Saturday, April 30, 2011

Teacher-The eternal Influence

The education for man begins from his home as child, and then continues in school as kid, and then later in life as a man. Learning would never stop till we stop living. However, of these stages, I feel strongly that school is a place where we learn to grow up as a human being, eventually a good man from an innocent kid. And in school, Teachers are the ones who become more than the parents who take care of us as a kid and the person who grooms us not just with facts and wisdom but with humanly ethics to become a better person later in life.
There’s this story, and believe it or not, it is considered as one of the most inspiring stories of teacher’s role in any student’s life. It was originally written in Home Life Magazine by Elizabeth Silance Ballard in 1976. When Mrs. Thompson took the fifth grade class, Teddy was the dirtiest, slothful and a bad mannered student. She was asked to review the past records of each child. She would put Teddy’s as the last one until she is done with others. She however got shocked when she read about Teddy’s pass records. “Teddy is a very decent student, and the brightest amongst other” the teacher at first grade remarked on Teddy. “Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home is a struggle,” that was what his second grade teacher wrote. His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death had been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken." Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."
Mrs. Thompson now saw the whole picture of the boy who she despised as someone who need more love, care and not just the education. On Christmas, everyone gifted her best gifts while everyone laughed when Mrs. Thompson found the bracelet with some stones missing and a half filled perfume bottle inside the clumsily wrapped gift from Teddy. Much to the stifling of other kids, she wore the bracelet, sprayed the perfume on herself and said smilingly to Teddy “It is beautiful, thank you dear.” Teddy waited after the class, and said to Mrs. Thompson, “You smell like my mother used to.”
Teddy became one of the brightest students in class and a year later, she received a note from Teddy which read, she was still his best teacher he ever met. So many years went by, and every time Teddy completed a school, high school, and college, she received a letter each in which he wrote that she was still the best teacher he ever met.
One day, she received another letter in which he wrote that he is soon going to get married and his father died years ago. He wrote if she could sit during the weeding on a place reserved for groom’s parents. And of course, Mrs. Thompson did, and she attended the wedding wearing the bracelet which he gifted her. Nor did she forget to put the same kind of perfume.
They hugged each other. Dr. Teddy then whispered in her ear, “Thank you so much for believing in me and making me feel important.”
Well, there could be so many stories where our Teachers must have had some effectual influences in our lives. Personally there are many in my own life and for their great sacrifices and efforts, most of us forget to thank them or feel grateful. Let alone be such courtesies, there are also many of us who would only remember thrashings we were under from our teachers which otherwise could have been only for the good of ourselves.
Today on this special occasion, I would like take this privilege of paying my utmost respect and gratitude to all the teachers who in some or the other way, helped me becoming what I have become today. Your deeds and influences are unmatchable and I know that this simple piece wouldn’t be suffice enough, let alone be this, even if the mountains could become pages, trees could become pens, and oceans-an ink, it won’t be suffice enough to be repaying your deeds. And of course other Teachers for teaching so many like me out there.
Teachers are the one of the greatest sources of inspiration in any student’s life.
Henry Adams quoted, “A teacher affects eternity:
he can never tell where his influence stops.”
Happy Teachers Day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Good humanbeing before a good teacher

