Archives for: August 2007, 14

08/14/07

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 983 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

I actually had a happy post ready for today...

I had a happy post ready for today... with images et al... then a friend who's just spent a time up in Ontario's far North in a native settlement wrote to me about her experiences...

There is a modern, North American view of aboriginals that now shows them as savvy casino owners and people that have figured out how to maximize trade with tax exemption... the other view are those who are fighting for land claims and blocking rail lines and highways...

Reading the reports from my friend, I feel like cracking the heads of those people who DO represent the above modern stereotypes.

In the far outreaches, Canada... and I'm sure America... has it's own third world in it's back yard.

I wish I could relate the stories she has from the children she was working with... it would rend your soul as it has mine.

With her permission, allow me to share some brief "reports"... the first one was about how on her first day, one kid told her about the death of her father and uncle. They burned to death. The reason was smoking and alcohol. According to her, the kid was very glib about the incident... life is apparently fairly cheap up there.

Most of the homes' windows are broken... the general population depressed, sick, and generally disheartened. There is no "good" by the sounds of it. Schooling is practically non-existent... in her reserve, there is a kindergarten and schooling to grade eight. In order to go to high school, they need to move three to five hours away from home. This leads to teenagers being bored and acting in violent and criminal ways.

The sewage system is broken... and funds are not enough to cover repairs.

Most of the children she saw were suffering from malnutrition and, according to her, literally had teeth rotting out of their mouth.

She wrote of one very young girl... about eight... with autism. Since there is no infrastructure to help her, her mother is trying as best she can... she's in diapers and what schooling is available will not help as they are not equipped to handle this child. The mother has two other babies... and is employed at one of the precious few jobs available on the reservation.

One little girl died last year, drowning trying to save her sister. They are STILL trying to raise funds for a headstone. (My friend will be getting details on this fund-raising... and once I have them, I'm going to be begging for help with that too... Sue and I will pledge some of our own... and we hope you will too in order to have a proper memorial for a brave little girl.)

All this isn't helped that a jug of milk is $12.00 up there... a case of clean drinking water is $19.00... gas is $1.40 per litre...

In a country and society that supposedly venerates and is doing "wonderful things" with the aboriginal people, I have to ask myself WHERE ARE WE HELPING!?!

It doesn't sound like the people that need assistance most are getting it...

I can't mince words here either... throwing money at these problems won't help. The adult population, sadly, is not equipped to deal with things properly after years of abuse and neglect. A vicious cycle that isn't ending. Abused kids become abusing teenagers... and abusing adults.

Suicide is not uncommon... their culture removed after years of attempts at "assimilation" from various sources... these people's kids CAN'T speak their true native tongues... and languages ARE being lost.

She ended her reports to me with the knowledge that the young kids are great... loving... and happy. They make the best of their lot and the older kids do look after the younger ones... but the vicious cycle will catch up.

I don't know what can be done... if anything can be done... but we (ALL OF US) must try.

I'm going to start with this headstone... and I will give you all the details once I have them. DO NOT send me anything towards this... I will tell you all about it when I can.

Perhaps, by this one act, "we" can show that we are interested in these folks, we do care, we know they are there, and we are willing to TRY and make a difference.

I will "return" this blog tomorrow to it's normal state... and until we have the details... as much as I feel incredibly saddened by what I just read... I try to stay on the upbeat... and for now, I will return to the dream... but with much thought and consideration towards these people... our native people... and some VERY tough questions for our politicians next election.

I can't do much, but I will try... and never forget.

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The standard last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

This blog is here to help promote a dream that an entire family shares... that dream is to rescue an old London Double-Decker bus.

RLH 3

Please, if you have a few minutes, take some time to find out more about this bus and the kooky dream by clicking here.

This bus is VERY special to myself and the whole family, and any help any person can lend us would be most gratefully accepted.

If you or someone you know might be interested, there's our tiny banner site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and a PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, a Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff!
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Please Note: We are also hoping for help from a public relations/marketing standpoint... If you might be able to assist OR know someone who might be willing to, please click here and read this entry...

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One Old Green Bus

This blog was started in April of 2006... its original itent was really twofold. One was to be a "sounding board" for it's author... and the other... well...

At the time we started this, your humble author was unemployed and going through the usual crisis situations that arise from being jobless.

We (my wife, stepdaughter, and I,) used to "amuse" ourselves (read: Take our minds off our troubles) by more-or-less fantasizing as a family about what we'd do when things "turned around". Along this route, we discussed going to England on a vacation... and in that, alighted on "double-decker buses".

We kind of adopted one bus... Regent Low Height 3... as Our Bus... and we used to talk about what we'd do with "our bus" if we got it... from fixing it up to the trips we'd take on it.

Along the way, we became students of the history of this bus which HONESTLY seemd it was truly for us... trouble was, we couldn't afford the bus and weren't in a position to work towards the bus... so we had a couple of options...

Since the bus' position was sketchy (there's a chance she might be sold for scrap or "carved up" in other ways,) we could forget about her and pretend she didn't exist...

...or we could TRY... ask for help... put our dream of owning and saving "One Old Green Bus" into the universe and see what happens...

As of February, 2008, we knew that there was a perspective buyer for the bus (not us, obviously,) and made some difficult decisions... The first was that we wouldn't "beg" for help anymore and give the little money we received to a few different charities both online and off... and the second was simply hope that either we find a corporate sponsor (for an "ad" idea we have, click here to about read that,) or even a patron who see's the value in a silly family's dream...

But, if the bus is about to be purchased by someone who's planning on restoring it and they "get there first", we wish them well and are glad that at least Our One Old Green Bus is in a safe place being looked after.

For now, though, we are still hoping WE might be the ones to get our One Old Green Bus and see a family dream come true...

Regardless, this blog WILL continue... and we will still "go for" a bus of our own... but this blog will ALWAYS be dedicated to our own One Old Green Bus.

Want to know more about Regent Low Height buses? Click here!

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