i love being a dad

August 9, 2011

this evening abbey was completely amazing. i accessed her inner silly-ness by making noises on her belly and neck like we used to when she first learned to giggle, and she just laughed uncontrollably and endlessly. she then decided she would learn a new trick, she would stand on daddy’s chest. i was on my back, i helped her up, and she stood there on my chest, just laughing, and then she decided to be funny and jump, lift her feet, and land fully-squatted on my chest. funny stuff. i then taught her that she could fit on my bent knees as i lift her off the ground, me getting a serious leg workout, and her getting a fun lift. at one point i lifted my legs all the way up right angle to the floor, and she flipped over backward and landed softly on my chest with her feet at my face, fun stuff. she then decided that rather than being lifted on my legs, she would just stomp on my groin, ha. eventually she pulled a pretty amazing move, stood on my chest, looked at me, and jump-squatted onto my trachea. i just heard jen laughing hysterically in the background and abbey had the biggest smile on her face as she looked down on me. she then chose to get back up on my chest, stand there, look down sweetly into my eyes, and say “you ok???” of course i’m ok little one, i’m having the time of my life getting to spend time playing with my sweet girl. i’m going to miss her former self every single day that she grows older, but then every day that she grows older i find that i look forward to what amazing things she will do the following day. i can’t wait to play with her again tomorrow.

by the way, her mommy is simply the most amazing and beautiful girl i know. so thankful that i get to partner up in life with her.

Music, in video.

February 3, 2011

here’s a list of music done in videos that i continually go back to and watch. it’s not all-inclusive, there may be more, but music in video has been huge for me over the years and i’m thankful for the huge amount of work being made available on the net that sadly would never make it to the radio/tv listeners and watchers out there. there’s so much more and creative and inspiring that is available. here are just a few that stand out to me and i would like to keep track of them here.

doug burr: slow southern home

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDdWnC_ZERs

the national: castle rock session

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgwcGHz3BNY

bon iver: flume, take away show from france

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rST_bzZJ9BA&p=C719275794C6D943

woods

http://pitchfork.com/tv/#/pitchfork-live/156-woods/

<script src=”http://player.ooyala.com/player.js?deepLinkEmbedCode=xhNmUwMjpOFDryQlqebvoe41mqxRoGZ6%2Cc3M2x5MToFajaPhKo2Y-Azv8B9XTVzz-&embedCode=xhNmUwMjpOFDryQlqebvoe41mqxRoGZ6″></script&gt;

beirut: nantes, from flying cub cup

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq2s0AhdFE4

alec ounsworth: tiny desk concert. matt sutton’s guitar work is amazing.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123894575

<embed src=”http://www.npr.org/v2/?i=123894575&m=123894576&t=video&#8221; height=”386″ wmode=”opaque” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowFullScreen=”true” width=”400″ base=”http://www.npr.org”></embed&gt;

sufjan stevens: singing lakes of canada(from innocence mission), on a roof. oh, pardon the “french”, if you notice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uceNZtKZAnc

 

there are more…maybe another time.

old emails from africa.

September 6, 2010

may/june 2004. sanyati zimbabwe.

saving these on here so they don’t get deleted from an old email account.

