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A Winter in Peru

Instead of a hymn post today, I thought I would give an update on what I’ve been up to this summer. I arrived in Peru at the end of June, and I am to fly out this Friday to return to Texas. I have been working with a group of seven others, all of whom have some connexion to the university I attend in Tennessee, and we have been working with a congregation of the Lord’s church that has recently been planted in Cusco, Peru, a 900-year-old city that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. We have been teaching English with the Bible (using the World English Institute curriculum). It’s been a wonderful time, and I am a bit sad to be leaving, though glad at the same time that I have been able to spend so much time here. Read More

Back from Mexico

I have returned from the land of banana trees and iridescent butterflies, the land of the Huastec and Nahuatl-speaking Indians, and I am happy to report that the trip went very well, and that my father and I have returned home safely. If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ll surely know that there’s quite a bit of conflict going on along the border of Mexico right now, and although we did see some drug cartel members along the highway in northern Tamaulipas, we got past unscathed, knowing that God was with us the whole time (although it is rather disturbing to see people with guns in Mexico who are neither military or police). As for the Huasteca Potosina, the area where we spent the week, things are much more peaceful there.

As always, a week was not enough, but I was just thankful that I was able to return there again after two and a half years absence. It was a time of renewing old friendships and making new ones, and I was also able to practice speaking Nahuatl. Most of my attempts at carrying on a conversation ended when the person with whom I was speaking uttered a sentence that went past my ears uncomprehended, and then I would resort to Spanish. I probably could have done better, but I am pleased with my progress, and of course everyone was tickled pink that I was learning their language. The Huastec dialect remains a mystery to me, but as we met a good number of Huastec people on this trip, they endeavoured to teach me some of their language as well. It is a Mayan language, entirely different from Nahuatl, and it has a very unique sound, full of glottal stops and ejective consonants. Read More

Being frugal at Chili's?

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

After worship this past Sunday, my mother suggested that we eat lunch at Chili’s. My sister had had a hankering for Chili’s chips, and we happened to have a coupon for free chips and queso, so this seemed ample reason to go there. I was skeptical, however. In my mind, Chili’s is one of those restaurants that are very proud of their food, and where you could easily spend $10 just to feed yourself—in other words, it is a place where it is very hard to be frugal, especially if you have a cheapskate conscience like mine.

But we did go, and after a bit of waiting we were seated at a booth, the three of us who were present since my dad is teaching/counseling at a Bible camp this week. We all asked for water (still free at this restaurant, thankfully) and when asked if we wanted an appetizer (she gave all sorts of suggestions) we brought forth our coupon and asked that she bring us some chips and queso. We had already gone over the menu, so we went ahead and ordered our entr茅e: a plate with eight of their new quesadillas. This proved to be enough for the three of us, and we enjoyed the spicy cheese sauce. Read More

Enwrapped in Blissful Ignorance

Or, Thoughts Upon Seeing a Certain Billboard in the Middle of a Cow Pasture

The cattle live a happy life:
A life of bliss, and not of strife.
Their days are full of cud and grass,
And blissfully their moments pass.

Connoisseurs of finest weeds,
They all discern the tasty seeds.
Bereft of sadness, gloom, and grief,
The milk cow eats another leaf.

Thrice happy they, who live in fields,
Who worry not o鈥檈r loss and yields.
Oh! such a blissful life is fine鈥
They鈥檙e standing by an Arby鈥檚 sign.

A bowl of yellows

A bowl of yellows


Yellows, anyone?聽 Although my family insists these citrus fruits are oranges, I cannot see the logic in calling them such if their color does not agree.聽 Maybe I should try that next time I鈥檓 down in Mexico; I鈥檝e seen lots of yellow oranges down there.聽 驴Quieres un amarillo?聽