Dé Máirt, Meitheamh 28, 2005

The Life Unexpected

There's no philosophy tonight, just simple amazment. This morning I recieved a call from Erica. It was nice to talk to her, nice to hear her voice. To be honest I was worried that somthing was rather wrong. She had been trying to reach me on my cell and I was in the shower, when I caught the message she said she really needed to talk to me, which in my analytical mind translated as trouble. So I was slightly worried. I say slightly because I've reached a point in my life where I know right away the things I can and cannot do somthing about, and this was obviously somthing I couldn't do much about, so worried but only slightly worried. Like I said the conversation was nice, very refreashing and unexpected. To be honest it kind of set the mood for the rest of my day. I seemed lighter on my feet today, and while I've been anything but melancholic the past few weeks, things where just different today. Not much else happened. I picked up around the house, went to Walmart, had my mom add to the list of things she thinks I should do before I what I'm not sure. I'd say before I grow up, but I'm afraid that happened along time ago and an immaturity on my part can be attributed to a simple regression of my state of mind. (Though I normally enjoy it thoroughly) I've been blindsided a good bit today. Calls from Viet Nam that were fervently trying to get a hold of me, finding somthing called "Coke Zero" (if you see this and don't like Diet Coke, just ignore it. They just renamed Diet Coke), Rereading old email and seeing things I'd not read before, or at least not in the way that I read them this time around. But there's no heavy thinking tonight, I'm tired and don't really want to think on them. So the moral of the story is this, even when life is slow it comes at you fast, and in many cases rather unexpectedly.

Déardaoin, Meitheamh 23, 2005

So...Now What?

Ok, so...now what? It's a question that I've heard a lot over the past 5 years of school, and especially now since I've left. Every Sunday I'm at church I have at least five or six people ask me the question right after they've asked me how it feels now that I'm graduated. Personally I've asked myself that particular question every day I've been back in this country. It's at this point that my dreams kick in and I pick on and go with it. I don't think that I've given the same answer to any two people I've talked to so far. Heck, I don't even give myself the same answer. I've really been considering the possibility of packing up my gear and heading out into the woods for a few days. Maybe hike some of the Appalachian trail. I've got things that might happen in the future, things to work toward, to strive for, but nothing for right now. I've been kind of just sitting around, doing some work around the house, reading, playing video games, watching movies and tv, and waiting for my car to be fixed (which it is by the way), and trying to find a job. Since the last one on the list hasn't worked out so far, I've been doing a good bit of the other ones. Frankly, some of the stuff is really wearing thin. In anycase, I'm just going to keep going at things. If I find some work that woudl be great, if not...oh well. I'll know if I'll have that internship in a few weeks and if I don't get it I can move forward appropriatly. I'm not sure what that move would be, probably a year or so with GEM, Greater European Missions. I've been talking with them the past semmester, and they seem pretty interested in me, but I need to wait on that until I hear about the internship. So...now what? I'm back to that question. I'm starting to thing that my answer for now is just to wait and enjoy the time that I have to relax and just be where I am for the time being. I keep talking about not having a home, and moving around a lot, you know the "foxes have dens" things, but now that I have time to just be where I am I think of it more as wasting time and being stuck. If there is one thing that school taught me it was to be active, and the inactivity of the past few weeks has had me on edge more than anything, but maybe that's the point. Maybe I need to, just for a while, be somewhere and not have somthing to do or a dead line to meet. So...now what? Come what may, even if I just have to wait for a while.

