Thursday, January 31, 2008

News Ban

Vagabond has banned the news after some conversation with his nephew.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And Some Good News, for a Change

Hey, guess what!? Purgatorio is back!

After this post a year ago when I sadly said goodbye to Purgatorio, I checked back a few times, but finally gave up hope and hadn't visited in months and months. Just now I looked again, just because, and found out that Marc started posting again last month!

Carnival Time

Here's this week's Education Carnival to read while you get ready for the real Carnival. And yes, we do have time off for it. Don't you? (Don't be jealous - we didn't get MLK Jr. Day or Presidents' Day OR Labor Day.)

Pole Sana



This is the picture of the day at Reuters Alert Net. Kenyan women laid flowers on the ground after a peaceful demonstration in Nairobi's Freedom Corner. I read that many of the wreaths said "Love," "Peace," and "Sorry." I was hoping to find a photo of one that said, "Sorry," because that's such a Kenyan thing to say. Whenever you have any problem, however big or small, and Kenyans find out about it, they always say, "Pole," which means "Sorry" in Swahili. It's not an apology, but it's an expression of sympathy with you. I still say "Sorry" to people for just about everything, and so does everyone in my family. It sometimes sounds weird to Americans, who think you're apologizing and will often respond, "Well, it's not your fault."

I'm saying "Pole sana" - I'm so sorry - to Kenya these days.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekend

Well, I don't know where this weekend went. It seems as though it just began, and now it's over. I worked in my classroom as usual, but there were internet problems at school and I couldn't even get on my blog to correct a spelling mistake - yes, I know it's supposed to be "hallowed," not "hollowed," and it's fixed now. I didn't even look at this week's Saturday Review of Books until this evening. At home, our internet connection wasn't working at all, but oddly it worked fine when we switched the computer on this afternoon.

My unreachable spelling mistake, which I could look at but not repair (kind of like an itch you can't quite get to), was clearly not the most important thing going on in the world. Tara had a baby in the hospital with meningitis (I'm so glad to see she's doing better), things got worse in Kenya, and assorted bad things happened all over the place.

Just as well I couldn't get online.

Eating Local or Buying Kenyan

I just read a very interesting post from Nairobi about how the whole eating local movement could damage economies in third world countries. I posted Steven Hopp's response to this objection back in November but I'm not fully convinced by what he says.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Poetry Friday

This is the fourth week that I've put up a Poetry Friday post about Kenya. The first week, it was the national anthem of Kenya, complete with the music. The second week, I linked to poems about Kenya from blogs. Last week, I thought about poetry for refugees.

This week, here's a poem from William Stafford.


Untitled

This is the field where the battle did not happen,
where the unknown soldier did not die.
This is the field where grass joined hands,
where no monument stands,
and the only heroic thing is the sky.

Birds fly here without any sound,
unfolding their wings across the open.
No people killed – or were killed – on this ground
hallowed by the neglect of an air so tame
that people celebrate it by forgetting its name.


Today is an international Day of Prayer for Kenya, so please join us in praying for this beautiful country and its beautiful people.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pray for Kenya

Tomorrow, January 25th, has been declared an international Day of Prayer for Kenya. Please join Kenyans and friends of Kenya around the world in prayer.

Pray for Kenya

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Carnival of Children's Literature

Here's the January edition of the Carnival of Children's Literature. This month's theme is Book Awards.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday

I worked in my classroom this morning and then we had a staff cookout in the afternoon, which was relaxing and fun.

Here's today's Saturday Review of Books.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Poetry for Refugees - Poetry Friday

Last week I posted a link to a blog post telling about someone going around a refugee camp in Nakuru, Kenya, and reciting poetry to the people there. I have been thinking about that all week, and wondering what kind of poetry would be comforting to refugees.

Garrison Keillor writes, in his introduction to his anthology Good Poems for Hard Times, "The meaning of poetry is to give courage. A poem is not a puzzle that you the dutiful reader are obliged to solve. It is meant to poke you, get you to buck up, pay attention, rise and shine, look alive, get a grip, get the picture, pull up your socks, wake up and die right. People have many motives for writing..., but what really matters about poetry and what distinguishes poets from, say, fashion models or ad salesmen is the miracle of incantation in rendering the gravity and grace and beauty of the ordinary world and thereby lending courage to strangers."

