Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Qatteri Cat and Ramadan

“You haven’t taken any photos of the Qatteri Cat for a while,” AdventureMan chided me this morning. “You know you everyone loves it when you do a blog entry on him.”

He’s right. The problem is that the Qatteri Cat doesn’t lead such an interesting life. The best thing that happens to him is when the window washers come, or air conditioner repairmen – something new and interesting. Second to that, he loves AdventureMan’s suitcase when he comes back from a trip, full of great new and exotic fragrances.

The Qatteri Cat is a perfect Ramadan cat. He comes alive at dusk, and eats and drinks during the long dark hours of the night. Occasionally, he will come tell us that he wants to play, but we are not very kind to him, when he tries to wake us in the middle of the night.

And then, when we get up and are moving about, he looks at us with great annoyance, even irritation, as if to say “What is it with you two, don’t you now it is time to snooze???”

September 9, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pets, Qatteri Cat, Ramadan | 8 Comments

The Scourge of Poverty

For the last several years I have tried to start my day by reading my daily readings in the Lectionary (which is also listed in my blogroll there at the right, so you can click on it any time to see what I am reading) and the daily reading from Forward Day by Day (also on the blogroll list).

I think my days go better when I do. I’m human; there are days when I have forgotten, or gotten caught up in the frenzy of daily life and neglected my readings, but it is my commitment and my habit, and I am fairly faithful to it.

Today’s reading in Forward Day by Day (oops, I can see that it is actually Monday’s reading, but as I write, it is still Monday in the USA where it is homed) has to do with poverty.

I thought I would share it with you because I know from what you share with me that during Ramadan, as you grow closer to Allah/God, that part of the expression of that closeness is giving to the poor. I have read of many different ways in which this is expressed – medical expenses paid, food given in Iftar meals, eyeglasses purchased for the needy, a year’s rent paid for a widow with children – what generosity!

I have worked with the poor. I have known what agony it is to have to choose between making an expensive car repair and getting a dental exam. We kept a pantry full of food for those who could barely make the rent, and had nothing left over for food. These were the working poor, the can-we-make-it-from-month-to-month poor. There is a whole other level, the street poor, with their worldly possessions in a garbage sack, or shredding backpack, who never know if they will get food for the day.

I see people here in Kuwait scouring the beaches for something to throw in the soup to make it nourishing, people who beg just for a little bread.

The problems can be overwhelming.

In Kuwait, one group refuses to be overwhelmed. Every month of the year is devoted to alleviating the suffering of the poor. That group is Operation Hope Kuwait. While you are considering where to make an impact this Ramadan – or any other time of the year when you are feeling thankful and generous – please consider Operation Hope Kuwait. They gather all kinds of resources and distribute them to the poor. They faithfully act as God’s hands here on earth, serving the needs of the most desperately poor and needy. Whatever you give them will be stretched to the maximum; they don’t waste a penny, not a fil. Please, give generously.

Psalm 41. Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble.

The scourge of poverty can be viewed as a sociological problem, an economic problem, a political problem, or in other ways. The scriptures offer no grand economic theories other than to tell those who have much to share with those who have little. Christ told his disciples that they would always have the poor among them. Given human sin and limitations, the problem will always be somewhat intractable.

But the problem of my heart and how it regards the poor-the problem of my own generosity to the world around me – is not intractable. Economic theory and political allegiance are not the crucial questions before us. How I regard the poor is a matter of deep importance in the relationship of my heart with God. The psalm could not be clearer: happy are those who consider [do good to] the poor. It offers a promise to us as well that God will deliver us when we find ourselves in the day of trouble.

September 9, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Fund Raising, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Ramadan, Relationships, Social Issues | 2 Comments

House of the Rising Sun

I was wide awake at 0430 this morning. My days are busy; I go to bed at night intending to read and find myself falling asleep too early!

Being awake that early is a good thing for me, it means I can exercise in the pool without feeling watched. There aren’t a lot of people up and around that early. This morning, there was a hot wind and the pool was just a little chilled – it was a great combination. Woooo HOOO on me, I did my exercise!

It also meant I was up to catch the sunrise (what, you thought I was going to write about a house of ill-repute in New Orleans?), but the sunrise never really happened. Around the time of the sunrise, there was just all this haze. The sun had a tough time breaking through; it was a very grey sunrise:

I have miles to go before I sleep today – although maybe I will be able to catch a short cat nap in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, I will leave you with a song I can’t get out of my head:

September 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments