What Brings Me Joy

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What brings me joy

Joy for me is nature
The dew on a spider web
Sunrise over a lake
Sunset on an ocean
The beauty of the mountains towering over the meadows
Mist hovering over a pond
Fog in the trees
The Moon coming up above the trees or over the Mountains
The golds, reds and oranges of fall colors
Frost glistening and shining on the plants
Sun reflecting off the first snow making it look like diamonds
A river cascading over the rocks
Waterfalls rushing down over the cliffs
An orange sun coming up and reflecting on the ocean
Puffy clouds that take on shapes in the sky
Flowing fields of wheat dancing with the wind

Joy for me is humanity
A babys laughter
A friend’s smile
My sister’s joy in her new love
My brother’s excitement about his new toy
A stranger offering to help

Joy for me is seeing my dog Hannah running free and happy
Petting and massaging her and feeling the love in her tongue licking me in return
Her eyes looking at me knowing that she’s safe now

Joy for me is music – happy music, sad music, joyful music, piano music,
Music in the birds’ songs
Music in the trees and mountains
Music in the flowers

Joy for me is traveling
New countries, new cities, new parks and new vistas
Seeing ancient ruins and modern buildings
Hearing new languages
Seeing new cultures and ways of life
The scents of the foreign markets
The handmade items made by local craftspeople

Joy for me is good health
Free of pain and disease
Being able to walk
Being able to wake up every day and move
Being able to use all of my body parts
Being able to see, smell, hear and talk
Joy for me is yoga
Stretching and feeling my body
Flexibility in my muscles
The feeling I get when I am able to achieve a pose
Resting in shavasana

Joy for me is meditation
Letting my mind flow free and gently bringing it back to center
Letting go of stress and old thoughts
The release it brings

Joy for me is Reiki
The rest I get from the healing touch
The releases that come
The beautiful golden light that comes through me

Joy for me is my photography
Being able to see an image
Capturing all the beauty of the world
Capturing the joy I see and feel in an image
Sharing my images

Joy for me is freedom
Freedom to live in this country
Freedom to travel
Freedom to share my images
Freedom to say and write what I feel or see

Joy for me is being in love
In love with another person
In love with my family
In love with my dog
In love with beauty and nature
In love with friends

Roberta Kayne
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Ciego de Avila, Cuba ~ 1-8-18

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This is a continuation of my journal on my trip to Cuba.  I went to Cuba with Global Volunteers, a 501c3 non-profit, as a volunteer, arriving on January 6th; my goals were to teach English to Cuban people, to learn about the Cuban culture and connect with Cubans on a “people to people” basis, and to make a difference in someone’s life.

I started my day with a huge breakfast made by our casa hostess, Fefi.  Again it was eggs, pineapple, toast, some kind of ham/salami, mango juice and coffee.  Photos of the living room of the “casa” are above.  I then walked to the community center.

The community center is operated by the Church and is where we all (the volunteer team) meet to go to our designated morning jobs, do our tutoring, have our lunch and our team meeting.  Barbara and Paul agreed to do light construction, Andrew and Lynda were assigned to work in the community garden, I was to help in the kitchen if needed and then Alice and I were to tutor from 10 to noon at the center.

I reported for kitchen duty to help Edilia who gets all the vegetables and other items ready for lunch for the volunteers.  Edilia doesn’t speak English, but she managed to communicate to me what needed to be done. So I peeled garlic and shallots, chopped cabbage and sliced tomatoes. 

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Then at 10am my students started showing up.  I usually only had two or three students in the morning.  We got acquainted, and I started with flash cards and picture cards to see what level they were at.  We made some progress and I enjoyed it, but not knowing them, it was a bit difficult to try and figure out their level of English, but I was learning as I went along.  

We were instructed by our team leader not to take pictures of the students or staff for the first few days – until they were comfortable with us – which made perfect sense.  So I didn’t take pictures of my students until later in the week.  But Karen, our team leader, took a few photos during the week – here is one of me and my dedicated student Osmayer Alvarez.

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Several ladies from the church sew, crochet, knit, and make handcraft items and sell them at the community center; they brought their lovely products in each day for us to view and purchase.  There were hats and purses crocheted and sewn,  children’s clothes, shoes, a blanket that took 6 months to crochet, and more.  Here are a few photos:

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At 12 the team reconvened for lunch.  The selections for lunch were usually some kind of sandwich plus all of the vegetables.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t eat the vegetables as they were washed in the local water, which is a shame because that’s what I normally live on.  I didn’t want a cheese or cheese and ham sandwich, so they made me eggs.