Nature had truly blessed the day; the golden circle hiding at the heart of  sea, music of birds over me on my  way back to home, and cool breeze that blew  by me taking all my pain of the day made me feel blessed. That evening walking down the street I felt this was the most perfect day of my life. Everything was beautiful and it was as if dream-come-true and as I walked ahead my eyes caught the figure unusual of other days. Someone was struggling hard to move and as I reached to it I was taken aback to see an old lady laying on the sand and trying hard to get hold of her wheel chair. I helped her get on her chair and offered her my help. She said she lived in the nearby cottage, I pulled her chair and we moved towards her home. She thanked me and offered me a tea but as I was busy I had to deny her offer.
From that day I never saw that lady and now almost years passed. I got busy with my life and had hardly time to see for her though I wished to learn more about the lady. However, time and situation never goes in the way we want. My life is now ruled by the bell on every hour and the ringing of bell at regular interval would mean change of classrooms for me. Running from one class to another with piles of books on one hand and attendance register on other has been rhythm of my life. Now the music that gives me peace or pleasure is not of songs of birds or winds but the murmuring of my students. Through these voices and murmurings are the voices of the ones who are receiving wisdom and the musics i have fallen in love with. Going after child in the class, narrating them fairy tales and explaining them the meaning hidden in those words has become part of my life.
One day I was taking the class on value education and asked students to tell what they understand about the value education, and surprisingly they came up with many good things. The stories talking about values, incidences and many were what my students came up with to my astonishment. However a little girl in the front row wrote the story about a girl who saved her mother, and concluded the story saying that “ My mother still blesses that girl who saved her life that day, I wish to be like her”. For next few days I wondered about the story and wanted to know about her mother. Luckily I got to meet her mother and I was surprised to see the same lady I met fifteen years ago on the road side. When she saw me, she wept out of gratitude and happiness.
One evening, laying on my bed I was wondering what actually I did that day that lady is still so happy to see me. But the words of my teacher assured me, “No matter how great or small your deeds are, all you have to do is, do it with love and respect” and may be that day I had done the same. Now when I look back, I vividly remember the face, growing red and black and shouting hard from the front. No matter how naughty and careless we were in class, their lesson always had the deep impression over us. Each day made me wiser, and showed me way to my destination. People are true to say that teachers are are like candles; they consume self to light the way for his/ her students. And they had exactly done the same; they had given up their pleasure running after students to make us read. Be there for us when we call for them no matter whether it’s mid- night or early morning. But most importantly they had taught me never to give up, face all situations with willing heart and half the thing will be done. My life was not bed of rose, I fell many a times but each time I had enough courage to get up, I never lost faith on myself and value I have received from my teachers helped me keep walking and now I am here. Remembering little girl saying that she wanted to be like me, I smiled.
It was beautiful day next morning; dark clouds had gone far away from me, golden rising sun has made all things beautiful.I walked inside the noisy class and on other bell, i gladly walked out only to enter another class to teach and be with the noises my students make.
P.S: The author of this article is  Bunu Tamang, English/Geography, Shercol. She is a guest writer for this blog. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

School Experience: In Wangduecholing Junior High School, Bumthang

I have many memories associated with this school. From being a naughty stammer to a good student who did so many nasty things but was never interested in studying. I used to hold positions in early classes, but with time, and as I grew up, I couldn’t really do well in studies but I always managed to pass to next class. At home, I used to be busy with my brothers, baby sitting them and helping dad sometimes in carpentry. My parents were more than happy to see me going to the next class year after year.
With time, because that I was naughty and talkative, I soon began to improve on my stammering trouble. There used to be some incidences when teachers would ask me to read some paragraphs or so and I would stand up trying to read but couldn’t utter a word until I get stick or two. On some leisure times, and when it was group reading amongst the friends, I used to tell them that I will read the book faster. I sometimes fell that stammering in front of a teacher was may be because I was afraid or I lacked confidences during my childhood days like many other kids.
Bumthang has always been blessed with so many religious activities and its history is read with so many visits by many great Buddhist scholars. Thus, as many Buddhist scholars, that many (even more) temples and religious sites are there in Bumthang. Exam times were the best times where every student, even the ones who dreaded so much to sit through for one hour evening prayers would turn themselves at the sacred help of God. We often would travel through the high mountains where temples would be built seeking help from the standing statues and religious sects. Those days we were so naïve even to understand that God helps only the ones who help themselves.
Another particular incident that I will never be able to forget is what happened during the visit Fourth King. I was in class six, and the HM was supposed to grace our school before lunch. We were instructed and taught as to how and who should be leading the Chhawang (bowing down of head to show one’s respect). There was some confusion between the school teachers and the officials who came before the king to see whether things are prepared well or not. School instructed senior class- class eight students to lead the Chhawang while the officials put class six students in the front row. And subsequently the senior classes thought the ones in the front would lead the Chhawang until it didn’t happen when HM walked right in front of us.
The first thing HM asked to the headmaster was, “Chhoe gi nge alu tshulu Driglam Namsha toendho ga?” (Do you teach my children the etiquette of our culture?)
I didn't know that time that we messed up the thing for HM (head master). We had the long speech next morning from him.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

