Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Maria’s Mermaid

We like Maria’s; we like the variety of seafoods they carry, and we like that the fish is fresh. We often see the fishermen parked with their boats next to Maria’s, hauling out this morning’s catch.

AdventureMan runs into Maria for tonight’s dinner and I notice their mermaid. I think the artist must have had a lot of fun painting this Mermaid, who is not your Starbucks Mermaid:

And doesn’t strike you as sad that this perky little mermaid would be offering up her half-brothers and half-sisters for eating?

Maria’s Fresh Seafood Market
621 East Cervantes Street Pensacola, FL 32501
(850) 432-4999

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June 26, 2012 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cooking, Humor, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Public Art, Shopping | | Leave a comment

Nsefu, Day Two, Salt Pans and A Pink Hippo Sunset

We are up only half an hour earlier, but it feels lime the middle of the night. We dress quickly, although it seems a little warmer this morning, and head directly for the game tracker, where we meet up with Jonah, our guide. Jonah was up early yesterday, taking our friends to Kawazaa, got back in time for tea, and then took us out for an evening drive. When does he sleep?

This morning, our goal is to head out to the salt pans before it gets too hot, and thank goodness there are nice thick blankets, because once we get going, it feels a lot colder, and we are all bundled up.

We are on the road before sunrise!

On the way into the huge, flat plain, Johah stops to pick up some leadwood to use for a fire. As we near the hot spring, we spot a jackal! He is cold, and shy, and the light is dim, so no jackal photos, not this time . . .

We arrive at the hot springs just as the sun is coming up, we all help unload and set up the chairs, and our two German lion-hunters from the last time we were there drive up and we exchange greetings and information. The hot springs area has its own unique kind of beauty, and we are all busy taking photographs while Jonah  builds a fire.

The cooks have pre-cooked the bacon and sausages, which is a good thing when for a hearty, delicious, totally non-healthy breakfast out on the salt pan where there may be hungry lion hanging about. 🙂

On the way back, we stop now and then for some heartstoppingly beautiful photos – pukus and zebra against a lush green grassy background, eagles and fabulous birds, and it is one of those wonderful mornings altogether, nothing spectacular, but a series of lovely moments. No lions. Not every day can have a lion. But every day has its wonderful moments, and this morning, we had several. 🙂

Men from the village ride by, but there are no lions, no elephants, and nothing we have seen to warn them about:

I couldn’t help it, I love the way these two zebra seem to join at the hip:

The camp is full when we arrive back, three tour agents here to learn about the Robin Pope culture, take a drive, take a guided hike – and it is a warm afternoon. We have lunch, and we all head to our cabins; no elephants crossing today, maybe it’s a Saturday thing. I wash my hair; I need to do it in the afternoon because there are no hair dryers, and I have a lot of hair. It dries in the warm afternoon breezes, and is fully dry by tea, before we leave on our afternoon game drive. 

This is a Wydah and its tail gives it a loopy up-and-down kind of rhythm:

We stop for sun-downers by the river, our last sundown on the Luangwa, and what a gloriously pink sunrise it is. The hippos are getting ready to leave the river to forage for supper, and are busy yawning in the pink twilight, but every time I look away to answer a question, one chooses to yawn and I miss it. It happened so often, with such regularity that I figured I simply wasn’t meant to get that hippo-yawning-in-the-pink-sunset photo, at least not here, but it’s been a great lovely sunset, a magnificent sunset, and a lovely way to say farewelll to the Luangwa.

Of all our trips to the Robin Pope Camps in the South Luangwa Valley, this has been one of the very best.

I’m tired when we get back, it’s been such a lovely day. I beg off going to dinner; I need some quiet time. The cook sends me a poached egg on toast, just what I need. Every meal has been so good, so filling, but occasionally, like a tired child, I need quiet, and a simple meal. I plan my packing for the next day in serene peace.

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Beauty, ExPat Life, Hotels, Photos, sunrise series, Sunsets, Weather, Zambia | 2 Comments

Syria’s Stonehenge

Today from Fox News via AOL:

Older than the pyramids . . . desert find in Syria

A mystery city lies in Syria’s deserts, one older than the pyramids — but the war-torn area is preventing archaeologists from decoding its riddles.

Fragments of stone tools, stone circles and lines on the ground, and even evidence of tombs appear to lie in the desert near the ancient monastery of Deir Mar Musa, 50 miles north of Damascus, archaeologist Robert Mason of the Royal Ontario Museum said. He likened the formations to “Syria’s Stonehenge.”

