There are a few moments in life where your experience collides with your interests, making you feel like it is a great time to be alive. Flying over Uganda this past week on our way to South Sudan provided one of these moments. Here’s what I wrote in my Field Notes shortly after we took off.
“I am so happy right now. I’m on an adventure and nothing makes me feel more alive than experiences like this. I am presently on an MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) flight from Entebbe, Uganda to Nimule, South Sudan. We are on a small 12 passenger plane. The seats are covered with a tough canvas and the controls look vintage but capable.
Life seems to creep up on me most of the time. Just a moment ago that deadline was a long way off and then suddenly it is here. This is especially true when a trip is coming up. How does this happen?
One of my favorite quotes is “Life is what happens while you are waiting for life to happen.” When I just went to research the source I realized that this isn’t actually a quote. John Lennon penned the lyrics, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” I’m not sure how I came up with my own mangled version of this quote but it still expresses the point. The big things that are coming up in our lives are closer than they appear.
I thought long and hard about what to give Bethany, my girlfriend, for her birthday this year. I wanted the gift to be a creative way to remember some of our best moments together. Working my way through many iterations of this potential gift I finally landed on an idea that seemed to have potential.
I found a bulletin board with a natural wood frame and a surface that resembled canvas. Realizing that it was not only Bethany’s style but also a great way remember our adventures, I knew that I had finally uncovered the right gift.
I have tried out every writing or handwriting app that I could find for iPad and iPhone only to make a surprising discovery. The apps that I liked best most closely imitated physical notebooks. This begs the question, why use an imitation rather than the real deal?
Exploring the intersection between apps and life has become almost a hobby for me. I like discovering ways to do things better. Although apps and a digital workflow present a significant advantage in many areas, replacing notebooks might be where they have met their match.
I feel like my blog has become a series of posts about how I am back to writing with many moons transpired between them. Here we go again. Why am I such an inconsistent writer? The answer is both simple and complicated.
The simple answer is that I tend to focus on projects in cycles. Traveling always stimulates my writing but I hardly take the time to record insights from day to day life. Consistency with blogging is key and this is certainly not my strength.
The door to the ironically named New College. It is one of Oxford’s oldest colleges and was founded in 1379.
Oxford, England is one of my favorite towns in the world. There are many reasons for this but one of them is because it inspires me to dream big. I love history and the first time I set foot in Oxford I was enamored with its intriguing past. Studying at a college that patterned its educational methods after the Oxbridge model only added to the intrigue. As I walked the historic streets I found myself musing about how much I would love to study at Oxford University someday.
When Gayle first began to talk about releasing a full length album it would have been hard to imagine even for a musician just how much it would take to make this happen. The vicissitudes of Gayle’s journey have included moments where it looked like releasing this album would never happen as well as where needed breakthroughs came through in surpising ways and at just the right times. The process that began over a year and a half ago has finally reached its culmination. Gayle’s new album “Make Believe” and best work to date will release this Saturday evening, November 13th. The CD Release Show will be at the Ruby Room in San Diego at 7 PM.
Santo Domingo is regarded as the first city of the New World and served as the headquarters for the above pictured Christopher Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors.
Here I am seated on the walls of the old city of Santo Domingo and I am in awe. I feel this way for a number of reasons but first, because this is where life in North America started for Europeans. Although the Dominican Republic was not the first place Christopher Columbus landed, he did arrive here on his first trip in 1492. It was also the home of one of the early Spanish settlements and its first city, Santo Domingo, became the first capital of the New World. It is a land with a rich history.
Another reason I am in awe is because of the way that life here is lived among and upon these historical places. From where I am seated at the moment I am looking across a plaza at the old Spanish Palace of the Royal Audience. Last evening there were couples seated among the turrets here on the walls and enjoying each other’s company. In that moment I saw something new being shared among something old. The old walls supported new love.
We are familiar with the expression “You have to go where the wind takes you.” This is a sailing metaphor which as a sailboat owner I can confirm makes a lot of sense. You may have a destination in mind but your not going to be able to go directly to it under wind power. When you set out to go sailing you don’t really know what kind of route it will take to get to your destination. The wind determines that and the wind changes.
The other day while enjoying the waves at Juan Dolio beach in the Dominican Republic I realized that this metaphor also applies to the surf. When you step into the ocean you agree to go where the surf takes you. You can fight the waves but as one wave after another pushes you around you realize that you have entered into a force far larger and more powerful than yourself.
They say that home is where the heart is but my heart is in many places. I guess this means that my home is where I reside among the hospitable. I have now been adopted by two Kenyan families. Meet my lovely Luo family as you accompany me into life in the Kenyan village of Manuanda.
Sad to leave Uganda amidst violent riots, I took heart by anticipating what the final leg of my trip would bring. During my last trip to East Africa I spent the largest portion of my time in Kenya so I have friends and organizations there that I’ve long hoped to revisit. It was a wonderful feeling to get off the bus in Kisumu and to know that the rest of the trip I would be with Kenyan friends.