hey everybody,
this is gregg with an update from zimbabwe. in the last few days i’ve had to
leave sanyati and the hospital and travel three hours south to gweru with one of
the guys i’m with in sanyati. dr. boone and his family have gone to kenya until
the end of the week and william brown had some business to take care of in
gweru. we had thought of me simply staying in sanyati for the week as the only
american in the area but after discussing with dr. boone i found out that it was
a very bad idea. being the only american in the area, especially as a new and
unknown volunteer, is a very bad idea as volunteers in the past have run into
some major problems with some locals trying to steal and cause trouble when they
find out that the existing long-term staff are gone. that fact, combined with
the fact that i don’t have a working phone nor a vehicle with which to leave the
area, is the reason i’m spending most of this week with a missionary family in
gweru, a city(an actual city, haven’t seen one in a while) of about 100,000
people.
coming into gweru gives you an even greater perspective on the true poverty
that is seen in the area of the hospital i’ve been working at. after spending
only several weeks in sanyati it’s quite easy to forget that some people in the
country actually have jobs, some people in the country actually have access to
adequate food(though always overpriced, inflation is at 590% compared to the
1.5% in the u.s.), some fuel stations do have fuel to sell, and some people
actually have the luxury of electricity to light their homes, heat their water,
and cook their food. i’m being quite spoiled here in gweru, the house doesn’t
have insects running wild inside it, there is actually grass in the yard, and
the food is excellent….surely beats my “cooking” at the home in sanyati.
i want to comment on what someone had written me in the last week or so to
help provide some perspective on what goes on in the rural areas as a visiting
missionary. someone had written that it’s great to see that i’m able to work,
teach, travel and even share beliefs unhindered and without trouble, that isn’t
really too true. in the past few emails describing what i’ve been able to do in
the area i’ve definitely left out a few things, probably because i’ve come here
expecting everything that i’ve experienced and try to focus on the positive
aspects of an experience rather than the negative. the truth is that the whole
visit hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. i’ve told you of hikes taken
through the bush, bike rides down the only tar road in the area, and work in the
hospital but i also haven’t told you that there hasn’t been a single day gone
by, a single hike through the area, bikeride, or shopping experience that i
haven’t experienced some sort of problems. i haven’t told you of the guy that
yelled at me in shona to lie down in front of his two bulls pulling his cart so
that they can trample me, or the guy riding his bike down the same path as i
that turned towrd me, again yelling, and holding up his fist trying to scare me
off the trail. there have been countless times that i am begged for just about
everything that i own by people telling completely false stories fo their lives
to me. for example i talked briefly with a young boy on a trail with his
friends, as i walked about thirty yards away i stopped and took my watch out of
my backpack to check the time, the boy, seeing this, runs up to me again saying
“excuse me again sir, but last week some friends at school stole my only watch
and i no longer have any way to keep time and don’t have money to buy another
one because i’m so very poor. is there any way that you could help me?” i told
him nicely that i was sorry that i couldn’t, i really couldn’t anyway, i only
have one watch and can’t afford to replace it, he walked back to his friends who
promptly laughed out loud with their friend at his false story to get my watch.
there have been countless other times only within a few weeks here. i’ve also
been told by the groundskeeper at the guest house(baba office), who’s lived in
the area his whole life, that many of the people coming to my house are telling
absolute lies about their conditions, the cost of school fees, and their family
life, simply to attempt to get money from me. in fact they will not come to the
house when he is still nearby because they’re afraid he will tell me the truth.
there have been many other occasions where i’ve had to avoid confrontation that
could have brought trouble or harm to me as well. all of this has been an
expected part of the experience due to the impoverished conditions, governmental
struggles, and overall lack of taught values in the society. i read through a
book listing the current most dangerous places for american’s to travel,
