#248 – PeaceWays-AGLI — AGLI Creativity: Poems, pictures, sayings, stories, and more — October 2, 2013

Update on No “Cake Walk” for Kenya in Somalia: As you may note from my posting last Friday that was requested by Foreign Policy in Focus of the Institute of Policy Studies, it was sent out on their wire service as a progressive alternative to the mainstream media and the right-wing think tanks. As a result my article was picked up by about 15 publications. Some like Znet, Alternative News, and Truth-Out are part of the US alternative press. But it was picked up by European Union Examiner, Eurasia Review, and News Now in England. But what was most surprising to me was that it was published in Wardheer news which is an English language online newspaper for Somali and even more surprising by Warcusub Media, which is a Somali language newspaper, although they did not translate the article from English. When I wrote the article, I didn’t even think about a Somali audience so I am not sure how Somali will take it. Since al-Shabaab is media savvy, I would assume that they have read it also.

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African Village

44 inch by 47 inch quilt by Barbara Myers

 Back in the 1920s to 1950s, my grandmother made piles of quilts with her church guild ladies and sent them to Africa. That always seemed odd to me when I was a child, as I believed it was too hot in Africa for a quilt. I think now that they just wanted to quilt and their families’ beds were already piled high.

As a work camper in Kenya in 2007, I couldn’t stop looking at the colorful dresses and head wraps the women wore. I relished the bright colors and how the designs didn’t have to match.  As a quilter, I delight in fabric, and I had to keep myself from snipping swatches from ladies’ clothing when they weren’t looking. Instead, I bought small bits of fabrics from vendors up and down the market stalls in Kakamega and Nairobi, then collected more when I got home. I designed and sewed this quilt, African Village, from my memories of the traditional houses and the bright stars at night. 

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Please email me at dave@aglifpt.org if you would like a pdf copy of the latest issue of PeaceWays-AGLI—AGLI Creativity: Poems, pictures, savings, stories, and more. Here is my editorial comment and table of contents. Please enjoy.

             Editorial Comment:

             In PeaceWays, we always try to do something different. This issue is on creativity so we have six poems, a quilt, pictures of Burundian women and Kenyan food, stories on a work camp celebration in Burundi and family life in Kenya, proverbs from Burundi and Swahili, cute Swahili words and phrases, and skits from Burundian youth.

            Poetry recitals at events is a traditional custom in East and Central Africa and it has a stylized method of presentation which varies from country to country. Likewise on various occasions, youth get together to develop and perform skits illustrating the theme of the gathering. Both of these activities have been more or less suppressed in the United States by the dominance of TV and associated media – people have mostly become consumers rather than producers of local entertainment.

            My attempt in this different PeaceWays-AGLI is to give some flavor of the life and cultures of the region. I hope you enjoy the issue.

 Table of Contents:

African Village, by Barbara Myers                                          

Burundian Women, by David Zarembka                                            

A Week on Mt Elgon, by Joe Ossmann                                                          

Mountain, by Peter Serete                                                      

The Land Beyond Roads, by Anna Schonwald                                   

We All Want Peace and Harmony, by Zawadi Nikuze                                               

Live Again, by Getry Agizah                                                  

Work Camp Celebration, by Florence Ntakarutimana            

Cute Swahili Words and Sayings, by David Zarembka                       

Witnesed for Peace, by Eugene Obayi                                               

Proverbs, by David Zarembka and Florence Ntakarutimana 

Sangabandi skits, by various authors                                       

Family Life, by David Zarembka                                                                                                                   

Kenyan Cuisine, by Kathy Ossmann