Healthy Soul

Sky balloons all over Harper, Maryland County

When the lights go out we play. We had so much fun getting the sky balloons airborne, squealing with delight as they soared above and away from Tubman Hall, over the Academic Complex higher and higher, past the Administration Building, becoming a vanishing speck of light in the sky.We were having so much fun that the longer than usual electrical outage left us unperturbed. If Maryland County’s Harper-Pleebo-Fish Town area had a newspaper I’m sure there’d be an article about the sighting of two UFOs.

Our sky balloon has taken flight. We keep watching, wondering who else is enjoying our version of fireworks.

Jeanette, Patricia, Corrine, Lillian, Iona, Marie and Dr. Carbajosa watch as our sky balloon takes flight. We keep watching, wondering who else is enjoying our light show..

 

It was Brigitte’s birthday, the second Aquarian celebration in as many weeks. A native of Austria, and a psychologist, she is in the final year of her 3-year contract with the Catholic Diocese of Cape Palmas conducting trauma healing workshops. She has a company car, the rest of us don’t, so it was decided that the party would be on campus. If we had gone into town to her place she would have had to play taxi shuttling us back home.

Our new big generator requires new wiring to work properly, so we are without electricity in the midst of Brigitte's birthday party. Local cell phones are all equipped with a flashlight. So our cellphone flashlights and candles illuminate the room.

Our new big generator requires new wiring to work properly, so we are without electricity in the midst of Brigitte's birthday party. Local cell phones are all equipped with a flashlight. So our cellphone flashlights and candles illuminate the room.

The vegetable rice, coleslaw, fried chicken, coconut tarts, and fresh pineapple were delicious, but the sky balloons were the highlight of the evening. Gifted to her by housemate Corrine, a UN employee from Germany, in her first year in Harper, the sky balloons are made of something like crepe paper, said to be biodegradable, and comes with a one-inch cube of candle wax without a wick.

Brigitte, Patricia, Corrine, and Dr. Carbajosa are launching the first sky balloon.

Brigitte, Patricia, Corrine, and Dr. Carbajosa are launching the first sky balloon.

Packaged as flat circles, the goal is to open up the balloon without damaging any of the seams. Think of opening a Hefty trash bag – when you start out all sides are stuck together, eventually however, with careful coaxing, a huge cavity is created when fully opened. The wax cube is then attached by the wire loop at the open end of the balloon. As we light the candle wax, which in itself is a challenge to do while attempting to shield the flame of the candle, stuck in the bottle candleholder, from the wind. The intake of air to keep the candle burning forces the sides to open up.

Indeed it is serious work, requiring deep concentration, to get the candle wax lit, especially when you are using a candle and the wind is blowing - just ask Brigitte, Lillian , Patricia, or Jeanette.

Indeed it is serious work, requiring deep concentration, to get the candle wax lit, especially when you are using a candle and the wind is blowing - just ask Brigitte, Lillian , Patricia, or Jeanette.

When the balloon is filled to capacity with air, it literally pulls away from our hands and heads for the open skies – hence the name sky balloons. We successfully launched two. As each went up we clapped, took pictures, called families we knew who had children telling them to watch, and just giggled like kids who had accomplished the impossible.

Up, up, and away our beautiful, beautiful sky balloon goes!

Up, up, and away our beautiful, beautiful sky balloon goes!

A memorable night filled with excitement and amazement. A memorable night that kept each of us present in the moment. A memorable night and an incredible gift to each of us.

UFO? No UFO? Just a sky balloon.

UFO? No UFO? Just a sky balloon.

Have you had one of those moments lately? What was the catalyst?

 

4 Comments

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your story – it was a joyful collaboration.

  2. Jennifer,

    I finally caught up with your blog. I’m SO HAPPY to know you’re doing well ! We pray for you daily! My computer has been compromised, and I’m hoping this message gets to you. Let me know how to email and phone you.

    We all LOVE YOU!!!

    Your sis,

    Gwen

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