Monday, January 19, 2015

silver scenario


     We were, driving along the Trans-Canada Highway, past Revelstoke and up through Rogers Pass where the snow is white, trees are tall, and the trucks are many. Dad was navigating these slush and icy roads. While the rest of the family sat in cozy silence, keeping our eyes peeled for any oncoming traffic that perhaps Dad had failed to see. 
     And it was dark, the mountains were hidden in the blackness. Up near the sky it felt remote. Only the loud engines of trucks, carrying their cargo up and down the steep hills, permeated the eardrum. 
     A notification appears on my phone. A friend says, "No way we are stuck in a line again. Not far from Golden. You too?" 
     I replied, no, we were not waiting in a line-up.
     Then just as I sent the message, brake lights appeared ahead, the line-up. We pulled up behind a Jeep from Washington. The driver and passenger step out. The passenger nearly loses her balance, for the pavement is slick. Instead she grasps the door handle and stays upright. All the males in our Explorer also get out, stretching arms and legs, taking deep breaths of the mountain air. Mom stays inside. We get to chatting with folks around us. I like the feeling, everyone in the same boat, waiting. Why not talk to pass the time? 
     Then another helpful friend a few 100 meters ahead of us informs me that the RCMP said there is a mountain route that would bypass the accident. Well what are we waiting for? Instead of sitting for 2 hours and waiting, we take to the mountain. By this time quite a few vehicles have caught the hint and a long tail of lights winds upward. Snow is pushed up high on either side of the road, while tall spruce and pine complete the picture. The headlights play along the green and white, contrasting needles and snow.
     The snake comes to halt. Has somebody become embedded in a snow bank? We peer forward anxiously. No, we see it now, a Toyota struggles and sputters, tires trying to gain traction on the icy slope. Progress is not taking place. Is it slipping backward? Cam, Dad, and myself race up the hill to push from behind.
     "Thanks brother!" yells one of the two Asian men inside, and they are moving forward.
     Once again the train of vehicles can continue forward. Within 12 minutes we are back on the Number 1 Hwy. 
     Safely in Golden, we decide to stop at Subway for a late supper with Cam & Heather. We order our food. Mom informs the one happy Filipino about the soft drink we had forgotten to take with us on our quick stop here two days before. "Oh!" he said "Here let me give you  a free soft drink this time."
     And he did.
     We sat in a booth and ate our sandwiches. It wasn't long before Mr. Filipino comes along and hands us 8 free cookies! He is so happy. 
     More customers come in to eat. Quite a handful for this late hour. One 30-year-old man heads out the door saying "God Bless You!" to the Subway employees. The setting was happy. Mr. Filipino came to our table once again and got talking about religion. He is a Christian and loves to sing. Back in the Philippines, he used do voice lessons with people and teach them how to sing.
     "I love to sing." he told us eagerly.
     A rough-looking trucker with tattoos and piercings enters through the door. Our friend hurries over to make the two sandwiches he orders. Then a Pakistani man with turban and beard enters, obviously he has communicated with "Trucker #1" previously. As they are paying for their sandwiches, Mr. Filipino says, "Are you truckers?"
     "Yes." they rasp.
     "Well, then you get free drinks!" he says with a smile, obviously having a great evening.
     By this time we are done eating. Mom suggests that we sing a song before we depart. She tells Mr. Filipino. He is thrilled, takes off his plastic gloves and comes to stand near us.
     "Which song will you sing?" he questions excitedly.
     "How Great Thou Art."  we reply.
     "Oh! like the one that goes 'How great…is Our God..' " he begins to sing.
     "No," I say "not that one."
     "Oh is it the one that "such and such" sings?"
     "Maybe…" I say "Just listen and find out."
     We begin to sing. He listens. Eyes wide, mouth smiling. The Pakistani trucker turns and grins, truly beaming. The other Subway employee behind the counter stops her work and listens. The pierced and tattooed trucker is at the beverage fountain, listening. 
     12 people. Random connections. The room is quiet except for our singing. I smile. I like this feeling. God is here, I can feel it.
     Before we are finished the first verse, Mr. Filipino speaks up "Oh! I know this song! I have it playing in my car all the time!" he is overjoyed.
     Mr. Pakistani rushes forward to shake our hands, he loved it.
     Trucker #1 raises his phone in the air "I hope you don't mind," he says smiling "but I was doing a private recording with my phone." He comes over to shake our hands as well.

     We climb back into the Ford, smiling. Such an experience we had. We continue on our homeward journey with happy, tired faces.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

different lands and cultures



Wednesday, August 5, 2014

     And so, the journey began. Uncle Menno's brought us four boys to the airport. Matthew Boese, Kent and Shane Siemens, and myself were the travellers for those of you that did not know. We had plenty of time at the airport so we got on a golf cart with a lady and she brought us around the airport while we waved at people. Ate a panini for supper and then talked to Delphie on the phone while I looked at her through the glass because she had just flown in Mississippi. 
     Then we boarded that huge plane. Matthew, Shane and I sat in the middle of the plane in three seats and Kent sat a little further. The flight was smooth and soon we were landing in London at 11:15am. Long customs line so I booked a hotel while we waited. Then we bought Underground (train) tickets and off into the city we went. Had much trouble finding our hotel because we were all SO tired and hungry. Found a restaurant, sat down at the table and before we knew it, 3 of us were sleeping! Woke up when the food came and paid $100 for a little amount of food..crazy. 
     Walked and walked some more and finally found our hotel.Whew. we were so exhausted. Had showers and just fell right to sleep. Slept for about 2 hours and then woke up to tour the city. Lots of the famous landmarks we viewed; Big Ben, London Eye, Borough Market, London Bridge, etc. Back to hotel for more showers and then a nice sleep.

Thursday, August 6

     Woke up around 9:30 and off to McDonald's for breakfast. (cheapest place you see) To the Buckingham Palace we went next. Saw the changing of the guard! WOW. That is one of the most overrated things I have seen for a while. Thousands of people and cameras and grumpy kids who couldn't see a thing and the people who could see were not even very pleased because there was not much to see. It was quite the experience. And at one point I went on the street so I could walk quickly around the mob of people. A police man on a horse yelled at me, "Stay on the pavement!" which was a surprise to me because that is what I thought I was standing on. I think he meant stay on the side walk. 
     Found a cute little Mexican place to eat for lunch, Yum burritos. Hopped on the Underground once again and headed back to London Heathrow Airport. Shane, Matthew, and I left for Germany while Kent stayed a little longer to wait for his direct flight to Ethiopia. I sat by the window and took in the beautiful sights while I chewed on a sandwich that didn't taste too bad. I even got to see a castle as we flew over Germany- Yay! Landed in Frankfurt and I tried out the little bit of German that I knew and it sort of worked :) 
     Went to our gate and a bus brought us out across the tarmac to the huge 787 Dreamliner. Got settled in and we rumbled off into the sky to Ethiopia. 
     The girl sitting beside me had stolen my blanket so that was sort of unfortunate. And she spoke German only except for one time she said "orange juice" in English, so I didn't know if she would understand me if I asked for my blanket back. Oh well. I tried and tried to sleep but it just did not really work. 

