Saturday, December 25, 2010

How are you Spending Christmas?

Hello blogging friends,

I am sending you Merry Christmas wishes and praying you are having a good time so far for the holidays. I myself am visiting with my family and will shortly begin to prepare our traditional breakfast waffles before putting in the bird for the dinner later in the day. We are not extravagant in our meal as we once were when my mother was well and able to prepare food. She was well known for hosting large dinners annually for the relatives. It was a bit of an open house at our home every year as children growing up. We always had many drop in guests on Thanksgiving Day, Easter, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Those days may be gone but mom still likes to host the gathering at her home with me doing the preparations and cooking. I am able to help her in this way to keep her connection as strong as she can as our family is no longer very large and we live far from most relatives.

I am grateful I can provide this support to my family at these special times of the year. This year will be somewhat poignant as mom is not well and she will go into a nursing home in order to get more daily support and overall help.

One of my own personal traditions is remembering those who are not able to have a Christmas full of food, gifts and goodies. I have several places where I like to help a bit and bring some cheer. Recently I took a visit to Kenya. There I distributed some small food items to widows in several villages. You would not believe how HAPPY they were. It warmed my heart so much. I wish I could have done a lot more for these precious people.

Here are a few photos of that special day.

Being led into one of the village homes by the ladies.
Greetings are being made as we settle into the cooking hut.

A widow leads us in prayer.

Waiting for the program to begin.  I don't have all my photos uploaded yet of all the day's activities.  I wish I had one for you now showing the actual food distribution. But I will add more photos later when I get back to  my own home.  These are some of the widows and orphans who were assembled.

The following photos were added December 28, 2010

The widows speak.
A local leader who supports the widows self-help group. He acted as my translator.
The chairwoman of the widow's group smiles broadly after receiving her gift of food.
The secretary of the women's group receives her food.
Widows and orphans gather around and sing a song of happiness during the food distribution.
See the smiles. I was told that they were singing about how God is good and had not forgotten the widows at this time of Christmas.
Here the widows pack up the food and children and head home. Some of them headed to the food that had been prepared for us.
It was a wonderful day there in the village near Kericho, Kenya. I would like to go back again and do more of this kind of work as God enables and blesses me. This distribution of food came about because of the Jiko Stove Project I was working on. You can read more about the project here.

  I'd love to know how you are spending your Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas to each of you. May you find a special day wherever you are. 
If you are alone, reach out to someone else or volunteer your time to help someone in need if you are able and help to spread the season's cheer. 
God bless you all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm Back to Wish You a Merry Christmas

Welcome to Rhonda who became my 51st follower.
After a long break from blogging I'm happy to pop in and say "hello" and "Merry Christmas" to my readers. I  did not plan on being away so long and meant to post some blogs while I was on holiday in Kenya.  However, I had limited time for blogging as  most of you will understand. Then when I did have time to blog, the power did not cooperate.

I've been home for a week now.  I had hoped to log on and blog a bit sooner but despite taking two cameras and three memory cards with me on holiday,  I had no access to photos!  After several false starts to recover the photos, I did at last find a reasonable digital photo recovery program and have recovered at least half of my photos.  I lost a second memory card,and so those images will forever be lost to me.

If any of you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I can recommend the reasonably priced "Digital Photo Recovery (DPR)" software. It allows you to download a demo program before you purchase and enables you to preview how many of your photos are recoverable. Also the recovery program doesn't modify or overwrite your original data. I tried several free programs (File Scavenger, Recuver and some others), including those with demo capabilities before purchasing DRP software.  None of the other programs recovered anywhere near the photos I had taken.  Even the DPR program did not recover many of my  photos but enough were saved to make me feel that some of my holiday memories were captured.  Now enough about photo recovery.

The main purpose of this post was to say "I'm back" and "I missed blogging - a little". But mostly I wanted to send you the very warmest wishes of the Christmas season.

This tree is located in Schipol Airport, Amsterdam. I like the theme of red and gold decorations.

An African Christmas card.

May you all have a safe and blessed Christmas season.

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