Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ferly is not necessarily feral but fairly close.

The first time I ever heard ferly used was in a song by an American singer, and I assumed (incorrectly) that it was the American version or our term “Feral” (for wild and uncouth people. {Oft times now called Bogans too!})
Thus I was somewhat surprised when reading the Word of the Day for Sunday, October 23, 2011, to find that Ferly had both a different, (although somewhat similar) meaning and a long and proud history tracing back to both Old English and German
Thus, ferly, pronounced “FER-lee”, means,
1. Something unusual, strange, or causing wonder or terror.
2. Astonishment; wonder.
Or something::
1. Unexpected; strange; unusual.
Thus Ferly, instead of being the latest Hip word of our generation, is in fact derived from Old English fǣrlīc meaning fǣr (fear) and -līc (-ly). It is related to the German gefährlich meaning dangerous.
So again now you know both what ferly means and what it doesn’t mean.
What are some other words that you know or have used in the past, only to find they don’t actually meant what you first thought they meant?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

When Culture costs lives it is time to change Culture don’t you think?

Was saddened to read in an on--line Newspaper item that in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, (where we lived and worked for nearly 12 years), 40 young men in the prime of their lives had died and another 150 roughly, were injured, from botched circumcisms in the Xhosa coming of age ritual.
What is really sad is that these are roughly the same numbers form botched right of age circumcisms for young Xhosa men as there from were ten years ago when we were still there!
Yes in all that time still nothing effective has happened to prevent these unnecessary deaths and mutilations, although even then people were concerned at the rising death rate and were trying to do something about it, even to trying to change culture and have the actual circumcisms done in hospitals by trained medical staff and under the supervision of trained Nursing staff! But as most of these nursing staff were women, this sensible safety change was frowned upon because women are banned from the whole circumcism event which takes a couple of weeks to be completed. A couple of weeks where many young men in their prime are killed or maimed for life because of unsafe medical applications and follow up.
Call me crazy if you like, but I for one think it is time this stupidity is stopped for good if they are not prepared to modify the unnecessary health risk parts of the event?
Of course the real question for us though is, what about us? Yes what cultural customs that we hold onto, even cling to, that need changing, or at least modifying now?
Again something for you to think about now. Yes, even if there is nothing you or I can effectively do tocChange or modify the Xhosa right of Circumcism, surly we can do something to change or modify the dangerous or unhelpful, if not downright unhealthy cultural habits of our own? Again, what say you now?

Monday, October 10, 2011

One way to handle difficult projects

Recently had the opportunity to play a very small role in a major project. A friend of a friend decided that this mutual friend really needed a more reliable car than the one she had for her Christian ministry, but also knew that she could / would never be able to do so on her present limited income. So he decided to do something to help, but didn’t have the resources himself to fully do so. However, knowing that our mutual friend had lots of friends who would probably only be too happy to help, he came up with the goal of trying to collect $7,000, to help our friend purchase a more reliable vehicle.
So he set up a Facebook account especially for the project and contacted various friends that he knew of, or could get the names of, and approached them to be a small part of this larger project, and then set up a bank account to hold the collection till ready to distribute to said friend.
The goal was to try and enlist one hundred friends to donate just $70 each if they could. However knowing that even this amount would be hard to find in one hit, he decided to ask people whether they could contribute just $10 a week for just 7 weeks and then set a reasonable date for all the money to come in, if it was going to. Well the other day a large group of us had the privilege of meeting at Lilydale Lake, after our respective Church services had finished, and were able to watch this enterprising young man hand over a giant cheque, not for $7,000, but for $7,200. Plus another $90, that came in after the cheque was made up.
I was impressed by his initiative to try and do something to help someone in need, even though initially and individually, it was beyond his power and resources. But by breaking it down into small, and then even smaller pieces, and encouraging and entrusting others to help out, the project was born, and through his report backs and follow ups, the project was both successful and successful beyond its original target. Praise God.
So the moral here is, if you want to do something to help someone and feel strongly enough about it, you probably can do it too; if you are prepared to enlist others and to break it down into doable pieces and give yourself sufficient time, and without trying to do the whole thing yourself and at once.
By the way, do you know how to eat an elephant? One mouthful at a time!
So by all means go out there ready to eat your elephant, but be prepared to also eat it at only one mouthful at a time! And to share it with others too!