Murray Puras American Civil War Series - Cry of Freedom - Volume 10 - To Paint A Sunrise
I made some friends through couchsurfing and will meet some locals that way when I get there for coffee. I know that sounds crazy, but couchsurfing is a very awesome and reliable! Everyone tells me I'll be fine and all that, I just can't be too careful. I researched crime reports in Antigua I've talked to 3 people so far who have lived there and they said it's all just fine and not to worry.
I really hope the volunteer housing has a lot of people there when I go. Nos Vemos! Hey, everyone. Now I never said I was going to be good at this whole blogging thing so you can't hold anything against me for my lapse in posting. But in reality, there hasn't been too much going on other than training. Granted, this post will sure make it seem like a lot has happened, but compared to the first few weeks things have settled down quite a bit. So I'll try to give you as much of a rundown as I can. It was 2 hours in the morning noon and 2 in the afternoon , sometimes with a chinese lesson during lunch.
It has been nice getting into a daily routine. The training sessions were classroom lessons taught by Isabella. It really opened my eyes to how much we take for granted with our native language. I have never learned all the subtypes of verbs, adverbs, pronouns etc. But these are things that foreign language speakers have to learn. So yeah, training really not that exciting, not too much more to talk about. So now I'm going to skip to Thursday, because Thursday was pretty significant. On thursday was the Lantern Festival, Aka.
So we only had half a day of training and spent the rest of the day walking around the city watching the preparations for the festival. We wen't to the big park in Yangshuo and they had all of these chinese lanterns hanging from the trees and light posts. I got a bunch of pictures so you'll see what I mean when I post them i'm low on HD space so I need to figure out what to do.
It was interesting because most of the shops were closed and the streets were relatively quiet. So after walking around for a few hours Isabella took the 4 of us out to dinner with the family. It was a very nice dinner and we ate most of the typical local fare, beer fish, pineapple chicken, egg plant, etc yes you read that correctly fish, Mom you will have to at least try some.
Anyways after dinner is when things got really interesting. So just like chinese new year the local government set up a station where people could make the sweet dumplings i forgot the chinese name. Of course they take all of the westerners and put them front and center so the chinese media, can take pictures of westerners doing chinese things. For a few hours I felt like I was some sort of celebrity because I couldn't walk 5 feet without some chinese person wanting to take a picture of me. Anyways, I got to make about 20 dumplings which was fun.
After we finished making dumplings we slowly walked back to the park. This was pretty difficult because for lantern festival it is considered good luck to walk about the streets. Once we finally got to the park, Isabella told us that we needed to do a one of the several thousand chinese riddles hanging about the park. Of course these riddles were all in chinese and I had no idea what the answers were. So, Isabella figured out two of them for us and then informed the local TV station that we had "solved" the riddle.
So they filmed Amelia and me walking up, acting like we knew the answer and then taking our solved riddle to the prize distribution point don't worry the reporters were all in on our scheme. So once we got to the prize booth we waited our turn to collect our winnings. Of course, the typical chinese person would have only received one. So if anyone needs some Crest. I got you covered. Shortly afterwards Isabella's friend comes up to us with even more prizes which were laundry powder and bars of soap. So we were walking back through the park and every chinese person had to tell us how impressed they were So finally to end the night we walked back down west street to watch the fireworks show.
Okay, so thats all for now. Things on my side of the world are going rather nicely. The weather has quickly warmed up and it is now around 85 to 90 degrees during the day. My friend Sarah was in town for the weekend and that was very nice. The only bad repercussion of a busy weekend is that I somehow contracted a cold.
I feel that the colds that I get here last so much longer because of all of the pollution that is in the air. On a normal day, there are always little specks of soot that often show up on your tissue when you blow your nose. Thus, you can imagine a day when you are sick. However, I am slowly healing myself and am very happy that I will not be travelling anywhere this weekend. Now, I am sure that all of you are wondering why I gave this post the name that I did. Well, there is really only one possible answer That's right, this blog is about the majestic building that is considered one of the seven wonders of the worls.
Let me tell you, when you see the Taj in person, it is even more magnificent then you can imagine it to be. There is something about looking at the building from the main courtyard, that makes you want to never take your eyes off of it. The actual excursion to the Taj Mahal was done in one day. From previous volunteers having gone to Agra before, we knew that other then the actual visit to the Taj, there is nothing much to do in the city, thus the reason we planned it as only a day trip.
We started out the day at 6AM and took the 5 hour trip to Agra. We arrived in the city around AM and got a Tuk Tuk to the center of the city. After a short breakfast, we set out on our way. Since India has such a high pollution rate, there is meter area surrounding the Taj Mahal that is blocked off from any cars or Tuk Tuks.
The only things that can get in are battery operated buses and cycle rickshaws. This is so that the beauty and whiteness of the Taj Mahal can be preserved. Getting into the actual Taj was an adventure all it's own. This includes foot covers for your shoes, to be used once inside the actual building, and a bottle of water.
We are then herded towards the long line of guests waiting to get into the compound that holds the gardens, secondary buildings and the Taj Mahal. This is perhaps one of the only places in India where it helps to be a women, has there is a ladies only line that moves significantly quicker then the gents one. After going through numerous metal detectors, we finally entered the main compound. Now this is not the the compound where one can see the Taj Mahal, this is the pre-area that houses two secondary mausoleums.
However, one can clearly see where the entrance to the garden that houses the Taj Mahal is, as there is a giant crowd around one doorway. It surly was pure madness. However, as you enter the garden, things get significantly calmer and there are numerous photo-ops. Basically the entire walk up to the Taj Mahal is a slow stop and start of trying to get the best picture.
Upon arriving at the front of the building, one puts their shoe covers on and ascents the giant stairs to wait in the 1 hour line so that you can enter the Taj. I have to say, the actual inside of the Taj Mahal was rather unimpressive, particularly for the hour line. But of course we had to say we actually went into the Magnificent Taj Mahal. Here are some interesting facts about the Taj Mahal: 1 It is actually an Islamic structure despite the belief that it is a temple built for the Hindu God Shiva. From the fort you can see the Taj Mahal, thus reminding the Shah what he would never be able to visit again.
View of entire courtyard and Taj. All those people are part of the Giant line to get inside the Taj. All in all it was a fabulous trip that could not be missed! Hope you all enjoy the photos and talk to you soon! The most memorable thing that I remember about China is the heat. It is a very disappointing thing to say, but it is the truth. Contrary to many people who are also traveling with Cultural Embrace, I have been to China twice in my lifetime, staying for a month each time in the busy city of Shanghai.
My parents, both Chinese, tell me that we have visited a considerable number of famous landmarks and cities. But I also remembered dying of the horrible, humid heat. Sweat and unquenchable thirst were constant unwelcome companions during my stays in China. As a child, I learned quickly that you could never carry along too much water. So what possessed me to leave my cool, comfortable home in the United States in July, moreover in order to travel to the hot, humid, crowded streets of Beijing? It started during my second semester of my college. I was a college freshmen at the University of South Carolina at Columbia and was currently taking Elementary Mandarin classes.
I had a number of great friends in that class, one of which included Deana Tourigny, who initially introduced me to Cultural Embrace. I was intrigued at the idea of traveling to China again, but at first I did not seriously think about it. However, after Deana enthusiastically began to talk about her trip more and more, I realized that I had picked up some of her excitement as well.
I realized that I did want to go to China. Not only would I be able to expand my limited Mandarin and experience the diverse culture of a foreign country, but I would also be teaching English to willing Chinese students. The only obstacle for me was getting approval from my obstinate father. So now here I am writing this reflection letter. Deana and I have finally purchased our plane tickets to Beijing, where we will be happily sharing our twenty-one hour flight together. As of now, with only about a week left until departure, I am fraught with excitement, curiosity, and a bit of anxiety.
The latter stems from my own insecurities and worries: Will my students like me? Will I be a good teacher? How will I survive in Beijing with only a limited vocabulary at my command? These emotions have been growing as surely as July 1, our departure date from the US, draws closer.
I only expect all these emotions will explode when I wake up at 3 AM on the said date to catch our flight. I have heard that leaving early for a trip is always a good thing, but as of now I am not so sure. Oh well. Sleeping on a plane is always so rejuvenating after all. I teach her English every day. I have to be creative with how I approach this because I do lessons where we sit and I teach, which obviously can be boring especially for a girl who just started her summer break.
I also try and have fun with her. Today we played Uno and watched Disney sing along videos. We then watched Monsters, Inc in English. I am such a good teacher. She told me that she was in Florence and wanted to visit me. So on Monday, she and another friend, Kate, hopped on a bus and came to Siena. I gave them general directions to my house, and I walked out the front door to find them looking for me in the street. It was good to see some familiar faces, and be able to talk without having to think about every word I say. Colleen and Kate had informed me that they heard that somewhere in Siena there was a head and thumb on display.
Disappointed that I had never heard of this, I went online, and sure enough, I discovered that the head and thumb of Saint Catherine of Siena are on display at the San Dominico Cathedral. I see this cathedral every day, but have never actually been inside. Naturally, we made our way to the cathedral. On our way, while strolling through the streets, we stopped to get lunch. I managed to slightly impress them with my limited Italian, and we all enjoyed our meals thoroughly. Next, we arrived at the San Dominico Cathedral.