Friday, August 7

     Watched the sunrise through the clouds above Africa. Finally we landed in Addis Ababa. Much rain, we splashed down onto the runway. I stepped out of the plane and shivered violently because it was so cold 13 degrees celsius. I got on the bus with other yawning travellers. Eventually met up with the rest of the boys and we bought travellers VISA's. Through the gate and there was Shawn! So normal to see him. Very nice to meet Travis Yoder as well. They took us to a German cafe for breakfast. Delicious omelettes and macchiatos. Everything just felt normal for some reason. Maybe because it was so similar to Guatemala? 
     Out into the country we drove. So beautiful- red dirt, big boulders, green grass, Africa trees. Yes, imagine that, Africa trees in Africa. Stopped in Butajira for some Habesha food. (the Ethiopians are called habeshas) The food was a unique experience. A huge thin gray pancake was spread out on the bottom and on top were different kinds of vegetables. Spinach with onions, beets, lentils, and some other unidentifiable things. There was also lamb in little pieces for the meat. So you use one hand to take some of the tray pancake and then you pick up the other things and eat it. 
     After the meal we started driving up a little rough and steep hill. I thought we just still on our way home so I wasn't paying much attention. I was also very tired so it was hard to pay attention. Suddenly to my right there was a HUGE crater with the most beautiful turquoise water, and steep edges with trees and bushes clinging to the sides. We stopped the Patrol and got out to view the beauty. While we were standing there a little boy came by with his herd of goats, sheep, and donkeys. As he came near to us, one goat started to stray. It was getting quite far away and as soon as he noticed, he picked up a stone and hurled it at the goat. To the surprise of us all, he nailed it right in the stomach! We doubled over with laughter and our faces contorted into gasping smiles. Even the little lad smiled because I think it had surprised him. 
     We kept driving around the hillside and parked the Patrol. We hiked up the hill to look at a deep cave while some children happily followed us. They don't see white people up there every day.
     Continued on our way to Ziway. Stopped on a hill and overlooked Ziway Lake, then down into the busy town we went. Got to the mission compound and started unloading or packs and suitcases. Kent noticed that his small pack was missing and I noticed my coat was gone. Maybe they had fallen out at the last stop? We raced back up the hill and looked around, but could find nothing. Shawn asked a few goat herders if they had seen anything but they said they had not. 
     So back down to Ziway we went. Picked up Dayu, one of Shawn's good friends that knows English quite well, and also another man and went back up the hill. There the locals had many meetings to try and figure out who had stolen our things. By this time we realized that Travis' cell phone was also stolen and that Kent's iPad and passport were in his pack. We had no luck so went back to the house for a late supper with Bob & Holly, Doyle & Rev, their families and three teachers. Also met Abraham, a youth member from Addis Ababa who would be staying in Ziway the whole time we were there. After supper we did dishes and went to bed early, SO tired.

Saturday, August 8

     Crepes with mangoes and bananas for breakfast, then to Goba Jocho for a flannel graph and song session with lots of dark children. I told the flannel graph story of  The Passover. Lunch we ate at Tourist Hotel in town. Delicious meat served in little clay dishes with burning coals beneath to keep it hot. 
     Then us boys all went to experience the market. People come up to me, pretend we are best friends and hold onto to my hand to try and drag me to their little canopy so that I can buy 'nice things' from them. Or else they just yell "YOU!" as I pass by, the one English word they know. I bought a beautiful coloured shawl/scarf and a clay teapot kettle that they always make their coffee in. 
     Shawn wanted to show us where he plays volleyball in town so we went there and played some. Approximately 60 people there I would say, either playing or cheering as they watched. They were very impressed how us white boys could spike the ball. I guess they were not expecting it because the crowd would go wild when somebody did a good hit. Back at the house Shawn and I told Shane and Matthew to put up the ladder to the flat roof. We wanted to go up there but were too exhausted to get the ladder all set up so that plan worked well. We went up there and overlooked the full moon glowing over the lake, a peaceful sight. Supper was served and then we relaxed in the evening. Did some singing and then happily climbed into bed for sleeping.

Sunday, August 9

     Up in the morn and feasted on baked oatmeal with fruit and the yum yogurt. Then off to church in two vehicles, up the winding hill, and then we arrived at the MUD road. It had rained a little so the road was squishy and slippery but we made it to church. The church is new, built with sticks and clay, a nice building. We had brought the wooden benches on the roof so unloaded those and set up the sanctuary. Met some of the members and the service began. Songs and Sunday School, then the RAiN began to patter down on that tin roof. Kent started preaching while Abraham translated. The rain started pounding harder and harder and soon the voices were drowned out. So Kent shrugged his shoulders and sat down. Sang a song and closed the meeting. Meanwhile the rain was pouring down mercilessly. Shook hands with more lovely brown people. Went out on the porch of the church and a bunch of little boys were just starting a soccer game with the new soccer ball that Tristan & Vanessa had given them. The rain was still pouring down so the whole soccer field was a puddle. Shane kicked off his flip flops, rolled up his pant legs, and ran out to join the boys. I said, "Why not?" and ran after him. A few others joined us and we were soon sliding all over in that water and mud and the odd thorn. Very enjoyable! The kids all shrieked as we raced around and fought over the ball. Our Sunday clothes were soon drenched. 
     Went back into the church and some ladies served us salty coffee and other homemade treats. By then the rained had stopped so we loaded up the benches once again. Getting back to the highway proved to be a tire-spinning, engine-revving, mud-flying experience, but we made it! Back at the house we showered, cleaned our footwear and also the muddy vehicles. Then feasted on bbq meatballs and mac & cheese.
     Time for Sunday School in Ziway. Shawn and I walked around the block to collect a few kids. They come out of their yards and we formed a chain of holding hands. Black-white-black-white-black, all joined. Entered the little building that was rapidly filling with black faces. They sat on my lap, clung to my hands, ran their fingers through my hair and laughed because it is so different from there own. Shane did the flannel graph this time and then we sang happy action songs. Meanwhile, the kids jostle and fight to be the closest to a white person. After Sunday School we had a rowdy time. Stayed and played with the kids for a while. 
     Then us youth all went for a walk, a very cultural walk through fields and down to the lake to see a gigantic tree! Probably the biggest I have seen in my Life. Shawn, Shane, and Matthew climbed around in its huge branches. Walked along the lake, saw egrets in the shallow water and eagles in the trees. As we were getting closer to the house, Shawn was leading the way and he fell into a deep water hole! He was clinging to branches and trying to get out but at the same time trying to retrieve his flip flop that had fallen off. Very humorous to watch. Back home for cold cokes. And also saw the changing of the guard. (just when one guard comes and trades off the other guy for night, but much more interesting than the London stuff :) 
     A bajaj is a 3-wheeled motorized buggy that they use for taxis in Ziway so we got into one of those and went to main street. Had mango and avocado smoothies in the dark and did some shopping in little stores. Took the bajaj home with Kent and Shawn. Went and got my wash off the line. Then Jacqueline and Darby called me over to the corner of the yard and told me I had to try their Chinese/Habesha food that they had made. (just pretend stuff)  Ate it with chopsticks. Then went inside, fed Drake some popcorn and told him not to play with his food. Had sambosas, popcorn, and such delicious cherry limeades for supper. Kent, Matthew, and I had a great rowdy time washing dishes while Andrea and Shauna had dish rag wars in the background. Sang some more in the evening.

