Friday, August 25, 2006

Same day

I went on a walk and I went up on a path that took me over to where some cows stood. They were to may left and I was close to the barbed wire. For whatever reason the cows followed me along the barbed border. The following didn’t bother me so much, but their clanging bells bothered me. I eventually made my way down a steep incline and found a spot with dry twigs all sticking up. I prayed briefly. It was alright but I’m going through some challenging times, especially with prayers and devotions.

dirty laundry

June 12th

Today was an easy Monday except that I forgot that prayer was at 8:45 so I took my time brushing my teeth and rinsing my hair when I realized that it wasreally quiet on the second floor. Karryn, who lives in Chesalet spoke about prayer from this book. I watched people fall asleep. My study time went well but I’m still wrestling with the cigarette thing. I didn’t see or expect it to happen. That’s the whole thing, I think that if I was a little more prepared for the situation then it probably wouldn’t have happened. So we had Chili at Richard and Karen’s. It had some oates or barley instead of meat, which was nice. We talked about Christ’s claim to be God and then it got into a tangent about grace and someone thought that even Grace requires works (that was crazy).
After lunch I read on the deck and then began laundry for my work duty. Laundry is fun, except I don’t like dealing with the underwear, especially the thongs. Who needs to wear a thong at L’Abri? (Seriously,ladies, why?) Does any guy care? They probably don’t or maybe they do. If they do care they’re probably at L’abri for the wrong reasons. But I get to listen to music and sing along because no one is around. The sky right now is turning light purple and pink. So yeah, laundry went well, although a lot of people need to pick up their sox, the bin is full.

a tape

June 11th

This one particular chapel was on Hebrews 12 and Richard spoke. The author of Hebrews is encouraging the group not return to Judiasm. The author shows a connection between Christ and their Judiasm. The true holiness (living rightly before God) is not just following a set of commands. 12:15 a certain care must be given to each other. Another words do not abandon your messianic Judiasm. Christ is the mediation of the new covenant. Christ is able to bring us into the presence of God, unlike any other time before.

The lecture became challenging to listen to when this baby was crying sporadically in the back. Richard is not a terribly loud guy so I definitely strained to hear him.

I listened to a tape by Edith Shaeffer. It was a look at the whole Bible, basically. It was very much a cliff notes approach on scripture but that’s why it was called “Birds Eye View.” I took so many notes but I’ll leave this one quote that is also based on Hebrews.

The reality of the victory of the death of Christ in communication with God, is that we can have victory in answered prayer. Christ’s blood- how much more shall the blood of Christ Sanctify than the blood of Cows and Bulls? The lamb of God has already been spilled. Christ was the lamb and the high priest. Christ has entered the holy place without spot or blemish.

historical objectivety

June 7th

This guy lectured about History and Philosophy. Most of the following is a paraphrase of his words.

Historians complicate our lives. For example what are we supposed to do about all the immigrants? The border and crossing it has become an issue. Are we talking about building a wall? I doubt it’s the same as the Berlin Wall. { The speaker thinks so. He is very critical about the guest worker status (of Mexicans). He has a JFK Bostonian accent.} Christians should care about history (definitely) God entered human history at a certain time (hasn’t he always been in history since he created everything?) There is a debate about objectivity with history. We all study reality from different angles. The word post modern is a tricky word. No conversation could be made if you had no objectivity at all. History is a conversation between the past and present.

This was probably the only analogy that he spoke about that I liked.

The best way to respect the dead is speak to them (no thanks) or hear them. In Blizzardly weather we would tie a cord to the house and ourselves. We can find our way back with the cord and that cord is history.

A few things that sort of set me off about our speaker on this particular day was that he spoke about reparations and that we should have some sort of reparations (where do you draw the line?). He also spoke briefly about affirmative action (don’t get me started). However, he saw affirmative action as a way of breaking through standards or bad social norms and not something that should be permanent. Once again, where do you draw the line?

end of the world?