Dé Domhnaigh, Meitheamh 19, 2005

20/20 vision

I know that this isn't somthing that is new for anyone, but as I've noticed it is somthing that constantly sneaks up on us, or me in anycase. As humans we have the innate ability to walk our live almost completely backwards. Every once and a while we get to turn around and actually see where we are going, but for the vast majority of the time we walk backwards. We strive to see the future as clearly as we see the past. It is something that all of us are taken by to one degree or another. Whether we just have a little laugh at the comical fortune in our fortuue cookie, seek out the help of a medium or a psychic (though I don't endorse or suggest this), or read the apocalyptic passages or books in our religious texts. The great success of Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins' series based on an interpretation of the Biblical texts of the Revelation of St. John. For centuries we have been desperatly trying to know what our future is. You might say that we are obsessed with it. It permeates our liturature in texts like H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine", or our films like the success of the Terminator trilogy, the Matrix trilogy, or any number of films set in the future.
On a side note, I don't believe that it is possible to truly know the future. I don't believe that mediums who commune with the dead, or psychics who claim to know the future are...for lack of a better term, for real. I think it's all bunk. I believe that the only one who knows our future is God, and he isn't always forth comming with it, except for what we absolutly need to know so that we can be prepared for it. As for the writings of Mr. Lahaye and Mr. jenkins...I don't necissarily believe that that particular interpretation of the Scripture is correct, though it does provide for a good story line. I'm not saying that they are wrong and that I'm right. We both have done research, though they have, I believe, done a good amount more that I have. I have found holes in their theology, and simply cannot except it whole hartedly as my own. If you disagree with me, that's fine, we don't have to believe exactly the same thing.
So we're obsessed with the future, why? I'm starting to believe that we are so obsessed because we can see the past so clearly. As obscured as our future is, our past opens up to us a sense of pattern, chance that wasn't so much chance, and every once and awhile, purpose. This is really my reason for writing late into this night. When we finally sit down and look into our past, if we are truthful, I believe that all of us will see a design to our lives. It's the same with any rug or tapestry ever weaved. If you sit on the strand as it is being woving you will never see you purpose, even when you look around you. You would see the other strands, but nothing makes sense. You look ahead of you, but there is no connection. But turn around and before you opens up a colorful peice of fabric, and suddenly you understand. You can see in what way you fit into the pattern, you see the pattern. We say that we can learn from the past, which implies that at least some of what we know, can be use to protect us from our future, or at least from repeating the our past mistakes.
I was thinking tonight about what this past year has given me, what I've learned, what I've grasped, and the things that still seem to escape me. If you know me at all you know that this time last year and most of the way through the year I would not have said that I wanted to be there or that I thought that I had a reason to be there beyond finishing up my requirments. But as I sat in my brothers car to night I started to realize some of those reasons. If I hadn't come back for a 5th year I would have never gone to New Zealand and spent two of the best weeks of my life with a wonderful group of people that I did not know until this past year. I never would have had my conversations with Cami, my 'freshmen' friend. I never would have met Andrea, a blessing of a women, who it has been my privilage and joy to get to know. Phill and Steph, Phil G., Steve, Stephen, everybody. I've grown in this past year. I've learned to commite to things in such a way that I've never done before. I was able to keep in touch and deepen my relationship with Erica. I learned new things, bettered my grades, and convinced myself of what I can do, and what I'm willing to do anyway. I'm a new man, recreated again and again by the forger and founder who first created me. Every email I send out is stamped with the same lyrics, the last chorus of Bebo Norman's The Hammer Holds, and I think it would be appropriate to stamp it here.
"So dream a little, dream for me in hopes that I'll remain
And cry a little cry for me so I can bear the pain
And hurt a little hurt for me, my future is so bold
But my dreams are not the issue here, for they the hammer hold
This task before me may seem unclear, but it, my Maker holds"
Once again I look back, and at least chose to see the pattern in it. Maybe you don't believe that the pattern is so obvious in your own life, but if you havn't yet turned around maybe you should. The pattern is there. It is there because the designer is there.

