Happy Birthday to me! (are we there yet?)

I’m not sure if you can get more self-promoting than sending out a group email to Happy Birthday yourself, but there it is! 😉

I happen to be spending my 37th Birthday (which I think is the official entrance into ‘late 30’s’ a category I’m not thrilled about. 36 can definitely still be mid-thirties, but 37 has tipped the scales toward 40) in San Jose at the Presbyterian General Assembly (GA). I think that makes up for any jealousy other travel experiences in my life might incur! The good thing about spending my birthday at GA is that at least I don’t feel old…I’ve still got at least a couple of decades before I approach the average age in the Presbyterian church!

I’m here as a freelance reporter for The Presbyterian Outlook  and mainly following the work of the Peacemaking and International Issues Committee which is dealing with the war in Iraq as well as the Israeli/Palestinian situation. So, as committees go, it’s actually a pretty interesting one to be a part of (of which to be a part) and at least with the Israeli/Palestinian topic, one in which I’ve got some personal exposure as well.

On Sunday I went to a lunch where one of the speakers told a story in which the punch line was basically “Don’t keep asking if we’re there yet—we’re nomads, for crying out loud!” I think I may have to appropriate that for my own life…I keep wondering when I will be ‘there yet’ and keep realizing that, at least for now, this random nomadic life seems to actually be what I am ‘called’ to. I know that people say that life is more about the journey than the destination, but somehow I keep thinking that if I could only find the destination, then I’d be set.  “We’re nomads, for crying out loud!”

In other news, I’ve posted new pictures from a recent trip to Europe that I took to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day. She was in Amsterdam, I just showed up at the hotel—thankfully, she was glad! (and also thankfully Continental had a frequent flier ticket available with a two week notice.)

I also have pictures from the recent Photopiece class that I taught in La Mision, Mexico. Over the course of six weekends I taught photography (along with Marty Harriman, whose parents were friends with my grandma in Mexico as well as my parents) to a small group of local teenage girls.  As the culmination of the class we exhibited the work at the annual Memorial Day Fiesta in La Mision. Their work can be seen here and is really quite phenomenal. I have really been enjoying teaching photopiece in LA, Ecuador and now Mexico. I’ve got an offer to teach it at a deaf school in Gaza, but for the moment that seems a bit difficult to pull off. It’s really an amazing way to help teenagers gain a sense of their own dignity and that they have a view of the world that is worth sharing, if they can learn how to communicate it visually. The work from the Ecuador Photopiece class was just exhibited at Princeton Seminary and it was really amazing to see how it impacted those who saw it.

It’s late and I have a long day of committee meeting sitting tomorrow, so I hope this finds you well and that the summer will allow for some rest, relaxation, or vacation!

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