zimbabwe was ranked in the top three. to give a little perspective or comparison
to another country that many american’s see as a very dangerous place to visit
and share, china, wasn’t in the book.
through this i’m not trying to sensationalize anything of the area or even
make my trip seem more interesting to anyone reading. but there are many truths
to the danger of the area. another point that i’ll make briefly is the fact that
i don’t share anything of the political situation and actions against certain
peoples in zim even within the last few years. the stories, though completely
true, would appal you. the reasoning simply is that it isn’t safe to share
details of events, involved people, or parties over the phone or our email
connection, for my safety and the safety of those here.
so, given a true description of the area and the events and problems
experienced daily, why would you want to come here in attempt to reach out and
help others in some way? the reasons are countless, the almost cliche’ help the
poor descriptions are not lies. especially in the rural area of sanyati and
other similar areas. there are many people here who truly don’t have enough food
to eat on a regular basis, people here with so little education and so little
money that they don’t identify lifetheatening health conditions or emergency
problems, and when finally treated they don’t have the money to pay for it.(even
though all surgical procedures in sanyati are under $20 u.s.) there are a
countless amount of children here whom haven’t seen there fathers in years(in a
nearby school of 1000 students, over 400 are orphans), many whose mothers have
died of aids. a clinic near the house here in gweru tests its pregnant mothers
for hiv, 57% of all mothers coming through the clinic have tested positive, and
without treatment(which the rural areas don’t get) one out of four children will
contract aids from their mothers, they will die within 3 years. at least 70% of
the patients in our hospital, if tested, would be hiv positive. students cannot
afford their school-books even if their parents can afford the school fees to
the public school (i purchased a friend’s european history-book for him so that
he could study for the next two terms of his 11th grade year, the cost, $5
u.s….his mother couldn’t afford it) the average income for the country comes
to about $450 u.s. per year, 80% of the population is jobless. and the usual
excuse we give that they don’t need a whole lot of money, “because prices are so
low there”, isn’t in any way true, especially with an inflation rate of 590%. if
you are one of the few people with a vehicle it’s a battle to find gasoline,(one
station near sanyati hasn’t had fuel in 3 years, the other station, often once
in several months) and if you do the price is insanely expensive. the stats and
even more powerful, the stories of people i meet daily, go on and on. there is a
class of the rich and powerful, and a majority class of people who are often
living the exact same way that truly “primitive” peoples in the area lived over
1000 years ago. and trust me, living according to your history and ancestors
isn’t in any way adequate or even philosophically acceptable when those ancient
cultures(great zimbabwe) and practices couldn’t feed populations of more than
25,000 people without dying out, and especially unacceptable in a modern age
when we have people with knowledge, materials, and practices that can aid and
help to cure the problems of these impoverished and dying people.
i hope this gives an adequate description of the poverty and troubles that
i’ve found here in zim and can also be found all over the world. the truth is
that what aid workers do here is honestly not very different from aid of people
within the states. giving time here is little different from the time i’ve spent
building houses for single student mothers with habijax, giving time teaching
second-graders each week how to stay fit and healthy in a fast-food world,
folding and packing clothing for needy families with dignity u-wear, helping
teach disabled children, and countless more activities over the years. the truth
is that you can also give time to people in need even within the states. i have
wanted to travel to africa since childhood, since my years of dreaming of being
a wildlife photographer or building home-made balsa wood biplanes with motors
glued to them so they could fly far away(they promptly crashed to the ground
after an exciting 3 second flight), that is why i’ve wanted to come here to work
and experience life, at least for a little while. but the attitude of giving and
helping others in all areas of life physical, mental, and spiritual is not one
that should be confined to a far away world with distant peoples, it should be
an everyday experience, wherever you are.