“What it looked like was a landscape for the dead and not for the living,” Mason said Wednesday during a presentation at Harvard University’s Semitic Museum, according to the University publication the Harvard Gazette.
He made the find during a 2009 trip and is eager to return and further explore the site. But he says regional conflicts make such a return trip nearly impossible.

“It’s something that needs more work and I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen.”

‘What it looked like was a landscape for the dead and not for the living.’
– Archaeologist Robert Mason

The monastery itself, also called the Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian, was built in the late 4th or early 5th century, he said, and contains several frescoes from the 11th and 12th century depicting Christian saints and Judgment Day. He told the audience at Harvard that he believes it was originally a Roman watchtower, partially destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt.

But the desert puzzle is much older.

Bits of tools Mason found nearby suggest the mystery he discovered in the desert is much older than the monastery. It may date to the Neolithic Period or early Bronze Age, 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, the Gazette said.
Egypt’s oldest pyramid, the Great Pyramid of Giza, was built about 4,500 years ago.

Mason also saw corral-like stone formations called “desert kites,” which would have been used to trap gazelles and other animals. The desert around the monastery is hardly a verdant pasture — “very scenic, if you like rocks,” Mason reportedly said — but was probably greener a few millennia ago, the archaeologist explained.

Like Indiana Jones exploring Italy’s museums in “The Last Crusade,” Mason hopes to return to the monastery to excavate under the church’s main altar — he believes he’ll find an entrance to underground tombs there.
He also hopes to return to strange stone formations he found in the desert, which he dubbed “Syria’s Stonehenge.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/06/25/10000-year-old-ruins-found-in-syrian-desert/?cmpid=prn_aol&icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl3%7Csec3_lnk1%26pLid%3D173136#ixzz1yr0RB3dw

June 25, 2012 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Heritage, Middle East, Travel | , , | 2 Comments

The Customer from Hell at Target

Me. Today I was the customer from hell at Target.

I like Target. I like it that you can find just about anything you need there. I usually look for a deal, or a good price on things, but when I just need something, I just go buy it at Target. I also like their ad campaign, it’s a little camp but very colorful and always has cool products featured.

So today I went in for hair color stuff. I found it, but then I also found a display containing packages of two together, and it costs a lot less. It says Buy Two for Less!

Yes! Yes! I am buying two! I always buy at least two so I don’t have to go shopping that often; holdover from my days of buying six months worth when I was living in Kuwait and Qatar. It doesn’t go bad, and you have it when you need it.

None of the cellophaned two-packs have the color I need, so I take the ones I need and the two pack to the cashier, and I explain I want the special “Buy Two and Save” price, and she says “Whoa! That’s beyond me!” and sends me to the customer service counter.

At the customer service counter they explain to me that this is a special deal to encourage customers to buy more than one; they buy two and get a special deal. I agree with them, and isn’t this great, I want to buy two! Well no, they explain, Target pays a different price for the package than for the singles, so they can’t sell the singles two for the same price as the two bundled together.

Wait. These are the exact same product. EXACT. Except that these two wrapped in cellophane are 2 for $11.99, and the two exact same product I want to buy are priced at $7.99 EACH. So I am supposed to pay $5 MORE to buy two single ones? Something is not right with this picture. I ask to see a supervisor.

I am quiet and mannerly. I have a secret weapon – it is called pleasant persistence. They keep explaining to me that I can’t buy what I want at the special price and I just smile at them and politely explain how it doesn’t make sense. They are telling me in their explanations to “PLEASE GO AWAY!” and I am smiling and politely telling them in my own way that I am not going anywhere, and I want my product at the two-for price.

Finally, the supervisor says to sell it to me at the two-for price. As she is ringing it up, the customer service rep says “this happens all the time, not with hair products but with all kinds of products when we have the bundle price and the single price.” I suggest she mentions it to management, and that it costs a lot in time and in customer frustration and customer service frustration, and she says “it wouldn’t help.”

I still like Target. I imagine there are a lot of customers who give up and walk away. Not me. It doesn’t make sense to me to pay $5 more for something that they WANT you to buy two of . . .

June 25, 2012 Posted by | Cultural, Customer Service, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Marketing, Pensacola, Shopping, Values, Work Related Issues | , | Leave a comment

Adonna’s Pensacola for Breakfast

We’re all about small adventures for keeping life exciting, so we like to hit the Saturday morning market on Palafox in downtown Pensacola, picking up a home made jam or two, a plant to try in our garden, some fresh fruit or vegetables.

AdventureMan has a yen for biscuits and gravy, and it has to be Adonna’s. There are biscuits and gravy and biscuits and gravy, but he believes Adonna’s does it the best. I have to take his word for it; biscuits and gravy have no appeal to me, and I don’t touch them.

On the way in, I saw a couple runners eating outside, and I asked one what she was eating.

“OMG, it’s the best cinnamon roll French toast ever!” she enthused. I don’t usually order French toast, I can make a really good French toast myself, but I was just in a mood to try something new, so I ordered the Cinnamon Bun French Toast and grits, which I also never order.

I can’t let myself do it often. The Cinnamon Bun French Toast is just too good. It’s addictive, and I am really sure it is not at all good for me. But oh, heaven. It is so good. The grits were just grits, but not bland; they had a little salt in them. Not good enough to eat – for me – so I just took a nibble and was proud of myself for not eating them all 🙂

Adonna’s, near the Post Office on Palafox, serves breakfast and lunch.

June 25, 2012 Posted by | Community, Cooking, Eating Out, Food, Pensacola, Restaurant | | 1 Comment

Nsefu, Day One, Parting Ways

Friday, June 8
The sun rises on our first morning in Nsefu, we eat our porridge, and we head off on a game drive with our old friend Daudi.

Our friends are off to visit Kawazaa village, warning us NOT to find lion without them, and we take off – of course, we are looking for lion! We are always looking for lion! We don’t find lion, but we find lots of raptors, the biggest eagle, cranes and herons, we watch hippos, and once back in camp, we spend hours watching the elephant families crossing the Luangwa.

As you might guess, it feels like we are eating all the time, but when we get back, we haven’t gained an ounce. I think it is because we are doing a lot of active riding; the roads are bumpy and you have to steady yourself, you are climbing in and out of the game vehicles, and there are a lot of crossings where the guide says “Hold on!” Here is Daudi, taking us across one of those river crossings:

As you can see, not every game drive stars lion, or leopard, but there are thrilling moments with birds, elephant, hippo – or crossing the river.

This is a Lillian’s Lovebird, one of my favorite birds in the world. The camps are full of them, but they are fleeting and flitting, and very difficult to capture in photos.

Morning tea at a hippo pond – you know how I love hippo:

Back at camp, it seems to be elephant river crossing day. One group will gather, and cross, while another group waits across the river. They meet and greet, and then head on their way, while another group crosses.

This group has a baby. The baby can actually walk most of the way, but when it is too deep, there is always a barrier of larger elephants on the downstream side of the baby elephant, who is holding on to Mama’s tail, and is supported from behind by another elephant.

At one point, something spooks the elephants crossing close to the dozing hippo, they start running and splashing, maybe an elephant accidentally steps on a hippo, and a loud ruckus breaks out. Elephants trumpet, hippos scold loudly. Fortunately, it is all show and no go, no real fight and no bloodshed, the elephants continue on and the hippos go back to slumber.

Our friends came back just in time for tea, and begged off the afternoon drive, saying the mating lions they had seen on the way to the village would have to be enough. They’ve been to the Kawazaa school, and to the village for lunch, visiting the clinic and even helping kill the chicken for lunch. It’s been so much fun, but also very stimulating, and they want to take a break.

Mating lions?! You saw mating lions? Let’s go see the mating lions!

Jonah found the mating lions in no time, which was a thrill, except that they had mated with such great vigor that now they were lying in sated stupor. We took some photos, but how many photos can you take of exhausted sleeping lions?

Nsefu Sunset:

We started back, but on the river road, saw an unusual sight – lions on the river banks across the river, and a lion climbing up the bank we were on.

He wasn’t wet, but he was calling to the lion damsels across the river, and had clearly made them some promises he intended to keep.

We tracked him for a while at a distance as he gauged his chances for a safe crossing here and there, and finally, we left him with our best wishes for a safe passage to lion nirvana.

At dinner we finalized plans with Jonah for an early departure for another trip to the Chichele hot springs with hopes of finding that dark maned (older) lion Madolyn was able to photograph with her iPhone, with breakfast at the hot springs and back at Nsefu Camp noonish.

