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Patti Beth's Blog

Thank you, Mrs. Browning

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All of us have vivid memories of a teacher.  I was fortunate to have many, many great teachers that made long lasting impressions on me. If you attended Grove Schools in the '50s-'60s, the name Mrs. Ruby Browning means something to you. She stood in front of hundreds and hundreds of elementary students and I would dare to say, made a huge impact on most. I was in Mrs. Browning's last sixth grade class she taught before she retired. It just so happened that it was also the first year in the T.J. Melton Building, which is now the lower elementary. The building was ultra modern in 1972-73, with open classrooms to the central hallway. (I think they have been enclosed now with a fourth wall and door) We may have had a modern take on a classroom, but our teacher gave us old fashioned education. Things that I still use to this day.

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My Jammies Journey

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Thank you to all that follow me I as wander the world. Remember last year when I told in detail the sad tale of our missing luggage as we headed to a cruise? I had a multi-part story titled “My Pajamas Need a Passport”. In case you’ve been wondering, my pajamas have been wandering... again.

Husband, Doug, and I made it home from Uganda and Morocco on a Friday. Doug took Big Red (my suitcase) to the carwash on Saturday for a bath and I repacked it Sunday for a 6:20pm flight from Tulsa to Gulfport, Mississippi. I was looking forward to Travel South, a conference for travel buyers to meet with travel suppliers in a professional setting. I had appointments with 70 travel businesses plus a number of industry related activities. It’s fun, overwhelming, interesting and challenging… especially when your pajamas are a no show.

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Greetings from Uganda!

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The first week of volunteering in Uganda has gone by fast even though we are in a world where things are much slower. In many ways I feel like I’m at big kid church camp. It’s just camp is just on the River Nile. A few nights we’ve heard the hippos as they come out to graze.

The Team House that we are staying in has 6 bedrooms, each with its own toilet and shower. We have a solar panel system for electric power and hot water. It’s the end of the dry season, so we’ve had hot, sunny days which means a warm water shower.

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The Art of Food

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We have returned from Morocco, but I’m still reflecting on the many memories. One thing I certainly will associate with Morocco is Berber Whiskey. We drank it at every meal, it was offered when we entered places of business and hotel lobbies. It was available along the side of the road, and everyone drank Berber Whiskey. Tea, I’m talking about hot tea. But it is so much more than a dunked bag, it is a tradition and an art.

The Berbers are indigenous people of Northern Africa which includes Morocco. Kings, wars, and the quest for power and properties down through the years have resulted in culture jumble in these modern times. French and Arabic languages are woven into the fabric of Jewish and Muslim people.  The result is colorful and rich. But there is a constant, and that is tea and food.

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A Lovely Mystery

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When the Good to Go gang takes off on a mystery trip, we always have a little fun with guessing 1) where we will spend the night and 2) how many miles our round trip will be. The travelers get some very vague clues from the trip flyer. Remember this is mystery as in they have no idea where they are going, not a murder mystery event.

From the travelers perspective, it’s all about adventure and experiences that one might have rejected if given the choice.  It’s the fun of the unknown and what will be around the next corner. From my perspective as their Fearless Leader, it’s all about taking folks to places they didn’t know existed. Enjoying their trust to find activities and attractions that are fun and varied with a little something for everyone.  I find these gems though networking with peers, reading travel articles and keeping my ears open.

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A Night in the Sahara

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I’m a child of the 60’s. I grew up with Bugs Bunny and Weekly Reader and World Book Encyclopedia. Even with my great imagination, I couldn’t have dreamed that “someday” I could spend the night in a tent in the Sahara Desert. That’s the stuff Olin the movies. But I did.

Your Fearless Leader is in Morocco. Hubby, Doug, and I are checking out a possible trip for our Good to Go travelers. I’m always more confident in endorsing a tour if I’ve had the chance to experience it myself. Morocco is full of color, and tastes, textures and smells.

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A Chicken, An Injection, and Weather Conditions

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“I need to borrow a chicken.” This is my text message that went out to friends in the OKC area. Some responded without a flinch, others I could tell, paused and answered, “This is Patti Beth, right?” Then they understood. A girlfriend called on Friday and asked what I was doing. I replied that I was looking for a hen to borrow for a speaking engagement; I was filling out vaccination records, and working on the cast for the HarBer Village Murder Mystery. Just a regular day in my world.

Let me back up. My alter-ego, country girl Willamae, was to speak to a women’s group at a church in Edmond. This had been planned for months. My theme was “Being a Chicken Christian” and I carry in a live chicken.

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Takin’ a Taxi

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If you want to discover an area, travel by road. Criss-crossing a country in an airplane and hopping airports is certainly faster, but there is something kind of great about the observations made through a windshield.

Doug and I had a plane to catch in Entebbe, Uganda for the second half of our 2018 adventure. We left our tiny town near Kamura, Uganda (south of Gulu) by taxi for a five hour drive to overnight before our flight. Five hours, you read that correctly. We had the same driver, same taxi for the trip out, but I was pretzeled in the back seat with the items we were delivering for the hospital that we were going to volunteer. I can’t really comment on the scenery except the side of some suitcases. I was promoted to front seat for the return and the journey began. Driver Eric did his best with some broken English to answer my questions, and I had a lot of them.

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Cruising Back to Oklahoma

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 We have hula'ed home from Hawaii. We left in the snow and returned in the snow. I guess I should not have rubbed the three week cruise in so much, because as it turned out our temperatures were a bit on the cool side for the islands. But it didn't require knee socks or gloves, just a beach towel to cover up with.

It's always fun to hear folks complain about how good the food is as we wait for our dessert to be served. Everyone in life should have a couple of weeks in a row beyond living at home that someone makes their bed, empties their trash, straightens their room, and cleans the toothpaste out of the sink. Chocolates on the pillow and the toilet paper folded to a point are little touches to make cruisers feel special. Throw in towel animals decorating the room, from monkeys to swans, and the fun begins.

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