Posts Tagged “World”

This is one of the great things about my church. Salt Lake is already sending help in to the Gulf Coast, even before the hurricane hits.

Most people don’t know it because the church doesn’t announce it to the public. We don’t say, “Hey, look at us! We’re sending trucks in!” It happens quietly….without fanfare….without bragging rights.  Throughout the year, members are asked to make hygeine kits, infant kits, emergency kits, blankets, books for little kids, etc. All these things are shipped to Salt Lake City and then distributed throughout the world as needed. Members and non-members alike.  The article I linked to says, “…the Church provided 200 semi-truck loads of aid and 42,000 man-days of labor in response to Hurricane Katrina.”

Why? Because we’re all children of God, regardless or race or religion. We have the obligation, the duty, to help those around us.

“….Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”(Matthew 25)

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So here’s the update of the top 3 as of Wednesday.

  • US- 26 Gold, 28 Silver, 28 Bronze
  • China- 45 Gold, 14 Silver, 20 Bronze
  • Russia- 13 Gold, 14 Silver, 18 Bronze

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We’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics in our house since it started. I’ve been surprised how much our family has been sucked into the games! I’ve been watching sports I never thought I’d watch (table tennis, archery, fencing, dressage, etc).

I’ve kept a close eye on the Chinese teams in particular (after the US teams, of course). They have the most gold medals by far and are clearly doing well. Yesterday I watched the men’s volleyball, China vs. Japan. The stand was full of Chinese who came to support their team. They won the first 2 rounds, lost the next 2, then played a tie-breaker game and won. What was interesting to me was to see the people in the stands.  Their support and enthusiasm for their team was deafening.

But it also made me think. China and Japan have had such bad blood for so many hundreds of years. Their history is bloody, brutal, and cruel. I couldn’t help but wonder how much of the cheer was simply that China was beating Japan and not just in a game. It’s sad to think there would be so much animosity still deep-rooted between the 2 countries (justified or not). I hope I am wrong.

One controversy that has popped up is about the little girl that sang in the opening ceremonies. During the auditions for her part, they were looking for a girl that was cute, could sing well, and was “flawless in character”. They found a little girl, but she wasn’t cute enough, so they had her sing behind the scenes while they had a cuter little girl sing out front (the one we saw).

Of course the media has gone nuts with this, saying how awful it is. And it’s not good. But China is putting their best face out there. They want to look good to the world. They want everything to appear perfect, because we all know it’s not. So they cut a couple corners. And they admitted it; the behind-the-scenes girl’s picture is all over the media. They invited the world in to their home and are serving the best. We all do the same.

Another controversy is that the youngest gymnast girl is 13, instead of the required 16 during the Olympic year. That’s still to be found out entirely.

Like I said in an earlier post, it will still be interesting to see how the games continue to go.

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There’s much speculation about China around these Olympics. China is notoriously closed-minded to the outside world in many ways. They have magnificent technology, as we all know…think back to the opening ceremonies on the 8th with that huge LED screen on the ground. And they’re open to tourism…I definitely would LOVE to go to China. But the government is strong against change. Tienanmen Square in 1989 was an example of that. Sure, that was a long time ago and they got dirty looks and “what the heck!?!”‘s from the rest of the world. But they still didn’t open up much.

So with the games going on, many people, including myself, are wondering, “What’s next?” How is this going to change our views on China? How is this going to change the Chinese government’s attitude/behavior to the rest of the non-communist world?

I thought it was interesting how much cheer Cuba got in the opening ceremonies from the Chinese. No country was boo-ed, but it was palpable when a favored country appeared. The US got cheered quite a bit, too, another interesting note. China is doing well, as far as golds go. And I think that’s a good thing in some ways. It may elevate the “outside’s” opinion of the people and country. But I also wonder if the govt. will say, “See? Told ya we were right.”

During the opening ceremonies, there were also quite a few bold statements. A large group of children presented their flag to soldiers, who, in strong military style, stiff-stepped it and hoisted it up the flagpole. A woman, beautifully dressed and dancing, stood on a platform carried by many men. In the very beginning, a couple thousand men in total unison banged on drums. The messages were quite clear in each instance. Paul and I just looked at each other and our jaws dropped!

But, overall, I’m very excited. I hope things open up and attitudes become more positive.

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