Monthly Archives: December 2006

Tonight the tree crashed

What more can one say.  I lost a very beautiful handpainted ornament that was a gift from a staff member and a couple other handmade things as well. 

Stupid tree stand.

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That's talking

Can you imagine being a six year old boy in the middle of rural Congo being handed a cell phone and being asked to talk to your father on it?  


That is what Massa and his son Joseph were doing via my phone at 5:30 am our time.  Massa said his son did not quite understand the phone.  He could tell the people there what he heard but talking back was a bit beyond him.  But Massa talked to the boy’s mother and she is in agreement that it is best for Joseph to join Massa and has signed all the necessary papers transferring custody to him.  If Canadian immigration has any heart at all, Joseph should be joining Massa within the year.


It is impossible to do things like this without Jacques’ help.  What a wonderful man he is – to travel to Karawa, find the mother and son, make this phone call, take care of the paperwork, and all this in the wake of his own disappointment.  He has been denied a visa to visit his own children in Canada.  Jacques hasn’t seen Christian for about 4 years, Patrick went out to visit him a year ago.  But Canadian immigration deems Jacques a risk to come and visit his sons at Christmastime.  To imagine that he would want to stay here in this snow?  What is worse is that he travels often to the states and is granted visas without problem.  


The Canadian immigration system treats everyone as if they are asylum seekers.  There is a huge problem here.

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What a weird day!

Today half the scheduled patients did not come.  In their places we fit in all sorts of the kind of emergency that happens just the week before Christmas – the teeth that have broken unexpectedly both front and back, crowns that come off at strategic moments, last minute finishing up things before insurance runs out at the end of the year, that sort of thing. 

One patient ended up in the ditch and was waiting for the tow truck as they called.  Can’t really blame them for not showing up. 

The lengths people will go to to avoid us!

It was just sort of a weird kind of day where nothing went according to schedule. 


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The Nativity Story

Finally I had time to go and see this film.  It pretty much follows the story.  As I commented to my friend that went with me – it is sort of the Readers Digest Condensed Version.  The time lines are condensed to make those Christmas card like scenes with the shepherds there and the wise men there with the light from the star glowing down onto them.  Now this may have been exactly as it was but of course there was no journey into the temple for the presentation and none of those prophecies spoken. 

The one thing I thought was out of place was the music.  I love Christmas carols but I doubt they were playing in the background as Mary gave birth.  A bit more Jewish music would have been appropriate  – just my own taste I suppose. 

I thought that the portrayal of Mary and Joseph was fairly realistically human and I appreciated that.  The angel was maybe not quite as splendid as to cause the shepherds or Mary to actually “fear”.  The chaos and brutality of Herod was there and certainly the injustice of this brutal regime was displayed well.  I doubt that it was any less brutal than what was portrayed.  Makes one a bit more able to portray the culture that Jesus was born into.

All in all not a bad film.  Could probably done just as well as an HBO movie but I’m glad I saw it on a big screen. 

Now to read The Real Mary by Scot McKnight to get a more scholarly picture. 

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Getting Ready

Getting ready for an event as momentous as Christmas takes a lot of effort.  I think it would be nice to go to someone else’s place for a Christmas sometime – less work getting my house ready – but then I would miss having all the kids home.  So, I guess my place is going to be the gathering place for mnay more years to come. 

Today, being the day when I have to get most everything doen, began early.  I got up early and then fell asleep reading.  The second time I woke up I did really have to get going.  Headed out to do the last minuste shopping. 

Did it ever snow during the night!  I parked in Leo’s spot inside the garage and was sure glad.  I did not have to shovel my vehicle out from a snowbank and with the 4 wheel drive was able to back out of the driveway through a couple of snowdrifts.  With the snow and the relatively early hour it was still quiet downtown. 

Most of my day was spent shopping.  But I think I am set – mostly – for gifts. 

The pork was cooking overnight and when I got back from shopping it had cooled – ready to chop up for the tourtiere.  Nine pies ready.  Milk and eggs in the fridge for the rice pudding.  Ham, turkey and even frozen cabbage rolls.  We won’t starve.  Even if we are about 20 around the table.

We even got the tree up.  It isn’t decorated yet but it stands upright in a lot of water.  By tomorrow the branches should be spread out ready to go.  I am hoping the kids will get the urge to put the lights on.

Tomorrow will be another full day with the annual Christms Pizza party at church.  Fun and games for all.

And that about does it for today.

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Sometimes it seems as if the routines are all that get me throught the day.  I can do them without thinking – much.  So off to work I go.

If I stop and think of all the things I have to do in this next week, my mind goes into overload and it seems as if the world is about to implode.  So I just do and keep doing till as much is done as can be.

This is not how I like to be.  I just have too many things I am committed to doing. 

I guess what gets done will get done and the rest we will live without, whether I like it or not. 

It is easier to go to work than to stay at home and see all the things I can’t do or don’t have time to do right.  Still I don’t like being like this. 

Even my computer seems to be doing crazy things – the time is off by almost half an hour.  Maybe I lost some time somwhere.  It seems like it.

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Today at work

Hodgepodge – that sort of describes my day.  (and I think it is a cool word)

The day started out with a little tiny girl having her first fillings done.  What a trooper.  She was only three.  She wiggled a bit but we managed to send her out with a beautiful pink filling to match her pink pants, t-shirt and shoes.

Then a challenge.  A root had broken for the therapist and in the process there was a little opening into the sinus.  My time in Africa sure pays off.  I learned to deal with such things myself when they happened.  So a flap, some gentle elevation and once the little root tip was out, the area stitched up tight.  He was warned not to sneeze or blow his nose for the next week.  He had one simple little request – please not to prescribe an antibiotic that would interfere with him taking in a little Christmas spirits.  I said Ok as long as he did not fall too deeply under the influence and sneeze. 

Then a difficult and long root canal on a young lady who had the misfortune to have a molar with defective enamel – all brown and soft.  That and the fact that she missed her yearly check-up last year and voila – an abscessed tooth.  Christmas will be more fun without an aching tooth.

And to wind it all up – another little one – just as well  behaved as the first.

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