Friday, November 18, 2005


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Random Selection of thoughts, once again.

Set personal goal, to have my application for the University of East London done by Thanksgiving. I’ve been working on the personal response section for about a week now. Hate it by the way. I am not good at selling myself, or for that matter making any intelligent statement about my qualifications and reasons for wanting to pursue a LLM degree in human rights. What I really want to say is well I particially am doing this just to get out of the country and because I thought it would be cool to move back to England on my own terms…somehow I know this is not the explanation they are looking for. I even started looking into other Universities around the country, that being the country of England. The fact that I have no idea if I have any really chance of getting into any of these schools keeps looming darkly over my head. I just keeping of the quote by Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

Speaking of which…NINE senators voted for torture! Speechless pretty much sums up my reaction to that. Not only has torture been proven to be an ineffective tool in interrogation but do we have no sense of morals anymore people! Honestly! Disgust, outrage and revulsion are weak words to describe my thoughts about those who use, promote or vote in favor of torture.

A friend recently sent me Brian McLaren’s book A New Kind of Christain. I have only just started it but can already tell I will like it. Basic premise from what I understand is that we don’t have to fit into the right wing evangelical base nor the extreme liberal base. Having read a blog recently that attacked basically who I am and my beliefs and having gotten notes this summer about my bumper stickers I am rejuvenated knowing that there is a middle ground to be found and that its ok.

Boys. Yes I have been known to be a bit harsh from time to time about the opposite sex. OK, so I’ve been known to be darn right sexist…but whatever. My question is this. Can a girl not be nice to a guy without him thinking its some kind of ‘come date me’ sign?!

Was reading the short book Now and Then: a memoir of vocation, by Frederick Buechner the other day. He said this when describing the faith of one of his professors in Seminary, “He was a fool in the sense that he didn’t or couldn’t or wouldn’t resolve, intellectualize, or evade, the tensions of his faith but lived those tensions out, torn almost in two by them at times. His faith was not a seamless garment but a ragged garment with the seams showing, the tears showing, a garment that he clutched about him like a man in a storm”. What a great description of a person’s faith. I can only pray that one day I am able to be described in such a manner. I think the idea faith being a ragged garment with seams showing is so much more real and truthful than some ideas we have about not only our faith but the faith of others. I know my own faith defiantly has patched areas, areas where tears are still being mended and it is something I hold tight around me in the storm that is life. This is also a more real and powerful example to others as to what faith is. Faith does not suddenly make everything ok, life does not become easier, it does not all make sense.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tonight I spent about two hours talking about Burmese freedom with a human rights activist from Burma. He is friends with a client of mine. We talked in this small studio apartment surrounded by a family of three going about their normal routine and talked global politics, Burmese freedom and general history. As we talked other refugees, also clients of mine, came in and out. I got to witness a community at work. Something normally closed off because I am simply not there to witness it. People that would not normally be found in a community with each other find themselves thrown together, their only common bond being they are all refugees. They are all new, with little or no connections…except to each other. Within this apartment building there is a family of 4 Somalians who came from a refugee camp in Kenya, a single Colombian who sent two years in Costa Rica as a refugee, a Burmese family of 3, and two Congolese brothers.

Did you know Burma has been under military rule since the 1960’s? Do you even know where Burma is? There is no free press, rape is used as systematic intimidation, there is no independent judiciary and there is no justice. Human rights are a thing unheard of.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Today I attended a Muslim funeral of a five-year-old boy. His mother, another female staff member and myself were not allowed to go up to the gravesite because we were women. In fact, she was technically not allowed there at all. Seeing 15 grown men carry the casket of a 5yr old was heart-renching. It was so small. The mother, who I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with recently, was very accepting. She only really cried when she saw me arrive. We hugged and she cried. I was glad that we attended since we were really her only support system. The family has been in the States only a month. I felt as though we betrayed them. This mother had been able to keep her son with cerebral palsy alive in a Kenyan refugee camp for five years only to have him die in an American hospital under the best medical care. The whole experience was surreal. Interesting to attend a Muslim funeral, heartbreaking that it was a 5 yr old and draining as I knew the client. I still feel drained and it wasn’t even my loss. At the end of the service a man came over to the three of us, with one of my bosses to translate. He thanked us for coming and showing our love and support to the family. He talked of how we were all from Adam and Eve, that whether we were Muslim or Non-Muslim we were all made equally by the creator of heaven and earth. He talked of how we all needed to love and learn about each other. In a time when the world is quick to point the finger at Muslim extremists and more and more Muslims in general, he offered a sense of hope and understanding. A refreshing change. We were all made equal, we are all equal. The God who created the heavens and the earth created us all.