International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking.

 

At my justice prayer meeting, we received this prayer from International Justice Mission. This organization works to end trafficking and violence against the poor throughout the world.

At this  moment, in the Senate of the United States, there is a bill entitled End Modern Slavery Initiative  progressing to an global initiative to end slavery.  It will include governments, religious leaders, nonprofit and business leaders, as well as lawyers, social workers and care givers all with the one goal to work to free the  the modern day slaves in our world.

Here is the prayer :

O God, when we hear of children and adults                                                                                          deceived and taken to unknown places                                                                                                 for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor, and organ “harvesting”                                   our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry                                                                                   that their dignity and rights are ignored through threats, lies, and force.                                   We cry out against the evil practices of this modern slavery                                                            and pray for its end.                                                                                                                                  Give us wisdom and courage to reach out                                                                                          and stand with those whose bodies, hearts, and spirits                                                                have been so wounded, so that together we may                                                                                make real your promises to fill these sisters and brothers                                                              with a love that is tender and good.                                                                                                      Send the exploiters away empty-handed                                                                                            to be converted from this wickedness,                                                                                                  and help us all to claim the freedom                                                                                                    that is your gift for your children, through Jesus Christ and                                                          the power of the Holy Spirit.                                                                                                                  Amen

 

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Mahatma Gandhi’s Wisdom

Worthy words needed today as much as when  they were spoken, maybe more!

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Feeling the Bern !

Well now , this is not an endorsement by me for Bernie Sanders, but I can’t argue with the adjectives used in the image above. Bernie as Democrat candidate and Trump as  Republican candidate have taken the US by storm in this early part of  the election year of 2016. The electorate is tired of the old ways of politicians promising this or that and then after the election, it is back to the establishment way as  before.  The final count on Democrat vote was Sanders 60% to Hillary Clinton 38% .

During his victory speech, he stopped momentarily from his remarks to hold a “fund raiser”  asking for  small independent donations.  He has been very critical of Mrs. Clinton’s large donations from the Wall Street crowd.  Well, Bernie’s fans came through raising $6,000,000  in just a few hours ! The average amount of a pledge was $34!

I am impressed with all Bernie’s positive qualities, but am concerned at how we would pay for all of Bernie’s “Free Stuff”, single payer health care, free tuition at public colleges, and up to a 90% tax rate. My concern is seeing Venezuela,   Greece and other Socialist governments and what happens when the money runs out!

I saw in India, an electorate who rebelled from the 60 years of   Congress party corruption and greed .  There were lines that  lasted for hours with a voter turn-out of over 66% for the  win by the BJP party and its leader Mr. Modi. The sleeping giant was awakened. It seems that way in America this election season. The electorate still makes a difference.  Be an educated voter !

Now the point of this post was to share this amazing commercial by Bernie Sanders. One of my blogger friends says that “The US sneezes and we feel it all over the world!”

Gesundheit to you America  and the world!   (German for “to your health!” )

 

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Naughty Indian Monkeys

Namaste !

This big guy  visited the roof of our hostel for food from Mukhus, the cook.  Mukhus would hold the food in his hand and have one of the monkeys get close enough to take it in his hand!   We were not so foolish but we were memorized by the monkeys or honestly, I was.  Our room was only a few steps from the roof, and close enough to hear one of the Indians yelling. . . “Mon-Keys, Mon-Keys!”  to alert us  of a visit and photography opportunity.

The monkeys had lots of personality and are  fearless.  We had to be on the look-out  for where they were at all times. They are attracted to shiny objects and if you put your sun glasses down , even for a second, they might be gone when you go to put them back on. And never put them on the top of your head!  We were told not to walk with our hands in our pockets as this is a signal to the monkeys that there might be food in there for THEM.  You will see that in the video when the monkey jumped to take what the man is eating !  David and I had the anti-rabies vaccination but many of the students didn’t.  The cost is a whopping $900 but though you will have to be treated if infected by a rabid animal, you won’t die.  Keep your eyes open for monkeys on the wires above, sitting on the walls, on shiny car roofs, or just sitting on the corners in groups. .  waiting !

Hindus consider monkeys the embodiment of Hanuman,  the monkey god.  They will not  kill them, but the monkey infestation is so bad in some areas that people will wear monkey masks to scare and chase the monkeys away.  But those pesky, clever animals are not fooled for long and are soon back hunting for food!

This video was taken in Agra, which some of you might remember is the site of the Taj Mahal.  Enjoy!

 

 

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Holy Cow. . . . Friend to Indians

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Mother Cow is the queen in the pantheon of sacred Indian animals. In fact, she stands head and shoulders above the rest. There are group all over Indian demanding the government name the cow as the national animal to replace the tiger which currently holds that honor. You might wonder how this all came about.  Many years before the  pyramids were built in ancient Egypt, or written law chiseled into stone by Hammurabi,  or paper invited by the Chinese, the Indian people had given up their nomadic wanderings. They had settled down to an agricultural lifestyle. This was before coins were used as money, and wealth was determined by the number of cows owned by the farmer. Cattle became legal tender and were used as payments, presented as dowry, and even used to pay the hated taxes!  Through the ages, cow’s milk has been often the only source of nourishment for India’s vast population.

Through the SUEB SHG I became aware that I could collect milk as a business.

Another gift from the cattle is the dung which is still used in construction  of rural  homes   and as insulation on walls, and as tiles for the floors. The cow pies are burned in the cold weather and used for cooking  as the only source of fuel for the Indian village dwellers.

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When the cows stop producing milk, they are abandoned by the farmers because they are of no use anymore and can not be taken to the slaughter house. This is why they are cows strolling through the the chaotic city traffic serenely ignoring the madness all around them instead of grazing in a village field.

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Recent studies have concluded that Indian cows hang around on busy streets because  the prolific exhaust fumes discourage flies which torture the bovines.   Another perk for the cows are that the toxins in the fumes make them high.  They often do appear very relaxed!  So the chaos they can cause stopping traffic and generally being in the way is quite a good place for them !

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Pedestrians in India have to look right, left, right again when  crossing the crowded streets to avoid being hit by cars, rickshaws, camel pulled carts, motor bikes, pedal bikes, as well as glance down to avoid stepping in fresh cow dung.  We were told it was a “blessing” from the cow if we walked through the dung.  Though, we all loved getting blessings on our foreheads, we eagerly avoided the “foot blessing!”  Holy cow!

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The Holy Cow by Tarun Chopra

Namaste. . . . . . .This is incredible India!

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Earth, Wind & Fire . . .. . . . We Remember

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Maurice White, the founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, one of the most successful bands of the 20 century, died last week.  The popularity of their sound was the fusion of so many genres in their music.  There was R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, rock, Latin , and African sounds.

Yesterday, David was making his Sunday afternoon studio visit to see if the students needed to talk.  He was wearing his headphones. One of the students asked what he was listening to and he said just a band you probably don’t know,  Earth, Wind & Fire.

“We love, Earth, Wind & Fire! ”  Now that was not the respond he expected!

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Fuelled by Indian Love

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Namaste!

Oh, I love this ad and the clear message of hospitality, kindness, generosity, and love  we felt from Indian people.  People invited us into their homes, Kuyur’s ‘s family fed us,  others gave us gifts mostly of food both  from Muckos the cook at the hostel and from the vendor where we bought water and snacks. Salim our favorite rickshaw driver had his wife cook for us twice and brought it to us  because his house where he and his extended family lived in one room in the Pols or center city was too small for all 12 of us.   All I can say is that this is true not a made up ad to get you to buy airline tickets.  I wish you all could experience it in person.. . . . . .

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