Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lydia is learning to create/edit videos!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Equitación is an extra-curricular offered for physical education at our school here in Colombia. The school was built 50 years ago on an old horse farm, and they decided to continue with some of the horse operations as they developed their "Bostonian" school on campus. Abby decided she wanted to take this class, without having many expectations. We have found it to be an excellent opportunity to work on coordination, balance, stretching, and grace. The ritual of it reminds me of Suzuki. Before they begin anything, they greet the horse (hers is named "Hugo.") They run beside him and talk to him. They ask his permission to ride, and when they are finished, they thank him. Abby's grade in this course measures her flexibility, strength, attitude, confidence, speed, action and reaction, behavior, and understanding of the horse.

The teacher's comments said "Abby is an excellent member of the class and an athlete. She pays attention and is disciplined. She is confident in her capacity and conducts the exercises with bravery and balance. She enjoys her contact with the horse in every activity."

This is Hugo.

This is the pasture where Hugo grazes in between classes.

This is where Hugo sleeps at night.

This is the barrel where the students practice stances.

These are Abby's friends in class.

This is Abby jumping off the back of Hugo while he is moving.

This is a happy girl.

This is a video of the demonstration for parents.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"A Letter to a Young Activist" by Trappist Monk Thomas Merton

(this was originally posted on my sister's blog, and I keep going back to read it again and again and again, so I wanted to post it here as well. Thank you, Wendy.)

Dear Jim,

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. And there too a great deal has to be gone through as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. The range tends to narrow down, but it gets much more real. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything…

The big results are not in your hands or mine, but they suddenly happen, and we can share in them; but there is no point in building our lives on this personal satisfaction, which may be denied us and which after all is not that important.

The next step in the process is for you to see that your own thinking about what you are doing is crucially important. You are probably striving to build yourself an identity in your work, out of your work and your witness. You are using it, so to speak, to protect yourself against nothingness, annihilation. That is not the right use of your work. All the good that you will do will come not from you but from the fact that you have allowed yourself, in the obedience of faith, to be used by God’s love. Think of this more and gradually you will be free from the need to prove yourself, and you can be more open to the power that will work through you without your knowing it.

The great thing after all is to live, not to pour out your life in the service of a myth: and we turn the best things into myths. If you can get free from the domination of causes and just serve Christ’s truth, you will be able to do more and will be less crushed by the inevitable disappointments. Because I see nothing whatever in sight but much disappointment, frustration and confusion….

The real hope, then is not in something we think we can do but in God who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see. If we can do God’s will, we will be helping in this process. But we will not necessarily know all about it before hand…

Enough of this…it is at least a gesture….I will keep you in my prayers.

All the best, in Christ,


Monday, May 10, 2010

Three good reasons for Mother's Day