Category Archives: Travel

Hopeful Families in South Korea

statue of a family blue palace seoulWith Korea in the news so much these days, I went back to look at some of the photos I took when I visited Seoul.  I had forgotten about these three sculptures outside the Blue Palace which is home at least temporarily to the recently elected South Korean president Moon Jae In and his family. The new president has plans to move to a more accessible, less ostentatious home soon. 

family statue around phoenix fountainThe statues around the Phoenix Fountain just outside the Blue Palace are anything but ostentatious.  They show ordinary Korean families, dressed simply and looking content.  There is only one child in each family which is typical in South Korea where couples have on average 1.25 children. family statue seoul

You’d think it would be hard to live a peaceful family life when you know your home is within easy range of your militant northern neighbor’s missiles.  But according to this article families in South Korea don’t spend much time worrying about a possible military conflict.  They go about their  routines hopeful North Korea won’t start a war they can’t win. The people of South Korea just want to live the normal family life these sculptures outside their president’s official residence depict. 

Other posts………

A Manitoba Boy Learns to Brew Beer in Korea

Naomi’s Story

Counting on Their  Fingers

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Filed under Family, Travel

Hard To Watch

A woman whose face has been damaged irreparably by acid gives a lesson in make up application. 

We went to the Cannes Lions Commercials show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery recently.  There were many excellent advertisements in the line up but the images I saw in two are still with me many days later.  

The commercials featured a woman named Reshma who has a face grotesquely scarred by an acid attack.  In the first she gives a lesson in applying lipstick and in the second she shows viewers how to put on eyeliner. 

The ads draw attention to the fact that in India there are more than a thousand acid attacks on women a year.  Women have acid thrown in their faces as revenge for rejection of a marriage proposal or sexual advance.  Some attacks are due to religious differences, conflicts over property or are gang related.  

I found a website called Stop Acid Attacks that details the problem and presents demands for stopping it. Some hopeful signs are a Supreme Court decision that hospitals in India are obligated to provide care to victims and victims will receive some compensation. Last year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited with victims of acid attacks on a trip to India thus drawing much-needed attention to the issue. 

Acid_attack_victim creative commons

Acid attack victim

Acid attacks don’t only happen in India they are a problem throughout South East Asia. 

Other posts………

India Assaults the Senses

Skin Color

Beggars Everywhere

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Filed under India, Media

A Book Takes Me Back To Rome

I was reminded of this photo as I read From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. Harmon tells the story of the Nazi occupation of Italy. One of the events described in the book happened on my birthday October 16, just ten years before I was born. Two thousand of the Jews living in Rome were rounded up and taken to Auschwitz. Only a hundred of them would survive the war. We did a Jewish history tour of Rome when we visited in 2010 and Dave took my picture at a sign just outside the Jewish ghetto commemorating the deportation of the Jews to Auschwitz.   The positive side of this story was that some four thousand Jews were not taken that October day in 1943 because they were hidden in various Catholic institutions in Rome. That is exactly what happens to Eva the main character in From Sand and Ash who is sheltered in a convent. Many other places we toured were featured in the novel. It was interesting to revisit our ten days in Rome as I read the book. 

Other recent posts about books…….

A Novel So Long It Took Us Through Eight States

Her Worship

No Lesson Required

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During This Past Week

golf with Paul and ShirleyDuring this past week in 2012 I wrote about the four different golf courses we had been to in Phoenix with Dave’s brother Paul and our sister-in-law Shirley.

The bell outside the school we taught at on the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona.

The bell outside the school we taught at on the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona.

I also wrote about going to visit the Hopi Mission School where we used to be teachers. 

uncle and nieceDuring this past week in 2013 I wrote about going out to dinner with my Uncle Herb who was holidaying in Phoenix. golf teamI also wrote about a golf reunion with Dave’s Manitoba golfing buddies and their wives at the Arizona home we had rented in Gold Canyon. 

making chinese dumplingsDuring this past week in 2014 I wrote about making Chinese dumplings in Florida at the home of our friends Jeff and Anna.

Dave gets suited up in the dive shop.

Dave gets suited up in the dive shop for our manatee swim. 

I also wrote about going swimming with manatees in Crystal River on a trip Jeff had arranged for us. 

at the handlebarDuring this past week in 2015 I wrote about a fun night at our favorite Phoenix restaurant with friends. dave and marylou at the grand canyonI also wrote about our visit to the Grand Canyon.  

waterfall-spaDuring this past week in 2016 I wrote about going swimming in a waterfall pool in Costa Rica. dave bamboo pole vaultI also wrote about a musical walk we took in a bamboo forest there. 