After lunch, we had a team meeting.  We introduced ourselves to Alice by way of describing the person to our left.  Alice had been delayed getting in by a day, so she missed the introductions and goal setting on Sunday. 

We all give a quick report on our morning activities. Andrew and Lynda described the organic garden, along with how they weeded in the raised beds. They told of the day’s harvest being sold from a stand, along with some reserved for hospitals, day care, and other service groups. Alice and I gave our summary on tutoring English learners, including some of the frustrations that interacting with unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar environment can produce. Barbara and Paul told about their painting experience. The team then updated the goals board with Alice’s contributions.

Our itinerary for the workdays was to work in the morning, have lunch at 12, team meeting at 1, then have a cultural or people to people experience in the afternoon with perhaps some free time, then dinner and finally tutoring from 7pm to 9pm.

Our local facilitators/coordinators were Yadi, Yanel and Junior, who work for the church that Global Volunteers partners with.  They were with us each day to assist and be there to make sure we had everything we needed.  They also went along on our cultural activities.  They were absolutely wonderful and so helpful! 

To get to our cultural activity for Monday, we took two horse drawn carriages to Galeria Pauyet in Ciego de Avila for a gallery tour.

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Galeria Pauyet is a local store selling handmade silver jewelry and other beautiful decorative items made out of German silver, discarded silverware and even some Russian bullets. There were small and large animals, planes, pianos, turtles and more…..  The artisans create and work in an open air building behind the gallery, and we were given the opportunity to see them at work. 

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Airplane made from spoons, knives, and Russian bullets.

We then walked to another shop/gallery that sells local handcrafted items like paintings, souvenir type objects, and textile products.  This is a photo of one of the textile artworks for sale.

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Finally, we got a break for free time and walked home to our casas.  I stopped on the way to get some ice cream with Yanel and Andrew. 

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And I took some photos in the town:

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Taking a break at Cabaret Bohemio
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Local Color and Shapes
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Beauty in the decay of an old building with columns and wrought iron

Once I got back to the casa, I decided to wander over to Maximo Gomez Parque – the internet park.  What’s an Internet Park?  People in Cuba don’t have internet in their homes, so they go to a public park and buy access to the internet.  I bought a card that came with a code which I put into my phone, and then, voila, I had access to wifi.

I took several photos with my phone camera at the internet park – the concept just baffles me, but I found the people and situations there very interesting. 

 

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Beautiful old car passing through in front of the park. 

Across from the internet park was a rather rickety vegetable stand.

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Back of the apartment building facing the internet park

At 6 we all reconvened and went to dinner at Blanco y Negro Restaurant (Black & White).  The food was decent, but not outstanding.

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And at 7, we walked back to the Community Center to meet our students and begin our tutoring.  I worked with about 3 students in their teens, and a mother of one of the students.  I enjoyed it immensely, although with all the noise from the kids who were being taught numbers and words, it was difficult to hear and to work.

At 9pm, tutoring was over and we walked home to our casas.  Alice and I were escorted by Yanel and our team leader, Karen.

The end of a lovely second day in Cuba.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ciego de Avila, Cuba ~ 1-7-18

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I arrived into Cuba on Saturday 1/6/18 through Miami.  I went to Cuba with Global Volunteers, a 501c3 non-profit, as a volunteer to tutor English.  My goals were to teach English to Cuban people, to learn about the Cuban culture and connect with Cubans on a “people to people” basis, and to make a difference in someone’s life.

The plane was crowded and seemed to be filled with mostly Spanish speaking people.  After the struggle to find my luggage and finally asking for someone to help me find it, I got in line for customs and then found out that I didn’t need to stand in that line.  So I exited the airport to a huge crowd of people.  Overwhelmed, tired, scared, excited and feeling very lost, I searched for Karen, our Global Volunteers Team Leader, for a few seconds and then in swooped Karen and Junior to rescue me and take me to the van.  Are you Roberta, she asked.  Wow – that was so wonderful to be greeted by my name and have the luggage taken off of my hands.

I met Andrew and Lynda, two of my new Global Volunteers team members, in the van, and we all went out for dinner at the Don Quixote restaurant.  I was surprised by the huge amount of food available, but I stuck to rice and a fried fish and some kind of squash and sweet potato and dessert.  Then we took our three-hour drive to Ciego de Avila, a small town in Central Cuba. 

I was dropped off at my new home for the next 10 days, a home and B&B or “casa particular” owned by Fefi Sanchez and her husband.  They were very welcoming, hugging me and being very gracious. 

They guided me and my suitcases to my room which is attached to but separate from the main house and I immediately felt at home, settled in and slept through the night.

The only photos I took that day were of the clouds while flying and the whole fish at the buffet, eyes and all.

