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mandela2image credit: citizensplatform.net

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

      – NELSON MANDELA

So it’s Week 29, and I think the key note for me this week is vulnerability and impermanence. The death of Nelson Mandela touched me deeply, and was a reminder of the fragility of human life, however great the soul. The wild weather left us without electricity here for a day, and ripped off one of our gates at the hinges. Others were of course far more seriously affected. My wish is to consciously take such situations as invitations to trust and let go, and not as reasons to fear and try to control things even more.

My ongoing and ever increasing thanks to…

http://rosieamber.wordpress.com

the inspiration for these posts.

For other Good Deeds posts I’ve written, including the original, please check out:

https://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/good-deed-weeks/

Sunday 1st December

Picked up two of the people who were taking part in the workshop I was leading that day. It was a very magical exchange of stories written, witnessed and shared, which went incredibly deep and even began a process of profound reflection and healing steps for some.

AND good deed(s) received:

One of the participants on the writing day, also a friend and occasional colleague, presented me with a jar of homemade chutney made from vegetables from her allotment plot. There was lots of appreciation and encouragement to take this work further, and an observation that it was a great group building tool because several people in the circle hadn’t met before and yet there was a tangible feeling of connection and trust after just one day.

Monday 2nd December

Managed to catch myself before spiraling into stress by taking a deep breath and remembering the consequences of times when I’ve given in to those moments. Spent a fun hour with the boys I teach, including 15 minutes of playing hangman with English words on the theme of Winter and Christmas…they didn’t want to stop:-)

AND good deed(s) received:

Mum continued to very kindly share her car with me, and also cooked for us that night.

Tuesday 3rd December

Wrote a long overdue email to my Dad in Bali. Agreed to follow up one student’s request for an official document proving that he’d had English lessons with a qualified teacher, as he needs it in order to receive the funding.

AND good deed(s) received:

Received a lovely email from my Good Deeds friend Rosie, who wrote to let me know a book I’d shown interest in was free on Kindle that day – so thoughtful! One of my students asked me to help her prepare a CV in English and, as we went 30 minutes over, she paid me extra and also suggested that she could share my contacts with other Spanish people who needed help preparing a CV, as she was so pleased with what we’d done:-)

Wednesday 4th December

Spent some time with the mothers of the boys I teach, role playing some everyday situations and exploring the cultural aspects of the English language and communication. Taught the boys again after, and we sang Frosty the Snowman, once they’d identified the missing words and defined the vocabulary of course:-)

AND good deed(s) received:

One of the boys showed me how he’d been practicing the twelve days of Christmas, which I’d taught him last week, by singing it beautifully, with special enthusiasm for ‘five golden rings’! Oh, and I was given a nutella stuffed pancake to eat with my tea while teaching!

Thursday 5th December

We woke to no electricity and a stormy, windy morning. I dug out and lit some candles, and then fought the wind to get the gas camping stove and kettle out of the shed. We’d bought these last year, in case something like this happened, but they’d never been used. With the help of candle light and the ‘torch’ on my mobile phone I managed to get it working and made Mum and I a cup of tea. The electricity was off all day, and as there was nothing in my diary, I stayed in and continued to make Christmas cards and presents, singing to myself instead of listening to music or having TV on in the background, and continuing by candlelight when the sun went down. It was actually quite an inspiring and very peaceful day.

AND good deed(s) received:

At about 9.30am one of the neighbor’s came over to check we had hot water, and did we want some toast? So kind! (they have a gas cooker and grill). When the electricity came on again at about 7.45 that night, Mum and I sent a conscious blessing of thanks to all those who’d been working out there in the wind and snow to get our power connected again, what a job!

Friday 6th December

Spent some time reading other people’s responses to the sad loss of Nelson Mandela, and wrote my own post to honour and recognise the man for the inspiration he’s been to me.

AND good deed(s) received:

A fellow blogger asked if my comment on their Mandela post could be shown on their quotes page – of course:-)

Saturday 7th December

Sent Beatha’s money and picked up some craft supplies I needed to finish off some Christmas presents. At last got Dad’s old smart phone up and running and emailed him to let him know, because now we should be able to chat for free on Viber, which really helps to stay in touch as he’s so far away, in time and place, there in Bali. Sent a message of good luck to a friend who was performing in a show that night, and went to watch, along with at least 200 others – the hall was packed!

AND good deed(s) received:

Had to go to the bank to pay in some money, and although he didn’t really do anything ‘special’, I was genuinely touched by the warmth and openness of the man who served me. I asked how his Christmas preparations were going and he shared how he and his wife weren’t doing gifts as such this year, but were preparing a stocking filled with little treats for each other instead. Mum waited for me after she’d finished work, while I watched my friend’s show, as we are still sharing her car. The mechanic comes on Monday – fingers crossed!

Wishing you all a wonderful week dear friends:-)

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