June 25, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Beauty, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, iPhone, Photos, sunrise series, Sunsets, Travel, Zambia | , , , , | 4 Comments

A Chat With Daudi En Route to Nsefu

“Happy Anniversary to You! Happy Anniversary to You! I Love You! I love you! Happy Anniversary to you! Happy Anniversary to you!” AdventureMan sings me awake to the tune of the Superman theme. He always knows how to make me laugh, and after 39 years, he can still surprise me. We are so delighted to wake up here, in Tena Tena, on our anniversary. Life is sweet.

Morning at TenaTena Camp:

AdventureMan is walking to the next camp, and I am spending the morning catching up on notes, organization, small things, charging up my iPad, etc.

As I was saying earlier, you’d think this would all be very restful, and everything is done for us, but it all revolves around our game drive schedule, and any necessary re-charging depends on the generator schedule (unless you are in Nkwali, where you can re-charge everything in your own rooms; there are lots of electrical outlets) and at the same time, why on earth are we bringing all these electronic devices to the bush???

I’ve discovered a program on the iPad called Notes, and it allows me to write so much more than I would if I were writing by hand. I forget a lot of the smaller details and some of those small details are what makes camping life here so much fun.

The Robin Pope camps pay a lot of attention to detail. One of the things they provide is an insect repellant that is also lotion; it goes on easily, it smells good, and it really seems to keep the insects away, so I gladly use it instead of the Deet we brought with us which melts plastic if it leaks. How can that be good for our cameras?? How can that be good for us? And it is oily, and it smells so bad, and the tsetse flies just ignore it altogether. The insect repellant lotion, on the other hand, seems to work . . . and it smells like lemons.

We are all discovering new ways to use our cameras. I have discovered a program called Night Scenery, which allows me to take spectacular sunsets, and even photograph the essence of a night drive with some clarity – how cool is that? We are a good group in that we can sit patiently and shoot twenty or thirty shots of the lilac breasted roller, experimenting with various shutter speeds, aperatures, and compare them to the automatic function.

(I love my Lumix. I get great shots, and it takes me close to get the finest detail of a bird feather. It is lightweight, easy to handle, and doesn’t need as much light as many of the longer interchangable lenses on other cameras. I  have two batteries, so I can be charging one and using another. I have another, smaller Lumix also with me as a back-up in case the unthinkable happens and something goes wrong with the bigger Lumix. My one gripe – the back-up battery is not a Panasonic battery; it works, but it doesn’t show how much battery is left, so just at the worst moment, my camera can just die if I don’t remember to change the battery out when I think it might be time.)

Our new Scottish friends, Mark and Madolyn, show us photos they took at the salt pan and they saw lion with a big huge bushy dark mane, and she took a photo – are you sitting down? – with her iPhone, that I would have killed to take. It is close, it is detailed, it is every bit as good as a photo taken with a camera. So much for all the control we are trying to develop.

They also ran a rescue mission for all the village men passing on bicycles, telling them of the lion ahead, loading bikes into the Land Cruiser, ferrying them past the lion and dropping them off past the danger zone. Some of the pride of lions have 10 – 20 members. Most avoid humans, but . . . would you want to bet on that, riding by a pride of lion, say . . . hungry lion . . .on a bicycle? (shiver) Not me!

It is approaching deep winter here, so it can be cold, not bitterly cold, but cold enough to make you stupid when you get up in the morning, cold enough that you want a fleece and a scarf for the first few hours of the morning drive. Around mid-morning you start stripping off layers, until around noon when it is very hot and you know the sunscreen won’t be enough; you have to put on some kind of cover against the strong African sun, even approaching mid-winter.

On my way to Nsefu, our last camp in the South Luangwa, I am with our old friend Daoudi, whom we first met twelve years ago, on our first trip to the South Luangwa. We talked of our families, and changes, and I thought to ask him about a conversation I had had the night before, with our Tena Tena guide, Julius. I had asked him how his wife coped with him gone guiding several weeks each month, and he began his response with “She is a well-mannered girl . . . ” going on to discuss how they problem-solve and work with the situation. It’s of interest to me, as a former military wife; military wives also spend time apart from their husbands.

So I pondered this, it was the first thing he said, “she is a well-mannered girl . . . ” and that tells me being well mannered is the most important thing, but well-mannered behavior differs, I have learned, sometimes painfully, from culture to culture.

