Thursday, December 27, 2007

Reclaimed by wind and Sand

Have you ever felt like you're invincible?
That you could take on the world, achieve anything you wanted.
They keep telling us we're a generation that has the best everything has to offer, that we're growing up into the peak of our civilisation. We have the world at our fingertips through the internet and the whole growing globalisation thing.
'Get a nice home, buy shares, own a lot, generate weath, more wealth, buy islands and build empires', that's what they tell us. The world is ours for the taking if only we have the single minded drive and motivation to grab it.
Do you have that kind of motivation? I think i do, if i wanted to.
Yet i dont think i can be bothered to be honest. It's not that im straight up lazy, I'm beginning to fail to see the point.
Today I climbed a light house, first i quite literally had to crawl my way in through the front door then wiggle my way into the main tower. Some 20 years ago my entry would have been bold, standing tall on two feet into a room full of light, lit by the glow of electric bulbs or candles. But that was 20 years ago (and come to think of it i would have been one year old, at that age i could probably make the current entry standing tall or at least crawling (my usualy form of transportation at that age), since then wind and sand have gone to work, centermeter by centermeter covering the tower, flowing in through the windows and filling the base. The once strong building, a bastion of light, now left for the elements.
At the top, surrounded by panes of broken glass and a metal frame where the light used to stand, it made me think, to put things in perspective, well maybe a little, for now. What is the point of building an empire if you only have it for a time, then its a constent battle to keep it from being overrun... then its gone.
Some might argue that you can leave a name for yourself, go down in history, make sure your life isnt just a blip of nothingness in humanities enitre story.
Over the past week i've visited the graves of men and women lost to time, their lasting memory cast in stone, etched away by the elements and covered in lichen. They will be remembered by their family and loved ones, their names may be dredged up in the future as someone peices together a genialogy, but that doesnt really count as its just a name, not a memory.
ecclesiaties seems like a fitting read at a time like this.... and not just because nick and don and singing a bad rendition of silent night next to me as i try to type. i geuss if you've read any of my other blogs you'd realise that by this stage of my post i've moved onto the rambling section where words stop making as much sense and thoughts vomit to your screen....

Now dad, dont worry, this doesnt mean im going to come home and live as a hippy or decide to live by faith and see no need to work for money or spend everything i earn on pleasure, living with no security and leaving nothing for the kids that i may have in the future. It just means i need to keep things in perspective.
So If you find yourself in the north of Denmark and feel the need for a little perspective on the life the western capitalist world crams down our throat, come here, and check out the light house, if you can still see it, it might just be another rolling sand dune, only time will tell.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The great gammon feast and dinner #3

Our travels since we left base a week ago have been hecktic to say the least.
After a quick farewell (it was somewhat sudden if you ask me, bags packed, oh look its time to go, run to the car and chase down the fast boat to Bodo (pronounced; Buda)) and a short stay in town we had an early flight to Oslo then after a day of walking around Oslo city at -8c another short flight to liverpool.

Liverpool, was, in a very conservative estimate, absolutely awesome! It was great to finally catch up with a fellow aussie, and considering his executive removal the last time i traipsed through liverpool it was great to actually hang out with Will in his now home town! We spent late nights talking and reminiscing of old time and old friends (i feel like i'm actually growing up being able to talk about the old time and stuff, quite strange really!). To be honest i think nick was quite lost for the first evening as Will and I rambled on with complete Aussie slang and terribly quick speech dropping names of old friends at regular intervals. It was ok though as nick cradled his first legal bevvy (being from America and all and only 19) in Liverpool quite content.

We took a road trip, our only venture into the brittish country side and founda nice castle in the small enclosed town of conwy somewhere in the north of wales. We explored the ruins of the castle and walked around the town on its old wall, found a pasty for lunch and an old lolly shop who's owner was an integral part in our quest for the best pasty in town.
Other days of wandering were spent by the local park, whos name i already forget, it was nice, i went for a run through a mist enveloped park with the sun shining through tree's and fog creating beams of light and dark. I got lost.

The rest of the time, I guess, was spent around food and drink, either eating or preparing it with Will and Joy and their local community from frontline church. a quick rundown as i dont want to draw this out too far includes, Curry at the white room with a massive coffee, it was brilliant (curry and coffee), pint at the pub catching up with Joy and getting to know luke while Will sung his heart out caroling for the locals, two actually joined in! Poker and snacks later at night with a larger group of friend back at wills place. An evening of corx and more food and drink the next night and the great gammon feast.

I should fill you in with a little more detail on the feast seeing as though it scored the title of this Blog. A feast is what it truely was. We cooked from 10:30am through till the finish of the festivities at 11pm. By we i mean Joy, and we helped. The center piece of occasion was a large peice of Gammon, a salty piece of pig that is roasted and glased. Everything was flavored lovingly with a liberal spash of spirits (Grand monier, White Rum, Port). Garlic roast potatoes, roast chestnuts, christmas pudding, mulled wine (the best ever apparently, it was tasty but i dont really have any other reference point), stuffing balls (williams brilliant recipe, each one made with great love and care), roast parsnip, Red wine, White wine, Grand monier, Carlsburg, hand made chocolate truffles by nick and myself (they tasted awesome but didnt look to pretty, we ate all the pretty ones that Joy made the day before) chocolate coated macadamia nuts, much tea, brussel sprouts and carrots boiled in the pork and veggie stock.

