Sunday, March 15, 2015

Time to buy another ugly rug...

Because I purchased an Eckbank Gruppe a few days ago, it's now time for another rug.  Actually, it's been time for a new rug.  I'm just using the new table and chairs as a reason to get the rug and cover up more of the floor in the living room.  I'm tired of mopping up dirty paw prints from the dogs after they've been out in the yard.  Rugs also help cut down on noise.

Unfortunately, nice rugs are in short supply around here.  Most of the carpet I've seen has been pretty ugly.  German tastes, by and large, aren't my tastes.  I do like some of the more rustic furniture I've seen, but people around here seem to prefer the clean, modern, ultra sleek look.  I like furniture that looks like it can be lived with more.

I have another area rug that I wish I had sent to Germany.  I bought it here when we lived here last time.  It's very plush.  I don't know what I was thinking, not making sure it got in the containers to Germany.  Now it's sitting unused in a storage garage.

But anyway, we'll go look for another rug... and then have lunch somewhere.  Yesterday, I didn't do much of anything other than watch episodes of Doc Martin.  Though it's been on since 2004, I just found this show last week.  It's British and very quirky and clever.  I had been watching Royal Pains, but finally caught up with the whole series.  I needed a new show to get hooked on...

Over the past few days, I've been reading about Brittany Scadlock, a Mormon woman who was serving a mission in Argentina when she got very sick with an e. coli infection.  Originally, authorities assumed she had appendicitis, but it turned out she had a deadly strain of bacteria.  Her story made it to RfM.  People were outraged that it appeared that the LDS church had refused to repatriate her remains.  There was a lot of confusion.  A GoFundMe page was created.  Money was raised.  Tempers were raised.  Voices were raised.  Some of Brittany's friends came on RfM and shamed people for expressing their opinions.

I find Mormon missions interesting, if only because my own experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer was in some ways similar.  I remember being 22 years old and getting the large envelope in the mail telling me where I'd be spending 27 months.  I remember opening it and immediately reading up on Armenia in our ancient encyclopedias from 1976.  I also remember some bad things happening overseas...

Like, for instance, I got a nasty case of giardia.  It didn't threaten my life, but it did make me pretty miserable for two weeks.  Had I gotten very sick (and it is possible to get very sick from giardia), arrangements would have been made to get me back to the States or perhaps Germany (had I really been in a bad way) for medical treatment.  Fortunately, all I needed was a round of antibiotics.  Poor Brittany was only 19 years old and way too young to die.  I don't think Argentina is a third world country.  Seems like she should have been able to get more care.  Perhaps it was left to go on for too long.  Or maybe she was in an area where advanced medical care was too scarce.

I don't want to say that Mormon missions have no value.  I think they do.  A person can learn a lot about how to manage life when they live abroad.  It's a good way to learn a language and broaden horizons.  Of course, Mormon missionaries spend all their time trying to sell religion instead of really getting to know the local culture.  From what I've read, the living standards of Mormon missionaries can be pretty poor.  I wouldn't know about that from personal experience.  I have only met one pair of Mormon missionaries in my lifetime; they were guys who live in the apartment complex adjacent to the one I lived in when we were in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Frankly, their apartment complex was much nicer than mine was.

I wonder how much time missionaries get to learn about their host countries the people living within them.  I wonder if life in Argentina was worth it for Brittany, who was so very young and vital and should have had her whole life to look forward to.  I'm sure she was very excited to get her mission call.  I'm certain her family was proud of her.  I know that missionaries who die in the field tend to be made into legends.  It's like dying with your boots on.

I watched a few mission call videos on YouTube yesterday.  They are usually exciting, though I have to wonder if the people getting the mission calls understand what their lives will be like.  I understand that serving a mission can be very difficult for many reasons.  I think it's too bad 19 year old Brittany got so sick that she died.  I don't know enough about her story to know whether or not death was inevitable in her case, but I do think that maybe she would have been better off staying in college.  But then, the vast majority of people who go on missions make it through the experience just fine.  I can't say that had I been in Brittany's shoes and was excited about living abroad, I wouldn't have taken the plunge.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on older posts will be moderated until further notice.