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Flora
16-11-2003, 10:53
Yo beloved Expats!
Have left the sunny shores of the Pacific Ocean in San Fransisco and am now in Dallas Texas gettin it on with ma Suthurn Draaawl y'aaall.

Yesterday was taken around a School where I was able to talk to the cutest kindergarteners to 7th graders telling them about Nigeria and Russia and remeinding them how blessed and fortunate they are - encouraged them to at least pray for children in other nations. They were happy to learn a few words in Russian and Hausa. Was an amazing experience - the kids are very open and we even prayed right there together in the classes. So fellow Americans I encourage you to teach your children to appreciate what they have and to SHARE!

Then I went to see REAL LIFE Highschool Football (State Championships) with injuries, a band and cheerleaders - pompoms - the works. The senior kids were nice too n easy to talk to - not closed and aggressive like alot of Russian kids I have seen.

Wen't to a REAL ALL AMERICAN RODEO for the first time today in Fort Worth.
I almost wen't hoarse from all the yelling.
Could not contain my joy to fianlly be in the WILD WILD WEST!
Was a spectacular show. Took pix with Cowboys ;-)
Then I just HAD to ride a Mechanical Bull - held on for the fastest 6 seconds of my life.
People were askin me where I was from cuz they hadn't seen anyone that excited about all o this - espceially someone with a FRO! Haha! They got all intrigued and wanted to know my story.
PIX will soon be up.
BUT - Would u believe the Cowboys at BillyBob's Bar wouldn't let me in to dance the TWO STEP because I didn't have pic ID on me?!
U shoulda seen the fuss! Do I look that young?!!!!!!
My only ID is my passport - I've not yet gotten over the euphoria of not having to carry my passprt everywhere I go like in Russia - and then this ... turns out I STILL have to go thru this ...
Men - I am workin on a diary with pix to share my experiences - this trip has been amazing!
Adventures all the way.
Where else but in America would they hold a plane and wait 10mins just for lil 'ol u? I was amazed (actually so were the other passengers - apparently this isn't such a common thing). Was funny.
Lots more ... soon to come.
Pray for me - I am moving at an incredibly fast pace that is hard to keep up with - sometimes I forget what day it is or where I am going/doing next. Am noticing all kids of aches ... just really tired.
I would still do it all again and again anyway ;-)
Peace Love n Unerstandin y'all!
PS - Stetsons r so expensive - where can I get cheap hats, boots n belts? Got me some horseshoes to start with.

geofizz56
16-11-2003, 14:07
Glad you have seen the best of Texas - Dallas can be a little cold (personality-wise and weather-wise) compared to the southern part of the state, but it looks like you ran into a bunch of good-ol boys and girls.

Stetsons are expensive because they are the best, made with beaver felt. They last forever so the cost over time doesn't look so big. For a cheap hat, etc., go to Wal-Mart. For better qualty look for a place like Cavender's (I think they have those in Dallas) or other western-wear store. The better stores will "block" the hat into whatever shape you fancy. Fort Worth prides itself on being more cowboy than Dallas, so if you're still in that area, check out the Stockyards.

And continue to have fun!!! Have you tried chili, catfish, and cornbread yet?

geneven
17-11-2003, 02:29
Praying as you describe it sounds like it would be illegal in most school settings.

I remember when I was a kid in Oklahoma I was assigned the Lord's Prayer to read over the microphone to the entire school.

So, I took a written copy to school (this was a long time ago) and the public school official took one look at it and was horrified!

My mother was a Catholic, so of course the version of the Lord's Prayer that she knew was the WRONG VERSION.

So, I was forced to get rid of the wrong version and read the RIGHT VERSION to the kids. I was just a kid myself, and didn't know any better. I was ashamed of my mother, who didn't even know the right version of a simple prayer.

That's a sample of why prayer in public schools is not allowed in the US.

Stella
17-11-2003, 07:59
Thought it had more to do with the separation of church and state than the predominance of WASPs .

Missionary
17-11-2003, 08:02
Actually it has more to do with God hating liberals misinterpreting the constitution and taking their fight to congress, while the religious right huffed and puffed feeling sorry for themselves but never really doing anything about it.

