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Showing posts from November, 2018

Making the World a Safer Place: Fostering & Attachment Theory

Hush now baby, don't say a word Daddy's gonna buy you a mockingbird And if that mockingbird won't sing Daddy's gonna buy you a diamond ring These are the words of a lullaby that I have been singing to the little girl who has become our foster child. It's been almost three months since little R came into our lives. As I shared in my previous post , it has not been easy to foster a child; and now, more than three months into the fostering journey, we have realised that things are a lot more difficult and complicated than what we had expected it to be... What keeps a family together? It's lots of love and time spent together. An attempt to understand each other and to love them "just as they are". There are many reasons why children enter the foster care system. Their birth parents could be abusers of drugs, or become incarcerated for a variety of reasons, and therefore not be in a position to care for them. They could be victims of abuse, and

US East Coast 2018: Of Sweet Lips 'N Bluegrass

The boys were keen to do some apple picking, so we headed off to the Orchard at Altapass, located along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway itself took over 50 years to build. It is one of the most scenic drives in the world - most of the land surrounding it is owned by the National Parks Service, and private developments are strictly regulated. The result is a more than 400 mile (700 kilometre) stretch of unparalleled scenery and beauty. It was indeed a joy to drive along the Pathway, described is among the most beautiful in the world. We arrived at the Orchard expecting a regular apple picking session hosted by a regular farm tour. We got no apples, and there was no regular farm tour. Sadly, the cold had killed off most of the apples, and the Orchard did not have a single harvest this year. As for the tour, it was far from regular. For starters, it was a wagon ride - described as a “hay ride”. by the owners. And then, we realised that the ride would be led by storyteller Bill Carso

US East Coast 2018: Colours of Fall

We awoke to a new day in the Tar Heel State with much excitement; for today was the first day of fall, and we couldn't wait to see how much the scenescape would change almost in front of our very eyes... Hungry for breakfast and fulled by a need to stock up on groceries, we headed to a local country market, the Watauga County Farmer's Market, where we got to enjoy the fresh produce of the land, wandering around and spending much time talking to the different people and hearing their beautiful stories. There was a gentleman who has been carving birdhouses for almost all his life. Our boys were thrilled to talk to him. Z in particular was impressed by the architecture of the birdhouse creations; and especially since he was Z's age when he first started learning about woodcarving. Then we met two girls who were selling bags to raise funds for a trip to visit their birth country. It was heartwarming to meet these dear girls and their mum, and we shared many lovel

US East Coast 2018: No Bridge Too High

Leaving Helen, we proceeded to Tugaloo State Park for the kids to complete the last of the activities needed to get their Georgia Junior Ranger badges. However, for some strange reason (likely due to an error in the GPS system), we ended up in Tallulah Gorge State Park instead! Tullulah Gorge is the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi and was supposed to be one of the places we would have visited if we had more time.  Formed by the Tallulah River cutting through the Tallulah Dome rock formation, the gorge is approximately 2 miles long (about 3 kilometres), and features rocky cliffs up to 1,000 feet high (300 metres).  Given the circumstances, we decided to let the kids complete their badges here instead of Tugaloo. One thing led to another, and instead of simply walking to the overlook points to view the waterfalls, we ended up walking down the 300 steps to the suspension bridge swaying 80 feet (25 metres) above the waterfalls….. And then walking up the 300 steps back to the vi

US East Coast 2018: Of Buried Pasts & Hidden Treasure

We were privileged to visit the Sautee Nacoochee Cabin. This was an original slave cabin that belonged to one of the two slave-owning families in the region - the Williams family (the other being the Richards family). It was a fascinating place to be; given how the role of slavery is entrenched in American history; especially here in the south, which had quite a significant part of its economic system premised on slavery. It was also interesting to learn from our docent about the process of memory making and keeping alive some of the oral history accounts from the local landowners and former slaves - not everyone wanted to remember the past due to the haunting memories this entailed for some. One interesting story is that following the emancipation proclamation of Abraham Lincoln, Mr Williams, who was the owner of the slaves in the cabin, stood on a small stone wall nearby and read out the notice to the slaves, in the process freeing them. And after the end of the Civil War, ma