March 13, 2016

Movie Canon

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:03 pm by pete

Here are 199 movies that made my movie canon. This is my list, my opinions, so I don’t have to justify anything. That being said, here are some explanations. A movie could make the list for a few reasons:

  • Place in history (example: Frost/Nixon)
  • Place in history of movies (example: Casablanca)
  • Great movie
  • Necessary for understanding other references (example: Tommy Boy)

Also, I tried not to put all of a series, even if the entire series is great. So if you are coming out of a cave, and you watch one Marvel movie off the list, go watch more. They are lots of quality ones. I’ve separated the 199 movies into 3 categories. Top Movies (these typically have someone else agreeing with me). Top Non-Sanctioned Movies. I feel the need for this list, because no one thinks Lethal Weapon is in the top movies, but it’s really good. You should probably go see it. The 3rd category is movies that You May Have Missed. If you watch one or two of those and don’t like them, please just stop. Our tastes just don’t line up. Enjoy!

Top Movies (in order of Year of release):

  • 1939       Gone with the Wind
  • 1939       The Wizard of Oz
  • 1940       Philadelphia Story
  • 1942       Casablanca
  • 1946       It’s a Wonderful Life
  • 1951       The African Queen
  • 1952       Singin’ in the Rain
  • 1953       Roman Holiday
  • 1955       Rebel Without a Cause
  • 1958       Vertigo
  • 1959       Some Like it Hot
  • 1962       To Kill a Mockingbird
  • 1964       Mary Poppins
  • 1965       Sound of Music
  • 1967       Cool Hand Luke
  • 1972       The Godfather
  • 1973       The Sting
  • 1975       Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • 1975       One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • 1977       Star Wars
  • 1978       Grease
  • 1980       Blues Brothers
  • 1981       Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • 1982       E.T.
  • 1982       Tootsie
  • 1984       Ghostbusters
  • 1985       Back to the Future
  • 1985       Breakfast Club
  • 1986       Stand By Me
  • 1987       Dirty Dancing
  • 1987       Moonstruck
  • 1987       The Princess Bride
  • 1987       Raising Arizona
  • 1988       Die Hard
  • 1989       Dead Poets Society
  • 1989       Driving Miss Daisy
  • 1989       Say Anything
  • 1990       Dances with Wolves
  • 1990       Edward Scissorhands
  • 1993       Groundhog Day
  • 1993       Schlinder’s List
  • 1993       The Fugitive
  • 1994       Ed Wood
  • 1994       Forrest Gump
  • 1994       Little Women
  • 1994       Pulp Fiction
  • 1994       Shawshank Redemption
  • 1994       The Professional
  • 1995       Braveheart
  • 1995       Sense and Sensibility
  • 1995       Usual Suspects
  • 1995       Clueless
  • 1996       Big Night
  • 1996       Waiting for Guffman
  • 1996       Romeo + Juliet
  • 1997       Good Will Hunting
  • 1997       L. A. Confidential
  • 1997       Life is Beautiful
  • 1997       Gattaca
  • 1998       American History X
  • 1998       Rushmore
  • 1998       Shakespeare in Love
  • 1998       The Truman Show
  • 1999       Fight Club
  • 1999       Matrix
  • 1999       The Sixth Sense
  • 2000       Almost Famous
  • 2000       Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  • 2000       Gladiator
  • 2000       Memento
  • 2000       Snatch
  • 2000       Erin Brockovich
  • 2000       O, Brother Where Art Thou?
  • 2001       A Beautiful Mind
  • 2001       Amélie
  • 2001       Donnie Darko
  • 2001       Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
  • 2001       Beautiful Mind
  • 2002       Adaptation
  • 2002       Catch Me If You Can
  • 2002       Chicago
  • 2002       The Bourne Identity
  • 2002       My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  • 2003       Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
  • 2004       Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • 2004       Hotel Rwanda
  • 2004       Crash
  • 2004       Passion of the Christ
  • 2004       The Phantom of the Opera
  • 2004       Napoleon Dynamite
  • 2005       Batman Begins
  • 2005       Pride and Prejudice
  • 2005       Hitch
  • 2005       Mr. & Mrs. Smith
  • 2005       Walk the Line
  • 2006       Casino Royale
  • 2006       Little Miss Sunshine
  • 2006       The Prestige
  • 2006       The Queen
  • 2006       The Devil Wears Prada
  • 2007       Hairspray
  • 2007       Once
  • 2007       Waitress
  • 2007       Juno
  • 2008       Frost/Nixon
  • 2008       Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009       Avatar
  • 2009       District 9
  • 2009       Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • 2009       Up
  • 2009       Sherlock Holmes
  • 2010       Inception
  • 2010       Inside Job
  • 2010       The King’s Speech
  • 2010       The Social Network
  • 2011       Hugo
  • 2011       Moneyball
  • 2011       The Help
  • 2012       Argo
  • 2012       Lincoln
  • 2012       Silver Linings Playbook
  • 2012       The Avengers
  • 2012       Les Miserables
  • 2013       12 Years a Slave
  • 2014       The Lego Movie
  • 2015       Selma
  • 2015       The Martian