Dé Domhnaigh, Meitheamh 12, 2005

The good things in life

When we hear that phrase we so often think of things we would consider extraordinary, but what about the small things that happen everyday that we so often miss? Today, someone from church gave me a car, and said use it as long as you need it. Others told me how glad they were that I'm home for a while, and wondered how I managed to make it up front today but didn't manage to sing, people I don't even know. I got to see a lot of my old friends and got the chance to have lunch with them. It was a gorgeous day, and I ended up having a lot of fun. So, life is good, yes? I guess it depends what you consider a good life. I consider it good, though from time to time it's a little boring, but not all of life can be exciting right? Even on the trail you have to walk through a lot of forest to get to somthing really spectacular. Even the trail can be mundain after you've been on it for a while. But so what.
I've often looked down at people who I think are over spiritualizing there life. Maybe I should start this by saying that in my theology I believe that we are responsible for many things in life. True I often confess to be a Calvinist but...God created us to be intellegent, rational, movable creatures, and pardon me if I believe that he expects me to use it from time to time. It's a fine line that I walk, but I believe that by constantly making decisions, and choseing to live for his will and pleasure that I will find it no matter which way I decide. So obviously I believe anyone who believes that God told you directly to do somthing, especially somthing like marrying some one, should be taken with a grain of salt. I don't believe that we should wait around for God to answer all of our questions and make all of our decisions. It just does not make sense to me to sit and pine away doing this. I say that it is a fine line that I walk, because I also believe that I should wait for God to answer me and show me the way in some cases. I know that I probably just said the most ludicrous things you've ever heard, but it works in my mind. I'm one always looking for a balance in life, in my life especially. I truly believe that God allows us to make dicisions on our own, but I also believe that He reveals his will to us on certain occasions when there is no other way or He choses to do so.
So what was all this about? For a long time I placed relationships in the catagory of, God will provide, but now I'm not so sure. I'm not totally in the camp of "it's completly up to me" either. I think that this may even create a new catagory of working together. I still believe that God will bring the people into my life that need to come into my life, but it maybe up to me to explore those relationships and find out who fits where.
Am I saying this, becuase I've found that particular someone I've long sought? Frankly, no. I may have meet her, or she may still be out there, but for now...it needs to be just the two of us, God and me that is. It's not that I believe that I'm not ready, of course I think that I'm ready, but...there needs to be more time where I just settle in with my heavenly father and learn. I need to be prepared to spend the rest of my life on my own, and I would rather do that than chase shadows. I'm actually fine with being single, I like it. I can make the decisions I need to make, and have them effect only me. I like being able to pick up at litterally a moments notice and leave, and not know exactly what is out there for me.
So other than the rather personal retort at the end, what do you think? Can there be a balance? Are we the rational, intellegent beings (though often I think we don't use it) that I've made us out to be? Are we expected to use it? Or should we all be ultra-Calvanist and wait for God to releave every part of our lives to us? Is there really anything like special revelation or do we just experience it on a daily basis and not realize it? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Dé Céadaoin, Meitheamh 08, 2005

Ok, here's the thing.

Well, It's late...again. Though not as late as before. So I sit here, semi watching t.v., a past-time which to be honest bores me greatly, but every once and a while there's somthing pretty decent on. currently Dances With Wolves is on. I'd write on somthing different but my situation stays the same. Nothing changes not yet anyway. I was going ot go out today, but everyone left before I had a chance to ask for a car, and so I spent the day here at the house. It's fliping hot out side already and I really wasn't prepared to walk anywhere I really wanted to go. I really hope my car is fixed soon. It's kind of hard to look for a job when you have no car, and there is only so much you can do over the phone. I did mow the lawn, or at least the back yard. Dad and I split the responsiblity so it didn't take very long, but it was nice just to do somthing other than read, watch t.v., play video games, or watch movies. I like the time I have to relax, don't get me wrong. I've longed for it for so long, but I'd like to beable to do a few of the things that I like to do as well, or find a job. I'd love the chance to go to Gettysburg and hike the battlefield, or take a trip down to Cuttingham falls and hike there along the stream, or really anything but sit around here. But sit here I do, and I'll be happy for the time of stillness. It's something that I've grown very unaccustomed to being at school. I had to learn what it was in North Dakota last summer, and I have to relearn it now in PA. I think, that God is using these times of uncomfort to teach me lessons that I will need for my future. I say this with only half a heavy heart. I know that in the coming years I will find myself alone a good deal of the time, and while I don't like the prospect of this I don't believe that it is somthing that I'll beable to avoid. Before this sounds like the depressive ramblings of a hopelessly single guy...I'm glad to be single. I need to be free to make the decisions that I need to make in the next few months, and know that what I'm looking to do would not be such an easy thing if I'm "attached." While I don't think that being "attached" would keep me from these things, in fact there isn't much that could, I don't think it's fair to ask anyone to be apart of my no home, moving every so often, never knowing where I might be going, kind of life. Now I could be wrong, and there is someone out there who would want to do this with me, but for now...I'll do it on my own. So...I need somthing to do, but I'm glad I don't at the moment...I'm board, I've got stuff...welcome to my crazy, mixed up, so called life. again for those who know me...no big suprise.