One poem that came to my mind immediately was Emily Dickinson's "Hope is the thing with feathers." Here it is:


Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


I don't know, though - I think you'd get some funny looks if you recited this poem to people who had just been chased from their homes.

This one seems to fit, when I think of so many people killed for no reason in the past couple of weeks in Kenya. Many of them never had much in their lives and worked hard for every bit they had. But it's not exactly comforting:


To The Dead Poor Man

Pablo Neruda

Today we are burying our own poor man;
our poor poor man.

He was always so badly off
that this is the first time
his person is personified.

You can read the rest of it here. There used to be a link where you could hear it read, but it doesn't seem to be working right now.

Eighty percent of Kenyans consider themselves Christians, and that's why I think this poem would be appropriate:


Light Shining Out Of Darkness

William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sov’reign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Here's the rest of it.

Really, though, the best I could come up with is the following, which I put together from many places in the book of Psalms. Of all the poetry that gives me comfort, the Psalms are the most reliable when things are impossible. I'm calling this "Psalm for the Refugees." I wish I could go to Nakuru, and other places in Kenya where refugees are waiting to see what will happen next, and read it to them.


Psalm for the Refugees

(from Psalms 69,70,71,77,80,85,88,89,90)

Save me, O God,
for the waters have risen up to my neck.

I am sinking in deep mire,
and there is no firm ground for my feet.

I have come into deep waters,
and the torrent washes over me.

I have grown weary with my crying;
my throat is inflamed;
my eyes have failed from looking for my God.

Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head.

Let my prayer enter into your presence;
incline your ear to my lamentation.

For I am full of trouble;
my life is at the brink of the grave.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me.

Let those who seek my life be ashamed and altogether dismayed.

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
let me never be ashamed.

In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;
incline your ear to me and save me.

Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;
you are my crag and my stronghold.

Will the Lord cast me off for ever?
will he no more show his favor?

Has his loving-kindness come to an end for ever?
has his promise failed for evermore?

Has God forgotten to be gracious?
has he, in his anger, withheld his compassion?

And I said, "My grief is this:
the right hand of the Most High has lost its power."

How long will you hide yourself, O Lord?
will you hide yourself for ever?
how long will your anger burn like fire?

Remember, Lord, how short life is,
how frail you have made all flesh.

Who can live and not see death?
who can save himself from the power of the grave?

Where, Lord, are your loving-kindnesses of old?

I will remember the works of the Lord,
and call to mind your wonders of old time.

I will meditate on all your acts
and ponder your mighty deeds.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
show the light of your countenance and we shall be saved.

Lord, you have been our refuge
from one generation to another.

Show us your mercy, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

Mercy and truth have met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Truth shall spring up from the earth,
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

The Lord will indeed grant prosperity,
and our land will yield its increase.

Righteousness shall go before him
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.



A friend just sent me this blog post from someone else who was thinking along the same lines of Psalms for Kenya.

What poems would you recite for refugees, if you had the chance?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Education Carnival

Here's this week's Education Carnival.

Liveblogging the Crisis

OK, it's not exactly liveblogging, but Mzungu Chick has been posting very frequently from Nairobi and I for one have appreciated it. Thanks from this mzungu in a faraway land.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kenya


Many kids in Kenya went back to school this week, where schools weren't burned. Here's a photo from Joseph Karoki's blog. He describes it as "Kenyan children of different ethnic tribes excited to see their friends on the first day of school."

I'm praying for Kenya, but it isn't always easy to know what to pray. That's even more true for the people there, where one's prayers are informed by one's political views, or by recent experience.

Three days of demonstrations are coming up starting tomorrow. I am afraid of what will happen. I read stories of what has already happened and I cry. I feel despair over what will happen in this place I love so much, to people who are innocent, who just want to live their lives.

