Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Where is the Diocese of Yei, Central Equatoria, Sudán do Sur – South Sudan?

We don’t always see the timeliness of our prayers, but as we pray for Yei, in the South Sudan, we pray with increased vigor, as the country faces unrest and internal turbulence.

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We pray for our friend David, and all the people of South Sudan who have suffered so much for so long. The Lord has blessed them with oil, let them use their resources wisely, for the greater good, and may they enjoy the wealth of their nation in peace with one another.

December 19, 2013 Posted by | Africa, ExPat Life, Faith, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Sudan | , | Leave a comment

David, and Where is Yambio, South Sudan?

A year ago, we had an extraordinary experience. We often entertain delegates visiting from other countries, and this time we had three African journalists, and, strictly by chance, they all turned out to be Christian. Most of our gatherings are strictly ecumenical, but these were joyful, praying Christians, and the evening took a turn we never anticipated.

 

“So how did you find Jesus?” one woman asked David, from the newest country in the world, South Sudan. Inside, I was shocked, and when I am shocked, my tendency is to laugh, I don’t know why, it is just the way I am wired. Every culture is so different. In the South, people might ask that of one another, particularly if you worship in a fundamental sect, but our sect is more formal, and to inquire into another’s spiritual life can be perceived as intrusive.

 

David, however, was not taken aback. “It’s a long story,” he said, and we all settled into comfortable chairs to listen better. It was Christmas, the decorations were up, the lights all twinkling and we had eaten. A good time for a story.

It was a long story. It started with a little boy in a happy family, who one day was told to run! Run! Run into the forest and hide! The riders were coming! His family grabbed a very few things and ran.

 

His family ran for years. His family ran into forests, across borders, into dry arid spaces. Sometimes some of the children would get separated from their parents for a while, but they would keep asking, and eventually meet up again, only to face separation again. Their whole lives were running, from the Janjaween, from border police, from robbers.

 

At one point, he and a brother stayed in a church, and a priest taught them about Jesus. Simple stories, simple songs, and he drew letters and numbers in the dirt – that was his early schooling. It was a haven of peace for him.

 

Many years later, the family was reunited in their village in the new country of South Sudan. Miraculously, every member of his family survived, indeed, most of his village survived. They had maintained lines of communication through all those years of running and separation, and were so thankful. Most of all, now, they were thankful – they had a church in their village. David had learned to love learning, and had completed his education and had found a wonderful job.

 

“I don’t know the book like you do,” he told us, “I only know it like a little child sitting at the feet of that priest, but I am learning.”

 

I can’t help but think that David knows more than he thinks. David holds his belief in Jesus like a child, simple and direct. His testimony is powerful and unforgettable. I am in awe, even a year later, of his story and testimony.

 

Today the church prays for the diocese of Yambio, in the South Sudan:

 

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December 17, 2013 Posted by | Advent, Adventure, Africa, Biography, Character, Circle of Life and Death, Civility, Community, Counter-terrorism, Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Family Issues, Geography / Maps, Gulf Citizens Diplomacy Council, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Sudan | 2 Comments

Where is Umzimvubu, South Africa?

Today we pray for the Diocese of Umzimvubu, in South Africa:

 

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Matthew 5: 44-46

44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

November 7, 2013 Posted by | Africa, Faith, Geography / Maps, Interconnected | | Leave a comment

Where Are Dioceses of Ukwa and Umuahia (Aba, Nigeria)?

Every day our church prays for a different part of the world. Today it is Ukwa and Umuahia in Aba, Nigeria.  I had to look it up:

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November 6, 2013 Posted by | Africa, Faith, Geography / Maps, Interconnected | | Leave a comment

Where is Terekeka, South Sudan?

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Today the church prays for the diocese of Terekeka, in the South Sudan. I have never heard of Terekeka – have you?

When I looked for it on Google Maps, it didn’t have any information. When I went to The South Sudan and then googled Terekeka, it came up with a reference, and I had to go to this website to find it – they had a map.

The organization who put up the map, Harvesters Reaching Nations, has two locations in the southernmost part of South Sudan, the newest nation on earth. They are building hospitals, and taking in orphans. If I hadn’t gone looking, I would never have heard of the good works they are doing, saving lives, changing lives.

This is what they say:

We currently serve more than 190 orphans in two locations in South Sudan – Yei and Terekeka. Our school in Yei provides a Christian education to more than 500 students. In addition to our school-age orphans, more than 400 children from surrounding villages attend our school.

