Photo Hunt: Two

This week’s Photo Hunt challenge was “Two”… Just us two, me and my dolly, Susan. I was about 4, I think.

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I should mention that the front of her hair really is cut off. I overheard people say that hair grows back faster if it is cut (probably in discussions over the hideous haircut and perm you see on my head in this photo). I thought this applied to dolls’ hair, as well and clearly recall “trimming” her bangs in hopes of making it grow. I can also remember clearly the smell of her hair and the smell after it was washed it with baby shampoo., and the texture of her hair…

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Child Haven gala fundraiser

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to go to a gala fundraiser at the new Ottawa Congress Centre. It looked pretty swanky and I was concentrating on what the heck I was going to wear to it that I forgot yo look at what organization the fundraiser was supporting. It was only after my friend mentioned the son of someone I know quite well that it occurred to me that the organization was Child Haven. I checked, and sure enough it was. The odd thing was that I had decided that I was going to go out to Maxville today to drop off some cheques to Child Haven for amounts I had raised at my birthday which I had announced that people could donate to Child Haven instead of giving me a card or a present.

Quite apart from having to make the trip all the way out to Maxville, it meant I could give my cheques in at the gala and also be able to make further donations by buying at the silent auction.

Last year at the event at Tudor Hall (it’s a conference hall that has nothing to do with the Tudors and doesn’t even look like a Tudor building – though we were joking this evening that it is the site of Ottawa’s only Tudor jousting ground), I spent a fair amount of money and bought quite a few things, including a wonderful wool rug with a “flayed Man” design which is a common motif in Buddhist iconography. This year I put my name down on a six items, I think, in the silent auction. I let two go because people I knew were bidding against me. I ended up with 4 other items, two of which I was the only bidder on, and two where others had bid against me. One of those I had to snatch the bid away in the last 30 seconds of the auction.

I ended up with these items…

Lord Ganesh, brass figurine

Brass and copper prayer wheel

Thangka – Hand-painted wood (front)

Thangka – Hand-painted wood (back)

Silver and “amethyst” locket

(I think it is just glass, considering what the reserve bid was for it)

Rough Aunties

Last night I watched the tail end of documentary on TV, called “Rough Aunties“.  The “Rough Aunties” are a group of women in South Africa dedicated to protecting, rescuing and advocating on behalf of children who have been infected with HIV/AIDS, most often because of rape. Their organization, Bobbi Bear, also provides prophylactic medications to children who have been raped to prevent the inevitable appearance of the virus, educates and provides advocacy on HIV/AIDS issues, and assisting in training Child Safety officers within the communities.

  • one in every four girls faces the prospect of being raped by her sixteenth birthday
  • every day in South Africa, at least 50 children become victims of rape
  • reported cases of child sexual abuse have increased by 400% in the past 8 – 9 years
  • in KwaZulu-Natal it is estimated that 51% of adults between 16 and 45 years are HIV+. Since this is the perpetrator age group for sexual abuse, child victims are at risk of contracting HIV

I was so moved by the documentary that I donated (donations can be made the UK via The RISE Foundation, the in the UK, US and Canada via Keep A Child Alive, and in South Africa through various methods). They also accept volunteers.

Colour them turtles faster, Boy….

My friend’s nephew  in kindergarten was given a detention for not colouring his turtles in fast enough in art class.

You have to wonder if the teacher knew that the future of the free world hinged on the speed at which a 6 year-old coloured in a bunch of turtle.

It makes me think of the Harry Chapin song about the boy who colours flowers all the colours of the rainbow but a teacher has different ideas.

Flowers are Red
by Harry Chapin

The little boy went first day of school
He got some crayons and started to draw
He put colors all over the paper
For colors was what he saw
And the teacher said.. What you doin’ young man
I’m paintin’ flowers he said
She said… It’s not the time for art young man
And anyway flowers are green and red
There’s a time for everything young man
And a way it should be done
You’ve got to show concern for everyone else
For you’re not the only one

And she said…
Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said…
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one

Well the teacher said.. You’re sassy
There’s ways that things should be
And you’ll paint flowers the way they are
So repeat after me…..

And she said…
Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said…
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one

The teacher put him in a corner
She said.. It’s for your own good..
And you won’t come out ’til you get it right
And are responding like you should
Well finally he got lonely
Frightened thoughts filled his head
And he went up to the teacher
And this is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen

Time went by like it always does
And they moved to another town
And the little boy went to another school
And this is what he found
The teacher there was smilin’
She said…Painting should be fun
And there are so many colors in a flower
So let’s use every one

But that little boy painted flowers
In neat rows of green and red
And when the teacher asked him why
This is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen.

It puts me in mind of the time when I was in Grade 6 and we were being taught cursive writing. I was writing the words down and the Principal walked by (my home room teacher). “The cross on your Ts need to be perfectly flat. Yours are at an angle. Make them flat!”

I continued to make the crosses at a slight angle. Pretend it’s a roof. Make the roof flat so the water won’t tun off!”

He finally kept me in for recess to “practice” making the “rooves flat so the rain wouldn’t run off them”.

1) Who gives a shit it your Ts are crossed  perfectly horizontally and 2) Why would you want water building up on your roof? Even in Grade 6, I knew that you don’t want a flat roof collecting water.

If teacher spent as much time on things like spelling and grammar instead of on nonsensical things like how fast you colour turtles or if “your rooves are flat on your Ts” maybe we would have kids coming out of school who could read and write … and paint and draw well.

And before anyone gets on my case about the spelling of “rooves” we were taught in school that the plural of roof is rooves, just as the plural of hoof is hooves , the plural of dwarf is dwarves, and the plural of knife is knives… Just because everyone under the age of 30 THINKS they invented this English language, they did not.

And, I have news for you… It is a SANDWICH not a “sammich, WEDNESDAY not “Wensday” (or even “Wensdey”, and FEBRUARY not “Febuary”. Just because some asses have decided to allow lazy people to spell or pronounce the words incorrectly doesn’t make it correct.

“A Day in the Life”

A day at the Child Haven home in Kathmandu, Nepal

Vodpod videos no longer available.Part 2
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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