And I don't know how to pray.

I'm praying for those kids, the ones who went back to school and the ones who didn't. I'm praying for the refugees, thousands of them living in fairgrounds and parks and churches. (How could this be happening in Kenya, so many are asking? Kenya hosts refugees from other countries, Kenya doesn't produce refugees.)

And for the political outcome - I'm praying for peace and justice, and for leaders who will put their country and its people ahead of their own ambitions. I don't know what will happen next, and I don't even know what should happen next. But God does.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Global Voices Kenya Page

Global Voices has put up a special page to cover the aftermath of the Kenyan elections, including an aggregator of the blogs mentioned on White African's list.

Saturday

I'm just about to go home after working in my classroom for a couple of hours. All ready for next week!

Here's the Saturday Review of Books for today.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Reciting Poetry to Refugees

I just read this touching story at the blog called What an African Woman Thinks about people helping out the refugees in Nakuru in any way they can, including reciting poetry to them.

Poetry Friday

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ushahidi.com

Ushahidi.com was launched yesterday by Kenyans interested in helping out the situation in Kenya using technology. Ushahidi means witness in Swahili, and this will be a place where people can bear witness to events that happened during the post-election chaos. It's also a place to get updates on what is being done for recovery, and where people can donate as well.

White African posted this update today about the resources the site offers.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Life Goes On

While I'm spending lots of my time and energy reading and thinking about the crisis in Kenya, my teaching is going on - and actually going very well. I'm doing some units of study I really enjoy - a poetry alphabet with my seventh graders, where we play around with different forms of poetry and aspects of poetry for each letter of the alphabet, and writing feature articles with my eighth graders.

And on the subject of teaching, here's this week's Education Carnival.

Interesting Idea

Maina Kiai, head of the National Commission on Human Rights, had this suggestion on dealing with the situation in Kenya:

"Kiai called on Western powers to revoke visas for members of the Kibaki government, senior members of the civil service and their families as well as opposition figures.

He said this was the only way to push politicians into negotiating an end to Kenya's post-election crisis.

'Bring them back to suffer with us. Maybe then they will be forced into talking to each other,' he said. 'If all visas are revoked you will see movement so fast, you won't believe it. Many of them think "I have a valid visa to the UK. If things get really bad I am off." They need to have the same stakes as us.'"

Here is the rest of the article.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Reactions from the Diaspora

Kenyan Pundit is posting pieces from many different Kenyans as they react to what has happened and is happening in Kenya. Here's someone from the Kenyan Diaspora.

(Some of the things I'm linking to lately use language that I normally wouldn't use on my blog, or elsewhere for that matter, so my apologies.)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Poems about Kenya

This morning I read this article about Kericho. I was sickened to read about this beautiful place, full of friendly people, suddenly exploding with violence.

Here's a description from the article: "'I begged them to spare me but they showed no mercy,' he said. 'They slashed me with machetes and they hit my back and head until I lost consciousness.'"

This happened in the fields of tea, associated in my memory with homecoming, tranquility, and beauty. All day long I've been thinking about Dr. Bacchus' poem, Chai. It begins:

It grew in the Kericho sun
watered by the rains that swept up from Lake Victoria
every afternoon at 4
like a heavy felt curtain.
Top two leaves and a bud
picked in the pouring rain.
Flapping black raincoats and hats,
bright faces and bright singing.
The emerald of the freshly washed leaves
almost hurts the eye.
Miles of smooth green hills
stretching to the horizon of my mind.

You can read the rest of it here.

Apparently Maria was thinking on the same lines, because she posted this poem today.

Mshairi has been writing poetry too. Here's one about the church burning and this one is called This is the time.

Here's Poetess of the People.

Here's another one from Maria.

Many Kenyan bloggers have posted all or part of the Kenyan national anthem, as I did last week.

If I find any more poems, I'll add them to this post.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

More on Kenya

I have been reading more about the situation in Kenya than I should, and this post is going to summarize just a few of the things I've read. There's much more out there, but it occurred to me that these links might give some insight to someone who isn't familiar with Kenya or the situation.

