Sunday, April 25, 2010

Adventures in Africa

I took this shot two short days ago.

My journeys have taken me to Ethiopia,
meeting up with my friend Nancy and her family.

Nancy is the blondie standing behind her grandson.
Her daughter-in-law Iman is 100% Ethiopian.
She served as the guide & interpreter for this little troope of explorers.

We experienced 1st-hand Ethiopian hospitality from her extended family.
(This loaf of bread was made in our honor!)

Three kisses on the cheek = standard greeting

From her family members = 5 to 7 cheek kisses

Even strangers were extremely hospitable.

We encountered this trait over and over again.

Our travels took us rambling all over the country.

People, again strangers, welcomed us into their homes.

This little boy shared a traditional Ethiopian welcoming song and dance -

Ethiopian children WON MY HEART!

Most of them work incredibly hard.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest African nations.
However, poverty hasn't stopped the smiles and laughter
ever-present in this country.

The girls generally carry the wood for the cooking fires.

The boys herd the goats and cattle. Even very young little guys.

This child had those big ole cows in the palm of his hand with a flute!

The tiny tots get to ride on the backs of their mamas.

(And sometimes on the backs of their next older sibling!)

What a spectacular place!

So grateful for the invitation from Iman and her family.

Too many experiences for one little blog post.

So I'll tuck them under my sleeve and save 'em for later.

I'm on my way to Greece in the morning and it's getting late.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Where am I?

My now-grown godchildren are presently managing the homefront in Utah,
while I wandering around an EXOTIC CITY
where residents air their bedding right out their front-facing windows.
(See bedding, upper right.)

Other window in town are sporting freshly-washed garments and dish towels.

Looking down, I see water flowing freely,
as it has for centuries.

Sometimes, the free-flowing water is combined
with edifying art.
After all, it's an artsy sort of town.

Wisteria vines, blooming everywhere, provide both ambience and a heavenly scent.

as I slowly wander my way through
this ancient city,
meeting fascinating people all along the way . . .

. . . including three Catholic nuns with whom I shared a lovely chat while we all consumed GELATOS. They weren't thrilled about joining me in a photo and I totally get that. However, they were tickled to snap a shot of me solita, chuckling like I was their darling little grandchild. Well, they WERE old enough to be my grandmothers. But not too old for GELATOS!

I don't speak the native tongue of these women "of the cloth",

but I speak a sister language - Espanol.

And if you haven't guessed where I am,

If you still don't know,
retake World History 101.
* * *
I'm so thrilled to be here!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

NYC - All Good!

I returned to New York City for an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Boachie. This shot was taken just two weeks after my operation in 2008. Didn't pose this time around. (If you can't figure out why I had to cross the country for a check-up, look HERE to see a post on my first year anniversary appointment or peruse my recovery blog HERE.)

Dr. B was very positive about my outcome, although I still have some spinal issues and we discussed them for a bit. I created a soft-bound book for his patients facing surgery and he was thrilled, wanting a bundle of copies for his waiting rooms. Basically, it was a 20-page photo book with a simple verbal synopsis of my recovery - the good parts and the challenges.

When I walked out of his office, it occured to me that I had the ENTIRE afternoon to wander around the Big Apple. I walked all through Upper East Side of Manhattan. A drop-dead gorgeous day. Trees were in bloom everywhere. My favorite experience was hanging out at a park with a playground. Just about every child had a nanny. These brownstones (below) provide housing for folks with mega-bucks who hire out day-to-day parenting.

The best part about being in New York was staying with Gertie Kahn, who was my neighbor before I left NY as a six-year-old in 1958. She is an incredibly vibrant woman in her NINETIES. Plays on a tennis league three times a week. Brimming with good humor, in spite of being a survivor of the Holocaust.

Here we are in front of her home, situated just 22 miles out of New York City.

Next door is MY old home which I still MISS, after half a century.

Still, being at Gert's place gave me a shot in the arm.
Her home has incredible ambience . . .

LOVED eating out on the picnic table,

gazing at the woods where my brother built a treefort.

What a delightful time warp to go back!

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