“Daoudi, when a Zambian girl is said to be well-mannered, what does it mean?” and he explained it meant from her earliest days, her parents had instructed her on proper behavior.

“OK. I understand that. But I might not understand well-mannered the same way you do. Like when we lived in the Middle East, you know I learned to wear clothes that covered me to the elbow and to the knees, and did not have a low necklline . . . ”

“Yes, modest . . .” he said, thoughtfully.

“Yes, exactly,” I affirmed,  “but also things very un-American . . . I learned to keep my eyes down, or at least not to look directly at a man and smile – that for us it might be friendly, but there it might seem forward. And I learned to use my quiet voice in public, and not to laugh out loud in the souks. Things like that, things I would not have even known if I had not been told.”

“Ah, yes!” he agreed, “these are also what it is to be a well-mannered Zambian woman. To speak softly with your husband, not to be shouting at him when you disagree, but to talk softly so you can come to agreement. Like that.”

We rode together in a comfortable silence, then I had another question.

“Would it be OK for a Zambian woman to be sitting here in the car with you when she is not your wife or your sister or a closely related woman?” and he laughed and said “Yes, it is helpful! Like you give someone a lift to help her get where she is going, there is nothing improper in that.”

So while some of the manners are like the manners of the Middle East, there are differences, too, and a person could spend a lifetime learning all these little distinctions and still not get it all right. Learning another culture is a never ending task, and it makes you envy those children who are born of two cultures (or more) and can pass fluently from one to another, knowing the subtleties of each. 

We have American nieces and nephews who have lived most of their entire lives in a foreign country, and while they are not born of different cultures, they played on the streets, attended social functions, the local culture seeped into them by their daily lives. They are idiomatically fluent and inter-culturally fluent, but it takes a lifetime of bi-cultural living to attain their level without a dual-culture mother and father. 

Nsefu Camp, the original Norm Carr camp, has little round plastered bandas set right on the river, where you can watch the elephant families cross the river, entirely lovely. 

Everyone arrives hot and tired from the walk, and delighted with all they have learned. We have a lovely lunch, and AdventureMan sleeps soundly for an hour before afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea is a lot of fun; the chef has baked a beautiful chocolate cake for our birthday girl, and seven men enter singing “Happy Birthday” with the birthday cake for tea. 🙂

On the afternoon game drive we spot a civet cat, which we have never seen so clearly before,

and we see a porcupine family. When we first spotted them, it looked like the big porcupine was dragging something, but no, it was a little tiny baby porcupine sticking to Mom’s heelslike glue.

(Sorry, it’s just hard to get good clear sharp shots at night)

Again, a gorgeous night sky and a lot of fun trying to find constellations.  Dinner was a Mongolian barbecue, with sparkling wine provided by the Australian honeymooners, who had a true honey moon – the moon rose huge and red in the sky as we were eating our dinner. 

June 24, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Beauty, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Hotels, Living Conditions, Travel, Zambia | | 6 Comments

Tena Tena, Day Two

We’re all doing a lot better in terms of sleep. We think we are pretty much over jet lag, but it is harder getting up at 0515 in the morning. I straggle to the campfire for breakfast, and all the happy conversation wakes me up. The moon is also just rising:

We have a great morning game drive, stopping wherever we want just to watch – herons and cranes fishing in the lagoons, baboons warming themselves, some with tiny tiny baboon babies. We see greater kudu, so shy, and we feel so blessed to see such amazing creatures. It’s just another great morning in the Luangwa valley.

AdventureMan spotted this, and called it Immature Impala Arrangement:

This elephant, fortunately across the canal, was seriously angry with us and eager to chase us. We left in a hurry:

I loved this quiet hippo, walking up the canal looking for the right spot to soak:

Mama Giraffe told him to stay put, and he did:

Back to camp for another nice lunch, and we think we are going to take a little snooze, but . . .

No napping today, we have visitors! A herd of elephant are breaking down and eating trees outside our tent.

At afternoon tea, where we all gather preceding the afternoon game drive, the elephants came into the camp, down between our tent and the last tent, blocking access to the game vehicles. Once they sauntered off a little ways, we took the path to the other side, got in our cars, only to discover the elephants blocking the drive we take to get out. We waited fifteen minutes or so until they finished with the acacia tree, then moved far enough inside the bush – maybe eight feet – that our drivers felt comfortable passing. 

