Michael Spies never anticipated going to work for the United Nations. "It always seemed to be something of an unobtainable aspiration for someone who doesn't have the pedigree," he says. He didn't attend a university in the Northeast, and he doesn't have any political connections. Instead, Spies got his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of New Mexico.
The Council elected Don Harris as its president during the Monday, Dec. 6 meeting. Councilor Rey Garduño will step in to do his turn as vice president. Former President Ken Sanchez will serve as chairman of the Committee of the Whole. Other appointments were tabled until the Dec. 20 meeting.
Dateline: Ghana—A 72-year-old grandmother suffered a horrific death when she was burned alive by a mob after being accused of witchcraft. As reported in Ghana’s Daily Graphic, a group of five people allegedly tortured Ama Hemmah in order to extract a confession of witchcraft before dousing her in kerosene and setting her on fire. The suspects, including the preacher of a local evangelical church, denied the charges. According to Pastor Samuel Fletcher Sagoe, 55, he and his compatriots were simply praying to exorcise an evil spirit from the woman when the anointing oil they had applied to her body accidentally caught fire. The incident occurred at Site 15, a suburb of Tema Community 1 near the capital city of Accra. A student nurse, who happened upon the scene, attempted to rescue the woman, but the victim died of her burns within 24 hours of arrival at the Tema General Hospital. So far, no arrests have been made, but the case has been turned over to the Attorney General’s Department for possible prosecution.
Our addiction to oil can have disastrous impacts on the environment and economies that depend on it. We saw a prime example of that this summer as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico washed oil-drenched birds and fish on our shores and fishermen lost the source of their livelihood almost instantly. Luckily, President Obama reinstated an offshore drilling moratorium for sensitive areas [last] week, which will help protect those ecosystems and people who depend on them. However, this moratorium does not take land-based drilling into account, which impacts New Mexico directly.
With the new year comes comes second chances, renewed senses of hope and a clean slate. Sally Moon hosts and leads her annual New Year's Day Despacho Ceremony to bolster the cleansing process. The Peruvian tradition passed from the Incas, is broken into three distinct parts. First the creation of the Despacho. For this component, participants should bring whole bay leaves, flowers and a dollar bill. Each contributor is blessed and pays honor to Pachamama by preparing the gift, filled with gratitude and prayers. Join in the second task with the break to feast. So bring a sharable dish for the occasion. The third and final stage of the ceremony is the the burning and burial of the Despacho. This part begins at 6pm and takes approximately two to three hours. While it is acceptable to leave prior to the fire ceremony, it is considered disrespectful to leave in the midst of the celebration. Women are asked to wear a skirt for the observance. This all takes place on Tuesday, Jan. 1 from 1 to 8pm at the Wild Moon Boutique in Old Town for free. Sow the seeds of intention and align with the highest destiny on the first day of the new year. Make sure to RSVP to email@example.com.