Category Archives: Personal Notes

Worlds Apart

Whenever I begin to prepare for the next visit to Nicaragua, in this case next week, thoughts about the vast differences between home and there inevitably come alive.  I suppose it’s due, in part, to some protective mechanism which serves to blunt the culture shock that I always feel, both coming and going.  It’s difficult to not reflect on the differences.  After all, when I leave the frozen tundra of Minneapolis, the temperature could well be minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, as it has been over the past week.  That will stand in stark contrast to the 80 degree temperature I’ll likely encounter when getting off the plane in Managua.  It truly does feel like a different world!

But my thoughts in preparation for leaving have little to do with the weather.  I am always struck by and need to prepare for the reality of how the two countries are supposedly worlds apart, and how I feel about that. Continue reading Worlds Apart


This has been a particularly busy season, as WPF finds its way forward without either of its founders for the first time ever.  The holiday season imposes its usual demands upon us even as we seek to find ways to slow down and live in the moments that make it up.  We have anticipated, reveled in, and now reminisced about the presence of family, delighted that many could be together and wistful about the absence of those who could not.  And through it all, I have been feeling a bit restless thinking about gifts.

Now, I’m not referring to the presents under the tree that I received this year; they have long ago become more a cause of guilt than of giddy entitlement.  The gifts that I’ve been contemplating are the ones that take the form of everyday joys and wonders, the ones that we might take for granted if we allow ourselves to do so, the ones that are easy to miss simply because they are so commonplace, so seemingly mundane.  I’ve been thinking about the gifts that make up our everyday lives. Continue reading Restlessness