Only two words to describe the Beavers...

National Champs!

Welcoming Parade: tomorrow afternoon 3pm, Reser Stadium, police escorts. Be there. I know I will be.

Way to go Beavs.


Let's hear it for the Beavs.

Sorry for all the sports news, but the OSU mens Baseball team are in CWS (College World Series)...yes that means they are playing best of 3 for the National title. They lost their first game Saturday, but tonight they came from behind, 5-0, to win it 11-7. The final game is tomorrow evening starting at 4pm. They haven't made it this far since 1955.

Cool sidenote: The 2nd baseman, Chris Kunda, a Philomath High School graduate, was a friend of mine. Actually, he was my homecoming date and chemistry partner junior year. It's fun to watch him play now. He was even named Pac 10 defensive player of the year. It's Beaver Fever here in Corvallis. Go Beavs!


A sad way to start the day.

It was an early morning at the Christensen house today. My cousins, Alicia and Sara, and Sara's fionce had all spent the night, and were up early in anticipation of the US-Ghana game at 6:55am. At 6:30, we were all huddled around the TV to see the pre-game coverage. It was a morning of promises and hope as US stood to defend their future in the World cup.

But the result was devastating (for the best playbacks, check out: video highlights). US fell behind due to a Ghana striker breakaway in the middle of the first half. They did come back in the 43rd minute with the first US scored goal (Italy game was a self-goal) of the 2006 World cup. A penalty kick put the US down again, and despite attempts they couldn't catch up.

It is disappointing, but in all honesty, the US's performance in general this year was weak. They played with heart during the Italy game, when they were down 2 players, and they had moments of energy in this last game. Overall though, they didn't play agressively, lacking an offense during their first two games. Nevertheless, great effort US men.

From Group E, Italy and Ghana advance to the next round.


Chicoy (5.3.2006)

(When we visited a sinkhole, a local place of Mayan Worship)

Carefully stepping down in the darkness, the peaceful scent of incense enters my lungs. I take a deep breath and let the “tranquilo” overtake my body. Such a journey to embark on to offer a prayer! What sincere faith it must require to desire this sacrifice.

prayer Originally uploaded by ericantonrice

I stop in complete awe, hypnotized by a row of humble candles. A feeling of evil overtakes my being and I sense for a second the syncretistic darkness present in Mayan culture (and religion, which are one in the same). It is overpowering. The weight of it forces me to my knees and I cry out to God. Little do I know how to pray for these people; little do I know their lives; yet still I know this is in His hands alone. I realize my smallness and feel very humble. I am nothing in this world, one tiny piece of a complex, confusing universe that I cannot fathom.

Deep is the corruption of these mountains, and impossible the problem to meet. Yet I am amazed, Lord, at the work You are doing through Impact Ministries. Every couple hours, I turn to hear of another school they are able to open. The amount of work these servants are accomplishing is incredible…work of eternal rewards...in the hearts of the Pokemchi. School upon school, opened through You. Increible!


Mayan Jenny

I took part in Mayan wedding. This is what I was told I had to "look forward to in marriage." It was a fun experience wearing the clothes that I saw all the indigenous women wearing everyday for 6 weeks.


Day 2 cont'd (5.2.06)

As we traveled home, I couldn’t help but feel in our conversations and debriefing, that we made 1,001 assumptions. I don’t blame us. This is what we do, how humans process experiences, through analysis, we make sense of what is around us; this is how we create our reality (aka our worldview).

Yet I still felt that perhaps we are quick to think we understand part of Guatemalan culture. This I think is a dangerous place to be. We have moved quickly past thinking our culture is superior, and are in the honeymoon phase. We see the beautiful aspects of Guatemalan culture and instantly assume that’s the way it is. But we are able to judge and critique our own culture because we have lived 20+ years there. It is our own and we truly know it. Guatemalan culture, though, is a new experience for us, and we all, especially myself (because I have a tendency towards prejudice) need a lot of time to observe. Even Les has only been part of Guatemalan culture for 5 years and he is careful to judge certain aspects.

We have got to step off of the judgment wagon and talk a slow walk down observation lane.


Day 2 (5.2.2006)

One day, only 24 hours, or was it an eternity? One day, this one day, has been an explosion in my mind. What I know, what I think and hold as reality has all been turned around.

The things Les, our ministry leader, confronted us with represent complete shift in thinking, not even from the Western perspective, but from what we view Central America as. He caused us to realize our Western worldview was superimposed even on the Latin American culture we thought we were observing! Our solutions of Fair trade laws against child labor are not universal ideas, but our answers to what we see as a real need! We failed to see the “perceived” needs of the Guatemalan people. This is what our text, Make Haste Slowly warned against: we must focus on perceived needs or else the solutions we offer will not benefit the people, and in essence, will not be effective in their purpose.

It is interesting though, that through all of the mind-transforming issues Les addressed today, the thing that sticks out is holding the hand of 9-year-old Maria, as we hiked the infamous hill that everyone complained about. Funny thing though, I was so focused on talking to her that I didn’t notice the hill half as much. When she placed the flower in my hand and gently set her hand in mine, I was transformed. I experienced the Guatemalan worldview; I embodied it. At that point, time became relative; nothing mattered but this single relationship between Maria and I.

Maybe for a brief second, on flash in my existence, I did step out of my Western worldview and took one shy, half step into the Guatemalan world. It may have been only this one-second, but I know it will have an eternal affect upon me.


Re-vamping the routine.

I've been reluctant for a little while (alright so 3 months) about blogging. This is because I have been thinking about what I really want to say, the energy I want to put into it, and if I even like blogging.

I go back and forth between wanting to just post pictures and tell fun stories, to writing about more serious things, to quoting beautiful writings and scripture that i have been reading. So finally, I've just decided i'm going to do it all. This is going to start with thoughts from my most recent adventure in Guatemala. For one of my classes, i was required to keep a daily journal of reflections of stuff we'd seen, problems we'd had, and the observations we made of such a different culture. This process was everywhere from intriguing and interesting, to downright aggrivating...but the result was much more than I had expected. I'll give you one every day (perhaps every other day) just to keep your appetite wet ;).

Much love from the top,