Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Back in the good ol' USA

Hello all,
I am so sorry I've been sorely neglecting this blog! Well, this may be my last post. I am back in the USA, so if you want to stay in contact all you have to do is give me a call or shoot me an email! I am living and working in Plano, Texas- which is really fun. I hope to see some of you at Katie Horton and Kirk Cervetti's wedding in April, and lots more of you in Steubenville in early May. Thanks to everyone for all your prayers while I was in Nigeria. I am praying for all of you as well!
peace be with you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I have to say... being a missionary has its rewards! This is the view from a Slovakian castle. WOW.

Ann and I made a two day trip to Slovakia! We climbed mountains, poked around castle ruins, and visited Tomas and Zorka (and their daughter Dorotka of course- see adorable baby below). This picture was taken at the train station in Bratislava.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Pray for Peace in Jerusalem

Dear Friends,
This post has nothing to do with Nigeria... but rather an issue that is dear and near to my heart. Please join me in praying tomorrow- that Israel may finally have peace within her borders- that God's people may finally possess their ancestral land. Thank you!
JERUSALEM, DEC. 20, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Some Catholic bishops have appealed to Christians worldwide to observe a day of fasting and prayer Wednesday for peace in the Holy Land. The appeal was made as a conclusion of last week's meeting of the conference of bishops of North Africa and the Latin bishops of the Arab Regions. The appeal was made in conjunction with Caritas-Jerusalem. "The conflict in the Holy Land is the concern of all Christians who are aware that their spiritual roots lie in the land of Christ's redemption," the bishops said in a statement. The document was signed by 22 bishops of the region. "Our Churches have received from the Lord a ministry of reconciliation," they added. "We do not call you to take one side against another. On the contrary, we want you to help both sides find the way to reconciliation." A message sent to ZENIT by Caritas-Jerusalem said: "We hope that you will join with us in this important day of fasting and prayer for peace in the Holy Land." For his part, the Lutheran bishop of Jerusalem, Munib Younan, has called on Lutherans worldwide to support this initiative of the Catholic bishops, Lutheran World Information reported today.

Monday, December 20, 2004

This picture is WAY out of order! This is when my friend Ann picked me up from the airport in Budapest. Many thanks to Ann's team members who provided me with a coat, scarf, gloves, hat, boots, and sweaters!!! (I arrived in Budapest in jeans, a t-shirt, and flipflops!!!

Merry Christmas from Austria!

Dear family and friends,
Merry Merry Christmas! I pray that all of you are well and joyfully anticipating the birth of the Savior. I have traveled to Modling Austria where I am spending my Christmas break with my best friend Ann and her mission team. Ann is a member of an international mission organization called KERYGMA. It has been such a joy to be here with them. I was even invited to join the team to give a retreat in Croatia this past weekend. Besides the travels other perks have been the cold weather, hot coffee, and lots of fellowship.
The Kerygma team also has a great long distance plan, so I'll be able to really catch up with my family during the holiday season. AND you'll appreciate tha I've been able to post PICTURES!!! You are probably noticing that now.
Well, merry Christmas again. I am planning to return to the States at the end of January, so I'll be seeing you then.
peace be with you.

This is baby Dorotka- the youngest member of Ann's mission team

Most of my time in Zagreb was spent with the children.

These are a few friends (our translators) in Zagreb, Croatia. I was able to travel there with my friend Ann's Kerygma team to help with a weekend retreat.

On my first full day in Austria I was able to travel to Gaming to see my brother John!

This is my SS2 biology class. SS2 stands for Senior Secondary 2. This is the American equivalent of the 11th grade.

Here is the view from just outside the girls' hostile. It was laundry day- as you can see.

This is Claire Kanu- the youngest student at Our Mother of Special Graces. She is about 18 months old.

Here are Stanley and I- ready for Sunday Mass!

This is the recently completed third floor of the Secondary block.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Top Ten Signs You're Becoming Nigerian

Ÿ You no longer think it strange when the only instrument at Mass is drums.
Ÿ A long shower is five minutes.
Ÿ You use the word “compulsory” all the time.
Ÿ You start to talk about “cold” weather at 80degrees .
Ÿ You smash ants with your fingers.
Ÿ You can light a lantern in the pitch dark using a piece of a broom.
Ÿ You can tie a Nigerian wrapper and headgear, and you own both. (these are traditional Nigerian dress- for women)
Ÿ You pass on candy- preferring a fresh picked orange (which, by the way, aren’t orange in color at all).
Ÿ You can tell the difference between under cooked rice, freshly cooked rice, over cooked rice, re-heated rice, rice made in a pot that held yams last, and rice cooked in a pot that held beans last.You can hear the difference between a cock roach and a spider in your room at night- and decide it’s not worth it to get up and kill it... whatever it is.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

... to all you Americans. To everyone else- Canadians and the like... you don't know what you're missing!
Dear Everyone,
I have a free moment now to write and I was in my email trying to decide who to write to. I decided, however, that I can't possibly choose. I want to write to ALL of you!
I love reading your comments even if I can't reply to all of them. Ok, here's an update from Nigeria. Yesterday we had a huge party at the Divine Face Centre. It was Fr.'s birthday, Sister Gertrude's feast day, and the Feast of St. Cecilia (patroness of our choir). There was a ton of food, and ceremony, and cake. We also had sodas and I made a huge smash by discovering that you can open a bottle on the railing of the stairs... thanks to 4 years of college I've become an expert at opening a bottle using whatever happens to be handy at the time (moderately of course).
The weather continues to be unbelievably hot here- I wish I could report some change... maybe in a month or so. School is going well. I know the students haven't looked this far ahead yet, but as the teacher I can see the end of the term looming all too close (December 16). I am trying my best to squeeze in all that the Nigerian Education council demands. It's going to be tight. Although I've never taught anywhere else, I think this is probably the plight of all teacher!
I hope and pray you are all doing well. I love hearing from you!

Monday, November 15, 2004

It's ME

Hello everyone,
Well, little did you know but I've only been ghost writing my last two posts. My brother Paul was kind enough to re-type them and post them for me.
Now, as a result of some miracle I'm sitting at a super-fast computer and am able to write to you myself.
All is well here in Nigeria. As I said before we are in the middle of the summer/dry season. It will be over in about a month at which time I've been promised "cold weather". We'll see about that.
My classes are going very well. Right now I'm teaching about the organization of life... you remember- kingdom, phylum, class... species, the digestive system of a grasshopper, and ancient egypt. what a combo. i'm also working at identifying the students here with special needs. this is proving to be quite a challenge... culture differences account for most of the issues, along with the fact that i'm assessing them in their second language. any teachers out there know that this is a big no-no, but what can i do?
Teaching has been really great because it is helping me to get to know the students by name. I'm also working with the debate team to prepare for a presentation on the 22nd. The topic is military vs. civilian rule. Although I know NOTHING about this topic I am an expert argue-er as those who know me best know! :)
Ok, I miss you all very much and hope to keep writing as regularly as possible.
oh... here's a ps for Sarah Nickel... yes... the albino boy is my friend.