Pilot Episode

July 8th, 2010
Here in our pilot episode, we make a cockeyed attempt to explain any possible giblets of plot, theme, and character development. 

Whaleherdienda is the place we call home.  It is not a location, or building or even a residence.  Perhaps it will prove to not even be the people, but rather the spirit it encourages while encompassing a sense of adventure and silliness.  The Chronicle, or our letters home to loved ones, is a collection of obscure observations and perhaps, the accidental unsheathing of a few truth kernels along the way. 

Main sources of Chronicle Fodder:

 Tom Hale—who exemplifies the zen philosophy of endless accomplishment with no effort.   The patient husband who is either nursing his wife back to good health,  taking orders for home restoration, or preparing to give up his work to travel half way around the world to home school the children.   Amazing man.

Daryl Hale, progeny number 1, Whaleherdita, exudes 8 year old indigence with all matters of concrete thinking.    Nothing escapes her keen awareness…protecting this one’s childhood innocence is in vain.   As mom, I agonize over her desire to know the truth as it is sure to part company with childhood innocence. 

Samuel Hale, progeny number 2, Whaleherdito, is a clever and impish young man, who, at 6 years old, has already mastered a startlingly accurate impersonation of his mother by snapping his fingers, pointing in my face, and chiming “Onnne…..twwooo…..” 
His vivid imagination oozes into reality.  Any paper clip or trash giblet serves as a gun to pulverize the bad guys lurking at every turn.    Sambowhambo also never responds well to verbal admonishment.   A simple “No, don’t do that!” sparks a threatening reaction.  His smile widens, his eyes inflame, all as if I had just struck the pose of soon-to-be-gored matador.   Exhausting…this one….

PawPaw is the grandpa whose southern accent rolls forth like Brer Rabbit Molasses. His words are gently brushed by his whistling S’s, like the wind through an abandoned pennywhistle.   Extreme deception to anyone who conceives genteel accents as an indicator of lesser intelligence. And, of course, Tudder, who keeps us all honest.

Me…well…I’m the somewhat omnipotent composer/observer who creates your report through my very fractured lens of humor.


Someone suggested this year’s title should be: 
“A   Frican Safari”,  translating to “Whaleherds on Tanzanian Sojourn”

I'm not sure where this adventure began.  Maybe with my naked toes (a story for another day) or my bout with Hell's mosquito or just an effort to support my brother in law—maybe all three, but, regardless of what set this in motion, we're off spinning like a top.  But, maybe it was the people I met in Africa.  The ones who had nothing, and yet offered out more than anyone I had ever met.  Once you learn the stories of these individuals, one can only shed tears of inadequacy and graciousness.  Maybe that is what inspired this adventure.  

There are times you want to exit from the main highway, perhaps you've seen enough of what the road has to offer.  Or you see a horizon that needs investigating, and it just happens to be at a right angle to your current trajectory.  There's no exit.  Maybe you veer on and off the shoulder but the dumb (braille) bumps coerce you back to obedience.  So sometimes you just have to yank the wheel and …

…hit the bar ditch straight on... it’s ok to close your eyes…and hope the car keeps running….heading straight for--who knows what...imagine chickens fleeing and goats scampering…  We might even be bringing that barbed wire fence with us. 

I suppose I seek perspective.  New experience causes growth.  Babies are exposed to new experiences daily, but adults lose these original encounters and our growth slows.  It’s time to step outside the hothouse and feel the sun, the breeze and the rain.  When the world is good to you, you come to expect it.  Fortune is like cosmic candy wreaking cavities in perspective.   When only 1/3 of the world is rich enough to use toilet paper, shouldn’t I be glad that I don’t get what I truly deserve? 

“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”  Malcolm Forbes 

 Prepare for culture shock to be measured on the Richter scale. 

The things we anticipate missing…
Rudy’s BBQ with Tudder and PawPaw
El Camino Real with Ian
Walks with Laura
Carpooling with Bob
Lunch with Tammy
Wild Basin Winds lunches and Stevie cooking in our kitchen
ASO Breaks
Spewing wise cracks during orchestra rehearsal to make people chuckle and playfully annoy Bill
My students…of course.
The full house of Whaleherdienda tenants, Lizzy, Rebecca, Oliver, Carolyn, Hilary, Jamilly
Don dropping over for a football game
Riding around the neighborhood in the golfcart
Going to Kerrville and Arkansas, seeing our beloved family
Scissoring up the ASO 4th of July shirt, Wearing a wig to a children's concert. 

The details—you request?
That’s the boring part.  You know, just the foothills of Kilimanjaro, a few hours from the Ngorogoro Crater (where ‘Lion King’ was filmed),  and the Olduvai Gorge (the cradle of mankind), and even Jane Goodall’s ‘Chimpland’ is right around the corner.  We’ll be staying in University housing, teaching some classes, and traveling to other regional universities and embassies to offer classical music performances, as well as US State Department Outreach.   Typical day’s work….

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