Monday, August 10

     Breakfast burritos. To the shop to help Bob load a generator. Then Shawn, Kent, Shane, Matthew, Abraham, and I head off up the mountain in the silver Patrol. Exceptional views of fields, Ziway Lake, hills, etc. The road slowly got more and more bumpy and less used the higher we climbed. Arrived at the top, and everything was clouded over. So we got out our snack and slowly most of the cloud cover was blown away as we ate. Beautiful view of three very different coloured lakes. One of them is the deepest lake in Africa. Matthew, Shane, and I, (but mostly the other two) had abit of a rough and tumble fight and squished a few bushes. 
     Started back down the mountain. Shawn drove us right into a hole which couldn't be seen, so we were stuck. All of us went to the front of the Patrol and lifted up, and it worked! Made us feel 'oh so powerful' After that episode we went hiking down a cow trail. Hiked to a place where steam comes whooshing out of the side of the mountain. The steam is hot that you can be severely burnt if you put your hand too close to the opening. That was amazing. The people put sticks and bushes over the vents so that the steam hits the wood, forms a condensation, and runs down to make a little pool of good water. They can collect it to drink from there. 
     Went back to Ziway for lunch, then rented a boat to go out on the lake. Saw the humongous hippos snorting and swimming. Motored out past an island with many birds. Then a bigger boat from the resort came up beside us and our driver and the other guy started talking. And they raced! Both boats started speeding up and it was getting exciting. Suddenly the bigger boat veered into ours accidentally. Crash and metal roof support on our boat wrecked. Very enjoyable for us passengers. 
     Continued on out to a different island where we stopped and hiked around for a small amount of time. That island had some amazingly huge cactus! 
     Went back to the house for leftover cherry limeade and some cake. Shane and Matthew went to play volleyball while Shawn and Kent worked on figuring out what to do for a temporary passport for Kent. Then us guys all went out for a supper of cooked fish. The rest of the family was all in Awassa for the day.

Tuesday, August 11

     Today the plan was to go fix a well right close to town. Kent and Bob were gone to Addis to work on getting a passport so it was just the rest of us guys. We grabbed treats at a store like chocolate bars and chips. Went out and worked on the well for about 5 hours. Many kids came to watch and play around with us. And they were happy when the well was fixed and they could pump water again. Mudded our way back to town for lunch and macchiatos. Back to house to clean up and then we waited for Bob and Kent to return from the city.
     When they got back we piled into two vehicles and left for Sabana Resort to meet other Ethiopian missionaries. A very nice place situated on the cliff above a red lake. We had a delicious supper in the restaurant then some of us ran down the many cobblestone stairs to the beach. Shane and I could not resist and went for a swim in the darkness. Swam out to a little slide they have floating on a dock. So worth it. Drove home throughout the darkness and sang songs. 

Wednesday, August 12

     Coffee cake breakfast then us boys cleaned up our house and packed up clothes. Said a sad goodbye to Kent who had to wait in Ethiopia until his temporary passport was ready. Waved goodbye to the Ziway people as we traveled thru the city. Got to Addis Ababa and ate burgers, a very nice treat in Ethiopia! Rowland dropped us off at the airport and we had a few hours to kill there, or so we thought. We drank macchiatos and visited with some friendly Texas boys who were also on our flight. Decided to go to our gate and found out we nearly missed the last bus out to the plane! I guess they do things a little differently here at this airport. 
     Flew through the beautiful clouds to Kenya. Landed in the dusk. I absent-mindedly forgot my wallet in the plane and thankfully they let me go back and retrieve it later. In the airport we had many papers and forms to fill out. Got our temperature taken for Ebola and various things. Went through a little gate, and there was Zachary Paul! Very nice to see him after a year and a half. And to meet James was a great experience. 
     Drove through packed traffic to Hampton House for night. I think it is a Catholic guest house where lots of missionaries and American people stay. Talked for awhile and then we lay our weary heads down on pillows to sleep.

Thursday, August 13

     We devoured cinnamon rolls and donuts in our little kitchenette for breakfast in the morn. Then we drove to the Masai market in the parking lot of a mall. Very full market with so much to bargain for. It is just a souvenir market so mainly tourists come to shop. Us boys all spent a fair share of money. 
     In this mall there is a Subway! So that is where we had a delicious Americanized lunch…mmm what a treat. Left Nairobi behind and drove out towards Mt. Kenya. Stopped at one place in a little village and ladies of all shapes and sizes stuff ALL sorts of fruit and some vegetable in through the window and tell you that you definitely want to buy it. We did buy some bananas that were tasty. Then for supper we went to a dreamy place called "Trout Tree" (look it up online it is rather unique) 
     It is a restaurant in a tree so it is just one big tree house with different levels and floors. Monkeys play around in the trees beside and above and trout swim in the ponds below. I cannot describe it in full detail but remember this, it is lovely.
     Continued on to Meru. At one place there are white people who have fields of grain. They were just out there combining with John Deere combines when we went by and the setting felt and smelled just like fall and harvest back here in Alberta, made me lonesome. 
     Got to the mission house in Meru in the darkness. I was feeling sick so I went to bed early and shivered and shook and finally fell asleep.

