Saturday, July 27, 2019

Great things that happened on July 27, 2019

Great things that happened yesterday:

- Tommy’s Eagle Court of Honor.
- Kenny gave a great speech on how Tom demonstrates each of the 12 points of the scout law.
- Joe gave Tom the Eagle charge.
- Tony Morris did the eagle segment.
- Pete Cooper presented the award and a certificate from Brad Wenstrup.
- I got to hang out with Kenny and Vanna Viscel after the ceremony.
- Tom gave the mentor awards to his grandparents.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Great things that happened on July 26, 2019

- Annual IP Reds game outing. We had food, drinks and good seats.
- Pastor Pete and Beth’s dad filled in for Joe and Kenny who had to work yesterday to get time off for a great thing that will happen tomorrow.
- Post game fireworks too!
- We skipped the Zedd concert.
- Counted down the pizza strikeouts with Amy and Claudia - we were one short in the end.
- Took a friendly photo with Mr. Red.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Great things that happened on July 25, 2019

- Dinner at Lois Volk’s house with church team members (Pete Elliott, Joe Speeg, Cindy Gregory, Christal Laws, Jaimie Jones Smith)

- We were joined virtually by Bonnie Olds-Carson and Kevin Parido.

- Back in the office. Caught up with Randy Lampe - which is good since we’ll next get to catch up in late August.

- Also caught up with Amy Albrinck (but I think we’ll be in the office at the same time before late August.)

- Packed my work clothes for next week - I will be spending the days in the office and the nights at Camp Friedlander.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Great things that happened on July 24, 2019

So Monday evening (and all day Tuesday) I had soreness in my leg in the same spot as late last year when I had a deep vein thrombosis.

Given that I had spent eight hours on a flight from Lima to Toronto on Sunday I had good reason to get everything checked out.

But... I couldn’t get the scan done until yesterday. So I spent some time freaking out about what would happen if it were in fact another DVT - I would probably never go to Peru again, or to Europe with Tommy next year, or to all the places Beth and I are going to see, etc.

Well - the scan was clean. NO DVT!

The soreness was probably (in my estimation) from wearing the compression socks on the flight, and basically for 24 hours in total.

This didn’t happen on the way down because I wore a better pair of compression socks.

So I ordered a second pair of the better (and dare I say more fashionable) compression socks from Amazon.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

El Milagro - Quick note in my diary on the flight home


The Peruvians who are working at the church don't eat with us. They wait for us to eat. Then they don't sit at the table.

This could have been because we only set the table for 18 (the number in our party), I can't recall.

But we could fix that by being inclusive from the start.

A few more El Milagro pictures

I don't normally let anyone use my four color pens... but I made an exception in this case.

Tom is the one wearing blue...

Saturday, July 20, 2019

A John Travolta moment in El Milagro

So we got to the pastor's house on Saturday. It was dinner and worship.

What's the right way to confess this?

We had worship multiple times in multiple ways. Worship in church. Worship with children's church. Worship at the pastor's house on Wednesday. 

And by Saturday, I was a little worshiped out.

So were some of the other men in the party. Several of them stayed back at the church and decided to make a dinner out of whatever we had sitting around (there was more than enough).

I did not do that, because...

What's the right way to confess this?

I knew the pastor's house had hi-speed WiFi.

And based on Wednesday's trip I knew that, if I signed on to a VPN back in the states, I could watch the Indians on MLB Extra Innings.

So I knew, if I went over there, I could watch the Indians and Royals.

Which brings us to the Travolta moment. In the movie Pulp Fiction Travolta (Vincent Vega) and Uma Thurman (Mia Wallace) come back to her house. They are having a wonderful time. This is as planned, because Marsellus Wallace told Travolta to take his wife to dinner. 

But now Travolta realizes things are getting a little friendly, so he calls time out, and assesses things. During his assessment he says 

"You see, this is a moral test of oneself.
Whether or not you can maintain loyalty. Because... being loyal is very important. So, you're gonna go out there and you're gonna say: "' Good night. I've had a very lovely evening.' "

He executed his plan and passed the test. Or he was going to, but then he had to take a detour to save Mia's life. If you've seen the movie you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't seen the movie, don't do it on my recommendation.

At any rate, I felt like it was a test for me. Would I go over there and sneak watch the Indians Royals game on the WiFi and VPN, or would I worship?

Bottom line - Travolta did better than I did. I watched. 

And the Indians lost, 1-0.

Friday, July 19, 2019

El Milagro Notes - July 19, 2019

I really hit it off with one of the guys from New Mexico. His name was Joe.

Joe is a good ol boy. He says words like "shit".

I like Christians who can say "shit". They're not stick-up-their-ass Christians. (I also like Christians who say "ass").

I'm not saying there were any SUTA Christians on the trip.

I'm also not saying there weren't any.

Joe bought a leather bottle of Pisco (pronounced Peesco unfortunately). It was pretty cool. I think he paid S30 for it ($10). A good deal.

He regretted not getting two and drinking some with me while we were in El Milagro. I regretted that too.

I like Christians who drink.


Joe: Man I'd rather take a prostate exam than take that long flight home.
Phil: If you upgrade to first class you can get both.

Post script: I got some Pisco at the duty free shop in Lima. It cost more than S30. And it tasted like rocket fuel. (Really good).