The Harvesters campus in Yei consists of 90 acres of land donated by the South Sudan government. Since our beginning in 2001, we have built homes, dorms, classrooms and other facilities within a fenced-in campus. We use the land we own beyond the fencing for planting and growing corn, tomatoes and other vegetables for use in the orphanage.

Harvesters’ campus in Terekeka, South Sudan opened in 2010. At this campus, we currently provide care for 44 orphans, but will grow to 80 in the near future. We have built homes, dorms and a clinic within a five acre, fenced-in campus. Additional facilities, including a church and school classrooms, will be built in the near future as the needs and resources dictate.

To do this, they sold everything they owned, and moved to the South Sudan, and used the proceeds from selling everything to build the hospitals and schools. I bet they are the happiest they have ever been, and the most thoroughly engaged in life they have ever been.

October 17, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Charity, Circle of Life and Death, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Lectionary Readings, Living Conditions, Values | , , , | Leave a comment

Or How About A Gold Mine in Burkina Faso?

Dear Sir

We are village local gold miners located here in Burkina Faso in West Africa we
hereby make this offer of au metal gold dust under the penalty of perjury with
full responsibility. the purity below.

1. Product: Au metal (gold dust) & (dore gold bar)
2. Origin: Burkina Faso, west Africa
3. Type: alluvial
4. Purity: 92.8% or better(gold dust) & 96.8% or better(dore gold bar)
5. Carats: 22+
6. quantity :400kg(gold dust)and 350k(dore gold bar)
7. Price gold dust: $34,000usd(CIF) & $28,000usd(FOB)
8. Price dore gold bar: $36,000usd(CIF) & 32,000usd(FOB)

PROCEDURE FOB

Buyer will have to come to Burkina Faso for face to face transaction, The
Seller brings the gold to BUMIGEB (Ministry of Mines) Ouagadougou, where the
gold will be essayed in the presence of Buyer. Buyer pays for the gold and pay
for all export taxes. We can also FOB to AA Minerals or PMMC refineries in Accra
Ghana. The Seller ships the gold to Accra Ghana, Buyer meets up with Seller at
any of these refineries. The gold is essayed in the presence of both Buyer and
Seller, after which Buyer makes payment through Seller’s account with any of the
refineries.

goldmines226@gmail.com

September 29, 2013 Posted by | Africa, Crime, Cultural, Scams | 2 Comments

My Friend BOUDA NAZIKO in Ouagadougou

When we were with the embassy in Amman, there was a joke that if you were really bad, you would be sent to Ouagadougou. When I see Ouagadougou, I still smile. I did not know that I have a friend in Ouagadougou who wants to share a lot of money with me. He just needs a few of my personal financial details . . .

He got a little careless, I think, and sent me his draft. He was so excited, he sent it to me twice, with an unidentified party invite at the bottom, LOL.

نعم Can you Assist Me..
FROM THE DESK OF MR BOUDA NAZIKO
AUDIT/REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT OF
OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO
ALTERNATE E-MAIL :( mr_bouda.n@outlook.com )
SIR/MADAM,

(CONFIDENTIAL)

I KNOW THAT THIS EMAIL WILL BE A BIG SURPRISE TO YOU, BUT I WANT YOU TO CALM DOWN AND READ VERY CAREFULLY. I GOT YOUR IMPRESSIVE INFORMATION THROUGH ONLINE INTERNET HERE IN OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO. I CONTACTED YOU TO BE MY PARTNER AND PERSON TO BE VIABLE AND CAPABLE TO CHAMPION A
BUSINESS OF SUCH MAGNITUDE WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM, ALTHOUGH I DON’T KNOW YOU BEFORE, NIETHER WE HAVE MET BEFORE BUT I BELEIVE GOD THAT YOU WILL NOT SEAT ON THIS FUND WHEN ITS GET TOYOUR COUNTRY POSTION.

I HAVE A BUSINESS WHICH WILL BE BENEFICIAL TO BOTH OF US. THE AMOUNT OF MONEY INVOLVED IS ($ 2,700:000:00 TWO MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) WHICH I WANT TO TRANSFER OUT OF THE COUNTRY TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, ALL TO MY FINANCIAL BENEFIT AND YOURS TOO AND
ALSO TO TAKE MY WIFE ABROAD FOR TREATMENT OF LIVER DAMAGE.