As I've said in other posts, I haven't been back to Kenya in years. Until all this happened, I wasn't even following the elections there. I knew they were going to happen on the 27th and I even prayed for them, since in Kenya, as in many, many countries around the world, election time is often volatile. But I've had to read a lot to get up to speed on some of the issues in the election. And even at that, I know there's a whole lot I'm not completely understanding. (Part of the problem is that my Swahili was never much good, and now is practically nonexistent. Lots of the Kenyan news videos are in English, but with all the interviews in Swahili.)

One thing that is striking me most in what I'm reading is that people are deeply, deeply divided about what is the best thing to be done next. Often a well-reasoned, thoughtful blog post will be followed by dozens of comments from people sniping at each other, sometimes calling each other names and making tribal slurs. (If the subject matter weren't so serious, I would really enjoy the language of these comments, since they are sprinkled with "akina" and "kweli" and "kwani" and lots of the other Sheng/Swahili expressions that make Kenyan English so distinctive and expressive and wonderful to listen to.) Of course the anonymity of the internet is partly to blame for this insulting manner, and maybe people wouldn't do this if they were in the same room.

I am well aware of tribal prejudices in Kenya, though I've never witnessed them turning into violence as they have in the last week. It mostly takes the form of stereotypes about other groups, often jokingly cited by the people themselves, in much the same way a person of Scottish descent might call herself cheap. (If you know about Kenya, you know which ethnic group is supposed to have that characteristic there, but I'm not saying.) Any time people from 42 tribes, many of which are culturally quite different from one another, live together in a country the size of Texas, you're going to have some friction occasionally.

In spite of the tribal feelings, magnified a hundredfold by what has been happening this week, Kenyans aren't some crazed people out for blood. What's going on is more complicated than that. At Kumekucha, you can read an explanation that makes a lot of sense, in my opinion: "what we have in Kenya is a popular uprising against a rigged election where some people have taken advantage to settle scores related to ethnicity." Here's the rest of the post. In some areas, this has been encouraged by certain politicians. People have even been promised free land if they can kick out the "interlopers" who have been peacefully living there. You can imagine the effect of promises like this on people who are living in poverty. Read this, for example.

The blog Changing Journalism explains how the international coverage has been simplifying the situation, to the point of even interpreting Swahili incorrectly. You can read that here. There's more about the media getting it wrong at Eyes on Kenya.

Elsewhere, there are arguments about what does or doesn't constitute genocide, for example in the comments to this chilling article. This is the sort of discussion I never thought would happen about Kenya. How much mass murder does there have to be before it can be called genocide? If, as I've seen elsewhere (and I can't locate where at this moment), people are being loaded into trucks and given pangas (machetes) to use, that seems to fit the "planned" part of the equation. It's all just too horrifying to believe.

Mad Kenyan Woman has posted a couple of impassioned, eloquent calls for people to calm down and think of the future and of their children. One of them has been republished at Kenya Imagine (which has the best title of all).

Many bloggers have been posting incredible coverage with photos. See, for example, Thinker's Room and Nick Wadham's blog.

I've also been very interested by the personal experiences and reactions posted by Mzungu Chick, among others. (Mzungu is the Swahili word for a white person.) And please, read What an African Woman Thinks.

Of course, the violence is going to have many long-term effects, including the balkanization of Nairobi slums, covered in this article. You may have seen this email from chaplain at Baraton University in Eldoret, as it's been widely republished, including at the BBC's site. It's terrible reading, from the same general area where the church was burned. And I can't find out what happened next. This account also really underlines the fact that these are large gangs of young guys who have been mobilized. This isn't just hordes of people spontaneously attacking their neighbors. Here's more about people fleeing Eldoret. Many families who have lived there for generations are saying they can't ever live there again - they wouldn't trust the people around them.

