Our Christmas Letter to You

Here we are again, on the verge of a new year with all it may bring. We are looking forward  to 2016 with much interest and anticipation as we gradually settle back into life at home.

We look back to our year split between China – including the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore and home – including Calgary, Osoyoos, Penticton…Wait a minute.

I know I enjoy getting the annual Christmas letter from friends who have been there, done that, seen them etc etc. However, as many of you know, I am a highly unique person. With this in mind I thought rather than telling you all about us, why not look at world headlines for each month of 2015. So I did a google search. I came up with this site.

Global Issues – Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All

If you happen to be in an emotionally stable place in your life, take a look. If you aren’t, or are prone to be a little on the depressed side, maybe stay away. Each month has anywhere from 7 to 15 pages, with 10 news articles per page. You can come away feeling overwhelmed at how much trouble the world is in, whether it is rampant child/women/sexual abuses, lack of water and/or food, climate change, human rights abuses or nuclear war, we have created a very unappealing world.

On the other hand, you could come away thinking that whether it is Trudeau or Harper, Clinton or ,yes, even Trump, we are VERY fortunate to have been born in North America. I have included some of the more positive articles, but trust me, they were few and far between. I am not saying we should ignore what is going on elsewhere – we can’t, just that we need to appreciate what we have and to enjoy the season of love and sharing. Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and those you hold dear in your heart.


Dying in Childbirth Still a National Trend in Zimbabwe
Teenage Girls in Argentina – Invisible Victims of Femicide
When Ignorance Is Deadly: Pacific Women Dying From Lack of Breast Cancer Awareness
Dumped, Abandoned, Abused: Women in India’s Mental Health Institutions


A New Forensic Weapon to Track Illegal Ivory Trade
Sometimes a Single Tree Is More Effective than a Government
Bamboo – An Answer to Deforestation or Not in Africa?
Gazan Fishermen Dying to Survive


Indonesian President Unyielding on Death Penalty
Israel Using Live Ammunition for Palestinian Crowd Control
Impunity Fuels Abuse in Immigrant Detention Centres in Spain
Nuclear Threat Escalating Beyond Political Rhetoric


Draconian Ban on Abortion in El Salvador Targeted by Global Campaign
In Nicaragua Marriage Is Only for ‘Him’ and ‘Her’
In Bangladesh, Gender Equality Comes on the Airwaves
Sexual Violence in Conflict ‘The Contemporary Moral Issue’ Says United Nations


Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan Continues to Worsen
Relief Organisation Urges Mandatory Funding for Humanitarian Appeals
The Asia-Pacific Region Is ‘Growing’, but Millions Are Living in Poverty
Latin America Must Address Its Caregiving Crisis


Chinese Public Most Worried About Climate Change
China Hailed as Leader for New Climate Plan
Peru a Shining Example for South America’s Climate Action Plans
Despite Setbacks, Global Sanitation Makes Progress, Says Fund


RIP Cecil the Lion. What Will Be His Legacy? And Who Should Decide?
Goats Take the Bite Out of Climate Change in Zimbabwe
Opinion: Mandela Day – Where Do We Stand Today?
“Why Hire a Lawyer When You Can Buy a Judge?”


Stop Food Waste – Cook It and Eat It
Deliberate Targeting of Water Sources Worsens Misery for Millions of Syrians
Climate Change Shrinking Uganda’s Lakes and Fish
The Future Tastes Like Chocolate for Some Rural Salvadoran Women


Opinion: We Can Overcome Poverty and Hunger by 2030
Solar Power Slowly Making Inroads into Mideast and Africa
Opinion: Farming the Way Out of Poverty in Honduras
Opinion: Food Loss & Waste Has Got to Do a Lot with Sustainable Development


Southeast Asia: How to Make Good Business Out of Doing Good
Sri Lanka: A Ray of Hope for those Looking for War Missing
Terrace Farming – an Ancient Indigenous Model for Food Security
Argentine Wine, to Toast for a More Sustainable Planet


Climate Change Threatens Flavours of Argentine Wine
Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Canal, a Nightmare for Environmentalists
Opinion: Ending Child Marriage – What Difference Can a Summit Make?
Drought Threatens Water-Truck Lifeline in Parched Northeast Brazil


Vertical Farming – Agriculture of the Future
Blackmail Politics Is the Name of the Game in Brazil
Opinion: NGOs Still Leading the Global Debate on Climate

The Shoe Blog

A fitting variation on a theme. (Side note: I did not take any of these photos – they are all pulled from the internet.)

TOMS is a Canadian company which has a One For One Movement. If you buy a pair of shoes, they will donate a pair to a child or teen in need.

TOMS is a Canadian company (Toms.ca and prices are in CDN $) which has a One For One Movement. If you buy a pair of shoes, they will donate a pair to a child or teen in need. Their shoes are not cheap nor are they terribly expensive, but if you have enjoyed The Shoe Blog over the years, maybe your spouse, significant other, child, granny or? could use a new pair of slippers for Christmas. Just sayin’…

(Side note: FYI the next post will take us back to Hawaii)

4 thoughts on “Our Christmas Letter to You

  1. Val

    And a Merry Christmas to you and Terry also.
    Don’t plan to look at the news items as we have had enough crap to deal with ourselves this year. Do love the Tom’s shoe bit though. It is an easy way to support a good cause, a good Canadian company and my love of shoes.

  2. Wendy Wilson

    Thx for lots of info from Hawaii. I have been only twice and hadn’t done the Haleackala (sp?) trip so totally enjoyed the sunrise, and the music you choose to accompany same. You two are so entertaining with all your “stuff.” And, a Very Merry Christmas to you both


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