This past weekend, I kind of thought about getting a new hairstyle,
-and wished that I could call up a friend after binge-watching and learning a new series,
– to see if she thought that one might match my face in the same way that it matched hers on a specific episode. I wanted to ask her if she felt confident in it, or what encouraged her to change.
It’s kind of nice to watch prisoners get their hair done.
It’s just one of the many ways that remind us that we are all human…
– and what kinds of unpleasant things happen when one doesn’t have access to soap, water, a hairbrush, and laundry soap.
New hairstyles seem to say a lot about a person.
New hairstyles can be comforting – kind of like cherry limeades -or cherry tomatoes.
I am convinced that cherry tomatoes might actually be some of the best tomatoes to cook with.
Cherry tomatoes are more concentrated and flavorful than many other varieties that are mass-produced, and are rarely canned because of the inconvenience of their size and volume. When roasted, that mighty flavor becomes even more concentrated, producing some of the best salsas full of strong fresh tomato flavor.
The children were not familiar with how to grow tomatoes in the village – which is odd because of how many tomatoes are consumed there.
So the children began a project to learn how to grow the cherry tomatoes – after the regular-sized tomatoes did not seem to work out very well. Those little tomatoes flourished, leaving the children with hands full of their miniature favorites.
Cherry tomatoes can be grown in pots – and have relatively small roots that produce a continuous blooming yield that follows little yellow flowers, which means they can be grown almost anywhere in the world – so long as you have the right soil in the pot and access to sun and shade, and they produce even healthier fruit when planted in the in the company of peppers.
Tomatoes on the vine give more nutrition and have better taste – than tomatoes that are picked early to be able to sustain the time it takes to transport them into grocery stores and markets – which means garden-produced tomatoes are very often healthier overall.
The miniature varieties of tomatoes also produce faster – which makes smaller tomato varieties a great option for bumper crop seasons, especially in hunger-epidemic areas.
This week, I learned how to preserve cheese and milk without refrigeration – which is to simply add in a small amount of white wine to the sauce – which strangely gains more mature flavor after about two days. If it was good on the first day, it was agreed to be best on the third.
Tomatoes are surprises in smaller packages than sometimes we thought or imagined. Tomatoes are easy to recognize in true form, big-or-small. Yet how to choose what spices or peppers to add to them can be a bit of a delicate subject.
Some tomatoes might appear to be the best friend for your basil when it comes to companion planting, but maybe when you taste it it seems more like your worst enemy. The same variety of tomato can be filled with bitter on the inside, as easily as it can be filled with pure sweetness – just depending on the time it appears and it’s maturity level. It takes some time and experience to know the difference.
So whether you are looking to create some comforting tomato dishes, going for that comforting cherry-lime combination, or just changing your hair up a bit –
-remember that these red cherry tomatoes are also known by the popular brand name of cherubs – and let these healthy little angel choirs sing over and comfort you – and remind you of what true love and real loyalty is –
– take comfort also in knowing how good and deep your complicated reds can be, and keep those seeds growing, and those meals coming.
Are you hungry for tomatoes? I’ve been starving for good tomatoes and peppers this week. Hoping more of the sweet versions cross my wandering path soon.
I like people… who are bothered when they face some kind of blockage – whether it is a silencing, a subpoena, or anything else – that leaves one with the impression that someone else has grander information, or somehow a grander or more complex truth – than they themselves hold.
It isn’t true.
I like people who would slam dishes and doors, take things away, or slam car doors loudly – who would let righteousness make them rigid and unbendable to those who would test their values.
At least in those moments there’s a clear indication that something is wrong – even when they can’t say what it is.
We all need indications at about – what is wrong – just as much as we do about – what is right.
Don’t follow what is wrong. Follow what is right.
I don’t like people who confuse good people – about what the truth – is.
I don’t like people who mess up phone calls, who try to create rumors, who tell you that you are not allowed to tell other people what the truth is, or people who happily carry along mistruths thinking that they will reach a greater understanding for themselves through the confusion of others.
I am not afraid of people who get angry – for just causes. I like their anger. It is exactly when people get angry that I can see God working in them.
Like a pressure steamer, the words are like the nozzle that makes it safe to open the pot, and the steam can only go up in a straight line and connection to the heavens because that is what it is. It’s concentrated, it’s focused. It’s direct. It has no manipulation of direction because it is powered only to rise as soon as it is said, to be in the air into the hands of God.
The truth is like the steam, you can’t hold on to it.
The truth is not like a piece of yarn that you can use to tie around the hands of each holder. It doesn’t work like that.
As soon as it is in the atmosphere, it becomes a part of the environment that everyone can breath.
The devil could tell them in a calm voice to sit down and pray about it.
But anger is the point where their feet hit the ground and they stand straight and tall, unable to stoop because the truth makes their backs straight and their words fierce like swords.
I like the moment, when people find their feet, and recognize that the devil has no power over them. They can do what feels good to their heart.
They are standing when they were told to sit.
They are talking when they were told to be silent.
And the devil can’t control their mind or their heart anymore.
The truth is theirs to seek for themselves.
We tend to think that people who have powers or information beyond our own are superior to what we are, ourselves. That’s not true.
If God called you to be a witness and you noticed something, that’s your power, and when you put your truths into the hands of someone else who try to control or interpret what you’ve said or felt – you took away God’s foothold and put it into the hands of someone He didn’t call.
I like it, when people love themselves.
That isn’t an easy thing to convince someone who has been badly betrayed to do.
But I love that moment when they stand, and even I can’t tell them what to do, because I trust that their uprightness is going to lead them to what God needs them to do.
When they walk away from the devil, they love the feeling, but they want guidance.
