Category Archives: Travels

And Here I am, Far from Home

It’s Friday night and here I sit in my room, Greek texts out, reviewing for a quiz on Monday.  I’ve been doing this most of the day off and on.  Yesterday too.  Well, actually, I rode on my bike over to the library both days and worked at this same subject there for a few hours.  And I watched a bit of TV. The woman I am living with has a little white dog so I also walked it around the block so it could use the outdoor facilities.  The fresh air did my mind no harm.  Having my head stuck in a book is beginning to feel very restrictive.

I know all this will pass – if I indeed do pass these Greek classes.  And others have before me so there is some hope.  I hang on to this hope as my brain fills up with participles and verb tenses.

Caronport is a weird sort of little town.  An island of protestant conservatism. There isn’t much to do here but study.  The Husky station has a Subway and a little restaurant and food store attached.  One can buy eggs and milk and bread and other essentials like ice cream but that is about it for eating or retail establishments.  On the plus side of the town’s report card – no one would think of stealing a bike so no need to lock it up.  Unlocked doors also feel a bit weird – trusting strangers with unprotected possessions.

Lord forbid that there should be a pub.  I think one has to smuggle strong drink in behind these unlocked doors!  Think I may just conceal a bottle of wine in my suitcase next trip down from PA. I could use a glass right now.

The town is very flat.  This is a bonus when riding a bike but I keep looking for some place of beauty – some site to feast one’s eyes on.  Some people seem to put a great effort into their yards but there is little in the way of natural beauty.  Until one looks at the sky and the horizon at sunset.  God seems to have stored up all the missed beauty from the flat landscape and poured it out into colour on the horizon both to greet and to bid farewell to the day.  And so as I sit in the morning by my window talking to God, I give him special thanks for this beauty which he paints above me.  “Let my soul rise to meet you, as the day rises to meet the sun.” And as I say those words I remember that God is a constant presence – my unfailing companion – even in this time away from so many people and things that I love. The sun continues to rise; God continues to be my God; I continue to search for more of him.

Comments Off

Filed under Day to Day, Dealing with stuff, prayer, Reflections, Studying, Travels

Palm Sunday

Today I worshipped
Amongst rocks
And shiny glass bits
Washed up on shore.
Green and purple
Glass, edges rounded,
Tossed up by pounding waves.
Child’s treasure. Burnished glass
And pebble stones
Worn smooth at lakes edge.

Today I worshipped.
Palm Sunday;
And the stones
Cried out his praises,
While I hunted treasures
With a little boy.

Comments Off

Filed under Day to Day, Easter, Family, grandchildren, Poetry and Stuff, Travels, Uncategorized

Congo Kids

At the evening service last night here at the ECC Annual Meeting the speaker spoke of how we must respond to the needs in the Congo.  The Covenant has launched a project called Congo Kids powered by World Vision.   Hoping to make an impact on the lives of kids in the area of the Congo known as the Nord Ubangi – the area I used to live in. 

all the neighborhood kids

The needs of this extremely poor country are huge.  This could make an impact.  They are hoping to have water points in Gemena within 500 M of every home.  No more walking all the way to Bokonzo to get drinking water for Pascaline, who did this for Willadeen and myself while we stayed there.

Bokonzo water tower Water towers at Bokonzo.

The Canada Covenant is launching its own part of this project.  This will happen in October so watch for it and think seriously about sponsoring a child from this project through World Vision.  The money you give for support will go to development of the whole community in which the child lives.

Comments Off

Filed under Africa, Photos, Travels, Worship events

Red Sky

IMGP0988

Yesterday I made a trip to Saskatoon for the White Coat Ceremony for the 2nd year students at the College of Dentistry.  This is basically a time before they begin treating live patients when they vow to practice their new profession ethically.  This year the first class of the college was invited to cloak the students since this is our 40th anniversary since graduating. 

As I pointed out to the other 6 of my classmates who were there, we left behind our own legacy, notably the “Boot Play” trophy which is still passed on to the student who makes the biggest gaff of the year.  Like we did – to the student who left us to join the Med students.  We had other disasters we celebrated later with much laughter – the gold crown getting its final polish that was sucked up into the vacuum system and the long hair that got entangled in the old belt driven slow speed handpiece.  Those were the days!