With our main goal in mind, we set out to look for the head. After a few moments, we found it. I could not get a picture of it, but you can find a good picture on the link I posted below I know you want to see it. I found it. There was absolutely no explanation of why the head and thumb of Saint Catherine were located in this church, and all we could manage to find was a questionably trustworthy website. Despite the fact the it is a. After the cathedral we kept strolling through the streets, went to the University of Siena, the Piazza del Campo, and, naturally, got gelato.
I was asked to prepare jambalaya. I got chicken and fresh Italian sausage. Needless to say, it was a hit. It is now probably a word I will avoid to stay away from trouble. He was pretty shy when we first met, but he warmed up to me pretty quickly. He recently discovered that he can sneak up to my room and we can cuddle in my bed. My host family yells at him, but he keeps coming back. His name is Bubino Bubi for short. I have never felt more popular. We walked for about thirty minutes, and when I took him to the Piazza del Campo, I caught a girl taking a picture of me. I am currently experiencing my first Italian stomachache.
It could be because I ate two lunches, had gelato twice today, and just made myself eat dinner I know that about every other problem in the world is worse than mine. Let me explain, though. The family I work for has another girl that works for them too. Her name is Anna, and she is twenty-eight something we could talk about in the realm of my vocabulary. We actually find it funny how difficult communicating is. However, we discovered something that helps: translation software. We sit with my laptop alternating between translating from Engligh-Italian and Italian-English.
Anna cleans, takes care of Francesca, and runs errands. My job so far seems to be to play with Francesca, make sure she practices her guitar, and to teach her English, which is quite enjoyable. This morning, when I woke up and after I struggled to wash my hair in a bathtub , I decided to go for a walk around Siena and maybe grab some lunch.
I explained to Anna that I would be gone for about an hour, and it seemed like we understood each other. I had a lovely, short walk around the town. I saw the Piazza del Campo the most famous attraction in Siena , and on my walk I figured that it was time to have my first gelato. It was so delightful and I felt so cool probably all in my head. On the way back to the house, I decided that I also needed a piece of pizza or two. I ate a little bit, and then returned home, where Anna was finishing up lunch.
The thing about Italian meals is that they are served in courses. So I finished my pasta and knew that I was very full, but out of courtesy, I just kept eating. What followed were peas, bread, and chicken. I was near tears with fullness. When I woke up, it was time for Francesca to practice guitar, and then it was time for me to have my first English lesson with her.
It went surprisingly well: we practiced the alphabet, numbers, and some vocabulary. It resulted in a lot of fun and giggling. Later, after Giovanni and Lucia got home, Giovanni, Francesca, and I went for a walk to retrieve her backpack from somewhere that she had left it. It turned into a delightful tour of Siena, and Giovanni was able to show and tell me a lot about the city. We walked past the San Giovanni Cathedral that he was named after , and he showed me the house where he was born. He explained that his mother had passed away two months ago, but she had lived to be We arrived at what I gathered was a recreational-church-community center that had a beautiful garden and places for people to play sports.
Francesca grabbed her backpack, and while her dad spoke to someone, we walked in the garden. After this, we started our journey home the long way. Giovanni continued to tell me interesting things about Siena, and it was a great experience. While walking home, Francesca asked for ice cream. I was informed that dinner was left on the table. I then continued to eat half the pasta, a small salad, a few pieces of meat, and three slices of melon.
Needless to say, I regret eating all of this food. I just wanted to document my first Italian stomachache. We all know how dedicated, inspirational, and powerful Oprah is, and how much of an influence she is to our culture. Everything she touches turns to gold. Oz, and much more. How does she do it? I have subscribed to her O magazine several times in the past, but with time constraints and attention deficiencies I usually half-heartedly flip through the pages at airports or wee hours before bed.
But, there is something about her that makes me want to listen, read, and hear what she has to say. Admit it--you feel it too, right? I became your surrogate—to ask the questions, deliver the answers, learn, grow, expand my thinking, challenge my beliefs and the way I looked at the world. I listened and grew, and I know you grew along with me…Sometimes I was the teacher, and more often, you taught me.
Connecting ourselves to exchange ideas, love, opinions, beliefs, experiences, and so much more. To teach and learn. An opportunity for us to Discover the Similarities and Share the Differences. So if in Oprah we trust, who does Oprah trust? Who does she turn to and how did she get so successful? Nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me. I know I've never been alone, and you haven't either. And I know that that presence, that flow—some people call it grace—is working in my life at every single turn. And yours too, if you let it in.
It's closer than your breath, and it is yours for the asking…Even when I didn't have a name for it, I could feel the voice bigger than myself speaking to me, and all of us have that same voice. Be still and know it. You can acknowledge it or not. You can worship it or not. You can praise it, you can ignore it or you can know it. Know it. It's always there speaking to you and waiting for you to hear it in every move, in every decision.
I wait and I listen. I'm still—I wait and listen for the guidance that's greater than my meager mind. I am by no means Oprah. No matter who you are. I got enough work done to call it a day, hit the gym, and connect with friends. Sorry its been so long, I have been very distracted as of late. My computer broke, I lost friends, I gained friends, I went swimming… I smell something burning.
Moving on, last week was pretty much a blur, a lot of new work and training. I am now learning our Tibetan routes, as I started sales today yay! I have been offered a post grad job here for a few years. Definitely something to chew on. Speaking of chewing on, I had pizza this past week, it made me delirious. It was a Chinese national holiday similar to the American Labor Day.
I also tried new foods this week… chicken blood, eel, sea creature of unidentified origin Manny and I couldnt pinpoint what it was and have taken to calling it sea creature. We went to Hot Pot with a girl named Olivia who was in from Shanghai, she was a total sweetheart, and we walked all the way from dinner which was on the north west side of town, to the clubs on the south east side of town it was a surprisingly refreshing walk.
We stopped along the way to pick up a dress for 20 quai for me which looked fantastic with my sneakers, and a shirt for Manny to replace the oil splashed one he ruined at hot pot I suggested we just rub some mud and other weird stuff on it to make it look like part of the design. Either way, we had a blast and a free bottle of champagne, oh how I love being foreign.
On Saturday Manny, Florence, and I did 6 hours of ktv…. It was awesome. We did everything from Elvis to Lady Gaga. This was all for only 15 RMB per person, non-alcholic drinks included! I was a little shy at first, but I was belting out by the end of the first hour, I was belting it out like I was possessed by Whitney Huston herself. I met a bunch of local girls, which was nice. Apparently, we hit it off enough that they were asking Manny for my number.
Ah, if only I was that popular with the opposite sex. I met a ton of foreigners, many of whom I will be seeing at a concert tomorrow. I met a dance crew who was in Step Up 3 who were here from Holland for an international dance competition apparently they liked me enough, I was sought after when they went into CC. They are also the reigning champs in their competition, so mazel tov to them. I was given an oven too… a toaster oven, my boss is like you can cook cakes in this right, I shook my head and said I would try my best.
I have mosquito bites up the wazoo, it totally blows, but I got them being outdoorsy so I am okay with it. I hit the mountains to the south of Chengdu this weekend with some friends, the views were breath taking, I need to start remembering my camera, its a really bad habit of mine to not have it. I will upload some new pics at some point, let me acquire more first. I met my Chinese tutor, we have set up our first few meetings. She seems very nice and has friends at Sichuan University.
She works in a company that specializes in tutoring. Isabella referred me to her, she seems to be a very powerful woman, Isabella, that is. I will keep you updated on other things as they happen, starting with a concert tomorrow. May is a month of new beginnings I have decided, and as such, there will be a lot of changes made. Social, academic, health-wise, and breaking bad habits. With that strong note, I leave you for this evening.
A pleasure updating you all, as usual. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. There were the obvious physical changes such as sending our troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, increased airport security, restrictions of carry-on items, etc. There were mental setbacks to many Americans as a result of being violated and defenseless on our own soil.
There were emotional changes that impacted many of us to take a deeper breath to understand the meaning of life. September 11, was a pivotal turning point for my life. In fact, it was the catalyst of making me start Cultural Embrace. I wanted to create opportunities for people to travel safely and to be exposed to the authentic lifestyles abroad by immersing them within the communities they are visiting. Now that we have reached a monumental turning point with the death of Osama Bin Laden, where does that leave us?
Discover the Similarities — Share the Differences. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people…But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to.
That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place. Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Although I had A-Ha! My A-Ha! I did it. Just, make it happen. My A-ha! I was feeling homesick I then expressed my need to travel back here to my parents. I figured it would be a great internship opportunity, as well as a great way to learn Chinese. I also think its a good way to gradually enter into the "real world" and experience things on my own. What a great decision it was! I absolutely enjoy it here, I have made many new friends and acquaintances, which is always refreshing especially if it is something you accomplish entirely on your own. That aside, I landed in the perfect office.
Soon I will begin training to learn how to do basic travel sales, and it sounds like I will soon be putting my advertising skills to good use. This is one a-ha moment I will never regret or forget! Traveling through eighty countries has provided me with plenty of A-Ha!
I was raised as a first generation Chinese-American in a middle-class, multi-cultural suburb outside of D. When I went to China in , most of the 1. Most of the buildings were drab, dull Socialist styled cement buildings, which didn't gain any appeal under the polluted skies. Vehicle variety consisted of millions of bikes, yellow breadbox taxis, and honking buses that stopped at every street corner to squeeze another dozen plus people.