I can only smile at them then as a true friend, beside them – and ask them
“What does God want you to do? Have you prayed?”
And I love when they answer with their heads off of the ground,
“For the longest time, I’ve had this feeling…”
It’s the best feeling in the world. So Yes. Follow that.
And dance in the face of the devil.
Don’t dance ugly and low to the ground. You are not an animal, because when you dance with the truth it is elegant and beautiful connected to the divine.
Dance standing tall.
Dance with all of the space that you have.
Interpret everything that you can and fill it in every way that you can.
When you pirouette, backhand the devil.
That is how untouchable you are to him as soon as you tell the truth and find your righteousness.
Get out of your counseling chairs – and find the truths that God has for you.
And act on them.
Love them into being.
People who can tell the truth are not able by nature to do horrible things.
But withholding of truth causes all to do terrible things.
That is why information is not our God.
This is why investigators should not be allowed into churches.
Our God is love.
Do you know how much damage someone can do to your life if you couldn’t tell the truth for one day?
Do you know how much damage someone could do to your church if you couldn’t tell the truth for one month?
Do you know how much damage an investigator could do to every single child that grows up in a certain community if they weren’t allowed to tell the truth to each other for ten years?
After that long, is there any chance of justice ever – until the truth is told?
Where can you go to tell the truth?
It has to be the church. It has to be the synagogue. It has to be the mosque. It has to be the temple.
Our minds are too small to interpret all truths, and we cannot be allowed to bend and shape them so we need these sanctuaries to allow people to come and let them be revealed. It takes a divine power to protect all truths with a presence that knows all. You have to protect everything you can’t understand until the stories are told.
Who is it – that you can’t tell the truth? Or that your truth doesn’t satisfy them, or who tries to hide it or make it something else?
Get those people out of your head. You don’t need to let their fears guide you. There are many prayers for this these days.
Perfect love isn’t meant to hurt. The truth is supposed to heal things, not create more disruptions. It’s the extra chords in a song that keep it from going all over the place, and hold it together while letting so many others join in with their own unique sounds.
Words like, “You need to break so-and-so’s heart and tell them the truth” are the words of the devil. They are not the words of God. For the devil doesn’t care if he lies, it doesn’t break his heart. And anything that would crush someone who needed a truth from you isn’t worthy of being hurt by words that would please the devil.
They are worthy of the truths that are deeper than anything the devil has convinced you to say. And you are both worthy of getting over that bridge together and whole.
You have to protect your right to faith, or there is no truth beyond what authority can force.
The truth requires spiritual protection.
That’s why we need divine authority.
It’s the only authority that gives us the freedom to act in the ways of life, truth, and love.
(Please be patient with me. I am trying to learn how to make animated gifs and I’m still not very good at it. I hope you can understand what I wanted this to be and not what it is right now.)
What are three things that are holding you back, and how can you most immediately stand up to be free of them – smartly. You don’t have to pour your soul out to the devil to convince him – save your soul for those who believe you. It wouldn’t be right to work with anyone who didn’t.
“Mom-mmy?” Asked the adorable little three-year-old girl from the village.
I kneeled to pull her newest little dress over her head, which a bow on the ribcage and silver polka-dots and ruffles adorned.
She smiled when we combed through her hair, and gave her a sweet little bow, and finally shoes.
“Are you going to come with me today?” I asked her.
She nodded seriously and proudly in her new clothes, even if her little knees trembled a bit. She was afraid of cars.
We were searching for many supplies needed in the village, but one of her promises was that we would also bake a cake that would be so, so pretty for Valentine’s Day.
Some of the faith communities in her village rebelled against the holiday they perceived as illicit and unmoral. They raged against the holiday and those who celebrated it from their pulpits – not understanding what it mean s to different cultures around the world.
In Mexico, Valentine’s Day is known as el dÍa de amistad – Friendship Day – where all kinds of special relationships are celebrated.
In Rome, there is a legend that Valentine was the saintly figure over the single, representing their broken-hearted spiritual plight and compromised connection when a Roman emperor decreed that all who entered the army must be single and unattached, because he felt that detached individuals made better soldiers. In other traditions, it is suggested that Valentine sent the first Valentine to a jailers daughter, while trying to release early Christians from Roman prison. It is carried out through Irish Tradition that San Valentino was the martyr for love with more added stories of their own.
The Pope decided to sanctify this patron saint of love, and turned against the ‘lottery’ that decided who should marry who, pairing people for reasons other than mutual love was too cruel and unChristian to be accepted by the church. The Pope decided that a holiday that celebrated the mystery of love should be celebrated at about the same time as the birds began singing after returning from their long winter journey, as it seemed the appropriate season to celebrate the beauty of romanticism.
It was for this reason that we took this small journey and the task of a cake to share with the village to celebrate.
Together we went shopping with a few others. Not through a market like she was used to, but through the kind of stores the developed world is used to.
She wasn’t sure about the car ride, but settled in.
She shrieked when we arrived to a parking garage ramp and boarded a glass elevator.
She learned how to sit in the front of a shopping cart, and looked around incredulously as she was rolled from aisle to aisle.
And she grinned when she saw the shelves of toys and the displays of clothing and beautiful things in the stores.
We looked all over for the right ingredients in between shopping for actual supplies for the village. Finally, at the very end of our trip, in a real candy store – we found the bag of round little hearts to top the pink icing of our little cake.
We sat down for a meal of fried chicken before returning to the village late with our supplies.
The children giggled and decorated their special little Valentine’s Day cake, covered with special little rainbow-colored conversation hearts, on top of pink icing.
It was a good day for the little one.
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you like to stay at home and color on Valentine’s Day? What are your favorite Valentine’s Day projects?