Friday, August 14

     Woke up sickish, not the most fun but the pancake breakfast cooked by James and I don't know who else all helped was nutritious and delicious. (Chris & Jana and family were still in Nairobi. Jana's sis Brianne flew in the same evening as us) After breakfast we gave the wash ladies some more laundry. Then packed up coolers and back packs in preparation for Safari! Drove about an hour to the game park and drove through the gates. We were hauling mattresses on the roof so that made the perfect spot to climb up and lounge about while keeping eyes open for wildlife. 
     The Safari was so great. Saw elephants, zebras, kudu, water buffalo, giraffes, birds, monkeys in the afternoon. The red dust just pillowed up as we drove and soon those of us seated on top were coated in red. Every once in a while we would drive through a small creek or stream and I often requested that we stop because water in the desert is awesome. Eventually found the spot where the cabins Zach had booked for night were located. A beautiful blue sparkling pool was nestled in between the cabins, what an oasis! We got our cabin and as quick as possible changed into trunks and ran for that pool. The water was refreshing and cool and the flat red rocks around the pool were sun-baked and hot so we lay on the rocks and watched James, Matthew, and Shane get rowdy in the pool. 
     After cool pool we were ready for more touring and safari. Went out and saw more of the same plus some rhinoceros and a lion! Watched the sun set over the mountain with baobab trees in the foreground, so peaceful.
     Back at the cabin I grilled chicken on the outdoor grill and together we all prepared for supper in the dark. Monkeys chattered close by and jumped from tree to tree. The cabin had no electricity so we did everything by the light of the lantern. The meal was delicious and then we all gathered on the porch to have devotions. We sang, and our songs floated out to the wild beasts in the darkness. 
     A shower by the light of a lantern was wonderful. After washing off all the red dust I climbed beneath the mosquito net and fell to sleep.

Saturday, August 15

     3:30am. Zachary woke Shawn and I up. He had noticed that the fire was still burning outside. Shawn and I shone the flashlight and Zach put out the fire. Woke up once more at 6:30 to watch the monkeys play around on the Toyota and run screeching around the cabin. Lay in bed for bait after watching the monkeys because I was still sick. Then got up for eggs that Shane had scrambled and toast. 
     Cleaned up the cabin and went driving out into the game park again. This time with Shane and I on the top. Drove around and eventually got to the gate. Drove up the winding roads on the mountain to view the beautiful tea fields. Such beauty with the muddy red roads and the tea growing on such steep hills. (steeped tea, get it?) The temperature was rather cold because of the elevation. That is what the tea plants thrive on I think. 
     Drove back to Meru and picked up Kent! His temporary passport had all worked out so he made it safely to Kenya. Then we all headed to Daniel's for a youth meeting. Zach dropped us off at the end of the road because he had to go pick up some youth. We flagged down 2 motor bikes and the six of us guys got on. Four on each bike felt a little tippy, especially for the guy on the back. Nobody fell off as up through the red dust we zoomed. Had a soccer game with the youth and then we all sat on a tarp and sang lovely songs in English. That was a highlight of the trip!
     On the way home we stopped to watch three elephants crashing around in the trees. They were closer than any we had seen in the game park. They were fun to watch but the people watching the elephants were also quite the scene! 
     Back home for a scrumptious hamburger fry made by Jana and Brianne. Ate out on the deck and let the music from the church across the road serenade us. Maybe we it helped the digestion of the food? Had a scientific talk until our minds were tired out and we dozed off.

Sunday, August 16

     Woke up and ate fresh maple rolls for Sunday breakfast. Time to leave for church; up the dusty red road, parked the vehicles and walked the rest of the way. Arrive at the little church, it is smaller than the one in Ethiopia, but fancier. Concrete floor is the main difference. The church fills up with friendly black faces and we start singing, some English songs and some of the local language. Chris did the flannel graph story about Ruth and Boaz and Shawn had a nice sermon.
     After church let out, us boys went walking around to some of the members places. We were going to go sing a song to an older lady but when we got there only her husband and daughter were home. Her daughter said she would be home soon, we should wait. So we sat on light blue plastic chairs and she fed us tea with milk. And we waited, in that hot sun. The older lady never came so we moved on home for another tasty meal. This time it was orange pineapple chicken on rice and the best iced tea.
     Kent was not with us to view the tea fields last time so we drove up there again. Brianne came with us. I enjoyed the view as we drove up the mountains, this time to a different place, right up to the top. We stopped the vehicle at the top and got out. Some of the guys got out and crawled through the tea bushes. From the top there you could see so much. Hills, mountains, even all the way out to Meru Game Park where we had been a few days ago. 
     The sun was slowly setting and putting a golden glow on everything as we drove back down. In one town we went through they were having some sort of roadside preaching service. They said something to us over the loud-speaker as we drove by. Suddenly we had the urge to turn around and go back there. We pulled up and they all started cheering loudly! We told them we wanted to sing a song. So we stood there and sang 'How Deep the Father's Love For Us' They loved it and said we were a blessing. We said goodbye and sped away to Daniel's where they were waiting to feed us supper. Vicki Reimer from Linden is living with them so everyone had fun singing loudly in the evening. I had sore throat so I was content to browse through National Geographics.

Monday, August 17

     Now it was time to drill a brand new well. Brought the equipment out to the sight and started drilling. They use lots of soap to keep everything greased and slippery as they drill so that caused for a lot of bubbles. 
     At one point I was tired and wanted a rest because I had a headache so I lay down on a wooden bench and sort of dozed off. When I opened my eyes a few moments later there were about 25 children just crowded around me and staring. When they saw that I was awake they started pulling my hair and pinching my skin in a teasing way. That was overwhelming for me right at that moment! I tried to smile and get away from them as quickly as possible.
     At noon the ladies that lived close by to where we were drilling put on huge feast. They cooked huge bowls of rice and also some sort of vegetable and beef stew. They gave us such heaping portions that some of us could not finish the food.
     The afternoon is sort of a blur to me. We reached water at some point and it came gushing out. Matthew and Shane dug a three foot deep hole so that they could measure the gallons per minute. Everything around the hole was camouflaged with red mud and bubbles so I was secretly hoping that somebody would step in the 3-foot deep hole. We were barefoot and quite muddy and bubbly.
     Then guess what, the fate I had been wishing upon some other human, happened to me! Yes, I was just walking along through the bubbles when suddenly I sank…Everyone who was watching laughed. And I am quite sure I deserved it.
     Went home for a taco supper and I went to bed early with my sickness.

Tuesday, August 18

     Bad night I had. Lots of tossing and turning and trying to sleep. In the morning the guys all went back out to work on the well. Except for Zachary, he took me to the hospital. I got some blood tests and found out that I did not have malaria or Ebola. They could not tell for sure what I had but they thought it was just some kind of bacteria in the blood.
     Zach brought me back home and then he went back out to the well. I laid in bed the rest of the day and slept on and off.
     When the boys got home they went to play volleyball so I got some fresh air and went to watch them for abit. Then back to bed for night.

