Dear Sponsor,

I spent 4 hours translating letters from children to their sponsors. It was a delight (despite the sharp pains in my right arm afterwards). Here are some of the things some children wrote and their literal translation (sometimes you have to draw the meaning out for the sponsor, or they may not understand...). All the letters are very sweet, these one just put an extra big smile on my face:

"Dear Sponsor. I am very content with the Lord Jesus and for you because it is certain that I will not see you, that is certain."

"Thank you for the money that you sent me and you are very good."

"Thanks for the help that you offer each month may God multiply the money that you give for paying the monthly fees of the school and I want to tell you that en my future I want to be a lawyer if God gives us the life."

"Dear Sponsor: I am 11 years old, they call me ---; I am in 7th grade. I live with my dad, my mom and my siblings. I study in the 'Beerseba' School. Goodbye, thank you very much."

"I am studying in grade four and I have a woman teacher and a man teacher, and they're called Evelin and Eli, and they love me very much."

"I am grateful to God for life of you and I want to thank you for your help; always I petition to God for your life."

"Thanks for sponsoring me and may you keep going may God bless you and may God love you."

"I still play soccer and also, I am proud of you."

"Dear sponsors, I pray fo your family and your kids that study. I love you very much. Thanks for the letters that you send me, they're nice, I like them and the money that you send me to buy things. Thanks for everything that you send me. How are you? Thanks for everything."


11010 1 1 1011 1100 1001 1011 101

I bought a desk and an office chair with my Ralph Bucks. It's surprising how clean my desk stays having drawers and shelves to put things. I spend about half my work week at the desk too, so Amber thought it wise for me to have a comfortable chair. Hey, I'm going to be thirty next month, gotta look out for that back.

So, I've got nearly everything I want in the tech dept. I won a bid on a Canon GL2 today on eBay which makes me very very very very very happy. I have been salivating all over this camera since the spring of 2003.

Reminds me of something a wise Norweigian teacher once said about dating: If you are wanting to remain chaste in your dating relationship, you have 3 years to make it or break it: get married, break up, or say 'uncle.' I either had to move on from this matter of the heart or put out - so to speak. Fortunately, I worked a deal with Impact Ministries and so they are chipping in so I can use this camera in my work, but it would be mine.

The other thing I'm missing is my sound system that is sitting in Canada. The little creative speakers up on the desktop don't really cut it - though my Sony headphones are quite rich.

What's present on the desk (I'm a list person - love making lists)? iMac G5, Samsung 17" Monitor, Canon ZR50 miniDV Camcorder, 40GB iPod, Canon i450 printer, Epson Perfection 1650 Scanner, Nokia 1108b Cellular Phone, Kodak Easyshare DX6340 3.1 Megapixel digital camera, 3 external hard drives totalling 510 GB, 12" PowerBook G4, Sony MDR-XD300 Headphones, and those Creative Speakers. I have a pretty special wife to let me accumulate these toys. She uses this stuff too though, and she's pretty keen on coming with me to which ever film festival I get my film into.



I was too tired to post this last night.

Yesterday afternoon, I visited 19 homes with Mercedez and Carlos, again collecting information for sponsors and taking pictures. Here are some of the photos:

When we arrived at this boy's house, he was doing his homework outside (no electricity for light indoors) kneeling on the ground (his home has a dirt floor anyhow).

This girl does weaving for the hours she is not in school. Her mother does the same thing. For about 200 hours, this beautiful fabric woven should fetch about $20CAN - yeah, about about 10 cents/hour.

Notice the blood on this little guy's head. He fell off his father's bike this morning on the way to school. He stayed home from school, but didn't visit any emergency room. The wound was a pretty good gash. Carlos told the boy's father that rainwater (it was drizzling yesterday) would fix the yellow ooze coming from the boy's eyes.


After posting the blog previous to this, the one about the Conservatives laughable actions, I did some thinking. It's thinking I've had before, on many many many occasions. I usually speak my mind without taking into consideration the feelings of others. I don't think this is necessarily bad for a couple reasons - one, it keeps me talking so I don't bottle things up, and two I can receive clarification if my thoughts are in error. I don't think it's necessarily good for a couple reasons too - one, it can repel people of different views than me, and two I can begin labelling people rather than ideologies.

