Thursday, August 28, 2008


Samson's first day of Kindergarten.

I felt very guilty because I couldn't personally drop him off then pick him up from his first day of school, but he didn't care.

It's a hot, hazy day. There must be a fire somewhere because the whole valley is smokey.

The only indication that fall is coming are a few brownish edges on some leaves, and not that many leaves are affected.

Samson saw many of his friends at school, friends from church and the neighborhood. He was delighted to see kids he already knew and right now he is playing down in his room with two friends and Nathan.

I have this swelling feeling of pride. My boys are doing so well. They are just as happy and as healthy as two little boys should be.

Taking care of them is hard, hard work, but really it's worth it because we love each other so so much.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Hey! The Olympics Start Today.

I met Sophie at Terra Linda Park last year, just a few blocks from my home in Portland.
Sophie, a small Asian woman in her late 30's, made eye contact with me and immediately approached me with the look of someone with something very important to say.

In broken English, she explained that she was a practitioner of Falun Gong. Because of this, she had been imprisoned, beaten, and tested for organ harvesting in China.

Despite my shock and initial refusal to believe that such things could really happen, I knew she was telling the truth.

Sophie had to go into hiding when she was pregnant with her third child. She gave birth in a mountain village, far away from any hospitals or modern medicine.

When her husband and children emigrated to the United States, they were forced to divorce and she was left behind. She knew her life was in danger; she was going to be killed.
Somehow she escaped.

Now,Sophie gets up every morning at 3am; she calls people in China, talking to them about things they already know.

Several weeks after our initial meeting, I happened upon Sophie and some of her friends practicing Falun Gong at the park while I was walking home after dropping my son off at school.
They were some of the nicest people I'd ever met.
They kindly invited me to practice Falun Gong with them, and I did.
The practice of Falun Gong was basically some stretching and breathing exercises. Sophie and company gave me a book to read and invited me to Sophie's house to learn more about the philosophical side of Falun Gong.

I wasn't too interested in learning more about Falun Gong's deeper spiritual aspects. I have already chosen a spiritual path and really don't need any distractions.
However, I was very impressed by the reality of Sophie.
She is a real person whom I met and touched and spoke with.
The human rights violations I hear about whenever China is mentioned became real to me, through her.