Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Apathetic Author

My life has been calmer this week since I gave up (most) news programs.  I have been watching an awful lot of news and getting more and more upset, almost to the point of making myself sick by the time Kavanaugh was voted into the Supreme Court.

I decided I had to go warm turkey.  I still watch Rachel Maddow most nights, Chris Hayes sometimes and once in awhile Katy Tur, just because I like Katy Tur but the news isn't on most of the time any more.  I still record Morning Joe every morning but rarely watch more than the first 10 minutes.  And since I've been sleeping so well now I often sleep all the way through The Today Show.  So I know some of the headlines, but none of the in-depth endless dissecting of every little second of everything.

Trump has won.  He has made me apathetic because I feel there is nothing I can do to make the country better, so I'll just give up.

That means, of course, filling those angry hours with something more constructive.
So this week I wrote letters.  Lots and lots of letters.

I was way behind on writing to the Compassion Kids and had not written to the grandkids this week yet.

There are 30 Compassion kids and answering their letters and writing letters to those who had not written took two days (I haven't gotten to Lacie and Brianna yet).

The kids are writing more frequently now and their letters, for the most part, are more full of bits of information, which makes personalized letters so much easier, responding to what they have told me about.

One real disappointment was from one of my best writers, who lives in Rwanda.  I took her on as a sponsor after watching Hotel Rwanda and learning about the war in Rwanda and how horrible it was for everyone.  My one small way of giving back, even after all these years.

Anyway, she is one of the most interesting writers and her letter today looks like this:

This is the translation I received:

Obviously this was a canned letter  that did not translate what she wrote.  Encouraged by other Compassion sponsors, I sent the letter to Compassion and asked if they could translate the whole thing.  This is the response I received:
Was there anything specific surrounding this translation that you don't believe to be accurate? After looking at your attached photos the only major disparity I could spot would be based on the length of the message before and after translation. This a common occurrence as other languages can have more syllables than English, as well as not having developed words for niche phrases. 
HUH?  Does anyone think that her message was as short as the translation included?  I decided it's hopeless, so I'll just answer the generic translation and let it go.  (I have, after all been practicing apathy.)  But I did write all the other letters.  I was shocked to discover that I had not written to some of the kids since April!  I used to write twice a month and I'd just been putting it off, I guess.  Also, some of the kids I've had forever have left the program and I have half a dozen kids whose names I don't recognize because they are so new.

But I got them all finished late yesterday afternoon, in time for Rachel Maddow.  When I heard the "horseface" slur from his nibs, I decided this was not a good day to watch the news, so I turned it off.
Fortunately, Ned and Marta have started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon and recommended it so now instead of POTUS, I can watch a new streaming show and avoid politics again.

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