may 2004, sanyati zimbabwe, africa.

sorry guys but i just had to send that last email out with some of those

thoughts. i’ve had some interesting experiences for sure. just wanted to give

some of you an update of some of the other things i’ve had going on lately.
wednesday night i taught 8 or 10 nursing students who wanted me to help them
study and learn from my textbooks. i prepared a brief lecture on hiv/aids
(patho/phys., modes of transmission, opportunistic diseases, pertinent nursing
diagnoses). the time went well, i actually taught in their one room schoolhouse
with one small chalkboard, slightly different from my lecture halls with yards
and yards of chalkboard, huge powerpoint led projectors, and computer systems
with internet and surround sound(which are extremely good for watching surf
videos and dvds late night after the janitors leave…but i won’t tell you how
many times i’ve, i mean some people, have done that). i was also able to
incorporate, since the hospital’s mission statement includes meeting the
spiritual needs of its patients, aspects of how to meet patients needs in that
area. this allowed me to share the main ideas biblically taught for salvation,
and hence eternal relief and easing of the suffering of many patients. i was
also able to give them materials that the doctor has for the patients to read on
illness and the healing effects (eternally) of a relationship with god. as i
said it went well and i’m helping them learn another useful topic this wednesday
evening as well.
on another note, this thursday night i recieved a knock at my door. it was
chris chirambamwe, a 17 year old whom i had met and played soccer with in the
past two weeks. chris’ mother died when he was young and his father doesn’t seem
to be around, i believe i heard he died some years ago also, but i’m not
completely sure. he currently lives with his stepmother, whome his father had
married after his mother’s death. his stepmother had to go to another town to
take care of her ill mother for at least a week. he came to my flat that night
because, as often can be the case for him, he didn’t have enough food in the
house to eat. so, for the evening, and once or twice since then i’ve been able
to cook him a nice dinner from the food i have and let him hang out with me for
a while. while over at my house i quickly learned that people here aren’t
familiar of the idea of the sandwhich, i pulled out several items from the
refrigerator to make a good ham and cheese sandwhich, placed them on the
counter, and asked him if he would like a sandwhich. he looked at me and said
sure. i said ok, the things are out on the counter, i don’t know how you like it
so i’ll let you make it. well i quickly noticed him simply staring at the
evidently seemingly unrelated items(a loaf of bread, mayonaise, meat, cheese,
mustard, and a knife) with no apparent attempt to make a sandwhich and asked
him, trying not to make him feel stupid, if he’d ever made a sandwhich before,
of course, he said no. what was i thinking, this is a place where the only food
they eat is sadza(made from maize, the same stuff they feed the cows) and
whatever meat they kill, and maybe, if lucky, some vegetables. of course he’s
never even seen a snadwhich before. i quickly demonstrated how he could put meat
and cheese in between two slices of bread with mayonaise and mustard spreaded on
it and then hold it in your hands and eat the wonderful food creation. it was
pretty funny. he loved his first sandwhich.
henry david thoreau once wrote of his boyhood home how he would often put “a
loaf of bread in a sack and hop over the back fence” for a long hike through the
fields. that is similar to what i’ve also been trying to do to keep myself busy
on the days i’m not in the hospital. today actually, i’ve hiked a total of about
5 hours up and down sandy footpaths winding between farmers small coton and
maize fields and then heading off into dense brush and trees, then always,
seeming to end up again in between another farmers small field and a round
hand-made brick house with thatched roof. on one 2 hour trip i walked with
fanta, a 45 year old security guard from the hospital whose home and family i
had visited earlier. we walked and talked through the bush then out onto the
only paved road then back to dirt, after a while coming to a relative’s
homestead (his relative, not mine) where he was supposed to pick up two guinea
pigs for his young son to take care of. he picked his two favorite out of this
horribly dirty pen as i took photographs of the man’s home where his wife
promtly gathered all the herd of their children and plopped them, posing, on the
porch of the house to have a family picture made. i think i’m supposed to mail
the picture from the states to fanta to give to the family when i get home. the
man, as we were leaving, asked me if i could take a picture of him in his
cow-pen with a few cows. i thought to myself, of all the places out here, you
want a picture in that dirty pen with those cows?! but he was definitely
serious, so i took a photograph. a man and his cows. which will be slaughtered
by that smae man sometime in the near future…don’t think he really loves them
all that much.
the last week i’ve also hiked through several other areas for quite some
time. at one point after walking through the dense bush for an hour, and feeling
quite manly and outdoorsman-like for my accomplishment, i’m sure there were some
inward “good job gregg” and “pretty fearless aren’t you” sort of thoughts being
tossed around when i heard a noise from behind me. it was an interesting noise,
almost childish in its tone. i soon looked back down the path behind me and
found a small boy, no older than 7 years old, walking the same exact path that i
had walked for about an hour. what in the world was this small child doing on my
great outdoor hike in the deep dark woods? he was walking home from school. and
walking quite playfully i might add, seeming to just increase the degree of
deflation of my ego by another notch. the kid, his name was peter, was indeed
walking home from school, the same as he does 5 days a week, all by himself, for
well over an hour. shocked me back to some sort of sense on my hike for sure.
well i’ll say goodbye for now. and say thank you for reading and emailing.
things are going well here though very quiet at times, especially in the
seemingly endless night. the place is a little more suited to a quiet married
couple than to a 22 year old single guy, but i make do. the stars are always
plentiful each night and seen happily dancing in the sky for whoever chooses to
lie in the lawn and peer through binoculars up at them.

old emails from africa #3

September 6, 2010

may 2004, sanyati baptist hospital, zimbabwe africa.