Top Movies (Non-Sanctioned; alphabetical order)

  • 2013       42
  • 2011       50/50
  • 1997       As Good As It Gets
  • 2007       August Rush
  • 1988       Beetlejuice
  • 2013       Begin Again
  • 1985       Better Off Dead
  • 2003       Bruce Almighty
  • 1998       Can’t Hardly Wait
  • 2005       Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
  • 1988       Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • 1994       Dumb and Dumber
  • 1998       Elizabeth
  • 1996       Emma
  • 1996       Everyone Says I Love You
  • 1989       Glory
  • 1997       Gross Pointe Blank
  • 1991       Hook
  • 2014       Into the Woods
  • 2009       Invictus
  • 2013       Lee Daniels’ The Butler
  • 2004       Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • 1987       Lethal Weapon
  • 2003       Love Actually
  • 2003       Luther
  • 1992       Malcolm X
  • 1999       Man On The Moon
  • 2001       Moulin Rouge!
  • 1992       My Cousin Vinny
  • 1999       Notting Hill
  • 2013       Now You See Me
  • 2001       Oceans 11
  • 1999       Office Space
  • 1989       Parenthood
  • 1990       Pretty Woman
  • 2004       Ray
  • 1994       Reality Bites
  • 2000       Remember the Titans
  • 1980       Seems Like Old Times
  • 1989       Steel Magnolias
  • 2013       The Lone Ranger
  • 1998       The Wedding Singer
  • 1995       Tommy Boy
  • 1972       What’s Up, Doc?

You May Have Missed…

  • 2009       500 Days of Summer
  • 2002       About a Boy
  • 2002       Antwone Fisher
  • 2009       Away We Go
  • 1996       Beautiful Girls
  • 2007       Charlie Bartlett
  • 1997       Clockwatchers
  • 1995       Cry, The Beloved Country
  • 1987       Empire of the Sun
  • 1999       Ideal Husband
  • 2007       Lars and the Real Girl
  • 2011       Like Crazy
  • 1998       Little Voice
  • 2002       Moonlight Mile
  • 1999       Mumford
  • 1992       Noises Off…
  • 1996       Pallbearer
  • 2012       Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • 1998       Playing By Heart
  • 2000       Return To Me
  • 2001       Riding in Cars With Boys
  • 2004       Spanglish
  • 2008       Sunshine Cleaning
  • 2010       Temple Grandin
  • 2008       The Brothers Bloom
  • 2006       The Prestige
  • 2013       The Way Way Back
  • 2009       Whip It

December 5, 2009

Old Home, Borrowed Home, New Home

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:22 pm by pete

Here’s a little catch up over the last year. We put our house on the market to take advantage of the low housing market to move somewhere else. We felt like we eventually needed a larger living space, but more felt needs were a flat yard that our kids would actually get out in and a street/neighborhood more conducive for outdoor living. Wilson will turn seven this April and hasn’t been exposed to a bicycle very much at all. There were three to four houses on my parents perfect little one-block street where I grew up riding bikes and big-wheels in my grandmother’s driveway. We put our house on the market, said a little prayer, didn’t get our hopes up, and didn’t think much else about it. Besides the marathon cleanings when we got a call to show the house, the 6 months went by quickly without any interest or offers. Then with 2 days left in our contract, we had decided to take the house off the market. Then we got a pretty decent offer. The house we really wanted had long sold, but there were others. So we countered and they accepted, but needed it quickly… we were homeless in less than 3 weeks. Our second choice sold the day we accepted their offer. Our 3rd choice was more iffy, but we still made an offer that left us room to make the changes we would want. We went back and forth and were still about 20,000 away from each other. We looked at pretty much every NLR listing it felt like.

Meanwhile, we are bunking with my Mom and Dad. I guess I’m still the perfect child, because we’re all getting along great and no one seems to be wearing on anyone. While living on the street, I was let into the street’s gossip. Our second choice house was having some issues, so we slipped a backup offer in. Long story short, we bought the house 2 doors down from Mom & Dad.