The next day, Sunday, January 7th, the day started with me being well rested and eating a lovely breakfast made by Fefi – eggs, ham, cheese, bread, cookies, guava and orange juice, pineapple, and my own coffee and hot chocolate.

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I then started off by walking to find the Community Center, but at the corner of the street a car stopped in front of me, which surprised me, and inside were Eduardo, the local pastor with whom Global Volunteers partners, and another man.  They said get in and they whisked me off to the Community Center where I met up with the rest of the group.  I met Paul and Barbara, my other GV team members, for the first time.  They had arrived earlier on Saturday.

We all then set off to walk to the Church.  On the way, we passed by a Mercado, the internet park, homes, horse and buggies, and also passed my casa particular which turned out to be very close to the internet park.  Here are a few photos I took of the town along the way.

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We went to exchange our money at an exchange center.  And finally ended up at the Church where Eduardo is the Pastor.  We met Noel who founded the Church many years ago.  Noel is blind, and also a very kind man.  I wish I had taken a photo of him because he had a beautiful expressive face.

We took a quick tour of the Church and the sewing room where some of the ladies of the community come to sew, quilt, crochet and work on making handcrafted items. Here are two of the sewing machines they use; one is an old Singer sewing machine with a foot pedal and the other looked like an embroidery machine.

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Eduardo gave a lovely interactive sermon, asking people to comment on the story that he read and asking for their favorite parts, what stood out for them, what was important to them, what their thoughts were.  It was wonderful to see the interaction of the audience, both Cubans and the people from the Church in Minnesota (who were also there on a mission). He left the room and came back dressed in costume and gave the children candies.

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Eduardo gave his sermon and prayers in both English and Spanish, switching from one language to the next very quickly and effortlessly.  I wanted to add a comment, but I was being shy…  I wanted to add that what stuck out for me was the phrase that Jesus was the “King of the Jews”.  Interesting and important to note.

Then the fun began. Everyone sang songs with the words displayed on the wall by a projector.  After that, some children came in dressed in costumes of the 3 wise men and acted out a play in Spanish.  Then more children came in a danced and sang.  They put on a lovely play and a few lively song and dance routines.  And the finale was handing out balloons to the children in the audience.  It was wonderful to see so many happy children having fun, enjoying the holiday and getting gifts.  I took lots of photos, and these are just a few (below).

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After the festivities, everyone was invited to enjoy cake and ice cream in the back of the church. 

Somewhere in this morning of festivities, the Church people from Minnesota presented a beautiful quilt to Eduardo for the Church.  It was intricately made by quilters, and was just breathtaking.  I took a photo of it, of course, and got the email address of the woman who presented it so I could email her a copy of the photo.

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The church did not look like any church one would normally see.  It is a “store front” type space located in a strip of buildings.  The inside is beautiful old concrete, but no ornate decorations one would usually see in a church.  It was rather barren, with plain brown benches.  But Eduardo and the people made it feel like a church with their warmth and singing.

During the day, I had an opportunity to get some of my first portrait photos of the people of Cuba.  Here are a few:

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After all of the church services and festivities were over, we all walked back to the Community Center for lunch.  Lunch was huge with rice and beans, sweet potatoes, salad, and some kind of meat. 

I was attracted to the outside wall in the courtyard of the Community Center – it was gritty and beautiful at the same time with cement peeling away revealing lovely old moss covered bricks and I couldn’t resist taking a photo of it.

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At lunch I sat next to a young Cuban girl who had been learning English for about a year.  She was very fluent.  I gave her my camera to take a few photos, and she was delighted.  I felt good about brightening someone’s day, and this is one of the photos she took.

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And here is a photo that Karen, our team leader, took of us at lunch.  The young lady has my camera around her neck 🙂  From the left:  me, the young lady, Junior (our Church liaison and the pastor’s son), teammates Andrew, Paul, and Barbara, a young Cuban man, and teammate Lynda.
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Lynda, Barbara and I chipped in afterwards and washed and dried the dishes – well Lynda did the hard part of washing…  Barbara and I dried.  Yikes – dishes for about 30 people.

Next came the meeting with Karen.  She went over the ideals of Global Volunteers (GV) and then discussed our itinerary for the next two weeks along with some other business matters.

We wrote down our goals – three goals – for our time here in Cuba.  We read them aloud, discussed them, organized them into groups/themes, and then Karen will put them up on the wall.  Mine included taking pictures to share my experience of the beauty of Cuba, making a difference in someone’s life and learning about Cuba, its people and culture.

Up next, we brainstormed about the 15 characteristics of a great team, with Barbara writing them down, and then we added another 15.