Holy Crap! I just realized that tommorow is 06.06.06. The world will end tomorrow. Mountains will come crashing to the ground and oceans will rise, devoring the people in it’s way. I really wouldn’t want the world to end tomorrow. I still haven’t had sex. I mean I know that sounds really shallow but It seems like something I would regret after I was raptured, but then again maybe not. Anyway It’s just a date, but seriously, What if it did end tomorrow? Would Christ come back? Would every knee bow and tongue confess? It’s a great thought. Today was interesting. The morning began fairly uneventful however I’ve been very withdrawn the last couple of days. It’s just that there has been a lot of people around me than typically at home. I have to kind of step away from it all. After breakfast we had prayer time which was alright, except that I’m not completely about corporate prayer. There are a lot of expectations and pressures. I felt somewhat compelled to pray out loud, but I just didn’t get to that point. Maybe next time, that’s what I said last time.
After dinner we played a game of volleyball after dinner. Not too far into the game Sterling made a serve and I reached up to hit it and it was going too fast and it forced my thumbnail into my forehead, making a gash, thus causing it to bleed. Everybody thought it was funny and I did too until I realized that it was bleeding more than I thought. We joked that I would say that I got in a fight with Sterling.
[Mama Kay believed me for a little bit, but then I had to tell her I was joking because she got really upset.]


June 4th

Here’s a piece from Sunday’s lecture -

True freedom is in Prison and in bondage we are set free. When you enter a relationship[ of dependence like the one you have with God you enter into a different relationship. Don’t sell yourself materialism, God will provide. Phil 4:12-19

Thursday, August 24, 2006

a sad day for my jacket

June 3rd

I bought a Ferne Branca [at the bar up the street] with sprite and tasted like the one that I had in San Francisco, except that it was a brown color. It must have been a different type of Ferne Branca. So I started another game of pool with Patrick and to my disgust discovered as we were leaving that some jack ass got ash on my polyester track jacket. [ when I say polyester jacket it sounds cheesy but the jacket is pretty swank.] I was upset. It left this ugly hole on the side of it. We all went up to Villars to some sort of tex-mex bar on the second floor [just off the main street] We each got a beer and I ordered some “nachos” which were just pieces of corn chips and little salsa, No cheese though! We watched some tennis on the big screen. [The one girl playing tennis looked like a man. It was strange. I think it’s because she has a big jaw.] They stayed, but I decided to leave and Patrick went with me.

Friday, August 18, 2006


It's not even close to bieng finished, but I'm going to take a break and do something new, post something about the present. I just wanted to take a moment to wish the old, but awesome Redford a happy b-day. If I get that far towards graduation as Robert I will be extremely happy (unless of course the Apocalypse happens).


June 3rd

Shaeffer’s tape on Sovereignty was a lot to process. Here’s just a few paraphrases from the tape.

The Christian system begins at a single point, the existence of a personal, infinite God.
God alone as infinite, and nothing which is finite can exhaust that infinity.
If the finite creature (or man) could at any point exhaust the infinity of God immediately Christianity would not be true. He will never exhaust the person of God himself.

The morning was probably the first that I’ve had in a while were I thought, “I’m going to tackle today, I want to make the most of today.” While the rest of the day wasn’t with the same degree of enthusiasm I wass exited that it started that way. Muesele was served for breakfast today and it is really good. It’s a combo of oats, apples, peaches, and yogurt. It looks a little like Tuna Salad, but it’s definitely not.
Study time went well and I listened to a sovereignty tape by Shaeffer. At one point Shaeffer told someone to wake up (just as I was dozing off) and he said, “Wake up! I’m not just saying words,” It was interesting. Dinner involved really garlicky mashed potatoes with rolls (reall good ones) and baked veggies with salad. Some people wanted to go to this wine festival in the nearby town after dinner. I just didn’t want to go over there for just an hour because by the time we left after dinner there wouldn’t be much time left. I did dish crew instead. I was a little behind with my devos so I went and prayed down at a spot down the road above L’abri. This swiss guy walked by an I said, “Bonswa! (good evening!).” I think I scared him because he didn’t notice that I was there. I finished all of my devos and I feel like I was able to get a few things off of my chest (in prayer). I came back (to the chalet) and shot a few hoops with Josh and Arne. I took my last shower of the week, which was actually a bath. This time I was my hair. It had been about 3 weeks. It feels SOO GOOD.

