Daily Prompt: Cringe-Worthy, maybe not!

Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?

Today’s daily prompt asks us to talk about our discomfort when someone else feels embarrassed, but I’m twisting it so that the focus is on my embarrassing moments. These three recollections don’t make me squirm; they bring smiles to my face.

Recollection 1: Many years ago, when I arrived in the United States, I was rather overwhelmed with the experience. Miami International Airport was pretty scary at the time!  I was glued to the floor  when I saw those moving stairs– I had never seen an escalator. Although I saw others stepping on it, I was afraid. I just stood there. I looked back and was most embarrassed to see several people behind me. The person directly behind me sensed what was going on and he gently suggested that I step on and he would stay close. 

Escalator

Escalator (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Photo credit: google images

Photo credit: google images

Recollection 2: In my native country, we cleaned our mirrors and window panes with newspaper and water. So naturally, upon my arrival in the U.S., I did the same. I found out later that Windex exists! 

Recollection 3: Shortly after I got married, I lost my wedding band. I was visiting my sister-in-law and her family when I discovered that the ring was no longer on my finger. I was almost in tears as the search began. We looked everywhere in the house, but couldn’t find it. Imagine my embarrassment when my brother-in-law asked me to look on my right hand- the ring was safe and sound on the ring finger of my right hand.

Deutsch:

Deutsch: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These are three of my embarrassing moments that cause me to smile nowadays

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Celebrating Earth Day: The Grocery Bag Project

Every year on April 22, millions of people in thousands of cities in about 192 countries around the world observe Earth Day. Many environmental agencies, faith-based organizations, schools, charities, families, and individuals have week-long activities that focus on raising awareness about environmental issues and reminding us about our roles and responsibilities in caring for and protecting Mother Earth, our home.

How did Earth Day come about? The seed of Earth Day was planted in 1969 by Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. It sprouted on April 22, 1970 when a grassroot demonstration took place to petition the government to put environmental issues on the political agenda. Today, over 40 years later Earth Day has grown and blossomed tremendously, but the messages to care for and protect our Earth still need to go out. I’d like to share with you how a school in Miami, Florida is sending out those messages.

For several years now, the students at Dante B. Fascell Elementary School collaborate with their local grocery store, Publix Supermarket at Lago Mar for an Earth Day project. Teachers show their commitment to molding caring, compassionate children for the Earth by collecting hundreds of grocery bags from Publix for their students to decorate with Earth Day messages and drawings. The store uses the Earth Day bags to send home customers’ groceries.

The students from Pre-K to 5th grade take pride in decorating their bags and writing their messages. Some students in the bilingual program wrote their messages in Spanish.

Earth Day Grocery Bag Project- messages in Spanish

Earth Day Grocery Bag Project- messages in Spanish

The grocery bag project offers students a prime opportunity to discuss their roles and responsibilities in caring for the Earth. Many of them, along with their parents accompany the teachers to deliver the bags to the supermarket. Hats off to the students at Dante B. Fascell Elementary School for thinking globally and acting locally.
Photo credit: Lily Guevara This is Cailyn Guevara working on her project.

Photo credit: Lily Guevara
This is Cailyn Guevara working on her grocery bag.

This Earth Day grocery bag project is an excellent example of how schools and communities work together for the greater good.

Earth Day messages on grocery grocery bags.

Earth Day messages on grocery bags

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color


Nature offers us an array of rich, splendid, colors that add  beauty to our lives or piques our interest to capture those colors in photographs. Today, I share with you some of the photographs I’ve taken with  my Canon PowerShot camera. I wanted to arrange the photos in a gallery for this week’s photo challenge, but ran into some challenges. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do:-)

Feb 2012 0160632011 HibiscusOpen House 001Manhattan sunset

Phagwah: A Spring Festival in Miami

On Saturday, I attended an awesome, colorful spring festival at the Larry and Penny Thompson Park in Miami, Florida.  The festivity was celebrated by Hindus predominantly from the Caribbean and Guyana who are now living in the United States. This annual event was also well attended by non-Hindus, residents from the multicultural South Florida Community, and guests from Orlando, Tampa, NY, and Canada. What is Phagwah?

Phagwah or Holi is a Hindu holiday that celebrates the coming of spring. The cold, blustery winter days are now over and everyone is overjoyed and thrilled to welcome the buds of springtime. It is also the beginning of the Hindu New Year recorded in the Vickram era commencing from the year 57 BC.  According to modern count, Phagwah 2013 is calculated as 2070 in the Vedic calendar. Holi is celebrated on Purnima (full moon) in the month of Phalgun (March)  The word “Phagwah” originated from the word “Phalgun” and was very familiar in the North Eastern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from where Indian immigrants went to Guyana and the Caribbean.

This holiday is also called the festival of colors and is literally celebrated with colors! It is not uncommon to hear squeals of delight and uninhibited laughter as the young and old alike dash around throwing abeer (colored water) and colored powder (abrack) on each other. Hindus throughout the world observe and celebrate this holiday by attending special prayer services at Mandirs and participating in much merriment – singing and dancing with friends and relatives can go on for several days.

Photo Credit: www.yraj.com

Photo Credit: http://www.yraj.com

Holi is also known for the delectable foods that each family prepares to share with relatives, friends, and neighbors. Families, mostly the women take pride in spending long hours in the kitchen preparing sweets that are synonymous with Phagwah. Some of these sweets include- gojah, gululah, barifi and pera.

Delicious Sweet Treats!

Delicious Sweet Treats!

In addition to Phagwah being the celebration of spring and the Hindu New Year, there is a popular legend in India that goes like this:  King Hirnayakashipu believed he was God and wanted his young son Prahalad to worship him. Prahlad adamantly refused to worship his father so Hirnayakashipu and his evil sister Holika devised a wicked plan to punish Prahalad. This legend holds that Hirnayakashipu asked his sister Holika to enter a pyre (a blazing fire) while holding Prahalad on her lap. Hirnayakashipu was not concerned for the safety of his sister because she was protected by a boon that made her immune to fire. As the fire burned, everyone looking on was amazed to see that Holika was reduced to ashes and Prahlad remained unharmed. Prahlad’s goodness triumphed over Hirnayakashipu and Holika’s evil. To this day, some Hindus around the world light a huge bonfire the night before Phagwah to recreate this legend of Holika.

I participated actively in this spring festival and thoroughly enjoyed all the dancing, getting colored and partaking in the delicious sweets! Many thanks to  YRaj Productions for granting me permission to use his photographs. The collage I created does not portray the true quality or the essence of his photographs. I am still new at all of this:-)

Some content was taken from: Omtemple.org