 dead and at least 8 missing. We pray for them. We pray for their families. And we ourselves are greatful to everyone around the globe who has prayed for us. The pictures that you all see on the tv are horrible, but let me reasure you that it looks alot worse than it is. We were lucky. There was nothing in the rulebook that said it could not have been worse. There is no need for panic and worry, because we as the song goes will build it up with sticks and stones, sticks and stones, sticks and stones. We will build it up with sticks and stones… my fair lady.

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