I hope this clarifies my attitude. I appreciate and love people on all colours of the spectrum. It's just that injustice and powerful corrupt people get me worked up.

This is kind of funny... some of our lady friends have told Amber recently that my blog is too political. Me? Political? Amber's blog is more soft and cuddly with references to rats, geckos, diapers, good feelings and me. Quite a good blog actually.

It's getting funnier. Or is it sadder?

I burst into laughter when I read the headline this morning "New parliamentary secretary to Francophonie can't speak French." Yikes, that's brave appointing an anglophone Albertan to serve the the Canada's vast French-speaking population. I've heard enough Albertans speak against "the French" to know that for a large part, they don't have fuzzy feelings for them (yes, I know there are French speakers in Alberta, and yes, I know that French immersion programs in Alberta are growing, and yes, I also know that many Albertans are open-minded and have kind intentions towards "the French." I put "the French" in quotation marks because they aren't really French, they're Canadian).(phew).

Then, ha ha ha, Mulroney. Ha ha ha. This guy should have been put behind bars ages ago. The Conservatives are not by any means less arrogant and corrupt than the Liberals. In my opinion, they are far more corrupt and arrogant, but, anyways. He's been reimplicated in the Airbus scandal, after getting $2 million in damages for libel some time ago. This was after he allegedly received $300,000 from Airbus scandal man himself. His real crime according to many was the way he became Prime Minister. Read Mulroney's bio in Wikipedia.

Hee hee hee, it's still great! I thought I'd check out right-wing news source canoe.ca to see what they were saying about the secretary to the francophonie. I couldn't find anything, but there was a fun article on Conservative MPs attitudes towards "turncoat MPs. Canoe didn't put any padding on the gloves for it.

I really can't wait until these guys are out of office. I really have no right to say this as I didn't vote this past election (it would have cost me a couple days), but I can say it if I want. The Liberals weren't a heap better, but at least I agreed with some of their policies.


Words and Notes

Some of my favorite Canadian artists and one of my favorite songs by each one:

These Days - Ron Sexsmith
Vampire/forest fire - Arcade Fire
L'Amour ne dure pas toujours - Feist
Falling at your feet - Daniel Lanois
No Sleep - Sam Roberts
In the Car - Barenaked Ladies
Forca - Nelly Furtado
If I had a Rocket Launcher - Bruce Cockburn
Stories of the Street - Leonard Cohen
Drink Yer Glasses Empty - Gordon Lightfoot
Superstarr, Pt. 2 - k-os
Pocahontas - Neil Young
Dis, Quand Reviendras-Tu? - Martha Wainwright
What if? - Riley Armstrong
Barrett's Privateers - Stan Rogers
Les Filles de la Rochelle - La Bottine Souriante
Courage - The Tragically Hip


Too Funny

Harper announced his cabinet today after being sworn in as Canada's new Prime Minister. A CBC news article uses the word "surprise" in its title, but I'm not surprised by the actions described.

Rewind to a year ago... Belinda Stronach jumps to the Liberal party to accept an offer as a cabinet minister - also giving the Liberals the one extra vote they need in a confidence vote. This was Harper's reaction to Stronach's move (CBC article):

"I could see this coming," Harper said, adding that he felt "a sense of relief" that Stronach had left before the beginning of a general election campaign and not during one.

"There's no grand principle involved in this decision, just ambition," Harper said.

He said he recently told his wife that he "thought it had become obvious to Belinda that her leadership ambitions would not be reached in this party regardless of whether or not we won the next election."

Harper added that as a result of expressing that belief to Stronach, "I expected to have problems."

But he said it is Stronach who will now have problems – when she faces the voters in her riding of Newmarket-Aurora.

"This will ultimately negatively affect Belinda Stronach's chances of being re-elected," he said.

Now, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper has lured David Emerson, a man just now elected as a Liberal in Vancouver, to become a Conservative in his cabinet. Nice work.

THEN, on the issue of elected officials, one of the items in Harper's platform was senate reform. So, 2 weeks after being elected, Harper gives an unelected individual a cabinet position. Nice Work again.

I don't necessarily disagree with party hopping and giving unelected people cabinet positions. The thing is that P.M. Harper did, at one point speak out quite strongly against it.

Keep up the good work dude.



