Week 230 August 25, 2018

Loren and I started the week off at the Castro Valley Greek Festival where we enjoyed catching up with our former AirBnB host and one of her guests, and, we ate Greek food, drank Greek wine and beer, and watched Greek dancing. It was a fun evening!

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We also went to make a copy of an historic family photo, and when we took the frame apart I was surprised to find a water color painting of Loren’s father tucked inside! It is not as accurate as a photo, but, definitely there is a resemblance that is unmistakable.

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I have taught a couple more Bikram yoga classes this week, and for some reason I was moved afterwards one day to look up the Periodic Table of Elements. I found it interesting to notice how the electrolytes I remind my students to replenish after taking the hot yoga class – calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium, are all situated in a neat 4 square block on the table for some reason.

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We have noticed much smoke in the air this week – it only looks a bit hazier as it rides in and out on thick fog, but, I notice it in my sinuses, feeling like I have a cold one minute, then it’s gone, then it’s back, several times a day. When Loren and I went for a walk in the regional park, we found a whole herd of goats fenced in, eating the dry vegetation, and making quick work of it. This is one measure being taken to try to protect the neighboring homes should fire threaten even closer to where we are staying. 

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Later on the hike we saw a flock of egrets heading to roost for the night, reminding me so much of the flocks we had seen when we were in Pokhara, Nepal, in November… 

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We have met some nice people who stay or have come and gone at our AirBnB, and this week we had exciting news from one young couple who are visiting from West Africa. I learned that he proposed to her when he took her to see his school here. He even had a special heart laid out on the floor in the center of the hall to accentuate the occasion. Then they were married here in a civil service. My photos are from their video of the proposal and of a photo of them on their wedding day from his laptop. I am so happy for their joy!

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As an unexpected coincidence, as Loren and I were leaving a writer’s group meeting, we discovered that it is held in the same building as this young man’s school, and, he offered to give us a tour. That is his country’s flag in the background, and, his shirt expresses the sentiment of his engineering studies: eat, don’t sleep, code.

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We spent one enjoyable evening this week at the home of friends who have an owl living in a palm tree in their backyard. During the day you can just barely make out its head between the palm fronds. Each evening around dusk the owl flies out from the tree where it has spent the whole day. We were especially lucky to see him not only fly out, but to circle back around as if to say hello before he then headed off and away for his night of foraging. 

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Another evening was spent with Loren’s long time friend, and after a nice dinner out together we enjoyed going for ice cream. The flavor he is eating – called Ube, is more delicious than how the color might appear it would taste!

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Afterwards, together we watched a parade of sorts of classic cars driving up and down the main boulevard in town. We were delighted to find our friends whose palm tree hosts the owl were participating in it with their daughters!

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And, this week we received a photo of my brother’s younger daughter who is now settled in her dorm room, as she starts her first semester of college. She’s look so happy and I am so proud of her!

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