Ivy Blaise:

 

The fact that this is happening to the children and the community in At-Tuwani every day is infuriating and incredibly saddening. What is going on here is never acceptable and never justifiable.

People need to hear this and speak up against it. Being silent and pretending it is not happening makes us just as guilty.

 

Please read and see for yourself.

 

http://freedombuspalestine.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/day-8/

Originally posted on The Freedom Bus:

“You know, when I talk to my friends and we speak about us or our future, the conversations always end in silence…just silence.” Palestinian Freedom Bus crew member

In the morning some of us get up at 6.30 to meet a group of Italian activists that accompany school children of all ages past an illegal Israeli settlement and an outpost that is notorious for violent and aggressive inhabitants.

In 2004 three international volunteers were badly beaten when they accompanied the children as they do every day. The volunteers had to be brought to hospital, all three suffered long time damage, one of them is now blind on one eye.

Because one of the volunteers was American, the US stepped in and the Israeli high court was forced to implement a military escort for school children for the stretch right next to the illegal Israeli outpost. Only illegal settlers have the…

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Day #2

Posted: March 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ivy Blaise:

An amazing initiative and I am gutted that I was unable to join the Freedom Bus Tour 2014 (due to work commitments).

Please read and see for yourself. Sometimes we get so bogged down with everyday nonsense and all the crap that media throws at us that we are blinded to reality.

Educate yourself and make up your own mind. Follow the Freedom Bus on their amazing tour and beyond.

“The Freedom Bus uses interactive theatre and cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and build alliances throughout occupied Palestine and beyond.”

Originally posted on The Freedom Bus:

Our first day on the road with an amazing group of people, spirits are high as we set off to our journey through the Jordan Valley.

We’re taking the scenic route and during one of our stops, on a breath taking backdrop, we are given a crash course in how to deal with the Israeli military, our rights, what they are not allowed to do, how to be direct without saying too much about where we are headed and why. After the previous drive one could be fooled into thinking that this will just be a 2 week drip through heaven – but this is the first moment reality bites.

Shortly after that we stop at Bzeeq where we sit outside to listen to the daily struggles of the local Bedouin family to stay on their land. They tell us how they sometimes have to vacate their homes in order…

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As I was driving home this evening in the dark with the full moon high in the sky, it triggered a memory from this summer.

Lying on a sun lounger late at night, next to the dark pool, looking up at the stars in the clear night sky. No light pollution, just a sky full of stars and then suddenly seeing the first shooting star. It was the first shooting star I’d seen in almost 10 years. Feeling like a giddy kid. Simply amazing.

It was a fabulous holiday. The beers might have helped with the giddiness but for me… not much beats a beautiful night sky.

Waking up to the beating rhythm of a pounding headache, stumbling into the bathroom and staring at myself in the mirror… the shocking whiteness of my roots are flashing back at me in their luminous brightness. I feel every hour of my 37 years.

(Sorry, if you thought that this will be about something profound then I will have to disappoint you. Trust me… in this moment I would not be able to debate anything in a cultural or social context in an intelligent matter.)

Bright white roots reminding me that I am no spring chicken anymore. Combined with a sore stiff shoulder due to a badly executed dive-roll (yes I know, my own fault) and dark heavy bags under my eyes and a lingering migraine … I cannot even blame some mad party from last night.

Alright… que the sad violins…

Lament over.

So now I am sitting here trying to look at this from the other side. Migraine medication kicking in is also helping…

I got my first white hair when I was 20 (damn those genes!). I am however supporting the local economy by spending a substantial amount of money at the hairdresser.

Those same genes have also given me a somewhat “looking a bit younger than I am” ( just not today… though considering the rest of the family I might be somewhat reassured for the future).

The humongous bags under my eyes and headache are more likely from work stress and spending too much time last night playing the Xbox. The work situation is shortly to change for the better and gaming… well it is kinda fun.

My healthier living (… not perfected yet) and work-outs and therefore weight-loss is going OK, albeit very slowly. I do enjoy it and you will find me in the gym first thing tomorrow again. The fact is that I am getting to a point where I am fitter than I have been for many years and I never thought I would say that at 37.

I am also the luckiest person alive because I have some of the most amazing people as friends.

So all in all… life is pretty good.

Now excuse me, I have to book that hairdresser appointment.

 

 

All I had was an all too short break away. How will I manage getting back to my normal mundane world? Back to work, back to that mind droning everyday life? Back to worry about a number, worry if it will be enough. Worrying about if what I do will be good enough in a system that is artificial and that in reality does not say anything about me. A system that only evaluates a small part of who I am and what I can do but a system that tries to fool you into thinking that this is all that matters. That this is all that I should focus on with all that I am.

