Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My brother Paul

As training has gone on, I know that I've been unable to post very much.  Hopefully that will get better as the weeks progress.  For now there's no Fact, but there is a post!


In the second letter to the Corinthians Paul writes about his sufferings as an follower.  He writes of his imprisonments, lashings, shipwrecks and imminent danger.  And near the end of his paragraph of lashings and discouragements, he says... And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the communities.

I guess that I never read this part without it being hidden by the severity of his other sufferings, but this morning it jumped from off the page to me.  As summer nears and I meet more counselors and people I will journey with this summer, it's so easy to feel that daily pressure.  I admittedly can become very anxious for these college students.  But I think hearing my brother Paul talk about his anxiety regarding his fellowships gives me great comfort.  I can't carry that anxiety, I have to give it up.

That's all for now

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Fact #13: A barasti is a traditional house made of palms.  Maybe I can make my own when I get to Dubai...  I'm crafty.

Palm-frond, or barasti, houses are usually built on a wooden frame made out of mangrove poles, split-palm trunk or any other available wood. The palm fronds are used in two forms, either as straight poles (approximately 1 m long) stripped of their leaves used for creating screens or with the leaves still on for roof thatch. The shape of palm-frond houses varies from square or rectangular flat-roofed buildings to triangular tent-like structures.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Burj Dubai

Being tall has always been a competition everywhere I go.  Not between me and other people (have you seen my height?), but between every single thing in the rest of the world.  
Now, this is a huge generalization so I decided to make a list.

There's the Empire State Building vs. the Sears Tower... (those two buildings are always fighting with each other, even though they can't grow any taller)

Big Tex vs. Small Tex (the guy who tries to look like Big Tex on stilts)... Big Tex can't see well enough to see Small Tex down at his ankles, but those two guys are still always competing

Planes vs. the ground... I feel like the ground has a disadvantage in this fight

David vs. Goliath... That's where we all learned that being really tall doesn't even matter

All around the world people want to be TALL and make TALL buildings.

Fact #12Burj Dubai is the world's tallest building, along with the world's tallest man-made structure.  Burj Dubai blows Big Tex and Goliath out of the water.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Not those kind of dates!

If you lived in Dubai before the 19th century which occupation would you choose?
P.s. Sarah Covin is reading over my shoulder as I write this and it's making me nervous....

"Traditional economic activity focused on fishing, pearling, herding sheep and goats, and cultivating dates and other small-scale agriculture."

I would cultivate dates because I believe it's important to cultivate social relationships.

Fact #9: Not those kind of dates.

Now I Know We Must Lift the Sail

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me-
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor,
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me, and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire-
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

- Edgar Lee Masters

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A Body of Water Up North

From Wednesday to Friday, I had a very hard group. It was the hardest group I've taught. They were wild, full of bad behavior and dramatic about everything.

But in all of the chaos, they taught me something invaluable. It wasn't life-changing in the way some of us might desire. I didn't leave Friday evening feeling like a new person. Instead it was life-changing because I realized there is a real battle to fight for in the hearts of all people. And these kids were blessed this week because they got to step outside of the drama created in their lives and experience something they had never experienced before....

Seeing a armadillo after their night activity on Wednesday night.
Roasting a marshmallow over a campfire.
Getting eaten alive by bugs after the sun went down.
Catching a fish.
Playing a name game and getting to act silly in front of each other without caring how cool they looked.

It was these things that separated them from what was hard in their lives. For minutes at a time they relaxed, loosened up and were vulnerable. And it might have changed back quicker than the teachers and I wanted it to everytime, but even if a small section of their heart was healed- it was worth every minute. As I remember them now, I hope they find healing.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Finally, camels

Fact #5: Camels are fast!

Emiratis have many traditional pastimes. Some of them include falconry, dhow sailing and CAMEL RACING! Who knew camels were fast? Maybe they seem fast because they don’t have to stop for as many water breaks as other animals…


I had a wonderful weekend visiting my best friend Stephanie! We went to dinner in Dallas on Saturday night at a wonderful place called sfuzzi. These are the pictures from that adventure.