Friday, May 29, 2009

we just spent a lot of money

on our tickets for zimbabwe! we bought them! we are officially going on august 28. now we just need that $500 more a month and we will be all set. wow. we are really doing this. it feels...
i'll get back to you.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

memories continued 07

recycled and unrecycled (trash) in china

went to NK with these fine folks

lead an intern team to germany and estonia for the summer

i started dating dan.

i spent christmas with
erin and holly in cambodia

oh my achin' back

today i went to the chiropractor and found out that i have a mild back sprain and very inflamed muscles around it. that means i get to be in pain for about 2 more weeks, ice my back often, and rest a lot. too bad dan and i are trying to meet with our supporters in town and try to find a few more.
lessons learned: ease into farming in zim. it will be better for everyone. and work on strengthening those back muscles.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

a few pictures to go with the last post

taco crawl in LA

us at the wedding

and a short stop on the blue ridge parkway where we met ironman

Monday, May 25, 2009

take two aspirin and call me crazy

A lot has happened since our last post (I really do hope we were cut out for blogging, but is this a bad sign), including anonymous celebrity sightings (I'm sure there were famous people all over beverly hills, I just didn't recognize one), taco-crawling (a four-course meal made up entirely of taco-truck tacos), more Zimbabwe meetings and presentations, my brother's Mexican-American wedding (apparently when you give a toast at a Mexican wedding, you don't drink until both speeches are over and everybody chants something...wish I'd known that...), and a lovely drive from southwestern VA to upstate NY. oh, and on that drive we stopped on the Blue Ridge Parkway and met a guy hiking the Appalachian trail named ironman.

So, after that long intro, here we are in NY, where we spend the first three days working on the farm that gave me my start in farming. I was really looking forward to the work (you know, fresh air, using my muscles, etc.), and I was not disappointed. We mulched brassicas, seeded sweetcorn, transplanted peppers and eggplants, prepped land for tomatoes, and played with the dogs. Now, it didn't surprise me, but you don't really ease into farm work here. So we we're a little sore. But grateful. But sore.

I'm struggling with how to introduce this next paragraph, so here goes: Mary was stretching her back a few days ago, and something horrible happened inside her back muscles, and she couldn't get up for 24 hours. It appears to have just been a run-o-the-mill muscle strain (thank you webMD), but it was definitely a big deal...I mean, she couldn't move...but thankfully she's up and (cautiously) about now, which is cause for celebration. So, I brought my wife to a farm, and she spent a day in bed. Yes, we are moving to Zimbabwe to work with farmers. No, I'm not worried :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

our adventures in cali

we have been in some part of california for almost a week now and have participated in quite the range of activities, all centered around visiting friends who lovingly and sacrificially support us in ministry.
we started our time in oakland with jeff and sarah. this is really my first time meeting them (the actual first time was our wedding but that is not a day for meeting new friends). dan went to college and served in intervarsity together with them. and i am forever indebted to them because they were the organizers of a trip to ECHO where dan heard about NMSI and therefore met me. so thanks jeff and sarah! because i do not spend a lot of time looking at maps of CA, i had no idea that oakland is right across the bay from san francisco. so our first full day, while jeff and sarah worked, we toured the city. we had lots of fun learning about and riding cable cars, walking the hills, seeing famous things like lombard street, alcatraz, the golden gate bridge, fisherman's wharf, and sea lions basking in the sun! we also met up with dan's friend jen, who he went to high school with and had not really seen since! we had lots of fun with her and ate at the stinking rose- famous mostly for having garlic in just about everything! the next day we drove to napa valley to tour wine country. it was beautiful to just drive through the hills and see vineyard after vineyard. i thought a bit about the passages in the bible about vines and fruit that comes from them. i like being connected to the land- even if it is just through sight and thought.

we left oakland to fly to LA to visit some of my friends from college, rachel and warren. i love the random times i get to spend with rachel and warren, which because of our locations happen vary rarely. on sunday they planned a cookout with another couple and family that we share friendship with. joy we know from our milligan days. she met her husband, jordan while serving in australia with YWAM and now they have two beautiful children. tim, i know from NMSI and introduced to rachel and warren. he and his wife, becca live out here and now they are all friends. so we had quite a strange reunion/meeting. it was so good to just share about our lives and ministries about people who understand or are interested in it. while we stayed up far too late, my spirit was encouraged by time with friends who have known me for quite awhile. for most of this week we are trying to rest up for the weekend of wedding festivities ahead. we have no idea what to expect from these events but we are excited and honored to participate. one thing we have done here is eat some amazing food. like last night when i had carne astada fries. yum! and tonight we are doing the "taco crawl" where you go around and eat at various taco trucks in town. sweeet!
the best part of this whole time has been realizing how grateful i am that i get to travel through the rest of my life with dan. the way God works is amazing and i am in awe of the partner He brought to me.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On the runway again...

So, today we're flying to California. We're in a tiny airport, about to get on a microscopic airplane...but then again, this is the boy who grew up with Newark airport for a backyard. I've probably flown on close to a hundred flights...and I still get giddy at the thought of getting on an airplane. I don't know what it is, maybe the crazy acceleration at takeoff, maybe the novelty of a cart full of cocktails rolling down the aisle at 35,000 feet in the any event, I spend about a third of my time on a plane thinking about Bernoulli...
This morning as we were getting ready, I had a flashback of sorts, to the airport in Johannesburg (Joburg, affectionately), which was/will be our last stop before we get to Zimbabwe. I remember a profound/auspicious feeling there, as in "you're about two spend two weeks/months in a strange culture" was all the more weird because everybody else just seemed to be going about their normal business. I think there's a lot of life that feels like that. So anyway, I thought about that this morning, and I have a feeling every flight between now and Zimbabwe might be the same.

In case anybody's wondering why we're going to Cali (as they call it), my brother is getting married there. Fortunately, we also have several friends and supporters, whom we're more than happy to visit with (that's right, I used "whom").