All this was cooked in a tiny brittish kitchen, in a tiny brittish home for 20 odd people. The night was formal dress and i managed to score a shirt from Luke, wills housy, all be it a little small. To say it was the best christmas feast I've had to date would probably be the truth with no exaggeration. The combination of the cooking, company and chilled out atmosphere contrasting the hecktic afternoon of preparation in the kitchen with everything coming together just in time was brilliant!

I'm now in denmark, after a sketchy flight from manchester airport with a plane that had a emergency exit door that wasnt quite sealed, loudest mroe horrendous flight i've been on so far, followed by a mad dash to make a connecting flight with 3 strangers we met while in the air. We're being looked after by Lines family and they are, to say the least, pretty much awesomeness. Taking in 7 strangers ontop of the other 7 people already in the home is outstanding. We are like one big family here, already accepted as one of the kids and we're having a ball wandering through the forests, looking for christmas tree's, eating more food and drinking some great italian wine! Lines dad is a big fan of buying wine and we are encouraged to drink up at dinner so as to clear some space in the "Cellar" (or bedroom) for the purchase of more wine. we dont complain.

Its now christmas eve, the day of celebrations here in denmark. we're heading off to church later today and then home for dinner, a few songs around the christmas tree and present opening! (christmas dinner #3)

Next stop is latvia, via stockholm, to hang out with Madara before he head back to oslo for a few days then off to Tibet. I hope you are all well and have a wonderful christmas and new years celebrations. I'm off to go hunt down a deer, maybe ill have some photos of it later.
Ha Det Bra (Norweigian farewell "have it good")

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Am i having fun?

They say Time flies when you're having fun, so yeah, I probably am.
It's already December, which for most of you comes as little surprise as you've watched the dates tick over, however, for me september begun yesturday.

Yesturday I arrived, met 15 wide eyed stranges, each expressing their exitement in a unique way. Some were nervous, others excited and ready to go. Only 2 knew each other, they were married, the rest of us a group of individuals in a new world, a cold world, we needed to find something to grab onto and anchor ourselves.

Tommorrow I leave behind 15 friends, we're still individuals but we're now a family. It sounds strange after only 2.5 month but we'll miss each other for the next 2 weeks as we go on holiday, a quick break before we say farewell and break in two. Our family split, sent across the globe in two opposite directions. Greenland. Tibet.

For me (and Nick, my american room mate, we have spent 2.5 straight months together, we're travelling over break together and heading to tibet together... we might just get sick of each other, who knows...- it soging to add up to seeing each other every day for 9 months expect maybe 1-2 weeks spead out somewhere in the middle -) the journey ahead looks like this:

4 days in Liverpool with the wonderful Mr. William Evans and his friends complete with an English christmas dinner including a course of gammon. All cooked by Joy. (thats christmas dinner #2, #1 was 2 days ago at base)

5 days in Denmark with Line's family, she is taking in a group of us, christmas will arrive here, so will christmas dinner #3 (danish style) im sure it will be a time of fun, food and fine wine (well as fine as our increasingly shrinking YWAMer budgets can allow)

a loverly 30+ hours of travel on train, plane and boat via sweeden to Latvia will follow for our new years celebrations with Madara in her place just outside of Riga the capital! We've been promiced great food (chistmas leftovers LAtvia style, im counting that as Dinner #4) I'm almost certain we'll be spending some stage of the journey on the pavement outside or just inside a transportation station in the wee hours of the morning. I guess it will be cosier than in Tibet, and warmer...

So thats Christmas.

Onto Tibet.

Tibet, for those unaware, lies under the rule of china, they're kind tight... well thats an understatment.
They monitor everything going in and out. People, radiowaves, movies, telephone calls, email, blogs.
They dont like christians, well they do, they just dont like them being open about it. as such i cannot email or receive email about anything to do with God, outreach, prayer etc. you know, all that religious stuff... so seeing as though my Blog and email is peppered with it I shall be making a new blog and link this one to it (see hte linkson the left). i will also create a new email and let you know what it is... stay posted.

I'll smack up an itinery, its not very detailed, basically arrive in beijing on the 8th of Jan, organise tickets to Xining (tibet) as fast as possible (about 1 week) spend 6 weeks there with 1 of the weeks spent in a nearby city taking a break. then back to beijing to organise tickets and visas to take the Trans Siberian railway for 10 days to Moscow, then home via estonia!

so thats the basic outline, my communication will drop a fair bit as i travel seeing as though the people in tibet live in sketchy wood huts and burn yak dung for warmth... not much chance of an internet connection!

now its late, im tired and rambling so ill stop, ill use my same email and blog till the 7th of Jan so if you want more details give me a shout! would love to hear from you.

You're prayers are more than welcome. Team unity, saftey, energy and trust in God would be some good things to pray for, and that He reveals a heap to us and we come back different (in a good way) people!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I said a belated farewell to the sun today.
It was sad.
We wont be seeing each other here at Nordtun untill March.