Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Get Your Own, This One's Mine

Guess what all the cool kids are bumpin’ in the summer of ’06? That’s right the van is makin’ a comeback and it starts in my driveway. We couldn’t see rippin’ cross-country in the LC for 2 weeks, so we bought a used Toyota Sienna. After the roadie, we’ll put it back on Craigslist for the next cool kid.

*Disclaimer: The author of this post is desperately trying to seem cool by overusing apostrophes.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Some Things about Camp Last Week That Rocked

  • 5th and 6th graders (see previous post)
  • Junior Birdman, Purple Soup, Moose on the Loose, etc
  • Carpetball
  • Foursquare
  • Going with my wife
  • Not worrying about any meal—they just magically appeared at the appropriate times
  • No cell phone
  • No need to drive a car
  • WiFi (you didn’t think I’d completely unplug, did you?)
  • Shawn’s leadership, Nancy’s patience
  • Running with Shawn
  • Talking with campers about Africa (I may never get to go again, but maybe I can inspire someone else)
  • Taking more than 500 Pictures
  • Being inspired by student-aged counselors
  • Making a necklace at Christa’s Craft Cabana
  • Wearing shorts, t-shirts and Tevas everyday (except one where I put on a pair of jeans)
  • Praise in the small lodge

Monday, July 17, 2006

I Have Seen My Past

It has been more than 10 years since I last worked at a summer camp. Back then I was the fresh-faced, college student who turned the heads of teenage girls. Not anymore. There is a new crop of college students and my wrinkled grill cannot compete. I’m now the guy the speaker points to last when he wants to make a point about age not making a difference. I’m older than some of the camper’s parents. But I still feel a passion for camp and campers, and I’ve easily got as much energy as those fresh-faced punks.

My friend Shawn directs an amazing camp for 5th and 6th graders at Camp Yamhill. Last year he wrangled my wife into joining him and this year I got to go too. I knew I would enjoy it but I was unprepared for the impact it would leave on me. Kids at that age have not yet learned that they should be “too cool for school”. They invest 100% in everything they encounter: games, laughter, friendships, meals, worship, etc. They have not been taught by life that they should hold back. Spending time with them was invigorating. It was inspiring. It reminded me of how I want to live.

And so in them I choose to see my future.

Friday, July 07, 2006


The other day it was over 100 degrees. To celebrate I drank a refreshing bottle of Krest. Krest is bottled by the Coca-Cola Company in Africa.

I was introduced to it by my friends the Cashs (Jeff & Cheryl) when I visited them in Uganda. As many of you know I try to avoid beverages with copious amounts of caffeine. (You think I’m hyped up now? You should see me after drinking a Coke.) Before I went to Africa, I was instructed by Johno, Steve and Ike that a cold beverage should never be refused; that it was a luxury to be graciously accepted and savored. However, in every picture I saw from their trip, the cold, bottled beverages they had were Cokes. Understanding the importance of their exhortations, I resigned myself to the notion that I would be drinking a few Cokes while in Uganda.

For some reason they don’t have Sprite. They do have Krest. Jeff told me that in an effort to get people to take malaria medicine, they invented a citrusy drink and laced it with medicine. It had a bitter taste, probably from the medicine, and became a favorite of many. After a while, they stopped putting medicine in it, but demand for the drink was still high so Coca-Cola continued to bottle it complete with a non-medicine, medicine taste. To me, it tastes a little like Squirt, but not quite as sweet and with more bitter. Its like the bitter part of the grapefruit skin was included right along with the sweet fleshy part. My wife tried a sip and puckered like a pleat on Fat Albert’s khakis.

I drank quite a few of them in Africa and remember their cooling, refreshing qualities with fondness. Since my return I have not located anyone in the States who sells it. Imagine: a luxury that an African can enjoy for a dime that I can’t get here in America! Recently my friends Tim and Chalon went to Kenya and they brought me a bottle. I figured the hot weather was a perfect excuse to enjoy it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Took some photos the other night. Here's a few I liked.

(I think Flickr's process washes out the colors, so you can also view them here with a bit more vibrancy.)
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