Thursday, July 18, 2019

El Milagro Notes - July 18, 2019

Today we took a tour of the Temple of the Moon. Well, not THE Temple of the Moon (the one by Machu Pichu) but the one by Trujillo.

This one actually predated the Incas.

This (was the) one where every room was either used for human sacrifice or used to prepare victims for human sacrifice.

And it sounds like preparation for human sacrifice involved getting drunk and/or stoned, so there was - at least in the years 100 to 800 - a silver lining.

The temple also had irrigation, or a water slide. Who can say for sure?

After the temple tour we toured the shopping district near the ocean. A lot of crafts and a lot of crap. The crap included loads of coffins with an anatomically correct male skeleton. When you opened the lid, well, you can guess what happened.

Now that I think of it, since it was a skeleton, it was technically anatomically incorrect.

Tom went to the beach and added to his "sands of the world" collection.

We ate at a restaurant on the beach. The food was perfectly okay. Part of that is on me, because I ordered my food sin sal (without salt).

Tom got a hat and sweater. We are right in the middle of the Tropic of Capricorn, but we are also on the Pacific Ocean and a cold water current. Tom wound up wearing both.

I am surprised that I can communicate somewhat effectively with wait staff and vendors. (Of course they have incentive to communicate with me).

Not completely effectively mind you. I ordered Coca Cola Sin Azucar and received Inca Kola Sin Azucar. At least it was caffeinated.

I'd say my Spanish is better than Jose Ramirez's Spanish.

But Jose hits a lot better than I do.

El Milagro Moments

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

El Milagro Notes - July 17, 2019

The thing I was most concerted about coming to El Milagro was Montezuma's revenge (and yeah I know Montezuma wasn't an Inca).

Side note: There are worse things in Peru. Malaria and Yellow Fever spring right to mind. But there are shots and medicine for those.

I prayed to stay healthy. But I also figured: It's really in my hands.

So I barely TOUCHED the local water. And when I did I used sanitizer immediately after. I'm not a germophobe at all, but in Peru I'm willing to learn.

So Sunday night we had a service and the locals prayed for us.

Then later they asked us to line up and pray for the locals. A local person would come up to us and we would put our hands on them and pray for them.

Of course before we could pray we would need an interpreter to tell us what we were praying for. (The exception being when one of the kids - Kevin - said bicicleta to Tommy)

A young lady holding her baby came up to me. I put my hands on her and the baby while we waited for the interpreter.

The interpreter comes up, talks to her, then says to me "She needs you to pray that she recovers from the flu."

Flu recovery and prevention was the most sincere prayer I offered that week.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Great things that happened on July 16 (approximately)

Here are some pictures of Jack. He is one of many cool little kids we met in El Milagro. He loves to throw the balls, always has a smile and gives lots of kisses.

Jack is an awesome kid.

El Milagro notes - July 16, 2019

(These are the notes that were written in my journal on that day. Any editing is in italics).

Why in hell wasn't I doing this every day?  (We arrived in Peru on July 12)

I kind of was. Small thoughts were e-mailed to myself throughout the day. But it's not really the same thing. (Those thoughts were put in Facebook)

The summary of the trip to this point has only changed by two letters.

FROM: This is my last trip here
TO: This isn't my last trip here.

Well it's two if you eliminate the profanity in "FROM" between my and last.

On the one hand... El Milagro has serious problems. Men work in the mines, knock up young girls, move on to the next town and do the same thing.

There was a young girl given to a 35 year old man to be his "wife" I'm not sure but she likely wasn't his only "wife". And she was given because the family couldn't afford to keep her.

But on the other hand... I'm not here to change it. That would be a fool's errand.

What I am here to do is show people love. I'm here to help the people who are going to change the world. I'm here to hold a baby until my back gets tired. Then hold him some more. (I have Tylenol)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Great things that happened on July 2, 2019

Video test for my upcoming Presentation Skills workshop - everything went well.

Got a call about another presentation in Memphis - likely this fall.  That makes three Memphis presentations this year!

Tommy and I started "Great Things" back up on video.
The subject of this episode (and several future episodes) was a Root Beer taste test.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Great things that happened on July 1, 2019

A canceled morning meeting meant I could clean up a bunch of administrative tasks - including booking travel for my next three trips.

And... the travel booking came together fairly quickly. That doesn't always happen.

And... I found out I had to reschedule one of the trips (move it out a week). I found out before I would have had to pay a change fee.

Leftover grilled chicken, baked sweet potatoes and watermelon for lunch.

Ran on the treadmill for 35 minutes. (there was some walking during that time...)

Birthday dinner for my nephew Aaron at Paige's. BBQ chicken, vegetables, pasta salad, and Beth's dirt dessert.

And a piece of Key Lime Pie - good thing I ran!

Tommy and I finished the day with a dip in the pool.

Beth’s awesome Dirt Dessert Recipe

1 stick margarine or butter
8 ounce package cream cheese (low fat works, fat free does not)
16 ounces of Oreo cookies
16 ounces low fat Cool Whip (fat free not as good)
2 packages instant vanilla pudding
3 cups 2% milk
Mix butter and cream cheese. 
Add butter and blend. 
Add pudding, milk and blend. 
Crush Oreos. Mix in some, add the rest on top.
Chill in the fridge for at least two hours (overnight is even better).