Karen brightened my day when I voiced my doubts about only doing tutoring, because other members were going to be working in the community garden and working on light construction, and she said I was very considerate and everyone agreed that I was not slacking off by just tutoring.

Karen then went over a few more business items, I read the quote of the day and Lynda read her journal entry for yesterday.  We all introduced ourselves, where we are from, how we found out about GV and what other service work we have done.

By the time all of that was over, we were at 6pm, and we went to dinner at the Garnish Restaurant.  Lovely big bowl of rice, several bowls of friend plantain chips, and delicious fish were served, and a few had chicken.  Then I had flan for dessert with a few others.

The day ended for the group and we walked back to our casas particulars.  My roommate Alice came in at 9pm.  She got delayed by the weather, so she was a day late, and we got a little bit acquainted, but I couldn’t spend much time talking because I had to type up Lynda’s journal entry and then write my own journal entry.

The end of a wonderful first full day in Cuba.

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What I Have Yet To Do In My Life

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I belong to a writers group and each month we pick a prompt or topic to write about.  Last month was “One thing I have Yet To Do Or Want To Do But Haven’t Done”.  This is what I wrote.

I’m not sure I can name one thing I want to do, there are so many.

I want to:
– write a book about my life – a memoir maybe.
– make at least another 2 or 3 books of my photos.
– travel to Africa, China, South America, Hawaii and several more places.

I’ve lived a full and fulfilling life.  I’ve had romances and lovers and husbands.  I’ve traveled to numerous places.  I’ve overcome challenges, obstacles, fears and life threatening health issues.

Almost every day, I try to brighten the lives or days of people on Facebook by posting and sharing my photos of the beauty of the world.  I’ve given my photos away to charitable organizations, and I hope to continue to do both for a long time.

I’ve volunteered for and donated to several organizations including LifeCare Alliance (Meals on Wheels), Dublin A.M. Rotary and the Rotary Foundation.

So one thing that I want to do – nah.  Innumerable things – yeah.

But deep down inside me, it all narrows down to one or two things:
– One – Leaving a legacy – something that says “Roberta was here and she made a difference”
– And two – Furthering and enriching the growth of my soul with experiences and knowledge.  I believe in reincarnation, and I have to believe that the suffering I’ve endured was for the growth of my soul.

In the spirit of both of those things – leaving a legacy and enriching my soul, I have signed up to volunteer for two weeks in Cuba in January 2018.  I will be working with the Cuban people to teach English and also working with seniors.  I’m excited to be able to do this, and I’m looking forward to making a difference and to getting some great photographs.

So I will end there with those two things that I want to continue to do….

© Roberta Kayne 2017
Photo of the Merced River at Yosemite National Park at Sunset
All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is Relating?

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What is relating? “It’s being so aware of the other person that, even if you have your back to them, you’re observing them. It’s letting everything about them affect you, not just their words, but also their tone of voice, their body language, even subtle things like where they’re standing in the room or how they occupy a chair. Relating is letting all that seep into you and have an effect on how you respond to the other person” ~ Alan Alda. I found this in his most recent book “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?”
I saw these people looking at the sunset along Hwy 1 at Big Sur, California and thought it was very touching. Usually I try to find the right quote for my photo, but in this case, I tried to find an image in my library to match what Alan Alda said.
Fuji X-T2, XF 10-24 @ 13mm, ISO 250, 1/950 @f9.
Sharing the beauty of the world, one photo at a time.

DUBLIN AREA ART LEAGUE IRISH SHOW

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I have two photos hanging at the Dublin Recreation Center as part of the Dublin Area Art League’s Juried Irish Show. All works portray people or places in Ireland or Dublin, Ohio.

My photo “The Cliffs at Old Head of Kinsale” won 3rd Place. It was a foggy morning in July, but the gulls were abundant and circling, the flowers were blooming and the cliffs were beautiful. Old Head in County Cork, Ireland, is a large promontory which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean and is one of Ireland’s most spectacular coastal areas. The Judge stated: “The contrast between the delicate flowers and power of the rushing waves is beautiful! Also the level of detail captured in the image is stunning. Nice job!”

The People’s Choice Award will be assigned in mid August. Please stop by the exhibit at the Dublin Rec Center and vote for your favorite!! Last day to vote is August 15!

Congratulations to the other winners and to all who entered!

Sharing the beauty of the world, one photo at a time.

 

 

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“No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.” ~ Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Fallingwater, the house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmann family in SW Pennsylvania, is brilliant and a definite must see for everyone! Wright ‘s style was “organic”–in harmony with nature, The house is now open to the public and is cared for by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Sharing the Beauty of the World, one photo at a time.

©Roberta Kayne 2017