Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Late and even later

Its 2:08am and here i sit. Sam is, and has been now for some time, sleeping peacefully - his contented steady breaths my soft soundtrack. It's raining outside - cold, but not quite cold enough to turn it all to flakes. i actually heard the slightest roll of thunder a little while ago. it made me yearn for warm, dark heavy spring clouds filled with lightning and thunderous claps from the skies. Anything apart from the status quo would be welcome right now. as it stands, we've had weeks of temperatures hovering right at the freezing point - dipping above and below like a child's teeter-totter. which leaves us with wet, dreary skies, and intermittent snow flurries that turn to slush hours after falling and piling up enough to cover over the mud. Think mid 30's F and wet. i believe the word you are looking for is SLODGESH. i am aware this is not a real word. but it does, quite well, encapsulate what the St. Petersburg area feels like these days.

I'm eating a сочни, which is a pastry whose dough tastes somewhat like a thick, softer version of Pop-Tart dough. it looks like a turnover, and is filled with sweetened cream cheese.

its one of the unique things I've found here in Russia that i like and isnt available elsewhere. Oh and speaking of not available elsewhere, in case you're not aware of how companies tailor their product for the palletes of any particular country, may you be taught now. for example, in Namibia some of the popular potato chip flavors were: chutney, ketchup, and sweet chilli. in Russia, some favorites are сметана(sour cream), and краб. the crab-flavored chips are Sam's pick for a treat now and then. and till recently i shied away, but today i decided to give them a try and they are quite good. and of course to make Amber jealous, I must tought the wonders of fiber yogurt.

so thanks to an american friend who recently wrote some things in Russian to me, i found an online alternative to actually having to set up our laptop for multilingual use. So now i can very easily and quickly type out some words so you can experience a little of what i do in reading signs and grocery shopping here. so you can look forward to more little Russian lessons from Amanda as my language skills improve more and more.

До свидания

Monday, January 21, 2008

Feeding the hungry in Greece

SPERO NEWS - Thursday, January 17, 2008 By Kathy Tzilivakis

"No cash? No cards? No problem for hundreds of jobless, low-income families and senior citizens who can now shop for free in Greece.

At first glance it looks like any other supermarket. Housewives, senior citizens and couples with young children busily browse aisles stacked high with brand-name products, filling their shopping carts with cornflakes, fresh milk, eggs, canned foods, frozen vegetables, soft drinks, diapers, shampoo and cleaning supplies.

But look closer, and you'll spot the difference.

There are no cash registers. Not even a debit card machine. In fact, all money transactions are prohibited..."


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Carl Warner's healthy art

Everything you see in these images can be found in the kitchen! These still lifes by photographer Carl Warner blew me away.

You can see more of his food still lifes HERE, or at HIS OFICIAL WEBSITE. if you check out his site, there's a lot more to look at as well. but to see the foodscapes, click the second box - "photographics" and then click the second file, which has the foodscapes. enjoy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Russian Christmas

Some photos from the Russian Christmas outreach program our Fellowship group put together for students in the hostel:

The turnout was really good. The members from the Fellowship group invited their friends and groupmates.
Fellowship Christmas Program

Sam was the narrator for a dramatic reading. He did a great job.
Fellowship Christmas Program

Loyson, Owen, Gracewin, and Pooja put together a dance. Everyone in the crowd really got into it.
Fellowship Christmas Program

I played guitar and sang a song called "Papers and Boxes" written by the band "The Rainchildren". I have always loved this song. The words are so great. And just because i know you've probably never heard this song before since this band was a local band when I was growing up in PA, here are the lyrics:

"Was it a night like this when You were born?
Cold sky painted dark, and the stars so unclear
And while You were sharing with the animals their room
did they smile and look at You
like they do in the coloring books and cartoons?

I wish I could've held You
And I wish that You would hold me now.
And i wish i could've carried You,
just like You carry me
just like You carry me
just like You carry me

So here we are around this Christmas tree
Seems so out of place, a little one in straw and in hay
And the beautiful papers and boxes that its so lovely to receive
Did we forget the One, baby, Savior, King?

And I believe,
And I wish i could have held You
And i wish that I could hold You now
And i wish I could've carried You,
just like you carry me
just like You carry me
just like You carry me"

Fellowship Christmas Program

Sam and Chuks performing the skit, "Neither Do I"
Fellowship Christmas Program

Dianna shared her testimony which was very powerful. i don't have any pictures because I was too engrossed in what she was saying to remember to take any! but my engrossment was not unique. the whole room was quiet, intently listening, which is saying a lot considering the room was full of non-Christians - many Hindus - many of whom have in the past told their Christian groupmates they "aren't interested" in hearing about Jesus.

And afterwards we served our guests dinner and all ate together.
Fellowship Christmas Program

Sorry i haven't been posting regularly recently. I shall try to rememdy that. Well at least i have an excuse for this week...i am fighting off a sore throat/cold and havne't been motivated to do much of anything. but today it seems that i could be on the mend. here's hoping.