Sunday, February 25, 2007

Adventure Part Deux

OK I don't know if it is so much an adventure as complete stupidity but it is funny nontheless.

I am in charge of buying canteen items for the school canteen. So last weekend in Edmonton, I bought chips and pop and brought them to Trout Lake. Due to laziness, I did not remove them from my car right away. I thought I would wait until a student volunteered to help.

That time came. The future business person thought that it was stupid not to open the canteen when I had bought new stuff for it. So we go to my car to unload it. I open the door and my first thought was, "Some sort of animal got in here some how and left a mess all over." Then I looked more closely and realized that what I was seeing was frozen Pepsi all over my backseats and floor.

Well I didn't want to deal with the problem right then so we carried in the unexplosive chips and left the pop there. It couldn't get any worse could it. Friday afternoon came and I finally had a chance to clean up the frozen slurpee mess. I opened the door to my car and SURPRISE it was alot worse. There were ice crystals in the front seat and cargo area. Ice crystals all over my back seats and on the windows and ceiling. I spent a good two hours cleaning out my car and come spring time it is still going to be a sticky sticky mess.

The Trout dogs loved me that day. They hung around my car and ate Pepsi flavored snow. And I was able to laugh at myself, the Science teacher who should know that water expands when it freezes (although I thought Pepsi should have enough sugar in it to prevent it from freezing). I am officially a dolt and my year old car is officially broken in.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Spoiler Alert - I survived to tell the tale

I haven't had one of these crazy adventures for awhile. Some of you are going to read this and think "Adventure? This is normal for me." Well for me, this is a crazy adventure.

This past week I was in Edmonton for teacher's convention. Since I was in the Southern part of the province, I decided to invite myself to a friend's house - something that I am getting quite good at. However, that friend was going to the mountains on a romantic retreat with her husband. So I invited myself along. They promised me that they didn't mind and that they were actually looking forward to seeing me. Really they did.

On the agenda- mountain snowshoeing. So brand new snowshoes on my feet, which broke about three minutes into our hike, we proceeded to climb up a ridge to a look out point. While once we got out of the trees, the wind hit us. Wind in summer is one thing, wind in winter packs a punch with snow and ice crystals. So we wondered around on top of this ridge plateau thing, trying to avoid the wind. Eventually, we thought it was time to wander down the mountain again as the clouds obstructed the view anyways.

Well the thing about snowshoeing on wind packed snow is that your snowshoes don't always leave a mark. We couldn't find our path down the mountain. We thought that we were heading in the right direction, until we came to the edge of a cliff. At the bottom of the cliff was the parking lot with our car. Far to the right was where we had climbed up but we had no idea how to get to that part of the mountain. So we decided to try a new way. Eventually we found a creek bed and started following it. The snow was so powdery and amazing. No animal had walked in it and at times we were sinking past our knees even with our snowshoes on. The descent was enjoyable but there was always the question in the back of our mind as to whether or not this creek would take us where we wanted to go, whether or not it would end in a waterfall and another cliff (as creeks do in the mountains) and whether or not we would be able to find another way down or if rescue crews would be able to find us since no one knew where we were. The mental anquish almost did us in. Well obviously, we did survive. The creek came through for us and once again the mountains refreshed my spirit.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Now I'm Reading

Once again this week I was principal. She is sick again and so I had to fill in. Some firsts that I had to do is run a staff meeting (and boy was it short), go to an admin meeting that was being teleconferenced and other admin things. I am getting a little worried about the sickness and pray that she will heal and come back knowing what is wrong and knowing what to do to prevent another episode.

Inspite of the chaos of teaching and being an administrator at the same time, I was able to read another chapter of the book that I got for Christmas. The book is called "Whiteman's Gospel" and is written by Craig Smith, a native Christian who runs a mission program for Native teens called On Eagles Wings. Now anyone who knows me should not be surprised that I am reading a book on Native ministry written by a native minister and recommending that EVERYONE should read it.

So let me mention some highlights of the book for you that made me stand up and cheer and other highlights that made me want to weep in repentance. First is the notion that God uses the underdog. The Bible is full of stories of God using the unexpected and because of this there are many parallels with native ministry. God revealed himself through a tribal people of colour. Hmm sounds familiar. The book makes a hypothesis that if Native Americans became involved in cross cultural ministry, they would be very well accepted because itstead of a top down message (like white people give), it is more of a lateral message between peers who have experienced oppression and poverty.

But before that happens . . . and here comes the hard part. Before that happens we need to switch our paradigm on native ministry. Our ministry needs to be based less on the plight of Native Americans and more on their potential. We need to look less at the problems and more at what God created them to be. He told stories that maddened me about the "well-intentioned" sending a bag of high heels with only the left shoe available to natives living in the desert or sending a bunch of used tea bags. Talk about the crumbs off the table. How can Natives rise above their poverty when that is how we treat them? How can we look at what was done in the past in horror, when horrible things are still being done to them? We must remember that native christians are our brothers and sisters in Christ who are fed and sustained by Christ himself. We need to remember that we do not feed them.

This book has opened my eyes to new truths and confirmed things that I already knew and believed. So if you can get your hands on it, read it.

Have you read any good books lately?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The last three weeks

CRAZINESS!!! I think that my last update was in regards to being principal for a week. It was a busy week filled with diploma exams and board meetings and other such stuff. But I did survive although I didn't have time to write about it.

That crazy week was followed by another week au crazy. Pre report card week. Pre semester change over week and pre leaving for a week. I think I was at the school until 10 or 11 everyday including Sunday. I did survive although I didn't write about it because . . .

Well part of the reason I was so busy that week is that Friday I took off right after school to drive to Edmonton for Breakforth, a big church conference. I met up with my mother, my brother, my sister and some youth from Lethbridge. The worship there was great. The teaching was inspiring - I especially enjoyed Kay Arthur who is so grounded in Scripture. I had to look up references in Hezekiah. When was the last time that happened. The icing on the cake is that I didn't spend hours in tears this year. And hanging out with my fam was sweet too.

Monday I did not return to school. I took the day off for a chiropactic appointment in Slave. Apparently my neck is very stiff. My mother always said that I was stiff necked. The reason for my day off is that I was spending the next four days in Slave Lake learning more about math and teaching math. Fun times.

So after 7 nights in 3 different hotels and intense Christian and mathematical workshops I am home. I was so tired when I returned. Unfortunately there was also a Firefighters event in Slave and some the firefighters were staying in the same hotel and kept me up Thursday partying. I mean I was trying to sleep but they were in the room next to me being too loud. Seriously.

So yeah that is a summary of the past three weeks with no blog communication. I will try to do better in the future.