Monday, June 22, 2009

Her name is Neda

Her name is Neda.
She is daughter, sister, friend,
Loved by many.
She studied, laughed, and walked
Down Tehran's streets.
She dreamed of a future
Full of promise.

Her name is Neda.
Cut down by a coward's bullet,
She lay on the street.
While her friends begged, "Stay with us,
Don't be afraid,"
Staring into the light of heaven,
She breathed her last.

Her name is Neda.
Her clear voice calls out to all
Who love freedom.
We hold her memory close,
Close in our hearts.
We will stay with you, Neda...
We are not afraid.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Courage in Iran

For a long time I blogged on Yahoo 360. Then Yahoo decided to put it on the chopping block, and it got so glitchy, adrift on the sea without support, that I moved elsewhere. 360 is officially closing in July. I haven't checked out my page or friends' updates in many months, but I returned today. Mainly I was curious to see what was going on with my one friend in Iran. I was amazed.

I don't even know my friend's name as her page is in Farsi. Of course, I am unable to read a word on her page. But the meaning today was clear. On her page the profile photo is now a burning fire and many of her friends have the same profile picture today. As I visited page after page, pursuing a trail of flame, the message became ever clearer and more urgent. Some people had posted pictures of the protests. Some had posted a graphic picture, censored by the western press, showing the protester killed by the government militia, his head in a pool of blood. Many bore the message, in English, "Where is my vote?"

Browsing these pages opened my eyes to an Iran that I hadn't even realized existed: one where people dissent, where women have non-traditional roles, where western TV, movies, and music are popular.

I admire these young (and old) Iranians for their courage as they take to the streets to insist on a fair election and as they dare to dream of change.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What an inspiration!

I was watching CNN while ago and they happened to have a story about a camp in Georgia for kids with Tourette Syndrome. The driving force behind the camp was a man named Brad Cohen, who has TS himself. I googled his name and discovered that he is an award-winning elementary teacher who has written a book about his experiences growing up with TS and becoming "the teacher I never had." On his website he has the video of his appearance on Oprah. I was so moved by his story, and especially the video of the kids in his class and school at the end.

May all of our children be lucky enough to have at least one teacher like Mr. Cohen in their lives!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A new beginning?

Thank you, Mr. President, for reaching out to the Muslim world, for attempting to engage them in a dialogue and in common interests. In light of the President's speech in Cairo, this beautiful version of an old song seemed fitting for the day.

Please visit my new blog

I have decided to start a new blog called "Hands Up," which will be a venue to share activities for fine motor development. I hope you'll visit and, if you know anyone who might be interested, please let them know about it, too.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Memorial Day family camp at NSCD

We spent a long Memorial Day weekend at the Family Weekend Camp at the National Sport Center for the Disabled in Winter Park CO. I use the term "camp" loosely, since we stayed in a beautiful million dollar condo (my kind of camping!). We flew up to Denver on Friday and drove out to Winter Park, where we spent the first night at the Rocky Mountain Hostel and Inn.
Since it was the first night the hostel was open for the summer season, we had the whole place to ourselves! We had a restful night's sleep in a very nice private room and the next morning woke to find a fully stocked kitchen, where we cooked a tasty breakfast.

Then it was on to camp. After settling in to the condo, we took off for Monarch Lake to canoe.

After a picnic lunch, we unloaded the canoes and kayaks.

Marcus gets a quick lesson in paddling.

We paddled to the end of the lake in search of moose, but, alas, no moose were to be found.

Then it was back to the condo for the night. With only one other father and son participating, we had plenty of room to relax.

The next morning we got up early, ate breakfast, and drove through rugged country up the Colorado River to go white water rafting. Unfortunately, I have no photos of the white water, because I was too busy paddling and trying not to fall off the raft!

Marcus and Gabriel did their share of paddling.

We lucked out on the weather, until the last 10 minutes of the raft trip, when it poured a VERY cold rain. We were glad to get into some dry clothes and get back to the warmth of the condo.

The last day we went on a trail ride (unfortunately I don't have any pictures). It was the first time I've had the chance to ride through such spectacular surroundings. Then, alas, it was time to leave.

I am so glad we went on this trip. It was our first family vacation in 13 years, since I never could afford to take time from work. After my heart attack last summer and Gabriel's deterioration during the fall and winter, I felt an urgency to do something special with the boys, to give them some new experiences. The only downside of the trip was coming back home to Texas where the temperatures are in the 90s (groan).