Flora
17-11-2003, 09:09
Well ok sorry I forgot to mention that was a Christian School :-) where we prayed.
However ... I was volunteering to work with Brooklin kids in a Teen Challenge Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center for their AFTER school children's program.
Now even though that is a Christian Organisation, because they work with the State - they are required to be as discreetly Christian as possible keeping with the law. Have to watch your step with how you talk about God and etc... and must have parent's permission to let the child attend any Christian event and etc.
It was very hard for me to control every single word that came out of my mouth while talking and playing with the kids because expressing "GOD" verbally is just part of me being me - and so I couldn't be trully free (America - land of the FREE?). I took the innitiative n personally decided to check with the admin before I did any presentaion to make sure I was in line with what I was planning to do and say that day. The kids learned alot about both Nigeria n Russia, appreciation and compassion. They r very inquisitive - asked alot of questions n they actually have a lot of potential. They enjoyed learning a Russian song... Now they say hello n goodbye to me in Russian (Brooklin kids) so cute! I can go on about them forever.
I must say, from helping them do their homework, that Brooklin public schools are probably not doing anything more than just keeping the kids off the streets because they don't know alot academically.
A 4th grader could not define a week - I had to draw a chart dividing a year into 12 months and a month into 4 weeks and a week into 7days for her to understand and it took a while for it to sink in. She was learning how to use a calendar. The teacher did NOT do her job. I can give many other examples.
One time I had the kids guess what COUNTRY I was from and they named the boroughs of NY, then I emphasised that I am from another COUNTRY - and they started naming other neighboring states (New Jersey, etc) then I said "NO another COUNTRY" (I tried to explain what a country was) and they said "OOOOh u mean like Texas?" Somebody finally said "Mexico" which was some improvement.
It was a rough day but we finally got to Africa after way too many clues.
By the way, a lot of Americans perceive Africa as one country - but that's another story.
Oh I just have to tell u ... this one kid said he was Nigerian too (n there r many Nigerians there) but I pretty much figured out he must have lived his whole life in USA because when I asked him what part of Nigeria he was from he said "Africa". I didn't know whether to laugh or cry honestly.

Yes - outright n open prayer in public schools would be considered illegal under normal circumstances unfortunately - although I'd say they need ALOT of prayer there - the way things r going. U cannot read your Bible or mention God in school. I wonder if anyone has been sued for swearin like "God damn" or "Jesus-H-Christ" tho. The irony - u can cuss all u want.

In any case - if we r not allowed to TALK freely about God - we can represent Him by showing LOVE towards others in our actions and general relationship to them.
And that's what God is all about - LOVE, a pure n holy love.
It's not about Christian propaganda - just truly caring for people and trying to make a positive difference ...
Rev. Martin Luther King said "I have a dream ..." he accoplished alot but I don't wonna be shot dead (I have been shot actually but that's another story).

Actually I am amazed at the way America has been pushing God out of everything. I hear they r trying to get the "In God We Trust" out of the legal documents and off currency markings.
I thought the nation was built on faith and trust in God - but now they r contradicting everything the USA stood for innitially.
Yeah it's all about karma and yoga and feng shiu now - o how American.

Flora
17-11-2003, 09:30
Sorry was on a roll there.

Geneven - sorry about that traumatising experience with the Lord's prayer. Again - that is a clearly political issue - right and wrong versions... the Lord's prayer was translated from Greek (hope I am not mistaken) n there r still studies being conducted trying to get the most accurate interpretation of the scriptures (Greek, Hebrew n Aramaic) into our modern language. <sigh> However - the existing versions do not CONTRADICT - it's really not a big deal but people are always looking for stuff to fuss about.

Anyhow thanx for the tips Geofizz! Will look for the stores - not goin back to Fort Worth tho. Will be in Houston from Wednesday - got any tips for Houston? Might do a one day trip to Austin too.

I have had the cornbread and am aiming for a corn-dog next but now that u mention the chilli n catfish ...
Had me a nice slab of RIBS with onion rings n corn on the cob.
Yummmm!!!!
Anyone had an "awesome blossom"? Now that was sumfin!
Stuff IS big in Texas!