Margaret Anderson, the Persuasion Coach, sent me this story about a good deed by Delta – see what they did to help out the stranded Nigerian soccer team get to Rio in time for their first match!
Given the airline’s misfortunes of the last week, I thought I should post it.
Then There is Bad News
Just a few days ago I thought Nigeria was finally over the hill, polio-free. That would have made all of Africa free of the crippling disease. They were about to celebrate two years without incident, and hoped to complete the required third year.
But I read in The Atlantic that two new cases were reported. Both showed paralysis, which doesn’t occur in all instances. This makes the authorities suspect there are probably others around, not yet reported.
These are in the far northeastern part of the country where Boko Haram is still a threat and has made vaccinating children extremely difficult, even impossible.
Even though the army has secured some towns and people are beginning to return to their homes, many people are still in camps. Not all roads and residential areas are safe.
In addition, part of the population of the northeast are Fulani nomads, never easy to vaccinate.
The author ends on a slightly positive note: “Nigeria must now wait at least until the summer of 2019 to receive a polio-free certification. Yet even with Thursday’s setback, the country has made remarkable progress overall: As recently as four years ago, half of all wild polio cases worldwide originated in Nigeria.”
More Bad News, With Hope?
BBC reported on August 14 that Boko Haram has released a video showing about 50 of the kidnapped Chibok girls.
The Boko Haram militant says the girls will never be released until the captured Boko Haram fighters are returned. The Nigerian government has said it is in consultation with the militants.
The video includes an interview, which BBC calls “staged,” with one of the captives. She says her name is Maida Yakubu. She asks parents to appeal to the government.
Martin Patience, the BBC reporter, says, “Maida’s mother, Esther, is one of several parents of Chibok girls who recently published open letters to their daughters detailing the pain they feel at their children’s absence and their hopes for the future.”
BBC Hausa service spoke with the father of one of the girls. He said, “The fact is we are overwhelmed with a feeling of depression. It’s like being beaten and being stopped from crying. You helplessly watch your daughter but there is nothing you can do. It’s a real heartache.”
I can barely imagine the pain he and the other parents are going through.
And the Ugly?
Snails! Nigerian land snails, to be specific. You can find their scientific name in the Wikipedia article. I’ll give you the Igbo name – ejuna! They are regarded as a delicacy by many Nigerians.
My husband, for one, thinks they are fabulous! He tells me that he and all his siblings loved the snails. But his father detested them.
So his mother would cook them when his father would go away for a couple of days and then clear away all the evidence!
I haven’t yet had the nerve to try this dish, but I’m making a public commitment here to do so in Nigeria this Christmas!
Please give me your suggestions on where to buy! I’m not going to cook them, just sample in a restaurant, fast-food, or road-side spot.
And while I was looking for info to share with you about these creatures, I found this story from two years ago. Sixty seven snails were found in someone’s luggage! I had to laugh at the article which is accompanied by a recipe for how to cook them, just in case you can get some and want to try!
Dickens and Unitarians
At our Unitarian Church this morning Jennifer Munro gave the reflection, “Mr. Dickens, Social Activist.” She described his rather difficult childhood and how he came to his sense of social justice. She described his work to raise awareness of social ills. He also became a Unitarian, she said.
She referenced A Christmas Carol several times, quoting Scrooge and leading us to his transformation when he learned sympathy and empathy. We were able to join her in Tiny Tim’s final words. I believe they were, “God bless us, everyone!”
She asked us to read together Edward Everett Hale’s affirmation reminding us we all can do something positive in the world even if we can’t write like Dickens.
Then I came home and found the perfect opportunity to pass on the message. See if you agree: