Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thinking Globally

I've always been fascinated with globes, geography, and different cultures around the world.  I love ethnic food, ethnic dance, ethnic music, and learning about the different ways we express who we are through our culture. 

Time Life published a series of books called "The Foods of the World."

I think there were about a dozen volumes, "The Cooking of Japan," "The Cooking of Italy," etc.  I devoured every volume, because not only was cooking discussed, but also the culture of the area.  Proving that there is a picture of everything on the Internet, I found this shot of some of these favorite cookbooks next to...a globe, of course.

When I moved to Hawaii, I didn't know that there was a country named Tonga.  By the time I left, I had Tongan friends.  Through my Red Cross service, I learned about far off places like Kwajelein Atoll in the Pacific and Diego Garcia, BIOT (British Indian Ocean Terrority). 

I went on to supervise multicultural outreach workers.  I learned about their experiences as Vietnamese boat people, as Somali refugees who went to a high school graduation and ended up never seeing their families again.  I worked with the primitive Hmong people from Southeast Asia who worship animal spirits.   I learned that Vietnamese are largely lactose-intolerant, the Chaldean people of the Bible are still around, and Somalis have strong teeth because they drink camel's milk which has a high calcium content.

Lately, I've been stumbling across globes for under $5  in my thrifting adventures.  I love to search them out in junk stores and Goodwill.  Vintage status is easily determined by looking at Africa and checking for  Zimbabwe or Rhodesia.  Rhodesia means vintage.  Looking at Eastern Europe helps, too.

My upstairs hallway is long and dark.  It is hard to get a good shot in that area.  The globes are sitting on a bench storage unit.  The top lifts and there is a cedar lined storage area inside.  It is sort of like a window seat with no window.  The best part of this little vignette is that it keeps me from piling stuff on the bench

I found the frame for the chalkboard left out for the trash in a swanky neighborhood and spray painted it.  The scrollwork against the yellow wall pleases me.  I couldn't find a piece of wood that would fit behind the frame, so I just painted the wall with chalboard paint.  I change the message on it several times a week.  It reminds me of cleaning the chalkboard and clapping the erasers when I was at Sunset Ridge Elementary School and had Mrs. Thierfeld for fourth grade.

The chalkboard reads:  "He's got the whole world in His hands.  1 Samuel 2:8.  That Scripture says, "The foundations of the earth are the Lord's."