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Letter from Emmanuella
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
June 30, 2015
I must be getting old (forgive me if I quote my mother!). I am finding more and more that I am just too sleepy at night to write this journal entry and if I haven't written it earlier in the evening, I am actually writing it early on the day that is is dated.
Last night we went out to dinner with friends, came home to watch Jeopardy and then The Daily Show and then I was just too tired to do anything but go to sleep.
I woke up, as I always do, sometime later, and lay there, as I always do, trying to figure out what time it was and how long I'd been asleep. I figured it was between 3 and 4 a.m. If it was 3 a.m., I would try to get back to sleep in the recliner. If it was 4, I would come into my office and work on this entry.
It was 3:30, so I opted for trying to go back to sleep, but instead I was sitting there trying to figure out what to write here, and also what I wanted to write to my Compassion child, Emmanuella (from Ghana) from whom I had received a letter yesterday. The two "thinks" were actually kind of connected.
Emmanuella had told me she was reading a book called "The Wicked Stepmother" and was learning a lot from it. I decided to see if I could find it on Amazon--and I did. It's apparently an Ugandan story about the second wife of a man and her jealousy about the son of the first wife. The first wife dies and the second wife pretends to be mother to the now motherless boy, but is always trying to make sure her own son comes first in the father's eyes. She wants to make sure her son will inherit the father's "stuff" when he dies. She finally decides to kill the boy and puts poison in his lunch, but she had given her own son the better lunch, with a bit of meat in it, and he decided to share it with his stepbrother, so the stepmother's son ate the poisoned meal and dies. Not exactly a pretty story and I wondered what Emmanuella was learning from it, but the book comes with questions after each of the four chapters, which I see could spark some interesting discussions.
I wanted to ask her about her own culture, compared to that of the Ugandan village in the book. For example, are crickets a special treat of children in Ghana, as they are the children of this book. Is it common for a man to have more than one wife? Does the village get together to bless new acquisitions, as they do the father's new bicycle, etc.?
Obviously I got the book for my Kindle. However, it was $3 and I didn't want to read it badly enough to pay for it so when I noticed it was part of the new Kindle Unlimited subscription program I decided to take advantage of the free 30 day policy and joined so I could get "The Wicked Stepmother" for free.
We had discussed Kindle Unlimited with Jeri and Phil the night before. You pay $10/month and all of the books you want to read are "free." The promise is that you can read hundreds of thousands of books under the new program. It's quite controversial because if you read a book from the Unlimited program, Amazon tracks how much of the book you read and only pays authors for the number of pages you actually read, which smacks entirely of Big Brother watching your reading habits. There has been lots of discussion about that policy on Facebook lately.
But this was a 30 day free trial and would save me $3 in reading "The Wicked Stepmother."
I then got out my list of upcoming books for our book club to check availability under the Unlimited service and discovered that none of those books were available through Unlimited. I randomly checked the titles of books that I am interested in reading which are not on the book club list and discovered that none of THOSE books are available either. Not sure quite what the "hundreds of thousands" of books includes, but apparently nothing that I am interested in and nothing current.
So as soon as I have written my letter to Emmanuella to ask her some questions about her feelings about the book, I will end my free trial of Amazon Unlimited because it says in your Unlimited contract that if you opt out of the program they will remove any books you have chosen from your Kindle.
This may be a good program for
some, but I personally think it's a terrible program for someone like me and
a great program for Amazon to bilk yet more money out of its customers!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Dinner with friends last night
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