Down the road, we are once again blocked, this time by the (normally) shy giraffe.

We sit patiently, knowing eventually the giraffe will get tired, or scared, or annoyed and move on . . . but that doesn’t happen. After about a half an hour, we leave the road and drive around, giving the giraffe plenty of space. Look at those colors! The sun is setting! Giraffes, be shy! We need to go!

Sunset is spectacular, and we almost miss it because of the giraffe blocking the road.

The hippo are all active tonight, and I want to get one of those classic shots with the wide open jaw, but every time it happens, someone has asked me a question or I am listening to a joke and I miss it! By the time I get focused, the mouth is closed. It’s like a great cosmic joke, on me, so I figure I just need to be happy with what I have.

The sky is so clear, the first night without some cloud cover, and on the way back, we stop in a clear glade and Julius points to constellations we don’t see in our hemisphere. The big dipper is there, but down low, near the horizon, and the north star is not visible at all. We see the southern cross, and the scorpion, and the long length of the milky way, and I am reminded of being a little girl in Alaska, where the stars shone bright and clear in the dark sky. We get so used to the ambient light ever present in our cities, that we have no idea
what the stars look like without it. The moon has not yet risen, so the sky is very very black, and each star is clear and sparkly. 

It is such a luxury, just leaning back and seeing this vast expanse of black with the sparkling stars. We also see a shooting star, and we can spot several satelites as they speed across the sky at enormous height and speed.

Dinner, back at the camp, is wonderful, an outdoor barbecue under the trees, steak, chicken, kabobs and nshima, the Zambian staple, like polenta, a corn based starch, accompanied by tomato relish, and it is very similar to comfort food served in the southern USA, grits, and also similar to a family dinner dish served with rice in Kuwait. 

We all proceed very cautiously to our tents, and it is a good thing. Shortly after our arrival, we hear the howooooot of the hyena, and we can hear the munch munch of the hippo. Elephant come back, between our tent and the last, and crash and crunch.  In spite of it all, we sleep soundly and awake all too soon to the day we will leave Tena Tena.

June 24, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Beauty, ExPat Life, Sunsets, Travel, Zambia | | Leave a comment

Saturday Stat Anomaly

I’m sitting here in my office, organizing some photos and verbiage into another entry to be time-shifted and I notice my stat page looks very strange. Like, it’s Saturday. It’s pretty steady, and the lowest day of the week. What I see is this:

It keeps blogging fun. Every now and then something weird happens, and there is nothing I know that can explain it. Someone has shared a minor article I wrote over a year ago, and in one hour, it’s sent my stats totally out of whack.

June 23, 2012 Posted by | Blogging, Statistics, Technical Issue | | 1 Comment

“Nobody wins. We’ve all lost.”

Guilty. A fitting end to a sorry story. A man who used his position to prey on the most vulnerable, poor children. He brought down one of America’s heroes, Joe Paterno, and cast a stain on a stellar football school. Although he is convicted, as one victim’s mother states, there are no winners here – the kids will have to live with his betrayal for the rest of their lives. My guess is he still believes he did nothing wrong. These guys tell themselves that their victims are willing. Put the man away.

BELLEFONTE, Pa.—Jerry Sandusky was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, a swift and emphatic end to a case that shattered Penn State University’s Happy Valley image and brought down Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.

Sandusky, a 68-year-old retired defensive coach who was once Paterno’s heir apparent, was found guilty of 45 of 48 counts and is almost certain to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The jury of seven women and five men, including nine with ties to Penn State, deliberated more than 20 hours over two days.

Sandusky showed little emotion as the verdict was read. Judge John Cleland revoked his bail and ordered him taken to the county jail to await sentencing in about three months. Many of the charges carry mandatory minimum sentences.

Sandusky half-waved toward his family in the courtroom as the sheriff led him away. Outside, he calmly walked to a sheriff’s car with his hands cuffed in front of him.

The accuser known in court papers as Victim 6 broke down in tears upon hearing the verdicts, and a prosecutor embraced him and said, “Did I ever lie to you?”

The man, now 25, testified that Sandusky called himself the “tickle monster” in a shower assault. He declined to comment to a reporter afterward, but his mother said: “Nobody wins. We’ve all lost.”

Almost immediately after the judge adjourned the case, loud cheers could be heard from a couple hundred people gathered outside the courthouse as word quickly spread that Sandusky had been convicted. The crowd included victim’s advocates and local residents with their children.

