Reflecting on Remembrance Day

Hey Readers!

It’s Remembrance Day and it means many things to many people. It is the anniversary of the official end of two great wars fought. It marks the sacrifice of many lives. It is a day of reflection. It is a day to say thank you to the fallen and to veterans who fought for what they believed in. For me, this day is also about thinking about the fallout of these great wars, the history it caused and the lives that were forever altered.

As a kid, I never thought about what happens after a conflict is over until my fourth grade teacher read us the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr. This book is based on the true-life story of Sadako Sasaki, a girl whose life changed after the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. Sadako becomes sick and later finds out it was due to exposure to radiation from these bombs when she was an infant in Hiroshima. After being diagnosed with leukemia, she keeps hopeful that she could turn her fate around. She decides to put her belief in an old Japanese legend where the folder of  one thousand paper cranes will be granted any one wish they desire. Though she does not reach her goal, she inspires many other people to her cause, and becomes a heroine in Japan for her efforts.

Reese_Speaks_Sadako_Cover_Photo11112015

Readers, this book changed the way I looked at the world for so many reasons. It opened my eyes to the other side of war: To those who are not on the front lines fighting, but become directly affected by the conflict. It also let me see that kids are not immune to acts of war, either, and that even one person can make others believe in hope for a better future. Every time I read this book, I am moved by Sadako’s story and bravery. It is also one of the shortest books I own; it’s only 80 pages long, but it’s a powerful and moving story, and I have to read it over and over again.

Most people also sport poppies to commemorate Remembrance Day. Since my kids are all over me, I decided that maybe wearing a poppy may cause more harm than good this year. I decided to show my gratitude for this day in another way by folding origami paper cranes. Besides the legend I previously mentioned, cranes are a symbol of health, hope and longevity. They are not the easiest creatures to create, but they are so much fun to fold.

Reese_Speaks_Crane_Collage_Photo_11112015

Whenever I see a paper crane, I take in everything I have learned about Remembrance Day: The sacrifice of many people, John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Field (which is also such a moving piece of writing), and the lives, both past and present, of so many who are forever changed by these conflicts. These people and this poem all make me thankful for what I have and am still trying to achieve. Besides taking in the ceremonies and reflecting, this is how I am choosing to pass Remembrance Day.

Reese_Speaks_Crane_Book_Photo_11112015

Survivor: Caramoan, Episode #3 – That Was a Close Shave, Shamar!

Hello Readers!

The Castaways on this season of Survivor: Caramoan are very explosive. They continue to allow their emotions get the better of them, clouding their better judgement.  This is especially true of the Fans, or Gota tribe. This is especially true of Shamar and Reynold. Reynold sees the errors of his ways, but Shamar seems as though he’s a lost cause. How do they fair during this episode? Read on, and you shall see!

With the loss of Allie to their band of four, Reynold, Hope and Eddie were still reeling from Shamar still being a part of the Gota tribe.  Reynold began trying to make concessions with Matt, telling him how important he thought he was, and how needed Matt was for numbers to get rid of Shamar.  Shamar, not learning from the close shave he just had at Tribal, began going off on anyone around him, telling them how awful they were for treating him so badly.  Laura and Michael commented on how they liked Shamar, but he needed to cut down on the crazy.

The next day, Laura took it upon herself to take Shamar aside and let him know that he was wrong about how the whole tribe hating him. Shamar was so defeated by the blowout at Tribal, that he was on the edge of wanting to throw in the towel and leave Survivor. Laura told him that the reason some people may not like him was because he was so explosive.  In a nice way, Laura told Shamar he should not rise to Reynold’s attempts to provoke him.  Shamar continued to mope, telling her nothing will change because he was the black sheep of the tribe, and the money for winning the game was not worth bringing both the tribe and himself down.

Reynold and Eddie were trying to see how to get the numbers back in their favour while getting Shamar out of their tribe. They realized that if they could get Shamar to blow up a few more times around camp, while keeping themselves cool may make other tribe members see what liability Shamar was to them.  They then set out to fulfill their plan.

Shamar got some counseling from Sherri as well.  She said she was used to dealing with guys like Shamar, and decided to try to talk him out of wanting to stay in the game. Sherri also thought that if Shamar did quit this game, that he would regret this decision and be angry at himself for doing so.  The talk made Shamar feel a little better about himself and his place in the tribe.  He even apologized to the tribe for his actions, and told them he didn’t want to leave the game yet.  This turn of events made Reynold even more determined to send Shamar packing if Gota should have to go back to Tribal Council.