after this week of work at the hospital i’ve come to a distinct and new
realization. the setting for this realization that flew itself into my mind with
the speed of a supersonic jet whizzing through my frontal lobe was a room full
of intense screams of pain and sights that shouldn’t be allowed by god before
human eyes. the realization was this. whoever said that giving birth was a
wondrous and beautiful thing, must have been smoking something serious! i make
this statement with all sensitivity and compassion toward mother and child, i
assure you. i’ve spent the majority of this week working in the maternity ward
and have had the chance to deliver my first and many other babies to expecting
mothers. i’ve had the chance to stimulate some very flat babies to take their
first oxygen, ambu. bag, and chest compression assisted breaths and watch their
color wonderfully change from blue to a very pleasant pink. the chance to, quite
against the loving and caring grain of my being, slap a newborn baby’s feet hard
enough to send them into a deep cry of pain and therefore awaken them and
encourage their first breath after c-section sedation. and the chance to find
that a baby girl named precious whom i had just delivered was immensely
tickle-ish and did her best to smile and laugh as much as she could while beaing
cleaned, weighed, and wrapped in blankets for her mother(have to say that was
immensely fun).
after all of these new but everyday experiences i want to propose a slight
change in the painful, dirty, gooey, and loud process that god’s set for present
birth. (this is completely in jest, but if god’s interested, we can discuss it
further) i would much prefer and now propose that the birthing process be some
sort of sterile and effortless silicon valley creation, in which the mother and
father, after having all the “fun” that they want, will send their genetic
material to a lab to be combined for pregnancy. the traditional pregnancy test
would now be replaced with the surprising arrival of a large package at their
doorstep with a note, “congratulations, you’re pregnant!”. and on the package is
a date, approximately nine months from the mailing of the genetic material, by
which is a sign stating “do not open until…”. on the box would also be a
scratch off card resembling a lotto ticket with which the expecting parents
coul, with excitement and trepidation, scratch to reveal the sex of their
expected child. nine months then pass, the parents happily prepare the home, and
on the due date (or somewhere near that date, to provide a little more
excitement) the package opens, revealing a beautifully developed, CLEAN, WARM,
BREATHING, and otherwise quite happy and STERILE baby.
i know this idea sounds quite odd and definitely not manageable, but
honestly, if you’ve ever been on the giving or specifically the receiving end of
a birth you know what i mean when i say i wish we would try to make something
like this a possibility. for sensitivity and compassion to mother, baby,
and…the deliverer!

emails from africa #2

August 23, 2010

hmm, where do i start. i hope everyone’s doing great at home. things are going well out here in zim. this week i’ve spent monday through friday observing and working in the hospital. the hospital itself is a shock to the eyes. i’m absolutely sure that if this place were in the US, upon simply arriving at the hospital any sort of health and safety department would shut it down, but this is where people come to get well. the hspital has about 100 beds and a good sized maternity ward, an outpatient and admission area consisting of 2 examining and prescribing nurses. ths week i got the chance to observe and help out a little in surgery, what we call here “theater”. we performed several needed surgeries each day including c-sections, hernia repairs, tumor removals, among others. it’s amazing things actually get done here because while in theater you’ll notice ants and spiders casually making there way around the walls and windows, the “sterile” environment is actually cooled, by a window unit air conditioner blowing up above our heads with visible dust and dirt clinging to its vents, i’m sure though that none of the debri ever falls down onto the sterile tools and dressings directly underneath;) yet surgeries go on without a hitch. the inpatient wards are a single building with large rooms holding about 10-12 beds each(no private rooms like st. lukes!) we have women’s, men’s, and children’s wards seperated. about 80-90% of the cases here are malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and immuno-suppressed disease(hiv/aids). it’s amazing, the majority of the patients honestly all have one of these diagnoses or complications. the wards are appalling and the care nothing close to what we expect at home, yet patients get treated and released in better condition. a bad part of the work here is that many of the cases seen in the hospital are very extreme. the people here, typically due to lack of money don’t come in for treatment until the are at a nearly life-threatening condition,(tumors the size of a grapefruit, pulmonary effusions completely whiting out both lungs from t.b., and blackwater fever(malaria) induced semi-coma, so i’ve already seen many of the most ill patients that i expect i ever will in my medical career. outside the hospital things are going well. my professors will be happy (or scared to death to know) that i’m now teaching several nursing students a few times each week after teaching them one day in the hospital how to write a worthwhile prgress note on their patients, instead of things like “patient had an ill day”, “patient very ill”. i’ve also been able to spend time with some other people from the area. today i went on a “hike” on a well-used but very small trail through the bush (actually one of the main roads for the area) with a guy who is studying at the hospital and until a year ago led safari’s in botswana. i think he got a kick out of leading an american down a rough trail again, even though i had taken myself down it last night…i didn’t tell him that. i’m still trying to get a feel of the culture here in this rural area, it’s tough when with some people i’m seen almost as a movie star and with other as a rich american tourist…so getting a real feel for the people is a little tough at times. i’ve already had several random knocks at my door only to open it to a woman or boy with goods layed out on my porch wanting me to purchase whatever i want. i’m definitelt getting a feel for the outdoors here. though it’s not exactly total wolderness since people actually live here, there is still good walks to be had. yesterday after reading in a book by jane goodall of a person she heard of that was buried in an ant bed to his neck and left to die back in the early 1900’s i actually stumbled on what turned out not to be a simple yet large dirt hill but a 20 ft. by 20ft. and 3 ft. high, but an army ant hill(matabela ants i’ve been told) anywhere from 3-5 feet deep. i decided not to walk up onto it for a better view and quickly watched over my shoulder for any sinister looking natives awaiting my capture for an ant dinner. well i think i’ve written a lot already, and i’m sure i’ve forgotten something interesting to tell (like buying a 25 year old sanyati native his first ever hamburger in kadoma) so i’ll stop for now. tonight i’m having dinner with the boone’s and tommorrow will be another area church, hopefully not too many miles away, and a nice sunny 75-80 degree day.

