March Madness in April

This post (as most of our posts are) is a touch outdated, but I wanted to write about our March Madness party we had last week.  Feels like it was forever ago, but when I look at the calendar, it really was just last week…  I had a rare day off so I wanted to have people over to watch the big game, before we even knew Butler would be in it.  Supposed to be a fun stress-free evening, but then Butler made it tense and my “four-course meal” made it less than stress-free.  All in all it was very fun though and Butler was so close to making history we could taste it…

But what we tasted instead:

Butler Butterscotch Basketballs

Butterfinger Oreo Truffle Basketballs (for Duke?)

Brie Raspberry Pastry Round the Hoop

Also with Bulldog Beef Kabobs

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mini-marathon

Neither Jeff nor I ran the mini-marathon this year, but that does not mean that we did not take part in the festivities.  We went out to cheer on several of our friends that were running (Rich, Mark, Becky, Austin/Kristina/other Lehmans, Brad)– all the ones that we have heard did very well, particularly around mile marker 10-11 where we were. 🙂   We also saw many other people we knew from church, work, high school, med school etc which is always fun.  Some highlights:

1)  We saw the Kenyans.  Normally we don’t get there soon enough for that, but we must have had pretty high expectations of our friend, Rich, who we expected to be the first to pass.  I don’t know if this is the order they finished, but the first guy was pretty far ahead:

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These guys are really fast and hard to catch on camera!

2)  One of my favorite parts is cheering for the other 20,000 people that we don’t know (there are many more that run it, but we usually check out shortly after our friends pass us).  We make signs for our friends and then general encouragement signs on the reverse so we just turn it over when the friend shows up.  This year our signs read “You can do it!” and “Fight for it!”  We got several comments on both signs.  We got about nine “You can do it”s yelled over (in the Waterboy voice… I think that’s the right movie).  I was really shooting for ten, but we had to go look for furniture, so we couldn’t hold out.  The fight sign resonated with a lot of people and I got a lot of “fight is right!”s.  Along with this general encouraging comes that awkward moment when you stop.  We were there about an hour and a half and we weren’t going to stay to the last walker, so we had to pick some moment to leave.  We decided to fade out the yelling first and then just slowly take down our signs and pack up our un-used chairs.  The people after that don’t know that you’re not there, but there is still some element of guilt for not helping them get to the next mile.

3)  This year they added a hot-air balloon race.  When we first got there, there were about 20 balloons in the sky.  By the time we got the camera out, there were many less visible, but it was still cool.  I hope the runners (and not just the Kenyans) were able to see them as well.  I think they took off from the track, but I’m not sure where they were going.

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4)  We’ve been on an every-other-year basis for a couple years now.  Did this provide enough inspiration to get us to run next year?  We’ll see!

Superbowl Monday

It’s hard to believe you’re in the middle of the jungle when you have an ESPN replay of the Superbowl on TV.  We were invited over to Dr. Thompson’s house last night to watch what I had heard had been a crazy game, so I was pumped.  I was pumped for many reasons:

1.  It’s the Super Bowl.  I love the Super Bowl.  All of us missionaries (except the one who lived in Pittsburgh for three years) were rallying around Kurt Warner and his underdog Cardinals.  Yes, we knew the outcome, but he didn’t know yet.  We shared how Kurt Warner came to speak at TPCC (and at the time, I didn’t even realize he was still in the NFL!  let alone Super Bowl bound!) and we all agreed that he was the good guy.  It was in fact a great game and I’m glad I saw it.

2.  Brownies.  I had smelled them wafting from Renée’s house earlier, before I knew we were invited to come watch.  This was a very strong attraction.

3.  The Thomspons themselves.  I just finished ‘On Call,’ the book that Dr. Thomspon wrote about his coming to Bongolo earlier that day.  I read it in 2 days (it’s about 150 pages), so that goes to show that it is a pretty good book.  It was really cool to be reading stories of his life, especially the first years he was here.  One story would have him racing on his motorbike right past where we are now staying.  It is a little intimidating to read all these fantastic stories and then go over to his house.  But he is a nice and humble man, as one would expect from a missionary.  In fact, it did seem a little paradoxical to be watching something as mundane and admittedly frivolous as football with him and the other missionaries.

Dr. Thompson's auto-biography

Dr. Thompson's auto-biography

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Here are the three guys that have been here almost a month working on the X-Ray building with Becki Thomspon, Dr. Thompson’s wife.

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Renée, Jeff, and Dr. Thompson watching the game.  Paul and Meladee Davis and Keir Thelander were also there.