Letterwerks Sign City
 
VBC Video
"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Friday, April 18th, 2014
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 
<< | < | 3204 | 3205 | 3206 | 3207 | 3208 | > | >>

Crossing Cultures


Fri, Apr 6th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, March 19, 2001

It's a bone chilling November evening in 1979. Members of Sheie and Garness Lutheran Churches of rural Mabel wait in the LaCrosse airport for a family coming across the Mekong River, Laotian mountains and centuries of cultural territory. The two churches are sponsoring a Hmong family to leave their refugee camp in Laos and come to live in the United States. After learning about the Hmong history and their present distress, many churches across our country are doing the same.

The Hmong are an ancient people who migrated from South-central Eurasia into China thousands of years ago and into Laos during the 19th century. In the 1960's, the U.S. government recruited Hmong men to rescue American pilots shot down over North Vietnam. Approximately one hundred Hmong died for every pilot they saved. When the United States withdrew >from the Vietnam War in 1975, it withdrew support for its Hmong allies, many of whom sought refuge in neutral Thailand. To get to Thailand, they had to cross the Mekong River. About 50,000 people made it across. About 50,000 died trying.

Chou Vang, his wife Xia, their young daughter Ahzoua and Grandmother Mia are among the lucky ones who made it safely into Laos, but not without the loss of two sons. These are the people we are waiting for in the LaCrosse airport. Suddenly they are standing in front of us, four real people, not just names on paper. Our guests look tired and bewildered. We welcome them as best we can, then Pastor Jay drives them back to Mabel and the house we have prepared for them, a house filled with donations of furniture, bedding, kitchen utensils and food.

We hope we can make this family feel at home here. The culture they left is so different from ours. They are accustomed to living in extended families or clans. Everyone plays an important role. They are blacksmiths, jewelers, wood-workers, weavers, seamstresses, hunters, herbal doctors and shamans. They are animists; for them, natural phenomena and objects, such as houses, rocks, and the wind are alive and have spirits. They record their history in patterns of the "Pandau," or brightly colored fibers woven into ceremonial cloth.

They are not accustomed to our modern conveniences. They do not know our language. One of our most important tasks is to teach our guests English. It is my job to coordinate their language teaching program. In preparation, I have studied English teaching techniques and learned .....
[Read the Rest]

"Alias Brontosaurus"

Fri, Apr 6th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, April 9, 2001

Although known as Brontosaurus to most people the long-necked giant dinosaur serving as the mascot of the Sinclair Oil Company, or as Fred Flintstoneís "steam shovel" for all you cartoon fans, is in reality properly calle ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Escape from America

Fri, Apr 6th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, December 11, 2000

I guess Iím a snowbird at heart because every year about this time, once the temperature dips below zero and looks like itís going to stay there awhile, I start yearning to go south. Way south. All the way down to Ecu ..... 
[Read the Rest]

The End of Treadmill Time

Fri, Apr 6th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, April 9, 2001

It must be spring, or at least the calendar tells us it must be. The first cardinal of the season finally found our bird feeder, just in time to begin discovering his naturally provided foods as they are exposed from unde ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Something smells fishy

Fri, Apr 6th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, April 2, 2001

A lot of people have been asking me why the county is dumping the county engineer, Steve Voigt. "What has he done wrong?" they ask, implying that there is some smoking gun somewhere that would point to malfeasance or insu ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Fri, Apr 6th, 2001
Posted in

Fri, Apr 6th, 2001
Posted in


Fri, Apr 6th, 2001
Posted in




Fri, Apr 6th, 2001
Posted in

<< | < | 3204 | 3205 | 3206 | 3207 | 3208 | > | >>