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01 April 2021

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This has been a very hard time for me with all of this isolation. Although necessary it is very difficult especially not seeing my loved ones. My husband and I received our first vaccine but since the covid pandemic our worlds have changed for us all. As we go into yet another month long lockdown I am reminded of how fragile life really is. Many are suffering around the world from medical people, to the ones with covid and all the people terrified to go into work at the risk of being exposed.

Praying for us all.
Praying for the day we can say this pandemic is over and behind us for good.

Worst year of my life. Couldn't see my 99 year old mother for a whole year. Watched my partner of 23 years waste away and die. I'll not want to think about the last 13 months much, but will try to live a bit fuller life going on.

I miss hugs, and I don't mean that to sound flippant. I miss greeting friends and family with a hug. Until I couldn't do that, I didn't realize how a hug signaled the start or end of a conversation. I will meet friends now without us touching each other and it just feels like we started the conversation in the middle and it takes awhile to get into the rhythm of a personal conversation.

What a confined topsy-turvy experience. I am fortunate that my loved ones have not been affected by this unpredictable virus. My heart goes out to those who are reeling from loss. Personally, for me, there were lessons. To slow down, make closer connections, deepen my faith, self-evaluate, mend a relationship, lift people who were quite alone and prioritize what really matters in my life.

We learned much about who we really are and what we are capable of, and what we can no longer endure...and for some of us, it made us turn outward and we began to notice that it isn't just us, but everyone is experiencing a new 'thing'.

How can we help? How do we lift when we can't leave our house? How can we encourage if we can't lift our masks? *I* get SO lonely being single and alone in my house for over a year! How can I have company if no one can come over?

In the quiet moments God whispers to us and gives us an answer and opens all the doors.

Just yesterday I read about people who were sending "iron fish" to people in poor nations where getting enough iron in their diets was causing health issues. The answer was "Just add this little piece of iron into your soup and it will release enough iron for the day." It began working, improving the health of the families who received these little fish!
Or about an organization that sends livestock into areas with little opportunities. A few chickens given to a family can provide them with egg protein -and eggs to raise more chickens for selling or eating to provide income.
I read about a woman who saw someone had dumped a truck load of garbage in a nearby field. She went to clean it up and discovered the garbage contained blankets and coats. She picked out the useable items, washed them and then donated them to folks she saw on the other side of her town.

I can contribute and be involved and do all of these things and more without leaving my couch or car!

God has whispered through all this noise and quiet!

I learned what and who is important to me. Staying home was not that bad except for missing family. Supporting friends who lost family was hard. I learned to be resourceful to continue doing the things I love in different ways and met some wonderful people as a result. I learned how much I love cooking and eating soup. Some relationships were strengthened, some fell apart. People can be resilient, loving, and wonderful. Community support has been an inspiration. As terrible and difficult as it all was, I felt globally connected. I’m fortunate to have made it. I grieve for the families and friends if those who didn’t.

Gosh, the most amazing thing is that it is a whole year since the Covid crisis started and this time last year we were in a 4 week lock down in NZ to stop the flow of the virus...it worked and we have been lucky to be able to handle the small outbreaks that have occurred, it has been a disaster for our small country with the economic fallout for Tourism, which is a big thing in our part of the world...but we have not lost many lives at all so that has been a blessing. I was ill this time last year with menopause related anxiety and the start of strange migraines...I am much stronger now and hoping to soon have the first of the two vaccine shots...our roll out is slower than other parts of the world as we are considered a lesser priority given our low case numbers being held in managed isolation, so I hope we stay that way until the vaccines are given to everyone. I feel for all those people who have not been able to be with family members and send you all best wishes from Godzone! Jennifer

Can we learn to travel lightly, with less luggage?
Can we learn to live in peace with peoples differences?
Can we show kindness and love wherever we go?
Yes, vaccine available for all, but then learn to care for our fellow man/woman/child.

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