Saturday, August 02, 2003

Hi all!

It was great to read all the posts that occurred in our absence. It's been a long time since I've been in a place where there's no Internet access, cell phone coverage (at least for T-Mobile), or even a public phone!

Our trip was organized by YouthWorks, an interdenominational Christian group that has summer work camps in many poor areas of the U.S. We left on Friday and spent the first night in Wall, visiting Wall Drug and hiking in the Badlands a bit. The next day we drove through the Black Hills, saw Mount Rushmore, hiked around Sylvan Lake, and spent the night in two cabins at Legion Lake in Custer State Park. The next morning we had to get up early as the only Catholic church within driving distance (in Custer, SD) had one service at 8:00 a.m. We made it in time and had a memorable experience. They were getting ready for their big fund raiser... serving a spaghetti dinner to some of the half million bikers attending the Sturgis Rally the next weekend.

Sunday afternoon we arrived at our mission site in Wanblee, SD, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. There were about 10 adults, 56 kids, and 4 staff members. Our group slept on the floor of a big classroom with the women and girls from a Lutheran church from a small town near Rochester, MN. The other groups were from Duluth, and three churches from Elkheart, IN who traveled together.

As Liv said, each day we either worked with kids or on houses. The kids have no supervision and wander around day and night. For "Kids Club" one drives a van through the housing project yelling, "Kids Club," and picking up kids off the street! The little kids are starved for attention and hang on anybody, but the teens and adults weren't always too friendly... giving people the finger was an art form! (for them, not us) We weren't allowed to walk anywhere off the school grounds. A tribal lawyer who spoke one evening claimed that there were only six people on the entire reservation (three counties) who weren't addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.

We had some interesting evening activities, including a walk in the Badlands and a softball game/weiner roast in the community. After five days of hard work, uncomfortable sleep, and inspiring worship we drove home in 10 hours.

Click here to see more pictures from our trip

Hi, Peter and Maria,

I just wanted to give you tips on Europe. I went to Spain and France in 1989, and went to London, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 1992.

Make sure you wear a money belt that you can hide in your shirt! Get the Let's Go Europe book, it's great and it tell you things to do for low prices. Bring good walking shoes, cause you'll be walking and getting lost a lot! Bring a backpack and pack lightly. Stay in hostels, you'll find that they are inexpensive, and you'll meet interesting people. Travel by train, it's so easy. When you stay in some hostels, however, some only have one bathroom down the hallway! And some bathrooms don't have showers, just bathtubs. People smoke a lot in Europe, too, beware.

But you'll have a great time! They sell lots of chocolate at almost every street corner. Go see Juliet's balcony in Verona, Italy! Go to the Eiffel Tower. Go see cheap theatre in London and go see the Tower of London, with the jewels, and Lady Jane's room. And take the Sound of Music tour in Austria.

Have fun and good luck! :)
I got back this evening from my week long mission trip to Wanblee. It was amazing and lifechanging. I felt like we actually made a difference with at least the children there. I spent my first two mission days working in Kid's Club, a fun atmosphere for the kids of Wanblee to hang out in for two or three hours, and my last two days painting trim on a house there. It was amazing. I will continue to write more about this experience but as I was going home, I listened to Audio Adrenaline and the lyrics to "Dirty" really struck me.
Tired of being clean, sick of being proper
I wanna live among the beggars and dig out in the dirt
Step outside the walls we built to protect us
Don’t be afraid to get some mud on your face.
Come on, come on everybody.
Come on, come on and serve someone

Let's get dirty, let's get used
No matter where you come from
If you're beaten up or bruised
Let's get foolish, let's get free
Free to be the one thing
We were meant to be – let’s get dirty

You might get a bruise or some blisters on your fingers
You might start a question, and wonder what it's worth
You may slip and fall from the burdens that you carry
But you can't have this treasure, till you dig it from the dirt

Let's get dirty, let's get used
No matter where you come from
If you're beaten up or bruised
Let's get foolish, let's get free
Free to be the one thing
We were meant to be - Get dirty

Come on, come on everybody
Come on, come on, serve someone

Let's get dirty, let's get used
No matter where you come from
If you're beaten up or bruised
Let's get foolish, let's get free
Free to be the one thing
We were meant to be - Get dirty