i completely forgot about a few old emails that i sent from africa back in 2004. i remembered them on my hotmail account today and thought i would post them here for my future reference before they get deleted from hotmail. although they’ve managed to stay on there for 6 years now, so maybe i’ll never lose them anyways. for those who don’t know, i spent 2 months as a volunteer missionary in africa in 2004. zimbabwe specifically, in southern africa. i flew over by myself to volunteer in a missionary-run “hospital” in a very rural area of the country and spent 2 months working/living there.

“hey everybody, it’s 8:30 pm zim time saturday night. just wanted to tell you
that after 4 days of travel i’ve finally arrrived at the complex in sanyati.
i’ve spent about 24 hours flying on three separate flights from j-ville to
harare with about 15 minutes of sleep in the first 30 hours of the trip…i
definitely can’t sleep on planes. i exchanged money at the airport before
leaving for the city, an exchange rate of $1 US for $5200 ZIM, i can pridefully
say that i have now joined the ranks of the very rich millionaire, 1.6
approximately at the moment. i had to spend two nights at a guest house in
harare because i wasn’t able to get a bus ticket for the next city until
saturday morning. the house was actually pretty nice, part of a large complex
of missionaries’ houses covering a full city block. i didn’t get to do much in
harare because the area i was in wasn’t safe enough to walk around, the complex
is completely surrounded by a 7 foot tall concrete fence, with solid iron gates
and another foot of electrical wiring on top to deter thieves with 10,000 volts
constantly running through them, there are also at least two hired guards
watching the gates and property at all times…the worst of new york city’s got
nothing on this place. this morning i finally boarded a very nice bus for a two
hour trip to kadoma, a small city in the south of harare, where i was met by
someone from the sanyati mission to buy food at the grocery store(a very
interesting experience), we also helped a worker of william’s find a single bag
of concrete with which he is beginning to build a home, it took us to a
comparatively bad area of the small town where we pulled into a driveway behind
some buildings and a young boy quickly yelled out in the shona language “white
people! white people!”(i’m not kidding at all here) the guy selling the bag of
concrete wanted to charge $60,000 for the bag simply because we(two white guys)
were there helping but soon lowered the price to a slightly high $4,000. we then
drove another hour down some extremely shotty roads to sanyati. the drive was
definitely eye opening with many cylindrical huts with thatched roofs lining the
roads and fields. i can’t say i was actually looking in particular for nowhere,
but i’m absolutely sure i’m now in the middle of it. it’s pretty crazy out here,
definitely safer than in the city though, we still have to lock everyhting and
watch our belongings all the time. i’ve settled into my large two bedroom flat
that is actually very nice to stay in, and have already played soccer with dr.
boone, william(another missionary), and what ended up being 25 children between
ages 7 and 20. i’m gonna run now, i’m extremely tired from the travel and have
to finish unpacking my things. tomorrow i’ll probably go to a small church out
here and play some more games with the kids in the afternoon, then monday
morning head over to the hospital(100 yards) to begin some work, we’ve got a
surgeon her euntil thursday so we’ll be finishing up any needed surgical
procedures in the first few days. i hope all of you are doing well and i’ll
email again later. if you’d like to email me sometime you’re all welcome to, the
address for me here is pboone@healthnet.zw, please don’t send any attachments or
pictures as we don’t have true internet, and as the title of the email simply
write ‘gregg m.’, so that we will know that it is mine. all of you are welcome
to email me if you’d like and i would definitely like to hear from you since
absolutely nothing except for my clif bars and granola bars are anything like
home.

talk with you guys later,
gregg”

absence…

January 29, 2010

some people think that i don’t update this enough. yes, i know, i kind-of forgot about it once again. sorry folks. i love you though. maybe again sometime soon.

gm

thankful

May 14, 2009

i am always amazed and so thankful at how god provides for our needs and keeps us lacking in nothing. we’ve reached a point of major needs, for LOTS of crazy details that all relate to one another to work out…and they have. i don’t doubt that god will continue to provide, but we will still be in continued prayer and need for prayer and provision and comfort especially over the next 2+ years.