Embracing the pushy crowds, loud talking, spitting, chugging bai jiu, learning to hover and squat over Chinese toilets, and claiming a spare seat on a hard seat train ride were just basic examples of a mile long list of A-Ha! But the best lessons that I learned while teaching abroad was how easy and fortunate my life was in America.
It was an average teaching day and I started my class with an open discussion topic. I asked my students what their goals were and their plans upon graduation. When I asked for voluntary students to respond, Dove stood up and answered that she would return back to her home town, live with her family, and work at the local factory until marriage.
I thought Dove was joking since she was a bright and ambitious student, as well as the class clown. I tried to get her to think broader and answer the question seriously of what her plans would be, but Dove scratched her head and said that was the truth. This was her plan and path. Most of my Chinese students were assigned what college they would attend, what major to study, and what job they would have upon graduation based on their test scores and government control.
Only the most prominent or smartest Chinese would be able to change their hukou a national residence card and obtain jobs to live outside their birth city. Living in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai were big dreams for them; and visiting a Western country like America was an unrealistic fantasy. Fortunately, times have certainly changed, but it's amazing this was just twelve years ago.
It has given me a new perspective and compassion for others, but more importantly, an appreciation of the opportunities and freedom available to me. For me, traveling to Africa on a volunteer service trip was something I dreamt about for years. However, in February of I was laid off from my job which gave me the availability to go to Kenya for an extended amount of time but made the money part even harder. I immediately started to pray asking God that if His will was for me to go that He help get me there.
The money actually came from a savings account my Grandmother set aside before she died in No one knew about this money. It was the most amazing time of my life. I knew I needed to see the world and I love travelling. Now, my husband and I are happily working and living in China, almost 3 years! I've always been very interested in people. Cultures, food, religion, customs have always fasinated me. China for one, has such a deep culture and long history. Since my heritage is part Chinese, I find it even more important to know my roots. Life back home in Tacoma, WA.
I grew up with Tacoma, a good size city south of Seattle. I love my home for many reasons. Diversity in language, culture and life. All my friends have such unique stories. That's where education starts; is by getting to know one another. That's when we grow as individuals and a community. Being open, patient, and non-judgemental is crucial to getting to know others. I did take a leap of fatih, a big leap when I decided to come to China. At the time, by myself with limited language ability. But what kept me going was my determination to learn, to grow in myself, and to expand my future.
My risks, no return! Travelling abroad is huge risk, especially when you have no idea for me how to teach, or what to expect. I got myself this far. No turning back! A place I can always come back to with open doors and great opportunities. I decided on sunday morning to go to Yangshuo. I kinda went to yangshuo out of necessity but I definitely was excited to head back to my old stomping grounds! Because of the holiday the trains were packed so I had to wait an hour to catch one of the slowest trains to Guilin.
It was mildly frustrating but I still managed to get there. So then in Guilin I wanted to catch the express bus which left from the bus station a few minutes down the road. For whatever reason I couldn't find the station, to only find out that the last express bus left at 6. So after wasting away an hour I ended up taking the normal bus that left from the train station.
I finally arrived in Yangshuo at around and made my way to the school as fast as I could. It was really exciting to see all my old friends back at the school. So from there we went to the grand reopening of the Stone Rose. It was pretty fun seeing how different the place looks from before. The weekend in Yangshuo wasn't the most exciting but it was just good to spend time with the people there. I also talked to Isabella for some time about my options for staying in China longer. So that was a very useful conversation. On that note this is something I really have been thinking a lot about recently.
I am really enjoying my time here and could see myself here for a year.
The school really wants me to stay and I would get paid more. But if I did stay that means I would miss coaching cross country this fall, something I really really enjoyed last year. Right now I am siding on staying longer because I feel once I leave China, It will be quite a long time until I come back.
Also, I think I'll need more time to work on the language. So my return trip was kinda funny, looking back at it. On the bus back to the train station I sat next to this chinese girl, and I talked to her for a few minutes but then i dosed off to sleep, waking up about 5 minutes from the station. So just before we arrive, she does a totally chinese thing. She gives me her phone and says "can we make friends" okay, she wants my cellphone number. But when I was talking to her she said that she lives in Nanning. So will I ever talk to her again? Regardless I gave her my number anyways and I have hers, never to be used.
So I go to buy my ticket at the train station for the train that leaves in 15 minutes, a woman comes up to me trying to sell me her ticket. I look at it and it seemed legit, but I didnt want to buy it from her because you never know. I don't know why I didn't pull the "i cant speak chinese, I dont understand you" card.
Anyways my ticket ended up being a standing room only ticket the lady's was too. So when I got on the train I wandered around for a bit and ended up sitting on a step. This wasn't all that bad since this was only a 2 hour train back to liuzhou. So I arrive home and call it an early night, exhausted from the long weekend of running around until the wee hours of the morning. So this week was a 3 day week which was awesome. But one of the most terrifying things happened to me in class on friday actually its the week before but i'm telling it to you now. So I'm teaching my lesson and then all of a sudden my phone starts ringing.
Not too loud, or anything and typically this is NBD but then a group of girls start laughing in the corner. This had potential to be one of the worst things ever. I had no idea how they got it and they wouldn't tell me. But I do have a pretty good theory they went through their written english teacher's phone. Okay, so I now that i'm up to speed I will explain what tomb sweeping day is. Tomb Sweeping Day is a holiday where Chinese family go visit the tombs of their ancestors. Of course, they light off firecrackers to scare the bad spirits away. At first I thought this was just a pretty basic holiday, but then on the train ride back to Liuzhou I was thinking about what if we had this.
To make a point of going to visit the ones who have passed before us. Then I realized that I have never visited my Grandfathers grave. He died almost 5 years ago and the last time I was there was at his funeral. Yeah, it's about a 6 hour drive away but Chinese people will take train rides that are exponentially longer just to clean the tomb of their ancestors. Just some food for thought. Okay, to cap off this blog I think I'm going to try to change the tone of it a bit. I think I will write more about chinese culture and traditions and so on. I felt this blog post was mostly about nightlife and whatnot.
I am doing a lot more than that, but it just feels like more day-to-day things like going running, teaching lessons and stuff that just doesn't seem to noteworthy. I will try to think of things but If you have any specific questions about things you want to hear, let me know! I have been living in Guatemala for 3 months now and have observed a great many things. Some differences are quite obvious and others more subtle. It has been interesting to try and get deep enough into the culture that I am able to actually see things from their perspective.
The cultural differences only seem so strange because I am living in a foreign land with the same set of eyes from my homeland. I noticed right away that coffee is far more popular than in the US. Nearly everyone drinks coffee everyday and it is not unusual to drink it at every meal. I have observed this in far more places than just my host family and have been told it is common here. Yes, even children of six years of age here are drinking coffee. I told her that it was crazy in the US for someone of that age to drink coffee.
I have been astonished by this since I noticed this phenomenon while living with various host families. It suddenly occurred to me that my explanation was not sound. I was about to respond that giving caffeine and to a kid of that age is not a good idea. But before I released that thought from my mouth I processed the other side of the equation. What do we give our kids to drink in the US? Suddenly my case was lost, before I even spoke. It was this moment when I realized the differences are only odd to me because they are just that…differences.
This was my revelation of the month. It is unfair to evaluate what you observe in a culture or society from the standpoint of a different culture. I will be away from my culture for several more months and I am very curious to see what I find strange back home once I return. I have read dozens of books, blogs, and Oprah magazine articles on this subject; watched movies and documentaries addressing this theme; taken workshops at spiritual retreat centers to discover the meaning; and discussed this topic with most of my close friends and family members to share an opinion or two.
What am I talking about? Sorry, this blog is not intended to define what happiness means. I wish I could. But according to Wikipedia, " Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. How would we react if there was some formula that could measure it?
Would we be happier knowing where we are compared to others on the happy scale? Or be more competitive? But then who would we be measuring and comparing it too? I often think of the impoverished areas that I have visited around the world and what drives me to travel and serve others. For example, the villages that I recently visited for Cultural Embrace's HUG projects in Guatemala and South Africa are so poor with very little resources yet the people and children seem happier in comparison to a general community in the States.
Happiness means different things to different people. Some people are happy with consumed goods like cars, jewelry, homes, clothes, shoes, food, wine, etc; some people only need their family and loved ones; some embrace happiness through spirituality; some through activities ie: sports, music, arts, traveling, etc. Do we need it all? A little bit? A lot? I guess we should only grade our happiness within our own scale and terms.
Yikes, it happens. No way?! Not me! Then who? Hello Everyone, About three weeks ago I went to the city of Udaipur. This is a city in Rajasthan about 9 hours South of Jaipur. We spent 3 days there and I just feel in love with it. It was so much calmer then Jaipur and I felt that the relaxed way of life was contagious. It is primarily a Muslim city, so I heard the call to prayer five times a day and this made me nostalgic for Niger.
This made the 9 hour trip 13 and we were extremely exhausted when we finally rolled up to Jaipur at 6AM. The funny thing was that, while we were getting anxious and trying to figure out what was going on, as nobody on the bus spoke English, the Indians were calm as could be. I guess this happens often here. In any event, I really enjoyed the trip and would love to visit again. Me in my Sari before the wedding. If you look closely you can see that my left arm has Henna on it! They have always wanted to travel abroad, and took the past two years to work, save, and plan for their international adventure.
