the great wall of emericasa

With the rising immigration angst in that country south of us, I thought it fitting to chime in.

How do you like them immigrant-picked strawberries?

What to do with millions of people you exploit and degrade, while using as a scapegoat for a variety of economic, social and administrative ailments?

Send 'em back. Hire more rentacops. Build a wall. Get GIJoes with bigger guns to guard the wall. Then find other poor people to exploit. Lastly, do nothing about disparity. To keep them poor.

If they stick to that plan, you needn't worry. The price of your strawberries won't go up.


temper girl - the sequel

Apparently, we all have faults. Even more apparent is the fact, despite any and all desperate attempts to conceal them, these faults will be exposed.

I have spent some time thinking about this for the past few days, provoked by the recent revelation that a leader of the church we've been attending resigned with the admission of extramarital affairs. Very sad thing - something that sends people into a spiral of soul-searching and mental confusion.

All this thinking in turn triggered my thoughts of weaknesses and faults. Of course, according to the cliché, apparently we love people for their faults, but that's definitely crap. Our character flaws may be at times amusing, sometimes cute, but they are still faults.

I will use myself, as a perfect, er, imperfect, example. I have a temper. This is no secret, although I do try to not let it get the best of me. Now, Martin knows how to get to me - like all wise husbands, he has learned the art of provocation. He knows the perfect little thing to say to get a dark look and a feisty retort. Now, this can be, shall we say, "cute". Martin’s also dubbed me with the nickname "temper girl". This is meant in the nicest way, I’m sure.

But it’s not about sarcasm or scathing glares. The problem is when this thing does get the best of me. It can be a blinding, powerful rage that sweeps away all logical thought and leaves me seething with un-communicated feelings. It leaves me sputtering and clawing at any vocabulary I can find to attempt expression. It can urge and bait me to lash out violently.

I want to note, however, how much I have been honed and soothed over the past year. Weaning myself off of some of the music I was listening to helped hugely. Marrying someone who sees my core being helped more. I haven’t thrown or punched anything in a long time.

Obviously this makes me sound like psycho chick. If so, oh well. It’s reality. Of course, when you factor in seeking a relationship with Christ, it changes the picture. Not only am I agro, with barbarian tendencies, but I am a Christian to boot.

But seriously. Pastors committing adultery? Christians with anger issues? How can I reconcile this?

I think it’s harder to believe that God loves those who don’t know the truth, than loves those who do know the truth and don’t obey. But yet, here I am, dealing with some of the same issues I have been facing for years, and yet totally aware of my reality as a Christ-follower. It is hard to reconcile. Especially when my faults are so far from lovable, cute, or even hip. But He does.

This is one of my thought processes which has lead me to a conclusion I’ve reached many times before, through different routes. I will never understand infinite grace, unconditional love, His relentless pursuit. I don’t really want to understand, except to know what He has made available to me. His ways are above mine. If I did understand these things, could He really be God?

I’m tired. And although it is not late, I am also a nerd and therefore it’s time for sleep. I think I am more on this subject to mull over. Maybe more on this later.



It's 9 a.m. and I can tell it's going to be a hot day - no wind, and a cloud of tiny insects darting about below the window. Someone from the neighbouring apartment is shaking a spray paint can, and I agree with the intent. I have to put the final coats of oil on a table we bought for the deck. It will be a perfect day for it.

I'm shocked at how quickly time passes right now; it seems I blink and another week has passed. Now another weekend gone, and already work tomorrow. Not that I mind, really; I'm one of those irritating people who can claim they love their job. I haven't always liked it, but circumstances change and you grow into things.

On Friday I had the opportunity to interview Ezekiel, south Sudan's government advocate in North America, and representative of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement party. The interview was too brief; he and his companion, Moses, had a rigorous schedule of discussion, debrief, and media interviews.

Ezekiel is part diplomat, part activist, part recruiter. Six-foot-eight, with the tribal markings of the Nuer, he is based in Washington, DC, creating awareness of the plight of the southern Sudanese and the importance of retaining the tenuous 2005 peace agreement as presented by the late John Garang. As recruiter, Ezekiel and others are reaching North America’s south Sudan diaspora with the message that the south Sudan government wants them to return and help rebuild the country. According to Ezekiel, there are approximately 80,000 Sudanese diaspora living in North America - skilled workers, professionals - with a passion to return to their homeland and see it rebuilt.

Ezekiel’s activism is his whole persona - spread thickly, potently, over every word or nuance. He is completely dedicated, single-minded, quick-witted, intense. I ask him about his history as a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army under Garang. He joined around 15 or 16, he doesn’t know his age. He must have been dedicated - he spoke at Garang’s funeral. He described journeys two months long, with no provisions, only a gun, bullets and necessity to kill any antelope or wildlife in order to survive.

The same morning I spoke with Ezekiel, there was word that a peace deal had been reached for Darfur - momentous, if kept.

After writing all this, it seems unbelievable that I could put my attentions on the weather, work to be done, or any other inane occupation. Sometimes life here seems so small, so ineffective. I like what I do, I get to be on the forefront of exciting things, but it’s still so easy to feel like a pointless little piece, an invisible mechanism. But I know these insidious thoughts - they come jumping in unannounced and will stay indefinitely if welcomed. They are not of You. What need have I of acknowledgement by man? What do I need to know of my role as that seemingly insignificant mechanism?

Well, the lawnmower won’t start without a good sparkplug. I know that.



It's about dinner time on Sunday - we've just returned from this weekend's trip to Edmonton. I have a bad taste in my mouth and I'm so tired - I feel like I am staggering around in a haze.

I took no pictures, although I fully intended to and even suceeded in dropping the digital camera. Instead, I've posted a completely unrelated picture of my favourite cousin showing me his puppies.

I am in a more non-committal mood than usual; I can't decide if I'm grumpy or not, if I'm hungry enough to try to scrounge up something resembling dinner, if I want to try doing something worthwhile or not. I have downloaded Google's SketchUp program, which is pretty cool. I think I am going to flounder my way through a tutorial.

Martin's going in and out of the apartment, rummaging around in his tool box, putting on a new license plate on our car. I'm just sitting here, killing minutes.

I don't know why I even started this post - I have nothing to say.