We’re tearing down some walls and having some with it. It’s been very educational as I can’t afford a contractor of sorts. Dad has taught me how to put up headers and we have put up a new wall and have 6 headers were walls once stood.

Tomorrow might bring pulling up flooring. Whitney’s parents have been painting and doing some light fixtures. We’re excited for you to come see a work in progress so you can appreciate the finished job… and maybe even help!

May 28, 2009

Lego Old Main

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 11:11 pm by pete

LegoOldMain front

front view

After I enjoyed building Starbucks with my two kids, I decided we needed another project. So we have recently set out to conquer University of Arkansas’s Old Main, the historic classroom building on the Fayetteville campus.

Enjoy! We sure did.

Fun details include both towers are very different from each other including the width of the windows going up the tower, the design of the round windows at the top, and the heights of the roof and entire tower. I enjoy making note of the difference in heights (the north tower is an estimated 2.8 meters taller than the south tower) due to the rumor that the architect, who was from the North, made the north tower just a little bit taller than the south tower as an expression of support for the victory that the North had over the South during the Civil War.

October 25, 2008

Lego Starbucks

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 9:21 pm by pete

I know I’m a geek, but me and the boys had a lot of fun replicating the detail of Starbucks with Legos… until they went to bed and then I had lots of fun by myself! Enjoy the virtual tour. Original will be on display at the house until someone needs the pieces for something else.

August 24, 2008

daddy always wins

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:27 pm by pete

This week, Wilson started Kindergarten. As their little lives are flying past, I am forced to determine the worth of my time. I have spent more time with my two sons than I have in a while. I am teaching them how to hide, seek and chase appropriately. I also am practicing patience as I play card or board games with them. I love games, but I really have no interest in distractions or sideshows.

I come by this honestly. My mom would always do a few dishes, switch laundry loads, or any other number of tasks when it wasn’t her deal in the nightly game of spades, hearts, tripoly, etc. We all had our cards dealt and sorted and were waiting on Mom to return. One night, when it was Mom’s deal, as she was dealing, Dad slipped out of the room and suddenly we heard the vacuum cleaner in the other room. Creative expression of frustration.

So, Wilson and Campbell, focus on the game, know when it’s your turn, don’t make a thoughtless play, and quit dancing; and this will be the most fun game ever!

Another trait that I am certain I got from my dad is the inability to throw a game. My wife’s pleading to “let them win” falls on deaf ears. They can win when they get good enough to win! And this has made quite a scheming Campbell at Hide-n-seek and quite a frustrated Wilson. They like the kind with the base. Wilson became especially frustrated when Campbell was able to hide quietly around the corner and tag me. After a few rounds of never tagging me, Wilson began to stake out the base. He finally tagged me when he got tired of waiting and came and found me reading my book on my bed. He caught me by surprise and he won! I am very sure that the victory was so much sweeter because I hadn’t let him.

Why let someone win when you know their friends, cousins, or Aunt Anna never will. Speaking of Aunt Anna, if anyone wants to help me practice my Set skills this week before Anna gets here, let me know.

August 3, 2008

Last Kenya Update for now

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:53 am by pete

Tomorrow night, Monday, August 4, 6:30pm, the team that went to Kenya with me will be getting together to share pictures and stories from our trip. This will be at our home in North Little Rock. Anyone is welcome to come and listen to what we brought home. If you need directions, please email me at loibners@hotmail.com. We very much appreciate the support and prayers we had while we were preparing and gone on this journey. I am excited to continue to see the things that will come from this trip in my life and the people around me and the others on the team. Please continue to pray for Kenya Relief and the people who are serving and being impacted in Kenya.

P.S. if you want to see some great pictures now, become Andrew Calaway’s friend on Facebook and look at his albums. They are incredible! Also incredible are the pictures at the bottom of Andrew Dorsey’s blog.

July 30, 2008

Friends of Mine (3 of 3)

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:34 pm by pete

Michael, Pete & Sandy

Michael, Pete & Sandy

Michael and Sandy Boultinghouse landed in Kenya on December 28, 2007 with a small team that left a few weeks later. Because of the recent election, things in Kenya and especially in Migori were very heated. It was difficult to get groceries, schools were closed, there were fires, lootings, and roadblocks are within watching distance for the children in the yard at Marindi’s Children Home of Grace. Michael and Sandy stayed and watched the team leave and then the next scheduled team had to cancel their trip as things didn’t calm down. This was the first of many hardships that Michael and Sandy plowed through during their time in Kenya.

