Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Celebrate the spirit of the holidays with the Rumney community this Sunday, December 7th. Join us first at on the common for the Rumney Christmas Tree Lighting, where we'll sing carols with the Rumney Baptist Church Youth Choir, visit with Santa, and receive this year's ornament. Warm up afterwards at the
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I kept a written journal of every activity I did, every food I ate, and every penny I spent while in Italy and preparing for it. I will not attempt to write all of that information on my blog, but I will share with you the most enjoyable and interesting bits.
I arrived in Rome on Friday night, and we took a bus to the metro station to get to our hostel. "hostel" is an interesting word. This turned out to be a "bed and breakfast" or, rather, a nice apartment where all of the bedrooms are for guests, a small kitchen, and two shared bathrooms. I enjoyed our stay there, it was a very cheap price. I was traveling with my friends Tasha and Ellen.
Saturday morning we woke up early and went to the Vatican. We met up with our friends Jenna, Megan and Sally. We went into St. Peter's Basilica and saw the tombs of the previous popes, then we also went into the actual building which was artistically astounding. I also got to see some Swiss guards in their funny uniforms. After St. Peter's we stood in line for over an hour to get into the Vatican Museum. Now, a word of advice, go to the museum first thing in the morning. Or, try not to go on a sunny saturday. The crowds are overwhelming. It feels like you're in a can of sardines, you can only move as fast as the people in front of you, and if you get there too late you need to rush to get to the Sistine Chapel, which is the only thing that I knew about in the Museum. I was very confused about this, because you go in one door, go through a lot of halls with art and papal artifacts, see lots of domes (that i kept thinking were the Sistine chapel...) and then you finally follow the signs and the crowd and end up in the chapel itself. Maybe it's just me, but on tv the ceiling looks round, and really big. The sistine chapel is rectangular, small, and.. it's a chapel. You're squished, silent, and craning your necks upwards. I couldn't take pictures, but it was beautiful. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't have gone to Rome without seeing it, but I just wish it were a more relaxed setting.
Rome overall, is very touristy. And, that's probably because I wanted to do all of the touristy things, obviously, but don't expect to go anywhere without crowds, rediculous prices, and aggressive souvenir vendors. Sunday we went to the Colloseum. We got there early so didn't have to wait in line, and it was really great. The weather was fabulous. One thing I forgot to mention, is in Italy they love cats. I love cats. I saw three at the Vatican, and two in the colloseum. There was also a cat sanctuary by the Pantheon for homeless cats.
On Monday we continued wandering around Rome, we went to the Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Stairs, the Pantheon and the Forum. .
Tuesday morning we got on a train (note: don't be dependant on trains to be on time, they aren't). Ellen and I went to Florence for the day. Then we got on another train and went to Venice. Venice was my favorite part of the trip. They also had cats, and lots of gelato, but they were on the adriatic sea too. We stayed on the island of Lido in a nice hotel and so we had to get a waterbus pass (big waste of money, they don't check your tickets on public transportation in Italy). We went to the island of Murano and saw how they made glass, and bought a lot of glass as well. We also went to the Doge's Palace, which I believe to be the most beautiful building I've ever been in, and I was even more impressed by this place than I was by the louvre or the vatican, and that could be because there was hardly a crowd, and I actually got to look at stuff. (but, alas, no pictures allowed).
These flowers are made out of glass and they are so gorgeous.
my attempt at being artsy.
I didn't actually ride in a Gondola, but they are pretty!
okay, that's it for now. I'll attempt more pictures later. I have a lot of school work to do, and I just registered for classes for spring back at SMC...crazy! My only trip left is a weekend to Ireland which I haven't confirmed yet. Hopefully tonight I will go see High School Musical 3!
Krista In London/ Italy
Monday, November 3, 2008
Since i only have a month and a half left in Ghana, i decided to start
sending out emails more regularly, especially when this is only the
third update. Ive also had a pretty exciting week.
As i may have mentioned, due to my internship and develoment studies
classes organized through my program, im only taking two classes
offered by the university, archaeology 403 and 405. the latter is a
field studies and methods class which only meets for the first 6 or so
weeks and then the students have to fundraise for their own
archaeological research in january. since the americans in the
class, including me, arent going to be in Ghana in january, we were
allowed to go with a grad student to his archaeological dig this past
weekend. myself and 4 other americans travelled up to Wa, which is in
the northwest corner of Ghana, with the grad student, Malik, in an old
landrover. We left at 4 in the morning, were in the car as the sun
rose and set, and got to the village outside of Wa at about 7. We
stayed in the house of Maliks aunt, since he was from this village,
which was mostly made of concrete and had a big courtyard in the
center with a groundwater well.
the dig site was a 10 minute ride away at the house of a village elder
who lives right across the river from Burkina-Faso. the 6 of us,
another grad student, and one of the professors cleared a field next
to the house with the help of some relatives and villagers, surveyed
and divided the field of about 30mx30m into 3x3 squares, then malik
chose two plots and we started to dig. Using trowels, then small pick
axes we dug 10cm down the first day and then 30cm more the second in
even smaller areas, sifting through all the dirt we dug up. we found
alot of pottery shards, malik thinks theyre from around the 12th
century, some animal bones, oyster shells, and grinding stones. not
much, but the experience was worth the blisters.
