Many thoughts about the world, meditation, parenting, Judaism, pregnancy, teaching, cancer survivorship, moving from West Coast to East and more.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Action #39: Unexpected encounter

We just came back from a wonderful Thanksgiving away in Washington D.C. We did all kinds of wonderful things:
* The National Archives (highlight of which was not seeing the Constitution, but instead, seeing Charles Ingalls' Homestead Receipt.
* The Newseum
* Saw Changing of the Guard at Arlington Cemetery
* Best of all, watched A Christmas Carol  at Ford's Theater.

What came unexpected was Shabbat afternoon. I was taking some time to rest and sit by myself in the lobby of the hotel, reading. A woman greeted me and we started to talk. Turns out she wasn't even staying at the hotel... just needed a place to rest since the hostel where she was staying didn't have much leisure room. She was a retired diplomat visiting from the Congo with a group of women. These woman regularly find children on the street, ask who their mothers are, and then give those mothers $8 to start a business so they can get the children off the street. She helps child soldiers, prostitutes, gang members and other homeless children. She and her friends were in town to speak to the U.N. about being more proactive about engaging forces to stop fighting in the civil war, instead of reactive by trying to clean up messes from it. Her meeting was a disappointment. Trump has no one appointed that can help her at this point, not even an ambassador.

She was selling bracelets that some of the women she worked with had made to raise money. I told her that if she was still there after Shabbat, I would buy from her. A Christian herself, she understood that, and told me what she knew about Judaism from her pastor. And sure enough, I was able to buy two bracelets from her. 

Such a stark contrast from the things I'd been engaging in.  I wear those bracelets now to give me perspective, and to share her story if anyone asks about them. (So far, there has been one inquiry.)

Action #38: Salaam Shalom Conference

It was awesome.

Exhausting too. Came away with new appreciation for our group and with ideas of how to better our own chapter.

Action #37: Conference Call for Tzedakah/Sadaqa Event

I'm not going to write a lot about this now...