I don't expect most of the people who read this are nearly as obsessed with the whole situation as I am, but I hope you will read at least some of these articles and see that the situation is complicated and sad and terrible. I hope and pray that something will be done quickly that will bring the violence to an end, but there will be repercussions of this felt for many years to come, whatever happens next.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Back to School

I spent most of today working in my classroom, getting ready for school to start back on Monday. I did lesson plans, straightened up from last semester, redid bulletin boards, and tried to get myself in the teacher frame of mind. I'm fighting a cold and feeling preoccupied.

I'm ready for Monday, anyway, with a few things to do Monday afternoon to be prepared for the rest of the week.

Here's today's Saturday Review of Books.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Blogs Covering the Situation in Kenya

White African has a list of blogs covering what's going on in Kenya. I keep checking back, because the list is updated all the time.

Poetry Friday - Kenyan National Anthem

Today I'm going to post the lyrics to one of the most beautiful national anthems I know of, the one from Kenya. Unlike so many, this one isn't the least bit warlike or jingoistic. It's simply a prayer for God to bless the country. That's a prayer I am praying now.

According to Kenya-Information-Guide.com, "Prior to independence the government commissioned a five-member team to come up with a new anthem. The team was to incorporate traditional Kenyan music in the anthem, and ensure that the tune could be performed by a military band without distorting the original tone of the melody. The melody the team selected is based on a traditional folk song of the Pokomo, a small ethnic group in Kenya's Coast province."



When I was a child in Kenya, we sang the anthem often. I had to memorize the first verse in both English and Swahili for Guides. I don't know the rest of it by heart, but here's the whole thing in both languages (source kenya.rcbowen.com):

O God of all creation,
Bless this our land and nation.
Justice be our shield and defender,
May we dwell in unity,
Peace and liberty.
Plenty be found within our borders.

Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true.
Service be our earnest endeavour,
And our Homeland of Kenya,
Heritage of splendour,
Firm may we stand to defend.

Let all with one accord
In common bond united,
Build this our nation together,
And the glory of Kenya,
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.



Ee Mungu nguvu yetu
Ilete baraka kwetu
Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi
Natukae na undugu
Amani na uhuru
Raha tupate na ustawi.

Amkeni ndugu zetu
Tufanye sote bidii
Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu
Nchi yetu ya Kenya
Tunayoipenda
Tuwe tayari kuilinda.

Natujenge taifa letu
Ee, ndio wajibu wetu
Kenya istahili heshima
Tuungane mikono
Pamoja kazini
Kila siku tuwe na shukrani.


Amen. God bless Kenya.

This post is linked to Poetry Friday at A Year of Reading.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Kenya

I don't live in Kenya now, and I haven't for many years, but since I spent much of my childhood there, a part of me will always consider that beautiful country home. When I read the news of what is going on there now, it fills me with sadness.

I tend to focus on things and remain focused on them; some might even say that I get obsessed. After the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, I spent hours reading every account I could find. I imagined what it must have been like for those people. For a very long time I had tsunami nightmares. After September 11th, 2001, I reacted in a similar way.

This is different, though. It's more personal. Those other stories touched my emotions and I felt empathy for the people who had suffered. But Kenya is a place I know and love, a place where I took my first step, spoke my first word, went to school for the first time. When I hear the names of those towns that now are visited by violence, they are familiar to me as places where I played, laughed, and learned. I had visited New York, and I could vaguely picture the places affected by 9/11, but I'd never lived there. I've lived in Nairobi. I've walked and ridden KBS buses down some of those same streets that I'm now seeing filled with angry people and frightened people. Kenyan people. And while I don't know these particular people I'm seeing, I know and love so many Kenyans.

I remember when I was in college and my family still lived in Kenya. When there was something going on there serious enough to get into the US news, I remember the frustration of how vague the reports were, and how few details I could get. I would call home to find out what was really happening. In those days, the news wasn't on all the time and phone calls cost a fortune, so I didn't know much about what was happening. Even as recently as 1998, when the US Embassy in Nairobi was bombed, I didn't have the constant coverage I have now. The US media (I lived in the US then) focused almost exclusively on the Americans affected. I remember looking for information on the internet and not finding all that much.