Friday, August 01, 2003

I'm VERY tired after 7 days of driving and work but will just report quickly that we had a great mission trip to Pine Ridge Reservation and are back safely. Lots of sad sights, but very rewarding. We'll post more and some pictures tomorrow. Teresa
Stevie and I treated ourselves to another one day human powered vacation today. From our house we went due east, crossed the Lake St. bridge, continued a few miles up Marshall , switched to University and eventually ended up at the trailhead of the Gateway Trail which is at Cuyoga and 35E a few blocks north of th MN State Capitol. This is ten miles from our home. We went on the trail which goes through suburban and countryside Ramsey and Washington counties and ended up at Pine Point Park which is the original site of the Washington County Poor Farm. We had are lunch there then went into Stillwater where we stopped for ice cream before starting for home. We considered going to downtown by the
St. Croix but realized that it would add four miles (half of it up hill) and we were running out of gas. We made it home without incident traveling 64 miles on a beautiful summer day. We had the cell phone, a couple of spare tubes and enough tools to make most repairs but fortunately we didn't need them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Hello hello. Peter and Maria, you should check out a rough guide or let's go about europe and see what interests you. I suggest Berlin. Its really cool, and always seems like its changing. And I think Italy and Spain would be awesome, but I've never been there so I can't say definitively.

I just got back from a wedding in Rhode Island (this summer fortunately I'm able to make it to a few weddings), if you want to go to this URL you can see some pictures as well as a demonstration of my limited posting ability.

Now I'm thinking I will be in Minnesota in October...hopefully!


Tuesday, July 29, 2003


Nancy - I think the John & Lynda, Mae & Ingrid exhibit isn't on display anymore in England. The dollhouse (and clothes and furnishings and cars) ARE at Windsor. And Hampton is very interesting [note: they have the same kind of Audio guides as Norris used to sell at the MIA).

Very sparse news from Pine Ridge (Communications with France, Switzerland and England are much easier). Teresa called Friday from Wall Drug, and I missed a call yesterday (Monday) from Teresa (all I got was voice mail :( ).

Today I got a call at work, just an "all is well" call from the Church secretary -
they're doing fine and coming back on Friday was the extent of it.

However I got to experience a moment of panic when she called:

"This is so-and-so from Corpus Christi,
I'm the secretary, and I
just talked to Alisa and
wanted me
let you
everything is fine, and they'll
be home on Friday."

I don't know if that gives you the idea, and there wasn't anything wrong
with her message or manners - but my imagination was leaping ahead to
anticipate WHY they were calling ME!?!!

And Koko is in Red Wing - but HE doesn't call when he's down there!

Hi Everybody!
I'm not the expert in the family on world travel, but I really enjoyed the Windsor Castle... I think that is where the doll house is. (?) It was fun riding on the trains to Salisbury, Eastbourne and into London and staying in a bed & breakfast.
(I especially enjoyed seeing John & Lynda, Mae & Ingrid!) I thought the Kew Gardens were very lovely... and Hampton Court was interesting. That's the extent of my experience.
Tom and Stevie went to Illinois for 2 1/2 days to help their Aunt Jan clean, pack and move; She's doing it gradually. They're probably on the road even as I'm writing this, heading back to Minnesota. We haven't had a chance to hear from Tom about Colorado. I hope he'll put info. on the blog. I've really enjoyed the pictures and descriptions of places all over the world.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Maria and I have been talking about taking a 2 week trip to Europe this fall. We're planning on going in September or October and hope to see several countries including Italy, France and England. i know many of you have been to Europe in past years, or in recent months, so any advice you can give us on travel, accomodations, tips, etc would be very helpful.

We're thinking about possibly flying on Iceland Air through Iceland to either London or Paris since they have some rather attractive round trip fares ($400-500). From there we're not quite sure how we want to get around.. most likely by train.. And we haven't planned out an itinerary, so any suggestions on what to see would be great too..

Wish us luck!
...more coherent nightmares....

Years ago (hm - 21, actually), Paul described the sermon at Norris's baptism by saying "I've had more coherent nightmares."

I can only steal those words in order to describe the show that Norris, Jerry, Russ and I saw last night: Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express.

This is a show that combined roller skating, 3D movies, music and special effects to tell the story of... uh, a boy playing with his trains - racing them to see which is fastest. It's the love story between a steam engine and a railway car. It's the competition between Diesel, Electric and Steam... It's all that and more. The only stage show where I've been instructed to put on (and take off) 3D glasses.

Very talented skaters, good singing, and extremely athletic dance/skate-ing. I can't imagine how Andrew Lloyd ever sold anyone on this bizarre show. I don't expect to ever see anything like this again.