Being there with them helped me understand the situation in Kenya that we are trying to be a part of and also allowed me to see what it looks like for our cultures to join together. Despite the fact that everyone has either learned English or is trying to learn English, the language is still very much a barrier. It is most comfortable for Kenyans to speak to one another in their mother tongue, their tribal tongue. And as I learned bits of kiswahili, it was apparent that this was everyone’s second language. They still greeted one another and spoke to one another in Luo, their Bibles were printed in Luo, and even their posts on each other’s facebook walls are in Luo.

Another barrier has been the concept of time or organization. Our soccer game was getting pushed later and later which is natural for “Kenya time.” Erica commented that if the game got much later, she was going to have to leave to go help milk the cows which she discovered is the only thing in the entire country that actually happens on time. This was true. Michael had already talked to me earlier about the purchase of a cow that could produce a healthy level of milk. But to do so on a regular basis, they had to milk the cows consistently at 6am, noon, and 6pm everyday. This was a very difficult concept, but after the purchase of logs, clocks and watches; eventually Michael got through and the cows were milked on schedule. As a result, they saw more milk than they had ever seen come from one of their cows.

Sandy knows the names of children, staff, and people in the community. She walks in the mornings and everyone is used to seeing the white woman walking around the countryside by herself waving to everyone. Being there with Michael and Sandy and being there without was day and night. I am so appreciative of their friendship and what their presence did for our trip.

Here’s just a few more friends I wanted to highlight:

Dorothy walked with me to school on the first morning we were in Migori. She taught me basic greetings along the road and showed me all the classrooms in Kowini. She is a natural leader and is frequently called on to lead the others in a song during devotions or sunday school.

Dorothy walked with me to school on the first morning we were in Migori. She taught me basic greetings along the road and showed me all the classrooms in Kowini. She is a natural leader and is frequently called on to lead the others in a song during devotions or sunday school.

Stephen is supported by Fellowship North's Children's ministries and has a great relationship with David and Diane Heffington. He goes by his middle name of Karlos; although, he is too polite to tell anyone that. He's an incredible soccer player, and very kind to the children around him. He was also a huge help the night we let all the boys paint their hands all over the common room in their dorm.

Stephen is supported by Fellowship North's Children's ministries and has a great relationship with David and Diane Heffington. He goes by his middle name of Karlos; although, he is too polite to tell anyone that. He's an incredible soccer player, and very kind to the children around him. He was also a huge help the night we let all the boys paint their hands all over the common room in their dorm.

Steve, and he actually goes by Steve, was one of the younger guys who was home earlier than most. Andrew and Andrew spent a lot of time chasing this poor guy around the compound, usually with paint on their hands. He played soccer and frisbee on the field with us. He's very soft spoken, but when we turned around he was frequently behind us.

Steve, and he actually goes by Steve, was one of the younger guys who was home earlier than most. Andrew and Andrew spent a lot of time chasing this poor guy around the compound, usually with paint on their hands. He played soccer and frisbee on the field with us. He's very soft spoken, but when we turned around he was frequently behind us.

Friends of Mine (2 of 3)

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:59 am by pete

During my two trips to Kenya, I connected best with three guys about my age (which becomes a large bandwidth each year). All three of these guys made for wonderful hosts and guides through the culture with caveats about how things directly affect them as the postmodern, emerging generation (which helps explain why they are all three on facebook). So I wanted to share a story for each.

Ben, Pete & Roxanne

Ben, Pete & Roxanne

Ben has finished school to become a pharmacist and has come back to Marindi to serve there rather than stay in Nairobi or somewhere else where he may have been more successful. This initial knowledge is a huge insight into his character. He was always a great sport, balancing water buckets on his head, filling a 4′ X 6′ white board with all the traditional names and translating them into English for Erica and Kerri, and taking people from the team into town for long, semi-necessary, question-filled adventures.