I was kind of excited to try to bring fresh broccoli to the village.
There’s something about eating bowls and sides full of little florets that makes life feel a little greener.
Cabbage grows well in the village, so my hope was that broccoli might follow suit, as the garden veggies share several similarities.
Yet, I’ve never seen it grow in our village.
Broccoli remains in our hopeful garden future.
When I was a little girl, broccoli was one of my favorite vegetables, and I loved it in stir-fries and in soups.
These meals were some of the ones I wanted to share with the children in the village.
Broccoli is good for the children in the village because they are full of dietary fiber and vitamin A.
It would be fun to teach the hungry children of the village to ‘eat their trees’.
One of the foods that came up on a food biology course that I took in college – was actually broccoli, which is considered a crest- and it’s detox and fiberous nutritional qualities.
Broccoli is almost like a soap – or a cleanse – for your intestines. Broccoli helps the liver to separate and eliminate potential bodily toxins – through the use of a unique chemical compound sulforaphane – which known to be an anti-cancer agent.
Sulforaphane helps boost helpful liver enzymes to enhance liver function at optimal levels.
Foods that are high in fiber – such as broccoli – can also be helpful in achieving successful weight loss, however, weight loss is not one of our goals in the village. Where we work, many of the visually overweight are suffering from infections caused by parasites, auto-immune diseases, and the injection of BCG – which the people are told helps to avoid a tuberculosis infection – (although this is not confirmed).
Foods that are high in fiber are great to administer – especially after providing anti-parasitic medications to rescued children – for two reasons. One, they help the child to pass and eliminate the active infections. Two: They are full of vitamins that the body absorbs hungrily at the absence of the parasitic competition to restore vitamins and minerals that were being depleted back into the body to help heal the rest of the infection and sores caused by the expulsion.
Children in hungry nations most-often survive on starches and sugars – like corn meal, flour or potatoes – and consume a lot of calories but are absent of proper nutrition. Foods like broccoli have a lot of volume, which helps them to consume large amounts, but is ‘cleaner’ and easier nutrition for their intestines and clears them out quickly as well.
BCG injections are said to be able to avoid about 20% of active tuberculosis exposures from becoming active severe tuberculosis infections.
In our rescue center, we were brought a twin who was hidden away from the birthing center when it was feared that the girl child would be raped or murdered, as twins were considered bad luck. The boy was injected with BCG and looked very fed, while the little girl who did not receive the hospital vaccine was starved nearly beyond saving. We enrolled the girl child into a private hospital and confirmed it was not a case of failure to thrive.
When relatives or community members arrive to our rescue center with hungry children, one of the first questions that social workers can ask is: “Was this baby born in a hospital? Is there a birth record?”
Fresh chickens… are an important protein source in the village. 🍗
The fresh kind that still go ¡cuckoo! in the morning. The feather-y ones with claws and beaks still walking around at breakfast time.
One of my favorite feeding experiences – was to give a fried chicken leg to a hungry little child.
He was covered in sores and his hair had turned pale at the drop in nutrition after the loss of his mommy. He’d had a tough day – especially for a four-year-old.
Brought to one of our international centers for help – we had carefully bathed him, and dressed him in new clothes before setting him down carefully at our picnic table for a nice meal.
We placed a plate in front of him, which was empty. He raised his little nose to the smell of goods coming in on the air from the kitchen.
He stared forward seated and was slightly in shock, and did not move.
We moved carefully around him and filled his plate, as he continued to sit stock still – as if in some kind of protective trance around all of these new strangers.
This happens often with rescue babies.
“Do you think that he knows that this food is for him?” Asked a volunteer, and she carelessly reached over his shoulder and grabbed the chicken leg from his plate to wave it around —
Immediately, a shriek filled the air. The little boy screamed bloody murder, holding that note and looking directly at me —
“I think he does.” I smiled. “I’d suggest you put that chicken leg back down on his plate.”
The volunteer dropped the chicken leg in her shock.
I nodded to his constant gaze as he grabbed up his portion – and he began to eat slowly with his fingers.
As I crossed the room, celebrating the goodness of this healthy meal with him, he dropped his shoulder and continued to follow me with his eyes across the room – and snapped a picture of pure starving-toddler gratitude.
Often, when children are in starvation syndromes, we have to be very careful about how we start their re-feeding therapy.
We are always grateful to see the spark of life in the ones that gobble up their plates.
Chicken provides great nutrition for reversing syndromes of both marasmus and kwashiorkor which are very common in our village.
We love to make good chicken soups, baked chicken and more.
Sharing some of our favorite recipes with you here on Pinteresting Against Poverty – please consider sharing our stories and these recipes with others.
On this page you can click on recipes for chicken curry, skinny orange chicken, fresh ginger chicken stir-fry, classic chicken noodle soup, apple cider baked chicken, fresh lemon pepper chicken, chicken chili, chipotle chicken soup, Peruvian chicken soup, chicken pizza recipes, baked garlic chicken – and more! Bookmark this page to save the story and links to the recipes.
I usually wouldn’t post so long of an excerpt on our blog – except for that I feel like this is good information. Here’s a brief history of chicken as food from Wikipedia, click on the link to learn more:
In the United States in the 1800s, chicken was more expensive than other meats and it was “sought by the rich because [it is] so costly as to be an uncommon dish”.Chicken consumption in the U.S. increased during World War II due to a shortage of beef and pork. In Europe, consumption of chicken overtook that of beef and veal in 1996, linked to consumer awareness of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease).
Chicken is a very important component of the diet of village children.
Click on the picture to pick up this yummy Healthy Chicken Curry Recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
Love children? Love feeding little ones healthy dinners? Looking for a recipe most kids would enjoy… tell us here:
I almost labeled this post as a series called “How To Eat Trash.”