While the other 4 stayed until thursday, i went back to accra on
monday, which is a story in itself. due to the fluid nature of time
and schedules in rural africa, my tro-tro to Wa was late and then i
missed my bus, which meant i had to take a night bus to Kumasi and
then a dawn bus to Accra. After spending the day with a friend of
Maliks, and riding around on the back of his moped, i left on the
night bus, which was very old, full of people and babies and random
packags, and without a/c. as you can imagine, not all the roads are
paved in northern Ghana, and by the time we reached Kumasi i was
coated in dust and not exactly rested after trying to sleep with my
head bumping against the window for 8 hours. the trip to accra and
then legon was a little better but by that time i was so dirty and
tired that all i could think about was taking a shower and brushing my
the reason i couldnt wait for the direct route bus (with a/c) was
because i needed to get back for the ghana presidential debate which
the IEA, where i intern, was hosting. the debate was on wednesday in
accra, and about 300 people attended but almost the whole country
watched on television. after helping out with the preparations i got
to sit in the back and watch the debate. it was more like a question
and answer since there were four candidates, but it was still very
interesting to listen to their ideas and actually watch a debate like
this going on. i even had about 2 seconds on ghana national
television when the cameraman was focusing on someone important
sitting in front of me. a couple of ghanain friends even called me to
tell me they saw me on the tv. it probably wasnt aired in the US, but
the debate was still a big deal in ghana, and this will be a very
important election for ghana. i can finally relax this weekend, and
celebrate halloween with all the other americans here, im still trying
to think up a costume. well, ill leave it at this, my email is already
long enough. i hope everyone is doing well.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
... life continues in West Africa. Problems with the water
and electricity continue to remind me that I'm not living in the US,
as well as staying up late to watch evening baseball games. While I'm
really bummed the sox lost last night, my body is very relieved not
too have to stay up another night to watch the game. Luckily, I have
a Nigerian friend who lives above me and has DSTV, which broadcasts
ESPN. The games have been on from midnight to generally 4 in the
morning, and I've been jumping around his room in the dark, silently
yelling at the TV as he and his roomate sleep.
School is going well, we're just past the midway point in the
semester, and my Twi class ended a week ago, I'm not fluent by any
means, but at least I have an understanding of the language. Notably,
this weekend I'm traveling to the Northwest corner of Ghana with a
couple of American classmates and our Archaeology professors to stay
at their dig site for the weekend. I'm really excited to actually go
to an Archaeological dig, and hopefully I'll get to do some work for
them. I'm sure I'll have some good stories about it next week.
I've gone on small excursions the last couple of weekends, both with
the program and without. Last weekend I traveled to Takoradi with a
number of friends. We stayed in the town, and we were able to explore
the modest market and somehow find a back alley chop bar (food stand)
where we had rice balls with chicken in groundnut soup. Alot of
dishes necessitate eating with your hands, this one included. The
most common are Banku and Fufu, which are made from some local
variation of corn, i think. Anyway, its like eating very nutritional
playdoh, which you scoop up with your hand and dip in a soup
(groundnut is the best). Chop bars and restaurants all provide bowls
of water and soap for washing your hands. Its an experience. While
in Takoradi we also went to the World Cup Qualifier football match
between the Ghana National team and Lesotho. The stadium was built
for only 15,000 people but about 30,000 crammed and stampeded (of
which i was a part of) into the stadium to watch. We won 3-0, and
Ghana moved on to the next qualifying round.