Their plans fluctuated for awhile since they had a long list of places they wanted to go, but their final decisions are to: serve local children at orphanages in Uganda, and have some fun surfing and traveling around while working to make ends meet in Australia. I asked if they had any advice to give other travelers. The main reason most people travel is to experience new things, right?
You are out of your comfort zone, and in a new environment, but that is the beauty of traveling! Embrace the world, discover the similarities, and share the differences. Jill works in the hospitality industry and Bryan is a history teacher, so serving and helping others are natural gifts of theirs. Okay, last night, on my way back to school I remembered that I completely forgot to talk about one of the most notable things we did in Fengyang.
Oil tea. For the three nights we were there, Isabella, our Cultural Embrace local coordinator, had us go out to three different villagers homes to drink oil tea with them. We did this as a cultural exchange kind of experience and it was quite enjoyable At each house the drink of choice is a concauction called "You Cha" pronounces yo cha, for those not familiar with chinese pinyin.
You cha means "Oil Tea", and is probably the most bitter thing I have ever consumed. After they have been cooking for a while you hammer the ingredients with a wooden hammer and then place everything in a sieve and run hot water through it. Out comes a coffee and cream looking liquid which then is served in a bowl with puffed rice on top. The flavor when it first hits your tongue isn't that bad, but once it hits the bitter zone in the back your taste buds explode with the most intense bitter taste ever. I generally like bitter beers, IPA's and the lot, bit this is close to unbearable.
Needless to say I think its an acquired taste. So I got to sample three different varieties of oil tea because I went to three different houses and everyone makes it a little differently. The first house is what I'm basing everything off of and it was quite bitter but the middle of the three. The second was the most palatable, not too bitter. The third house was very bitter and pretty rough. Oddly, the third place is the only house where I had more than one bowl.
This could be due to the fact that the third house was a larger family and there were three chinese guys that were quite entertaining and quite hospitable. By in large, the chinese people know that we don't like oil tea. I think they understand that its not an insult to them at all but this stuff is really hard to drink if you have not acquired the taste for it.
In the third house I the three guys picked this up and offered us some Li Qian beer coming in at a whopping 3. So most of us took them up on the offer. Then shortly later they pulled out Chinese rice wine. This is another one of those acquired taste things. The rice wine we had essentially tasted like straight vodka, quite noxious. Luckily they gave us only little bits at a time so it wasn't too hard to put down. So yeah! And for those who are concerned, today started my official teacher training so that took the whole day, and now we're going to town to go out to eat because its Jarone, and Wies' last night in Yangshuo : Hope you're having a good morning America!
How many times did I hear it What on earth made me think that a few days would be enough?! Oh, what I would give to go back! But can't focus on what I missed, this is about what I did see and do I also spoiled myself with a proper hotel room after 3 days on the train and it was absolutely luxurious!
I moved into the hostel the next day and met three wonderful roomates from Holland, Switzerland, and Canada so it distracted me from the luxury that is enjoyed by the other half! This was apparently Heath Ledger's favorite beach and I had no doubt why that would be after seeing itwith its crystal clear water, white sand beaches, grass ledges overlooking the beach so you can avoid sand if so inclined and light breeze making for the perfect view over dinner. One thing that was a completely unique experience that I'm so glad I did was a visit to Rottnest Island.
This island is vehicle free other than its tourist bus, trash truck, and train. Everyone gets around by bike and you can ride the 22 km around the entire perimeter of the island, including stopping off at beaches along the shores for snorkeling. The island is pretty remote and I hadn't packed enough water so I didn't make it around the entire island but was thoroughly impressed with what I did see.
There are no more than residents on the island and the longest resident has only lived there for 7 years. There is a primary school on the island with 1 teacher and 1 headmaster. There are cabins that can be rented and a few small shops and a grocery for you to get the basics you may need. There was very little that was touristy about this island other than the non-stop ferries bringing people over from the mainland, however I'm not sure where everyone went because there would be miles that I wouldn't see anyone at all I spent a day wandering through Kings Park with a perfect view of the city and walked through the treetops on an especially beautiful day.
This park is so easy to just completely lose track of time as there is something around each turn to draw you in and it is so enticing to just relax in the peacefulness of it all. On my last day I went down to Freemantle to check out their markets and stumbled into a didgeridoo Aboriginal instrument class where they wouldn't take no for an answer. I learned to "speak" and make a few of the common animal noises. Thankfully there were 3 others in the class were just as bad as I was so we wound up having a great time and weren't too embarrassed to give it our all.
The instructor was very generous with his praise and by the end of it had us convinced that we were all quite good! Maybe I'll have to buy my own and have it shipped home Working abroad takes you out of your comfort zone, bolsters your language knowledge, and provides a delightful vacation-ambiance as an alternative to the zombie-like daily grind of a job.
We specialize in matching your skills, education, and goals with available opportunities in foreign companies. When I was seeking out internships, I took virtually every offer that came my way, and ended up with a diverse and pretty useless sampling of bankruptcy law, accounting, editing, and public relations. Love comes in all shapes, sizes, forms, and ways. And it comes when you least expect it.
This month's theme is focused on "Love" and I've been featuring current, past, and future participants that have put a special accent on the word 'embrace' of Cultural Embrace! Meet Kimya. I remember working with her to organize a meaningful "break" from her busy professional work and personal schedule in She wanted to go abroad to learn Spanish, and we set her up to do just that in Barcelona.
In Barcelona, she met a Norwegian, Morten, who was struck by her wonderful American charm. She extended her stay in Spain, and then the two maintained a long-distance relationship after she returned back to the States. With a few visits in between, the two got married in Punta Cana in December, Morten relocated and moved to New York, and last fall, they adopted a beautiful little girl! My inference is that the year in St. Petersburg was a very full and happy one. There was a British colony to which Mr. Carruthers acted as chaplain, and which afforded, no doubt, plenty of agreeable society.
There was a magnificent capital, the crown of Russian civilization, palaces, churches, art, with the endless spectacle of animated movement and military pageantry in the streets. Petersburg was Russia; and Russia, was what they had to study, and needed to understand. Moreover there was at that time, , much to give them stimulus and hope with respect to their future. Alexander I, then emperor, was a devout man.
Of this fact Dr. Carruthers retained a cordial remembrance to his latest years. I vividly recall the impressive manner with which he once told me of his visiting the Winter Palace, coming into an apartment where the books attracted his attention, - and how the usher filled with awe, and under his breath, remarked: - "It's his prayer-room.
Rather encouraging than otherwise were the signs at this time. It was only the previous year, , that Stephen Grellet, a Frenchman of rank, who came to America in the revolutionary troubles, was successful in mercantile pursuits, and had become withal a leading light in the society of Friends, being on one of his repeated religious visits in Europe, passed six months in Russia. Through prince Galitzin, the minister of religion in the imperial government, this good man was allowed many interviews with the emperor; interviews in which the etiquette of the court was dispensed with, while the majesty of God and the brotherhood of man governed all their conversation.
In the life of Stephen Grellet, by William Guest, there are extracts from his journal and letters, which throw light upon what was doing in a religious way at this time. Stephen Grellet visited the poor and the prisoners, spoke with confidence on behalf of the oppressed to the emperor, who on his part manifested the deepest interest in the reformation of abuses and the advancement of the people in knowledge and virtue.
Stephen Grellet went to see Michael the metropolitan of the Greek church; and thence to visit Philaret, an archbishop and vicar of the metropolitan, both inhabiting the monastery called Alexander Nevsky, and had much brotherly and edifying talk with them, explaining at length the peculiar views of the Friends with respect to the church and sacraments. Of Philaret our Friend says:He is a man of learning, acquainted with most of the ancient and modern oriental languages; but he bears the marks of great humility, and is considered a man of piety and spiritual mindedness.
I have heard Dr. Carruthers say very much the same thing of one whom he did not name. Philaret said: All these forms, ceremonies, and ordinances, that have been introduced into the churches, though they be performed with ever so much sincerity and devotion, can only be as the law was to the Jews, a school-master to bring us to Christ. But perhaps the most noteworthy example of an efficacious Christian ministry mentioned by Stephen Grellet was that of Daniel Wheeler, an English Friend, who, with a great feeling for.
It was not, said the Emperor, the cultivation of morasses, nor any outward object that led me to wish to have some of your Friends come and settle here, but a desire that by their genuine piety and uprightness in life and conversation, an example might be set before my people for them to imitate; and your friend Wheeler sets such an example. A benevolent imperial control, a wise ecclesiastical moderation, such as Stephen Grellet found some assurance of at the summit of society in Russia, was needed as a protection to any spiritual initiative on behalf of the semi-barbarous populations of that vast realm.
We know now that the reactionary movement had already set in, and that Alexander was haunted with rumors of revolution and terrors of assassination, which continued to aggravate his personal anxieties and to confuse his more liberal purposes up to the hour of his death in But much of what we know now was then hidden, and men stood ready to enter into fields that seemed at least open to effort, if not very promising as to results. The Scottish society, however, was the more important and privileged agency.