That’s because… one of the most wonderful properties of fresh cilantro in regards to the poverty of developing nations in the third world – is that the strong antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti fungal, and antiviral properties in this simple garden herb helps prevent food poisoning.
It is very common to see the back-ends of hungry babies hanging out of trash barrels, shuffling by pigs, and digging in trash piles – seeking a bite to eat.
For almost any visitor – this is a shocking sight, leaving one wondering –
“How in the world do they do that?”
You may shuffle past a meat market, and smell fish and sides of beef – with the smell of the beginning of rotten flesh in the air and wonder –
“Why don’t they get sick?”
Many times, the answer is spices.
Yep. In many cases around the world – they owe their lack of illness to fresh cilantro.
Ethnic foods are often filled with spices that are unknown to tourists and first world visitors – and we often assume that the reason why so many cultures use so many herbs and tastes in their meals is simply to flavor their food.
The truth is – those herbs are actually medicating their meals, making food that was once unsafe to eat, safe once again – by adding anti-bacterials, anti-vitals, anti-fungals – plus extra vitamins, minerals and other properties.
Simple mixtures like Italian pestos, spicy Mexican flavors, Indian curries, subtropical citrus preservatives, and salt rubs – all help to maintain the digestibility of food sources by slowing down the decomposition of those items – with effects similar to simple refrigeration.
The absence of refrigeration encouraged the mixing of flavor combinations which are used to define and help identify geographical cultures by their simple food biology.
Cilantro is a fresh and very full-flavored green herb that grows from a small round yellow ridged seed that is also a spice in itself – known as coriander, which is often ground into a flavorful powder. ‘Coriander’ is the most popular term for the herb in the United Kingdom, but in Latin America, it is known by the leaves as ‘cilantro’. There is also a very pretty Asian island version of this herb – known as ‘Vietnamese cilantro’. It is a little bit longer in the leaves – with long stocks, but is full of nice flavor and is a common ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine, and in China is known as ‘parsley’.
Cilantro is a common spice in Mexican cuisine, and is used to flavor salsas, soups, as a garnish for tacos, burritos, enchiladas and more.
All of the parts of the plant are edible, but many only use the seeds or the leaves to flavor their meals. I like to chop up the stock of the plant and add it to the broth of soups for some extra flavor, plus the addition of the vitamins A, C, K and manganese.
Since ancient times, the indigenous of South America have added the spice to their meats to preserve their protein sources in hot climates, also adding peppers and other spices.
Cilantro is worth growing in your garden – it has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti fungal, and eating fresh leaves can also help your body produce more insulin, and is very beneficial when added to meals intended to detoxify your system as it also is able to ‘kick out’ the extra metals that are absorbed into our bodily system.
It is a very good spice to add to the regular diets of children or adults who are affected with the HIV virus.
For the last six months, I have not used refrigeration, and fresh cilantro which can often be picked up at the store in bundles that are less than a dollar has been one of my go-to spices. It can even sit on the counter for days without wilting.
During this experiment without refrigeration, I have still cooked normal meals – often from just vegetables, but sometimes with meat added.
I’ve added fresh cilantro sprigs to baggies of steamed rice – which stayed fresh for about 3 days.
I’ve added cilantro (and or tumeric) to lentil soup – and that lasted for a week (being re-heated every day).
There are other factors that can cause your food to decay, so look for a more scientific guide with any concerns you might have – I am only sharing from my own personal experience.
Cilantro is a great spice to keep around if you are determined to eat fresher foods. Start adding cilantro to your diet – and pick up some great tips in these recipes, today!
Questions? Comments? What is your favorite meal with cilantro? What are your favorite cilantro stories?
I try to think of what it is I’ve tried to accomplish today.
I went to the store last night to purchase more items we could use as writing material, plus a few I needed for basic maintenance – and many that could fulfill the purposes of both.
That was a feat that I’m convinced few could accomplish with feet that are as sore as mine.
I was up until late last night steaming soup – and discovering a new way to peel the oily part of a grapefruit peel from the white powdery-mushroom-ish inside which I am convinced makes me fall into the healthiest of sleeps -while watching Orange Is The New Black.
This morning, my feet were still sore and I felt a little cold achy, so I slept in and then worked from my pajamas – which is something that just kind of love – and miss doing. My day is productive before I am even dressed and important themes of the day start rolling.
In boots that held my feet steady, I soaked and handwashed a load of laundry, which smells much nicer now.
I hosted an international discussion of bully prevention on social media with a group of once vulnerable children.
I wrote a blog post about my experiences working with vulnerable children on the theme of bullies vs. bullying, in response to a local occurrence so that all could consider the points of justice through an international human rights lens.
I’ll bet you there are more than 1,000 working hours of personal experience that went into the post that took about an hour. Anyone can give you an opinion on bullying – but few have had the same experiences.
I photographed black beans, fresh guava, and cauliflower. Two of the photos were new blog post topics, but the cauliflower was a replacement picture for the first one on our blog which just wasn’t up to par. The cauliflower was a bit moldy off the market dollar shelf – and the light was a bit low – worthy of upgrading.
I worked on a project that’s kept me busy for a few weeks: Repurposing Light Fixtures. All of that pretty decorated glass poured specifically to keep light bulbs safe also make beautiful little fairy garden planters that kids can enjoy. I found a specific method for filling in the holes that would otherwise let the dirt fall through the fixture to make them suitable for planting. Some were previously re-painted different colors and I think they will look nice by the time that they are planted.