You’ve already read on my blog what we have been up to this past week here in Arizona. I wonder what I will be writing about next year at this time. 



Filed under Reflections, Travel

Stop! I Want to Take a Picture

“Stop! I want to take a picture.”

I knew before I said it he wouldn’t stop. When my husband Dave is driving somewhere he is very focused and committed. Slowing down for photo ops on our journey south to Arizona wasn’t part of his travel plan.  windmillsSave for a few photos like this snapped through the car’s front window the memorable things I saw on our journey have to be described in words not pictures.

In North Dakota I spot dozens of solitary hawks perched on fence posts, in trees and on hydro poles.

A hundred miles or so past Fargo dozens of deer dot farmers’ fields. They are grazing on the stubble sticking out of the snow.

In North Dakota a giant statue of a bison is perched atop a hill.

It says TRUMP 2016 on a crude red and blue plywood sign resting against a rusty barrel on the litter filled front yard of a house trailer in South Dakota.

Near Rapid City an antique fire engine is parked in front of a huge billboard advertising The Firehouse Brewery

On the Rosebud Indian Reservation we pass an abandoned schoolhouse with rotting grey shingles its roof caved in over its sagging front porch.

As dawn breaks just outside Sterling Colorado a man is out feeding flocks of Canada geese on a thinly frozen pond.

In Nebraska a road sign features a row of tiny American flags marching along its top edge. The sign informs us we are driving down a highway dedicated to American Veterans of Foreign Wars.

A bare tree with ten wild turkeys in its branches graces the middle of a huge corral full of livestock in Colorado.

rockiesNot far from Denver the snow capped Rockies edge the horizon.

In the middle of nowhere a sign invites us to stop and shop at the Soldier Woman’s Art Gallery and Gift Shop.

As we cross into New Mexico there are lots of signs to watch for bear and elk.

Driving through New Mexico we pass at least a half a dozen other cars with Manitoba license plates. Are they all going to Arizona?

In Albuquerque neon signs tell us we are on the famed Route 66.

On the road between Show Low and Globe Arizona lots of rocks and boulders have fallen down onto the road. Will we hit one?

I spot the first saguaro cactus as we near Phoenix.

Other posts…………

On the Road

We Placed our Lives in His Hands

Radio on the Road


Filed under Arizona, Travel

Queen of Katwe and A Tour in Delhi

Dave and I saw Queen of Katwe this week.  The movie tells the true story of a girl from the slums of Kampala who becomes a chess champion.  The film connected with us because it was directed by Mira Nair. Although Queen of Katwe takes places in Uganda where Ms. Nair has lived for decades, her first movies were set in India where the accomplished film maker was born and educated in the city of Delhi. After her initial movie successes in the 1980s Mira Nair established the Salaam Baalak Trust a charitable organization that now provides food, clothing, education and health care to more than 8,500 street children a year at 25 centers throughout the city of  Delhi. canadian visitor with children at salaam barakk trust dehliWhen we visited Delhi we were able to take a tour of one of the centres and be guided through its neighbourhood by a graduate of the Salaam Baalak Trust to learn what life is like for the 50,000 children who call the streets and train stations of Delhi home. 

At the movie theatre on Tuesday night the film Queen of Katwe gave us a glimpse into life for children on the streets of Kampala,Uganda. On our trip to India we were given a glimpse into life for children on the streets of Delhi, both courtesy of Mira Nair. She has used her profession to raise people’s awareness about the needs of children living in poverty around the world, and to strike a note of hope that they can have a better future. 

Other posts……..

Children on the Streets of Delhi

India Inspiration

Love in a Lunchbox




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Filed under India, Movies

Globe Trotting Vicariously

globetrotter puzzleI got this great puzzle as a Christmas gift from my thoughtful friend Debbie. She knows how much I like to travel and so she picked out the perfect puzzle for me.  It was only two weeks ago that my calendar was free enough to devote time to the puzzle since I’m obsessive once I get started and tend to neglect other duties. Also I needed a block of time when we weren’t entertaining guests so I could let the puzzle take over my dining room table.  And now it’s finished, save for ONE piece I can’t find.  I’m sure it will turn up somewhere. 

puzzleI’ve already been to twenty-six of the forty- two places in the puzzle.  I still have plenty of globe-trotting left to do!

Other posts…….

Travel ABC

Puzzling Tradition

The T-4s Puzzle


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