Now, things are completely different. I can stare at a computer screen all day long, reading news reports and blogs, watching videos. I can, and I do. Is this good or bad? Both, I guess. I'm glad that we can be informed about what's going on, from many points of view. But it's hard to go on with life when I am so focused on this crisis that's happening far away. Especially in these last few days before I start back to school, and when I have more leisure time than usual. Instead of being frustrated at not having enough details, I'm overwhelmed by too many details. Finally this evening I reached my saturation point, and couldn't look at one more horrifying image. I'll look again tomorrow, but for tonight I have had enough.

The country where I live now has had its share of unrest over the past few years, and I've learned some things about living through fear and uncertainty, stocking up on drinking water and candles and propane for cooking, listening to the radio before going out to see where you shouldn't go today or for handy tips on how to avoid the full effects of tear gas. I know about trying to decide whether to stay or evacuate, and watching while friends choose to go when you want to stay. I know what burning tires look and smell like.

Oh, my Kenyan brothers and sisters, I'm so sorry you are experiencing this now. I am praying - I can't do anything else, but this is something, for I do believe that God answers prayer. I'm praying for justice and reconciliation and peace. And for Kenyans in the diaspora, I'm praying for that balance between living the life you have where you are now and constantly refreshing the news feeds on your screen. I hope all your families are OK. And I hope Kenya will be OK, too.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Reading Update

The last book I finished in 2007 was the devotional I'd been reading all year, Voices of the Faithful, edited by Beth Moore. The subtitle of this book is "Inspiring Stories of Courage from Christians Serving Around the World." Each day's devotional was written by an IMB missionary. Each month has a theme; March is "Prayer," and September is "God Before Me," for example.

I enjoyed this book's combination of interesting stories from around the world. My one complaint, which probably nobody else shares, is that I hate the way foreign words are followed by pronunciation guides. Is it really necessary to inform me that Ganges is pronounced gan-GEES? Or Togo, TOH-go? AN-dees? If this kind of help is required, perhaps an appendix could include it to avoid irritating me. But then, I don't suppose irritating me is something that the publishers were worried about, and this is really a nit-picky comment anyway.

The first book I finished in 2008 was Atul Gawande's Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance. (I was actually reading it at midnight and finished it a few minutes later, to the sound of fireworks and gunshots all around, and the neighbors playing a song about Che Guevara at top volume.) I had already read a couple of the essays from this book that had been published in the New Yorker. I had particularly enjoyed the one about childbirth, and that's what made me want to read the book. I liked most of it very much, though some of the topics aren't my favorite to read about, notably health insurance - the very mention of the subject gives me palpitations of anxiety. But I did find the piece on vaccination in India and the one on Cystic Fibrosis to be fascinating.

As well as providing insight into the medical system of the United States, the way doctors think, and other aspects of health care, this book examines how people of any walk of life can be more effective at what they do. An afterword is entitled: "Suggestions for Becoming a Positive Deviant." I love that term. I first heard it during a conversation about breastfeeding and public health. Breastfeeding exclusively for six months, never giving formula, and continuing to nurse longer than the norm: all these behaviors would make a woman a positive deviant because they vary from the statistical average in a positive way. Being a positive deviant in a professional setting would include striving to do things better than the average, and Gawande's book is full of ways doctors and other medical professionals can do this. In his afterword he offers the following suggestions to all of us, even those who don't work in medicine: "Ask an unscripted question. ... Don't complain. ... Count something. ... Write something. ... Change." I highly recommend reading the whole afterword even if you aren't interested in the rest of the book. The way he expands on each of these suggestions is powerful, and certainly appropriate for teachers.

So there you have it, book #1 of 2008!
Pray for Kenya

Situation in Kenya

I've spent a long time this morning reading blogs, trying to find more updates about the situation in Kenya. Things are very bad. Here's the Kenya Unlimited Blogs Aggregator.

Happy New Year

The Daily Photo Blogs have a theme day today, as they do the first of every month. Today's assignment was to post the best photo of 2007. Here's the choice from Sharon, CT, including links to the other blogs participating.

Happy New Year.