December 23, 2011

It's Christmastime...

This week has been incredibly long and drawn out. It hasn't been difficult, just tedious. There is something to be said for having a lot of free time on your hands but being limited in what you can do with it. It's like I'm using all the procrastination strategies from school while writing a paper. I'm on the computer so there is hope that I might be productive, but I'm not letting myself pick up a book, watch tv, or knit. Those are all things I can't do at my desk either so, instead, I read the online newspapers, check my email obsessively, and try to pass the time as best I can.

Checking my email has lost its thrill since I'm no longer checking to see if any of the jobs I've applied to have gotten back to me yet. I get my daily coupon deals and advertisements from stores I don't shop at telling me about their amazing deals, but those don't really make for fantastic reading.

I've been trying to stay more in touch with current affairs (like people seem to expect a Political Science major to do) so I've been using my free time to do so. Did you know there was a typhoon in the Philippines on December 17th? I found out about it 5 days after the fact and only when I got an email from Compassion informing me that my sponsor child in that country, Nelson, was not affected by it.



I looked it up and it turns out that about 1000 have died in the past week since this took place. Some of the stories I read were heartbreaking. One man lost most of his family, including his two year old, and his five year old is still missing. Big numbers like 1000 people dead or missing are hard to wrap our heads around and I think we're getting used to hearing about these big numbers of casualties so much that it really takes hearing about individuals to truly grasp what something like this means.

According to Compassion's website, my child is not in a region that's been affected so far, but other people's children are. Some of them are dead. Some of them are missing. I just picked Nelson up off the top of a pile three years ago and I'm not even sure where in the Philippines he is. I don't know how I would have felt if this person on the other side of the world that I've never met and probably never will had died or been displaced by a disaster like this. I'm glad I didn't have to deal with that.

The way I felt once I realized what Compassion was trying to tell me in their email was similar to how I felt getting a phone message from a stranger telling me my mom had just been taken to the hospital but that she was relatively okay. The people you love and their mortality and fragility is not something you really want to have to consider or ever deal with.

I looked on the Times Colonist's website to find out when they had reported about the typhoon and how I could have missed it. It turns out that missing it had actually quite simple because they hadn't mentioned it. The only mention of it was in passing, looking at the rough year that was had in Asia with Kim Jong Il's death and the earthquake in Japan. I guess the death of North Korea's supreme leader is a bigger deal than what happened to the Philippines.

On that note, two days until Christmas but as far as I'm concerned it might as well be tomorrow; a two day event this year. I'm looking forward to spending two days with the family, hopefully getting along, and going to church tomorrow night to sing some well needed Christmas carols. This is my favourite time of the year by far, and even though it doesn't feel like it because I just started a new job when normally I'm just finishing exams, I'm glad it's here and I'm certainly going to make the most of it.

Yes, cheesy title, but it's been stuck in my head all week and I don't know most of the other words.

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