Dé Domhnaigh, Meitheamh 05, 2005

So when do I leave

So I'm sitting here...thinking about things...mostly because I've nothing else to do. I don't really like being here in Pennsylvania. I don't entirely know why. For a long time I've felt that I don't belong here, and everytime I come back I get the feeling even stronger than before. It's like I should have found a way not to come back. I never feel effective when I'm here. I don't like to feel this way, I try very hard not to feel this way, but still I do. I want this to be time when I feel safe and comfortable, like a home should. I know part of my problem is that I'm lonely. The majority of the people I knew from here either arn't here anymore or I've lost contact with them for any number of reasons long ago. I've decided that this time what I really need is just somthing to do. I'll be here for at least the summer, and hopfully not much longer. So I just need to find some summer work to get me out of the house for a couple of weeks. I say a couple of weeks because then I start traveling again. I've got several weddings to go to, family vacation, maybe Creation fest for at least a few days, and that could be it. Mostly likely that'll be it. But for now I'm stuck here.
I say stuck here, and mean it in the litteral sense, because as of friday afternoon my car is not drivable. I was in my first accident on friday. I didn't hit anyone, and I'm fine. The it was raining, as it had been most of the day, and if you've never seen hanover on a friday afternoon let me just tell you, I think the entirity of northern Maryland comes up here to do there weekend shoping. It's a mad house anywhere in Hanover, but south Hanover on a friday afternoon make be cringe. So, I'm driving and random person infrount of me decides to slam their breaks on and of course forcing me to as well. My wheels lock up, and in trying to avoid the person in frount of me I jerk the wheel. Of course as I do this my wheels come unlocked, find the only dry spot on the road and jerk me right into the curb. I've got a bent axle for sure, which means my car is in bad need of repair, and I'm am stuck here. The good thing is that everything is taken of and the car will begin to be fixed on monday. I'm not hurt. This is the only accident that I've been in, that I was driving in any case. I've decided that neither I nor my car like being in PA for very long. If you'll remember the last time I was here my car snaped it's timing belt. I can learn to drive and not have a problem in New Zealand, but I get back here and things just go to pot. Oh well.
So yeah, I'm kind of down right now. I'm board, lonely, and in a place I no longer feel like I belong. There's a lot more I could write about, but it's going to have to go into my journal. It's just a bit too personal to put on here. So...if you're the praying kind of person, I think there's enough in here to keep you busy. I just need something really good to happen to me. I'm not the kind of person to live in the past, and my road trip and New Zealand are in the past. I'm hoping that those things will come back around, but for now...I'm here. Not everything can be exciting, somthings have to be mundain. I'm just not used to this type of mundain. School mundain yes...PA mundain, no. Anyway, It's time to go. Bed time has come, and I should try to do that. I think that the jet-lag is just about gone.

Dé Sathairn, Meitheamh 04, 2005

If anyone has any Idea what this is I would really like to know. It's not a beaver, the tail is wrong.