School Experience—To the next class till Mother learnt to teach me

I was entrusted to an elderly lady as my guardian. Though I was in a boarding school, I remember myself staying most of the time in that elderly lady’s house. I had this very uncommon and embarrassing habit of getting leaked in my sleep, and today as I recount my life then, I sometimes feel guilty that a woman who I merely knew had to clean my bed and feed me simply because she knew my Grandpa. Her husband was some kind of a gomchen in the village, and whenever he was asked for rituals and rites in neighboring houses, I was the one at the end of eating all those spare foods which he was served for performing rites and rituals. There can never be anyone as grateful as they in my life after my Grandparents and Parents, but life wouldn’t wait for anyone. Even before I realize that I owe them more than just my life, they passed away, time waits for none.
Langdurbi School, it’s one of the remotest schools in Zhemgang district, during those days used to have classes up to second class and the school constituted of one building which served as headmaster’s office and another half-built building as dining hall. There were no hostels and we, just a handful of students, used to sleep in the classrooms. There used to be sometimes incidences where other kids would complain to the teachers in the morning against me for passing out urine in sleep at night. Sometimes, I used to bribe my friends with tengma (beaten maize), and used to get myself saved from further embarrassment.
There were few of older friends who used to help me getting firewood (which we have to collect for school during Saturdays). They were also the ones who used to help me reach my home during the holidays. The barefoot journeys were always tedious in marshy summer with landslide leeches and snakes. Whenever we worked in the agriculture field, we always carried a stick, not to be used as walking stick or shoo away the dogs but to beat the grass so that the snakes could be driven away.
I didn’t really complete my year in pre-primary class due to the sudden illness I succumbed to. Perhaps for two teachers, it wasn’t the difficult decision to pass me to the next class and moreover, I was leaving the school. I don’t remember whether I attended the exam or not, but I definitely was promoted to next class, and the next class was in different school, back in Bumthang with my parents. And folks in the place still didn’t forget how I got stuck on the moving tractor and how I almost lost my life.
Wangduecholing Junior High school was back then called as Jakar Primary School. In 1995, I had to learn English alphabetical again and this time, my mom who first studied the pronunciation of the letters from other educated neighbor, taught me.
Parents continue to teach us throughout our life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

School Experience--The beginning

School is not just about learning and getting educated. It is also a place where we not just only make friends, play games, read libraries and obey teachers but also a place where we grow through life with many experiences and transition in our mentality towards so many things. The pieces from school life when put together, they just happened to be what constituted one’s learning more than an education which might have been what teachers forced you to do or what you didn’t like to do but had to do somehow. Most of one’s childhood and teenage are spent in school, and it is in school where we do many things with so much keenness and so much mischief.
With the kind of social fabric one is a part of and with all sort of discipline one is in, school is a perfect place where we prepare ourselves to the outside world. Inside the four corners of the classroom, we learn to become a person fit for the society (while of course there are few exceptions). From the kindling teachers, the worldly wisdom spread its branches to the ends which no one knows about.
My schooling, as far as I remember, it started from my late grandfather. If you have been following my blog for some time now, most of you know that I had a bad accident when I was about six years that my parents decided to put me up with Grandparents after the accident. So in the village, like a gomchen, my Gomchen Grandpa began my informal education. I was taught how to pronounce the alphabets in Dzongkha. It was not that tedious to keep in mind the thirty letters, even during bed time, my grandpa used to ask me to rehearse the letters. The love and affection of grandparents pampered me often. I used to play around the houses with other kids and not go to study until my Grandpa would come around looking for me with sugar (in the village, it must have been way away from the shop) and promise me more if I study.
I was then formally admitted to the Langdurbi Primary School, Zhemgang, which was one day’s walk through thick jungles crowded with snakes and leeches. I was put up in the hostel with dozens of other kids. And the never ending journey of life took another very important step, of course innocently and unconsciously. Today while I am still studying, the person who put into the threshold of learning has passed away long but His gift to me still relishes to grow every day. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

I spoke to Ronaldo, I can now go to heaven

Cristiano Ronaldo!!!!!!!!! What do you get in your mind when you hear this name; a cocky footballer with arrogant attitude? Or handsome footballer with so much talent? Does he even look like someone who is so soft with all those seemingly self-obsessed behaviors on the pitch?

