Archive for the 'Cultures' Category

Legend of the Papalope

A game camera capture claimed to show the famed Papalope of Bourbon County.

A game camera capture claimed to show the famed Papalope of Bourbon County.

Less known than the popular jackalope is the story told in the Great Plains of North America. This pseudo-mythical tale is of the “Papalope” a joyful, grandfather character who cares for cattle and children in the [[Kansas]] fertile lowlands with sitings reported near the old Camp Drywood site in Bourbon County.

Legends claim the Papalope is a farmer and woodsman known for his full head of tousled hair, quick wit, and ready smile and is often described as riding an late model (circa 1970) Allis-Chalmers tractor. According to a former public official from Drywood Township [1], the Papalope is married and collectively the” Papalope” and “Mamalope” are known to care for the plants and wildlife in their domain and for helping others in need. The Papalope and his bride welcome strangers into their home for large seasonal feasts and activities throughout the year and for providing housing to travelers in need of shelter. Though thought to be a folktale, a photo taken in 2014 by an automatic wildlife camera captured what former residents from the area claim to be a photo [see above] of the Papalope walking through the yard of a private farm in rural Bourbon County Kansas.

Circumstantial evidence indicate that the Papalope may not be unique to the Great Plains as there is an engraving from the 1920s that depicts a possibly similar character known as the “Cow Man”.

[1] Personal interview with a former Drywood Township Trustee

German Music Recital

 

On Thursday, February 18,  I attended the senior recital of mezzo-soprano singer Charity Barker at Oral Roberts University.  Usually, I am not one to pick out concerts for vocal qualities.  I tend to prefer the more instrumental performances.  However, I did attend Ms. Barker’s recital and feel it was a good experience for me.

Ms. Barker has a strong vibrant voice.  As vocal majors are required, Ms. Barker sang songs in Italian, German, French, and British and American English.  Since I do not understand most of those languages, I followed along in the little flier in the bulletin. I was surprised at the depressive lyrics to several of the songs.  The song Son tutta duolo especially was full of saddened lyrics.

The Italian piece, Orontea somehow reminded me of aristocratic gardens as one would watch out a large window pane.  It seemed to flow gently.  Even though I could not understand the lyrics, they held the quality which made me think of a lady missing her lad who was away.

As I listened to the music, I took notes so I could write some of the feelings I was having as I listened.  I described the German music as heavier and darker than the other pieces.  Of the German pieces I wrote, “Tries to be light and jovial but doesn’t quite make it.”  The German pieces somehow had a heavier sound.  Perhaps it was the guttural sound of the German tongue or just the style of those pieces.   The American pieces by Gershwin held a light sound with a hint of frivolity.

Overall, I think I gained a better understanding of what the different language styles and at least a little more appreciation of vocal music by itself.

Nepal and India Conference Ministry

I visited India and Nepal in 1998 with a ministry team from Oral Roberts University. Here are some of my notes from that time from a letter I found recently.

When we first arrived in India we met our contact, Tom Adleta (he is a whole story in himself) after rushing our baggage out of the airport and into jeeps we were just in time because a rainstorm hit.  Boy!  When it rains in India it really rains. The jeeps took us across the countryside toward Nepal several hours away.

This area of India is mostly tea plantations.  The plantations were originally English endeavors from when England colonized India until 1947.

Even in the rain there were harvesters working under their umbrellas to gather the yellow leaves from the tops of tea bushes which are more than 100 years old.

After stopping at the border to fill out the customary paperwork we made our way through the streets of Karkavitta to the Hotel Rajat (King Hotel) where we would stay for the next week and hold our first conference.

Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday we rested and prepared for the conference.  Even though it was named the “King Hotel” we had friendly geckos to keep us company.  Well, at least they helped keep the bug population down! It got pretty hot and the humidity was awful so we drank lots of water and did our best to stay cool.

Outside of my window I could see the dirt street and one morning I watched an elderly man as he washed his face at a spigot and offered water and his morning prayers to his gods.  Seeing this was just the beginning of my realizing the spiritual oppression of the people of this area.

The conference was organized by a disciple of Tom’s who he has been training for some time to take over this aspect of their ministry.  Tom is focusing on equipping pastors from Bhutan to minister there. (Bhutan is one of the most closed nations in the world.  Several weeks after this conference a church in Bhutan was raided by police and about 15 people and the pastor were placed in jail.

