Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Poem

I don't think I've posted a poem on here before, but here's one that I wrote a little while back which I actually really like. It's written in a somewhat free form:

Masks and mirrors, hopes and fears
hidden from human sight.
See what's not, know a lot
Fail to see what's real
Illusion rules well, delusion brings hell
Masking makes safe the heart.
Yet safety is dangerous and
danger can kill
And the mirror is already cracked.
Cracked? Yes, and broken too
Likewise my whole world
It hides and warps but
fails to heal, for healing means letting go
Drop the mask, turn the mirror
See reality.
Open up, show yourself
Be as made to be--

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What good datatechs do

Many of you are likely wondering "what is a datatech?" Simply put, the datatech is the person who runs the computer in church so everything that is supposed to show up on the monitors/projectors does at the right time in the right way and nothing that isn't supposed to appear does. I volunteered run the datatech position at my church once every few weeks. The great thing about this (as opposed to worship team) is you don't have to show up for the mid-week practice. You do still have to show up two hours early on Sunday though.  Thus, here I am, at church, with a computer... so what do I do in the spare time?  Blog!  [how's that for a long explanation of why I'm blogging Sunday morning?]

We got some real snow here recently... only about 3 inches... but man is it frigid out there! Last night it reached -30 celcius... whatever that is in fahrenheit. I realized awhile back that, while I'm more comfortable in F with the higher temperatures, I really only know Celcius for the low temperatures. I'm kinda hoping this cold spell doesn't last too long. It's far too early in the year to be stuck with cold weather.  =)

[Sidenote: this week's worship team is mostly highschool kids... and man are they fun to watch. The sound guy who works next to me is fussing about how stiff they are; but they're quite good for being in highschool.]

I feel like there's not been much noteworthy stuff going on. Last night Timo hosted a nacho/nacho party. We made nachos and watched Nacho Libre. As stupid as the movie is, I was doubled over laughing quite a bit.

Oh, here's an interesting thing I've been studying lately. In my current topics in missions class we were studying modern day slavery this week. Here's some crazy things I learned:
-- There are over 27 million people slaves in the world today (this doesn't include sweatshop workers or minimally paid employees)
-- The average cost to buy a slave is $47
-- The slave trade grosses 42 billion a year. If you think that's a lot, realize it's only 1/10 of what Walmart grossed last year.  If you're still concerned about losing that free labor, consider the possibilities if all 27,000,000 enslaved people were gainfully employed and had the money to buy from other businesses.
-- The average cost to sustainably free a slave is $400
--------> This includes buying them, counselling/therapy, and training so they can support themselves.
-- To free all the slaves in the world would take an estimated 11 billion dollars. That means that if half the people in the world gave $4, all the slaves could be freed.
Now, does the fact that slavery still exists today seem like a stupid thing? Consider some of the things you buy that are likely made/harvested by slaves:
-- chocolate
-- coffee
-- cotton t-shirts
-- electronics (certain metals that make electronics function are mined by slaves in Africa)

If you're still interested, take a look at this website: The state department put it together to help raise awareness of all the ways in which people support slavery. How many slaves are working for you?

Well, that's all for now. Leave a comment if you feel like it, letting me know how you're doing and what's going on in your life.  =)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My life of late

 Ness and I went to Banff last weekend with another friend, Sarah. Good times were had by all.  =)  Here's a few pictures from our time.

The party of three, on our way up
Yes, we do like having fun

A random car we saw in Banff... Rebekah, remember Worldview Academy?

Sarah and I... and a little patch of snow!

I like heart-shaped cookies.  =)

What do good Bible College students do when they climb a mountain?  Read the Bible! Isaiah was the author of choice.

Yes, we did try on the hats and not buy them... excuse the red eye... obviously the camera did not flash twice.

French-pressed coffee and fudge! We visited a new coffee shop in Canmore, and brought some fudge from the Rocky Mountain Candy Company.  =)  Yum!
Sarah and Vanessa, the city girls.

Oh yeah, the day ended with us pushing the car home... woot.

So there ya go. We succeeded in having fun... whaddaya know?

I don't remember whether I mentioned what classes I was taking last term... and I'm too lazy to go back and check. But this term I'm taking Theology of Worship and Current Topics in Missions. I'm pretty stoked for those classes, 'cause I love studying theology, and missions is my "thing". As an interesting coincidence, the sermon this morning was on worship. Briefly summed up, Pastor Greg talked about how worship is the outflow of our relationship with God through Christ which is enabled by the Holy Spirit. Interesting quote that I wrote down: "You can worship in the midst of any circumstance except sin."  There were another few interesting quotes, but along non-serious lines... "When I grow up, I want to be a firetruck"... "you can come up here and hug a pumpkin"... "are you a pumpkin kicker?"... but those, like I said, were not so serious.  Gotta love a preacher with a sense of humor!

