Sunday, January 16, 2005

A quiet weekend at home

Mostly the weekend was quiet. But I think my idea of "quiet" is changing over time.

We've sold the van (delivery date not until 16 February though). A family arrived with 5 kids and no car and it happens that they live a few streets down from us, so we'll get some basic maintenance done and pass them the keys right before we leave. Here's a cheer!!
Ian set up the Mongolian Grill for our party. We're expecting anywhere between 75-100 people and didn't want the fuss of doing it ourselves, so here comes the catering. You know what a Mongolian Grill is, right? I didn't before last year. It's a buffet but everything is basically raw (except the rice). Dump what you want (meat, rice, veggies, including the sauces and spices) into a bowl and hand it to a chef guy with a giant wok. He cooks it all up, puts it into a clean bowl and voila.
We picked up the remaining items from the frame shop. I have a cloth painting from a class trip I took in 7th grade to Ivory Coast. It's been dragged around, taped to walls, hung with makeshift rods and stuffed in closets. Now, it's framed beautifully and will finally take its place on our walls.
Katherine had her swim meet Saturday morning (I only caught her first two times again... 1min8sec for 50m freestyle and 34secs for 25m backstroke). The meet was at ISM with 8 different schools racing but everything ran like clockwork so it didn't take any longer than the other meets. The rest of the kids spent most of their time at the playground with friends.
Today we had church followed by some tennis and swimming and then lunch at Caffe Puccini at The Fort. I haven't slept well all week so I had a nap this afternoon then we all went to the playground for a bit. Ian let the girls watch Lord of the Rings while I napped. I know Jonathon went off to play computer games and I hope Nicholas didn't watch the movie because I still think it's too much for him. I heard the music of the Shire as I was drifting off and it almost made me cry. How silly is it that I miss New Zealand so much after only spending two weeks there? It impressed me so much.
Tomorrow the boys (all 3) and I are home while the girls have school. The International School doesn't recognize MLK day, obviously. So we'll have a little work done on the van, look around the furniture store at Glorietta for some nice CD cabinets and when the girls are home, we're off to Seafront for a grill-out with Ryan, Laura and Audrey. Looking forward to it. We'd like to have them to our house, but Laura doesn't seem too comfortable with being that far away for her home, and we have these lovely cats she's allergic to.
Ah, the cats. Still no offers to adopt them. This is frustrating because they aren't coming with us, but we can't exactly leave them with no one. The last big hurdle at this point, so wish us luck we find them a nice home here in Manila.
Personal Note: Over a couple days I read _Black Like Me_ by John Howard Griffin, a white man who temporarily darkened his skin with medication, lights and cosmetics, then ventured into the Deep South as a black man. While the experiment took place in 1959 and the book came out shortly thereafter, it's sad to see how many pockets of the hatred he faced still exist in America. Over 40 years later and there are still people condoning racist ideals behind the guise of religious rightousness and "what's right for America." On the flip side, I was happy to read the book and know that it's not that extreme anymore. Over the past 40+ years government has woken up and people have woken up and it has been an extremely slow process but one definitely worth working through and continuing to work through.
For me and my family, it's not a matter of integration but a matter of being colorblind. I take great pleasure when my children try to point out a friend and pick the color of their shirt, when the child is the only black, indian or caucasian on the playground.
Tomorrow is our holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. The book is an easy read, pick it up from your library.

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