Do you see what I see?

I used to tremble in fear when people looked at me, wondering if they could see through me and know that I wasn’t worth anything. Painstakingly, I worked my way through that phase in my life. I did this by exposing myself to different environments and people. I faced some rejection but the benefits of baring myself to the world were rewarding more than anything else.   Though still shy and awkward, I am much more comfortable with being me.

I’ve watched people shy away from my stare much like I used to . Do you see what I see?  I don’t care what your background is, when I look at you I see limitless potential. I don’t care what your background is, I am proud that you got out of bed today to face this world and all of it’s challenges. Maybe you didn’t get out of bed but instead cried and released something gnawing at you. You’ll get out of bed tomorrow. Celebrate your smallest achievements, they are no less grand or meaningful than that of your peers.

I feel like I am worthy of love, happiness and appreciation. All I see when I look at people is beauty and maybe that is what people see when they look at me. You might be perceptive, intuitive, able to discern peoples moods because you are an observer. This does not make you a mind reader. Don’t sabotage yourself by guessing what people think. You are the person you have to live with 24/7, be more concerned with what you think about yourself. It’s not easy but we can do it!

Have a beautiful week!

 

 

Njagabaar bi

November 2014

Djoudj National Park. North of St. Louis, Senegal.

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Waiting for our tour guide.

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Puffer fish.

Finally onboard our boat, we watched awestruck as women waded neck deep in the water gathering water lillies. Traditionally dressed with headwraps, they gracefully bobbed up and down to cut the flower at the stem. They sell the flowers at a market. We did not photograph the women.IMG_9757

 

 

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Our first glimpse…

 

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Breeding grounds of the Great White Pelican(Njagabaar bi in Wolof. Wolof is the language of Senegal.)

 

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We saw a variety of birds in Djoudj National Park. I identified egrets and herons. The park has over 400 species of birds and  other wildlife. You can read more about the Great White Pelican here.

Laamb!

November 2o14 . Dakar, Senegal. Better late than never.

The language of Senegal is Wolof. Laamb is the Wolof word for wrestling.

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Whoever is thrown to the ground first is the winner. Hands only!

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The bottles contain herb laced infusions that the players use to bath with. It is prepared by a marabout(Muslim religious leader) and is supposed to protect the players.

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A loser pouring libations. He dug a hole in the earth and poured what appeared to be water in it. He then drank the water from the earth and  bathed his face and shoulders with it.

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Peanut ladies

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Enjoying the show.

 

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Dancing while they watch the match.

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Wearing gris-gris , leather charms that have Koran verses on them.

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The drummers played all night long even as  dignitaries make their entrance.

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The singers.

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The amateurs had their turn. The pros arrived.

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Unfortunately, my camera died after this. And so did my voice. If you’d like to learn more about Senegalese wrestling, you can read  Here.

Wight? Wight.

I’m a year late but I just finished watching Game of Thrones season 5. I love the wights. Finally some zombies I can respect! Spare me those slow moving zombies that plod along tripping over themselves. Ok, they eat brains but so what? There’s a anthropologist, foodie,  or some adventurous person out there somewhere doing the very same thing. I’m not impressed.  Besides, how can I respect the undead if  I can outrun them?   Now, lets take a look at wights.

  1.  They took on a giant named Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun. You can call him Wun Wun for short.They didn’t win win but they did succeed in making said giant hastily walk into the sea with no clear direction in sight. Where the hell did he go? He wasn’t wearing a life jacket, didn’t have a boat, a paddle, a plan. The last scene  he was above waist deep in water and making determined strides.  I hope he makes  it. If he doesn’t, I’d be  delighted to feast my eyes on a zombie giant.
  2. They’re fast.
  3. A throng of wights threw themselves over the head of a cliff in order to get to their enemies. They didn’t stop to debate the wisdom in that and they rose from their fallen positions rather gracefully.
  4. They value teamwork. We  have seen the way zombie squabbles ensue when they are fighting over a meal. Wights are above that. They understand that teamwork makes the dream work. How many of us can say that about our colleagues, friends and lovers??
  5. Brains are not the priority like most of the undead I have seen in movies. I always thought zombies had rather shortsighted goals. Wights  want to kill you and increase their ranks. I suspect they’re heading towards world domination.
  6. They’re fast.
  7. They have chirren zombies. We all know that chirren zombies up the creepy factor times a thousand.
  8. There is no gradual decent into zombiehood. There is no sweat beaded upper lip and  strange behavior to  clue us in that someone has been “infected”. Wights are dead in an instant and  reanimated with a mere flick of da wrist from the powerful White Walkers.

My invisible friends, the wights are one of the main reasons  I eagerly await season 6 of Game of Thrones.  On another note, Wun-Wun would make a great baby name. What do you think?

Man’s Best Friend

My sister sent me an amazing blog about trees  that beautifully expressed the reasons I love our steadfast friends. You can read it here. Trees  are beautiful, yes, but  they also provide us with food, medicine,  improve our air quality, provide shelter,  prevent encroaching sand, and temper storms. They teach us to be still,  think more than act, can literally hold us upright, have the same requirements as us to sustain life,  they are models on how to  just BE, and more importantly they teach us how to pray.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
By Joyce Kilmer

IMG_20150514_19273820150421_150035 The closest I have ever felt to God is in the arms of a tree. I have never seen someone stand beside one without looking radiant, magical, receiving and  transmitting  love much like any human in a loving relationship would. 31413_439808506326_4926536_n IMG_20150614_000431  Ultimately, communion with trees is the first step to repairing and preventing  damage to our tall and not so tall friends. Let’s stop and appreciate our Guides. This also allows us to also tune in to God, our spirit, and each other.