Scriptural History

June 2nd

Nick spoke on History and how it relates to scripture. These are a few things that stick out to me.

“The Bible gives separate accounts of history and isn’t completely linear. There is a grand narrative of the Bible. But why would God choose to have different narratives?”

“The use of misfits shows how much we depend on God and how much we fall when we depend on ourselves. The flaw is disobedience. You cannot get to God through history. Until you commit to God, only then does the history part make sense.”

Watch out for Flying signs

June 1st

June probably deserves a whole page, but probably not this June first. It seems like November. The sky is just a shield of grey, disguising the mountains in the distance. Today consisted of a bruised head, a visit to the grocery with buying anything, and conversations revolving around other people’s relationships. This is an usual part of my life. I’m in a “youth group” setting with meals at certain times, group activities, and discussions. But it isn’t that way in other instances. It is not a youth group because, well, not everyone is between the ages of 15 and 20. It’s more like everyone is between the ages of 18-40. We’re all searching for different things. Some claim not to be searching for anything, but I think everyone is searching for meaning. Some are searching for meaning. Some are searching for meaning in truth. Others are searching for meaning in spirituality. It’s also a strange place for me because I am not working, nor am I in school. I don’t have to worry about these things right now since I am here at this point in my life to gain a better understanding of the word and my relationship to God through Christ, with the help of the holy spirit.
While I hear cars speed past the chalet and conversations flow through the old wood walls, I attempt to gather my thoughts. In the morning I was unsure about what would happen on our day off. I asked Kristen if she wanted to go to Montreux and Valerie also wanted to go. We hitched from Huemoz to Ollon, then the day became interesting. We were walking and I decided to walk in front because my “male” ego was feeling small for being behind two women. Now before you say, “Oh he’s such a sexist or he’s such a shovenist,” hear me out, please. I don’t know how to explain it but it’s difficult for me sometimes to be led by a woman. I don’t think it has anything to do with my upbringing, but I guess it would be stupid to say that none of it has to do with my upbringring. [ I think maybe some of my desire to be in front was about a innate role of being some sort of protector] Anyway, I was walking on a narrow part of the road and what seemed like out of no where the corner of a thick highway sign hit me on the top of my head. Now I’m not saying that because I wanted to walk in front is the reason I was hit. Simply put, like many times before, I was thinking of too many things at once and I wasn’t paying attention. Blood did appear and Val and Kristen gave their best “are you o.k.?” to express their sympathy or annoyance. I’m sure it was mostly sympathy. We got a ride to Aigle which was nice.
The train ride to Montreux was fast, but when we got there it (it’s a lake town) was cloudy and overcast. It changed the mood and we just sort of walked around to the shops. We found an indoor mall just across the Statue of Freddie Mercury. In the mall I found a WC and attempted to examine my head wound. The tingling had gone away but I noticed that there was a definite gash. The people in the – I paused for a moment to lip synch to “satisfaction,” by the Stones. The people in the mall smoked which looked strange. Kristen bought me a kinder chocolat which is this chocolate shell egg with a toy inside. It’s very cool and apparently in the U.S. they don’t carry them because you’re not supposed to have an unedible object inside of an edible one. So after the mall we walked around some more and then went into a pharmacy. By the way the parmacy in the malol had an “antiseptic” which I bought which “stops bleeding.” I’ll come back to that. At the second pharmacy I bought some cologne. We walked back and then decided to go eat somewhere. We tested out the toy, which was this catipult thing. It was funny. Then we bought some train tickets and I had to borrow some cash from Kristen for the train tickets. The teller next to me looked like a character on Eon Flux. She had a small mouth with high cheekbones and a narrow neck.
When I got back I decide to use the “antiseptic” which turned out to be a small bottle of COTTON BALLS! I was mad, my gut told me when I bought it that it wasn’t the right thing. Thursdays are leftover days. It was alright. Afterwords I bummed a cigarette off of Steffi. It was a brand which I hadn’t had before and I think it made me a little sick.
You should be here at night when we go to bed my roommates and I are just lettin’ em’ go (farts). My roommate across from me had this really violent one the other day. It’s also funny when you get the rapid fire ones.

