#WATWB January 2018 Kicking Goals for Goodness and Culture

Welcome to the first edition of WATWB for 2018.  Our co-hosts for this month are Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, Damyanti Biswas and Guilie Castillo.

We trust you had a great break over the change of year and hope to bring you good news stories both this month and in the months to come. More information about the WATWB blogfest is at the bottom of this post.

(Photo: from supplied source)

Some Somali’s in Melbourne go back to Somalia to play soccer (football).  It was commented that the exchange inspired young people to be engaged in the community in practical ways when they got back to Australia.

As SBS news reports:

It’s often said that sport can unify communities, bridging the gap between various cultures. And there’s perhaps no better example of a universal sport than football.

Armed with this theory, a group of 50 young men from Melbourne’s Somali community were taken on a month-long trip back to home turf.

“Soccer is the easiest way to build a bridge,” Hussein Horaco, Secretary of the Somali Australian Council of Victoria, who organised the initiative, told SBS News. 

“We wanted to give hope to young people in Somalia, and for us also, the young people in Australia to experience how difficult life is there.”

As the SBS report continues, we observe that the young people from Australia did get real in the field cultural experience too:

One of the footballers, 25-year-old Abdirahman Ahmed, said being taken out of their comfort zone gave the team a greater appreciation of what they have in Australia.

“Hot water, just having a cold drink in the fridge, small things like that, that you take for granted. And when you go there and you see people, the majority of people, not having those kinds of things … seeing them still being happy, it’s very uplifting,” he said.

Council representative Ahmed Mahmoud said some of the players were also pleasantly surprised by what some people had in Mogadishu.

“The boys thought they’d be sleeping in huts and probably go out into the wilderness to go to the toilet. But when they went there, there were five-star hotels, there were baths, showers in your room, balconies, room service. There was internet and some of the boys were joking that it’s much faster than Melbourne internet.”

They even had an audience with Somalia’s recently elected president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed – known by the nickname ‘Farmajo’.

So the world game continues to catch on. The exchange of events such as these breaks down barriers of nation, culture and fear in a fun way.  They are kicking real goals of human goodness during such a formative age of these people’s lives.

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(Photo courtesy of SBS news.)

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Just a final little note. Since this blog is about poetry, here is a sample of some Somali poets at Poet Nation in Minneapolis, US. There is some great stuff there.  The second guy cuts across some of our WATWB themes.

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Want to know more about this blogfest?  Read on.

Once again, here are the guidelines for #WATWB:

1. Keep your post to Below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. Link to a human news story on your blogone that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. The Link is important, because it actually makes us look through news to find the positive ones to post.

3. No story is too big or small, as long as it Goes Beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others.

5. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hastag to help us trend! 

Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. We’ll try and follow and share all those who post on the #WATWB hashtag, and we encourage you to do the same.Just click Here to enter their link and join us! Bigger the #WATWB group each month, more the joy!

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Reminiscences of Romano’s Fairfield!

On a recent visit to Canberra I was struck by how a coffee shop that didn’t look that cosy still had a sense of community.  The architecture and decor was harsh and hard. But…. there were regulars streaming in who were obviously known by the baristas.  It reminded me of days in Melbourne of when I had my own ‘regular’. I wrote them a poem for when I left Melbourne and have posted it here. Cheers!

Reminiscences of Romano’s Fairfield!

Beautiful baristas! Some coffee for me please!

My eyes are heavy,

My limbs flop limp,

I’m weakening at the knees!

I wandered in one morning,

Seeking a coffee for my way,

Something broke right through my yawning,

And stayed with me from that day.

No doubt characters cross the threshold,

Of the glassy welcoming doors,

Some may be shy, some may be bold,

They may come in sunshine, or shuffle in when it pours.

But when I entered Romano’s,

Something seemed to click,

It was more than just coffee and milky flows,

Whatever – it seemed to stick.

Is it the bouncy family way,

With kids gawking at the cakes?

Or those seeking to ease the day,

With the Age or Herald Sun news breaks?

Or is it the staff of friendly face,

Who kindly spread their cheer?

Who know their regulars around the place,

And who ordered what in here.

It’s more than just the grind and steam,

Of the coffee they tenderly give,

But an ambience in the scene,

That helps you want to live.

Romano’s helps you greet the day,

With a good and spritely start,

Whether sitting inside or take-away,

It helps to lighten the heart.

Coffee beans might pick up your rate,

And milk might give your bones strength,

But Romano’s staff add a pleasant state,

And boil an atmosphere in their cafe length.

The atmosphere percolates through little gestures,

Like giving a coffee card,

Which might give no frequent flyers,

But makes walking past real hard!

You might give a tip to them,

But here’s a tip for you and me:

Count your blessings as well as your money,

And with your gratitude be free.

So, as you in the morning greet

The bustle and Melbourne breeze,

Make your way to Station Street,

To Romano’s, if you please!

 

Simon C.J. Falk      Commenced 10 December 2010