I looked back into vertical gardening after picking up a pallet and three shelves that were abandoned by a dumpster (with permission). The shelves needed to be washed and dried – and the pallet considered for how we could try to produce the most food in a small vertical area – and convert it’s opportunities into the best nutritional realities. Nothing bothers me more than hungry children who don’t take advantage of the little learning projects of a 4′ foot by 4′ foot space that could feed them better nutrition for a lifetime.
I set up a new project for the village – to try a new soup that should help to nourish and re-nourish and clean out the intestines of the children, along with the new de-worming tea we created together based on a few very common ingredients.
I went to the store for a few more ingredients to photograph – lemons, oranges, baby spinach, an onion and cranberries. I did not find the fresh cranberries but settled with the ones on the salad bar. I considered miniature roses, bulbs and orchids. All of which I think will be good for Spring posting.
Now on my list are to try to peel the lemons, limes, remaining grapefruit and oranges with the new method in order to see how the shavings might fit into more fresh teas to maintain proper health.
I re-organized some of the kitchen ingredients.
I haven’t used refrigeration for months and am learning how to store fresh vegetables and fruits – and preserving them to keep a more constant supply. I am learning to keep fruits wrapped in papers and maybe even hamster pine shavings which absorb the extra moisture and keep flies away.
I am learning to keep beans, rice, and grains elevated off of the ground, mostly in baskets which keep them dry.
I am learning to add cilantro sprigs to everything I cook and set aside. It keeps the bugs from getting in and preserves the food naturally for days – even without refrigeration. Steamed rice in a ziplock baggy? Works just fine for a few days as long as that cilantro is on top of it. Steamed lentils or beans? Just add cilantro.
I may mix up a new version of my new favorite toothpaste, with tea tree oil and clove – which makes your teeth tingle with freshness and also helps to generate healthy gums, and acts as a preventative to cavities.
And encouraging many to continue to use their music education towards the ideals we strive for.
Now I am on to try to steam some rice before I move forward with a detox soup – the same one I’ve encouraged from some of the older children in the village to try tomorrow so that we can compare our experiences.
I will probably fall asleep binge watching Orange Is The New Black or re-visiting an old classic that I ran across when I was very young.
It’s amazing how much of my perspective on slavery has changed. Anyone looking for it by that definition isn’t likely to find it.
What does it mean to be a slave, and what is it truly to be free?
Are the thoughts I have as I hobble around trying to feed us all, contemplating the purpose of our maximum-security prisons, simple bullies in our schools, the inequalities in our laws and authorities – always aware that there are factors that could leave us hungry just as much as there are projects that could feed us – if only a few misunderstandings were cleared.
It probably doesn’t look like much, but by the time you have been a humanitarian worker on international projects for more than a decade, you’ve spent a large percentage of your lifetime building capacity. If someone were to start from scratch – they’d have to start with an application for a passport. They’d have to wait for immunizations, and acceptances, and visas. They’d have to meet people and decide whether or not – or which ones to trust and grow with. They’d have to somehow work a job during all of this time, and take about ten years worth of college classes – from macro and micro economics, to human rights, to food biology – to child development, to infectious diseases, languages and on and on and on.
If I can sit down for a day and work on the computer and look entirely boring – it’s because I built the capacity.
In order to do the same, it would take anyone just as long, and they might face enough obstacles to turn them around in their determination to make a difference.
After all of that, I think that the world could benefit more from the untold stories of the last decade, and projects that could help them today, more than they would if I tried to do anything else.
Yet, it is just as important to keep the same people involved and the projects rolling and new projects starting because case studies are the way that the information needed to create a lasting peace and justice among nations, faiths and orders are formed.
We are everything that we needed to be to do what we’ve done together.
If you change the players and demand the projects you couldn’t have accomplished more.
God has a purpose for our mission. My prayer is that we shall be able to live into it, together.
Even if a human right’s lawyer spent three years trying to understand our work, they still wouldn’t immediately or possibly ever connect what it was like that one day when so and so came in the door upset about whatever it was that day. Their best rendition wouldn’t measure up to the real witnesses. It took so many people acting out of the ordinary and against predictabilities to accomplish such a healing and such internal justice and action within procedures – that they could never be replicated. There were dreams that woke people up in the middle of the night that changed the interpretation of our mission. There were kindred spirits. There were calls. The devil would ruin the good trying to understand what it was exactly that made it so. Yet, that is the power of miracles. It’s not how did you succeed in raising this generation – it’s why didn’t you fail.
For that, you need the right people. The ones God called first. Not the team God called second. The second isn’t powerful until the first is unrestricted and can share the real needs and obstacles to the best of the work they’ve been able to accomplish – together.
Praying for an international flight to happen sooner rather than later, with certain conditions met.
Miss us? Want to work with us? Like us? Love us? Separated from us by social media? Have you been subpoenaed? Let’s talk.
A while ago, as I sipped a hot cup of cinnamon tea, I listened in to a conversation between mothers about the plight of a beloved 13-year-old boy, who it sounds like was receiving a private school education.
Apparently, there was a known bully who continued to torture him on some kind of a sport’s field or court, and the child reached a breaking point when he realized that this bully wasn’t going to stop.
The next time the bully came by, he lost control for a moment and nailed the bully right in the nose.
The first mother was proud of the boy. She wanted him to stand up for himself and as it sounded like there was no evidence of a scuffle afterwards, he clearly stood his ground and got his point across.
That’s not a bad use of force – which in my opinion was just enough – if the violence ended there. An action like that would have taken bravery, confidence – and to tell the truth – control, contemplation, and prayer.
The second mother said in that situation she’d just pray for God to be the parent because she wouldn’t know what to say to her child.
Still though, it made my stomach hurt a bit.