Our diet rarely lacked in vegetables, fiber, bread and oh yeah, more bread.

snow, mixed with uncertainty

May 31st

I had a study time in the morning with tree trimming for grounds. It snowed this morning and covered everything! We had a silly game of charades during tea break. A great evening topper was a bath followed by a screening of The Chosen. It’s about two friends in New York. One is from a very Orthodox (conservative) Jewish household and the other is from a more liberal Jewish household. It takes place around the time that Isreal was established as a state (50’s).

The other day I considered the theory that the earth might actually be millions of years old. How do you argue against the new “old looking” Earth theory? Isn’t this a deceiving way to create the earth if God made everything look old, when in fact it wasn’t that old?

I met with my tutor and got a little further toward uncertainty, again.

chili cheese lesbianism

May 30th

I am sprawled out on the floor of the Chapel. I think it’s been a few days since I’ve written. Bless YOU! I replied in a whisper voice. Swiss French voices travel through the wall of the chapel as some people walk by the Chapel. Yesterday’s work afternoon involved some wood and rubble moving. It was Tim, Henning, Dannny and I. Danny seems like someone who is very comfortable with who he is as a “helper” (work title) and as a person. If I had longer hair I would aspire towards Danny’s. It goes down to his shoulders, but it’s got wave and volume. This tea that I’m sipping is making me hungrier.
I am happy for them, but part of it is some jealousy, not for their situation but more about their relationship. However, I think I’m in a good place right now though. I’m not working, I don’t have to worry about school, I can read anything I want, we play games, and we talk about serious issues. I’m learning more about Christianity and spirituality and oh yeah, I’m in the mountains! I’m trying to see how long I can go without washing my hair. Unfortunely, it’s come with ramifications. I have a few zits on the side of my face where the hair sits or lays sometimes. What am I talking about? Hair doesn’t sit. Dinner was awesome. We had chili with cheese, chips, cornbread, and a salad, very awesome.
I volunteered for dishes and the other guys who volunteered already started washing. I walked in and almost dropped an f bomb when I walked in to see them topless, wearing girlie aprons. It was really funny and it caught me off guard. The evening consisted of an elaborately drawn out game of movie charades. It was really funny at one point when Alana helped Josh act out Wayne’s World. She just walked up and put her hair behind her ears. Marnie guessed it immediately. The evening ended with a conversation with Jess. and Field about lesbians over the last three cigarettes that Jess. had.

Artificial or Genuine Prayer?

May 29th

The heavy moisture from the fog hovers around the chalet and creates a translucent screen of white. Mondays are prayer days and we each sign up for either a half hour of ‘thinking’ or prayer. Simply Christian is this other book that Eden reads to us. It is written by an Anglican pastor. I don’t know what Anglican means. I should be more familiar with the physical geography of the Middle East. The Lord’s prayer is being discussed in this book that she is reading to us. We are caught up in an authentic argument about prayer right now (a passage from the book). Many Christians are grabbing onto the existential and postmodern way of praying. It is a method in which they are too caught up in making their own prayer and that if it’s an older prayer or a prayer written then it’s not authentic.

A common orthodox prayer that I wrote down, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me as a sinner,” is significant to me.


May 28th

Sunday Greg spoke on 1st Corinthians. His summary of Chapter ten was that, “We are the actors involved in a drama. God’s mission through Israel is to renew us.” Paul calls for the renewing of our minds and hearts. Another sentence that sticks out to me as I reread Sunday’s lecture, “Do not have a world view that makes you proud of your spirituality but rather your humbleness in Salvation through Christ.”

