i am a temple.

paul tillman had been talking up the concert he would put on for us one wednesday. he said their would be backup dancers. that didn’t happen, but, with several of us gathered around, he freestyle rapped about working at salt and light and his clothes and always keeping it fresh. stuff like that. we all had a good laugh and applauded him greatly for his flow ability. he just goes with the beat, he says.

salt and light is currently working towards opening a computer lab for the neighborhood. as part of my pay raise i am in charge of this. i use ‘in charge’ loosely. nathan has been the one to buy all the stuff and get it going thus far. i have just been spending my free time loading windows 7 on to old computers that shouldn’t be able to run it. three of them won’t take it. we are constantly surprised by the other ones that actually work with such a new operating system. we have desks for our nine computers which were painted, but, for a variety of reasons, were painted poorly. even i tried to touch up some of them and when they dried it was just a more different kind of sucky than before. so we finally got one dude to paint them all professional-like. the problem is that he has had three of our desks now for at least a month. he claims that he has been super busy with other work and things and that he will return the completed desks, grab the others, and finish the whole project this weekend. i am skeptical, i’ll be honest. but maybe it will happen and i will come back to a bevy of beautifully painted desk ready to have computers placed upon them, wired and cords running through them. here’s hoping.

the ultimate hope for the lab is to have a place where members of the nearby community can come and look for jobs or learn how to use a computer or various such convenient tasks. i would love to see it as a place where kids can come and hang out after school, do some homework, get some one-on-one tutoring time with a volunteer. that would be awesome. some think that no one will come, that people don’t come around here unless we are giving something away. i am hoping that is not the case.

upon our return from the wedding world extravaganza and a relaxing couple of days on lake geneva in wisconsin, steph moved the rest of her stuff into the apartment. as well as all the wedding presents. an entire wall of our apartment was taken up with piled boxes and gifts, knick-knacks, decorative items, steph’s clothes. we spent all of sunday finding places for just about everything that she had not already dealt with during the week. i put together a new dresser and bookcase. we bought a giant couch. i built a christmas lego that my good buddy/groomsman keaton bought as a wedding present. starting to feel like a home, not some empty storage unit i sleep in. i feel less like a squatter. and it is just darn good to get to hang out with my best friend all the time. not angry about that one. at all.

this weekend begins the official honeymoon. we will fly to the southern californian desert, steal my grandmother’s truck and drive up the west coast. friends, family, three national parks, two weeks. it all ends with a grand reception up in bellingham. can’t wait.

saturday found us in southern indiana (where there are actually some hills!) attending a fund raiser/auction to benefit forget-me-not ministries, the group we worked with in romania. the founder/director rachel was there with her adopted roma daughter izabella. rachel is ben woods’ cousin, who was not only the romania team leader but also the guy who married us, so it was a big family affair, and, of course, lots of people we didn’t know congratulating us on our big day. we won the bid for an apron from romania which i now wear when i make dinner. the best was just to see people we knew only in far off lands again. along with rachel and iza, we saw urb and michelle, and american couple dedicating the next two years (at least) to working with rachel in romania. it was just a great time to hang out with good friends, relive some great memories, hear some great stories, see again the faces of kids we love. it was a four hour drive both ways, but it was well worth it. and with all the travelling i have been accustomed to in the last couple years, four hours wasn’t bad at all.

i could go back to romania. and live and work there for a long time.

axiom has been running a weekly happening called english corner, where international students can come and hang out with american college kids, work on their language skills, take part in any number of fun activities. it has been a big push and a big hit. tons of students come and are getting connected making friendships. we have people from saudi arabia, brazil, columbia, and a number of east asian countries and more. it is pretty awesome. a few of the american students and a bunch of the international guys formed an intermural soccer team. i rode my bike through the dark night to meet up with a group of axiom kids to watch the game. it made me miss playing soccer with afghani guys in rome. well, a lot of things make me miss rome, for that matter.

on my way home, riding past those old familiar bars on a crowded and cool thrusday night, the clock nearing midnight, the same tired old college scene greeted me. scores of students filling the sidewalks, packed outside of seedy establishments, staggering under the weight of intoxication. the guys were their usual loud cockiness; the girls their usual skimpy-ness. and in so much ridiculousness the music that filled my ears and that i sang out loud flying by was john mark mcmillan, ‘i am a temple.’ i am a  temple. so what if i’m not worthy? He makes us clean.







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