Wednesday, August 19

     Drove back to Nairobi and while we were in the city a shocking thing occurred. We were driving along with three lanes of stop and go traffic. I was sitting in the front by the open window. Then, as we were driving along not very fast, a man on foot came walking up and just stole my sunglasses right off my face! I was so shocked I just sat there. And then it sunk in. My sunglasses were just stolen right off my face! I yelled after the man, "Hey you stole my sunglasses!" Which probably didn't help a lot because I'm guessing he already knew that he had stolen them and had no intention of giving them back.
     Had supper at Mediterraneo, a little piece of Italy in the heart of Nairobi. We ate outside in the candle light and ordered the special meter long pizza. We went and watched the cooks prepare our long pizza and put it in the stone oven. 
     The pizza was so long that when they took it out to bake the other side they messed up somehow and wrecked 3/4 of the pizza. They gave us the little portion that was not wrecked and vowed to make us a new one. Oh it was delicious! Especially because we had not had pizza for a good while.
     After supper we went to [planet yogurt] a very delicious modern yogurt shop in the mall. Wow we really got treated that night. Back to Hampton House guest house for some rest.

August 20 & 21

     Woke up at 5:30 and started driving to the airport. The sunrise was beautiful coming up over the city. Said goodbye to Zach and James and thanked them for all the wonderful things they had done for us.
     Away we flew through the clouds and saw Mt. Kenya right after we took off. Then as we started flying over Ethiopia we saw Crater Lake, Ziway Lake, Butajira, and other familiar places. Quite fun to see from the air. Splashed down into rainy Addis Ababa for the second time on this trip. Travis came to the airport to pick us up. It was fun to be back in what felt like a familiar city.
     Kent's tonsils were swollen so we went straight to a clinic. Sat and ate sambosas and pineapple fanta while we waited. He got medication that helped and we went for yum smoothies.
      While sipping smoothies we drove to the mercado, a very large market. Saw all the sights there and watched carefully where we stepped. After the dirty mercado we went to Stan and Jera's where the ice cream social with the members was planned. Us guys took advantage of the showers quickly because we knew we would be flying through the night later on.
     Once we were cleaned up the members started arriving. Very fun to see Abraham again! We ate delicious sandwiches and ice cream with toppings and socialized. Also did some singing and then it was time to say goodbye. Travis and Shawn brought us to the airport where we had a last conversation in the parking lot and said farewell.
     Us three guys said goodbye to Kent because he was flying straight home with one stop in London. We lounged on the floor and waited for our plane to be ready. Finally boarded at midnight and tried to get settled in my seat because I wanted to sleep. We taxied out to the runway and something was wrong. We had to come back in and get something repaired on the plane. This took about an hour. Meanwhile the plane had no air and I was dozing in and out while nearly suffocating. Finally we took off. Still no air. There I sat, dozing on and off for the rest of the 8-hour flight, stifling and sweaty. 
     Finally landed in Rome, only to realize that we had missed our next flight, how unpleasant. We went out of the airport just for a small moment just to get some fresh Italy air. Came back inside and tried to figure out getting tickets for the next flight to Zürich. Eventually two Ethiopian Airlines ladies brought us our tickets and we boarded the Swiss aircraft bound for Switzerland.
     I was sitting by the window and looked down as we flew over many beautiful islands, boats, and beaches. And soon we were flying over Switzerland and Germany, such beauty to see. Shane and Matt were sleeping and the stewardess came by with Swiss milk chocolate, delicious.
     Smooth landing and arrival in the airport and we hopped on the tram to get to our hotel called Novotel. A very nice place. We settled in and relaxed for a moment in our room.
     Hopped on the tram once again and took it down through the town to the river. Stopped at a great restaurant on the way to eat wonderful pizza outside under umbrellas. When we got down to the river we walked along the water's edge among the old buildings and vintage water fountains where we stopped for drinks occasionally. Kept walking down to where the river widens into a lake and there we went swimming. The water was cold but the sunshine was warm so there were a fair amount of others swimming. After the swim we jogged around the beautiful park to dry off, then walked back to a grocery store back up the river to buy our supper. We all just picked out what we wanted and brought our food down to a little dock. There we ate and shared some of our small tidbits with the white swans who were very eager. Shane and Matt always tried to feed them right by my legs so that the swans would bite me. It worked.
     After supper we trammed back to the hotel for a long-awaited sleep.

Saturday, August 22 

     Ate breakfast in and on bed and scurried down to the nearest train station. Bought Swiss passes that allowed us to ride unlimited on boats, trains, and busses. The thought of holding tickets in our hands that could take us all over the country made us happy. We looked up at the big time table to see when the next train to Schaffhausen would be leaving. It was very soon so we found the train and got on.
     Smooth and short ride and we had arrived. We got lunch, I had a tall and very tasty cream puff with strawberries for dessert. And then we took a bus to see the Rhine Falls. We had seen them briefly from the train when we whizzed by but they were worth going to see close up.
     After viewing, we got on the train and headed south to Lake Lucerne. When we arrived we found a nice hotel online, booked it, and headed up there on the bus. It was called feRUS. It was a tiny hotel with a very cozy restaurant on the main floor. Our room was on the top floor and when we opened the door, we were amazed! There were 2 queen size beds, huge living/dining room area that even had an exercise bike, kitchen, porch, and nice bathroom. Not at all what we were used to. Most of the European hotels had small rooms that we had stayed in so this was a treat. The mountains and lake were viewable from 2 of the windows. We dropped our luggage and headed back down to the bus stop.
     The city lights were sparkling along the lake when we got downtown. People strolling along in the darkness, some with umbrellas because of the raindrops that sometimes splattered themselves about. The fountain was spraying up into the darkness and crashing back down to the water with a splash. We ate supper, and then joined the strolling ones along the lake, looking at the grandeur of the old buildings. An occasional firework was shot out across the water now and then. After we had had our fill of night air we took the bus back to the hotel and put our bodies into slumber.
  
Sunday, August 23

     Breakfast we enjoyed in the lovely restaurant in the hotel. Such a neat place with old wood, chandeliers, old keys, and beautiful things. Then back up to the room to have devotions. I got out my toothbrush to brush my teeth and noticed the open porch door beckoning. I went out on the porch and then climbed higher up onto the red roof tiles. What a view, mountains, hot air balloon, and sunshine. And me, sitting on the roof brushing my teeth.
     Checked out of the hotel and got in a Mercedes for a ride downtown to the train station. Got on a brand new beautiful train that took us through the mountains to Interlaken. Sloping green hills with swiss chalets all the way up, lakes so blue that they nearly clashed with their surroundings, tall steeples of churches on the hills, and fishing boats out on the lakes, doing their best to catch something.
     Got to Interlaken and walked along the "milky-green-tea latte-with-a-shot-of-turquoise" water in the river. Stopped at cafe for pizza and pasta under an umbrella and then took a steep mountain train up a steep mountain. The view was incredible from up top. Para-gliders were gliding on the wind down into the town. There was also a platform with a glass floor to walk out on.
     Took the steep train back down and then got on the bus and rode along the lake to Thun. There we saw a guy on a surf board surfing the current in the river, pretty incredible! I grabbed a caramel coffee to go and Shane got a Red Bull and away we go on a double decker train with the most comfortable plush seats. We go and go. Lots of scenery to view and plenty of tunnels. Tunnels are cool but you can not really see a lot. I look out the window and all I see is my blurred reflection staring right back at me. Then suddenly, out of blackness, whoosh--! Lake Geneva is spread out before me. Vineyards full of grapes, glowing pink sky with craggy mountain peaks towering in the background. ALong the lake we zoom and it becomes dark. At last we arrive in Geneva.
     We eat supper in the train station and book a hotel. Walk through the  dimly lit streets to the hotel and there we sleep until we rise.