We held the conference in a little (10’x 30′) storage room attached to the hotel.  When the electricity went out (a common occurrence throughout the whole trip) we sweltered and prayed that it would come back on and run the two ceiling fans again. Cure for heat?  Drink water. All day long

We may have been told that it would be a “youth” conference but “youth” means anyone between 13 and 70.  What an honor to be able to speak to these people several of which were pastors themselves!  Glory to God who fills us up and then uses us if we are willing to serve.

The Conference which began Sunday night and ran until noon Wednesday.  Since we were given freedom in what we would teach on each of us took our rest time to pray and study so we’d be prepared for our session.

I can see how important it is to be, as Paul told Timothy, Ready to preach in season and out of season.  It was very interesting to see how the Holy Spirit guided each teaching to follow a single theme about growing in the Lord.  I taught on putting on the armor of God.

Preaching can be very enjoyable when you can feel the Spirit speaking through you but when He doesn’t it can really be a struggle.  I experienced both types of preaching on this trip.  A hands-on lesson on relying on God and not on self.

The crowd we were speaking to consisted of about 60  pastors, lay Christians and at least one Hindu teacher who stopped by. Some of these people were Bhutanese refugees staying in India, some were Nepalis and some had traveled for days to come to this conference.  It is very humbling to see how much they desire God yet I know that I often don’t have that fervor for Him.

About the Hindu teacher.

God specifically had him show up one evening and hear Michael Homan’s teaching on Jesus Christ.  After that session Tom told him to stay for the evening session when he taught the Salvation message again.  The Hindu teacher was ready and accepted Christ that night!  There were several others as well and rededications also.

During different services we prayed for healings and had reports of at least one lady being healed of joint problems. Praise the Lord!

Something about Nepali customs:  all through the services everyone sits on the ground and the ladies sit on one side while men sit on the other.  In Christian circles there is no longer any caste system but the women still have few privileges.  Still, those ladies worship with their whole hearts and pray with fervor.

Wednesday evening we rented an entire bus to take us the 14 hours to Kathmandu.  With seven of us on the team plus Tom; his friend, Reuben; our baggage, and the seven Adleta children (Nathaniel, Matthew, Joy, Jonathan, Jubilee, Honour, and one more), we needed the whole bus. In 14 hours it is amazing, how many different positions I tried to get comfortable….  Stretched across my seat, leaning against the window, kneeling half-on and half-off the seat.  I slept some but it wasn’t until later in the trip that I learned to sleep just about anywhere.

Another rainstorm cooled things off so the ride was really quite nice as we made our way up one of the few highways in Nepal and on toward the Kathmandu Valley.

TRAVEL ALASKA

Part I

Alaska and the Eskimos

The United States is known for its diversity — diversity of land and diversity of people.  People have immigrated from all over the world to join what has been dubbed “the melting pot”.  Since acquiring the region of Alaska from Russia, the U.S. has gained a marvelous addition to this melting pot of cultures and societies.

The natives of Alaska called, Eskimos, are the proud descendants of nomadic travelers, brave sailors, and explorers who have learned to survive in the land of the midnight sun. The first visitors to this harsh environment of the north are thought to be the Tlingits and the Haidas (settlers of British Colombia), the Athabascans (inhabited the Alaskan interior), the Aleuts of the islands, and the Inuit (Eskimo).  These people came from Asia across the land bridge which linked Siberia and North America approximately 3000 years ago1.

Inuit Past Continue reading ‘TRAVEL ALASKA’

The Story of Sadhu Sundar Singh

Story Of Sadhu Sundar Singh by Cyril J. Davey presents the story of the life of a young Indian mystic who rebelled against God.  After struggling with his life, he finally sought God and received an answer when the Lord Jesus appeared to him.  From that point on Sundar Singh lived the life of an Indian holy man who was totally committed to Christ.  His ministry stretched across India, into Tibet, and around the world.  All this took place during his 39 years of life.

Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), the son of a wealthy landowner in the Punjab plain of India, was a prime candidate for becoming another honored member of the “Singh” (lion) family.   God had other plans. Continue reading ‘The Story of Sadhu Sundar Singh’

Sociolinguistics studies affect on practical TESL

#3 Discuss how the topics in sociolinguistics will affect your practice in TESL and other relationships.

