Monday, July 08, 2019
Preach Rick Steves!
This little essay is so relevant to me. I have had so many eye opening conversations when I was abroad that made me think about America’s core assumptions. Intense discussions about freedom, authoritarianism and democracy in Egypt after Tahrir Square, formative thoughts about the social safety net with a German in Africa many years ago, seeing US funded Contras in Nicaragua in the 90s and realizing the other side of our military intervention, sitting across a table from a group of Afghan Taliban elders at a human rights organization in Kabul and hearing their perception about how the military treated them and their families and about their friends in Guantanamo, and most recently so many discussions with Brits about Brexit vs Trump.
The most relevant right now has to be volunteering at a shelter in the Mexican side of the border and spending the day speaking to be people who had just been deported and immigrants setting off to try to plan their path over the border. I was forever changed by that day and the whole week of migrant related different humanitarian experiences. Our policies are completely out of sync with the motivations there. And I will respect the people who take on that hard path to make a better life and to flea unfathomable horrors even more after seeing their faces up close.
I just wish more American’s traveled and then maybe there wouldn’t be a Trump Presidency…
Thursday, May 30, 2019
So instead I walked down towards the giant beach, the corniche, I was staying near to take a walk. As I got closer, I looked out and noticed that the beach was lined with tables and thousands of people were sitting with groups of friends and family waiting for the sun to set so they could break their fast. The tables were stacked with all kinds of food, and of course, plates of dates and plenty of water to replenish their bodies. There were horses and mini ponies on the beach for rides as everyone waited. Soccer balls flew in the air.
It had the most celebratory feel. I was moved to tears and stunned by the perfect travel kismet that brought me there. It was an honor to be able to see this raw local joy first hand. It was such a beautiful view of Islam and the power of religion to build community traditions.
Iftar suppers like this happen every night for a month on that beach and all over the world. I wish all the Americans that speak so badly about Islam could have been there with me. Eid Mubarak to all my friends who are celebrating!
|Breaking the fast on a Casablanca beach|
|Iftar supper - Waiting for sunset - Casablanca, Morocco|
|Morning in the Casablanca Airport waiting for a flight to Saudi Arabia|
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Sunday, May 26, 2019
|Praying to Fatima for Healing|
So anyway, after checking out the cathedral and watching a prayer service out in the property grounds and being kind of awed by the size of the place and worshippers shuffling around on their knees in worship, I headed to the gift shop to get myself a candle. I always light candles when I go to new churches to try to honor the experience and spirit and take a moment to reflect.
It was a giant gift shop filled with Fatima’s of all sizes and lots of rosaries, because worshipping Fatima seems to be all about the rosary. But beyond that, there were lots of candles and a very odd surprising thing: full size wax versions of body parts. There were feet, legs, arms, eyes, hearts, livers, kidneys, breasts and, wait for it, intestines! Well clearly, I had to participate in whatever this tradition was, so I got one and brought it out to the large fire area where everyone was burning candles and making prayers.
This was not your average church candle rack, but instead a huge pulsing fire oven. I placed the intestines on to a rack, said a prayer asking Fátima to protect me from future flair ups and failures and stood back to watch it melt. As it began to melt the flames roared and enveloped it. It was shockingly dramatic and pretty moving. So dear Lady of Fatima 🙏🏻, I’d really appreciate if you can do everything in your obvious incredible power to prevent another horrible, painful incident of diverticulitis. Thank you!
Saturday, May 25, 2019
|The Padrão dos Descobrimentos (the Discoveries Monument)|
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
I set a goal of trying to do 50 new things before I turned 50 and it meant that I got to accomplish many of the things on my bucket list. I even made it to 55 things!
“You don’t stop doing things because you get old. You get old because you stop doing things.” - Rosalind Pilcher
- Rang in the New Year in Times Square
- Spent the night glamping on Governors Island
- Jumped into icy cold water during the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge
- Flew above NYC on a helicopter tour
- Risked my life Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua
- Finally made it to Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park
- Traveled around the world at Epcot
- Went to the Westminster Dog Show
- Leaped around a trampoline park
- Smoked a hookah in NYC
- Attended a live taping of a sitcom, Murphy Brown
- Navigated a crazy crowd at the July 4th Nathan’s hotdog eating contest
- Zoomed around San Antonio on an electric scooter
- Saw the Vatican, but didn’t see the Pope. :(
- Took a zorb out for a spin in Wildwood, NJ
- Prayed at a megachurch at Greater Allen AME Cathedral
- Drank many espressos bars in Italy
- Visited Rome
- Visited Florence
- Cuddled with cats at the Brooklyn Cat Cafe
- Watched taping of a music video
- Following NoHo trends and drank matcha
- Devoured cotton candy ice cream
- First witness of spontaneous marriage proposal at Cape May Point Lighthouse
- Danced at a silent disco in Astor Place
- Ate a rainbow bagel
- Crunched on fried Reeses in Wildwood
- Rode in a monster truck
- Took a picture on a giant beach chair
- Ate Dragon’s Breath
- Danced The Twist outside the Doo Wop Museum
- San Gennaro Meatball Eating Contest
- Attended the Mile-Long Opera on the High Line
- Slept in Queens
- Honored Las Vegas history at the Neon Boneyard
- Watched a full moon at the Cape May Point Lighthouse
- Tasted chocolate whiskey at Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn
- Visited San Antonio, Texas
- Learned some American History at the Alamo
- Toilet Seat Art Museum
- Puffy tacos at Ray’s Drive Inn in San Antonio
- Drank a tuna (ie. prickly pear) margarita in San Antonio
- Political campaigned for Beto in Texas
- Used free wifi on a plane
- Got pampered a Canyon Ranch Las Vegas
- Ate breakfast tacos in Texas
- Sipped paloma’s in San Antonio
- Went to the Hoover Dam
- Danced through the Brooklyn at Flatfoot Flatbush
- Adopted a Jackson Heights diet and started eating parathas for breakfast
- Checked out classic golf carts and life in Florida retirement communities at The Villages
- Visited the House of Speed Museum Mt Dora
- Chased another trend and drank CBD/hemp oil infused seltzer at Recess
- Ate a SpongeBob ice cream
- Getting a senior discount