Monday, August 24

     I went to the Migros market to buy yogurt, granola, lemon tart, and Orangina for my breakfast. The boys were going to hit up McDonald's but discovered they do not serve breakfast here. So they found a different restaurant and had a funny breakfast. After food we walked down to the lake which was right nearby. Shane found a Switzerland soccer ball washed up on the rocks so he gleefully kicked it around. A little yellow boat was waiting to scurry across the lake so we got on it just for the ride. Motored past the famous high pressure fountain that shoots water extremely high! 
     On the way back we noticed a high platform for jumping off so when we docked, over to it we ran. (not too fast because we did not want to attract unnecessary. Some workers were doing construction and painting the change rooms so the area was somewhat closed. It was also rainy and cold so nobody was swimming. But, the temptation was too great for us. We tore off our clothes and scampered up the concrete stairs, around the gate and sign that said "No Swimming", over the crocheted railing and up some more stairs to the platform. Once we were up on the platform we realized that quite a few people could see us. So off we jumped! And down, down into the cool, clear, green water with a tremendous splash. We came to the surface laughing and spluttering, what a rush. A painter and a construction worker came rushing over and informed us in broken and heavily accented English that we were NOT allowed to jump here. Ok we said. In our minds we thought, "Well worth it."
     Back to the hotel we walked with happy hearts and smiling faces. Checked out and once more wandered to the train station. Got on yet another train, bound for the Matterhorn, this time in reclined first class seats we lounged. Arrived in the little valley town of Zermatt and bought tickets for a special train that would take us up to Gornergrat, The Top of Europe. Dazzling glaciers and the stately triangular Matterhorn, just right there, we were in it. Had a quick snowball fight then caught the next train back down. Got on the next train to Visp and went so vipping fast through the longest tunnel yet. Before I even knew what was happening we were in Spiez. Must have driven at least 165kph in that train! (my guess) 
     Arrived in Bern, where we would spend the night. I was tired of having no coat and cold and I just wanted something cozy so I splurged and bought an expensive hoodie. It was worth it. 
     Walked out through the streets to find our hotel in the rain. A nice place in a great location. My favourite part of the hotel was the huge window that opened right up in our room with a little window bench seat to sit on and watch the street below.
      We went walking down the steep ravine to the river in the dark. The trees were dripping water and some of the glowing streetlights were dead so it was nice and creepy. Walked across the pedestrian bridge and up the many stairs on the other side. A WHITE POODLE CAME RUNNING OUT IN FRONT OF ME. Scared me because everything else was so quiet and calm. Haha. Got to the top of the ravine with no further incident and walked back across the tall arched bridge. Toured around downtown Bern, the famous clock tower, etc. Then bed.
    
Tuesday, August 26

     Arose and went down a floor to dine on yummy cheeses, eggs, croissants, marmalade, and juice in crystal goblets. Great way to start a day. Back down to the station and caught a train to Zürich. It was another day of rain pouring down and down. Last train ride. We were quiet, gazing out the windows at the countryside. Arrived in Zürich, roamed the streets and went shopping in different stores and a fancy mall. We bought fancy Swiss juggling balls for Lucas' birthday.
     We wandered the streets in the rain in our hungry state until we found a cute and busy place called Little Italy. I sat propped up against the window nestled in amongst pillows and ate chicken pasta. It is always a happy surprise when the food you order is tasty because you don't have much idea what kind of food you will be getting when you order in German. 
     As we walked around in circles we came to Sprüngli so we stopped to sample truffles and I bought some chocolates for my family. Stopped at coop city and stocked up on more chocolate then went out and sat on the street corner. Mmm…swiss chocolate and caramel coffee. We sat and talked to people as they strolled by.
     After a rest from the rain we snatched a familiar tram and started gliding back to the airport. My favourite thing to do on the tram is to grin very wide so my teeth are showing. Lots of people smile and sometimes make a face back.
     Now let me tell you something; a man named Daniel moved to Pincher Creek. When he heard that we were coming to tour Switzerland, he said his parents, Maja & Karlheinz, would be delighted to have us stay at their place. We accepted and Maja had told us where she would meet us in the airport to pick us up.
     We went to this location and sat down to wait. We looked at women as they came by and wondered, "Is this her? Is she the one?" It is very interesting to plan a meeting with somebody you have never seen. Then, one smiling woman came around the corner, and she waved! We smiled and got up to shake hands.
     She brought us to her car and we drove north about 10 minutes the cute little village called Embräch. Maja showed us her house, yard, and the rooms where we would be sleeping. She had placed a Toblerone (chocolate made in Switzerland) on each pillow. We sipped on a special carbonated Swiss drink while we waited for Karlheinz to get home from work. Maja was very interesting to visit with, she knows English quite well but a little hard to understand sometimes.
     Karlheinz got home and we all sat at the table for a feast. In the middle of the table was a hot skillet with little drawers that you put Swiss cheese in to melt. On top you fried bacon and sausage and vegetables. Once the cheese is melted you eat it with everything. Potatoes, pineapple, garlic, pickles, sausage, bacon, tomatoes, you name it! Oh such good food, we filled up.
     I told our host and hostess that I wanted to tour the countryside and village on foot. They were very happy to go out walking with us and show off their land. We walked past fields and dairy barn, down to a tranquil pond where they used to walk with their kids on Sunday when they were small. Then back through the town we went. They showed us their church, the school, the oldest building in town, (built in 1547) and an ancient water fountain where we all stooped over to fulfill our thirst.
     Back at the house Maja mixed up some fancy chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and sweet crackers. We talked some more, then lay down to rest.

