Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Promises, Promises

We have been on a little tour-de-force in central British Columbia. It is by far the most scenic part of the entire province. While in Burns Lake we met a super fantastic group of youth. Stuart is one of those youth. Regailing Matthew with stories of all things gross and vomit based, Matthew felt that it was time he threw his hat into the arena and share with Stuart a story of his own. After hearing the story, Stuart, in a suprising turn of events, got Matthew to promise to blog the story. The following is a lesson in why one should not make idle promises as they will have to be kept, even to the detriment of one's pride (and by that we mean Matthew's). This story is dedicated to Stuart:

This past summer Amber and I went on a road trip down the west coast to San Francisco. While in California we stopped to visit my Grandpa Tom. GT is a strong man, a man who used to be in the American airforce. I am not a military type. When we got to his home he decided to take us flying around in his 4 seater, not to large, stays in the air using faith and duct tape kinda plane. I WAS SO EXCITED. That excitement faded after half an hour when I started to feel sick...when it was 96 degrees farenheit on the gorund, we were roasting in the sky and I was sweating in un-pretty ways! He noticed and tried to give me some air, but it was too little too late. The heat, the bouncing, the small dives as GT tried to show us all of the surrounding towns all led to one unavoidable end...with a twist.

Yes, I did throw up. But I caught every last drop in my mouth. From the outisde perspective it looked like a few dry heaves. So there I sat, shoulder to shoulder with GT, and I had a choice to make. Do I spew into a bag, releasing my breakfast but swallowing my pride - or do I swallow my breakfast and cling to my pride like I'm paid to do it.

I'd like you all to know that I am a very proud man.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stereotypes - Never What you Wanted to Be

Growing up it seemed as though missionaries were always just getting back from somewhere or just about to leave for somewhere else (if not both). We would smirk to ourselves and say "we will never be that kind of missionary". Yet, here we are, off a plane and into a car! Thus proving some stereotypes are based in cold, hard facts. Fact: missionaries are extreme schedulers and want to make the most of their time (especially while in their home country).

We arrived back in Canada last Friday and in the battle against jet lag we were losing badly. After one night at home, we were off to Sidney, which has to be one of the friendliest and most welcoming churches in the history of friendly and welcoming churches. We are on the road right now and are currently enjoying our exploration of Prince George. We are making the most of our life on the run.

Our time in Turkey and Slovakia was enriching, minus Matthew's unfortunate contraction of what has now lovingly been deemed "The Rixos Plague" (there is just something intangible, yet special, about laying on a tile bathroom floor for 20 hours trying to determine if the swelling in your tongue has gone down enough for you to fit it in your mouth). Turkey was refreshing as we reconnected with friends and met new people who are all walking out similar life journeys.

And Slovakia, oh Slovakia! There will have to be a later post to touch on some of our shiny moments there. We learned a lot while there including these fine lessons:

1) we got lost in Nitra several times, but now know our way around
2) Slovakia is cold in the winter and BC's lower mainland has made us heat-loving wimps when it comes to snow
3) Matthew needs to work on his language skills...especially while trying to locate a washroom
4) the Foreign Police do not know what to do with us
5) we will easily have all the necessities of life there

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gut Wrenching

Leaving Turkey yesterday Matthew had a slight rumble in his tummy - no, not intuition, but rather a sickly rumble. By the time we had cleared passport control Matthew knew his stomach was unwell. His very first act in Austria was to push a German-speaking man out of his way in a charge towards the bathroom. This was then followed by a night and afternoon of gut destroying vomitting and other like activities (details will be left out).

In two hours from now the Armitage's will arrive in Vienna and our road trip into Slovakia will begin. It will be "interesting" as that word is ambiguous and leaves room for both the good and the bad. We are so excited to be going to Slovakia, we just hope that Matthew does not leave a little bit of himself at each place we visit!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What's Not to Love?

Ah Turkey – a lovely country rich in history, touched with pleasant weather and yes, favorably located on the Mediterranean Sea. Currently we are attending the Eurasian Missions Conference in Turkey. And though there is definitely some time to relax and enjoy our surroundings (just imagine us screaming our way down water slides as German tourists watch in semi-amused distaste at our volume levels) there is business to be done. Turkey serves as the ideal spot as it sits in-between Europe and Asia (quite convenient for the Eurasian workers!).

We are excited to tackle the business portion of this trip because it is part of the process that brings us one step closer to calling Slovakia home. Also, it is great to be surrounded not only by old friends, but by like-minded people who are walking out their own journeys and possess a first-hand understanding of what we are experiencing.

Moreover, Amber celebrated her 25th birthday yesterday and despite the almost twenty-four hours of travel we did from the West Coast, we still indulged in merriment over a birthday dinner with friends! Not only was it the first birthday we’ve had as a married couple, but also pretty exciting to have a milestone birthday in such a unique setting…we guess the novelty of this would not apply if you are actually Turkish!

Following our time in Turkey we are headed up to Slovakia to do some connecting with people we will soon work with, explore the city which we will call home, test out our Slovak speaking abilities (yikes) and get a greater taste of Slovak culture. We cannot even tell you how much we look forward to this!