Really, is the rat race all that we are? Who decided who will get to spin the wheel and who will run the race? Why are we even running and thinking this is why we are here?

Maybe we are all fooled. Fooled into thinking that we chose this. Willingly giving our best for someone else’s gain. For the ones that spin the wheel.

For stepping outside of the race is a scary thing. It is something we are encourage to try as students but not as adults. Because how will we manage our lives, our responsibilities, all these things that we are told are the most important things in our existence? We are indulged when we are young but then gently or not so gently led back into line. Though if we do not step outside the race then how will anything ever change?

All I had was an all too short break away. The questions do not go away and nor should they. If we do not question and re-evaluate then we deserve to stand in that line, waiting for our turn in the wheel.

They fit.

My old, previously button-popping tight, old blue short.

Trust me. I tried them on about 50 times in a week to prove the fact.

So here is is: the way, waaay delayed update on my progress for the “new healthier me”. And there you thought that I had given up, fallen of the health-wagon and stuck my head into the chocolate fountain. (Yes it is still one of the better “The Vicar of Dibley” episodes!).

But no, I have actually continued with the whole “going to the gym all the freaking time” and looking after what I eat.

I feel great! It is going veeery slowly, probably because I am not doing some mad crash diet and am still trying to find the right food combo that I like, enjoy and want to eat frequently.

After 4.5 months I have now dropped one size comfortably, lost 5-6kg and most importantly…. my blood pressure has really improved!! Woohoo!

I have become slightly obsessed with checking progress once a week. A week ago or so I was convinced I put on loads of weight cos I felt like I was the size of Jabba the Hut so there I was trying on those shorts and that shirt 50 times just to convince myself that I really had not put it all on again. Panic over.

You know what though, I am soon getting to that scary moment when I will near the same weight I had over 10 years ago and then I will hopefully go below that. Now that would be something alright!

Think I might try on those blue shorts again….

Oh… this is good though. Enjoy!

 

I hate that feeling when I know that I am doing something right but it still makes me a little uncomfortable on some level. Part of me wishing that I did not know about anything and could just ignore it. I guess the term is being “blissfully ignorant”. And blissfully stupid. Treading outside the usual comfort zone.

It occupies my mind a lot lately. I know there is always the option to just walk away and ignore but I am not that kind of person. Walking away from something, which I know to be a good thing to stand up for, just because it is outside my every day comfort zone… well that would be much worse to live with. I could not face myself in the mirror, knowing I walked away because I was too chicken-shit to rock the boat.

Taking a stand against or for something is not as easy as it sounds it seems. I mean, look around; every day we are encouraged to just go blindly ahead with our ordinary lives, in an ordinary way, not causing any trouble, not upsetting the order of things. – Who decided the order though?

Go to work and invest your life, give 110% in work because that will make you successful and then you will get somewhere. – But go where and how will that fulfil your life? Working until you are burned out and then what? Will any corporation actually give a toss or just as easily replace you?

Watch TV, preferably a mind-numbing TV reality shows where you can say “well at least my life is not that pathetic”. Watch the news, see how others live and how they mess up so that you can feel good about yourself. – But it is becoming more and more clear that even the news these days are angled for some agenda and no longer unbiased.

With our minds numbed from work, exhausting us to earn money for someone else, to one way TV fed information, telling us that you should focus on consumerism and a superfluous living, why should we care about anything else?

To me it seems that independent thought and a willingness to stand up for others is something that is frowned upon today. Don’t rock the boat.

We have become complacent in our lives. Nothing fazes us any more because we will not acknowledge anything that is uncomfortable to know or hear about. If we do not acknowledge it then we do not need to look into it, we do not need to make a stand for or against. We do not need to care. It has become too easy to not care.

All through-out history people fought for freedom, rights and the very lives that we are privileged to live now.

Does that mean that we can just sit back now? That we are done and we can leave others to whatever end?

There will always be evil in the world. There will always be injustice. There will always be a need for someone to say “stop” and help. If that someone is joined by another and then by another then we can all act together and make a better world. It may sound very altruistic but really, if no-one tries then how will anything change for the better?

“The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” – Dalai Lama.

But no, it is not easy to rock the boat. On the other hand knowing I can help rock the boat and make a positive difference, however small, also means that turning my back on it would be even worse.

Complacency is the worst evil in this world. Look around you and be that someone who reaches out and says “stop”.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. “ – Edward E Hale