Sunday, December 10, 2006

Taipei Afternoon

We were surprised by the beauty of Taipei. It was definitely one of those trips full of paradoxes. Here, in the early afternoon, homing pigeons are called back to roost. We saw homing pigeons everywhere we traveled around the island. We were also very lucky to see the mountains surrounding Taipei. They are too often hidden by clouds or mist.

One Small Victory

We visited our friends in Taipei in February 2006. As always in travel, we met people from all over the world, doing amazing things to make this a better world.

We took a city tour of Taipei and our one companion on the tour was a woman who worked for an organization that improved labor conditions in southeast Asia. She talked about projects like microcredit banking where people can borrow money -- the equivalent of twenty-five, fifty, maybe a hundred dollars -- and turn that loan into life-changing projects. Women buy a flock of chickens or a cellphone or sewing materials and create a local business. With their earnings they send their children to school, improve their homes -- and pay back the loans.

She talked about the struggles and successes. We shared our frustrations over world politics and especially over the damage done by U.S. policies railroaded by the Bushes and company. That damage is so deep. We (U.S. citizens) have lost and squandered and damned ourselves by allowing this government to wage war on the world in our names.

But today I celebrate a small victory. John Bolton, the Bush representative to the UN who was rammed into place by political maneuvers, has resigned. I know this will be great relief to this woman in southeast Asia, nevermind to the rest of the UN and to thinking, caring people worldwide.

I sent her an email in the spirit of the season -- miracles do happen -- especially when we keep faith, speak out, vote, think, listen, and don't cave in to despair.