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Archive for June 12th, 2008

It is Summer. Aaaah.

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

(Photos not Lansing… see note at end of post.)
alexandriafruitstand.jpgIt finally feels like summer in Lansing. It’s been crazy weather here as with most of the midwest states, with 50mph winds and trees tossed into the air like salad. I took a lot of photos but am too crazy-busy catching up after 5 days on the road to process them for you right now. Trees just broke in two.

They closed Mount Hope Cemetery to visitors (and several parks as well). There are unstable trees and broken branches blocking paths. I hope there is not a lot of damage to permanent structures, I can not see any from the street but it’s a very large place.
karenwalkway16.jpgSeveral grocery stores lost all perishables. Even if they have insurance, they are all hitting their suppliers hard at the same time so we will no doubt have limited frozen food supplies for a while. In fact, one of my favorite stores has a supplier which was flooded and thus their buried computer lines were rendered useless so they had a delay getting their order filled. It is going to take time to get back in order here.

I remember when I was in Africa; how people there had a sense that things can just take time. They enjoyed one another’s company while they waited for things to happen. I practiced the mantra “I’m not in charge” the whole time I was there (I did not speak any main language in any country where I visited, so I had to trust my friends to take me places and keep me happy, fed and safe… which worked just fine).

I learned from my African friends that focusing on people and relationship is something I *do* have some control over. Weather and red tape are things I must wait out. Though I have been back from that trip for over three years, I am still very much changed by that experience.

And right now, it is hotter in Lansing, Michigan than it was most of the days I was in Africa. I am really loving it. I seem to have a defective personal thermostat… my feet can be cold at 78F degrees. I love 80-86F or so. Once we get higher than that, I still am more happy than in winter but it is definitely important to slow down and dress differently.

bahardarpalmstreet.jpgI’ll be wearing African or Indian clothing today when I wander forth into society. I love those clothes, I wait all winter to wear them. I never liked summer clothing before… woven cotton shorts and T-shirts leave me cold, but flowy long garments which allow me to sort of “float” down the street? I can not get enough of them.

OK, since I am not developing broken-tree photos today I will show you summery photos of my African trip. I was in Ethiopia for 3 weeks, Kenya 1 week, Egypt 1 week… between late November 2004 and early January 2005. I went with my friend Altu who was born and raised and educated in Ethiopia, but is now a US citizen and who owns my favorite restaurant, in East Lansing, Michigan.

First photo is a fruit stand in Alexandria, Egypt. Second photo is the garden of Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, in the Karen district of Nairobi, Kenya. Third is a beautiful street scene in Bahar Dar, northern Ethiopia, which Altu wants me to tell you is not a typical scene but definitely gorgeous.