Our class were the pioneers, making do in temporary quarters, learning to improvise when we lacked some tool.  Good training.  As Jim said we were a “first class” first class.  Yesterday seven of us were there for the ceremony but all ten of us are living and the seven of us that were there still are practicing to some degree. 

I spent the rest of the day applying for a new passport, had supper with Sara and saw her new lodging – way out on the south end of Saskatoon – a place that did not exist the last time I drove south of town.  Then decided to spend the evening with Dave, Annette and kids; watched a movie and slept over. 

Which is why I was up and driving home when the sun came up.  I took advantage of a day with no fixed agenda to drive off the beaten track and snap the red sky as the sun came over the fields and forest.

IMGP0966 second rev

Comments Off

Filed under Day to Day, Dental, Family, Photos, Travels

Life is good

Here I am in the “great”city of Winnipeg enjoying the weather.  It is actually a couple of degrees warmer than PA was when I left and they don’t have the beauty of our snow either.  So far the boots have been unnecessary. (In winter, I think the baggage allowance on airlines should increase – it takes a lot of room to pack along boots,winter coats, scarves and mitts.)

The Church planter conference that I am at – re:CALL – is as good as I expected.  Maybe better.  You can check out what is going on here.   I’ve been to workshops by Karen Wilk: Learning to Live in the Neighbourhood for Transformation and Shari Russell: First Nations and today I think I will attend the one by Christine Pohl: Recovering Hospitality as Christian Tradition.  Good stuff.

It been a really busy couple of days.  All the Covenant folks kind of hang out together too and that is great.  I do sort of feel a bit like the grandmother to this group – not that they make me feel old or anything.  It is really great to be with so many young leaders of the church.  Getting together with Marc and Dixie, LT(well he’s not Cov. but we like him) new folks from Ontario as well as the Winnipeg gang and other pastors from across Canada is always fun.  Jamie obligingly signed a copy of his book, The Cost of Community which I brought along  for that very reason.  I just wish I had more time to read the fun stuff they were selling on the table outside the meeting place!

I am anticipating enjoying the rest of my week as well.  I will be in ECCC board meetings for the next few days, then a committee meeting Saturday, will worship with the folks at Faith Covenant Sunday morning, at Little Flowers Sunday evening, run out to Otterburne to get the inside story on the trailer life of a seminary student.  I have to find some time to shop for a gift for my 4 year old grandaughter too since I miss her big party on Saturday.  In between all, I have to keep up with my class and start work on my exegesis paper. 

Life is good.  No shortage of things to do.

3 Comments

Filed under Books and Articles, church, grandchildren, Ministry, Studying, Travels

The End of Vacation

It really is too bad such good things have to come to an end. 

Banff was lovely and Leo does make reservations at the classiest hotels – king sized comfort.  Not quite the Fairmont Banff Springs but close enough for our budget.  Leo was on educational leave and of course that helps.  And keeps him busy so there is small chance of boredom setting in.  IMGP0621

We had a fair amount of rain to deal with but that didn’t stop us from venturing out on a raft trip.

  IMGP0492 IMGP0481

And I went for a hike with my sisters – my younger sisters – and we hiked to the top of Sulphur Mountain.  Took 2.5 hours and I just about died!  If I did that every day I would either die younger or be in much better shape.

We travelled up to Jasper and through Edmonton on the way home.  I think I liked the Maligne River Canyon most for its beauty and for the marvelous force of the water which has carved a canyon for itself.

 IMGP0827

 

IMGP0814

Now today, I have been back at the computer.  Working on an article, reading, starting to gear up for a full week to come.

3 Comments

Filed under Family, Photos, Travels

Jet Lag

This afternoon I returned from our church AGM in Sarnia, ON.  It was a great conference but way too far to go for two days.  I thought my nap this afternoon would let me catch up on sleep but it seems as if my body is telling me that it is late at night and I should be in bed. 

So, since I just sent off my Old Testament paper for the week, that is exactly where I am heading.  Jet lag – in Canada.

Good night. all.

Comments Off

Filed under church, Studying, Travels