Thursday, August 10, 2006


May 27th

Formal discussions were sometimes difficult and usually frustrating. I had to get away and clear my mind after one lunch in particular. I promptly made my way up the stone steps to the empty pool and wrote.

Maybe the Beatles were right when they said, “imagine there’s no heaven, above us only sky.” But then again would I want that kind of world? [It would have] no meaning to anything and everything. If we knew all the answers and didn’t question anything would there be any purpose of existence or would we even exist? We had a formal lunch discussion revolving around the question, “How exclusive is Christianity and how can you say that only those who believe that only those who come to the father go through Christ first? Why can’t all roads lead to heaven? Why do we have to make so much of Christianity about heaven and hell? Why do other believers have to focus on the negative aspects and hypocrisy of the church? I am constantly coming back to the question of Why? I am convinced that I will never by myself be able to get rid of the stuff I’ve done in the past or will do in the future. Without the power and belief of God’s son, Jesus Christ who took on my sins and the sins of the world. It’s through that admission that I am a child of God. God acknowledges me because of Christ and through Christ I am accepted by God the father. The holy Spirit is here to help and compel me to make the right decisions, even if I don’t always make the right ones.

the montreux plan

May 25th

I got a ticket to the Montreus Jazz festival! Montreux is a few towns away and Sigur-Ros is playing on the 3rd of July, a day after my Birthday! So it will be interesting to see how or what they’re like live, especially since Sigur-Ros is a mello band. I think mello might be a slight understatement.

nephews and volleyball

May 24th

I’ve been wondering the past few days, when will my nephew be born? The element of the unknown makes me a little nervous. Yesterday, was spiced with a b it of sadness. Ryan headed out this morning. Although yesterday’s wet and cool v-ball game was very fun.
[BEN GET IT- I’ve GOT IT. Yeah, don’t mess with Lindsay, she’s fierce, but she’s fun to play with. I would say we was the heart of the games thiert at L’abri, but as far as the soul I’m not sure. Maybe Melissa would be the soul of the v-ball games.]

Yesterday’s “Team Ben” weed wacking was fairly successful, however the right side of my neck was killing me.

entertainment, war


“If something is entertaining to me it must in some sense be acceptable to me.”
- Alcorn

Another fact that blew my mind in Alcorn’s book was that between 1973-1983 16 million abortions occurred. This amount is ten times the amount of Americans in all the casualties of every American war (omitting Desert Storm and The current war in Iraq). I should verify that fact, even though I’m sure Alcorn is a credible source. One last quote,“Pornography is like salt water, always drinking, but never satisfied, always thirsty but never quenched.”

movies and Judaism

May 22nd

The rapidly excelling sound of a rewinding tape caught my attention. It was the crescendo that it was reaching reminded me of a dramatic scene in a movie. It struck me as somewhat funny. However, now that I think about it I don’t think it is very funny. My mind quickly sprinted down the path of cultural observation. Why is it that when we observe an interesting moment or event in time that we almost automatically think or say, “It was like it was something from a movie.” It’s a puzzling question but not as puzzling as our formal lunch discussion went today. I asked the difficult question “How can you answer someone when they ask you if you think all jews who do not believe in Christ are going to hell?

Richard and I talked more about that issue and I agree with him in that we don’t know who will be in hell or heaven, and that it’s not about a who’s in and who isn’t issue. I love Jewish culture and the people involved in it. The intricacy and depth of Judaism (and the Torah) blows my mind.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

prayers and parties

May 22nd

The Glory of God’s creation shouts out to us, causing us to marvel and wonder at it’s existence. With our heads bowed this morning, we prayed for L’abri and other people as well as other issues going on. There is a lot going on as far as the issues and problems that people are going through. It will be interesting to see what the climate is going to be like at the end of the term. For those of who have stayed the whole time, will we have learned a lot and grown more in the Spirit? I hope so. After we had hamburgers- real meat! and potato salad. Afterword, we enjoyed some chocolate gooey desert. I decided to volunteer for dishes and it turned into this crazy dance party afterward. [Best time to do dishes, ever.]