Wednesday, August 27

     The last day, the long day, the day we fly home. croissants, milk, and strawberry jam, home-made by our gracious hostess. Maja brought us to the airport and we thanked her and hugged her goodbye. Back into the airport, my favourite airport that I have ever stepped foot into. So modern and welcoming. We boarded our large plane and took off for Newark, NJ. Goodbye Schweizerland!
     I sat beside a lady from London with a lovely accent and a pet rabbit that I would call not so lovely. When she would pet it the fur would float into my face and nostrils. She also got up about 5 times on the duration of the flight to take the rabbit to the washroom. 
     Arrived in Newark, left our packs at the airport and took the bus to NYC. Shane had never been there and Matthew hadn't been to Times Square so that is where we headed first. I loved showing them the sights. We also browsed along Fifth Avenue and walked through Central Park before it was time to head back to the airport.
     I ate sushi and apple juice for supper while Matt and Shane chewed on pizza, their favourite food? Board another plane, the last plane and fly over the prairies. I sat beside a couple from Grande Prairie who were friendly and we shared laughs. I also got to watch a lightning and Northern Lights show from the sky.
     Landed in rainy Edmonton. Just so nice to be back home. Family. Hugs. Tim Hortons. My huge bedroom. It felt huge after everything I'd slept in. A nice long shower. Zeeba, the dog. 

       I love Alberta.

       Thanks for reading this report and please excuse any typing errors! Feel free to forward it if you know of somebody who would like to read. If something does not make sense, email me questions..

     
     
     


    



Monday, January 28, 2013

X-country ski & welcome humanity



     Hello people that I used to feel more acquainted with.. I could give many reasons as to why I haven't written a blog post for so long but I won't get into excuses. I'll just be thankful that I'm finding the time to post this right now.
     Today I did not have to go to work so that felt grand. I slept in. Gratefully. Then arose to have breakfast with the other late-risers, Jillisa & James by name. Toast and bacon suited me fine. Then my Dad suggested we take our cross country skis and go down to the valley. Dad bought our family each a pair of skis for Christmas and I tell you- they are enjoyable.. My littlest bro Chib spends many hours on the skis. Even now as I sit inside in the warmth of this house, he is out there in the wind with skis strapped to his feet. Funny child. Anyway, Mom & Dad, James & his wife, and I loaded up skis and went to the valley. We started at the top of the valley and zoomed down. Mom drove the pickup to the bottom and joined us there. We then spent some happy hours winding thru the valley, sometimes atop the frozen river. Zeeba, the family dog, enjoyed sniffing out all the wildlife and racing thru deep snow, fun to watch. James and I packed some hot tea and a lil snack in a back-pack so that was enjoyed half way through our trek.
      After the ski, James' invited me to town with them. We went to the bank and shopped groceries. Also went to Fatburger for hand scooped shakes, burgers, and Caesar Salad. Fatburger just opened in Camrose within the last 2 weeks and it has become a favorite.
      Tonight I'm going to help set up tables and chairs, etc. for a senior's supper that our youth group is putting on tomorrow. Thank you for reading this post and I hope to be a little more faithful with blogging in the future.

Friday, November 9, 2012

automatic soap dispenser



           That moment when you put your
           hand under the automatic soap dispenser.
           the machine makes that noise that I can't even
           describe, and no soap comes out.
           you stand and wait for awhile before realizing
           the dispenser is empty.

           this happened to me yesterday

Sunday, November 4, 2012

scar of childhood


     The day I split my chin open and scarred it forever will be stuck in my memory for a long time. I remember feeling humiliated and wondering why I misjudged my landing.
     It was a hot summer day in July. My sister and I were enjoying the sunshine and playing outdoors. We had filled up our plastic purple pool and placed it on the sidewalk. With our bathing suits on, we splashed about in the refreshing water. Each taking turns running and launching our little bodies through the air and landing with a crash in the pool. Everything was great and we were having a part until I made that mistake. My eight-year-old mind thot it would be great fun to try a belly-flop. I ran towards the pool, jumped, and misjudged my landing. The lower half of my body landed sort of in the water, but my head crashed into the concrete. I screamed, then ran inside while my sister looked on in disbelief. My chin was pouring blood. My mother's eyes got wide when she saw me, but soon she had pity on me. She got a cozy towel and wrapped it around my wet, shaking body. Then a wash cloth appeared and was held to my chin by loving hands. The bleeding eventually subsided and my parents decided I wouldn't need stitches, much to my relief. A band-aid was applied and I carried on with Life.
     Eight days later, I was riding my little, blue bike. I went over a bump too fast! The bike fell over and I lost my balance as well. The metal handle-bar gouged into my chin in the exact spot of my previous injury. I yelled! The blood flowed once again.
     These two tragic experiences will stay etched in my brain for many years. How could they vanish? Every time I shave or look in a mirror and see the scar the memories come back to me. I smile and remember all the adventures of childhood.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

kef


                                    Mostly wishing that writing true
                                words from deep down inside the
                                heart didn't take so much effort on
                                the writer's behalf. And also hoping
                                that I never forget that eye sight is a
                                blessing. I love my eyes-- j. jon s.

                                                      .  .  .

Monday, July 9, 2012

the sound of net hitting water

I bet with my net I can catch that thing yet- Dr. Suess

Monday, June 25, 2012

cobblestone texture

volkswagen in Rio

I have been
intrigued
by the old-style
beetle ever since I was a young boy
it is still my dream to
own one
someday
I enjoy this picture
so thought I'd share its
wonder-

with you
ALL

Sunday, May 27, 2012

S.A.N.

Oh right.

So here I AM sitting on my extremely comfortable bed with pillows scattered around and a down comforter beneath me. And it's Sunday like I'm sure most of you are aware. (unless you happen to be going thru a stage where you just sleep) Chances are you won't even be reading this then.

And yes.

My Life is just very _____ I don't even know which word to use to fill in the blank.
                            confusing
                               busy
                            changing
                                sad
                              happy
                                ? ?
So many emotions are involved with me lately. And I thought maybe I would try to tell you all some stuff because it feels like weeks since I've really said anything on here. I do still like blogging. But summer is here. My favorite sister is engaged to be married to a boy/man that iLike. My friends keep finding things for me to do that keep my evenings full of activities. Quee had babies. (that one doesn't really keep me busy, to tell you the truth I haven't even seen the kittens! My bros just keep me updated) People come and visit me. And I do like all these things that are happening to me. So thanks to those of you who keep me occupied.

Hmm. Where was I?

I kind of forget what the main topic of this blog post was.
Summer, maybe I could talk about that. It is my second favorite season, you see. Isn't it glorious? The sun. The sand. The grass. The trees. The water. The people. Aren't summer people the best kind of people? Everybody often just seems more upbeat and smiling in summer. Maybe it is because you can actually see them. Up here in Canada you can only see which jacket and scarf and toque people are wearing in the winter. And that isn't really them, if you can see where I'm coming from. Oh except for sometimes if there's not a blizzard and it's not foggy you might be able to see what color their eyes are. Really it's not quite that bad. I'm just getting my point across that iLike summer better.