I hereby ask all readers of this blog to sign this petition to be used as coercion towards my clever friend Alan.


Due to his history of genius musings, we, the friends and complete unknowns to the said Alan Kydd, urge, no, we threaten him to continue his blog at his website or to begin a new blog. This blog should be for the entertainment of his friends and to confound the simpleminded. This blog should also be updated at least once each month on penalty of onehundredpunchesintheface. Proposed topics may be included with the eSignatures below.

Note that it has been more than 18 months since Mr. Kydd's last log entry

Waiter! Waiter!

What did Blaise just ask the waiter?

"Waiter! Waiter! I'm still waiting for my carrot stick."

"Waiter! Waiter! Could you bring me a napkin to wipe my chin?"

"Waiter! Waiter! Another ale for me and my friends?"

Post Blaise's comments as a comment.


my toil under the sun

Cell phone beeping wakes me up. Snooze. Fry an egg and fail miserably at it - it is burnt in areas and raw in others. Briskly walk to school and worship with 230 passionate kids. Teach grades 8-10 how to pronounce the silent "b" (as in crumb and lamb) and some conversation. During recess, I visit with Heber about brass instruments. He is a notable trumpet player now and feels he's ready to take on a second brass instrument. I think about bringing my trombone down here. Grade ten learns to name the music notes on the staff after reviewing rhythms.

It's noon now. Rush home and snack, sort through some sponsorship papers with Mercedez. Erick takes my car to Coban to get the windows tinted - they will rip me off if I go, so Erick spends 5 hours getting it done for me - we go for really dark. Mercedez and I drive the Toyota van to Chicoy and chat about Old Testament lore. We meet Hector and Carlos in the village and begin our afternoon of visiting families. With a clear sky and hot sun casting strong shadows about, we collect information about the students that attend our school and afternoon program. I photograph them, their family and their favorite activity. We visit 10 homes - completing 35 forms. By the end of the afternoon, all the children in the village are with us visiting the last home. Mary Consuelo (pictured above) was in the second home.

I drive back to Tactic, drop Hector and Mercedez off. Put Q100 of diesel into the van. Do some finances over the phone as I walk to the bicycle repair shop. Daniel, one of Erick's sons, is there and helps me get my bike looked after. I now have a working pedal and a higher seatpost. For 5 minutes of work while I waited, they didn't charge me - I gave them something anyway.

Blaise is gnawing on a piece of banana, then cantaloupe, then an aba (cross between a pea and a bean). It's gross and he's really sticky, as are my pants after holding him for 20 minutes. Amber feeds me delicious haystacks. I bathe the splash monster and remain wet the rest of the evening. I text chat with April in Montreal about learning disabilities and the UN's rating of best countries to live in (Canada is 5th). Then we skype with Carl and Michelle in Alberta about work in Africa about our lives.

I put the car behind the gate and lock it. Amber calls me onto the roof and we mention the stars and smile at the crescent moon.

The inscription on my ring is "ECCL. 9:9"
Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have laboured under the sun.


I'm 100 blogs old

From a banged up door to a banged up nail.
From melons to melocoton.
From Anselme to Blaise.
From pregnancy test to teething.
From Alan and Kevin to Walter and Les.
From Sibelius to Stan Rogers.
From Montreal to Honduras.
From Jason and Myra to Daniel y Flor.
From NDP to Green.
From chocolate to Ché.
From racing in Montreal to coaching volleyball in Spruce Grove.
From paying off student loans to printing off pocketmods.
From Mont Tremblant to the top of my roof.
From candles on cakes to votives on graves.
From Amber gorgeous to Amber stunning.
From Chomsky to Rousseau.
From family together to family apart.
From CUC alumni to Living Waters.
From iPod to iMac.
From Tactic to Santiago Atitlán.
From Ester Buck to Kia Rio.
From doubling par to winning Risk.
From Queen Elizabeth II to Princess Stephanie.
From microbreweries to pipe smoke.
From baptism to missionary.
From ultrasound to ultrasplashing.
From the United Nations to homogenous Chicoy.
From Cirque du Soleil to Lady in the Water.

Generous and sincere applause to all those who left comments. You're a rockin' bunch.

CSS and the payoff

Take a gander at what I've been up to some of the time for the past couple months. I'm still waiting for Dave to finish the news and docs pages.