Planet Impressions. Encourage. Inkblots in Rainbow Colors. Doing community in the global south and other places. "Higher up and further in!" with an outreach twist.

Posts tagged “multicultural

The Way is Perfect – an old poem by Amy Carmichael

copyright La Nina de Sus Ojos by NinadesusOjos, 2012 -2017 Any and all unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited by law.

 

Long is the way, and very steep the slope,

Strengthen me once again, O God of Hope.

Far, very far, the summit doth appear;

But Thou art near my God, but Thou art near.

And Thou wilt give me with my daily food,

Powers of endurance, courage, fortitude.

The way is perfect;  only let that way

Be clear before my feet from day to day.

Thou art my Portion, saith my soul to Thee,

O what a Portion is my God to me. (Amy Carmichael)

Psalm 16:5-6  “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;  you have made my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”IMG_4322

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Still traveling…..

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Neighbors

NEIGHBORS

My neighbors live at the edge

of the River Rocha

open canal

chemical waste, raw sewage.

Their homes pop up, proliferate

like toadstools after rain,

disappear again,

houses of ripped sheet plastic, sticks, garbage.

When we visit with donations

one man with long white hair,

dark sunburned wrinkles,

asks, “soymilk instead?”

Four more are young

wild wiry glue-sniffers,

dusty, tousled hair,

angry, jumpy eyes.

One keeps three sheep in the riverbed,

hobbled, corraled with clinging driftwood.

Traffic whines within yards, oblivious,

every few weeks police knock down,

set afire my neighbors’ homes,

they scout the city garbage bins

for present food and future building materials,

they want squatters’ rights

to this land nobody else wants

and nobody else wants them to own,

they stake claim

in the pestilential air

on the burned, polluted flood silts

dotted with spindling shrubs,

their lives as tentative and embattled

as the gnarled and stunted willows

barely growing

in the Rocha riverbed.

©Globe Prints by NinadesusOjos, 2012 -2017.Any and all unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited by law.


Language across Culture addressing Human Idiosyncracy

Language fascinates and intrigues me.  Once a week here in Cochabamba on Mondays I walk to the home of a very old friend of mine who is also my former Spanish language tutor from when P. and I first arrived in Bolivia and spent our first five and a half months in the country immersing ourselves more-than-fulltime in the process of foreign language and culture adquisition under the formal direction of my friend and others.

Now I go for one hour once a week mostly for the pleasure of friendship but also for the benefit of a nudge toward broader and richer Spanish vocabulary, foreign accent reduction and conversational correction of ingrained speech pattern errors.

My friend’s been passing me some TREASURES!

They’re ancient SAYINGS, originally from Spain, passed down through the generations orally and nowadays fast being lost forever, even within more classically-oriented, traditional upper class Bolivian sub-culture.

They can’t usually be found in books.  My friend keeps each of these in her memory, ingrained in her by the repetition of her mother’s voice in her ear through all her years growing up and living with her mom as an adult.  Oral tradition and learning is huge in Bolivia, and here are some prime examples:

“No alabes ni desalabes hasta que pasen cien navidades.” (Don’t either complement or criticize somebody until a hundred Christmases have passed.)

“Quien por su culpa padece al Diablo se queje”  (He who suffers because of his own poor decision can complain about it (in vain) only to the Devil!)

And, my all-time favorite:  “Si quieres del mundo gozar, ver, oir y CALLAR!”  (If you want to enjoy to the maximum your whole existence on this earth, OBSERVE, LISTEN and SHUT UP!”)IMG_2435


Christmas Day 2013 in the Village

THE TUTUMA FULL OF MOQOCHINCHE (the traditional gourd village bowl full of spiced juice made of dried whole rural highland peaches) THAT DOÑA ABUELITA PASSED TO US.IMG_1759Gathered for breakfast at that same wooden round table Christmas morning we discussed a bit of Dallas Willard, where, in particular in his “The Spirit of the Disciplines” book he waxes eloquent in communicating his passionate belief that modern-day dichotomization of life into “spiritual” versus “nonspiritual” categories, is DAMAGING to persons and to the church, and that the practice of basic “spiritual disciplines” such as prayer, Bible reading, silence, solitude and SERVICE, among others, can be extremely helpful to the Christian. Just then, ancient Doña abuelita’s cane was heard tap-tapping slowly on the cement walkway just outside the village house and her grizzled head, topped by the ubiquitous misshapen felt bowler hat appeared outside the screened window.  One of our group quickly went out to speak in Quechua – her only language – with her and returned to announce, “Doña abuelita needs 80 adobes moved, so, how about it, boys?” Seeing as the “boys” in question were our four sturdy and kind-hearted HUSBANDS, all in their fifties! – it touched my heart to see how our “boys” immediately mobilized themselves to rush out there on Christmas morning and practice a bit of what we’d just been “preaching” to ourselves over breakfast – service to widows (of which Doña IS one – an 85-year-old widow, in fact, whose only home and extremely scant possession was a tiny adobe block two-room hovel and bare mud courtyard just outside the house of our friends). Three hours later (!) our “boys” reappeared in the kitchen, sunburned, covered in bee stings and red dirt, panting and exhausted, and with a couple of three-inch cactus thorns having pierced their shoes.  Adobes are HUGE!  Each one weighs at least 25  pounds!  Doña was content, even happy, and our “boys” were FULFILLED with the activities of their very unusual Christmas morning! Later we heard that it was all over the village that the gringos had moved adobes for old Doña abuelita.


