Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lisa Hwang

Bada-bada, ding-ding, ding-ding, ding!
That stereotypical Chinese "jingle" is what I would bellow into the phone everytime I talked to my friend Lisa Hwang. I've since realized the cultural crassness of this, but it's a testament to her good naturedness that she'd simply laugh at my white insensitivity (or maybe it was just my poor "jingle skillz").

I was always blessed by Lisa's sense of adventure. I don't remember where we met, I just remember the adventures. The epic hike down (and back out in 40C heat!) to Havasupai Falls near the Grand Canyon, tubing down the epic North Fork of the Walla Walla River, and of course the epic "jig-moshing" parties we'd have with Great Big Sea & Cotton-eyed Joe blaring. If you're doing something fun and epic, she's there.
Thanks for the laughs and showing me how to let out the dance in all of us Lisa! You'll be a blessing and an inspiration to all your patients!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mike Adams

I love all things about India. Their curries, colours and culture. Their family focus, their friendliness and food. Yes I mentioned the food twice, it's the best! So it should be no surprise that I love Mike Adams (sounds Indian eh?) Here's the picture to prove it.

Awesome. Lovin' the Indi-Urkel thing you got going on bud.

This one shows him all growd up and sarcastic. That's one of his defining traits, his withering sarcasm. Don't EVER get into a war of words with him, he'll ace you.
But beneath that veneer of sarcasm is a heart of gold. I visited Edmonton a lot before I moved here. I often crashed at Mike's house I always appreciated the awesome hospitality he and Bev gave me...and the MOST AMAZING FUTON EVER! Thanks bud.

The real blessing Mike's given me though is a model for someone who really loves the youth of this world. He's been tireless in his youth activities at his church, and is always seeking to bring the kids closer to God. I spend a lot of time with the youth at my church and I've learned alot from Mike's approach of being fun, real and relevant.

He's a teacher at Coralwood and it appears he has found that balance between fun and authoritative. Point in fact...two comments from students on his facebook pics page.

"`wow i can't believe you r my teacher"

"Oh mygosh. i showed my mom this and i said. this is the guy whose teaching me every week" (hopefully not english, eh Mike ; )

Anyway, just wanted to send a shout out to Mike for all his love he's shown to the kids at school and at church. I know many of your students...they love you and they're blessed by you...and so am I.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Little Engine That Could

When I was a kid, one of my favourite stories was The Little Engine That Could. He had a mantra that got him up a seemingly insurmountable mountain pass. It was "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...". And he did.

So did my friend Nikia Furman.

Tenacity. That's his word.


I met Nikia in video production classes at Walla Walla College. He was quiet, strong, passionate when he spoke and just a bit different. He believed in the power of story more than us. He believed in the possibility of story to change, for the collective good.

That tenacity led him to create an outdoor adventure documentary series called Escape. The idea was to get people outside. View their adventures. Hear their story and insights along the way.
Under very trying circumstances, he turned it into an internationally broadcast and award winning show. He started with "I think I can" and he did.

Since then he's gone on his own with Furman Pictures, producing films, corporate promos, ads and a show similar to Escape called Beyond Adventure. It's taken him all over USA, Canada and even Patagonia in Argentina. And as far as I can tell, he's still the same strong, quiet, quirky guy.

God bless ya bud. Keep chugging away. It's a blessing to me and those around you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bouquet of Blessings

I just want to say thank you. Thank you to TJ for his persistent, God-filled friendship and encouragement. Thank you to my mother for wisdom, deep caring and never-ending love. Thank you to my father for understanding, listening and leading me down the paths of discovery our brains share. Thank you to Keith for smiling and laughing. Thank you to Kibbee for being himself. Thank you to Nyater for being Jesus' greatest witness. Thank you to God for pain, for letting me face it, for always being there, for carrying me when I couldn't walk anymore.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My kind of party

So I turned 32 yesterday. To be honest, I wasn't feeling great, couldn't really explain it, just down. But I'd been invited to supper by my former colleague to supper and the only night it worked was my birthday night. Totally random. My friend Suresh Joshee is from Nepal (which I visited for 1.5 days) and he's got a wonderful happy outlook, a wonderful happy wife and a wonderful happy son...and by the end of the night I felt wonderful and happy too!
I wasn't expecting any birthday festivities, but here's what the Joshee family did for me. They bought me a nice new shirt (which fits perfectly), they cooked the most delicious vegetarian pakora (fried veggie patties), butter korma (cheese) curry, lentil soup and best of all...for the vegetarian...they bought me a carrot cake!!
Their son Samyog and I ended up playing hockey for an hour too. I found that rolling around on the floor in your business clothes is incredibly freeing and indeed confirms I'm still young : )