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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gettin' Around

This is one of my main modes of transportation these days. You see these little 3-wheelers all over the roads, parked at corners with their drivers zonked out, or zipping down the street packed with 7 or 8 people, a dog and possibly even a mattress or something as equally peculiar. The seats have been covered and recovered several times, and my feet are always close to being vibrated numb and my hair is in a frazzled state by the time I/we reach our destination. At any rate, I don't think we ever leave first gear.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


It's been raining daily here in this city that is nestled low between the tree-covered mountains. Hotels, shops and apartment buildings stud the streets like pearls on a string that wind through the valleys of this region. Life is not slowed by the rain--umbrellas are everywhere and it is common to see poncho-clad bicycles peddling through standing water after a downpour.

Rain brings restoration and life to the area, and has been long-overdue here. The overcast skies are a welcome relief from the drought as well as a cooling insulation from the scorching sun. I am reminded that God is sovereign and He is merciful, bringing rain on the just and the unjust alike.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hello from Asia

Hello from the beautiful continent of Asia!

I arrived late last night after a long, but uneventful 40 hours of traveling. We went up and over the Arctic-far north of Canada, Greenland, and Europe, then came south through Russia and Mongolia, where we passed right over Ulaan Bataar. That weirds me out a little to be so close to the North Pole, but we made it safely so it must be fine to travel up there.

Today was a morning of orientation, then lunch at a local restaurant where we sat at a table 2 feet high on little wicker stools and drank tea from miniature cups. I was waiting for a bunch of little girls to show up any minute with their stuffed animals, but the place was full of grown businessmen hunched around their tea and bowls of rice, so I guess that's fine too. I'm still jetlagged so this afternoon I couldn't resist taking a nap.

Dinner tonight will be an Asian pear and a ripe, almost syrup-y sweet mango with some toast and tea. I've been in Asia twice before, but have missed the mango season both times with much disappointment. Third time is a charm, and I'm looking forward to eating as many of these as my GI tract can handle!

I hope to have fairly regular internet access this summer, so check back for more updates...