Friday, July 12, 2013

Single is better than Good

So I'm moving to D.C in a few weeks. They don't know what's going to hit them. It was a very easy

decision for me. I was on a beach in South Carolina by myself and it dawned on me that it was time to sell my home. I called my friend who's a real estate agent and he said fine, let's get it on the market.

What? On the market now? I was thinking more like fall, but he assured me now was the time. One week later, one small open house, 5 bids over ask and the house was sold. Ok now time to get a new one. Down to D.C the following weekend, find the place wrap it up I'll take it. Done.

But the deal is when I called my friends I found out that in their lives this couldn't happen. Each one of them would LOVE to sell their home and move into a swanky condo but their husbands want to stay in the homes. A couple of my friends despair of ever being able to leave the burbs. And see, all this time I've been single and thinking gosh I suck at relationships, it's now not so bad at all. I don't suck at relationships because they have all been my friends for 40 years. I just didn't pick the right guy to marry and now I'm totally grateful I'm not saddled with a man.

As a matter of fact being single is better than Good, it's great. It's freedom, it's starting again when I want, it's freedom.

Keep the faith y'all

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

One Toe Over the Line Sweet Jesus

One Toe Over the Line Sweet Jesus

That’s a saying we use for folks who don’t want to commit to something. The I’m sort of in, but if I’m wrong, I wasn’t really. Today’s Op-Ed by Richard Cohen in the Washington Post (see link below) was exquisite. The gist of it is that Obama doesn’t seem to care about anything but getting re-elected. I can’t agree more.

The comparison he uses is Bobby and Jack Kennedy, but mostly Bobby. I was a young girl back then and ardently supported Kennedy. They were the dream, and as a bomb throwing liberal Democrat, with a student’s idealism, their caring for the poor, the black, the less educated struck me with a passion to change the world that has stayed with me for 50 years.  I wanted to be better because they challenged me to be.

When Obama spoke at the DNC convention back in 2004,and again in 2008 I felt the same surge of joy that here was a leader I would follow into hell and back. Here was my fallen hero. I was no dewy-eyed college student by then, I was middle aged and yet that same stirring came back. “Yes We Can”.

Over these past four years it’s more like “I’m not sure if we can”. Or “Maybe if everyone agrees we can.” Or “Maybe I don’t care if we can”. And so I could not campaign for Obama as I did in 2008. I will not go to his inauguration if he wins. I will vote for him, because his not caring is better than Romney’s. But he’s got to get that toe on the other side to get my belief back.

And to give the photographer of the photo above credit: lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Turning Point

Francis, my driver says, "you must go far to find what is near." Sometimes decisions are like that. Sometimes you can't know what to do, until you put yourself through a turning point and have faith you'll come through it. 

I knew I wouldn’t be going back. It weighed heavily on my mind as I readied for this last trip. I wasn’t positive, but with the strikes and the grenades and the problems I had last year, I just didn’t think I could keep doing it. And I had no idea how things would work out if I didn’t keep going. That’s where faith fits in.

Everyone in Kenya was glad I was back. They wanted to see if I could walk, if I tired easily, and frankly would I come back. (Last year I got chased by a man with a machete and wound up with a broken leg that went unset for 3 days). It’s no easy feat to go back again when you’re 65 after that.

I knew the teachers were on strike, I knew the doctors were on strike. I knew that I couldn’t get hurt or sick. What I didn’t know was the way for the work I do over there. I fully believe that God put me in Africa to teach me both patience and surrender. I can assure you that if I got any of either of those in my birth package, I only got the sample size. Both would be needed to get through this trip.

As the weeks unfolded, however, I saw how the community organizers were really changing the attitudes of the people. And I saw that not only did I not need to be physically present when we brought a new school on board, but it was better if my little muzungu (white girl) face didn’t show up. It sent a mixed message, since white people are always associated with donors not empowerment.

I left my beloved Kenya, not knowing when or if I would be back. I didn’t say goodbye to my partners over there. I hadn’t told my board yet and they needed to know my decision first.And maybe I couldn't say goodbye because I didn't want it to be goodbye.  I felt sad, glad, scared, love, and accomplishment as I boarded the plane. The work will go on.  And Kenya will always be a heart home whether I return or not.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Why Do I Blog?

ABout 5 years ago, I joined a dating/over 50 site called Eons. I saw people blogging and thought, given my experiences in Africa that I might have something unusual to contribute so I began this blog called Mother Madrigal Speaks Out. (And if you haven't read Tales from the City by Armistand Maupin you might not understand who Mother Madrigal is, but I bear an amazing resemblence to her)I found that I quickly had a lot of followers which gave me the push to continue

Eons collapsed, but one of the editors encouraged me to continue and so I did for fun. Until I learned how important it could be to the organization I run. Then the focus changed from my rather personal ramblings to what we were doing in Kenya. Blogging might get us more followers and thus more donors.

Now I blog to get the word out on One Village at a Time. While I try to keep the blog personal, there are things I don't express on the blog anymore because it does represent the organization. I'm not sorry it's not personal. I can use twitter if I want to post political ideas or aging ideas. And hopefully when I am done with this blogging course, more people will follow, they will learn more about what we do, and frankly more about what is happening in Africa, a continent that Americans are woefully ignorant about.

Who are my Peeps?
Photobucket Image Hosting
1. My peeps are people I am trying to educate about the plight of girls and women in poverty stricken areas of the world. Particularly East Africa
2. My peeps are young people who donate and are passionate about what we do
3. My peeps are big donors/foundations who see what we are doing and want to help. I have found that Great Non-Profits and Global Giving were hooked through my twitter and blog posts. And I want more of them.
4. My peeps are those who need to know I am alive, so sometimes the posts are up there to let the folks back home know that I am still here.
5. My peeps are the people in Africa who need information and links to help them with the work they are doing in the areas of empowering women and girls.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Won't Need This Gun Anymore

He was only 17 and a very brave  boy at that. It was the early 90's and he dared to come out in High School long before it was acceptable. His father threw him out of the house and he was living with an aunt. I was his therapist.

He was totally despondent and called to tell me he was going to kill himself. He couldn't take the name calling or the rejection. I asked him to come to my home in Boston, which, back then, was located at ground zero for gay men. I told him he could kill himself after he visited me. He said he would come.

That evening the guys came home from work. It was a soft spring night and sitting on the stoop is what we did. The men came up to say hi, as was the custom and I introduced the young man to Dan the doctor, his partner Tim the teacher. He met Terry the banker and Richard the lawyer and on and on.

As it got dark the boy got out his back pack and fumbled in it. He took something out. He said to me," I knew I could grow up to be a man, but I didn't know I could grow up to be a gay man." And with that he handed me the gun and said he wouldn't need it anymore.

My Kenya is Gone

Laughing, arm in arm, walking safely on the streets was once the way I knew my heart home. Now blown up children, terror, night blackness, no place safe, my Kenya is gone.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Harambee Sat, 5/12 5-9P

Harambee Great food, Amazing Entertainment from Award Winning... on Twitpic