Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Rome - Lusaka, Zambia

November 6, 2019 Peace and Good, I finished the week of definitory in Rome. The weather is starting to change with more cloudy conditions and a bit of rain. Our definitory finished on Friday morning and then on Sunday I flew out to Zambia. I am in Lusaka to give a retreat to the National Conference of Zambian Bishops. I begin that tomorrow morning. Then, when I finish, I will fly up to Ndola to give a workshop to our novices and saome talks to our postulants. When I finish that, I will be flying back to Rome. The days are quite hot here, around 90 degrees. The evenings cool off quite quickly, so sleeping is not all that much of a problem. There are blackouts each evening for the country depends on hydro-power, and the water levels are very low. This is the rainy season, but the rains have not really begun yet. I have finished some reading: The Roman Provinces of North Africa by Charles River Editors This is a short account of North Africa before the arrival of the Romans, its status under the Carthaginians, under the Romans, and then the loss of Roman power due to the Barbarian invasions in the 4th century AD. Where Serpents Lie by T. Jefferson Parker This is the story of a man on the squad that hunts child molesters and his squad. He is searching for someone who might be on his way to becoming a serial killer (at least due to his current conduct of kidnapping children and dressing them in other clothes). The twist in the story is when pictures are found which show the head of the squad in very compromising conditions with underage children. The action in the story is OK, but not a classic. Petra: the History of the Rose City by Charles River Editors This is a short presentation of the pre-history, history in ancient times, and modern discoveries in the beautiful city carved out of rock in the Southern region of Jordan. It served as an entrepot for travel and commerce between the Arabian peninsula and Mesopotamia. It was the home of the people known as the Nabateans. God is not Afraid of New Things by Pope Francis, ed Josh Beckley This is a collection of quick sayings of the Holy Father. As the editor states, some edify, some inspire, and some even challenge and possibly confuse. They are not exactly profound, but they are very helpful. America’s Secret War by George Friedman This books deals with the war against Al Qaida and also the American invasion of Iraq under George W Bush. The book is well written, and gives political insights on the Iraq war that I had never considered. It is an honest presentation of the various points of view, including those that we as Americans would rather not hear. I highly recommend this book to give further insight to the mentality of the people with whom we are dealing in the Middle East. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Kindle offers collections of famous masterpieces of literature at a very reduced price, and this is the first presentation in one of those volumes. It is Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. It is not a masterful presentation, but rather a book written to encourage young people to a spirit of entrepreneurialism and adventure (as evidenced in the life of Franklin who opened the first public library in Philadelphia, the first philosophical discussion society, the first fire brigade, the first militia, etc.). The Lost City of Heraklion by Charles River Editors This is a short presentation on one of the cities at the mouth of the Nile delta that served as a commercial center in the days before the creation of the city of Alexandria by Alexander the Great. In subsequent years, it was damaged by earthquakes and eventually subsided into the waters until it was discovered by underwater archaeologists. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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