I recently read an article about self published authors, authors who presumably couldn’t get their books published any other way. The author of this article furthermore went on to explain that for some self publishing is about personal accomplishment and self satisfaction, sometimes just the opportunity to beat the nay-sayers. He put together a list of several accomplishments to let self published authors know that despite what others say….”You win… you made it!”
You finally have a printed book of YOUR work in your hands
You can finally get across the thoughts you have been thinking for years
You get an interview with the local paper as a “published author”
You get interviewed by a local radio show and people can call in and ask questions (half is correct!)
You gift wrap a copy and give it to your mother and watch her unwrap it
You overhear co-workers talk that you are a published author
Readers ask when the next book in the series will be out
You realize you have sold enough books to pay your printing bill (Oh I WISH…to God’s ears!)
Your local library buys two copies of your books
You start thinking about other books to write
Your dad tells you how proud he is that you dedicated the book to him
You speak at a club or event about your book
You send a book to your mother-in-law
The author lists 26 points to let you know “You win, you made it!”
I am only listing 13 so I guess that means I am only my way, but almost doesn’t count except in horseshoes and hand grenades!
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” ~James Michener
Cultural diversity can be described as “having an understanding and respect for each other’s differences.” Many organizations require their employees to take a class or workshop to understand various cultural differences in the workplace. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone learned by experience instead of through a presentation?
I like to think that I am culturally diverse and continue to want to expand on that diversity. Instead of attending a workshop I want to travel the world to see and learn about various cultures. I have eaten horned beetle larva in Ecuador, helped harvest rice in Bali, attended a Kava Ceremony in Fiji and I practiced Kau Cim at a Buddhist Temple in Thailand.
Having been raised in a culturally sheltered community what I consider as my first real culture experience came at the age of sixteen on a trip to California. I met my cousin’s Mexican neighbor and he explained various aspects of his culture. It was then that I knew I needed to know more about the differences in people around the world.
I recently was thrilled to attend a traditional Indian wedding in Charlotte, N.C. that my daughter was a bridesmaid in. The multi-day event started with a Mehndi, or painting party at the bride’s parents home. Family members and female friends were embellished with henna tattoos on their hands and wrists; before the evening proceeded with food, drink, music and dancing. I was also given my lehenga saree to wear to the ceremony along with a choli and veil, a bindi (a forehead decoration.) Bangles (bracelets) were also given out to the ladies.
The following day the actual ceremony followed traditional Hindu customs with the ceremony taking place under a mandap or four pillared canopy. The ceremony involved about a dozen different mini-ceremonies including a Mungal Feras or walk around the fire, the Guth Bundhanam or tying the knot and the Suptapadi or seven steps which represent their journey through life.
It was extremely colorful, possibly the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended and an enlightening ceremony for me. The reception was far more family based than the Christian ceremonies that I am accustomed to. I was surprised that the bridal party was never introduced even though the entire family was. As for the dancing, well it seemed to me most people just seemed to jump up and down. The food was delicious, all typical Indian fare, mostly spiced with ginger and curry and new to me.
The entire wedding event was just another opportunity for me to become more culturally diverse, and I never even had to leave the United States…not that I didn’t want to! It made me REALLY want to go to India!
Wow, it is hard for me to believe, March 12, 2012, celebrates one hundred years of the best girl organization in the United States. Juliette Gordon Low knew what she was doing when she started Girl Scouts.
"On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country,
to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law."
I was a Girl Scout for twenty-two years; most of those years were as an adult scout. I was a Girl Scout Troop Leader for seventeen years for both of my beloved troops, # 345 and #700.
During those years I did a bit a traveling with the girls, read about those experiences including trips to Canada, the Bahamas and Mexico in In My Head, Of My Heart. My belief was to learn by experience or as
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." ~ Benjamin Franklin
And my belief held true, the values and ideals they learned were for a lifetime. All of "my girls" are successful role models in society. Plus the bond formed between members is strong!
"Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold."
The #345 troop members continue to meet at my house every year for a reunion. The Marines say "once a Marine always a Marine" the same holds true for Girl Scouts, "once a Girl Scout always a Girl Scout."
During my travels I have also met up with Girl Guides, the world wide equivalent of Girl Scouts in both Thailand and Kenya and I witnessed a Girl Guide convention in Hong Kong.
As we celebrate one hundred years of Girl Scouts please give them your support, not only by buying cookies but think of them as an investment in your future.
Winter, as in the dolphin, not the miserable cold snowy season has become a world famous celebrity in her own right.
Winter is an Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin that made history when she became an amputee back in 2005. She found herself tangled in lines of a crab trap and when doctors could not save her severely damage tail a prosthesis was made for her. Her brave story is related in the recently released “Dolphin Tale” movie.
I recently visited Winter in her home at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater Florida. The aquarium is a non-profit rescue, rehab and release facility specializing in dolphins, sea turtles and river otters.
Winter’s incredible story heard both on the news and through the movie has caused quite a stir in Clearwater. People inspired by Winter’s perseverance to overcome her disability have flocked to the aquarium to meet the movie star.
Having seen the movie several times I confess I too wanted to see Winter. So during my recent trip to Florida I stopped in at the small aquarium. I watched as Winter’s prosthetic tale was applied to her stump. I was told it is put on several times a day, more as a physical therapy tool than anything. Winter is able to swim without the prosthesis.
When Winter’s trainer is not working with her she is quite vocal, having become very accustom to her celebrity status. She truly seems to enjoy the constant attention of the staff and the frequent flash of cameras from visitors.
I enjoyed my day at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and highly recommend it if you visit the area. The admission fee is very reasonable with additional donations accepted throughout the facility.
My only disappointment was that despite the educational programs by the volunteer staff and the movies I wish the facility would put more emphasis on the source of the rescue and rehab process. Had I not asked I would never have known that the dolphin Panama can never be released. Panama is a perfectly healthy dolphin, but due to a learned behavior from humans, begging, she nearly starved to death before her rescue. If she is returned to the wild she will beg again, the only life she knows. The movies say “Don’t feed the wild animals” but they don’t explain the importance of why.
Watch the amazing “Dolphin Tale” movie with your family and be inspired to protect our marine life.