Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Abi's Reflection on Lima, Peru

Dear Friends,

 My ship did not get bitten by a shark but I saw lots of jellyfish.  On the ship I went to the snack bar.  I went swimming too.

In Peru I tried on a white coat and I went to the mall.  At a park we saw so many cats that lived at the park and lots of pictures.  And I played at the park.  At the SanFranciscan church I saw real bones in an underground tomb called a catacomb.  There were over 25,000 people from Peru buried there in the 1600's and 1700's.  We chased doves outside the church.

The flag in Peru is red and white.  The people spoke Spanish but many people also speak English.  Peru was a nice country.  To travel we rode in a bus, in taxi's, and I walked a lot.  I tasted good chicken.  The air around Lima smelled polluted.  It felt hot outside, but it was fall there.  There were large mountains near Lima.  Lima was really really loud.  There were lots of cars and people.  The tomb under the church was very quiet because people were listening to the guide. 

I had a really good time.  Love, Abi

To my friends

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Disneyland Comes to Shawnee, Oklahoma

So it must have been late 80's early 90's - I was in the 7-12 age range I would guess.  And I was in the neighbor's Astro van - which, side note, I believe vans are cool in proportion to the likelihood your family has one.  There was about a 1% chance my parents would ever own a van, so this Astro van was the coolest vehicle I had ever seen, aside from a limousine I saw once.  But no kid has parents with a limousine.  The neighbor girls and I were rolling in the back seat.  Life was good.  Somebody said "I heard they are going to build a Disneyland by the Shawnee Mall".  My immediate thought was - of course!  Why wouldn't they?  Where else on earth could you get Esprit shirts and Guess pants than Shawnee, Oklahoma?  (Or, Oklahoma City...but they had Frontier City there with two roller coasters.  Disneyland could never compete with that.)  It was obvious Disneyland would never make it in Seminole, Oklahoma.  Despite the awesomeness of my hometown and my ambitious imagination I knew that Disney would never be coming to Seminole.  But the Shawnee Mall had only been built months earlier - and having a mall just 30 minutes from my house made me feel like a rock star.  Who has a mall 30 minutes from their house?  Probably people that live next to Disneyland, am I right?

Looking out the van window I could already see it in my minds eye.  The vacant prairie land beyond the Shawnee Mall was practically made for Disneyland.  It would be the best thing ever.  Everyone would come to see it, and my family would go there once a week.  They would have like three roller coasters and then when you were done at Shawnee Disneyland you could go to the Shawnee Mall food court and get Sbarros Pizza and Dippin' Dots.  How lucky could a girl be?

Months went by, and Disneyland wasn't built yet.  When I asked my mom when the building was to start, she resolutely told me that there would be no Disneyland in Shawnee.  I asked her what went wrong?  Why wasn't it coming?  And she was so puzzled - as a parent, I now realize she had no capacity for even imagining a Disneyland in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  She didn't even need to research this intriguing fact at all - she just knew, intuitively, that there never will be a Disneyland in Shawnee.  Me, on the other hand, I was just as intrigued by how little she cared about this exciting news.  Didn't she want to go read the paper and find out for sure that Disneyland wasn't coming to Shawnee?  Didn't she need to demand answers?  (There was no internet at this point people.  Just think about that for five minutes.)

I bring this up because last night I took my 6 year old swimming.  She started playing this game where she was pretending to be an animal in the water and I was supposed to guess it.  She started with shark.  It really was beautifully executed.  I think she was pretending to maul some kind of prey and shook it until it was dead...I mean, that is what I would guess that was.  The next ones I couldn't guess.  I kept saying dolphin...she was apparently a drowning baby bunny rabbit, a kangaroo that was doing flips, and a shark again.  But it wasn't like she was "pretending" to be a drowning rabbit - I could see that in her imagination she was totally transformed.  She was really irritated - genuinely thinking I was probably the dumbest person on the face of the planet because somehow I was missing her perfect execution of "drowning rabbit".  She grew tired of the game not because she doubted her abilities to perfectly pretend to be any animal, but because she didn't want to play with someone who was so seriously impaired that they couldn't even guess her very literal translation of flipping kangaroo.  I love that kind of imagination that says everything is possible.  I just think that kind of thinking must make life incredibly fun.