Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Thought to Think On

"Our culture divides people into two classes: civilized men, a title bestowed on the persons who do the classifying; and others, who have only the human form, who may perish or go to the dogs for all the "civilized men" care.

"Oh, this "noble" culture of ours! It speaks so piously of human dignity and human rights and then disregards this dignity and these rights of countless millions and treads them underfoot, only because they live overseas or because their skins are of different color or because they cannot help themselves. This culture does not know how hollow and miserable and full of glib talk it is, how common it looks to those who follow it across the seas and see what it has done there, and this culture has no right to speak of personal dignity and human rights…

"I will not enumerate all the crimes that have been committed under the pretext of justice. People robbed native inhabitants of their land, made slaves of them, let loose the scum of mankind upon them. Think of the atrocities that were perpetrated upon people made subservient to us, how systematically we have ruined them with our alcoholic "gifts", and everything else we have done…We decimate them, and then, by the stroke of a pen, we take their land so they have nothing left at all…

"If all this oppression and all this sin and shame are perpetrated under the eye of the German God, or the American God, or the British God, and if our states do not feel obliged first to lay aside their claim to be "Christian" — then the name of Jesus is blasphemed and made a mockery. And the Christianity of our states is blasphemed and made a mockery before those poor people. The name of Jesus has become a curse, and our Christianity — yours and mine — has become a falsehood and a disgrace, if the crimes are not atoned for in the very place where they were instigated. For every person who committed an atrocity in Jesus' name, someone must step in to help in Jesus' name; for every person who robbed, someone must bring a replacement; for everyone who cursed, someone must bless.

"And now, when you speak about missions, let this be your message: We must make atonement for all the terrible crimes we read of in the newspapers. We must make atonement for the still worse ones, which we do not read about in the papers, crimes that are shrouded in the silence of the jungle night…"

-Albert Schweitzer, a preacher/physician/musician/philospher who worked in Africa (Gabon, specifically) and organized Albert Schweitzer Hospital there (see here for source quote).

A Family Letter: Indy Update 12 Sept 2010

Dear All,

September has been a beautiful month and we are all glad it is here (and getting well into it, now that I look at the date…). August was a month not worthy of memory. With regards to Brendan’s life (read: work, which was the on-site Family Medicine Service at St Francis for the month of August) and the way that directly affects mine…bad, very bad. I calculated one week, we saw him for 9 waking hours over the 7 day period. The other weeks were similar. We had an Enrichment quarterly last week (I know that’s not the correct name anymore but its shorter). It was a “get to know you” night (we had a lot of students move in this year) and I was explaining to a new sister that Brendan just graduated medical school and she said “Oh, good, you’re done!” and I just burst out laughing. No, not quite done, but getting there.

For September, Brendan is staffing the wards with the Internal Medicine team. After his first week (which was a WONDERFUL change from previous schedule, they even gave him Labor Day off!) he came home and told me how much he was enjoying it and wondered if maybe he should have picked Internal Medicine instead. This, of course, started me trembling! “What? Are you wanting to change? Reapply, rematch, and start again?!” Fortunately, he wasn’t THAT serious. He just really enjoys the active participation about inpatient care. Something he’ll get little to none of in clinic. But, we’ll stick with the plan in Family Medicine.

Labor Day weekend was a fun one! Brendan had all three days off and we celebrated by having Bri, Amanda, and the little boy down Friday night. Brendan and Brian stayed up a good portion of the night playing risk and then they gave Amanda and I the day off on Saturday! It was wonderful! We headed out a around 9:30am and spent the day wandering around Indianapolis. I showed Amanda some of my favorite places (some of which I’d never been to without kids!) Mass Ave is a section of town that wishes it were more like Bloomington (a reference point for those who’ve been there). It has a collection of small shops, restaurants, etc we hit up Starbucks for hot chocolate (it was cool enough to want it even!) and whatever else we wanted out of the dessert selections (thank you, thank you, Jan, for the gift card! It’s been so fun!) and wandered in and out of the shops and spent around forty-five minutes in an old, small firehouse turned museum for the Indy Fire Dept (very fun little museum) we looked it over in about 15 minutes and spent the next thirty playing checkers! They had an old set out on a barrel and two rickety old chairs and we had nothing required of our time! Amanda beat me but it was a good game! After Mass Ave (which without kids, doesn’t take all that long!) we went to the Scottish Rite Cathedral here in Indy, it’s a beautiful building and the tours are excellent! Lots of history on the building itself and the Freemasons. Unfortunately it was closed, somebody was getting married. We found a mall on the northeast side (a Fashion Mall, there was a sign, its apparently different from the regular malls??) it was WELL out of our price range but fun to look around in and we made friends with an older woman, in Saks, who was showing us designer purses (one was made of sting ray skin! And $3000) We topped off the day by stuffing ourselves brim full at Red Robin! Every day that ends with Red Robin is a good day! Thanks husbands! Let’s do it again sometime!