The Tetons in the Clouds

jones in the snow

jones stuck in the snow, and some of the mountains

Our campsite on the snow

Snow outside of Denver

Dé hAoine, Meitheamh 03, 2005

the reason's I've been gone for a month

Well, now that my month of travel and adventure is over and I’m settling down to at least a few weeks of mundane frivolity here in Pennsylvania I thought that I would spend a little bit of time and chronicle some of the adventures that I’ve had.
Right after graduation I spent a long time in a car, driving with some friends, Jones, Morty, and Justin, out to Colorado. Our thoughts were that we would have a bit of a camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. I was absolutely spectacular. I had never seen the Rockies before and never expected to see what I saw. It was absolutely gorgeous, right up to the point it started to snow. I was driving us out of Denver and up to Estes Park, which is at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Dave Smith once said that it was probably the prettiest town in the world, and seeing as much of the world as I have I would have to agree with him. On the other hand, if you ever plan to go to Rocky Mountain National Park make sure you keep an eye on the road. More importantly keep an eye out for the elk that will most likely be on the road at the time. Back to the snow, the further we got up into the mountains the more snow there was on the ground. Normally this wouldn’t bother me at all, but remember this is a camping trip. By the time we got to where we were going to camp there was about six inches of snow on the ground. We decided to tough it out and just sleep on the snow. WE ARE NOT EQUIPPED FOR THIS!!!! What the crap am I doing? Granted I was the last one out of the tent in the morning. I thought we were headed out for a morning hike, but no. Morton had been there since 3 or 4 in the morning. So we spent a few more hours in the car before packing everything up, exploring at 10,000 feet for a while, and then starting the drive north to the Grand Teton National Park.
We thought that it might be nicer up there, and it was for a while. We got there a sunset and for the second time we had to hurry to set up the tent before it was too dark. On the other hand we were determined to have a warm meal, that we cooked ourselves over an open fire. For all intensive purposes we did accomplish this, though none of us are willing to admit that we enjoyed said meal. The next day we went for a hike in the piedmont. We had been informed at the ranger station that all of the trails that lead any higher were still closed with the winter snow. We had a good hike, thought it was only about 5 miles total. It was a great little hike right in front of South Teton. The hike got a little rough about half way through, when the clouds that I had watched pour through the passes and down into the canyons of the mountains started to empty a rather cold rain.
The Teton’s are amazing, and I would have loved to spend more time there, but it rained, and then it got cold, and we woke up with frost on us, and we decided to once again move on after two nights. We ended up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and finally found good weather. We meet up with Nate Lail, camped out one more night and he showed us around the next day. We hiked, and then climbed (literally) to the top of old Baldy. I’ve never done any type of bouldering, free climbing, before and it really was a great experience. We later climbed down into a small cave in the rocks above Silvan Lake. It was just a really great day. We had dinner at the Alpine Inn in Hill City, and later that night the original four of us climbed back into the car and headed back. We spent sometime at Justin’s house before dropping Morty off at O’Hare and then heading back to Jones’ house for the night. Thus ended the great Road Trip O5’, as Morty was calling it. If you want too, Morty has a bit more detail on his site. The link is off to the side, Josh Morton.
So after a night at Jones’ house, I headed back to Marion. I crash there with Thorn for the night, went to church and then looked for things to do for the rest of the day. I found Ryan Miles and Jon Dodgril and played a little bit of campus golf. Spend the night at Umf. Lo’s house with other members of my New Zealand team and prepared ourselves for what would prove to be one of the best times of my life. We left mid morning on Monday the 9th for the Indianapolis Airport and spent the rest of the day/days, I’m not quite sure, in an airplane. This doesn’t include our layovers in Denver (hmm, familiar), LAX, and Tahiti (yes, Tahiti). Over all I think it was over 16 hours that wee spent in the air. After landing technically two days later on Wednesday afternoon, and being rather exhausted from the travel we loaded into our temporary transport and headed out to pick up the vans we would be driving the rest of the time. After that we headed to the Fussner’s house for a bit of rest, and to clean up for the evening meal at which we would meet the families that we would be staying with. This was the first time I meet Atu and Sam.
Phil Gormong and I were going to be staying with Sam for the next seven days or so, but first we would be meeting some of the people from the Streams Church. I hadn’t expected to need my guitar the first day I was in New Zealand; I was tired and thought I’d be just going to bed as soon as possible. To my great surprise I was introduced and handed a guitar and asked to provide the group with a song. I should have known that this would be my fate for the rest of the week. I don’t do well when I feel that I’m that under-prepared, not to mention not-fit-to-drive tired (though I did), and yet I provided the group with a few songs. And yes, I not being in the country a full 8 hours, I found myself behind the wheel of a van. This would be a normal spot for me to be in during the trip, driving not necessarily being tired all the time. Sam is a great guy. A bachelor living on his own, which automatically means that there was no food to be found in the house. Which was fine, I don’t eat much for breakfast anyway and that was the only time that we were there, except for at night once we got back. That first week was great, though like I said before I was constantly finding myself in the position of having to come up with music for different activities and for group meetings. We started our work at Papakura Wesleyan church. They’re in the middle of building an early childhood center. They have amazing plans, and I’m very excited about the work they are already doing as well as the things they are planning. They are so focused on their community, as are all of the Wesleyan churches there. Umf. kept saying it but I really do believe that we were working with a church that came as close to the early churches of Acts that is possible in today’s society. The Papakura church had us doing some different things. We helped around the work site cleaning up and arranging things, braking some blocks, helping with the kids club (to which I helped with the music), and canvassing the neighborhood with surveys and inviting people to the kids club and Sunday service. We worked there for two days.
