So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Altadena, CA
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The Link To Zanzibar's Past
This is my page in the beloved art community that my sister got me into:
Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
The Tree and the Telephone Pole
I Do Not Know Their Names
Today I am Young
A Night Poem
Siren of the Sea
If I Were a Dragon
To the Dreamers Leave the Sky
The Honor of the Oyster
Return From San Diego
A Late Summer's Night
Of Dragons and Men
The Edge of the World
The Snake's Terror
Metaphysics and the Middaymoon
Of Adventures in Foreign Lands
The Rogue Wave: The Unedited Version
Adventures in the PRC
Voyage of Discovery
Drinking the Blood of Goats
Ticket for a Phantom Bus
Os peixes nadam o mar
Three Villages Far Away
The River Weser
Children I Should Have Kidnapped, Part I
Let's Get You Out of Those Clothes
If Underwear Could Speak
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER
Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
M: Science and Exploration
T: Cook a nice dinner
Th: Parties, movies, dinners
F: Picnics, the Louvre
S: Read books, go for walks, PARKOUR
Su: Philosophy, Religion
The Reading List
This list starts Summer 2006
A Crocodile on the Sandbank
Tales of the Alhambra (in progress)
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Lost Years of Merlin
Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers (in progress)
Atlas Shrugged (in progress)
A Long Way Gone (story of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone- met the author! w00t!)
The Eye of the World: Book One of the Wheel of Time
From Magma to Tephra (in progress)
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Harry Potter 7
The No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency
Introduction to Planetary Volcanism
A Child Called "It"
Is Multi-Culturalism Bad for Women?
Americans in Southeast Asia: Roots of Commitment (in progress)
What's So Great About Christianity?
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
When I was in Cuba, I was a German Shepard
The Golden Compass
Clan of the Cave Bear
The 9/11 Commission Report (2nd time through, graphic novel format this time, ip)
The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
To Sir, With Love
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Hunger Games
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
The Name of the Wind
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Great Contemporaries, by Winston Churchill
City of Bones
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Old Man and the Sea
Flowers for Algernon
Au Bonheur des Ogres
The Road to Serfdom
De La Terre à la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye
want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
Friday. 2.2.18 6:50 pm
I watched "500 Days of Summer" on the plane to Ethiopia. It is basically the saddest movie ever made. It is sad because you spend the whole movie thinking about how you are Tom, whilst we not even recognizing that you are Summer to someone else.
As the plane descended towards Addis Abbaba, my constant companion, the Moon, set over the horizon, followed by the hunter, Orion. The plane made a broad sweep and I came face to face with the Southern Cross.
The first person I meet in Addis Abbaba is a dark-skinned older woman on her way to Juba, the capital of South Sudan. She is yelling after an airport employee, who doesn't hear her. "People aren't helpful here," she says, "in the United States they woukd stop." Soon after a tall, young handsome toffee-skinned man arrives and helps us navigate to the bus between terminals. He was originally born in Somalia but his parents now live in Ethiopia. He is headed to Jigjiga to see them. His children live in Nairobi, Kenya, and he lives in San Diego. It is very expensive, trips like this, but he must do them. As soon as we have settled down to wait for the terminal bus, an elderly Ethiopian woman appears in the company of an airport employee. Her name is Alga. "People are so nice here," she says to me by way of introduction. "I didn't know where to go and so this nice man went out of his way to accompany me to the bus stop. Everyone in Ethiopia is kind like that-- you will see, my daughter." She is originally from Ethiopia, but now she lives in Minnesota with her white American husband and children. They met during the Vietnam War, when there were many US servicemen stationed in Ethiopia (of course?).
"People are wonderful," Alga continues. "I am a people person. I always want to be around other people. They are so friendly and loving." I agree. Juba wonders aloud when the bus is going to come, as she has a flight in an hour. Jigjiga says not to worry. "You have plenty of time, m'am."
"What we really need is World Peace," says Alga. "You know, Michael Jackson said, 'It doesn't matter if you're back or white, you know that song?' Well he's right, it doesn't matter." I take advantage of a pause in her speech to heartily agree.
"One time," Alga says, "Someone asked me, 'How do you feel being black when your husband and children are white?' (Her children, she tells me, are as white as I am!) I said, 'It doesn't matter if you are back or white'. And then right afterwards Michael Jackson came out with that song! What do you think of that?"
That is quite a coincidence, I say, implying that maybe it wasn't a coincidence at all.
"I like that song," she said. "Back then it was a bit bad, you know, between black and white, but now it is ok."
"What we really need in order to get World Peace," continues Alga, "is to pray." I agree.
"HEY YOU! HEY MY SON!" she shouts at Jigjiga. "We all need to pray," she says, when he looks up from his phone.
"We were talking about how to get World Peace," I supply by way of context.
"Oh yes! We must all pray! You are right m'am." He replies.
"And the sister over there!" Alga says loudly. "Yes," replies Juba, distractedly. "The people are fine," she says. "The problem is the government!" Jigjiga laughs. "Where is the bus?!?"
"I think she has never traveled before," says Jigjiga says to me confidentially.
"You know what we must do? We must all pray for peace in the world!" continues Alga, clasping her jeweled hands together in prayer. "We all want the same thing, you know. We just want people your age [indicating me and Jigjiga] to grow up to be my age... that's all we want."
"That's why we moved to the US," says Jigjiga. "So that we can live quietly in peace".
"Well, who knows about the US these days," says Alga.
"Of course there are always problems everywhere," says Jigjiga. "But as long as there is a place that respects the rule of law, the people can live in peace, no matter what small things happen."
"You are Somali, aren't you, my son. Where are you going?"
"Where? People live there?"
"Yes, lots of people live there. Everyone lives there. They have a mosque right next to a church. And everyone lives in peace."
"Ethiopians live everywhere," Alga says. "Because..." She sweeps her hand. Communism. Military rule. Civil war. The Diaspora. That's over now, according to Alga. Ethiopia is the safest country in Africa. And the people are honest. And helpful. It isn't like Kenya, where the officials are corrupt and you have to pay bribes for everything. Here it is like the United States. Everyone respects the rule of law. You will see.
When we get to the passport control, everyone brings out their US Passports. Ah. Ethiopian, Somali, South Sudanese. What a gaggle of Americans we are.
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