Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tee Time

I took to the green this week for a round of mini-golf with my brother, Ben, his girlfriend, Linnea, and my cousin, Dan. Following a late afternoon rainstorm that broke the humidity and drenched the parched ground, we headed over to Putter There, a small (but thrilling) course near Como Lake. We opted to play 9 holes of our choice on the 18-hole course, generally sticking to those holes not submersed in rain water. The golf round got off to a quick start when Linnea hit a hole-in-one on the first hole. A celebration round of Blizzards followed at Dairy Queen on Lexington Avenue. Well done, golfers!

Weekend in Chicago

Charity, Kari, Mel, and I spent a girls weekend in Chicago, where we stumbled upon the filming of a Batman movie. Amidst visiting Millenial Park, eating Chicago-style pizza, walking through the city, stopping at Starbucks, shopping, more walking, and a trip to an outdoor market, this was by far the most exciting part of our weekend. Each evening, we'd walk home by way of Wacker Drive and stand on the bridges over the river to see what action we could see. One night we saw the bat mobile being filmed in a chase scene. Another night, we arrived at the bridges just after this Gotham SWAT truck had been driven through a cement wall into the river and then hauled back out by a crane. Even though we missed seeing it for ourselves, we got play-by-play details from other enthusiastic observers and met stunt man Mike on our walk home, who told us all about a stunt driver's role in filming a shot like that. Great memories with great friends!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

4th of July Weekend at the Cottage

On my way home from PFO, I joined my extended family at my grandparents' cottage. It was very hot and we spent most of the weekend swimming in the lake and tubing on the Crystal River. It was fun to have the Ware cousins visiting from Virginia. Good food and sunburns were plentiful!

PFO in Houghton, NY

From July 23 to August 6, I attended Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) in Houghton, NY. Along with 180 other attendees, I learned about the phases of transitioning to life in another country, dealing with culture stress, what to expect in the international school classroom, and how to effectively teach students from a wide range of cultures. I also made new friends and had a chance to meet many of the new staff going to Vienna Christian School (VCS) this fall. Pictured here with me are three other VCS staff members and our advisor for this training, Laura (center). While most days at PFO were devoted to training, we did have the opportunity to visit Niagra Falls on Canada Day!