Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Newsletter - August 2007

Here is our August 2007 newsletter. Click to above to view it or right click and choose "Save Target As" to download it to your computer. You need Adobe Reader installed to view it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Save Your Rations

One of the things, that is hard to find in Italy is Dr. Pepper. Sometimes we have visitors from the states bring some with them, in the past when we have travelled to Germany we brought some back with us (it's easier to find there) and finally we found a store in Rome that carries Dr. Pepper some of the time, so when we go there we bring some back with us. It is enough to get us by while we are here, actually the Dr. Pepper is more for me, Angie is more of a Root Beer fan, which is also hard to find in Italy. I have been rationing what we have, drinking one as a special drink every once in awhile. I just looked up in the cabinet and there are ten cans left! And since we have about ten weeks left before we leave that means I can have one per week until we depart! Now, if I could just find some more Root Beer for Angie and maybe a little Strawberry pop.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Love Audio Books

So, I have to say....I love listening to audiobooks. I think it is because I am so "" in my thinking process that it keeps me on track. Also, I like it when the author reads it. You get an idea of how they were really thinking when they wrote it. Or in some essay compilations they include live radio broadcast excerpts of the essay at hand, and then it becomes even more entertaining.

I remembered a quote from George Costanza, about audiobooks and I had to find (thankfully the internet provides answers at the click of a button). After a few clicks and a few dead end websites, I found it.....

George: You know what? I can't do this. I can't read books anymore; books ontape have ruined me, Jerry. I need that nice voice. This book has *my* voice. I hate my voice.

I don't feel as strongly about my voice as George, but I do enjoy having someone else read to me. In the past year, I have listened (read) to so many books it is amazing. And encouraging. I use which is a great service and has most books.

I saw they are having a $5.95 sale on audiobooks over there.....I guess I need to go browse their "shelves" now.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Summer Jamboree, the recap

So, we ended up hearing both bands. They were both really good. We went to the Cajun Tex Mex restaurant booth. I had chicken nuggets, some barbecue shishkebabs and a chicken fajita. All were small portions, but were good. Check out the videos below...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summer Jamboree in Senigallia, Italy

So, tonight, we are meeting our friend Emanuela and several of her friends in the city of Senigallia, which is about 30 minutes North of Ancona on the eastern coast of Italy. Each summer they host something called the "Summer Jamboree", which is actually a celebration of American music, food and concepts. Last year, Angie and I went and we got some food that at least some resemblance of American cooking, at the very least it was something besides pizza or pasta. Check out the website here We are going to have dinner out there and then hear one of two bands, either The Black Crabs or the Abbey Town Jazz Orchestra. I've never heard either of them, but it still sounds like fun. The first group is a rockabilly band from Seattle, Washington, the other group is a big band ensemble, made up of 22 volunteer musicians playing songs by Duke Ellington and Count Basie. We aren't for sure which group, because our friend asked us to go hear one of them and didn't tell us which one. Either one is fine with me.

Click here to hear The Black Crabs music

Click here to hear The Abbey Town Jazz Orchestra's music

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dinner in Sirolo, Italy with Friends

Tonight, Angie and I headed to Sirolo, Italy. It is about a 20-30 minute drive South of Ancona. We went in order to meet some friends of ours for dinner and to spend the evening together. We got to Sirolo, which was a beautiful, cliff-side city, which overlooks the South side of Mount Conero, the mountain that just out into the sea, which is itself South of Ancona. The sun was just setting and it was a very cool evening, especially for August. The wind was lightly blowing through the city square. Angie and I proceeded to walk around the cliff railing and the rest of the townsquare while we waited for our friends to arrive. It was magical.

Once our friends arrived, we sat on a park bench and talked for a little while, then went to the restaurant. They had made reservations, which is normal in Italy, even at regular restaurants and therefore we had a table waiting. It was downstairs, so we went down. As we came down the stairs, we saw that the wall was half open and there was seating out of the balcony. As we sat down, we realized that off of the balcony was a cliffside view of the Adriatic Sea. The sun had already set, so we couldn't see the view, but imagined it to be very beautiful.

We had a great dinner together, then sat around the table for awhile talking. A normal Italian dinner can last for two to three hours, because of the familial socializing. After dinner, we split the check and went for an after dinner walk. Angie, Emanuela and Valeria spoke of womenly things and Luca and I spoke of movies and games of RISK and Axis & Allies. After we stopped at the videoarcade for Luca and Valeria's two young boys to gaze longingly at the teen playing, we went for ice cream, better known in Italy as gelato.
Then we strolled down the street talking with our friends and passing the time. We stopped at a few market stands that were open late, selling purses, mindgames, artwork, etc.... Then we started saying our goodbyes. We thanked them for a wonderful evening and they us. Then we parted ways, and Angie and I made our way to the car. It was a wonderful evening that deepened our friendship.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Survivor News

One of my favorite shows is Survivor. It is the concept of finding yourself in a seemingly 'life or death" situation, faced against the odds. It's because they are out of their element and out of their comfort zone. There have been many familiarities and similiarities to life on the mission field. There are the 'contestants' away from family, away from conveniences, sleeping in strange circumstance and eating things that they had never imagined before. When it comes to the point in the competition that they bring in a family member there are always tears that come to their eyes. They have been having such a hard time out there "surviving", yes physically with others, but strangers, therefore essentially on their own. They long to see family, they long to see things of comfort and experience a little bit of the world they knew. For all these reasons and others, we look forward to watching each installment of survivor. They announced the latest 'castaways' and talked more about what they would be doing in China. They are giving each 'tribe' a copy of a book that I recently read, "The Art of War" by General Sun Tzu. Great stuff for strategy games. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how they use the book in this season (check out the link here).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tomato Juice, Rain and Graphics

So, earlier today it rained. It was a good rain. Not pouring and flooding the streets, but it wasn't sprinkling by any means. The rest of the day it has been cool (in the 60's) with a nice cloudy overcast. I love the rain.....just as long as it doesn't rain all the time!

I have been working on graphics for our new team. Mainly, prayer cards, but it is part of the overall design of our team's promotional materials. What I mean by that is, while I have been working on prayer cards, I have been keeping in mind the banner that I am going to work on next. And while I am working on both of these items, I am imagining/creating the design of our new website, stickers, etc..... But the prayer cards are almost done, just a little tweaking to do after receiving feedback.

Who else likes tomato juice based drinks? I don't drink tomato juice on airplanes anymore because I read that it can affect your stomach and you really don't need to mess with your biological functions and organs anymore than flying already does. But here on the ground, I love em. I just poured me a glass of tomato juice, then sprinkled some pepper, salt and tobasco sauce and finally finished by squirting in some lemon juice. Mmmm good. You should try it some time, although if you have other stomach issues you should leave out the tobasco sauce.

I guess, I need to get back on the graphics. That banner is not going to create itself.