  • jen got into grad school…awesome! she’ll get a masters in counseling…absolutely perfect for her and we’ll both have jobs that suit god’s will for our lives as individuals and a couple.
  • we got into cheap on-campus housing…and one of the few apartments that allow dogs on campus too. this is amazing b/c if we didn’t get in there, we honestly wouldn’t be able to afford to live.
  • i got a job. with only 2 icu positions in the entire metro area posted as hiring, i applied for those two and i ended up with FIVE, yes FIVE interviews at 4 different hospitals. that’s unheard of, and especially in an economy where hospitals just aren’t hiring well right now(the term “nursing shortage” means nothing in relationship to available jobs.  i got offered and took an intense cvicu position very similar to where i’m at now and the manager actually told me before, during, and after the interview…”we don’t actually have a position available, but i wanted to interview you, and let’s just say, if you really impress us and we like you, we’ll make a position available somehow”. this is crazy amazing. a more than perfect job in the most intense icu in the city…completely created by god for us. if i didn’t get a good job…we couldn’t do it. the hospital is only 2-3 miles down the road, basically same street we”ll live off of.
  • we’re having a baby. and in perfect timing. jen will be finishing up with the fall semester and will have the christmas break off to get to know our new little friend.
  • somehow….SOMEHOW…my not-so-large income comes to the EXACT amount that our fixed bills, gas, and some groceries add up to. this is awesome and encouraging. it’s going to be amazingly tough, because in reality it’ll be a huge stretch and there will be weeks when we don’t have enough, but somehow it’ll work out, we know it will.
  • what else…OH YES… my parents, in an amazing and compassionate realization of need have bought jen a new laptop for grad school. our desktop wasn’t going to cut it, and our wonderful friends had let us borrow there’s but it wasn’t quite going to work out as easily as jen needs for grad school. my mom, being a current college student right now (awesome), knows the need, and they’ve already blessed us hugely. we’re very thankful and this will help make life soo much easier for jen.

ok…i’ve got food at home so i’m going to go there and eat. these are a few of the things we’re thankful for right now and proof of god’s constant provision for us.

annoyed

April 14, 2009

because of my natural tendency toward procrastination and lack or understanding of time and date (i.e. the fact that something is coming up in a day or two versus several weeks away), i have missed out out death cab for cutie tickets that i had planned to buy. and now am forced into simply not being able to go b/c i can’t afford the scalped tickets prices, ugh. i’m really annoyed about this and tired of the fact that i always do this. i remember to buy something and then think that it’s still a long ways away, and then i forget about it for a while, and then when i remember, it’s too late.

because i’m scared of having to pay $$ to the irs for taxes i’ve waited until the last minute to submit my taxes, and naturally because EVERYTHING detail related like this sort of thing doesn’t work out well, there’s a crazy unheard of problem where our name and ss#’s and birthdates don’t match somehow according to the irs. this is complete crap of course b/c nothing has ever changed in this regard and we submitted last year with the exact same info and had no issues. of course this would mess up. this is the kind of detailed stuff that my personality isn’t good with, so, naturally, something gets messed up. ugh.

i annoy myself often. i’m constantly amazed that things ever work out as they should when detailed things are required. luckily i have a wife that can take care of some things that i’m incapable of on a regular basis.

crap, did i send money to the account for my car payment, i forget if i did that or not. i remember remembering it at one point a few weeks ago while at work though. i hope i remembered some other time.

i hope jen reminds me when we’re supposed to go to florida to visit the family. i don’t allow myself to buy tickets of any sort anymore after making a flight reservation once for the wrong month, only to find out as i showed up to the airport 30 minutes before my flight that i wasn’t scheduled to fly for another month. that was a very expensive mistake costing well over $1k to fix…so, i don’t make reservations without having someone else watch me do it, or having someone else do it altogether.

wish i could go to that death cab concert. it’s ok, mates of state ad the black kids are playing next week, i should just try to make iot to that one instead.

i have to try to talk to the irs tommorrow morning, ugh.

what else? i don’t remember.