I wouldn’t expect my children to be justly treated everywhere they go – and while I wouldn’t want them to tolerate injustices, I would pray that they would somehow find a way to respond to injustice with class every time, which has more of the right stuff over to the side of justice.
I thought about the children in the village who are bullied. Many of them orphans – who are made fun of for their rashes, their illnesses, their crying.
Violent people don’t stop being violent until someone teaches them the limitations of force. Until that point, peace-keeping isn’t as possible.
Even in the parable of the woman being stoned for adultery, Jesus needed someone to stop throwing stones before he could get his point across.
If a good child was miserable because they punched a bully, that’s the right chemistry to work with.
You can sit down and try to understand what the problem is, and look for any opportunity that could have been there to solve the problems before they escalated to that point, and steps to keep that from happening again.
I’m not talking about drawing in your breath and counting to ten. That’s psychobabble. That’s what breeds communities that are quiet when others are suffering.
Good children don’t need to be punished for actions that make them miserable. Often, problems are not seen as problems, even when reported, to authorities until they have some kind of action that is considered punishable. Rumors are often ignored, but words are our gifts from God to tell the truth, and corrupted truths cause more damage to our world than bloody noses.
Actions that require force are evidence of an ignorance present somewhere in the situation.
What was it that was misunderstood?
What truth was being defended?
What is the way to fixing the underlying misunderstanding which caused the punches?
It is important that every child have a safe adult that they can talk to who is only on their side. This requires a lot of people to be present in a situation.
Don’t let the ignorant guide or perpetuate the misunderstandings, for that is where the real peace-keeping solutions are to be found.
Create situations for healing once the proper kindnesses have overcome the misunderstandings.
At the same time, if I thought that a child of mine were needlessly bullying, or being somehow indifferent to the needs of another child, he wouldn’t in any way be a happy camper.
I would tell them that many ignorant in the world expect you to be violent, because they don’t know you. So it is your job, in this city, in this country, in this world – a heavy responsibility – to prove them very wrong. Don’t let them smile and laugh thinking that you were not capable of the small attitudes or actions, show them how talented and cultured you are in the biggest of ways. That’s the biggest and most resounding way to make a difference – even for a bully. It requires a lot of thought and effort which you are uniquely capable of. Your situation has the power to make you more friends – and more of the right friends – than enemies.
That said, if you raise your children well, and guide them and walk with them (and for them if you can’t walk with them) from an early age, and help them to notice and celebrate the opportunities and well-being and milestones of others – in their own spirits – as their own joy as well – it’s not possible for them to cause another even emotional tears without a sense of miserable guilt. You’ve got the right experiences to work with to predict the consequences of unkind actions – and how important your words are to your peace and happiness long before you ever reach your fists.
I would be angry if anyone else tried to guide a child of mine through any kind of consequences without letting me talk to them – because knowing someone deeply and thoroughly in the way that only a mother could is what helps a child draw the connections that they need to have in order to see what needs to be dealt with. No one would deal with a child that just punched another on a field the same way that a mother would her own child, whether they were the punched – or the puncher. Don’t tell them that it is wrong. You can’t tell a child not to defend themselves from unrighteous actions. If someone else is punching, they may punch too. That said, who is the authority guiding these children that makes all of this punching possible – and to their minds necessary? Any kind of force is always when people can’t think of a better way themselves.
Yet, if you had ever cuddled the bruises, the burns and melted skin, the scratched, the cuts, the knife wounds and more in little children – and yes, I’ve had custody of all of those – you would never tell them not to fight back. It’s because children are naturally peaceful that they are such easy prey. Every child needs to understand that they are a human being, worthy of their own dignity and human rights, and teach them intrinsically that they are worthy of whatever defense it takes to live healthy, and productively, in relative and reasonable peace, opportunity, education and provision. My children know that they have the right to defend themselves andto be and feel safe, and there is no fighting allowed in our home where we can address each other with the same code of conduct and values. If a child were angered to the point of using fists it would be because someone has compromised their feelings of safety and security and they feel they cannot achieve those things any other way. Perhaps one could have their child an adapted version of the classic Jane Eyre for better guidance and self-understanding.
If a bully is incapable of being taught, sing out a message of peace to all around to set the standard that should be and could be, and make it so fun that everyone wants to be a part of it, so that even it would resound inside of the head of the few who are misguided.
I am not mad at you for punching a bully, but I’d pray that there would be so many good reasons that it wouldn’t happen again.
I would be angry at any child of mine who stood by silently as another was unrighteously picked on. They understand the need to exemplify the role of defenders of righteousness – and it is a responsibility I’ve placed upon their shoulders and encouraged in their social consciousness. I think I might even be more angry with the child that stood by than the child that engaged.
If you knew how much one well-placed punch from an orphan could set justice rolling in motion, and how many other children it could protect for a lifetime, you’d never only judge a punch as a punch.
When I went back to an area where my home was broken into – to have a cup of coffee at a coffee shop across the street, one of the janitors and maintenance men came up to me. He had been a voice of ethics and reason in some of the disputes of our neighborhood, and he told me that he was called into a room where his boss disrespected him, and told lie after lie and he was told to agree and sign a piece of paperwork.
He wasn’t going to let anyone lie for him, and he wasn’t going to participate in a lie that was hurting other good people.
I smiled at him.
“Yeah, so what happened after that?” I asked.
“They got me a lawyer right quick. We settled it out. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what’s right and wrong. He got in trouble, too.”
I was kind of impressed with his forwardness, but knew that to everyone good he was a defender of truth.
“What did you do after that?” I asked.
“Oh, I went ahead and moved to Florida. They were nicer to me there.”