As Sandusky was placed in the cruiser to be taken to jail, someone yelled at him to “rot in hell.” Others hurled insults and he shook his head no in response.

Lead defense attorney Joe Amendola was interrupted by cheers from the crowd on courthouse steps when he said, “The sentence that Jerry will receive will be a life sentence.”

Eight young men testified in a central Pennsylvania courtroom about a range of abuse, from kissing and massages to groping, oral sex and anal rape. For two other alleged victims, prosecutors relied on testimony from a university janitor and then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, whose account of a sexual encounter between Sandusky and a boy of about 10 ultimately led to Paterno’s firing and the university president’s ouster.

Sandusky did not take the stand in his own defense, which Amendola said was a last-minute strategy change.

Defense attorney Karl Rominger said it was “a tough case” with a lot of charges and that an appeal was certain. He said the defense team “didn’t exactly have a lot of time to prepare.”

Amendola praised the prosecution, the judge and the jury and added: “Jerry indicated he was disappointed with the verdict, but obviously he has to live with it.” He said he would appeal.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly thanked the accusers who testified, calling them “brave men.”

She said she hoped the verdict “helps these victims heal … and helps other victims of abuse to come forward.”

Jerry Sandusky faces up to 442 years in prison. (AP Photo)
“One of the recurring themes in this case was: Who would believe a kid?” she said. “The answer is: We here in Bellefonte, Pa., would believe a kid.”

Sandusky repeatedly denied the allegations, and his defense suggested that his accusers had a financial motive to make up stories, years after the fact. His attorney also painted Sandusky as the victim of overzealous police investigators who coached the alleged victims into giving accusatory statements.

But jurors believed the testimony that, in the words of lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan III, Sandusky was a “predatory pedophile.”

One accuser testified that Sandusky molested him in the locker-room showers and in hotels while trying to ensure his silence with gifts and trips to bowl games. He also said Sandusky had sent him “creepy love letters.”

Another spoke of forced oral sex and instances of rape in the basement of Sandusky’s home, including abuse that left him bleeding. He said he once tried to scream for help, knowing that Sandusky’s wife was upstairs, but figured the basement must be soundproof.

Another, a foster child, said Sandusky warned that he would never see his family again if he ever told anyone what happened.

And just hours after the case went to jurors, lawyers for one of Sandusky’s six adopted children, Matt, said he had told authorities that his father abused him.

Matt Sandusky had been prepared to testify on behalf of prosecutors, the statement said. The lawyers said they arranged for Matt Sandusky to meet with law enforcement officials but did not explain why he didn’t testify.

Amendola said Sandusky reluctantly agreed not to testify in his own behalf because the son would have been called by the prosecution as a rebuttal witness and the defense feared that would destroy any chance of acquittal.

Defense witnesses, including Jerry Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, described his philanthropic work with children over the years, and many spoke in positive terms about his reputation in the community. Prosecutors had portrayed those efforts as an effective means by which Sandusky could camouflage his molestation as he targeted boys who were the same age as participants in The Second Mile, a charity he founded in the 1970s for at-risk youth.

Sandusky’s arrest in November led the Penn State trustees to fire Paterno as head coach, saying he exhibited a lack of leadership after fielding a report from McQueary. The scandal also led to the ouster of university president Graham Spanier, and criminal charges against two university administrators for failing to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury.

The two administrators, athletic director Tim Curley and now-retired vice president Gary Schultz, are fighting the allegations and await trial.

The family of Paterno, who died exactly five months before Sandusky’s conviction, released a statement saying: “Although we understand the task of healing is just beginning, today’s verdict is an important milestone. The community owes a measure of gratitude to the jurors for their diligent service. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and their families.”

In a statement, Penn State praised the accusers who testified and said that it planned to invite the victims of Sandusky’s abuse to participate in a private program to address their concerns and compensate them for claims related to the school.

Sandusky had initially faced 52 counts of sex abuse. The judge dropped four counts during the trial, saying two were unproven, one was brought under a statute that didn’t apply and another was duplicative.

Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2012-06-21/sandusky-verdict-guilty-jerry-sandusky-trial-guilty-verdict?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D172675#ixzz1ycWuBf2n

June 23, 2012 Posted by | Character, Community, Crime, Family Issues, Law and Order, Mating Behavior, News, Values | 6 Comments