He is perhaps one of the most hated and loved footballer of today’s generation. People love him for the extra glamour in the play he brings out by magical tricks and brilliant touches. And people hate him for being so much theatrical and cry-baby look he gives whenever he is fouled by opponent defenders. But love him or hate him, he’s not the kind of person, you as a football fan would be able to avoid. However, what brings you here to read my post is not about what Cristiano’s about or what he can do on a pitch; it’s rather about what Cristiano  as a human being did for a young guy who was suffering from a cancer.
Behind the superstar celebrity is a genuine and caring human being- Dan Gasper, and he has something to tell the world about Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I was fortunate to be invited by Professor Carlos Queiroz, Portugal National Team Coach to join their staff for qualification for the 2010 World Cup I have worked with Carlos before, and I felt honoured to be a part Portugal’s preparation.

Not long after, I received a phone call from a good friend, John Moreira. John has worked at Star Goalkeeper Academy, a camp which I own. He and his family are good friends of mine and have been for many years. His son Brandon, who was a quality soccer player, was experiencing knee problems. The doctors initially thought that he was suffering from a soccer injury. It turned out that Brandon had Osteosarcoma (bone cancer).

The Moreiras had a difficult decision to make; amputate the leg or receive chemotherapy in the hopes that they could catch all of the cancer. Brandon’s passion was football. The thought of having one of his legs amputated was devastating to the teenager. He couldn’t imagine a life with one of his legs missing.The family opted for chemotherapy.

Throughout this trying period, John had kept in touch with me and regularly updated me on Brandon’s status. So it was devastating to hear that not only did the chemo fail to shrink the size of the tumor, but the cancer had metastasized to other parts of the body. John and I shared a special bond, and I felt compelled to be there for my friend and his family. I jumped onto a plane and flew to Toronto.

Brandon was a very special young man. Instead of me offering Brandon support and courage, Brandon gave me much more than I could give him. He was calm, brave and his warrior-spirit imbued his house with a sense of peace. He was an inspiration. Despite having lost considerable weight and entangled in oxygen tubes, in his soft-spoken voice he always managed to say just the right thing. He pleaded with everyone not be angry and that God is good. Sixteen years old! That was his gift to all of us.

His dad John said that Brandon had created a bucket of wishes. One of his wishes was to go to Old Trafford and watch Ronaldo train. Given the circumstances, that wish was not going to come true. Like so many kids around the globe, Ronaldo was Brandon’s idol. He thought Ronaldo was the best footballer on the planet. Pictures of the Portuguese winger in full gallop gliding with ease past bewildered defenders covered Brandon’s bedroom wall.

John asked me if I would contact Ronaldo and ask him to call his dying son. I informed John that I did only one game with Portugal’s U-23 team with Ronaldo. The likelihood of Ronaldo remembering me was remote but I would do my best. I wanted so badly to fulfill Brandon’s wish. He was a remarkable human being, and it was the least that I could do for my friend and his son.

I called the Head Coach of Portugal National Team, Carlos Queiroz and explained Brandon’s situation. Carlos and I have worked together on many projects and we have known each other for years. We are brothers. I said to Carlos, “I have not asked you for much, but this is a special request and it would mean a lot to me if you could help me as well as my friend".

Carlos said he would do his best, but he could not make any promises. But I knew that if anyone had the influence to be able to help me to help Brandon and his family, it was Carlos Queiroz. To contact Ronaldo you have to go through several layers of people – agents, managers, lawyers, etc… and you never know how long that may take.

Carlos called me back the same day and said, “The mission is in motion”. I knew that Carlos would come through.

In the meantime, I knew Brandon was a Manchester United, Benfica and FC Porto fan. I called my contacts and asked if they could call Brandon, to give him strength and urge him to continue to fight his battle. José Moreira from Benfica, Carlos Queiroz from Manchester United and Vitor Baia from FC Porto all called to wish him well and to have the courage to continue to fight. They were all special, but they were not Ronaldo - he had still not called.

I needed to get back to the University of Hartford. The Hartford Hawks had a game on Saturday evening and I flew back on the Friday before.