Their first mission was established in Karsass, Asiatic Russia, in They obtained a large grant of land, fourteen thousand acres, and larger liberties than were accorded to their Moravian brethren. Their converts were allowed to " embrace the religion of the colony, and become members of it.
Scotch missionaries redeemed native youths from slavery, schooled them in the Turkish and English languages, taught them the principles of Christianity, and trained them in useful arts.http://multiphp-nginx.prometstaging.com
Książkiewicz Janusz. Zakład tapicerski
In a printing press was sent out. The New Testament was printed in Turkish, and tracts in the Tartar language. In they extended their operations to Astrakhan and 0 renberg. At Astrakhan a press was set up, which. These books were carried into Persia by merchants trading between that country and Russia. And in four thousand tracts and five thousand Testaments were issued, which found their way by means of Mohammedan merchants and pilgrims, with some help of Brahmins and Jews, to Bagdad, Persia, Bokhara, and even China.
And if we reflect that here was a work of tried methods, honorable record, and definite programme, sustained by the best minds and hearts at home, we shall not be disposed to tax our devoted young pair with an ill-considered enthusiasm in embarking their lives in so benevolent an effort. The year in St. Petersburg was of course, so much strenuous preparation for coming trials.
It gained them a comfortable familiarity with the Russian language. Carruthers in reply to an inquiry I once made of him, said that he did not regard this language as a difficult one; which would infer that he must have acquired it with unusual facility. They got their initiation into the operations of the Bible House, and learned what they had to look for from St. Petersburg as a center of intelligence and base of supplies. They gained friends, and the courage that comes of friendship. It was equally a part of their mission, however, before reaching their contemplated field of permanent labor, to visit the missionary headquarters in Astrakhan.
What might they not learn there of the people whom they were to teach, and of the social and religious prejudices they would encounter, of different dialects to be grappled with, or ethnical peculiarities to be conciliated, of climate and means of living, of plain laws of health and healing? Their way to the Crimea, therefore, was by canals from the Neva to the Volga, and so down to that great delta opening out into the Caspian sea, where on an island the city of Astrakhan is situated:- a voyage of between two and three thousand verststhe verst is two-thirds of a mile - which occupied seventy-four days, with no lack of moving accidents by flood and field.
But they reached their haven at last, and in the missionary house they once more found safety and comfort. The departure from St. Petersburg was on the eleventh of August, It would take too long to tell how their boat began to leak and they were compelled to pass a night under the stars on shore; how great rocks and deep gulfs threatened their destruction in one place, and in another the water spread out into shallows that were hardly enough to keep them afloat; what difficulties they had with the boat's captain on account of his drunkenness and his debts, till they were compelled to advance money and take possession of the craft, and by and by to have the captain arrested and replaced by another.
But it is much to our purpose to know that they had great delight in the eagerness with which their tracts and Testaments were purchased by those who could read, and in the wondering attention given by others to what was read out to them. The voyage itself was a missionary journey.
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At places where they were detained their boat was crowded with all classes of people eager for Bibles, Testaments and tracts. Their progress was enlivened with delightful and memorable scenes of this sort. At Tikhvin, the head-man of the town sent them a present of a large can of milk on their arrival. The boy who brought it was given a tract; and very soon returned requesting the loan of a Bible for his parents to read. A captain in the army wanted to buy a Bible. There would be a fresh and eloquent voice to awaken all the associations of Scottish Christianity in the minds of those who had lived long at this frontier station; and, what was of the most pressing urgency, there was the study of the Tartar language.
Six months of preliminary work at this old city, where Hindoos and Persians mingled with Tartars and oriental Christians, where strange. They left Astrakhan Tuesday the sixteenth of April, , and in three weeks reached Baktchiserai, a Tartar town in the Crimea, which appears to have been their destination from the first. The journey was upon the whole delightful. The country was flat, wonderfully green and fertile; herds of cattle, the riches of the Cossacks, abounded; towns were well-built and cleanly; the houses often large and commodious; the Cossacks of the Don they found, contrary to their expectation, to be of pleasing address and hospitable disposition; there were walls, burial-places, triumphal arches, that told of other times; and, what was of special importance to them, there was a well-regulated system of post-stations, so that having proceeded a certain distance they were sure of finding relays of horses, and pursuing their journey without delay.
The winds were sharp enough to drive away the mosquitoes, while the manners and costumes of the people afforded a daily study. They did not omit to cultivate the acquaintance of those who came to see them. When their carriage, which I take to have answered the purpose not only of transportation but of a small house as well, was surrounded by curious visitors, they were asked, "can you read? One man, who kept the horses at a station, wanted to know " If there was not a book, in which God revealed himself to us.
Carruthers went one afternoon to visit some Tartars. He was well received and drank tea with them. They said "We know you give away books, and we suppose you are going to the Crimea to convert the Tartars there. Here they passed a Sunday. Rahm, their good friends, had them to dinner with the bishop of the place and several of the brethren. Their intercourse was most edifying. Carruthers gave at least two lectures in Portland on the Don Cossacks, the matter of which he laid up in this journey.
Not only was the valley of the Don fertile, and beautiful in its vegetation, but the overflow of the river at the time gave aspects of peculiar picturesqueness,-large expanses of water, in which islands of flowers and shrubbery with here and there a cottage, seemed to float as in a summer sea. The Cossack capital, Tcherkask, excited special admiration. It was situated upon an eminence, the approach to which was through a double row of trees skirted with water; they passed a fine triumphal arch, and on reaching the top of the hill beheld a most beautiful town:houses all good, many elegant, the interiors which they saw quite in keeping with what met the eye upon the street -not even an English house could surpass them for cleanliness and neatness.
The people were frank, open and obliging; partly it was thought because they had their own laws, and paid no taxes to the imperial government, unless it might be in the way of military service. Similar descriptions, however, are frequent. The journey proceeds through a country remarkably well-inhabited, abounding in all the tokens of civilized society and happy household life.
And what is perhaps quite as noteworthy, I cannot recall the mention of a single town or village of emphatically repulsive character. The inhabitants, no matter of what race, at that time did not represent an " empire of the discontented. Here two seas almost meet, and a wall across the narrow isthmus marks what no longer ago than was the boundary between Russia and a Turkish province, the ancient Tauric Peninsula, once inhabited by the Cimmerians, from whom the name Crimea is a distinct legacy to our modern world.
Early one morning, before breakfast, our missionary invaders went out to examine this wall and gateway, through which they peacefully passed a little later, and traveled southward over the dreary steppe, with nothing more interesting than an Arme. But soon there was a change. Setting off once more at daybreak, they saw to the left a range of beautiful mountains,- one of great height, and flat at the top. They crossed the river Selghir, then dried up to a rivulet, and the country became more and more interesting as they went on.
Mountains on mountains rose before them to the left, and to the right were Tartar villages and patches of cultivated ground. Simferopol was reached, a town in excellent order, well built, in a charming valley surrounded by hills. Much popular interest and inquiry greeted the strangers. Was Mr. Carruthers an officer? Passing through a pleasant plain, with a few poplars growing upon it, and some poor cottages, they suddenly turned to the left, and all at once the town was presented to their view.
In a deep vale, and climbing the side of a steep hill, almost every house having a small garden,- in the gardens poplars and other trees, - here was their future home. This was the end of their journey. Here they set to work, first to know the place and to find a house. In a few days they were established in a pleasant part of the city, with room enough for their two friends, Dr. Ross and Mr. Glen, whom they were looking for to share their labors, at least for a while. The name Baktchiserai is made up of two words, and signifies "garden-palace. It is twenty miles southwesterly from Simferepol, and about the same distance northeasterly from Sevastopol.
The inhabitants of the Crimea are for the most part Tartars, with considerable numbers, however, of Russians, Germans, Armenians, Gypsies, and Jews. The climate is one of extremes and caprices, with a good share of delightful weather. The hill country abounds in striking scenery, and is rich in vegetation and wild animals. The Tartars of the hills pique themselves on their undiluted descent from the Mongols who took possession of the country under Genghis Khan about the year In the Crimea came into possession of a race of Khans of the family of Genghis.
But these were subjected by the Ottoman Turks, and so continued till they regained their independence nominally through the intervention of Catherine II of Russia, in , only to be swallowed up in that empire ten years afterward. The Tartars are all Mohammedans. A missionary in the Crimea would touch upon many historic problems, and find time to examine monuments of great archaeological significance. A monastery, an old fortress, relics of Venetian and Genoese commercial enterprise, and the like, - these are writings which he who runs may read, and which strangers studying a country and its people would by no means neglect.
The Tartar character was well spoken of for sobriety, chastity, cleanliness and hospitality. Yet their intelligence was narrow, and not easily accessible to new ideas; their religion most oppugnant to change. But it is in human nature slowly and secretly to assimilate larger notions of life; and might not some even of the Tartars be roused to a sudden energy of conviction, and constitute the nucleus of a church, that should give a new meaning and lustre to the Christian name?
Might not this be the day of their visitation - not by the word only, but by the power and liberty of the Christian faith? Carruthers had begun to preach to the Tartars in Astrakhan; and must have made very considerable progress in the language. In May, , he was in the Crimea.