Until there is some kind of burst or action, there never would have been a court action to fix a perpetual injustice which affected many. Yet, the violence did not continue in that situation because it was properly dealt with. Problems that are never addressed, never get solved, and unless the system is just – and equal – injustices will continue to create only more injustices. Not everyone who will steal from you will be brave enough to punch you – and what makes it possible for them to keep doing what they are doing. So, with class, be a defender of the truth but while also being prayerful and connected to God.
I truly believe that Cedric was connected to God when he punched the nose of the man who tried to force him to lie on paperwork.
So, what does the bully need to know that he hasn’t been taught? If it is compassion, and compassion is a human need – then that’s what you need to teach them.
Sometimes it’s the first step to a greater peace.
Use it that way.
That isn’t an easy thing to do when anyone has a stone in their hand.
Below: A sweet little song that needs a Florence + upgrade by the Harlem Boys’ Choir.
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As a kid, I remember loving to race the boy who lived down the street,
…but I always disliked running as a sport. I can remember there being confusion over whether I had asthma – or not -and being breathless and coughing only seemed to happen for the most part -when I ran.
Running long distances was never appealing to me – but I learned how to under the care of coaches that felt it was an important life skill.
Trying to make the high school soccer team after a coach told me I was too small to play volleyball (I figured if my feet could touch the ground I must be tall enough to play a sport without a suspended net) I was faced with a new obstacle instead of height-jumping- to run more than three miles without stopping.
Fearing that I wouldn’t be able to make it, I ran six many mornings before school, said I ran four just in case anyone felt like that was impossible, and
-slowly watched my feet fall apart.
It didn’t help to train more – because it didn’t make me a better player.
I can remember a doctor looking up from my feet, and telling me this was too much, and that I needed to slow down and wait for my feet to heal.
Socially, that wasn’t possible. Soccer season was getting ready to start, and shin splints were starting to develop in my legs.
I found a solution that made more mileage possible, and I learned a bit about my feet. I learned that I had to wrap them to hold them together when the mileage was too long and the bones began spurring.
For the last three months, I’ve been pretty disappointed with humanity. As someone who has to cover long distances with cars in order to be able to do my daily work, I’ve been left with an office, but without a car – making it very difficult to reach all of the points I need to during a day’s tasks. It means I have to carry all of my groceries, all of my paperwork – the computer. It means I have to walk through mud, and through cold and through snow – and through the dark – almost always alone.
It’s not an easy thing to do – when I hold the titles for three different cars. Two company cars, and one personal car.
Metatarsal fractures are what are happening to my feet instead of wear on my tires. I haven’t even had the funding to buy a pair of shoes that doesn’t hurt although I’ve worked harder and physically harder every single day.
The first week of walking caused my heels to hurt so badly that after about three days I felt like I couldn’t lift them well anymore. What actually happens inside of your foot is that the bones splinter and break on the inside, but it is not yet visible on the outside. It is possible to walk – right through your own heels – and still be able to stand upright. This is something that refugees and the suffering poor in villages – do every day.
If the wounds don’t break through the skin, and stay below, the blood co-agulates underneath and around your bones – trying to protect the circulation where it can and giving up where it can’t when your body becomes too exhausted.
You would expect someone going through this to be completely writhing in agony – yet, this is not the case all the time. As the activity level and weight bears down on your feet, your body and mind produces higher and higher levels of natural endorphins – which can even make you flushed when people would expect you to be crying. And numb when people want you to explain what your situation is – because a form of amnesia and cold also sets in as your body tries to block what is hurting you – as it is forced into more survival mechanisms which make it difficult to consider thoughts that are more fine-tuned. Like, what were the words of that song? Or – did I mail that letter? Both pain, and pain response make it difficult to remember small things that matter.
Ballerinas often also have metatarsal damage from repetitive motion that pushes the boundaries and spectrum of human motion.
It isn’t difficult to see metatarsal fractures physically. Yesterday I took a picture of my feet after walking a long distance.
I remember a doctor asking me to show them where my foot hurt. So I drew with a caricature marker a circle around many of the places that were paining. Each had some kind of a white dot around it on the surface of the skin.
My feet hurt more when I lie down, when they are not in boots because that’s when they seem to fall apart the most, and that’s when the throbbing and the pulling begins.
Some people don’t have the ability to stop walking, and one of the things we do in the village to protect our feet is to rub them with oils to keep the skin from breaking, and we like to add clove powder to the oils to create a germ separation barrier from the parasites in the soil that would also cause the skin to break. You can see the pressure of the bones settling against the skin, and the areas of coagulation (in the places where the blood vessels are restricted by the moving of the actual skeletal frame and bones, and fragments within your foot. (That’s why your feet throb once you’ve been on them for too long.)
One of the things that helps your feet and the pain more than anything is tight binding – following the Asian tradition – but with elastic medical bandages. Two-or-three tight circles around the base and arch of the foot, and two around the ankles helps one greatly to be able to continue walking on foot.
Yet on the days when the pain feels sharp, it is important to rest – because the metatarsal fractures – or bone shards – can bust through the skin causing a wound that will take several weeks of bedrest to fix, and your feet could be forever deformed.
It is important to take good care of your feet. Many painful foot conditions can be avoided with good maintenance and care. Wear shoes that fit your feet, and keep them warm, dry and trimmed. If you have a job that covers long distances, drive when you can and protect your feet.
Sometimes, if you use your feet too much, these actions simply are not enough.
It is possible to walk through the pain up to a certain point, and certain things like sand, salts with manganese – and even swimming are recommended to offset the pressures of the muscles and bones.
Later this week I might try to show you how to wrap your injured feet to avoid or help correct some of these conditions. I’m not a doctor, and make no claims to medical advice, but I can show you what works for me.
