Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Operation Hope Newsletter

Hot off the press!

Greetings OH Family,

Lots of exciting news to share with you! On Wednesday, by God’s grace 1,027 bags were distributed!! The grateful recipients of our labor bore mile-wide smiles, while some had looks of disbelief as we handed out winter bags to them. If you haven’t been on a distribution this (or a previous) year, please DO try as you’ll be blessed beyond measure as you come face to face with our needy brothers and sisters. You’ll never be the same after the experience ~ but don’t just take my word for it ~ come out with us to find out for yourself!

We have had a request to serve the TCN workers at Al Jahra Hospital. A date for that distribution will be forthcoming.

Rumaithiya street cleaners (all 120 of them) received a winter bag on Saturday. Today 250 street cleaners for Salmiya area received their winter bags; and tomorrow, by God’s grace the Salwa cleaners (150) will receive theirs! OH wishes to provide the same for as many neighborhood cleaning crews as possible, SO if you can find out where the buses load and unload for your area we’ll organize a distribution for them.

Thank you to the Catholic Church in Kuwait City for a donation of KD 50 from their summer library proceeds ~ also, to the BLS for their donation of toiletries, which we’ll give to the Philippine Embassy very soon.

Your patronage to the following activities will add support to OH’s fundraising efforts:
· November 10th: Harvest Festival at N.E.C.K
· November 11th: Beauty Bazaar in Salwa
· November 16th: Fall Bazaar in Mubarak Al Kabeer
· November 17th: KTAA Bazaar @ the Dar Al Cid
· December 4th: BLS Bazaar @ Al Hashemi (SAS Hotel)
· December 8th: AWL Charity Bazaar

For more details on exact location and timings, please contact Becky & Chelly on ophopevolunteer@yahoo.com

OH’s 2nd packing of 1,200 winter bags commenced last Friday. Called Student Day we were assisted by scout troops, the ASK National Honor Society, and many other students of varying ages and backgrounds. What an awesome sight to see our children knee-deep in charity work. My hope is that their experience will be remembered (and carried out) for a lifetime! Thank you to everyone who participated!

Thanks also to the New English School teachers who spent their ½ day off on Wednesday to help load vehicles for our deliveries! While they could have spent the day doing something else they chose to spend their time helping us to help others! What a blessing!!

OH needs more volunteers to pack this Friday, November 9th at 3:30 PM. A small set-up team is also needed that day to arrive at 2:30 PM. 1,200 bags must be packed that day so we’ll need a lot of hands on deck! Please RSVP your commitment to Kathleen on ophopevolunteer@yahoo.com

Thanks to Barbara R. for hosting a very fun and successful Bunco fundraising event for us today! We raised KD 125 having fun and so can you! If you are interested in helping to raise much needed funds to cover the cost of our winter bags, please contact Chelly and/or Becky on ohq8fundraiser@yahoo.com. Simply gather your circle of friends for a quiz night, talent show, Bunco, dinner party, or whatever you wish! It gives your friends something fun to do, but moreover it helps us to help others!

Someone asked me a few days ago if I ever get discouraged by the enormity of our job in helping the poor living in Kuwait. The truth is ~ yes. When I am depending upon my own abilities to get the work done I feel very discouraged.

A wise young Australian man who was born without limbs said this, “The awesome thing about the power of God, is that if we want to do something for Him, instead of focusing on our capabilities, we should concentrate on our availability. Once we make ourselves available for God’s work, guess whose capabilities we rely on? GOD”

So when discouragement comes over me I return (with humility) under the authority and leadership of the Almighty in this mission of mercy that I might become available so that His capabilities may be glorified.

November 7, 2007 Posted by | Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Events, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues, Spiritual | , , | 12 Comments

Taste and See

In Psalm 34 of the bible is this verse that has always fascinated me:

O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

What do you think God/Allah would taste like?

I imagine a taste somewhere between caramel and French vanilla, something so sweet and tasty you barely have words to describe it, but some might think of apples or peaches or apricots -

what do YOU think?