Some early tours of investigation were enlivened by the assistance of Dr. Glen from Astrakhan, as well as of Dr. Peterson and Dr. Henderson from St. But these pleasant preliminaries were soon over, and our missionary household was left alone. They became the church in the wilderness. Their house was the sanctuary of reformed Christianity. There the German or the Moravian missionary on his journey found a home. The British VOL. The kingdom of heaven came with children that were born to them; - one of whom, a son, was given a place of burial in the venerable monastery of St.
No vicissitudes of personal experience could withdraw them from the great purpose of their apostleship. Their excursions of pleasure, their hours of rest or intentional recreation, their worship on the Lord's Day, according to the doctrine and rite of their fathers, - all were composed to the unity of their high service. Some medical knowledge, especially the use of Peruvian bark in the fever season, helped the missionary's credit with the suffering people.
Even the plan of bringing young men into a household relation with the teacher, the characteristic feature of Bishop Patteson's efforts in the Melanesian mission, was not untried. The main reliance, however, was at first upon perpetual personal contact and conversation with all sorts and conditions of men, together with the distribution of the Scriptures, and tracts intended to illustrate the Scriptures.
Week after week and month after month the missionary journeyed over mountains and through valleys, visiting all the Tartar villages, and seeking to bring his message to every mind. From each journey he came back at length, usually on a Saturday evening, sometimes very late and very weary, to the home and holy rest - type of their eternal felicity. Then anxieties were allayed, cares dismissed, there was solemn and sweet discourse, with the celebration of sacred ordinances.
Afterward another departure to preach the Gospel in other villages also, since for that purpose he was come. Carruthers was no whit behind her husband in missionary zeal; though her efforts were more limited by household preoccupations. She studied persistently, and at length she spoke both Russian and Turkish fluently.
She was devoted to her Tartar women, ministered to them in their sickness with all her resources of domestic medicine; taught them to sew, and had store of thimbles and needles to distribute among them; and was most happy, when she so far prevailed against the jealousy of the husbands as to be allowed to teach the children in a Tartar house, since they were not permitted to come to her own.
She had two. In that semibarbarous society the prying curiosity of the women was often annoying; and their ceremonious hospitalities were apt to be profuse in proportion to their hope of gifts in return. Once in their carriage Mrs. Carruthers was writing in her notebook, when the women who came to see her went into a sad' panic under the impression that she was reporting something about them, which obliged her to desist. This is very like Mr.
Hare's quite recent complaint that lie could not make sketches for the illustration of his book of travels, even in the more civilized parts of Russia, without constant liability to interruption from the police. The obstructions they met were at first not generally rude, but were such as to allow them no rest.
They were forever on a skirmish line with very little assurance of support. Once, for example, without warning, Mr. Carruthers was refused the customary permit or passport, which enabled him to obtain transportation and entertainment in his journeyings. But on visiting the governor of the province, and stating his case, the passport was civilly accorded.
Again, the Testaments he had distributed in a village were all packed, sealed and sent to the police with the statement that they were not wanted. But soon came a counter statement to the effect that the books were taken away from their owners by the chief men of the village, and that they were wanted. Then the books were returned. Their heaviest griefs were due to disappointment in persons of whom they had the best expectations.
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Their disciples could not endure the relentless ostracism which threatened all their prospects in life; and did not make a bold stand against more or less malicious misrepresentations that were calculated to alienate the people, and to raise suspicion in the authorities. The journal makes early and repeated references to a certain " Sultan and Sultana," so-called, of whom high hopes were entertained, only to be disappointed. But who and what were the " Sultan and Sultana," the journal had no occasion to say. The history of the Scottish mission, however, given in Newcomb's Cyclopaedia, sup.
It was his defection, doubtless, and that of his wife, which was a great blow to our missionaries on their very arrival. They saw much of these persons in the Crimea, but found them entirely alienated from their Christian profession. Similarly in , when the reactionary movement had gathered force in St. Petersburg, and all the missionaries were in the deepest discouragement, it is noted that "the government has ordered Kazem Bey to enter the service.
Ile was the son of a Mohammedan judge; but in consequence of his discussions with the missionaries came to prefer Christianity to Mohammedism. Notwithstanding the opposition of his friends he obtained from the emperor Alexander, through prince Galitzin, permission to be baptized by those who had been instrumental in his conversion, - instead of by the Greek archbishop, according to law. He was afterward treated with great harshness by the Russian government of the Caucasus; especially was compelled in to enter the Russian service, and ordered to refrain from co-operating in any way with the missionaries.
This in fact signified the end of missionary operations. But to the last, Mr. Carruthers continued his journeying and preaching in the villages with unabated diligence. In October, , news came from the Moravians at Sarepta, that the government had forbidden them to baptize, or even to explain the Scriptures, which they were permitted to distribute. Baptism and instruction were for the holy Synod. The article on missions in the "Encyclopaedia Americana," noticing these interferences with the Moravians goes on to say that still " the missionary Carruthers exerted himself with great zeal for the conversion of the Tartars in the Crimea.
The missionary Carruthers actnally received from the emperor permission to baptize. To one the missionary was able to give a paper which made him a free man. Such success drew audience and attention from Greeks and Tartars. At length it seemed to our pioneers perhaps that they might organize their movement without shunning observation; that even the jealous dignitaries, who looked on not unmoved by the elevated spirit and eloquent speech of the foreign preacher, might be drawn into respectful sympathy with his aims. But no. From that moment it was open war.
The church spoke, and the people obeyed, whether Christians or Moslems. Hospitable attentions, civil discussions, modest references to teachers and scriptures that were good enough for them, liberal hopes for the welfare of all men who were faithful to what was given them, deferential indifference and compliments to the missionary's learning, - all these polite forms began to give place to quite other expressions.
Doors closed, children avoided the teacher they had been delighted to meet, one woman ran to warn another of danger if she was seen talking too freely with the enemy, countenances were averted and men nodded or shrugged their shoulders in a sinister way when the missionary appeared.
A truculent non-intercourse was more and more declared not without threats of violence and hints of prosecution, while converts were tempted to make their peace with society in general by gratuitous zeal in decrying what they had but just now promised to support. In a word, the solid, impenetrable, popular will held on its accustomed way with the slow, resistless movement of a glacier.
The fatal year was Alexander died. Prince Galitzin resigned his place as minister of religion, in consequence of the powerful opposition raised against the Bible Society. The secretary of this society was put upon his trial in the criminal court, for allowing a book to be published in which were some reflections deemed unfavorable to the doctrine of the Greek church, with reference to the Virgin Mary.
The Tartar version of the Old Testament, nearly completed, was required to be submitted to three. These facts, together with the growing indifference or opposition of the native tribes, determined not only the Moravians, but the Scottish society also, to withdraw their forces. And this was done, so far as I can judge, with the perfect concurrence of both missionaries in Russia and directors at home.
I have sketched the general features of this missionary episode with a free hand, not piecing together solid extracts from the record, and have studied sobriety rather than intensity of coloring. This plan seemed best not only by reason of the necessary limits which I was bound to observe, but also as affording the needed security against taking any liberty with those sacred privacies of the closet and the home, that are naturally interwoven with elements that belong to history in a journal like the one from which I have drawn.
Back again over the steppe they took their way. In a little while it began to blow a hurricane. The dust and smoke obscured the sun. They could with difficulty avoid collision with the numerous carts that met them. But at last they came again to the gate of the Crimea, showed their passports, passed over the bridge, and bade adieu to the ancient peninsula forever, with this retrospective review taken from Mrs.
Carruthers' journal:It is but little more than four years since we entered it, but with very different feelings from what we have today. Then they were sanguine; now they are cast down. I well remember when we entered it my spirits were quite elevated, when Mr. Carruthers remarked, "Well, if I do my duty here I expect much sorrow,"-and in reality these words have been realized. Their course was through the magnificent valley of the Dnieper for a considerable distance; and many were the thriving and well-built towns they passed.
The storm and stress of the heated weather, with casualties incident to bad roads they had to reckon with; yet the journey was one of great interest, and on the sixth of July they entered Moscow, thankful that two-thirds of the way to St. Petersburg had been achieved in perfect safety. A few words without date note their arrival at St. Petersburg, and their welcome at the Bible house from Dr. Peterson and other friends. Johnston, an uncle -the same no doubt who a few years before was tutor to his nephew and the boy Carlyle; of a short passage to Liverpool by steam packet ending in joyful reunion with kindred and friends.
Great as may have been the disappointment at the result of the Crimean mission, the missionaries were far from representing it a failure. They returned with corrected judgments, proved principles, tried abilities, exalted motives, in short with characters disciplined and demonstrated by faithfulness to the demands of a difficult and dangerous service. They had suffered in health, they knew the cost of learning strange languages, they had to care for the future of children; and though the Scottisl society was desirous of sending them to a more promising missionary field, they upon the whole concluded to give their permanent efforts to their English-speaking brethren.
Their journeying years had been an added schooling for home work, and to this they addressed themselves Between the return to England in and the settlement in Gosport , I place the stay in Selkirk or elsewhere while the future way was preparing. The call to Gosport was one of entire unanimity and great cordiality, signed not merely by a committee and the deacons, but by hundreds of members of the church and parish.