Saturday was a great evening. The University of Hartford beat The University of New Hampshire and I also received a call from John that Ronaldo did call. It was a tremendous relief for me, and I knew what it meant to Brandon. In fact, he promised Brandon he would call the following day.

Brandon’s house was full of his friends, anxiously waiting for his phone to ring. Ronaldo did not disappoint. He called and Brandon and a house full of friends and family were overjoyed. Manchester United was playing away to Chelsea that weekend in September. Ronaldo promised to send his match jersey and boots to Brandon. Brandon was ecstatic, but it was the conversation that he cherished most. He said "I can't believe I just spoke with my idol, Cristiano Ronaldo -- I am the happiest kid alive.” A couple of days later Ronaldo went on to text Brandon to see how he was feeling.

Brandon, only 17, died on October 3, 2008. Ronaldo sent his autographed boots, framed jersey and a telegram with his condolences. But in his telegram it was this message that moved Brandon’s family the most. It said, “true champions are those who fight till their last breath, and that is the image I have of Brandon."

I returned to Toronto to attend Brandon’s wake and funeral. All of Ronaldo’s items were wrapped around the casket. It was amazing.

In February I returned to Toronto to do a goalkeeper seminar. John asked me to go for a ride. We went to Brandon’s mausoleum. I was stunned by what I saw - Cristiano Ronaldo’s bronzed jersey and boots. Beneath them were engraved the words from Ronaldo's text message.

Carlos Queiroz invited me to join the Portugal’s National Team as it prepared for its World Cup qualification match against Albania on June 6, 2009 and a friendly match against Estonia on June 10. It’s fascinating how life works; of course I accepted the invitation to join Portugal’s staff with honour. The team included the FIFA selection for the 2008 World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo. His transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid was a world record of $133 million.

When John’s family knew I was going to join the National Team they had a request. They had several items they wanted Ronaldo to sign and they wrote a thank-you card for him.

I flew to Toronto to meet with John’s family and to pick up the items they wanted signed by Ronaldo. Then it was off to Lisbon for a national team training camp. When I arrived at training camp I let a few days pass before I approached Ronaldo. As you can imagine, everyone wants a piece of him. During lunch one afternoon, Ronaldo and I were near the buffet table. I told Ronaldo that I had a special story to share with him, and could we spend a few minutes together? He agreed and met me in my room.

It was an emotional meeting as I shared with Cristiano all the details of the impact he had on Brandon, his family and friends. Ronaldo listened carefully.

I wanted to emphasize the responsibility an athlete like Cristiano has to young and impressionable people like Brandon. As we talked, it was touching to see a vulnerable and compassionate side to a guy who is a warrior on the field.

The last thing I mentioned to Ronaldo was that Brandon had kept a daily diary. On the last page it read, "I spoke to Ronaldo, I can now go to heaven."

That is the truth behind Cristiano Ronaldo.”

I shared this same story to the communication class when I was asked to speak on a person who consider as someone I would like to be or admire so much. You see, everyone wants to get a piece of Ronaldo..:)

