Wednesday, September 26

Profile: Suzanne Allmart

Profile: Suzanne Allmart

Beauty & Strength:

Suzanne is a River. He spirit flows simultaneously in multiple realms of grandeur, a bird of light soaring through a sky of majesty. The world around her is colored with her glow. She evokes peace and understanding. She is a superb mother, dedicated to her family, and determined to play her role in (re)establishing the beauty and importance of pregnancy and motherhood in the world.


She is a most simple person, actually, and simplicity is the feeling I had when I met her in the beginning of 2003, when I moved to Champaign-Urbana. She was one of a host of friends I made during my short stay there, and has over the years remained a most dear and beloved companion. She and her husband Husayn are a big inspiration for the marriage Lillian and I have begun, and their parenthood will likely help to guide ours. I love to look at their weblos, especially as they recount their adventures in raising Amia.


Suzanne has reached out through many talents to help this darkened world. She has been trained as a dula, she provides exemplary service to her family and community, and likes to dance (and play oboe still?)


Suzanne will continue to give strength and vision to those around her through both her incredible insights into life, so eloquently and softly spoken, and her actions as a mother now, and in other venues later.

Token Couplet:

A river flows and feeds its blessed banks,
To her and to its Source they offer thanks.

Wednesday, September 12


Lillian and I faced some troubles during our travels. A sad thing about tourism spreading to the remoter areas of China is the impact it has on people's perception of money, business, and social structure.

Specifically, many people we meet seem to be completely focused on abusing any given situation for the sole purpose of making more money, to the detriment of travelers, who are perceived as being more affluent, wasteful, and perhaps undeserving of their wealth. One example is our forray down to a dock, where we were hoping to cross the river by ferry, to visit the famed and gorgeous Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. We walked a long time, and the picture on the right shows the plateau across the river, which was our destination. You might notice in the bottom-right and small building, where the people who man the ferry hang out when there aren't passengers.
We walked through some neat paths!
On the way to the ferry, a local guy told us that it costs 10RMB ($1.50 US)to get across, but when we got there, the two men said it was 15! We said the price we had been told, and they claimed it had gone up. We refused to pay it, and they refused to change their mind, claiming that if we still wanted to get across later, they would have to charge more still, because they'd come just for us - whereas at the moment, there were others traveling, who had probably paid 5 or less, since they're locals...

We tried to find another way across, but there was none - which is why they assumed they could charge whatever price they wanted to. We may be the first people that ever turned around because of their price, and as we made our way back up to the plateau, we saw the two men get on the boat and start it from the other side. There was no one else. They were coming for us. But we didn't look back.

I hope my readers will find opportunities in their lives to practice and demonstrate justice, by perhaps sacrificing a little to stand for the right thing. Lillian and I completely changed our travel itinerary. The journey to the ferry had taken several hours. The rest of the journey was of course magnificent (check out our picture site - link at the top). Life is good.
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