There was a grave sense of responsibility in this Gosport society at that time, which caused Mr. Thomas Hoskins to address a letter of inquiry to several ministers in Scotland, as to the character and conduct of Mr. Carruthers, which brought back responses highly commendatory from Dr. Chalmers, Dr. John Brown, father of Dr. David Dickson and Mr. Andrew Lothian. How well the favorable opinions, so early and adventurously won, were afterward justified in this community need not be told. In , Mr. Each of these removals gave the people occasion to signify their deep sense of his spiritual service, their earnest desire for its con.
In October, , while Mr. Carruthers was in Montreal, Dr. Henry Wilkes of that city joined his influence with many others, in favor of placing our lamented friend in the chair of logic and rhetoric in McGill college, and wrote a letter warmly commendatory of his scholarship. No appointment to the chair in question was made at that time; and Mr. Carruthers continued, so far as I know, in the same pastoral and professorial work up to the time of his call to Portland.
Meanwhile, the University of Vermont, under the presidency of Dr. John Wheeler, did itself the honor of bestowing upon Mr. Carruthers the degree of doctor of divinity in Carruthers' call to Portland was regarded with an interest by no means confined to a single congregation. The sentiments and votes of the Second church and parish are so accurately analyzed and judiciously summed up in a letter of Dr. Mighels, which accompanied the official communications, that the entire document deserves to appear, not only as a memento of an esteemed physician, worthy citizen, and cultivated man, but as a chapter of parochial history, creditable to all concerned.
It is hoped, however, that the last paragraph may serve the purpose. Finally, we are now anxiously awaiting your decision, hoping and praying that our overture may not be rejected. The question is often asked with much anxiety, "Will he come? I have the honor to be, my dear sir, Your very humble servant, J. Portland, June 11, The coming of Dr. Carruthers opened a period of peculiar interest in the history not only of the church to which he ministered, but of the city and state.
He was in the maturity of manhood, a person of unmistakable distinction, having a countenance radiant with spiritual emotion, a deportment of winning cordiality, a voice of remarkable depth and richness, an elocution of dignity, harmony and power - the spontaneous utterance of thoughts that bore upon their breath the odors of that spiritual.
How many of the young men and women of that day must remember, as I do, the grave yet animating appeals in which he called his hearers to the high motives and efforts of the Christian life. Certainly, also, this final settlement, as it proved to be, marks a most important epoch in the Doctor's life. In Dr. John Brown's memorable letter to John Cairns, D. Especially it changed the character of his preaching. He took as it were to subsoil ploughing; he got a new and adamantine point to the instrument with which he bored, and with a fresh power, with his whole might, he sunk it right down into the living rock, and to the virgin gold.
In illustration he notes that his father when young had been preaching at Galashiels, and one wife said to her neebor, " Jean, what think ye o'the lad? After my mother's death, he preached in the same place, and Jean running to her friend, took the first word, "It's a gowd noo. Carruthers ever had a time of "tinsel wark," I cannot say; he had reached the golden period before coming to Portland; and, through a crisis identical with that which so changed his friend of the Scottish Missionary Society.
The brave and devoted wife, who had helped his toil and cheered his solitude in the Crimea, was no longer at his side. She had died in Montreal in Under the shadow of that affliction his conversation could hardly be elsewhere than in heaven; and his preaching had a fervor and.
Here again were "sacred lambencies, tongues of authentic flame which kindled what was best in one;" and doubtless many a soul that did not hold stoutly by the Doctor's theological system, could now say, " on me too their pious heavensent influences still rest and live. He by and by contracted a second marriage. His certificate of naturalization dated May 20, , is signed by George F. Emery, clerk of the U. Wood, chairman. In short he became one of ourselves, sharing in all national, state and municipal vicissitudes. He was quite deliberate in coming to this full political communion; and to a critic who thought to serve a purpose by setting the native above the adoptive citizen, he pleasantly replied:- I am an American by choice.
You probably by the necessity of the case. There may be some virtue in volition - there can be none in accident. It gave him an international function. He kept up a diligent correspondence, not only with friends in various parts of the British empire, but with the British public through the press. He promoted the mutual understanding of religious bodies. He was on terms of hospitality with many excellent ministers in the neighboring provinces, so that their voices were not unfrequently heard in our pulpits.
But when the dark years of the civil war came on his service was constant and most important. He wrought upon that intelligent and conscientious popular conviction in England, which diplomacy could not reach; while at home his eloquent advocacy was never wanting when the national spirit needed to be roused to new courage and zeal for the national duty. His conduct was never forced upon him. His chief organ was the British Standard, London, edited by Dr. The editorial remarks accompanying some of Dr. Carruthers' communications furnish as good an illustration as I have ever met of the change from an early ignorance and despair of our republic, to a hearty acceptance of the war and its results - on the part of multitudes of the best minds and hearts in Great Britain.
Here is an example. In a letter of January 28, , touching among other things the "Trent affair," Dr. Campbell remarks: - A letter will be found in another column from our much valued friend and correspondent, Dr. Carruthers, which, although brief, is full of facts of a highly interesting character. Some of his statements, however, fill us with astonishment. While the Doctor was in England he occupied a foremost place amongst our ablest men, as large in view, quick in perception, and fluent in expression; a thorough, downright, upright, practical Englishman.
How changed by his long residence in America! He is now become a thorough Yankee, as blind and as sanguine as any of them. That such a man should have been so carried away is not a little remarkable. How a man so judicious could express himself as follows, we cannot divine:"The rebellion will soon be put down. Slavery will soon cease to be! Englishmen long most intensely for both, but utterly despair of either!
The men of the northern states seem resolutely to close their eyes to all that is passing around them. Their life is a dream; and terrible will be the awakening! Glad, most glad, however, shall we be, should Dr. Carruthers turn out a true prophet. We will hasten to acknowledge our error, proclaim his triumph, and humble ourselves in the dust as long as we live. In the following April Dr. Carruthers had other signs of promise to communicate, though the logic of events was yet far from its conclusion. Meanwhile Dr. Campbell's judgment had been somewhat humbled, and his hopes correspondingly exalted This is how he introduced his correspondent's letter:The letter of our noble-hearted friend will be read with extreme delight in all parts of the country.
He is, we think, still a little "sanguine;" but he is such a prophet of good, that, eschewing criticism, we. His epistle is crammed with glorious facts; but we wish he had in his own masterly way expanded it to twice the length. The longer the better. Indeed, Dr. Carruthers, though blind, was not prophesying to the deaf. He was really authorized to say, as he did say in his Thanksgiving sermon of this same year, " the voice of the British public is for peace - not with rebellion - not with slavery - but with the free United States of America.
The voice of the British public responded at length in one great. But if this good patriot and citizen of the world was expecting the return of peace to bring him an honored repose for declining years, he was signally disappointed. The national crisis was closely followed in Portland by a municipal and parochial disaster, which laid upon him, as upon many others, a burden to constitute the crowning trial rather than the natural reward of lifelong service. The conflagration of , that abolished so many old records and opened so many new tables, marks a memorable epoch in the history of the Second church and parish.
Old things had passed away. All things were to be made new. Carruthers became at once the preacher, the prophet, and the chronicler, of a renascent church and parish history. From onward, he kept a careful and voluminous journal with special reference to ecclesiastical matters, but with interesting personal notices, to August 2, , when the record ends in the handwriting of age with these pathetic words: - The members of the church who visit us are very kind, and I desire to be thankful.
Though weak, I am mercifully spared any pain. Hardly had the embers of the old meeting-house grown cold, when the Doctor began to receive numerous letters from old friends, near and remote, tendering small sums of money to aid in the work of rebuilding. In this way was opened an extensive correspondence, which became part of his new calling. The memorable history and distinguished ministry of the Second Parish church, its frontier position and important influence, were made the ground of an appeal for prompt aid by Dr.
Carruthers himself sent to the editors of the Boston Recorder and the Congregationalist respectively his own programme: - In undertaking the solemn mission committed to his trust the undersigned is anxious it should be understood, 1. That he has neither strength, nor heart, nor time, for individual solicitation. Independently, besides, of the irksomeness, not to say offensiveness, of such a method of raising funds for religious purposes, he cannot be indifferent nor insensible to its re-active influence on those who have given themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.
That this appeal is to all of like precious faith, who sympathize with us in the day of our calamity. Pastors of churches beloved and trusted by their people will most efficiently plead a cause like this; and, if thus presented, the practical response will prove that Christian faith and love are fully adequate to such emergencies. That if his personal presence and presentation of the object be deemed expedient, he is open to such calls, and will gratefully embrace the opportunities thus afforded of asking the aid of fellow disciples towards the erection of the Payson Memorial church.
September 4, Agreeably to this announcement the doctor visited the chief cities of New England, the Middle States, and Canada,l with the enterprising zeal of his earliest mission. Despite the moral and financial agitations resulting from the war, he was successful to a remarkable degree in gaining both spiritual encouragement and material aid.
Nor was this all. Carruthers was of the opinion that two parishes, the second and third, whose situation and wants were much the same, should unite their resources, both in building a house of worship and in prosecuting their common work for a 1See "The Dominion. But as the choice of a minister to preside over this union was one in which the third parish, as well as his own, would be entitled to a voice, he proposed, and with a pressing persistency of purpose, to retire from his pastorate, under advice of a council, rather than stand in the way of a consummation, which he had so much at heart.
