Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Friday, March 30, 2007

Taking to the Streets

While browsing through my pictures from the November trip to Florence, I came across these two images. University students held a demonstration and the police turned out en masse. Click on the police photo to enlarge it -- some great expressions on their faces.

Addendum: I believe the students were demonstrating for school funding, from what I gathered in questioning passers-by.

Oh, you thick Egg!

A moment ago, I received an email from Ikea in Germany -- with the heading Ach Du dickes Ei! Literally translated, that means, "Oh, you thick Egg!"

Will have to ask my German neighbors what that means in real life. Oh, you numbskull? Or: oh, you egghead? Made me laugh, which I needed!

Idioms are fun.

Any Northwest Jobs?

Jeff continues looking for jobs within the government--it would be preferable to stay with a government job, since then he keeps his retirement. Say a prayer for us, will you? I really want to move back to the Northwest. I like it here, but still miss my extended family. Oregon or Washington would be good...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


You know what the national obsession is here? Besides beer? Gummi-bears. Also, gummi coke bottles, gummi fish, gummi burgers and hot dogs (I'm not lying!), gummi lips, gummi hearts, gummi ice cream cones and gummi worms. And zillions more of all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors and flavors.
This photo is from a "fest" a few weekends ago -- gotta have the requisite gummi vendor.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Grace (Eventually)

Our guest pastor today spoke about how we need to allow for blindness, bewilderment, and brokenness in Christian circles -- basically, to stop pretending we've got it all together, and focus on following Jesus, who heals all of us from the inside, out. I love that type of preaching.

His words reminded me of Anne Lamott's writing. And speaking of Anne Lamott, her book, Grace (Eventually), arrives soon in the mail! Here's a quote from one of her essays: I wish grace and healing were more abracadabra kinds of things, that delicate silver bells would ring to announce grace's arrival. But no, it's clog and slog and scootch, on the floor, in silence, in the dark.

Can't wait to sit down & devour the book whole. Along with a cup of hot milky tea, and Murphy the corgi warming my toes.

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's Beth's Birthday!

From across the ocean, a very happy birthday to my sister, Beth. I'm so proud of her--she's attending grad school for a degree in public health--after raising two kids and working at Camp Tilikum as retreat coordinator for many years. Go, Beth!

This photo was taken around 1979, when our family returned to Burundi for the summer. My father filled in at Kibuye Mission hospital, which was without a doctor at the time. Most days, we all helped around the hospital, from pricking the fingers of pregnant women for their iron levels, to painting metal doors with letters and numbers. Evenings, we strolled down to the stream to watch golden crested cranes and water birds or hiked past garden plots and giant rocks to see more of the countryside.

Enjoy your day, "little sis." Have fun at the Oregon coast!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

White Stuff Again

Ah, the sadness. Daffodils and honeysuckle everywhere, and now, we're back to snow. Hope this white stuff is a fluke and melts in the sun very soon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Germany Survival Bible

I stumbled upon the Germany Survival Bible while browsing Spiegel Online . A few articles of special interest: Brutally Honest talks about Germans and their straightforward style of communication (which can be taken as rudeness, until you've learned otherwise). And I had to chuckle at "Gross" is a German Word, Too -- one family's story of confusion over a common word.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Out of the Blue

A few days ago, I got an email from Brian Doyle, editor of Portland magazine. My poem, Rwandan Litany, is coming out in the March 2007 issue. That was a nice dose of encouragement.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Sissy & Furball

My friend Jim wanted me to post a picture of his two kittens, Sissy and Furball. They're good companions, and add a bit of laughter and unpredictability to Jim's life.
Jim and I have been friends for a long time--I admire the way Jim keeps a sense of humor, no matter what the week brings. Also, I appreciate his deep sense that God is involved in our lives, every moment.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Can anyone guess the location of this bus shelter? (Extra points if you get not only the country, but the city as well)...
Click on the photo to enlarge it-- for a small clue.
Addendum: For those who don't know the location yet, click on the comments beneath this picture and you'll discover the country!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Catching Up With An Old Friend

Just this week, I emailed someone from my childhood--Niki, an old friend from boarding school in Burundi. We used to get up to mischief together and often had to write 500 times in neat cursive, " I will do my jobs on time and remember to check with Mrs. Caine before I go out to play..." (something like that). Now, consider that we were only seven and eight years old, and also homesick off and on--our schedule was similar to a college calendar, three months at school, one month at home. I wish the dorm parents had shown more empathy. But I guess maybe they weren't all that happy to be put in the position of "mothering" a bunch of kids who didn't belong to them. Nowadays, I think most missions concentrate on finding dormparents who are nurturing and skilled at relating to children.

Here's what Niki's up to these days. Among other things, surviving a cape buffalo attack and making films about Africa.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Village of Half-Timbered Houses

Last year, we visited Dilsberg, a small town atop a hill, 30 minutes north of Heidelberg. Their castle is not so picturesque from the outside, but after climbing the tower you can see 360 degrees around, down into valleys, over the Neckar river, and across to little red-roofed towns nearby. Dilsberg has a youth hostel and if I were hiking across Europe, this is where I'd stay at least a few nights.