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Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

Travel Photo Thursday: Jamaican Orchids

I don’t have a green thumb but I love flowers, especially orchids. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to love me. Each time I buy one, I think it will be different, it will last more than a few months.  Each time, I’ve been wrong.

Now that I’m in Jamaica, where orchids are plenty and grow wild, I’m tempted but I’m gun shy. So for now, I’m satisfied to take photos of the ones I see.

Jamaican orchid

Jamaican orchid

Over 30,000 species of orchids can be found worldwide. Approximately 230 are found in Jamaica. Of that number, about 70 are endemic to the island.

The main threat to Jamaican orchids is from the destruction of their habitats caused by land clearing for housing, hotel and agricultural development, bauxite and/or limestone mining, harvesting of forest products for timber, fuel wood, fish pots, yam sticks and fence posts.

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

The second greatest threat to the species is believed to be collection by orchid enthusiasts for local and international trade. The government has enacted legislation to protect their habitats and regulate the orchid trade. Sanctuaries have also been established to relocate orchids that are found in areas under threat.

These orchids are from the gardens of friends and family.

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

This one is known locally as Poor Man’s Orchid. It sure looks like it could be.

Poor Man's Orchid

Poor Man's Orchid

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2012

Speaking of today’s observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a friend, I was reminded of the time before there was an actual holiday.

It took approximately 18 years from the campaign for a federal holiday began after King was assassinated in 1968 to the signing into law by President Reagan in 1983 to the first observation in 1986. During that time, countless people lobbied and worked tirelessly for the day.

Take a look at this clip from the documentary, The Making of a Holiday.

Sometime in the 1980s, I attended a Stevie Wonder concert where he got the crowd all fired up about the efforts that had been underway. He ended the show with a rousing sing-along to the Happy Birthday song (lyrics below). I remember that my friends and I left the concert singing the song and on the drive back to Canada, discussing ways we could get involved.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

My friend reminded of the people, like herself, who before the day became an official holiday took the day off and made silent prayers that they’d have a job when they returned to work the following day. I was living in the States by then and was lucky enough to be working with a company that gave us the day off long before it became a recognized holiday.

There was a feeling of elation that year of the first observance. I remember the discussions. Everyone I knew wanted the day to live up to the ideal that Martin Luther King, Jr. embraced and espoused – that of service to others. We knew without an emphasis on service, it would be easy for the day to become just another shopping day. In fact, earlier today, I heard a commercial on television that went something like this: Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. We at (name of company) also have a dream…I couldn’t believe it.

After some resistance, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is now observed in all 50 states.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Happy Birthday, Dr. King (January 15th). Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“Happy Birthday”

You know it doesn’t make much sense

There ought to be a law against

Anyone who takes offense

At a day in your celebration

Cause we all know in our minds

That there ought to be a time

That we can set aside

To show just how much we love you

And I’m sure you would agree

It couldn’t fit more perfectly

Than to have a world party on the day you came to be

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

 

I just never understood

How a man who died for good

Could not have a day that would

Be set aside for his recognition

Because it should never be

Just because some cannot see

The dream as clear as he

that they should make it become an illusion

And we all know everything

That he stood for time will bring

For in peace our hearts will sing

Thanks to Martin Luther King

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

 

Why has there never been a holiday

Where peace is celebrated

all throughout the world

 

The time is overdue

For people like me and you

Who know the way to truth

Is love and unity to all God’s children

It should be a great event

And the whole day should be spent

In full remembrance

Of those who lived and died for the oneness of all people

So let us all begin

We know that love can win

Let it out don’t hold it in

Sing it loud as you can

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

Ooh yeah

Happy birthday…

 

We know the key to unify all people

Is in the dream that you had so long ago

That lives in all of the hearts of people

That believe in unity

We’ll make the dream become a reality

I know we will

Because our hearts tell us so

 

Soulful Sundays: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Without a doubt, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s current role as the first lady of France has dwarfed her singing career. Until she married and her name became known internationally, few of us knew anything about her.

I confess, I didn’t put much stock in her singing ability. But a few weeks ago, I watched a documentary on Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy (Somebody Told Me About…Carla Bruni) and was forced to change my tune. I was taken by her voice, and impressed by the lyrics she’s written for herself and others.

Born Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi on December 23, 1967 in Turin, Italy, Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy is an heiress to the fortune created by the CEAT tires company. According to Wikipedia, the family moved to France in the 1970s when Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy was 7 to escape the threat of kidnapping by terrorist groups who targeted the wealthy.

Following a successful career in modeling, Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy quit in 1997 to devote herself to her music. She has recorded three albums, Quelqu’un m’a dit (2003), No Promises (2007) which comprises poems by Yeats, Dickinson, Auden, Dorothy Parker, de la Mare, and Christina Rossetti set to music, and Comme si de rien n’était (2008). She’s recorded with Harry Connick, Jr., and in 2009 sang for Nelson Mandela’s birthday party at Radio City Music Hall.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, image from the Internet

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, image from the Internet

Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy’s been married to Nicholas Sarkozy since 2008. Last October, she gave birth to her second child, Giulia, in Paris.

In addition to her musical career, Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy’s also been involved in the movies — she played the museum guide in Woodie Allen’s film, Midnight in Paris – and humanitarian efforts. Her foundation, launched in 2009, promotes access to culture and knowledge for everyone.

Take a listen to Deranger les pierres.