St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Candy Canes and Harmattan Dust

Each year, shifting winds known as the Harmattan head southward from the Sahara Desert. As it darkens the skies with sandy grit, the dry air also makes for some really cold nights for the people of Sierra Leone, who are used to blustery equatorial weather. The dusty wind can be severe enough to ground airplanes & helicopters. Because of the extremely chilly nights and the dust that aggravates the lungs, most in Sierra Leone see this weather condition as a great nuisance. But for others it's a business opportunity. Charcoal vendors move their product to buyers seeking nighttime warmth.

Secondhand clothes sellers bring out the knit-wool hats, hoodies and ski parkas. Children bang dust out of customers' rugs with broomsticks. For car washers, it's an excellent time to bring in some much needed funds. As you look around, you can see the dusty yellow coating it leaves behind on palm trees...


...and little boys. (click on above photo to enlarge & look closely at his dusty legs)

No matter when Nazareth House Apostolate sends the Annual Candy Cane Treats, it seems they always arrive about the time of Harmattan - when dust in the air coats everything...and everyone.


Notice the dust on these children. You could write your name in the dust on the little boy's belly. Candy Canes and Dust do not make the best combination, but to these children, a few extra gritty particles really didn't matter. A candy cane is such a special treat.

James and his friend Ali recently made the trip from Freetown to Kabala for the annual distribution of candy canes to our students at the Nazareth House Kabala School recently. Along the way, they handed out candy canes to the children they met as they passed village after village.


The young man on the left is sporting a Harmattan dust covered face with a shiny sticky circle around his mouth, evidence of a well licked candy cane!!!

You who are filled with love and compassion for the people of Sierra Leone, are able to express this through Nazareth House Apostolate who delivers that love into a tangible reality. What a team we all are in Nazareth House. Thanks for your support... and the difference you make in the lives of so many... Have a wonderful day!