Source of the story
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

If not with love

I had a phone conversation with one of my younger brothers sometime back.
He is famous for being Dodo (yeah, that’s his name) as much as for his mischievous behaviors. And of course me and other siblings for being Dodo’s brothers. I am like Dodo’s brother (most of the people do not even know my real name but they know me as Dodo’s elder brother).
He got admitted into school very late because of my father’s irregular nature of the job he was in. And when he finally got admitted to the school, he was like tallest or the eldest in his class that his teachers didn’t need to look for someone else in the class to monitor the class. There used to be complains from the other kids about Dodo bullying them as class captain. Someday, a woman would pop out in front of the house with her kid and complain to Mom about Dodo asking them money and other stationery stuffs. There was also time when he was put inside the water pool by headmaster of his school for making some other kid sit inside it. He was so ill-behaved then and his manners today with age has not pruned yet into a polished form of a wit and understanding kid of his age should normally be into. It has rather become some kind of trouble to parents and other people around.
I received a call from Dad some weeks ago. It was Dodo who got himself into problem again. This time he and his friend cut the electricity wire of some building in neighborhood. The folks have complained to the police and asked some huge money as compensation for the damages caused by the kids. It was good that Dad knew the folks and they finally settled for some petty amounts. He seemed frustrated and worn out in his voice. Dodo is the eldest amongst the siblings who are with the parents and he has gone wayward of being a good son and a good brother to my youngest brother and a little sister. Dad asks me to talk with Dodo, and that he’s done with telling Dodo.
I could make out how scared and uneasy he was when he said “hello” to me. Instead of being a second to what Dad must have already been, I changed the whole situation with my first question to him, “Bro, I am coming home soon. Do you want anything from here?” there I get the kid’s happiness, “When are you coming?” he sounded suddenly sound and ecstatic that he didn’t even let me answer him, “I want a small mobile”. I don’t know what he meant by small mobile, but I needed to cheer him up and make him happy, “Okie…I will bring you one.” “Acho, you mean it?” “Ya, I will bring you a small mobile if you promise me to look after the sister, study properly, and that you would never do anything naughty?” after being silent for some time, he happily replies, “You can ask Apa or Ama from now onwards if I am being naughty or if am not looking after sister or if I am not studying well. Get me one small mobile okie?” “I will keep on asking about it to Dad.”
Last week I received a call from home and Dad assured me that Dodo doing fine so far. And in all these conversations with Dad, Dodo comes to the phone and like an ultimatum, says to me “Acho if you don’t bring me a small mobile phone, I promise I would become one of the naughtiest boy around”…I replied him “You just keep doing what you have promised me, I will get you a small mobile.” I could hear my little sister crying behind the phone.
Now I am wondering if he keeps his end of the promise, what should be the price I would be paying for the kind of person my brother would become. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

30 things i want to do before kicking the bucket

Everyone have dreams those which we wants to attain whatsoever it takes, we have wishes which are funny and silly, yet we see some kind of fun and life in it. And there are lots of things one wants to do it before it lasts.  Adventures are made for men……and dreams are the all that inspires one to commit to.
 I have my list of things which I want to commit to or even wishes to have or do once in life. And of course some of the wishes, I have already achieved or was a part of it.
So before I kick the bucket, I would wish to;
1.      ~ Become a fiction writer and ~Write a column for any newspaper.
2.      ~Watch the live football match in any of the European countries.
3.      ~Visit Milan…
4.      Visit Lhasa...
.      ~Have a close conversation with the king of Bhutan.
6.      ~Donate Blood.
7.      ~Read 100 books, and I am still on 14 only. Not much of a voracious reader but wants to make it a habit.
8.      ~Sing on the stage..this one’s a crazy wish of mine….there can be so much fun with my bragging worse than any sick donkey could do.
9.      ~Marry someone with beautiful heart…
10.  ~Become a director of the movie and also be in a movie….
11.  ~Visit Bumthang Tharpaling once again in lifetime…of course visited several times when I was a kid.
12.  ~~Take photograph with someone famous…
13.  ~Design my own house and feel proud to have designed the best compared to the ones I would have designed for other people.
14.  ~Break the dishes in a banquet hall or any celebration occasion and make a loud commotion.
15.  ~Propose a girl on April Fool.
16.  ~ Visit my old schools once….and contribute something in as a token of gratitude.
17.  ~~Be able to work in any kind of religious building design…
18.  ~~Be on the island….
19.  ~Watch sunrise and sun set travelling in the ship…
20.  ~Go for fishing on a boat…
21.  ~Ride the bike on the hilly roads for one whole day…
22.  ~Go for a mountain climbing and have a meal on top of it…
23.  ~Go for a campaign..any awareness campaign….
24.  ~Fly in a helicopter………
25.  ~Learn any new language
26.  ~Do anything nasty during the night in the street and get chased by police…
27.  ~Get dressed up as Army Officer …
28.  ~Teach in a school or any community on any subject…grew up with a dream to become a teacher, and after sometime a journalist but ended up doing something else…
29.  ~Get totally drunk and spend a night in the bar…this will be funny..will stop going to same bar from next morning after I leave the bar…
30.  ~Own a luxurious car and have the first ride with my father….
To be continued…………………………………………………….things will add up as time comes by…