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Bodega Bay Beat - March 2016


Bodega Bay Beat - March 2016

by Joan Poulos

Travel is wonderful; getting home is even better.  As I watched the rolling surf this morning, I was reminded of how beautiful the clouds were in Ethiopia; but how beautiful they are here, too.

Our trip to Ethiopia coincided with their celebration of Epiphany.  The streets were clogged with young men, dressed in white, swinging long poles and chanting.  Initially it seemed a bit onerous, until we learned that what they were chanting was “I am so happy.  Praise God.”  They were celebrating their religion; Jesus’s baptism, and the Glory of God.  The fact that they held up traffic was inconsequential, once we learned how joyful they were and how free and happy they seemed. We couldn’t help but wish that our diplomats could understand this and foster this, rather than letting ISIS foment unhappiness.

Climbing around churches (some of which are still operational) built underground in the second century to protect against the invaders made me respect the honor and respect the Ethiopians’ commitment to Christianity and their willingness to protect and honor their sacred paintings and sculptures.  The paintings inside the catacomb-like structure are bright and inspiring.  We discovered that modern painters are still donating their paintings and that some, like the one of the three kings, are still studied by Biblical scholars to attempt to fill in the gaps in our information about the times of Jesus.

One other thing that really impressed me was the commitment to keep children in school.  The very poor often made trinkets and sold them in the national park.  As long as the children were bringing money home they were not encouraged to go to school.  The Ethiopian remedy was to police their national parks and ask the rangers to prevent the children from selling to tourists.  The men were kindly but firm when they stopped the children from accosting tourists and trying to sell things. The policy also helped the hundreds of baboons which live in one national park and illegal killing (poaching)  has nearly stopped.  We weren’t able to check on how many children actually went to school, but we did see children sitting on the ground with alphabet books, trying to pronounce the letters.  Since we were obvious English speakers, we were asked often to correct how they said the letters (x was a tough one.) We tried to find out how to send some children’s books but were unable to establish a workable way to do it.  Maybe the next visitors can physically take some books and get them to the children roaming the parks. Home again.  What is happening here?  Is Bodega Bay turning into the new Riviera?  It was 77 here yesterday, and the ocean was flat and blue.  We couldn’t have predicted this.  We still need rain, though, but the two biggest dams are getting close to being full.  This is a wonderful place to live; there is always something going on. The annual cabaret is a good example.  This is a really fun evening and this year was up to a very high standard.  It is delightful to watch staid community members (like the vet and a deputy sheriff) let their hair down and participate. One of the best things is that the money earned gets donated to local charities (the Grange gets some—thanks.)

Fish Fest is April 9 and 10; the major charitable event locally. Volunteers do a wonderful job and everybody has fun. A little co-operation from nature is always appreciated.

Our own little school is doing great things—working with the marine Lab.They are now accepting students for 2016-2017 school year. Stop by and visit. The After School teacher is on campus every day after 2 p.m.

We have had a spate of worrisome phone calls lately. One mother, whose son is in Marine bootcamp, got a call “ from the Marines” saying he had been injured.  Fortunately she is  an ex-Marine (do they ever become EX?) and she smelled a rat. She knew the Marines wouldn’t do this. I, myself, got a call from the “ IRS” yesterday saying that they had tried to call me three times to warn me that the IRS was preparing  to sue me.  My response of “sue and be damned” wasn’t what they expected and they   hung up.  We also have had “Hello Grandma” calls.  Automatically you say your grandson’s name to verify, the caller then uses that name and says “X” is in trouble and needs funds to get home.  Fortunately my grandkids don’t call me Grandma, so I had an easy time reminding the caller this was a criminal offense and just hanging up.  We need to be sure that elderly people (like me) don’t get confused and reveal private data to the callers.Elections: the first primaries are over.  Admittedly I was surprised at the numbers for Sanders.  He is a nice old man, but he has NO foreign policy position and apparently not even any advisors(KQED)  He  wants us to imitate Sweden and increase taxes (at one point they were 50% in Sweden.) That might be good for medical care, but there are other issues .With the emerging power of North Korea, Iran and particularly China—we need a President who has some experience with foreign affairs.   I was surprised at the low support women showed for Hillary, but when I looked at the Wall Street Journal and saw the Marcus & Millichap full page of photos Honoring its Top Professionals for 2015 ( forty five of the most successful “professionals”) ALL MEN (and it looked to be ALL WHITE MEN.)it hit me.We have been trained to expect men leaders.  Voting for another one is not going to get women recognized as equal professionals. For once we have a choice. Use it.