This past weekend, CIEE took us to Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti
region. Kumasi is known as the cultural center of Ghana, and still
preserves the history of the Ashanti kingdom, the most powerful in
Ghana. They have a very interesting culture, which includes a
matrilineal system of succession, with the queen mother choosing the
next Ashanti king. Women are very important in Ashanti society and
history, and in Kumasi's market, which is the biggest in West Africa
(its an enormous maze of little stalls filled with people selling
everything from cow heads to
machetes to beauty care products) 90% of the shops are owned and
operated by women. Kumasi is also famous for its Kente cloth, which
is, on the other hand, only woven by men. The traditional belief was
that women could not get pregnant while weaving (which was
unacceptable), so now it is a skill passed down by men. We visited
one of the local towns where they weave Kente, and saw how they
operate their looms. All in all, the weekend was not that exciting,
especially because we stayed in a big, new hotel with a distinctly
Western feeling, but still interesting. This week I plan on catching
up on sleep, logging some time at my internship, and crying about the
end of my baseball season. Hope to hear from you all sometime soon,
and I promise I'll send out another email soon. I can't believe my
semester is already half over.
I am completely smitten. The object of my newfound devotion is, alas, fictional. She’s a heroine of surpassing grace and faithfulness, equaled only by her intelligence and sense of smell. This paragon of virtue is named Almondine. And I should probably mention that she’s a dog.
Wait! Come back! Would it help if I promise that at no time does she break into song, perform a soft shoe, or crack wise about 1990s pop culture? Nor does she slurp spaghetti or battle the Red Baron. (I happen to find those last two traits endearing in a canine, but I understand some people grow weary of anthropomorphic animals.)
Almondine is all dog. Specifically, she is Edgar’s dog. And Edgar Sawtelle is the utterly disarming teenage hero at the center of David Wroblewski’s wonderful debut novel of the same name. Set on a small farm in rural Wisconsin, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle takes all kind of risks. The hero is mute, a few chapters are narrated from a dog’s point of view, and there are all kinds of ways the novel could have dissolved into a syrupy mess.
Instead, Wroblewski creates a tender coming-of-age story and grafts onto it a literary thriller with strong echoes of Shakespeare and “The Jungle Book.” The result is the most hauntingly impressive debut I’ve read all year.
Edgar grows up in a modest farmhouse, surrounded by his loving parents and several dozen dogs, which the family breeds and trains. (This isn’t the kind of training offered by the local PetSmart; it takes more than a year for them to teach the dogs how to communicate.)
The family business was started by his grandfather, who read the work of geneticist Gregor Mendel and spent his life trying to create a new breed of dog that was marked by its intelligence and humor.
“Your grandfather didn’t care about breeds. He always thought there was a better dog out there somewhere,” Gar, Edgar’s father, tells him. “The only place he was sure he wasn’t going to find it was in the show ring….” John Sawtelle also was very choosy about whom he would sell his dogs to and wasn’t above “rescuing” a dog if its new owners didn’t treat it properly. “Most of the time he just sent them a check and told them to get a beagle.” (Speaking as a beagle owner, ha!)
Almondine is the ultimate in “Sawtelles,” as the dogs are known. After Edgar’s birth, she takes on the job of being his voice and companion. Edgar can’t cry, so Almondine makes his needs known to his parents, licking his mom awake when the dog hears the baby’s faint huffing sound. (Edgar’s inability to speak is never explained; a little girl tells him her grandma “says that before you were born, God told you a secret he didn’t want anyone else to hear.”)
The companionship between Edgar and Almondine is beautifully written; anyone with memories of a beloved childhood pet will be charmed.
Into this Eden returns Edgar’s Uncle Claude, who’s got the family knack with animals but an unsettling manner about him. “Fixing the barn roof, it turned out, was a perfect job for Claude. It hadn’t taken long to see how ferociously solitary the man was. A day spent alone climbing the ladder and ripping tarpapered shingles from old planking left him whistling and jaunty…. He might have been earning his keep, but the barn roof was also a convenient surveyor’s point, a perch from which their entire, insular little kingdom was revealed.”
He and Edgar’s father have a falling-out, and it looks as if Claude is gone for good. Then Gar dies suddenly, and an overwhelmed Trudy turns to Claude for help with the kennel. The doctor diagnosed an aneurysm as cause of death, but 14-year-old Edgar becomes convinced that his uncle poisoned his father.
That’s about when a reader notices that Trudy tends to be a nickname for Gertrude and that Claude sounds an awful lot like Claudius. Egad – Edgar’s trapped in the plot of “Hamlet.” Run, kid, run! And he does, gathering up his pack and heading for the Canadian woods like a mid-century Mowgli.
Jane Smiley is obviously the most successful author to rewrite Shakespeare onto an American farm, but despite some superficial similarities with her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1991 novel “A Thousand Acres” “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” reads like an entirely different breed. Wroblewski’s novel is a bit less of a remake, for one thing.
For another, I found “Edgar Sawtelle” more enjoyable on a personal level than “Acres.” After all, it’s hard for an English major not to be tickled by the idea of a mute Hamlet. (Plus, I just like “Hamlet” more than “King Lear.”) Edgar might be silent, but his story will echo with readers for a long time.