That Friday night the group split up to go to two different youth groups, just to spend time and fellowship with them. The other group had a great time doing this, or so I’ve heard. My group on the other hand arrived at our meeting, and was subsequently given the rest of the time to do what ever we had planned on doing. Which wasn’t much considering we hadn’t planned anything. I jumped up there really quickly, introduced our team and had the group introduce themselves individually, then grabbed the guitar I had seen in the crowed and started playing. Sarah and I went through a few songs, enough to make my fingers bleed in any case, while the rest of the team gather in the back creating some sort of plan for was we were going to do. Steve gave us a game, followed by Steph and Andrea giving their testimonies, then Steve came back up and gave his and a short message. It was a fun night over all, though it was a very nerve racking night. Things went well, and it was the first time that I realized that Andrea and I had a bit more in common that I had originally thought.
Saturday was blast. We spent time with the Streams church, watched a bit of the rugby match, learned some of the games intricacies, and had a worship service that was very much God filled. I was asked to lead some music for the group, I was rather uncomfortable with this, again because I was caught off my guard and hadn’t expected to do this, but god work just the same. It was a great time of fellowship and worship. We later meet with the Fijian Church for our evening feast. We soon learned that when the Island churches feed their guests they go all out, and we felt bad for not being able to eat more. This happened again on Tuesday when we went to meet with the Tongan Congregation, the singing that night was amazing. I’ve never heard such harmony or such sound, absolutely breathtaking. I could have listened to it all night. At some point I would love to write it all down for them. Just so they can keep it for records and posterity sake. It would be an awesome undertaking, one that I would gladly give years of my life to accomplish.
Sunday was a great day, a long day, but great. Three different services each with their own different little pleasures. Streams church in the morning, Pastor Atu made more comments about me coming to New Zealand to be a music pastor, then to East City Wesleyan for the Mandarin service, we got to sing “You are my All in All” in English while they sang in Mandarin, then cession/community church for their service. The last one was good because we didn’t have to do much of anything to do. I got to have a good discussion with Umf. on the type of service it was and whether or not I though it would prosper and last.
Monday we started at the Habitat for Humanity headquarters. We worked there for two days, doing all sort of work, from mowing the lawn, moving and cleaning the workspace, to moving several tons of bricks, and cleaning up there display at the performing arts center. That night a vanload of us went with lupeti on his bread run. We had a lot of fun in the van, just talking and laughing with was the norm for us. I drove and Andrea sat up front with me. We had a good conversation and talked about different things, there was quiet between us, but it wasn’t overly awkward. We we’re both tired and the quiet was nice.
The week went on; Wednesday we started work on the Redoubt Wesleyan Church. We would be there for most of the next week. The greater part of our trip was spent with this church and it was surely a great time. We worked at the different peoples houses cleaning, and doing yard work. At the church we started digging trenches and prepping the garage to be painted. The trenches probably wouldn’t have taken as long as they did except that we we’re digging through almost pure clay. I say this knowing that we accomplished more work than they expected us too.
Thursday we were supposed to go back to Papakura, but instead we helped out several families in the area. Those of us who had helped with the kids club the week before went back and had a blast with the kids. We also moved all of our stuff to the Lee’s house where we all stayed for the rest of our time there.
Friday we were all back at it at Redoubt North, where I tried to prepare a bit of something for us to do at the Penrose High School that afternoon. We had a great time of sharing testimonies and singing. Back to Redoubt North for more work, then clean up and a meal at Chas and Gloria’s. My group from the Friday before stayed there for their youth group and the other group went to the Chinese youth group.
Saturday was a fun day, doing yard work for and Elizabeth and then spending the rest of the day with some of the leadership from North Shore Wesleyan. We spent time on the black sand beaches of the north shore and I got some time just to be quiet and let everything sink in. A meal with everyone at the Lee’s house and then a bit earlier of a bedtime. Sunday wasn’t as rushed or busy as the week before. Many of us skipped out on the middle service so we could just relax. I was one of them. I got my Starbucks coffee and walked the mall there and just spent some more time. That night we traveled out to North Shore where I got to plan the service, kind of on the spot, and played with the worship team. It was great up until the point I snapped a string, my g-string, and had to play with 5 the rest of the night. Cindy and Cami gave their testimonies, Joe gave a greeting, we had a skit, and Umf. gave the message. It was a great night
Monday, we spent out on Auckland. We just went around and saw things. Spent the morning at the Auckland Museum with was fun. We had the Maori experience, saw them do the Haka and many other dances and songs. We then caught the ferry to North Head, where they had the first gun emplacements to protect the Auckland harbor. We made it back in time for fish and chips with the Lee’s and others that we had meet along the way. Tuesday we were at redoubt again and the Lee’s made us the best meal we had had the entire time we were there. It was wonderful. We had a great time of just fellowship with one another, and some of us watched Star Trek First Contact. Wednesday was more of the same work at Redoubt, and again at Elizabeth’s house. Then we all met at the Lee’s for our farewell dinner. I got to see Sam again and talk with him a bit more. The next day started on my journey back to PA, and to be completely honest…I haven’t stopped looking for reasons and ways of getting myself back to New Zealand. In the next few years, I really do hope to go back. Their graduate school in Auckland looks really good, and they have a musicology major. Who knows, maybe this was the start of something I never expected.