It snowed here on Friday... beautiful flaky white stuff. We only got about 1 1/2 inches, but it's still around. That tells you how cold it's been lately. Seems that winter has officially arrived. We'll see if I get around to putting up pictures of the snow. Maybe later when there's more of it.

Well, there ya go. I'm still alive, still doing school, loving life and the friends I have here, and reading good books. Until next time,


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

School again?

Classes have been underway for a month now, and it feels like forever. It's starting to actually hit me that I'm actually staying in the same general area until mid-December. Of course, I didn't start the year out staying put. In fact, a week after arriving at Prairie, I headed south again, this time to Utah, for a wedding! It was an amazing wedding... one of the best I've been to. Here are a couple group shots from that trip:

In this first picture we were trying to figure out how to get into the place that says "keep out"... evidently they figured their plywood wasn't safe.

The second one was from exploring Salt Lake City around midnight, after cleaning up from the rehearsal dinner. 'Twas fun, but we learned something-- there aren't any coffee shops open in SLC at midnight. =( Oh well.

These last few weeks have been pretty busy. I'm taking classes, Impact leading (leading/discipling a small group), working in the dining hall, taking voice lessons, and trying to keep up with friends. It's been a good process though, figuring out a new rhythm in life.

Oh, my housemate showed up while I was gone to the wedding. We've been having fun setting up the apartment even more. Our kitchen/living room look great, and her room looks great... I haven't really decorated my room to speak of, but that might happen some day. Probably the same day as I post pictures of the apartment, like I mentioned in the previous post.

This weekend is Thanksgiving; Canadian Thanksgiving, that is. It'll be my first time in 4 years to be in the right country for Thanksgiving Day. The previous three I've been in the US for Canada's holiday and in Canada for the US holiday. Ness and I are heading to a friend's for the weekend, so that will be nice. We're stoked for good time with friends, getting out of Three Hills for a weekend, and... well... life in general. =)

Last week, one of my friends had a birthday. (exciting, I know) We celebrated with her, but then decided it hadn't been enough. She said (at around 10 PM) "We should do something really crazy!" So, we did the only crazy thing that we could come up with on the spot-- dressed up in ridiculous clothes and went around town taking pictures. As seen in this particular picture, we are loonies. =)

Yeah, my face is black. Maybe I've not dedicated enough time to personal hygiene of late? =)

This post has been a mish mash of all sorts of things, but I think it's better than nothing, right? Well, 'till another time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

And back to Canada I go!

Well I'm back at Prairie. This time I took the Beast (suburban), and drove through Montana to pick up a friend. Here are some pictures of the drive-- I hope you enjoy them. =) If you want to see slightly larger versions, just click on the picture.

This first is the view heading towards Snoqualmie Pass:

Getting closer to the Pass:
And closer:

Snoqualmie Pass:
Now I'm heading down the pass:

Still have a long ways to go:
Getting close to Idaho:

Woot-- I get to go fast!

Getting close to the summit on the Idaho/Montana border:

The Montana Border:

I stopped at Camp Bighorn in Montana, visited with some friends there, and picked up my friend Timo so he could get back to school too.

All our stuff, driving away from Camp Bighorn:

Driving through northern Montana:

Timo getting ready to cross the border:

Me, quite ready for the border:
Wait! which passport do I use?

Like the think hanging from my rearview mirror? Yeah, my tea ball needed to dry.

So, I guess we're actually doing it... time for a border run!
Oh, it's serious, for sure:
Hmm, I guess we made it across, since this is B.C. now!

Yeah, it's Alberta alright:

Mmm, look at those dark clouds!

See the thunderstorm following us?

So there you go! We arrived at Prairie last night, unloaded The Beast, unpacked a little, and zonked into bed. Today I got all my stuff out of storage at the dorm and moved it up to my apartment. And, guess what... I'm completely moved in and settled! =) I've got a beautiful view and a great apartment... now to just find a kitchen table! Next post I'll share some pictures of the apartment.

Signing off,

Friday, July 1, 2011

The frog

El Sapo Cancion

Habia un sapo, sapo, sapo
Que nadaba en el rio, rio, rio
Con su traje verde, verde, verde
Que temblaba de frio, frio, frio

Su mama la sapa, sapa, sapa
Siempre le decia, -cia, -cia
Que tenia un Amigo, -migo, -migo
Que se llama Jesus, Jesus!

Proximo vez, mas rapido!

(now in English)

There was a frog, frog, frog
That swam in the river, river, river
With his clothes of green, green, green
That trembled from cold, cold, cold

His mom the frog, frog, frog
Always told him
That he had a friend
Whose name is Jesus, Jesus!

