May 25, 2006

Can You Go Mow the Roof?

I know this sounds a bit uh, nerdy, but Erica and I were both anxiously anticipating the opeining of the new huge central library in Minneapolis. Aside from just being a great place to get books, the vast majority of the entire collection is available, the new library represents a place for the community to get all types of services. The library is designed by a world class architect as a modern structure with a unique design. In addition, there are interesing feature such as a green space on the roof of the library with plants (grass I believe) that help to create a more energy efficient building while managing runoff water to water the plants and surrounding greenery. I don’t know whose job it is to mow the roof of the library, but I imagine that someone has that unique task in their job description

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January 13, 2006

Working on the Reservation

I have been on an unintentional blog sabitical. A combination of lack of high speed access and our transition back home. At the end of December, I worked at Pine Ridge Hosptial on the Ogala Souix reservation in South Dakota. I found the work challenging, I got lost in the badlands in the pitch black of night on my way in from Rapid City. The hours were long and the resources of the hosptial were limited compared to my usual practice. That being said, I enjoyed serving the Native American population. I had a wonderful team in the ED of nurses and clerks. I found the black hills another beautiful part of our country worthy of another visit for exploration. The experience was challenging but net positive.

I enjoyed many beautiful sunrises in the big sky country.

There was a snow storm on my second shift. I was very glad to have my SUV to drive back to my home in the snow.

My reward to myself was to explore the Black Hills on my way out of South Dakota. I found these wild mules in Crazy Horse national park.

These friendly mules decided to have a closer look at me.

To my surprise with no fear they poked their heads into my suv for a pet.

It was great to visit the monument of Mount Rushmore. The “faces” as I was told by the locals as the local name, were specifically chosen. George Washington for the birth of the nation, Thomas Jefferson for the expansion. Abraham Lincoln for the preservation of unity and Theodore Rosevelt for the developement of the nation.

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November 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Erica!

Today we celebrate you and how you touch our lives. Happy 28th Birthday Erica! I am blessed to have you as my wife.

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October 24, 2005


We’re recovering and sorting through treasures we’ve accumulated from around the world and things we’ve negected in storage for 15 months. It’s always good to go home after extended travels. Its nice to visit old haunts, enjoy familiar tastes and most importantly connect with old freinds and family.

We were thrilled to see old freinds again who trecked accross the state for some fun, food and well.. lots of photos. It was so great to see old friends and pick up as if no time had passed at all. See above photo; Tim, Juliana and Jill. Cheers and a warm welcome to all our treasured freinds.

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October 15, 2005

Coming to America

Our adventure continued in the streets of Prague. After leaving the diverse landscape of Turkey, we explored the winding backalleys and cobblestoned streets of beautiful Prague. We soaked up Bavaria; walked accross St. Charles Bridge in the shadow of Prague castle, marvelled at old town square with its Gothic Cathedrals, tried Pilsner beer with a side of goulash, got lost in the winding alleys of one of europe’s preserved Jewish ghettos. Then it was off to Sweden for some exploring of Erica’s roots. Beautiful Stockholm was in the full splender of fall. My favorite season, we missed fall during our experience down under. The trees in Stockholm were bursting with fall colors. This city of islands connected by bridges was a great fun to explore and learn about Vikings, Swedish culture, and history. We took a side trip to Vingakor for an expertly guided whirlwing tour of Erica’s Swedish roots. We experienced great Swedish hosptiality while viewing ancestral homes and beautiful Swedish countryside. After a brief side trip to Sigtuna to search out 900 year old runestones in Sweden’s oldest living town, we hoped on a plane for the journey accross the big pond to New York City. Hello Big Apple! We’re back in the United States.

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October 09, 2005

Turkey's Magical Landscapes

Turkey is a place of great natural beauty. Turkey has truly been blessed with a diverse landscape from a lovely Mediterranean coast to the craters of the moon of capadocia. We were lucky enough to enjoy some of the breathtaking scenery of Turkey.

Capadoccia: Is a place where the landscape is so unique, the original people thought it must have been created by fairies. It looks like the earth has been folded into white peaks like a long ribbon of candy.

There are dynamic “imagination” valleys where the shape and form of the earth is so varied. This varied landscape invites one to allow the imagination to wander like looking upon a cloud filled sky.

The earth has been shaped and formed into “fairy chimneys” that dot the landscape. There is even a natural “last castle.” A large mound has been carved into the dwelling of a city. This city sits proudly looking out over the plains like a majestic castle.

Pamukkale: is a such a breath taking sight, a religious roman city was constructed in its place. Heavily calcified water has created a magical landscape of natural pools, cascades and terraces.

The warm mineral water still flows down the side of the cliff adding to this magical landscape daily. We walked down from the top enjoying the aqua colored pools terrace by terrace.

At sunset, the orange glow of the sun setting over the mountains reflects in the pools and on the white landscape. The magic of this place is spectacular.

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October 05, 2005

Sacred Places in Turkey

My previous impression of Turkey was a secular predominantly Muslim country. Once I started to look into Turkey as a travel destination, I discovered that Turkey is rich in sacred Christians sites that I never thought about. A few of the sacred sites we were blessed to visit in Turkey include:
Aya Sofia: an incredible church from Byzentine Holy Roman Empire Times. Amazing Frescoes.

Ancient cave churches where Christians fled to avoid being martyred by the Romans. The original frescoes are still intact!

Ancient underground city also used by early Christians to avoid warfare and persecution. Amazingly complex and clever places and VERY secure.

Early seminary used by the apostles for teaching also in these cave structures.

The Virign Mary’s House! Where she fled with John who looked after her until her death. This was just outside Ephesus.

The most complete ruins of a Roman city; Efes (the very one of Ephesians)

The nearby city of Colossea (the very same as the church of Colosians)

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October 02, 2005

Desert Rythm in the Middle East

One of the things I love about traveling is when it challenges my views of things. I never would have imagined taking a vacation to an Islamic country in the Middle East. Enter Dubai, a stop on the round the world trip, and I left with a changed world view, and memoires of a country that I found fascinating and exotic. Dubai is a modern, tolerant booming middle eastern city in the United Arab Emirates. Definatley the city that oil built, this city has grown by leaps and bounds from its roots of nomadic bedouin people. I found Dubai to be amazing city different from any place that I have travelled. This is a surprisingly a cosmopolitan albeitt middle eastern and asian cultures. Iranians, lebanese, Indian, Pakistani and Arabs mix harmoniously with others seeking their fortunes in this port city.

Dubai is hot. The heat hits you like a furnace once you leave the refuge of air conditioned spots. The sun beats down on the tan colored old parts of the city and the glittering glass skysccrapers alike. Dubai has some of the most amazing architectual buildings in the world. Everything is top flight out here.

Highlights of our time here include:
We got lost in one of the old sections of town and were surrounded by mostques witht the evening call to prayer at sunset. It was a mysterious reminder of our new place in this different culture.

Sunsets are spectacular on the waterfront with the clear desert sky

We took a sunset cruise up the river. The contast between ancient mosques and sandstone colored building with modern skyscrapers was just magnificent.

Souqs (markets) with winding alleys to get lost in.

Desert safari! great fun with dune bashing and camp with belly dancing and henna.

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