waiting temptation


At the local bar up the road temptation waited, and I went for it. There’s this great combination in life, cigarettes and beer. I had already ordered a beer. The thought crossed my mind and I was dealing with a great deal of thoughts buzzing around. It had been about a year and a half (maybe 2 years?) since I smoked. Supposedly your body never (chemically) forgets a drug. Well, I would say that’s the case. Anyway I was really torn up about it and I just remember really craving a cigarette with my beer. There are some external reasons for being torn up about it (besides the obvious) but the cigarette at Le Sporting was the catalyst of several that would follow.

mr. disney was right - it's a small world

Many strange and almost “accidental connections” occurred at L’abri one for example was the one with Reynolds. He went to High School with a friend from Memphis. MT I would consider an aquaintence because I want to be fair about that relationship. It might be a stretch to say that we are friends because I can probably remember three times in which we hung out together in Memphis. Anyway, MT and Reynolds hung out a lot in HS and I take it that they had some good times. Another strange connection is that MT’s aunt was my English teacher in 7th grade. She’s awesome. MT really isn’t from Memphis so I should clarify that because he wouldn’t appreciate it if I said he was from Memphis.

Cinnamon Rolls

May 21st

The three L’abri (sterling) cinnamon roles that I consumed earlier linger in my thoughts and my stomach. I sit comfortably in the chapel among the students, workers and teachers. The past couple of days have been amazing. Coldplay’s “Fix You” circles around in my head as I’m waiting for the [pseudo] service to start. “Tears stream, down your face … and I will fix you.”

I became really burned out on that song but as soon as I got home and heard it on this movie preview I’ve been listening to it. Thomas, your acoustic version was great.

The Hike

May 19

Alright, yesterday was much the adventure. Several of us went up to a peak and climbed death hill. We brought our lunches and ate on the top of it. (Death hill is appropriately named) The incline is incredible (think 35 degrees) and stones with moss liter the trail. I need to finish my quiet time, more on yesterday later.

That particular day has a comfortable place in my memory and it was basically throwing myself into his creation in the best possible. The day’s weather was questionable and right as we were finishing our lunches the clouds rolled over the hills just past the one that we were on. It was thrilling to say the least then we said, “uh, o.k. now let’s get out of here before it starts pouring the rain.” The phrase is kinda the same in memphis as it is in humeoz, “If you don’t like the weather wait five minutes.” That was the case on that day. When we found some shelter at a shackporch nearby it poured the rain and then on our way back it cleared up and it became sunny again.

Addiction #1


A quick trend that caught on was volleyball. It’s hard to say no, especially with the scenery and the cool evening temperatures. (It soon became a great addiction- V-Ball Babee!)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

blinded by science.

I listened to this one tape about Hawking's A Brief History of Time. There were some truly ming boggling stuff from the book so it's a good thing that Barry Seagram spoke on it because if I tried to read the book I doubt I would have much success.

Eventually after you ask "What happened before then?" you come to a point which shows the limits of science. The No Boundary Condition states that you can never go back to time as 0.

Heir to L'abri

Greg is a really cool guy. He has an amazing past. Greg is one of three "elders" at L'abri. They each serve a different role in relation to L'abri, but most of them are tutors. He was a rebellious 'hippie' (were there non rebellious ones?) in the 60's and lived in SF. He told us about this time that he was listening to Pink Floyd's "in the wall" and he remembered thinking that many of us feel that our questions to God are like the unanswered phone at the end of the Floyd song. He describes the end of the 'story' as bieng in community with Christ. Right now we are not completely in Community with God, but as Christians we will be. Greg also warned us about reductionism. I think Shaeffer might have been more of a reductionist than Greg.


May 24th

I did my first hike on the 15th and it was the scenic way to Villars. (Villars is a 30min. walk up the road.) We had this amazing curry dinner fixed by L'abri's Aussie, Karen.