This song is one that we taught a lot of kids and sang with them for kids clubs and Sunday School activities. The simplicity of the words, silliness of the frog story, but reminder that Jesus was their friend packed a powerful punch for kids who were tired from standing in the sun, distracted by our poor Spanish, or might rather be hanging out with their friends doing their own activity.

When I was swimming in a pool (in El Salvador), directly below a fresh water spring, I spotted a tiny frog that had just finished leaving its tadpole stage. It reminded me of this song, and I just about sang it to the frog. Instead, I just took a picture for you folks to see!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Unh unh unh unh stayin' alive! Stayin' alive!
Unh unh unh unh stayin' alive! Stayin' alive!

I compress in time with the popular song, knowing that it provides the proper beat for resuscitating my friend.

... stayin' alive! stayin' alive!
... stayin' alive! stayin' alive!

He coughs a little and groans. "Oh... what happened?"

"You were out for a bit... ya okay now?"

"Yeah, with a little help I might be."

--- and thus my faltering, near-dead blog was revived. Mr. WebLog would live to see another day.
Okay, okay, I know that was a little cheesy. But I decided that Caca travels could continue under the same assuming name... even though my travels this next year will be limited to the first part of CA: Canada. Since I won't be doing HUT (Highly Unusual Things), but rather HOUSE (Highly Ordinary and Uneventful Self-centred Education), my blog's content is likely to vary a little more. I may include Ponderings, Pictures, uPdates, or questions to Pontificate on. Who knows? Maybe I'll even update it every week?

Well, just to keep you interested, here are a few of the things I saw in the last six months.

First, a mountain view in El Salvador:

The view off the soccer field in El Chaperno, El Salvador:

A chicken bus:

Some random house with a cool deck:


Cane syrup boiling down:

Walking back from teaching English:

Sugar cane, after being crushed for the syrup:

A sunset, obviously: (in El Salvador)

Saturday, January 29, 2011


The first week of language school is over. We arrived in Guatemala a week ago today, dragging our tired selves and heavy suitcases (or duffel bags) out of the airport into the slightly humid and exhaust-filled air of Guatemala City. Our field directors, Alex and Evy, met us with a bus and we loaded up for the last phase of our travels from Canada to Guatemala. The night was fairly quiet, with few cars and buses on the roads. After not very long (only an hour and a half) we arrived in Chimaltenango, where resides the Guatemala Bible Seminary, where we were to spend the next two nights.

In Chimal (as we affectionately call it) the students rested while we (mostly “director Krysti” and me) worked on getting money and phone things figured out. As it turns out, Guatemalan SIM cards have to be used at least once every six months, or else the phone number expires and is recycled into the greater Guatemalan system. Because none of our phones were used between April of last year and January of this year, all but one of the SIM cards had expired. Unfortunately, this was only discovered over the period of three days. Thus, rather than having all the phones and their respective numbers assigned and distributed immediately on Sunday, we didn’t have the phones completely cared for until Thursday. Well, at least now they’re taken care of, eh?

Monday we drove to Antigua and began with language school. Originally, I was paired with Andy, with Fredy as our teacher (last year Jordan, Andy, and I were with Fredy, so it was familiar). This year, however, we had a Swiss girl by the name of Samira join our happy little group. She had been studying with Jose in the afternoons, but really wanted to be social with our group and study in the mornings, and since Andy and I were the only ones at her level, she joined us. It has been fun process, laughing and sighing our way through new ideas in a different language. I’ve been surprised at how well I have been able to pick up Spanish again this year.

Between Monday and Friday, we reviewed all of the tenses we learned before, and also picked up gerunds, present progressive, future progressive, past progressive, conditional progressive, past participles, passive voice, and perfect tense. Yes, I think that’s enough for a week. =) We generally learn Spanish from 8-12 in the morning, with a break from 10-10:30. Before the break we learn new things, and after the break we practice by just conversing about different topics. So far we have discussed machismo, typical national foods, places to visit in Guatemala, the relationships between husbands and wives in Guatemala vs. that of boyfriends and girlfriends, the end of the world in 2012, childhood traditions, and more.

During my free time in the afternoons I have been to the market, gone to cafes for internet, had meetings with my group, and read good books. Unfortunately I didn’t bring enough books with me. ~smile~ Today I wandered around Antigua with a friend and looked at things, wandering into several markets, studying the architecture of different buildings, and only buying a pair of sunglasses. Yes, I have sunglasses again… we shall see how long these last. I bargained for them with a little six year old girl whose mother had gone off to buy food. She was very nice and let me talk her down a whole 6 quetzales from the original price. ~laughs~ I think she still got a good deal.

Well, that’s my life. Next week Spanish school continues. I hope to have conquered the “plusqueamperfecto” and “imperative” by the end of next week.

Until then, adios, y Dios te bendiga mucho. (Bye, and God bless you a lot!)