Category Archives: Travels

It is hard to know where to begin

There are new things to see and photograph every day.  So much so that its hard to find time to deal with posting. 


Our first trip out from Leuven where we are based was to the north where we took some time to visit Ypres and the huge cemetery close to Pashendale.  Here are some of the photos – enjoy the set I have begun at Flikr.

Ypres was the place where my grandfather was wounded in 1916.  He ended up losing a leg but also ended up in hospital in England where he met and married my grandmother.  Good can come of bad things.


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Visiting Pashendale – Tyne Cot cemetary


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We made it

And are mostly over the jet lag – I think. This will be short but we traveled north to visit some old missionary friends – Pere Hugo, Chris, Paul and Willy. They live in a different retirement home in a town of which I have forgotten the name and likely would not have spelled correctly anyway. I need to get a map and mark all the places we go I think so I can at least spell them. Ahh, I found it – Zwevegem.
After having lunch with the fathers and talking a while, Paul offered to take us up to Ypres (Ipere in Flemish) so we drove up there and saw the war memorial at Pashendale and then on to Ypres where we toured the old city gate and the restored church. Pictures will be posted soon. It was a great day. We hurried back not to keep Pere Joe waiting on us to find him busy watching the Tour de France. so Father Paul took us for a little tour of Zwevegem – another church, the old city and canal and the “Golden Lady” Got back here to Leuven at about 8pm.

Tomorrow another place to see – this time a hermitage and some of Pere Marcel’s family.

Update: – I really got the name of the place wrong. We were in Kortrijk. Pretty close by but a different spot.


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On our way

This morning came early – the alarms were set for 3:30 and we did wake up!  In fact it is very hard to sleep at all worrying about sleeping through the alarm, in spite of the very comfortable borrowed bed. (Thanks Shaun and Renelle) We picked David up and left for the airport at about 4:10.  Poor David. 

Got to the airport and checked our bags.  Then I sat down and opened my backpack and saw the little video camera.  Instantly I realized that our other cameras were still in the back seat of the car.  So David got to run to the airport twice.  As Leo said, he has high maintenance parents. 

Anyway, here we are in Toronto already waiting in the lounge for our next flight which does not leave till this afternoon.  This is one time I really appreciate Leo’s purchase that gives us access to this space.  He travels enough to make use of it regularly – me about twice a year.  It is nice on a day like this.

Oh yeah, I would wager that Saskatoon has the most vicious mosquitoes in the world.  There is water everywhere around the city – perfect breeding grounds.  Even the doors to the airport failed to keep them out.  But I don’t think they were allowed past security.  Maybe there was enough fresh blood to suck on the hapless folks standing in line to check in.



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Canada Day till now.

I am so glad that Canada Day showed up in the middle of the week this year! We had decided a long time ago to close the office on Friday giving us all a nice long weekend in the middle of summer.

I haven’t had time to relax like I have this weekend for a long time. I decided sort of at the last minute to drive out to Alberta to see the Friesen’s in The Field. Best decision I could have made. Good friends, good times and long stretches of quiet.

And see – I planted Lauralea’s garden.  I think there is more gravel than top soil.  We’ll see what grows.


It’s never too late? Hope the tomato plants survive. They were still looking a bit droopy this afternoon.

I also watched the cross raising.


Good use for an old fire truck. You could tell they are farmers though – no safety harnesses.

Mostly I read and rested.

My soul may have actually caught up with the rest of me. The winter months have had so much time devoted to studying. I’ve crammed lots of things into my brain but my soul sort of went a bit dry I think. I am feeling a bit like I can go back home now and give the last two weeks of work my best, finish organizing the travel in Europe and pack my bags for the Big Trip.


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Done the class and heading home

This past week has been so full. My class took place from 8:30 to 12:30 Monday through Friday except for Wednesdays. I thought when I looked at the schedule that I would have so much time to just relax and enjoy myself. I envisioned joining one of my classmates for a trip down to Millennium Park and maybe a shopping spree or an evening of Jazz.

Not a chance.

I had papers to read and 5 short essays to write but most of all two sermons to prepare and get ready to preach. There was the long process of exegesis to go through before each sermon. Maybe it is better to have a limited number of commentaries to hasten a person through the preparation process – but I had a whole library! And it seemed there was always one book about the subject of the text that caught my eye and was begging to be read.

Each and every spare moment was full of homework. I saw an awful lot of the inside of Brandell Library this visit to Chicago but not much else.

Well, maybe I should qualify that a bit. I did have wonderful visits with my hosts, the Thorpes, even attending their daughter Christine’s son Peter’s graduation open house. What a joy to see this young man who spent a good part of January to March recovering from a head injury, graduate with his class. And there were two dinner’s out with Ruth and another friend – a Persian restaurant with such huge helpings that I had lunches for two days from the leftovers.

I did get in one long walk for exercise on the lovely campus of Northeastern University and yesterday I went shopping. By shopping in a mall yesterday I missed one of the most violent storms of Chicago so I am glad I was not downtown in the middle of Millennium Park after all.

It was a good visit. Three more credits under my belt. Some concerns about my next step in Greek sorted out. Also I’ve been psychologically tested and found to be at least crazy enough to continue towards my MDiv. I am, by the way, not only a 9 on the Enneagram but also an ISFP. In fact, I am such a strong introvert that I probably should not be talking to you like this!


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Preparing and Peeling (or maybe the other way around)

Today I began to feel the aftermath of the day at the beach in Toronto.  The very bad sunburn mid to lower back has begun to peel.  Of course it is not just peeling.  First it blistered and then it itches and then it peels and will in time (not long I hope) dry up.  So it itches now in places I cannot scratch.

While I am a bit itchy, I am also trying to write an inspiring sermon.  The exegesis they ask of us is fairly demanding.  I will, however know a whole lot more about Hebrews than when I started.

I suppose I should get back to work.  I must be ready to preach this by Monday.  My theme sentence is meant to be handed in tomorrow. 

I wonder if I will get any Chicago shopping done this weekend?


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