Contextually speaking...

Many words came through our discussions at Farel house, but none had a more lasting effect than "context." "Context is essential to looking at scripture," said Greg one time. I think the c word is Greg's favorite theological word and by the end of the term we all used it througout our conversations. Try it out sometime. Say somebody makes a statement or your friend makes a comment about the game you're watching or movie you're watching. Just respond, "Well, maybe from that type of context." Oh,yeah it gets interesting after that.

plastic surgery and inbreeding

The end of study time went well because I found, "Where have all the dreamers gone?" Dinner was good. Mac Noodles with marinara and cottage cheese with awesome white bisquits. Melissa and Arne and I chatted about how sick plasic surgery is and all the inbreeding going on with Adam and Eve and people living 900 years. The evening was filled with "group" ping pong, spoons, (i got a rug burn), and a game of Nerts.

The Mountains and Popping the Nert Cherry

May 12th

My first night at L'abri started the coincidencs or providential occurences, whichever you prefer to call them.

It has been Phenomenal here, visually, spiritually, and relationally. The mountains just scream for you to stare at them for hours and hours. It's been a whirlwind of discovery the past couple of days. I planned on being informative about everyday, but that's not possible.

I met the only other person (outside my fam. of course) to have the same last name. It was a crazy experience. I said, "Yeah, are there isn't an 'a' in it or a 'u'" and she went, "yeah!" The evening of the ninth was spent doing a clever game of Cranium.
A few days later we played this game I hadn't heard of called, "Nerts." It's basically a group game of Solitaire. It's all about speed and loudness. Oh, yeah and it makes you nervous too.

dissolving clouds

May 12th

Yesterday I saw the mountains for the first time, they are so amazing!

After living in cloudiness and mellow, relative gloom, it was a unique experience to awaken and see those peaks, the depth, the texture, the snow, the SPACE!

to Aigle

May 9th

The lakeside views thrilled me, even in my severely drowsy state. Clouds and mist hung heavy in the air, but I could still see the deep background of the mountains and the deep color of the lake.

This pretty girl just walked up to the stop. I waited a second. Something about her smacks of N.America. Maybe I’m way off. However, I see that her backpack says REI which is from Nashville so I’m thinking she is from the U.S. Today is the 9th of May, the Start of the Term. I did the ‘Bonjour’ test to see what her accent was like and her response was not flat like some other girls from the U.S. who I have encountered. Anyway, I’m going to go chat.

The chat went well and we had a great relationship throughout the term I think she fairly early into the term which was unfortunate. She reminds me of a girl from this cheesy Christian Japanime that I saw years ago. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. However, I said “reminds” it’s not like she has eyes the size of pitas.

Chalet Bellevue at L’Abri is homey and very, very old. Mama Kay introduces us to Bellevue and the guidelines (one crazy one being 2 showers a week). Several other people arrive including another Ben, who is studying to become a doctor and who would later become the second founder of Team Ben. Another person who I immediately clicked with was a girl who shared the exact last name as mine! Both of us had never known anyone else with the same last name. She is dramatic and fun. I feel that we really clicked and I will not forget out times together.

Another Food Mishap

May 7th

So I was really hungry and eventually I found a place with alright looking Italian food. I ordered the pizza de something and thought, “yeah, it’ll be good because salami is on it.” So she brings it out and it has a freaking raw egg in the middle of it. What’s that about? Why do Italians put a raw egg in the middle of this type of pizza? It was gross looking, but I didn’t care because I was so hungry. I avoided the yolk and eventually it popped (gross). She charged me 25 CHF ($20) which I thought was a little high. I still can’t get over the fact that the tip is included in Switzerland, but I still felt bad leaving a 0.25 CHF tip.

I soon got over the not tip policy and it will be an adjustment to tip again.
Thai food is great. The bring together some good tastes that you don’t find in the Chinese food. The pre-meal hunger inspired some bizarre figures and a poem.