THIS MONEY IS OWNED BY A MAN CALLED BAO YU, A BUSINESS COMMERCIALIST IN WEST-AFRICAN REGIONS. HE HAS BEEN DEAD SINCE SIX YEARS AGO AND SINCE THEN; NO CLAIM HAS BEEN PLACED ON HIS BANK ACCOUNT BALANCE.
I WANT TO TRANSFER THIS MONEY OUT OF THE COUNTRY BUT SUCH FUND CANNOT BE TRANSFERRED WITHOUT A NEXT OF KIN ATTACHED TO THE FUND.
THE FUND COULD BE TRANSFERRED IN THESE WAY; YOU SHALL PRESENT YOURSELF AS A BUSINESS ASSOCIATE TO THE DECEASED PERSON AS DETAILS SHALL BE THAT YOU ARE THE CARE-TAKER BUSINESS ASSOCIATE TO LATE DECEASED CUSTOMER AND HIS PROPERTIES.

I SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO YOU MATERIALS AND INFORMATION WITH WHICH A SUCCESSFUL CLAIM SHALL BE PLACED ON THE FUND. I SHALL ALSO BE YOUR GUIDIANCE AND INSTRUCTOR THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THIS TRANSACTION SO AS TO ENSURE A SWIFT AND SURE TRANSFER OF THE FUND TO
YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.AS TO YOUR BENEFITS, YOU SHALL BE ENTITLED TO 40% OF THIS FUND FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION IN THIS TRANSACTION WHILE 5% WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR EXPENCES INCURED DURING THE COURSE OF THIS TRANSACTION.
IN FACT I COULD HAVE DONE THIS DEAL ALONE BUT BECAUSE OF MY POSITION IN THIS COUNTRY AS A CIVIL SERVANT (ABANKER),WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO OPERATE A FOREIGN ACCOUNT AND WOULDEVENTUALLY RAISE AN EYE BROW ON MY SIDE DURING THE TIME OF TRANSFER BECAUSE I WORK INTHIS BANK.

THIS IS THE ACTUAL REASON WHY IT WILL REQUIRE A SECOND PARTY OR FELLOW WHO WILL FORWARDCLAIMS AS THE NEXT OF KIN WITH AFFIDAVIT OF TRUST OF OATH TO THE BANK AND ALSO PRESENT AFOREIGN ACCOUNT WHERE HE WILL NEED THE MONEY TO BE RETRANSFERRED INTO ON HIS REQUEST AS
IT MAY BE AFTER DUE VERIFICATION AND CLARIFICATION BY THE CORRESPONDENT BRANCH OF THEBANK WHERE THE WHOLE MONEY WILL BE REMITTED FROM TO YOUR OWN DESIGNATION BANK ACCOUNT.

SO IF YOU ARE INTRESTED, SEND A REPLY TO ME IMMEDIATELY AND IN YOUR REPLY PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR [PRIVATE PHONE AND YOUR FAX NUMBERS] URGENCY HAS TO BE IMPLIED AND THIS BUSINESS MUST STRICTLY BE A DEAL BETWEEN BOTH OF US.WAITING FOR YOUR URGENT RESPONSE SO THAT I CAN MOVE AHEAD AND GIVE YOU THE INDEPT DETAILS CONCERNING THIS TRANSACTION AND ALSO THE STEPS TO TAKE FOR A SMOOTH TRANSFER OF THE FUND
INTO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.

BEST REGARDS,
BOUDA NAZIKO
PLEASE REPLY ME HERE; mr_bouda.n@outlook.com

When
Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:30am – 1:30am Eastern Time
Calendar
mariamadams2010@gmail.com
Who
(Guest list has been hidden at organizer’s request)
Going? Yes – Maybe – No more options »

September 29, 2013 Posted by | Africa, Crime, Cultural, Scams | Leave a comment

Reconnaissance Trip in Homer

Did I tell you how this trip came about? How last year I saw a notice about The Celebration in Juneau, but we were already en route to Zambia on those exact dates?

As we started planning this Alaska trip in 2014, we discovered we had more ideas than we have time. The Qatari Cat is ten years old now; we don’t like to leave him at the Wee Tuck ‘Em Inn longer than a couple weeks at most. The more we decided what to include in the two weeks, the more we came to the realization that we needed to do a reconnaissance trip :-). I found the Alaska Marine Highway System, and we realized we could cover a lot of ground and see a variety of terrain by taking this cross Gulf ferry, the M/V Kennicott.