But I will remember Ben most from this trip for his soccer game. We’re playing with the children in the yard when he suggests we play a real game this Saturday. Sounds fun. Sometime Saturday afternoon, an entire team from a neighboring high school shows up ready to play. They are huge and very serious. Ben is in town. I get Fred to send someone to finish Ben’s errand and call him frantically to please get back home. He makes it back and our “team” all goes to get jerseys and cleats! Andrew Calaway is pointing out that no one told him to bring his cleats. So we get out there, and I insist Ben puts on a jersey despite his argument that he is only coaching. He then leads us in a little warm up which makes us look pretty real; although, it wore me out! We have enough players that not everyone has to play, so I make sure and get a spot off the field first. When the game starts, it is quite apparent that I will not be going out on that field at all. They were a little unorganized, but skill-wise could go up against any high school team in the Little Rock area. Finally Ben went in and let Andrew Dorsey off the field, but Andrew Calaway did a great job. So I guess I shouldn’t complain too much as I never had to play, but I was pretty fearful.

Geoffrey couldn’t be in Migori with us this year, he still greeted us at the airport in Nairobi and shared a meal with us at the end of our trip before we left. Last year, he helped me realize that the community in need in the developing nation was still a real community. We saw 2,690 patients in a 5 day clinic. We were shuffling people through as fast as possible. Geoffrey served as a translator for one of the doctors. We were talking one evening after we had shut down and talking about the day. I asked him if he had difficulty because of the medical language. Some of the other translators knew English but didn’t know some of the words the doctors were trying to used or ask. He didn’t have that problem, but then explained how awkward it was to ask some of the personal questions to people who with whom he lived in community his whole life. These were friends, parents of friends and elders in the community. And he had to ask questions involving bathroom routine, or worse, sexual habits. He also complained that there are not tactful words for some of these things like there are in the English language. So these questions would often come out very blunt or crude. I respected his job a lot more after that conversation!

Ishmael is Fred’s son and is starting college in the fall in Nairobi. He is teaching at the school in Marindi until school starts. I told Fred that I believed the character of a person’s child speaks into one’s own character. Ishmael’s life said good things about Fred and Maurine. We got to learn about customs of moving out of one’s home and building your own at the age of 15. We got to see the house Ishmael built beside his parent’s house which is beside his grandparents house which is still in the very middle facing the front gate of the property.

I very much enjoyed having Ishmael around during the week. I appreciated his willingness. He was always right there with us in the middle of a group of kids, making fun of what we were painting on the walls, riding on the 4-wheeler with Dorsey, translating or teaching language to us. Besides disappearing at meal times, it felt like he was the 9th person on our team.

July 28, 2008

Friends of Mine (1 of 3)

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:08 pm by pete

As I am reflecting on my experiences, I continue to come back to people. I am so thankful for each of the people that served with me during this trip to Kenya and wanted to highlight some of the reasons. I am shamelessly stealing the (1 of 3) concept from my sister, as I will continue to post about the personalities that impacted me in Kenya outside of our team. This also helps explain why I am venturing into the facebook world. I want to remain connected the community around me as well as in Kenya. So I obviously have some figuring out to do, but I’m hoping it results in people having friends in Kenya that have never actually been to Kenya! So, in no particular order, here is my team of friends:

Sherry became best friends with a load of construction workers and did work I imagine she’s never done at home. She also put the guys to shame with her brick hauling, concrete mixing, dirt shoveling skills. I tried to explain that not all Americans are weak, we are just not people who do this kind of work on a regular basis. This explanation was not needed as Sherry was demonstrating. She also made the work so fun for all of them and never cared about language or cultural barriers and was never intimidated by being without other team members.

Erica was also never intimidated by this. She spent every night very late and much of the days with her “smart kids,” developing real relationships that will be able to continue. As I mentioned in the last blog, it’s the personal relationships that cause us to care about people. I know that if Erica found out that if one of these girls needed anything, she would do whatever she could to help because she is their friend. Erica also wanted to be right in the middle of everyday life. She helped Rose with laundry, milked cows with Martin, helped Daniel cook real Kenyan food, and even tried to help kill chickens (including dear Roxanne).

Sandra made beautiful things out of nothing. Her skill is not just decorating, but using whatever is available and very little other resources. She also was able to develop relationships as she went to market with Maureen and Eunice. And she worked closely with Jojo, an artist and painter; and Jared, who built shelves and furniture for us. She did a great job encouraging their talents as she incorporated the skills into the total piece of art that is now the Brittney House.

Larry was a rock. He was able to do everything requested by Sandra and was always the last one to stop working as there were many tasks of his that got pushed to after dinner. Larry was a lot of support to me on things I had dropped the ball on like not having the correct change for our visas or exchanging enough money to Kenya Shillings on the first day. Also, Michael had such great support and a great friend in Larry. Their primary goal was encouraging Michael and Sandy, and Sandra and Larry did this well.