Dog lovers of the world, what are you waiting for? Fetch!
This article by Yvonne Zipp appeared in the Christian Science Monitor.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Mrs. Hinckley's 3rd grade class is studying 'community' and learning about what makes up our community of Rumney. Today the class visited our common, our historical museum, and our village library. While at the library they listened as Ms Funk read a story about a missing library book and then joined her in a few musical selections.
Most of the children have library cards and were able to select a book to check out. We hope that the remaining children will visit again soon with their Mom or Dad and sign up for a card.
The children were wonderful guests at our library and we hope they will all come again soon.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
In the first book, the spunky girl is an 11-year-old orphan who accidentally ends up with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a brother and sister who live in the imaginary town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island in Canada. Matthew and Marilla had planned to adopt a boy, someone to help with the farm work. Instead they got Anne, and like millions of readers, they fell in love with her much to their surprise.
Like Anne, Ms Montgomery lost her mother when she was very young. She spent many of her growing up years with her grandparents on PEI. With her vivid memories and just a touch of imagination, Anne was born. Montgomery also loved nature and she especially loved the spruce grove and the brook near the one-room schoolhouse and some of the quirks of the schoolhouse ended up in her stories.
People all over the world still adore Anne today - they read her books and visit Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. For Anne's anniversary, a Canadian author named Budge Wilson wrote a prequel called 'Before Green Gables', a book about Anne's orphan years. A new television movie, 'Anne of Green Gables - A New Beginning' will be broadcast in Canada later this year. We hope that it will soon be shown in this country.
How will you celebrate 100 years of Anne? Will you dive into the new prequel or re-read some of the series? Will you introduce a young reader to this special heroine. Stop in and take a look at our Anne books.
(This information was taken from an article which appeared in the Christian Science Monitor newspaper on September 9th, 2008)
Saturday, August 23, 2008
The family has a trip planned to the Polynesian Cultural Center and then will spend another night in Honolulu before continuing on to Guam. What a wonderful experience for all of them.
Krista Tunnell has her bags all packed and leaves tomorrow for London. Krista will spend the fall term at the American International University in London. She has side trips to Stonehenge and Scotland already scheduled. What a wonderful time she will have.
We've talked with Dorothy and her recovery is going well. She is still at her daughter's in Nottingham but should be back home soon. We all miss her.
Rachel is back to work at the library after a ten-day trip to eastern Canada. She travelled in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. This year is the 100th anniversary of the book 'Anne of Green Gables' - a special time to visit PEI. And she had a wonderful trip!
And we have a pile of new books for our readers to enjoy!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
We kept very busy here at the library. We'll soon be shopping for some additional books for children with the money earned at our book sale - thank you to everyone who contributed. Many people stopped in at the library and enjoyed our video presentation, 'Remembrances of Rumney' by Nancy MacDonald. What a photographic eye she has.
Dorothy is recovering from recent surgery at her daughter's in Nottingham and we all wish her a speedy recovery. Rachel is enjoying a well-deserved vacation touring Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. This year is the 100th anniversary of Anne of Green Gables - an exciting year to visit.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
New Hampshire Downloadable Audio Books is brought to you by the Byron G Merrill Library. Explore the growing collection of audio books and use your library card to download audio books to your computer, transfer them to an MP3 player, or burn selected titles onto a CD for listening on the go. Available 24/7, now your library is always open!The first time that you check out materials, you will be provided with instructions to download the software that you need. Stop in and we will help you get started.
The following new books were just added this past week.
The Beach House
The Beach House
The Dead and the Gone
Pfeffer, Susan Beth
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
YOU: The Owner's Manual Updated and Expanded Edition
At First Sight
Cannell, Stephen J.
Love Only Once
The Monster of
On the Wings of Heroes
The Book of the Dead
The Lion's Game
The White Giraffe
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Not to worry - The good news is that you can get lost in A Thousand Days in Venice, the true story of ms. de Blasi's leaving St Louis for Venice and an Italian bank manager!
He saw her across the Piazza San Marco and fell in love from afar. When he sees her again in a Venice café a year later, he knows it is fate. He knows little English; and she, a divorced American chef, speaks only food-based Italian. Marlena thinks she is incapable of intimacy, that her heart has lost its capacity for romantic love. But within months of their first meeting, she has packed up her house in St. Louis to marry Fernando—"the stranger," as she calls him—and live in that achingly lovely city in which they met.