Homer is almost the end of the line. The ferry continues to Seldovia, which is picturesque and beautiful, but we wanted to explore Homer, and to figure out where we will go next year after the Celebration.

Homer is so much fun. It’s been voted one of the hippest cities in America, for it’s 70′s counter culture and community values. It is a very fun place to be, and full of breathtaking scenery.

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Even a Homer quilt shop!

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September 8, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Cultural, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Public Art, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy 7th Blog-iversary to Me!

Once a year I get to troll the internet looking for cakes. It is so much fun. I had no idea there is so much creativity out there, so much daring. I found a wedding cake that is tilted! Something in me loved it, loved the spirit of a woman who would marry knowing life is often off-kilter and messy.

I love white roses, so this year I have sent some to myself:

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Come on by, have some virtual cake with me to celebrate seven years of blogging:

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And here, an elegant combination of cake and white roses:

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Seven years ago in Kuwait, I started blogging. There was a wild blogging scene in Kuwait, a lively community. Blogs were candid, and many were substantial, dealing (carefully) with political and economic issues in Kuwait. I remember reading and learning, and finally gathering up my courage to write my very first entry, and it has been a recurring theme, cross-cultural communication. I learned so much from my life in the Middle East, Tunisia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. I made the most amazing friends. It changed my life and my perceptions utterly.

Of the three Kuwait female bloggers who inspired me to start blogging, Jewaira has gone private, 1001 Nights is a good friend, a mother, and an author :-) and Desert Girl is still going strong. Mark, at 2:48 a.m. is also still going strong, so strong that he has been able to leave his full time employment and operate on a consultant basis.

Of course, as any blogger will, I sometimes think of quitting. There are days I find myself with nothing to say, nothing in my life so interesting that I think it is worth sharing, not even a news story worth noting. So I’ve had to ask myself why I continue.

I do it for myself. When I started, I had a reason and that reason still stands. I forget things. This isn’t age-related, it’s busy-life busy-world related; we forget the details.

My Mother saved all my letters from Tunisia. I remember reading them and laughing because at three, my son’s best friend in his day school was a boy he called Cutlet. I know his real name is Khalid, but Cutlet was as close as this little American boy in a French-Tunisian school could get. I had totally forgotten, until I read the letter. So my primary reason for continuing to blog is documentary – just plain record keeping, like an old fashioned diary. Noting things in my daily life or the life around me.

Even now, sometimes I see a post written long ago, usually one of our Africa trips, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia – will start getting a rush of stats. It thrills my heart. It makes it all worthwhile, knowing something I have put out there is helping others, even years later. Perhaps one day, I will quit blogging, but leave the blog up, with these informational articles.

My stats make no sense at all, one of my biggest stat gainers this year was a news article I tossed off about the prank on the South Korean pilot names after the plane crash landed in San Francisco. It just made me giggle, and I couldn’t resist printing it. It ended up with a life of its own, as many entries do – and you just never know. Someone pins an image and you get a million (ok hyperbole here) hits you never expected.

In the end, I believe that those who keep blogging do it because as Martin Luther once said, “I cannot other.” We do it because something within needs to be expressed, even if it is just some kind of daily record. I know it’s why I blog.

September 6, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Blogging, Botswana, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Interconnected, Jordan, Kuwait, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Travel, Tunisia, Zambia, Zanzibar | | 8 Comments

Here be Bears!

While our first day had been exciting, it was also full of drenching cold rains and while AdventureMan NEVER complained, I could see he was . . . hmmmm . . . . supportive but underwhelmed. Fortunately, our next day dawned with high clouds and not a drop of rain in sight. We went immediately to the Mendenhall Glacier, something everyone sees when they are in Juneau, and, thanks be to God, it was not fogged in nor covered with rain clouds, but there, in all it’s icy blue glory:

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There were iceburgs floating away, looking cool and serene:

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The glacier is always awe inspiring, but there is also something else. The municipality knows that all these tour boats coming in need things to do and see, so in addition to the glacier, they have built a state-of-the-art walkway along a stream flowing from the glacier, a stream full of salmon. And when there are salmon spawning – as they are in August – and bear who are trying to store up fat for the winter, there is a wonderful confluence of needs. The salmon need to spawn, the bear need to eat and the tourists need to see something exciting. Bear chasing and eating salmon fits the bill.

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This was a very very good day :-)

August 24, 2013 Posted by | Africa, Beauty, Birds, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Travel, Wildlife | 3 Comments

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