Kerri was comfortable working wherever she was needed and was unintimidated by anybody or anything. She spoke Sunday morning with very little notice and shared her testimony in a very vulnerable way in front of all the girls on the team sitting in with 30-40 girls ranging from 13-25 years old. Kerri also has the unique gift of making people feel special. The best example of this is every meal, our chef, Daniel, would present the meal. Kerri would introduce him by saying, “everyone be quiet, it’s Daniel time!” and then cheer loudly after he had very quietly told us the name of each dish.

The Andrews, who always stood beside one another when I had to introduce the team, were my roommates and have become even better friends of mine during this trip. This somehow makes me feel both slightly younger, and yet o so old. They both did an incredible job playing with the children in a truly engaging way. The led music for the children and even sang a song with the children in front of the main service at church, 500+ people. Andrew Dorsey, was always willing to speak when Fred asked for someone on the team to share something, for which I am so thankful. Andrew Calaway is a great soccer player! I never talked much about this soccer game, but it was extrememly convenient that we had someone in our group that could actually play soccer.

July 26, 2008

afterthoughts

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:51 am by pete

I have been home for about 18 hours. I have been trying to continue processing things all through the safari, the trip home, and this morning as I wake before my two boys without an alarm probably for the first time since my last trip to Kenya. I used conversations with my teammates and the books I read to help do this. I finished Irresistible Revolution during the trip, and it will continue to rock me as I figure out all my applications. I was amazed at how what I read would fit so well into what we were doing or what the team was discussing.

Other impacting books were The Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing Your World, which is a great place to start; and White Man Walking; which despite it’s cheesy title and cover, is a great story about another journey to Kenya with striking similarities.

I also tried to read scripture around scripture references Shane makes. As many of us exposed to issues like the ones we saw in Kenya do not know how to respond, the stories of Levi versus Zacchaeus. One left his position as a tax collector and everything else to follow Jesus. One became a different type of tax collector. We are definitely called to one of these things as we seek to earnestly follow Jesus. It was beautiful to see Fred, Michael and Sandy as they had followed God’s calling to leave everything behind to follow Jesus. It was equally as beautiful to watch the people who come to Kenya with me try to figure out how they would go about their lives back home changed to reflect what they had been impacted by in Kenya.

As we neared the end of our trip, the inevitable questions from everyone came to the entire team. “Will you come back?” “When will you come back?” Last time, I knew when I left that I would return someday with people from Starbucks to show these beautiful people whom I love to the friends in my workplace. I don’t know what I will do now. The things that I was struck with about the logistics of Kenya and KenyaRelief.org are:

1. how easy it is to go! The shots and some of the paperwork seem scary. The airplane rides are long. But it was overall not an intimidating trip. There are tons of people who have been and are great resources for giving you clear expectations about the entire trip. I’ll be sure and tell you who to talk to and who NOT to talk to so that you are adequately prepared but not scared to death (thanks Jeannie and Cathy, but Sandra still did great!)

2. how easy it is to lead! Sure there’s a few panicky emails and questions, and Fred will ask you to introduce your team and maybe even share some thoughts or prayers, but if this anti-public speaker can do it, than so can most. The drivers are incredible and greet you at the airport to help you know what you are doing. Fred and the team from Migori are great at welcoming you and holding your hand through everything you are doing. Michael and Sandy were, of course, great hosts, but I hate to talk too much about them as they are not permanent fixtures.

3. how God will use anyone and change anyone no matter where you are coming from. All 8 people on this team were used in completely different ways from each other to minister to Migori. All 8 people were impacted completely differently from one another and by different things.

4. Lastly, how I think living in Migori is feasible for way more people than would ever consider it right now. Michael and Sandy brought a lot of incredible things to the table and sacrificed a ton to be there for the time they committed. But seeing them able to still enjoy their life but live among this people made me think that it was a possibility for any number of people even on the small team with me. I know Wilson would enjoy it! I’ve thought a lot about this one and would love to talk to you further if this strikes a chord on any level with you.

The things that I know I will take away are my relationships with people and how I can further cultivate those and trying to figure out how to incorporate people into these relationships who have not been to Kenya. We talk about disconnect and that we can let entire nations starve or die because of lack of clean water or get swept away by the HIV/AIDS crisis because we are not connected. Whereas we respond quicker to Katrina and the September 11 attacks because they are Americans. There are a number of people in Migori who if they needed a band aid or a heart transplant, I would do everything in my power to help because they are a friend and brother or sister in Christ. I want to figure out how to help people make these connections with or without a trip to Kenya.

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