My prayer is that at least one of those cars – or a new car will be returned to our company so that we can continue our work. We have too much responsibility to be dependent on rides from others.
When did your feet ever hurt the most – and how many miles or kilometers did you walk? Would you be able to walk 8-or-more distance miles on a daily basis? Do vacations and good company help your feet, and provide great rest for a healthier lifestyle?
-but lately I have been having a week – or maybe – a month, of epic failures.
From a car breakdown that’s had me walking so far for so long I’m convinced my feet are also breaking.
I picked up our camera to take pictures for our blog, only to realize that I left the photography subject at the store, tried to call the store with a broken phone, only to break the camera – no, not by dropping it – but by focusing on a reflection so beautiful that it jammed the shutters on the camera. 📸🌞
Did I know that’s why it broke? Oh, not for a week. So what did I do?
I paid to replace the battery – which, ‘blushes – still worked.
Did it end there? Oh, no. Of the many goals that I had for this month, one of them was to ‘win’ or I mean – ‘earn’ more income.
Not only for myself, of course – but for the village.
My devised idea was going to be amazon associates, and I spent weeks making ads – and failing. And failing. And sitting in corners when my feet were too tired, trying to understand how it was – that I failed so miserably.
Photoshop was my friend until scratch disks became ‘full’. Hours and hours of work went into trying to better understand Macs for the change – without a win.
Sometimes, it’s just important to be a part of a team. 💜 No one could play football for their whole lives – nor can anyone run track – or about 10 miles a day for months on end – or try to work themselves into a ‘field’ that doesn’t feed them.
Hence, on behalf of the global team I need – that it takes to make a difference in a village – I’m sharing appetizers today.
Well, let me explain that technically ‘snacks’ are not an option when trying to run re-nourishment therapies into malnourished children any more than ‘sports’ are an option once you get those little hungry bellies up and running again.
I’ve had a few more failures I’m not ashamed to mention. Corn muffins in an Instant Pot. I tried to add extra protein to chicken noodle soup by adding in a whole – egg. (I will never, ever do that again – the consistency is just wronger than wrong.) And did I mention that I walked too far on my feet? I might just be too tired to remember.
That said, our kids in the village are enthused on recipes – on the days we can afford them. Unfortunately that doesn’t even happen – every week.
I am praying to learn more about sponsored posts, and grateful to whoever it was that finagled the right fix for our blog template. It looks much nicer although I can’t explain how that was – but still am hoping it was the right people and not the kind that keep isolating us.
My next post might be on metatarsal-esque fractures. No kidding.
That said, we’ve successfully enrolled several children in school around the world – and a lot of that comes from the kindness of others. For that, we’re grateful, yet still struggling.
One little boy who was abandoned in the village is a big fan of team sports. his favorite sport is football – but the English kind, with goals that actually use their feet beyond just a punt. Once he was describing a game to me, and explained happily into the international line that he was a ‘keep-ah’ in a beautiful British accent; meaning that he was a ‘goal-keeper’ but saying ‘keeper’ in such an endearing way, so excitedly that if his little life story was a sport of it’s own – I wanted to be on his team.👏
We grew broccoli in our backyard garden, and I loved it in broccoli-and-cheese soup, as well as fried in stir-frys.
There was a family down the street, that always seemed to find everything “white” to add to our days.
They were the breeders of our beloved mixed silver persian – a very intelligent animal that would follow me off to the elementary-school – and wait faithfully to trail me back home.
These neighbors always kept homemade Christmas candy on their livingroom tables – many of which shined pearly-white – with the best of hopes and intentions.
And one day I was introduced to the ‘white’ version of – broccoli – otherwise known as cauliflower.
Which we quickly added into our favorite meals.
Cauliflower has a softer, more velvety taste than broccoli, and is considered a delicacy in many nations. Cauliflower is not as high as a Vitamin A source as other relations to the cabbage plant, however, cauliflower is made almost purely of fiberous material – which is good, and gentle – for your digestive track.
Cauliflower’s gentle flavor mixes comfortingly into different flavor combinations, which has led many cultures to embrace this soft-headed puritanical vegetable, earning it the honor of canvasing the medieval grand tables and menus.
Nutritionally, what cauliflower lacks in Vitamin A, it makes up for in maganese and phosporus. While not very caloric, this white blooming cabbage is full of B vitamins, nor is it low on protein.
Cauliflower could most-likely only be grown in pots around the village, as this family-member to the cabbage isn’t likely to do well in tropical soil – however it is a treat that can sometimes be found on first-world grocery shelves – even in developing nations.
Today cauliflower is a commonality in many parts of the world, and can be found in Latin American dishes, Indian and South-East Asian dishes, as well as European. It is less known beneath the global poverty-line, besides as a delicacy in high-end local grocery stores.
I was a bit disappointed with my picture of cauliflower as it began to change colors quickly after I purchased it without refrigeration – although it can last a long time if kept in cool air.
When we started our Rainbow Garden project in the village – one of our many goals – which included discovering what different kinds of nutrition we could produce in a hungry village, all garden plants that we had some experience with were considered – just for the joy that trying a new food would bring to different people of the village.
Thanksgiving is a great time to try out your new cauliflower dishes and casseroles. You can tell your guests it is food fit to feed a king, as it has been reserved to the more developed nations of the Northern Hemispheres.
Cauliflower is something we would like to be able to produce in the village someday. Cauliflower is as nice of a civilized vegetable as a proper cup of tea, and we hope to invite more people to enjoy the savory flavor and health benefits.
It would be nice to share a cauliflower meal with them, and give them a savory place around a blessed table.
Click on any of the cauliflower pictures for a bookmark-able and printable copy of the actual recipe. For tips and tricks with fresh cauliflower, click on the video below:
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