Did you catch that?
I.L.S.B.

Abbreviations are my latest hobby. Not usually when typing or texting. But rather just in conversations. Maybe I'm weird but I like to say things that people have to think about abit before they can catch on. So if this annoys anybody I'd be open to suggestions to other new hobbies. Maybe I should get into hunting wildlife & game. No. That's not my style at all. So I doubt I would unless I was paid enough. I'll stick to abbr. 'til something better comes along. T.T.Y.L.

(was that a rude way to end a post that never really started? I don't know.)
(If you have anything to say about anything; please comment below)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

announcement


     "Quee had babies!"

                . . .

Saturday, May 19, 2012

kaleidoscope

drawn by Chib

My youngest brother
drew this
for me today
&
it made me happy
in Real Life
you can see the sparkles
involved
and that makes
it all the better

Sunday, April 29, 2012

like a tree


I step outside and stop; to stare
At a tree with arms raised, in the air
It stands- so strong
With roots down deep
Its majesty! my soul doth leap
In fall, the big tree sheds its leaves
To prepare for long winter eves
When cold wind brings the snow so cold
And clouds across the sky have rolled
To put this tree up to the test
Will it die & fall? or conquer best?
It just stands strong, soon winter ends
The tree shows Life- the branches bend
Toward the sun of spring, oh Joy!
The birds in chorus sing
To praise the Lord, He made this all
The small things and the very tall
Obey his voice and do their job
But I, too often, just ignore
The glories that God has in store
For me! This sinner here below
I know I don't deserve it, no
Please help me, Lord
When burdened down
To think of that tree
And just stand strong


J. Jon S.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

loss of words

take it
or
leave it

the choice is yours.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

find the feline

find the cat in this photo
click the image to enlarge
It is in there
I promise
...

Monday, March 12, 2012

interior battle


The last shard of sunlight slips behind the edge of the horizon.
It's absence causes a gray effect.

He stands there.
Under God's street light- the moon.
Unsure of his purpose in Life.
With a confused and empty look on his face,
He begins to walk.
Right now he has no destination in mind.
His soul cries out for something deeper.
Something stronger.
He chooses to ignore.

God calls-
He turns away.
Too confused for Truth.

His feet keep the shuffling rhythm.
Kicking small stones and pieces of snow.
The night is still.
A faint breeze stirs a few leaves that managed
To hang on to the branches for the long winter.

He looks up at the moon numerous times.
A source of inspiration as always.
The clouds are wisping and gliding across its
Snowy Face.
That snowy face has watched this ol' Earth
For decades.
It has seen many a man wander thru the darkness of night.
Wondering.

The world is empty without God.
There is no joy.
No happiness.
Without God there is only feeble man.
Trying to please others.
& pretending to be happy themself.
But on the inside-
There is evil.
There is unrest.
There is a deep longing for TRUE joy,
That only God can give.

He thinks of all this as the miles slip behind him.
God is the only way.
He Knows.

but

Tonight it is just too hard to surrender everything
To the Almighty.
Why?
Why is it hard?
Is it pride?
Is he too proud too admit that God-
(and only God)
Can save?

Tonight is a night of questions.
He longs for a friend to tell everything to.
And really the friend he needs is GOD.

The wee hours of the morn find him,
Still searching & pondering.
Finally a sleep overwhelms the brain.
And gives a certain rest.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

auto sew


"I've been waiting for Thursday all week." I overheard her say.
"Well, here you are." the other female replied.

What's so radical about Thursday? I wonder..

Today is March.

Yay.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

show some love


       Greetings! and Happy Valentines Day to you all-

       The color of red appeared all over today. Everyone seemed to be planning to do nice things for other people. I went into the Safeway grocery store. And, Woah! Men were swarming all over in that place. Gazing at flowers and trying to decide which would be the best to give their sweet heart. The red roses were of course long gone from sight- probably snatched up in the morning hours by fortunate early birds. I saw one man gazing through the flower cooler/fridge and over-heard him asking his friend,
       "Do you think those flowers are even real!?"
       "Well do you think they'd keep 'em in a fridge if they weren't?" his friend replied.
       "No, I guess not.." he bought the yellow lily arrangement.
       I went to get some margarine and then went back to pick out some roses the color of mango interior for my wonderful Mom. As I stood in line a lady was explaining how she was getting chicken wings for her husband because she he would love that much more than flowers! Very true, Lady.
       After Safeway I stopped at Wal-mart, a busy place as well. Not so many people buying flowers there tho'. Mostly chocolates and other red things. The lines were looong. I stood in one for awhile, only to be informed that "Actually this till isn't open anymore." Thank-you very much! I will join another long line. I did. After 7 minutes of waiting, (it was maybe only 4) a polite voice spoke to me.
       "Do you have any weighables?" it said.
       "Uuh-no I guess I don't." said I.
       "I can help you over here, then." the elderly lady said.
Relief.
I snuck over to the jewelry counter where she scanned all my dairy products that I was buying for my family of four boys & a Mom. (Dad is in Steinbach, MB, presently) I paid for it and together we put the stuff into gray bags. I smiled and told her to have a nice day as I walked away.
       "You made my day better than you might have imagined, Lady. Thanks.." I thought to myself.

                                                               . . . .

Monday, February 13, 2012

beverage intake


Fri/ Feb 10/ 2012

5:45 a.m. 30 mL water @ home
6:49 a.m. TH's medium caramel Latte w/ 2 sugar in Nisku, Ab
8:26 a.m.
  'til
12:08 p.m. 1L spring mineral water in Camrose, Ab
1:12 p.m. 473 mL Monster energy drink in Camrose, Ab
1:15 p.m.
  'til
4:50 p.m. 200mL  spring mineral water, Camrose
4:56 p.m. 300mL hand-mixed mocha, Camrose
5:22 p.m. Starbuck's venti London Fog (EGTL) Camrose
8:37 p.m.
  'til
8:49 p.m. Tim Horton's small caramel Latte, Camrose
10:02 p.m.
  'til
10:23 p.m. 750 mL Crush Cream Soda

Sat/ Feb 11/ 2012

10:45 a.m. 20 mL home-brewd iced tea @home
10:52 a.m. 500 mL 1% partly skimmed milk @home
11:03 a.m. 40 mL home-brewd iced tea @home
1:49 p.m. 150 mL reverse osmosis water
2:22 p.m.
  'til
2:39 p.m. medium Nestea from Subway, Camrose
6:31 p.m.
  'til
7:08 p.m. home-brewd iced tea at a relative's home
11:10 p.m. 250 mL 1% partly skimmed milk @home

a two day summary of the beverages I consumed.
apologies if you are not interested-
                   . . .