Friday, 15 May 2015

What Did I Do?: New Accomplishments

The last couple weeks have once again been a busy flurry of activity. I am happy to say that, aside from a few finishing touches, the redecorating in my room is completed and it's reorganized. It's imperfect like I am, but I'm happy to call it home. That means I'm slowly able to return to everyday life again, although it's filled with catching up on a lot of things that have been left behind.

April 30: I tried making myself a smoothie using kefir instead of yogurt. This eliminates the need to add juice or almond milk to thin it out. I discovered that mango, banana, pineapple, and mango coconut kefir makes for a delicious combination.

May 1: Do not attempt to work with wood stain without using gloves. However, if you do try this, and get upset like I did trying to wash it off, scrub your hands and fingers with olive oil. That works to clean them.

May 2: pedagogical: "of or relating to teachers or education."

May 3: Emmer is a type of wheat, as I learned in my devotions in the morning. I also had questions for my mom about how colonies are divided in Mexico, trying to understand names of places and how they relate to each other.

May 4: I recently started reading a great book called Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most by Compassion International's President Dr. Wess Stafford. It has been teaching me so much about African culture, and is giving me a very different perspective on children. It's a book I would highly recommend.

On May 4, I read about the author's childhood in the village of Nielle in West Africa, and how they hunted baboons:

"Tradition dictated that the smallest child involved in the hunt got the most delicate part of the beast--the hands. In fact, it was a great honor; the little guy would sit there proudly chewing on a hand that looked just like his own except bigger and now roasted over the fire." Dr. Wess Stafford, Too Small to Ignore

May 5: Seeing as it was Cinco de Mayo, I learned that the holiday celebrates the Day of the Battle of Puebla, which occurred on May 5, 1862. It's observed by Mexicans and Americans.

I learned something else I didn't intend to learn. It's what happens when a grease trap is full. Yuck. And I didn't even know we had such a thing at work!

May 6: Back to Too Small to Ignore, I learned how different the culture in Nielle, West Africa treated certain human activities than we do in North America. Bathing, defecation, and nursing babies were done openly. Rather than covering up, it was each person's responsibility to protect the dignity of others.

I also learned a little about the pentatonic scale, which uses only five notes per octave. The hymn "Amazing Grace" is written using only the pentatonic scale.

May 7: I mounted a curtain rod above the window in my room. This took a whole lot longer than it should have, as I read the instructions over and over, and measured over and over. But I wanted to be sure to do the job right.

May 8: I was proud of myself last Friday at swim class! I swam backstroke the whole length of the pool, from shallow to deep end! That meant for "chillaxing" and gloating a little bit, before I attempted to swim back front crawl. That attempt didn't get very far. I'm still getting used to the deep end, where I can't just stand up if I panic and sink. I also found pink heart-shaped sunglasses in a shoe store and tried them on. :)

May 9: On Saturday, I starting reading the Bible in Low German, which I also learned in the last couple weeks is now an official language! It takes some getting used to the written language. And I have realized quickly that I have a very limited vocabulary in my mother tongue.

May 10: riparian: "of or on the bank of a watercourse."

I also heard a story about a girl who planted a seed and grew a 40 pound cabbage, which she donated to a soup kitchen. This inspired planting a garden and using the produce to feed the homeless. You can read more about her story at Katie's Krops. Children can make a difference!

May 11: technobabble: "technical jargon."

May 12: I learned how to ride a lawn mower. I know this may sound pathetic, that I had never ridden a lawn mower before, but as far as I can recall, I hadn't. It was actually really intimidating for me, but I braved learning something else new.

May 13: On Wednesday afternoon, I had the task of mounting a towel bar on a kitchen cabinet beside the kitchen sink. This sounds easy, but it was awkward to figure out how to position myself to get the control I needed with a drill. The solution? Climb up and sit on the divider of the kitchen sink, with my feet in the sink! The job can be done much easier now!

I also learned that a solopreneur is "a business owner who works and runs their business alone."

So, that recaps the last two weeks! It doesn't seem very exciting, but I did try things I would typically avoid or like to pass on to someone else.

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