Saturday, October 8, 2016

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” ― Abraham Lincoln

      Sometimes, weird things happen on my blog site.  A few years ago, a whole bunch of readers from Russia showed up and boosted my readership numbers by two or three hundred, but I don’t know anyone there.  I know people in Denmark, the U.K., Australia, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong, so it is no surprise when I see a few readers from there, but 300+ from Russia?  I asked, in the blog, for any of them to write me and tell me how they learned of the blog and within two days they all disappeared and my readership numbers dropped back to about a hundred which is about normal.  October 2nd, while I was sick and there was no blog at all, over three hundred people read it in Russia and they’re still there.  It’s just weird, folks, and I have no explanation unless they’re trying to hack me for some strange reasons.  I feel like the poem by William Mearnes:

    Last night I saw upon the stair,
    A little man who wan’t there,
    He wasn’t there again today
    Oh, how I wish he’d go away . . .

I’m home alone today as John and Karen are in Mwanza to see the only optometrist on this side of Tanzania who is in high demand, but both of them really need to see him (if they can without glasses).  Shaban drove them down, so it is quiet here.  The big news is that a group called Avaaz got in touch with us.  Their Wikipedia page says that:
     Avaaz is a U.S. based civic organization launched in January 2007 that promotes global activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, animal rights, corruption, poverty, and conflict. The Guardian considers it "the globe's largest and most powerful online activist network".[1] The name chosen for the community is possibly a direct loanword from Persian meaning "Change" or "Revolution". 
     What they did for us, and for about eight million other Americans living abroad, was to make it possible for us to vote, easily, and using online  ballots we could download.  We filled in all the blanks and got the correct ballot for the county we came from back in Arkansas.  It has been so difficult for us to vote that we haven’t in the eleven years we’ve been here, but Avaaz made it easy.  They even set up a deal with DHL to get our ballots back to the U.S. in less than two days.  We have to go to Mwanza to get them to DHL but that is so much better than having to fly to Dar Es Salaam and do things through the embassy.  John said when they got to DHL that they told him almost a hundred Americans had voted through them there in Mwanza.  Not telling how we voted, especially on making medical marijuana legal, but it was great to be able to vote.  We even voted in the mayor of Springdale election so if he wins by three votes, we’ll know who cast those ballots.  Hats off to the Avaaz people.
Yesterday was a very sad and happy day as we remembered the life of Caryn Pierce and her effect on us.  Glad we can help keep her name and her ideals alive.  She loved the color pink, so if you see pictures of our school, you see a lot of pink living on here.
While I was sick, we were able to get cash locally using an ATM card, but the local bank doesn’t give a receipt with our balance on it, and I forgot to write some down (had the same problem in the U.S.) and accidentally drained our account, so we are technically broke, but I will call Arvest on Monday and get them to send some more.  God bless the wire transfer folks at Arvest—for ten years they have been keeping us going without a single mistake.  I just make a phone call, and the next day, the money is in our bank in Musoma.  Great service from Arvest where my good friend, Chris Thornton works.  I don’t get any money for my enthusiastic support of that bank, but hey, when a bank is doing something good, people ought to know.  That’s all the news from Lake Woebegone (Lake Victoria for us).  Ya’ll be kind to one another.  God really meant that love thy neighbor stuff.

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