We’ve been out to the apple orchard for both apples and raspberries! This past week there wasn’t much by the way of raspberries. We were told that due to the complete lack of rain over the last 6 weeks (until yesterday anyway, more on that later) the berries weren’t thriving, so we wandered through and ate what we could find before we headed over to pick apples! We’ve had several apples each day since and I think I’m going to have to actually make something out of the rest of them…

This weekend we went camping! It didn’t go quite as we would have planned but it was enjoyable and we’ll do a few things different next time! Hopefully the weather will cooperate a little better next time, as well. It was supposed to rain on Saturday but the rain started somewhere around 4am (the kids slept right through it!) and didn’t really let up so after spending about an hour and half all stuck in our tent everyone had had enough and we packed it all up and went home sopping wet, but we were home before 9am and got everything cleaned up and put away and still time to enjoy the Saturday! While we were heading to bed, on Friday night, The Elephant was standing in the tent doorway and Brendan was sitting next to him helping him get his shoes off. The Elephant was talking (imagine that) and, I’m not sure what he was saying, because I got hung up on the “What the heck?” part. “Did you just say, ‘what the heck,’ ” “Yeah, I was like ‘What the heck’ …” I honestly have no idea what he was talking about because I couldn’t stop laughing! Something, evidently, had surprised him about the layout inside the tent but I’ve never heard him use the phrase “what the heck” before and it makes me laugh every time I think about it. His brow was furrowed and he had one hand up in a questioning manner and his little three year old self said, “What the heck?” It was so funny.

A funny story about The Giraffe: this week he was playing with one of those big clips that also has a magnet and goes on the fridge. It’s pretty heavy duty and about the size of two of my fingers. It’s got a pretty good grip, but The Giraffe loves to play with it and I decided there are worst things…Mostly he just clips it to the end of his shirt or his shorts…something non-fragile. Well, I was making dinner and I heard him crying, but it sounded a little bit muffled so I set out to look for him. He wasn’t far off and it wasn’t muffled either it was nasal. Poor little Giraffe was standing bent over as though he’d been standing over a pond and a fish jumped up and bit him, but what he’d done was clip that clip to his nose! And it was hurting! And when he would try and pull at it would just pinch harder on the tip of his nose. So he just stood there, crying, his hands out shaking and a clip, as big as his hand, hanging off his nose! I couldn’t help him without laughing. His poor nose hand indents on it and we had to get some juice to help make everything better! Kids are hilarious!

The Ocelot is starting to babble, up until now she has just pterodactyl screeched. She still screeches but its intermittent with babbling, now, and therefore much more tolerable. She can finally sit up, but she hates it because she can’t go anywhere! She’s learned to roll as a mode of transportation and she feels stuck when she’s sitting up! I think she is slowly getting used to it. She is easily my most clingy child. The boys didn’t really care if other people were holding them. The Ocelot, does. And she wants me to hold her ALL THE TIME, I really need her to crawl. She also has no build up to unhappy, so there’s no warning, its just an on/off switch and she also only has a silent/LOUD switch. But she’s pretty adorable and has a ready laugh to that screech.

We hope that this finds you all well and happy. We’ll continue to update regularly irregularly, kinda like Grandma’s semi-annual update! Love to you all

Whit, Brendan, The Elephant, The Giraffe, and The Ocelot