Thanksgiving

Hope all y’all (that’s the plural for y’all) had a great Thanksgiving.  My daughter, her husband, three kids and two dogs drove down from Phoenix, but my cousin’s husband had the stomach flu, so they missed the feast.  Photo of the flowers she was going to bring.

I did all of the cooking and have a refrigerator full of leftovers.

This morning took the two older kids to the Arizona State Museum.  They loved the interactive sections!  Especially the Virtual Vault on a computer where one can “walk” down the aisles of the pottery collection, choose a pot, and, with the touch screen on the computer, rotate the pot to see its top, bottom, sides.

A peek into the pottery vault gives just a taste of the breadth and depth of the larger collection, while a test version of the Virtual Vault allows you to electronically access some of the vessels inside. 1

No rest for the weary

I’ve been trying to keep my house spotless for the potential buyers.  But have one coming tomorrow and frankly, will not have it quite as clean, after the kids and dogs.

Movie

The other day enjoyed a movie I got from the library – The First Grader (2011) – the true story of an 84-year-old man in Kenya who wants to learn to read, so joins a class of first graders.  He has flashbacks of the Mau Mau Rebellion against the colonial British, and I couldn’t watch some of the tortures (tastefully shown, of course) he withstood as a Mau Mau Kikuyu in the British detention camps.  (The Brits were such good colonialists.  This from Wikipedia:

Britain’s presence in Kenya was marked by dispossession and violence. During the period in which Kenya’s interior was being forcibly opened up for British settlement, an officer in the Imperial British East Africa Company asserted, “There is only one way to improve the Wakikuyu [and] that is wipe them out; I should be only too delighted to do so, but we have to depend on them for food supplies”, and colonial officers such as Richard Meinertzhagen wrote of how, on occasion, they massacred Kikuyu by the hundred.

Not that we in the US of A weren’t killing off the Native Americans to get their land a couple hundred years ago.)

Other than that, the movie is balanced with good humor and is filmed in a real Kenyan school in a remote village with no electricity with children who had never seen a movie or television, and who were only playing themselves.  It’s a National Geographic movie, but I couldn’t find out how much the townspeople were paid to be in it, only that if you watch the trailer…

You can help The First Grader make a real difference in people’s’ lives! Every time The First Grader trailer is viewed on YouTube, Capella University will make a .50 donation—up to $50,000 total— to be shared by the three great organizations described on this page. These organizations promote literacy and education around the world. 2

Will the town get electricity?  Running water?  A better road?  Or were they exploited for the financial gain of the people who made the movie?

Re the Mau Mau Rebellion, I had read Something Of Value by Robert Ruark (1955) many decades ago.  As I recall, it was told from the viewpoint of the white settlers who had taken the land, and the Kikuyu who wanted it back.  Rather gory, and somewhat biased, but I’d recommend it.

1http://www.statemuseum.arizona.edu/exhibits/pvia/index.shtml

2http://movies.nationalgeographic.com/movies/the-first-grader/charitable-partners/

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