Friday, July 21, 2006

In Preparation....

Preparation for what? Well, nothing at the moment, but I can pretend and live in a dream of cleaning and purging and finishing up untended projects for the Just In Case.

So six weeks into summer break and we're all suffering some cabin fever and isolation (yup, everyone is -still- on vacation). This week I was fresh out of ideas. The indoor tent has lost its allure, the kids rooms are cleaned up though they still look quite lived in, swimming is a daily activity but after an hour the kids are done. Old favorites are finally being used again... the legos, ello dolls, matchbox cars. while Barbie remains popular. We've baked, we've read. I need to pull out the Dance Dance Revolution pads again to get us all hopping. But this week I turned to Ian and he came through. He gave the kids report projects.
Today was presentation day. Nicholas gave a well-written (for a 6 year old) report on the Bindi. Oh you all know what a Bindi is... the traditional red dot on Indian women's foreheads? Yeah, that. We learned that the use of the Bindi depends on the area of India (in the south, primarily married women) and that Bindi don't necessarily have to be red or a dot (a fashion bindi is called a tika). Nor are they held on the forehead with needles.
Jonathon gave his report on the Hindu god Vishnu, with his four arms each holding a different item. He chose Vishnu over Ganesh (I thought the obvious choice) because one of Vishnu's items is a mace, a gift he was given as victor in a particular war.
Katherine's topic was a comparison of the Indian and American flags, what the colors and symbols represented in each. The question arose from an earlier inquiry as to why the American flag is red, white and blue. After searching via the WWW, she told us that when originally designed, the colors had no particular symbolism behind them. She then went on to speculate that perhaps we chose those colors to honor a country that helped us acheive independence: France. Katherine also researched what the histories of India and American have in common, and came to the conclusion that the British were just plain Everywhere.
Rebecca wanted to do an animal report, as she'd done one in school this past year. After I wrote a series of questions, she turned to our mammal books and wrote a thoughtful essay on the Asian Elephant. After getting past the horror of poaching, she taught us about how elephants eat up to 300 pounds of food a day, where in Asia they live amd how many are left in the world. I told her after she was done how some zoos have chosen to stop keeping elephants because of their level of intelligence and their immense need for immense space. She was happy to hear that some people are taking notice of the needs of animals.
I did not do a research report.
What I did do was clean out the old Christmas wrapping stuff, and the box that holds my fabric odds and ends. I've wanted to make a tshirt quilt with my old school/Embassy shirts for a long time. Well, I didn't do that, but I did take some other leftover material and made a faux quilt all the same. Start to finish in about 4 hours. It's basically a play mat, but hey, I'd never made anything like it before so I'm pleased. Ian asked me why... I don't have an answer other than I took a break from scrapbooking for a night and this seemed as good an idea as any to keep busy. Speaking of scrapping, I do believe I'll move on to some Togo photos next. Hong Kong will have to wait for a bit. I can't finish up last summer just yet, waiting for a new order of photo paper for that. But I have all the photos already from HK and my parents' visit to Lome' this past January, so I'm good to go for a while anyway. Now to find the motivation.

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