This Sociolinguistics class covered a variety of topics, and has proven very enlightening about communication styles and political attitudes in the United States concerning language education and very practical in how to deal with communications between cultures and genders. Continue reading ‘Sociolinguistics studies affect on practical TESL’

The World If There Were Only 100 People

Here’s a nice infographic showing what the World would look  like (Statistically) if there were only 100 people.

via The World If There Were Only 100 People.

Three differences in the way men and women communicate

Men and women may be from the same species when it comes to biology, but when dealing with communication they have differences that some even consider to be out of this world.  Books like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray (1992) and That’s Not What I Meant! by Deborah Tannen (1992) have brought issues of gender communication and the importance of understanding such communication styles and techniques to the forefront of American society in recent years.

Three of those styles that are typical differences between American males and females will be discussed in this document.  These three are: conversational style, pronunciation, and independence versus interdependence in storytelling techniques. Continue reading ‘Three differences in the way men and women communicate’

Review: The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov

1/22/99

The play The Cherry Orchard was written in the last year of the life of its author Anton Pavlov Chekhov and was first performed the same year in the Moscow Art Theater in 1904 as a tragedy despite the fact that Chekhov insisted it was a comedy rather than a tragedy as the director portrayed it.

According to The Reader’s Companion to World Literature by Hornstein, Percy, and Brown (1984); Chekhov was a pre-revolutionary Russian writer who at least fairly accurately reflected the Russian society of his day.  With his family heritage and experiences as a physician, Chekhov was able to look at Russian society from the point of view of the poor as well as the rich.  RCWL describes the Russia of Chekhov’s day as including the suffering of the poor and the rich who live in boredom.

In his writings, Chekhov takes a realistic although sometimes surreal view of his subjects.

I once saw the Oral Roberts University’s production of Chekhov’s play The Seagull which seemed to have a tragic surreal air about the characters.  His play The Cherry Orchard is a good example of realism since it appears to show a slice of society not as Chekhov wants it to be but as it is.  Chekhov presents his audience with the common, the mundane, and the seemingly unimportant as it would be in everyday life.  Chekhov once wrote about life, “It is very monotonous and boring; one day is very much like another.” (RCWL, p.105).  In his writings this outlook on life is definitely apparent.

The characters in The Cherry Orchard are upper class but bored people who have just arrived home from a journey and are now discussing old friends, how tired they are, debt problems, and a myriad of other topics.  I find it ironic how devoted the servant girl is yet the aristocrats seem not to care.  The plot, if you can call it that, peaks at the suggestion that the family owned cherry orchard be cut down and leased to builders to get them out of debt.  While this would solve their debt problems the family is much more devote to the traditions of what the cherry orchard represents and how historical it is as a local attraction.  In contrast the problem-solving merchant who proposed its demise cares nothing for traditions.  I suppose this was an idea from that time period or Russian culture, but I do find it amazing that they would talk of marrying off one of the daughters to a rich man as a more viable means of relief from debt even more than selling a parcel of land.

I like the sense of tradition as held by the landowners.  This sense of something which outlasts themselves and should be held as it is despite their financial problems.  I felt The Cherry Orchard somewhat ironically displays the problems with selfish aristocratic living including arranged marriages because of money, apathy about the devotion of servants, and self-centered attitudes. Even now I think reading Chekhov’s slice-of-life style help people today to understand an era when people have lost this sense of dedication and seek after “their own thing”.  After all anyone can learn from the way people were if they are willing to consider the past and do something different in their own lives.

Complex Simplicity

10 March, 2000

Humanity is searching for simplicity in the midst of this life so full of complexity.  In Henry David Thoreau’s “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” and Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “The Channelled Whelk” the reader is exposed to two authors’ desire for simplicity and how they seek this.  Although from different centuries, both authors have found similar sensations in nature to be calming and draw feelings of simplicity from it.  One attempts to absorb the basis of life by changing surroundings and absorbing the simple things of this world.  The other recognizes the way nature reminds humanity that the life within can retain lessons in simplicity and grace of the mind, heart, and environment. Continue reading ‘Complex Simplicity’