(This is a copy of the last blog on my site: Diaries of a Global Farmer)
Robert often reminds me what a privilege it is that we have
travelled, lived, loved and been loved in three distinct cultures and
continents. Since 2006 we’ve spent part of each year in Zambia, Switzerland and
western Canada. The interactions with the people we met have
made our lives immeasurably richer. I hope I have become more tolerant, more
understanding of those different than I am.
I’ve posted weekly to this blog since January 2009 – four
years. That’s a lot of words. I chronicled our visits to farmers in Africa,
Europe and Canada. I’ve introduced my readers to individuals and communities
and their stories. I hope I’ve been able to foster a better understanding of
different cultures and peoples.
This last year has seen some changes in our lives. Our home
base has changed from Westlock, Alberta (Canada) to Schleitheim, Switzerland.
Two little grandsons have entered our lives. Robert’s father suffered a massive
heart attack and my mother a massive stroke. Both are still alive, but needing
care. Many of my days in the last months
have been spent in the hospital (in Canada) with my mom, or in the care home
with my in-laws (Switzerland), or with the babies who are a year old now (also
Add to that a book deadline I’m trying to meet. Alberta
Foundation for the Arts provided me with a grant to write the stories of some
of the women I met in Zambia who have inspired and encouraged me. I want to
share their stories, and also something about the culture, land and people of
Zambia as we have experienced it over the eight years we have travelled there
on short term work trips.
So I won’t be writing a regular blog for the Western
Producer for now. I have a new blog address, http//global-farmer.com which contains all my old blog entries, and will continue to post to it. The entries will most likely focus
more on the topics prevalent in my life right now – balancing elder care and
baby care with my own life, family struggles within changing dynamics (don’t
worry, my family, I won’t embarrass you!), living with stroke or Alzheimers.
I might write about Beatrice, Mom’s nurse from Nigeria, that reminded me to laugh lots even if the
going is tough; about Mom’s Ugandan doctor, who talked about the importance of
the place of faith during rehabilitation; her South African doctor, who told
her it was okay to be mad at God. About the Tibetan nurse in Robert’s parent’s
care home who came to live in Schleitheim two years ago.
Culture and people still fascinate me. What makes us tick;
do the things we do? How does the migration of people, the intermingling of all
races and cultures change the way we live and think?
So I look forward to continue writing, and to hearing from
you. What are your stories? Sharing our stories seems to be the best path to
understanding each other.