Vibrant but vaguely baffled by this bold move, Marlena is overwhelmed by the sheer foreignness of her new home, its rituals and customs. But there are delicious moments when Venice opens up its arms to Marlena. She cooks an American feast of Mississippi caviar, cornbread, and fried onions for the locals . . . and takes the tango she learned in the Poughkeepsie middle school gym to a candlelit trattoría near the Rialto Bridge. All the while, she and Fernando, two disparate souls, build an extraordinary life of passion and possibility.
Featuring Marlena's own incredible recipes, A Thousand Days in Venice is the enchanting true story of a woman who opens her heart—and falls in love with both a man and a city.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Looking for a good summer read??? Bestselling master of suspense, Jeffrey Deaver, is back with a brand-new 'Lincoln Rhyme' thriller. Full of Deaver's trademark plot twists, The Broken Window, will put the partnership of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs to the ultimate test. This is one you will not be able to put down.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Crikey, mates! It's summer vacation time and kangaroos, wallabies and didgeridoos will soon be showing up at libraries
throughout the State of
Our celebration begins Tuesday, July 8 at 6 p.m. with a visit from “Just 2 (Me and You) Passing Thru”, a homegrown puppet company from
So join us on our six-week Australian-themed journey of reading as we work to keep your kids connected with books and the library this summer vacation.
Studies have shown that children who read in the summer will have a great head-start when they return to school in the fall. By reading as few as four books this summer, your child can retain or sharpen skills learned over an entire school year!
For more information about our Summer Reading Program call 786-9520,
or just lob in some day! (that's "Stop by the library" for us Yanks.)
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
For this reader, 'Change of Heart' , the 15th novel by NH author, Jodi Picoult, is her best yet - I could not put it down.
Change Of Heart looks at the nature of organized religion and belief, and takes the reader behind the closely drawn curtains of America’s death penalty. Featuring the return of Ian Fletcher from Keeping Faith, it also asks whether religion and politics truly are separate in this country, or inextricably tangled. Does religion make us more tolerant, or less? Do we believe what we do because it’s right? Or because it’s too frightening to admit that we may not have the answers?
This book gives one a lot to think about - check out http://www.jodipicoult.com/change-of-heart.html for more information and background on the book.
Fans of Debbie Macomber's 'Blossom Street' books will be pleased to know that her new book, 'Twenty Wishes' is just wonderful.
Four women, four friendships, four lives gone slightly awry. To help take control of their destiny - especially in matters of the heart - Anne Marie suggests they each write a wish list and then try to make each wish come true. An inspiring tale of getting what you want in unexpected ways.
We are all having a great time making our wish list. Have you started yours yet??
Saturday, May 31, 2008
reading is always a great thing to do!
In spring, when it's raining, you'll find that it's fun
to curl up by a window and read with someone.
In summer, step out and read in the shade
under a tree or umbrella and drink lemonade!
As autumn days get cooler, and the fall leaves turn bright,
you can read scary stories for a Halloween fright!
During cold winter days find a cozy place to sit,
pick out a good book and read for a bit.
You see, all year long, you never need a reason-
books and reading are always in season!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Six years after the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Empire Falls" was published, Richard Russo returns with a novel that expands even further his widely heralded achievement. If you have already read "Empire Falls", you are familiar with the talented Russo and the attention he gives to small-town America. You will enjoy his newest work, "Bridge of Sighs". If you are not familiar with Russo, check out "Empire Falls" first.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
We have just re-discovered the writings of Eugenie Price who was best known for her historical fiction set in
The Florida Trilogy, Savannah Quartet, and the Georgia Trilogy followed. Although her early books focused on real people who lived in coastal Georgia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—James Gould, Horace Gould, John Couper, Mary Gould, Anna Gould Dodge, and Anson Greene Phelps Dodge Jr.—her later novels featured fictional characters. It is the earlier novels that bring tourists to St. Simons year after year, where they walk among the moss-draped oaks in
Eugenie Price passed away in 1996.
All four series are available and are currently displayed in the front lobby on the trolley.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
When the calendar says 'May 1st', I can't help but remember the many times I made and then delivered May Baskets to the folks in my neighborhood. Dad would help me with the flowers, Mom would prepare a few goodies, and then they would waken me early the next morning and I would have the baskets all delivered before going off to school. Did any of you receive a May Basket this year??
We wish you all a happy, sunny May Day.
Monday, April 28, 2008
What a delightful evening we had last Tuesday night when Edith Patridge and Terry Downs presented their new work, 'A New Hampshire Village in Print and Poetry'. The book is composed of dozens of prints of our favorite spots with a poem accompanying each print. Terry explained the print process and Edie read several selections of her work. What a tribute this is to the village of which we are all so fond.