Monday, November 09, 2009

To remember

Remembrance day is this week and I guess it's working, because I have been thinking a lot about remembering and remembrance this week. In particular, I have been thinking a lot about what we are remembering.

We could remember:

  • that when Germany wanted more power and land in Europe, people from some of the wealthiest and most powerful nations in the world rose up to stop them, and many of them died.
  • that when England (and other nations) wanted more power and land in Ireland, Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, no one rose up to stop them, and many people died.
  • that when Hitler set out on a genocidal rampage, people were horrified and worked to stop him; some even went to war, and many died.
  • that when genocide happened in Ruanda, Bosnia and Herzigovina, East Timor and the Sudan (to name only a very few) western wealthy nations did not send people to fight to stop it, and did not send massive aid to help what was left of the countries to rebuild, and many people died.
  • that the European infiltration of all of the Americas resulted in the genocide of indigenous people, and many of them died and continue to die.
Here is another story that you might like to remember this particular week:

On November 15, 1917, the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

By the end of the "Night of Terror", they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs, and with their warden's blessing, went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."

They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food -- all of it colorless slop -- was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

You might also like to remember that this year is the 80th anniversary of "The Person's Case" in Canada... that prior to October 18, 1929 women in Canada were not recognized as "persons".

What are you remembering this Remembrance Day?

Thanks to my mother for sending me some of this information and to a US based journalist named Connie Schultz for writing the details on the "Night of Terror" and to my friend Ruth, whose comments were the catalyst for this post.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Life Update - The latest curve in the road 'less traveled'

Back in Toronto again.

Loved living the ex-pat life in Nicaragua... but reality (and responsibility) beckoned and I've returned to Toronto. I missed being a daily fixture in my daughter's life and I started to worry about my ever diminishing bank account and poverty in my ever looming retirement years.

Being back in Canada is not so bad. Even the weather is not really bugging me (yet). Still not increasing the bank balance, but am really loving seeing my daughter on a regular basis.

Have been spending a lot of time getting 'caught up' professionally and am finding I am still interested in the world of librarianship... or perhaps I should say interested again. Taking two years off to wander around (both physically and intellectually) was refreshing and if it were possible I would probably keep doing it. Since it's not possible... I am happy to take advantage of feeling 'refreshed' and am busy exploring my favourite professional topics: information literacy; critical librarianship; services to the under-served; technological innovations.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mi Camara, Mi Mundo

Photos by Nicaraguan Children "Mi Camara, Mi Mundo"
Empowerment International
Most of the photos in this video were taken by children in Nicaragua. They are participants in Empowerment International's programs. EI works with children and their families to assist them to stay in school. Some of the pictures, particularly those OF the photographers were taken by their teacher.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Buena Vida Open House

After one month in operation following a 'soft' opening on April 1, Buena Vida Fitness Centre held their Grand Opening Open House last Sunday. It was a really nice day, with lots of friends and neighbors stopping by, and quite a few new people coming in to check out our facility. Our friends, Dan and Cesar, documented the day and you can view lots of pics on their site at:

Monday, April 13, 2009

A flurry of marketing

I seem to be churning out ads, flyers, posters, and postcards like a dairy does butter lately. Just some samples:

Monday, April 06, 2009

Buena Vida Fitness Centre

The season of blossoms

The 'dry' season in Nicaragua (otherwise known as summer by Nicaraguans) runs between January and May and gets increasingly hot and dry as the weeks go on. The winds of January and February have more than one practical purpose. They serve to contribute a somewhat cooling influence, but they also assist in the distribution of seedlings.

We have many trees that flower brilliantly in this otherwise grey time. While most of the trees are leafless, a startling number bloom beautiful colours of pink, orange, red, and yellow. For a few weeks, my small back patio was carpeted in these lovely pink blossoms. Last week our parking lot was covered in bright yellow flowers. Unfortunately that only lasted for 1 day, so I missed taking a photo of it.