How we sometimes traveled to reach the very rural Quechuas deep in the highlands where there were no roads.

These are some of the Bible school students we helped teach and work with, leaving from Potosi for a practicum journey with us deep into the Potosi mountains where totally isolated villagers lived in small, separated enclaves of 4 and 5 houses each, and there were no roads. After the last train station, the hike was another 8 to 10 hours on foot to get to the first community and on to others from there.


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Clash of Cultures – Andean Rural and “City”

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About Amy Carmichael of Dohnavoor

Excerpts from “Candles in the Dark” by Amy Carmichael:

 

(from the Introduction:)  “Her power to help those in need came from HER TIMES OF LISTENING TO HER LORD.  ‘Sometimes,’ she wrote, ‘it is as if another Hand were turning over the pages of my Bible and finding the places for me.’

 

“God needs those who are ready to lay down their very lives to lead others into true soldiership and a true following of the Crucified.”

“The best training is to learn to accept everything as it comes, as from Him whom our soul loves.  The tests are always unexpected things, not great things that can be written up, but the common little rubs of life, silly little nothings, things you are ashamed of minding one scrap.  Yet they can knock a strong man over and lay him very low.

It is a very good thing to learn to take things by the right handle.  An inward grouse is a devastating thing.  I expect you know this, we all do, but it is extraordinary how the Devil tries to ‘get’ us on the ordinary road of life.  But all is well, if only we are in Him, deep in Him, and He in us our daily strength and joy and song.”   – from p. 2, excerpt from a personal letter to someone.IMG_8293


Philippians 4:8 in the KJV

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there by any praise, think on these things.”IMG_2129


Christmas Day 2013 in the Village

THE TUTUMA FULL OF MOQOCHINCHE (the traditional gourd village bowl full of spiced juice made of dried whole rural highland peaches) THAT DOÑA ABUELITA PASSED TO US.IMG_1759Gathered for breakfast at that same wooden round table Christmas morning we discussed a bit of Dallas Willard, where, in particular in his “The Spirit of the Disciplines” book he waxes eloquent in communicating his passionate belief that modern-day dichotomization of life into “spiritual” versus “nonspiritual” categories, is DAMAGING to persons and to the church, and that the practice of basic “spiritual disciplines” such as prayer, Bible reading, silence, solitude and SERVICE, among others, can be extremely helpful to the Christian. Just then, ancient Doña abuelita’s cane was heard tap-tapping slowly on the cement walkway just outside the village house and her grizzled head, topped by the ubiquitous misshapen felt bowler hat appeared outside the screened window.  One of our group quickly went out to speak in Quechua – her only language – with her and returned to announce, “Doña abuelita needs 80 adobes moved, so, how about it, boys?” Seeing as the “boys” in question were our four sturdy and kind-hearted HUSBANDS, all in their fifties! – it touched my heart to see how our “boys” immediately mobilized themselves to rush out there on Christmas morning and practice a bit of what we’d just been “preaching” to ourselves over breakfast – service to widows (of which Doña IS one – an 85-year-old widow, in fact, whose only home and extremely scant possession was a tiny adobe block two-room hovel and bare mud courtyard just outside the house of our friends). Three hours later (!) our “boys” reappeared in the kitchen, sunburned, covered in bee stings and red dirt, panting and exhausted, and with a couple of three-inch cactus thorns having pierced their shoes.  Adobes are HUGE!  Each one weighs at least 25  pounds!  Doña was content, even happy, and our “boys” were FULFILLED with the activities of their very unusual Christmas morning! Later we heard that it was all over the village that the gringos had moved adobes for old Doña abuelita.