This involved a deliberate sacrifice of personal feeling, of which not even he could measure the cost. But in his view cost was not to be counted after the way of duty was made clear. When, however, the matter was referred to an ecclesiastical council, June 19, , there was no such evidence of the practicability of uniting the two parishes on any terms, as to make the proposed retirement appear an advisable step. Things went on in their wonted way, and the Doctor's numerous friends, who had strongly protested against his leaving them, enjoyed his ministry for ten years more.
Meanwhile the work of rebuilding went on apace in the devastated streets; and, not to be left altogether out of sight by the general activity, on the fourth of July, , Dr. Carruthers laid the corner-stone of the Payson Memorial church. April 15, , the day of the annual fast, was signalized by the dedication of the vestry.
Carruthers preached, and offered the dedicatory prayer; and on July 4, , the whole solid and comely structure was duly dedicated; and again Dr. Carruthers, as was most meet and right, preached and offered the dedicatory prayer. Accordingly, in the affectionate tribute paid to the memory of his venerated friend by the Rev. Wright, on the funeral day, that law of history, which makes it impossible to limit a public monument to the honor of a single name, was referred to with the eloquence of judgment and of feeling:One crowning result of Dr. Carruthers' prolonged and able ministry in our city, was the erection of this massive church edifice, which stands as a worthy memorial of the great Dr.
So let it ever stand; but there are many who will likewise look upon it as a monument to the energy and efficiency of Dr. Many there were to. Carruthers was their Nehemiah, to lead the way and urge them on. Let the generation of youthful worshipers, who pass in and out of this house of God with pride and joy, think reverently of the man who rose up in the residue of his strength and devoted the years of his old age to the preparation of a sanctuary for them and for their children, which in ages to come will be the ornament and the defence of our city.
In a long ministry, as in a long life, there is likely to be a more or less marked beginning of the end. Carruthers' journal for the year , after the entry of January first, has nothing more till the seventeenth of July, when a concluding chapter seems to open as follows: - How much has passed since last insertion! On the twenty-fourth of February, my dear wife, after a long and very painful illness, fell asleep in Jesus. His touching reflections on this event belong to the inner history, which those who can may read without the additional lines.
Successive attacks of pneumonia and other troubles had brought him also down almost to death. He adds: - I am still very weak, and as yet entirely unfit for any pastoral work. After much deliberation and earnest prayer, I have come to the conclusion that my office must be resigned. This, D. On Sunday, the twelfth of August, accordingly, the Doctor preached, and at the close of the sermon read his resignation;reflecting with devout gratitude on the results of his lengthened service, testifying the warmest personal affection for his people, and the satisfaction he had in their work of faith and labor of love, together with his pastoral solicitude for the future, especially for those who had, as he feared, received the grace of God in vain, - and hoping still to embrace any opportunities of usefulness among them that might be afforded him.
He was wonderfully strengthened" for this effort, his journal adds; and his act implied its proper sequel. This however, did not take place till fifteen months afterward, when church, parish and council vied with each other in testimonies of regret, love, and reverence, such as the sober practice of centuries has made appropriate to a ministry of marked excellence and unmis. Nor were these testimonies of an altogether conventional type. The church hoped that the bonds of spiritual affinity might be made dearer and stronger through the preservation of his valuable life in the freshness and serenity of advancing age; and that he might realize in this Christian community " the delightful close of the ministry of the beloved disciple in the church of Ephesus.
The council, gratefully recalling his uniform urbanity and kindness, expressed the hope that he might long be spared, "by his presence and occasional ministrations to strengthen and cheer the church of God. In proposing this dissolution he had said in effect: " My way of life Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf;"And that which should accompany old age, As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, he might surely look to have, now that the dissolution had been declared.
His journal gives this record for December 6:My good and noble friend, Dr. Shailer, called, and expressed his perfect satisfaction with my course.
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Carruthers not only enjoyed the honors and friendships of old age, he rejoiced in its opportunities and tasks. The series of judicious and interesting articles entitled "Reminiscences of Distinguished Men," was prepared for the Christian Mirror, in Occasionally, the great passion of his soul was gratified with a call to preach the gospel. And if any appalling event or critical situation of public affairs made men think - "more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,"- then the aged man of God interpreted the common burden, and gave voice to the common desire.
Perhaps there is no vantage ground in this world like "the chamber where the good man meets his fate. Carruthers' religion. He agreed with his old friend Dr. John Brown of Edinburgh, the sometime secretary of the Scottish Missionary Society, who said: — A personal Deity is the soul of natural religion; a personal Savior - the real living Christ - is the soul of revealed religion.
In this faith Dr. Carruthers bade us farewell; and leaving him to that unknown blessedness, which by the law of Christian thought is ampler than the best human anticipations, I would enshrine his memory in words I once heard him deliver with great impressiveness, - from, as he said, "the excellent and admirable Cowper:" - All joy to the believer! Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot And cut up all my follies by the root, I never trusted in an arm but thine, Nor hoped, but in thy righteousness divine: My prayers and alms, imperfect and defiled, Were but the feeble efforts of a child; Howe'er performed, it was their brightest part, That they proceeded from a grateful heart: Cleansed in thine own all-purifying blood, Forgive their evil and accept their good; I cast them at thy feet -my only plea Is what it was, dependence upon thee; While struggling in the vale of tears below, That never failed, nor shall it fail me now.
No man who has ever resided in Massachusetts can have failed to observe the extraordinary care with which the services and fame of her eminent citizens have been perpetuated either in song or history, and with what jealous watchfulness everything pertaining to matters of public moment is there preserved for future generations.
Though much has been done by members of this Society and by other praiseworthy persons, to immortalize the names and deeds of Maine men, there still remains here a wide field to be explored by loyal sons, and a fruitage to be garnered for future use, as well in the interest of truth and justice, as from gratitude to a wise and patriotic ancestry.
This sentiment it was that led to the preparation of the paper which I read, relating to a period of our national history, second in interest to no other, and with which, our people ought accordingly to be reasonably well informed. I invite my friends on this occasion to accompany me to Boston, to look in upon the Massachusetts convention assembled to act on the adoption or the rejection of the federal constitution.
Our chief purpose is to observe the action of the delegates therein from the District of Maine, whose constituents have already,. But before entering the body, it may be well to take a brief survey of the situation and surrounding circumstances, lest we fail to appreciate the interest with which the scene is invested, and underestimate the magnitude of the results to flow from it. The confederacy of " free and sovereign states " has confessedly proved inadequate for "the exigencies of government and the preservation of the union.
At that convention, however, it was impossible to secure unanimity either in council or result. Of the Massachusetts delegation, consisting of Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King, Elbridge Gerry and Caleb Strong, the two latter declined to sign the proposed constitution, hence the new instrument comes before this convention with only one-half an indorsement of men deemed among the best and wisest of her eminent citizens. Moreover, as it requires the approval of nine of the thirteen states to make it obligatory, only five have yet ratified it, namely, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut; consequently the eye of the entire country is directed to the scene of our visit to learn what Massachusetts will decide for herself, and how.
It is well known also, that the popular feeling in Massachusetts is adverse to the new constitution, and that men of commanding influence have publicly declared against it. Samuel Adams, the great central figure of revolutionary times, in a letter to Richard Henry Lee, of December 3, , has said: - I stumble at the threshold.
I meet with a national government instead of a federal union of sovereign states If the several states are to become one entire nation, under one legislature, its powers to extend to all legislation and its laws to be supreme, and control the whole, the idea of sovereignty in these states must be lost. Governor Hancock and his friends in general, classed as republicans in contradistinction from federalists, are known to be opposed to the new scheme as presented.
In the district of Maine the popular feeling is very strong and dominant against it. In short, as we take our seats, January 9, , in the meeting-house on Brattle street, to see and hear what Massachusetts is about to do, we are almost oppressed with the feeling, that upon the action of this convention hinges the life and destiny of the new republic. Williamson justly styles this as a period of extreme anxiety. But we now enter and first scan the crowd of delegates, three hundred and fifty-five in number, to see who are there to discharge the unusual trust, and acquit themselves of the high responsibility.
His Excellency Governor Hancock has been chosen to preside over the convention, but, by reason of ill. The chair is occupied by William Cushing, the vice-president, whose learning and standing as a jurist naturally suggest that soon he will be elevated to the bench of the supreme court should the proposed constitution go into effect. But what is of more interest to us is a view of our Maine delegation. To gratify our curiosity more perfectly, and see and hear more understandingly, we have taken the precaution to procure from the secretary, George Richards Minott, a list of our representatives which reads as follows.
Kittery, Mr. Mark Adams, Mr. James Neal. Wells, Rev. Moses Hemenway, Hon. Nathaniel Wells, Esq. Berwick, Dr. Nathaniel Low, Mr. Richard Foxwell Cutts, Mr. Elijah Hayes. Pepperelboro, Thomas Cutts, Esq. Lebanon, Mr. Thomas M. Sanford, Major Samuel Nasson. Buxton, Jacob Bradbury, Esq. Fryeburg, Mr. Moses Ames.
Coxhall, Captain John Low. Shapleigh, Mr. Jeremiah Emery. Waterboro, Rev.
Heroic Spain , Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly
Pelatiah Tingley. Smith, Esq. Portland, Mr. North Yarmouth, David Mitchell, Esq.