At Bikal, home of this year’s Favourites, Malcolm and Corrine were talking strategy while searching for the Immunity Idol in the jungle. While they were talking about what they would do at the merge, Malcolm had the Survivor gods smile on him by finding an Idol! After celebrating, Malcolm hid the Idol close to where he found it, decided they should work secretly together in an alliance, and returned back to camp.

Their alliance may not be a secret for much longer, though, as Cochran spied Malcolm and Corrine chatting to each other off to the side of their shelter away from everyone else.  Cochran then shared his concerns with Andrea, who was not keen to hear this bit of news.  She then concocted a plan to get rid of Corrine, as Andrea felt threatened by how strong of a player Corrine was.  As she began recruiting other tribe members to her cause, Andrea was also worried about Corrine finding out about her designs against Corrine.

Brandon was not gun-ho about Andrea’s plan. In fact, he didn’t trust Andrea at all.  He confessed that he didn’t trust anything anyone on his tribe tells him.  I think some of Brandon’s paranoia around good-looking aggressive women may be rearing its ugly head again. He went so far as to say if anyone double-crossed him, he would go crazy on his tribe mates.

At the Reward/Immunity Challenge, all members of both tribes had to swim out to a sunken cage, open its door, then retrieve a very heavy trunk that would require all of their efforts.  Once out if the water, they had to take turns using a rope with a hoop tied to it to gather three pieces of a bridge to push their trunk across to the finish line.  The winners not only gained Immunity from Tribal Council, but they would gain some comforts for their camp, such as lounge chairs, cushions and and a tarp to keep warmer and drier.  It was a close one, but the Favourites were able to squeak out another win, leaving the Fans out in the cold with a trip to Tribal Council.

Oh, Shamar has listened to nothing his fans on his tribe have told him. While the tribe was assessing where they went wrong during the Challenge, Shamar starting yelling at Reynold for not giving him a pair of goggles.  Laura was also worried about her performance during the Challenge because she swam so poorly, costing them time during that competition.

Once the shouting match ended, the tribe members not a part of the fractured mini alliance came up with a plan to get rid of Reynold by splitting the votes between he and Hope.  Since there were more men than women on their tribe, Reynold would go.Shamar, being smug, alluded to Hope that she was not the intended target for the vote.  She caught on to what Shamar was telling her, she told the rest of her alliance what was happening.  They then went around camp, telling everyone that Shamar spilled the beans on their plan, and this was a good reason to cut him loose.

When this news hit the rest of the tribe, they were upset to this new development.  Laura was so upset that she went to Reynold, suggesting that herself and Julie would flip, adding the much needed numbers to their cause.  Reynold was over the moon, and couldn’t wait to see Jeff Probst at Tribal.

At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst and the players started the meeting off with what happened at the last Tribal. Again, Shamar had his pity party, saying he was a scapegoat for anything that went wrong for their tribe, and that some tribe mates were lying about what he said. Hope felt the need to try to save her butt by binging up her conversation with Shamar. This set Shamar off, again! Come on, Shamar, have you learned nothing? You never go crazy at Tribal. You have to keep your crazy pent up inside of you until the game is over.

It was a wacky vote, Readers, as the Gota tribe had a three-way tie for Shamar, Hope and Eddie.  Jeff Probst advised the Castaways that they would have a second vote where they could only vote for the three aforementioned tribe members, and that these people were not allowed to vote.  Once these votes were cast and counted, another shocking decision was made…Hope was voted out four to one against Shamar. Reeling from the decision, she gave Jeff Probst her torch and watched as her life in game was snuffed out.  Jeff Probst also warned Shamar to shape up or ship up if he didn’t change his ways towards his tribe, as I guess even he though Shamar was on his way out of the game.

Shamar was a lucky ducky, narrowly getting by this Tribal Council with his torch still on fire.  Due to his theatrics, it could have very well been him leaving the game. Hopefully, he will get the message and start being more friendly towards the rest of the Gota tribe.  I have the feeling he doesn’t, though.  Now that another explosive episode of Survivor has come to an end, will my prediction come true?  Will the Favourites be in for any bad luck soon? Will the weather hold out for these Castaways, or will it become wet and wild for them? All you have to do to find out is to come on back to my blog!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.