November 7, 2007 Posted by | Random Musings, Spiritual | 7 Comments

“I’ve Never Seen a Diabetic Cat Before”

I arrived in Qatar with my diabetic cat, and quickly had to find a vet who could help me keep her blood sugar stable. I had been working for a year with a German vet who had all the latest equipment, but we were never able to fully stabilize my little kitty.

I was told there was a vet in Qatar, and fortunately, his office wasn’t too far away. We made an appointment and went for a visit.

“I’ve never seen a diabetic cat before,” he said. “I’ve seen one diabetic dog, and I will go on the internet and find out what to do.”

Diabetes in animals is relatively new, and most of the vets think it is a combination of more people having housepets, the pets living long enough to develop these illnesses, and the poor quality of the processed kibble we buy them. My little cat had been put on special foods, those expensive cat foods which have a guaranteed formula.

He was a very friendly and open vet – always had lots of customers. When my cat would have a diabetic crisis, he would take a blood sample and run it to the lab across the street himself, even with a waiting room full of people and their pets. He loved his job and he was very open.

On yet another visit when my cat was in crisis (it’s not easy to give enough insulin and not too much insulin, and that can vary even day by day) he took her into his surgery, and the floor was littered with dead cats in nylon net bags. Dead cats everywhere! All over the floor! I was horrified!

“It’s spaying day,” he explained briefly. The cats were not dead, just anaesthetized, and kept in nylon string bags to keep them contained if they started to come out of anaesthesia. Believe me, there are sights you don’t want to see. That is one of them.

Eventually, my little sweetie gave up the fight. She died in the car on our way, one more time, to the vet. Diabetes is a terrible disease, and when the body fails, it just fails utterly. It can only manage so much destruction.

The vet suggested another cat – he always had cats that needed homes – but we weren’t ready yet. We needed some time to grieve our little sweetie. Adventure Man said “NO MORE CATS” because his heart breaks every time we lose one.

And this was the same vet who, when we were ready, gave us the Qatteri Cat. He said he thought the Qatteri Cat looked like me!

If you have a cat who develops diabetes, it is not a death notice. First, go online and gather all the information you can. Thousands of people have diabetic cats who are living fine, normal lives, they have formed an online community, and they can give you support and information. There is special animal insulin made for cats, and special small syringes. Some diabetes can be controlled with diet alone, other cases require one, two or three shots a day. The cats mostly don’t mind. (Mine did.)

My sister has a diabetic cat, too, and she tells me that he KNOWS when he needs another shot and comes to her at his injection time. He doesn’t resist, he seems to know the insulin helps him. You will think at first that you can’t give injections, but you can. It’s amazing what you can do when you have to.

November 7, 2007 Posted by | Community, Diet / Weight Loss, Education, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Pets | 15 Comments

Qatteri Cat Gets Restless

Most of the time I am a morning person, but not this morning. The Qatteri Cat got restless around 3 a.m. He could come in, snuggle up, then run away and YOWL. He would jump at the door. He just couldn’t settle down.

I was sleeping the sleep of the just. I would half-hear him crying and pat the bed, which is our signal for “come snuggle up” and he would – for a few minutes, and then he would get restless again. I could not rouse myself to get up. Maybe a part of me knew there was a problem, but I couldn’t get past those sleep-waves.

Finally, around five thirty, I got up, did my morning things, fixed a cup of coffee and QC is nibbling at my ankles. Uh-oh, I know what that means.

I head for the Qatteri Cat’s small room and sure enough, I forgot to check it last night before going to bed. It is bone dry, there isn’t a single nibble left in the bowl. Qatteri Cat is hungry, and it IS hard to settle down when you are hungry. I filled his bowl, he ate ravenously, and now QC is snoozing blissfully, but I am wide awake.

November 7, 2007 Posted by | Communication, Family Issues, Pets | 5 Comments

   

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