Thai food
Se vu pla
But I
Still can’t
Say “hey.”
It smells of smoke
And French women hack
Through words
Like a saw
sawing through
a giant waifer.
Water arrives
On the table
Yet I’m unable
To make
Sense of this
Thai food
Se vu pla

First Impressions

May 5th

Another thing that was strange to me was hearing black people speaking in swiss-french, that was wild. I of course expected in my narrow mindset a southern English voice. Another thing about Geneva is that everybody, generally, is well put together. They kind of have the style of San Francisco, only without any noticeable bums on the street. Cigarettes are advertised more than beer or alcohol and they’re not your standard KOOL or Newport ads. They are well thought through and stylish. Instead of “whoohoo! We’re at the beach and smoking is so FUN!” it’s more like, “I’m sexy, cool, and you know it, and oh yeah did you notice that I smoke Kent cigarettes?” See, I even can remember the brand because Kent’s marketing strategy scheme works so well.

As I stopped to eat after a brief check in at the hotel I once again encountered a glimmer of the south, Elvis. The pub had over the speakers one of his songs.

I can’t write fast enough. This is wrong, but I saw this lady and she was thin and proportionate, but then BOING! Out of no where came her magnificent booty!
What a great Geneva welcome.

[ dealing with jet lag]

I feel not so much like a zombie but someone who is wearing a heavy soft blanket.

A minor tragedy about food arrived the next morning when I tried to find a decent place to eat a real breakfeast with bacon, eggs, cereal, oatmeal, etc. Every place that I stopped at to see their menus or food just had pastries or just croissants. So I noticed that everybody else around me just drank coffee and croissants. What is that about?

Friday, August 04, 2006


May 5th

I wonder what I would think about myself If I was a French-speaking swiss person. The swiss are polite and not too polite. For some it seems that being polite is a duty rather than something forced. That works.

i n flight o f f flight

I met my first travel acquaintence on the Newark – Geneva flight. The guy’s track record is amazing for a nineteen year old. We only really chatted towards the end of the trip. The funniest thing that he said about Switzerland was that “a lot of it (swit.) looks like it’s stuck in the 60’s.” I’ll facebook him eventually. A shiny glimmer of the south made it’s existence known in the sleepy morning as I was going through the “speed walk zone.” Just above me I saw Rhett Butler and Scarlett embracing within a plaque hanging from the ceiling. It was strange.

Boyish exictement

May 5th

I wasn’t sure how far Newark was from NYC, but it’s right next to it. We flew in from the NE and I saw NYC, New York! I can’t believe I’ve never seen it before. I almost cried, almost. It struck me as just awesome. I wanted to shout, “It’s New York City! Look Everybody!” I will be here at Newark for about three hours. It’s wild to be in this state of mind. I’m in a state of mind where I don’t need to worry about that next deadline, being single, getting to work or packing. It’s really liberating. I definitely want to do some stuff.

The flight up to Jersey was fairly short but I found out that other than some extra leg room, seat A1 sucks.

l e a v i n g

Initially, I had so much on my plate at the end of April that to suddenly have all of it behind me (a final determining my graduation, an internship, last minute projects, and packing) was a euphoric experience.
May 5th
I have perspective but I don’t have a great perspective on the future. I can think ahead, but I’’m not necessarily good at getting there. My trip today began last August. It started with a suggestion and then turned into a plan. Several decisions and internet orders later I’m here. And I must say that my father’s gusto in traveling and trip preperation definitely helped. Have you ever said that it would be awesome to just get up and go? I want to go to the – (fill in whatever). Well, today was kind of like that. It feels like that because I was completely ready to go this week except for a few small details. I lost my thought because I’m sitting here waiting to depart to Newark, New Jersey, Jerzee Babee! I love listening to them “tawk” They’re talking about gifts (souvenirs) for their kids and which trains to take when they get back. I would love to hear what they think about Memphis. From this perspective of the city from the airport it ain’t that pretty. This is wild I just checked my seat number, A1. I’ve never had that seat number before. The funny thing is that they of course board the back of the plane first.