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Olympian Incentives

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Attagirl! Even if she will never get my message, I am greeting the 19-year-old girl who is now in line to set a world  record by making a solo flight around the world. Sara Rutherford has indicated that it will take her two to three months to accomplish her mission, but the report did not give the date of her take-off. Well, other people may be shocked that her parents would allow her to do that, but both of them were pilots themselves, so, I am sure they just pooh-pooh those who criticize them for allowing her to do that, but because both of them had also been pilots, you could say it’s all in the family!

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Truly, English is a growing language. Well, maybe other languages also keep adding new words to their vocabulary, but then, all other English speaking, or English educated people, continue to catch up with the new words. For instance, remember when everybody called them “injections”, when you get your medication via a needle? Later, you hardly hear anyone talk about injections, even medical people have been heard calling them “shots”. And now, with this new disease, that even gets changes in its name, we no longer hear of “injections” or “shots”, the “in” word is “jab”, as in, “Have you gotten your jabs against the COVID yet?”

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F and F. Those are the letters representing two of the world’s biggest problems these days. Ironically, they refer to two different, or opposing elements, and if you keep in touch with world news, you must know by now that many countries are being “attacked” by Floods and Fires. The floods have caused mortalities in some countries, and the fires in others, and they are now referred to as “wildfires” because some are of unknown origins, but all are difficult to control. And that is without noting, too, the variant called Delta, that is puzzling medical experts the world over!

***

What seems very strange is that some places, like Turkey, have been hit by wildfires, and people “evacuate” to the sea to escape them. Fires have been eating up not only houses and buildings, but also forests and gardens. I have not seen any late reports on this phenomenon, but I think we should  all be praying for deliverance from such calamities. Such reports call to my mind a beautiful poem titled “Fire and Ice” that consisted of only seven lines but was so beautiful, I was able to memorize it immediately. But that was also because we had a very good Literature teacher at LCC then, a Batangueña, who transmitted her love for poetry and literature to us.

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Perhaps I should go back to poetry reading and literature to take my mind off this pandemic and the “solitary-confinement” it is imposing  on a lot of people (like me). However, my poetry and literature books were all eaten up by a fire that hit our room more than a year ago. And, with this pandemic going on. How can one go visiting public libraries? Who knows if the books you borrow are “carriers”, too? I think this COVID thing is making hypochondriacs of a lot of people, too!

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But  I think we should thank God for allowing us access to vaccines that can control this vicious COVID that seems to defy science although there is some hope in the  “VAX”, which has become the “nickname” of vaccine. Pinoys really have a great sense of humor, they can even find pet names  to accompany a pandemic! I wonder if that is also true of other countries?

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Ah, other countries! Let us not gripe so much about the COVID, and think about other countries that it has been hitting without mercy. I saw on TV a report about a cemetery, in Cebu, I think, that has no more space for new victims. But there was also an item yesterday about people in Batangas, lining up (in pila) up to 2 a.m. to get their “shots”, aka “jabs”, aka vaccinations! These are very different times, indeed!

***

What joy a gold medal from the Olympics can bring to a country and its people!  I thought we were the only ones mesmerized by the gold medal Hidilyn Diaz got in the earliest days of the Olympics. A girl from Tunisia also got one and got what the media described as “a hero’s welcome” when she returned to her country. But there was no mention in the news if she also got a lot of cash gifts as well as a unit in one of her country’s classiest condominiums! What incentives those will be to future Olympians from our country!*

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