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|Tuesday, March 1st, 2005|
Well, ladies and gents. I have jumped off the third highest bridge in the world which happens to have the worlds highest bungee jump on it. AND IT WAS FANFREAKINGTASTIC!!! I thought it would be scary but it wasn't. I just bounced and flew and wee ha!!! Man, it was awesome. It was awesome possum. I got the video for 10 bucks Canadian, so once I transfer it I can show it to all y'all at home. I'm gonna get surfing lessons today (or boogie boarding, depending how I feel when I'm at the beach). This week there's no school, no service projects, just fun. We're a five minute walk from the Indian ocean in a town filled with fun activities, like surfing, sand boarding, horseback riding, mountain biking. I might buy a cheap boogie board so I can take it with me to Kaffi Bay when there's nothing but beach around for miles and miles. I don't think we'll have electricity then. We'll be having a "Knowing Yourself" retreat when we don't really do anything but a lot of meditation and soul searching. Like one big week of silence. Where we're living in huts right at the edge of the ocean. I can't believe my time in Africa is half over. That's so wierd. I gotta make the most of the time I've got left. Oh, this Friday I'll be playing with lion cubs. Sorry that I haven't sent any postcards or letters to anyone yet. I'll try to get on that. It's just very, very easy to forget about things like that here.
|Friday, January 28th, 2005|
Hey everyone. Well, I'm in Africa, and I'm starting a new livejournal account for everyone including people from my church to follow. The username's Bensouttatown, so if you want to keep up with me as much as I can afford, add that. Internet costs are absolutely killer here. It's around $12 an hour. Everything else is cheap though. Anyway, more to come at my other username.
|Tuesday, December 28th, 2004|
A bunch of people I know (another Outtatown site) left Thailand mere days before the disaster struck. It's a mere glint of sunshine in a horribly dark sky, but it was nice seeing the stories of aid, from individuals, organizations and governments. I know it's not nearly enough, but it feels good to see people give nonetheless when disaster strikes.
On the bright side, I'm looking forward to 11 hours of Tolkien. ( Click here for my opinion of Return of the KingCollapse )
I get to spend 8 hours in London England both on the way to SA and on the way back! Wicked wicked awesome! Two new continents, not just one! I'll finally be able to see what makes a European city feel different. I've been told time and time again how different they are, without seeing it for myself. No longer, after the 14th. I should change my LJ icon, especially now that I have so many pictures on my computer from my trip.
My sister got me a really cool Spider-man doll thing for Christmas. It's super posable, and has suction cups on his hands so you can stick him to windows. He's also sort of plush, so it's like having a stuffed-animal version of Spider-man. He's really fun to squeeze, which made for awkward moments on Christmas Eve when either me or my dad were caught massaging Spidey's butt without realizing it.
I also received an excellent travel pillow, RotK EE, an IOU from my dad for a visit to a Mennonite Book Store and 1 book from said store... I think that's it. I raided a used book store for my families presents. Cheap? Yes. But, effective.
Christmas Day was also very good. My extended family did our normal bit of singing around the common retirement home piano. This year, another random family joined in, and we all sang together for hours. It was one of the best christmas day's ever. A wonderful combination of worship and fellowship.
|Monday, December 20th, 2004|
Yesterday was such an awesomely great day. I talked about my three months away to my church, and it went really, really well, and I had a really nice time with my family. Then we had our annual family holiday movie night, and I think we had the best double feature we've ever had. We watched Bear which is this really, really good movie about two bears. I don't know how to describe it so that it doesn't sound stupidly corny, but I really enjoyed it. Plus we watched Whale Rider, which is also very very good. Man, I love good days. They're awesome. Especially when they're good family days.
|Saturday, December 11th, 2004|
I'm HOME! I'm also jetlagged. To me, it would be one AM right now. Instead, I'm doing stuff at 4 in the morning. Good night.
|Wednesday, December 1st, 2004|
I'm scheduled to arrive December 10th at 8:00 PM in Union station. Wickedwicked awesome.
|Saturday, November 27th, 2004|
I just made a complete fool of myself at karaoke. My friend Karl and I have differing music tastes. Neither of us knew the songs the other knew well, so we sang a song both of us only sort of knew. Consequently, we sucked big fat hairy anus. The drunk guys at the bar gave us tips on how to sing while we were singing. Plus, everyone else was really good, which was surprising, cause it was this dingy hole in the wall bar attached to a Howard Johnson. Oh, we sang Closing Time.
|Wednesday, November 24th, 2004|
OH MAN! I SAW JIMI HENDRIX'S MANY GUITARS! Including one's he burnt and smashed on stage, including the one he played at Woodstock. I listened to his woodstock performance while staring at the equipment he used. I heard his cousin (recorded) tell stories about them messing around as kids, I listened to Voodoo Child while reading along to his original handwritten lyrics. I read pages from his diary, read notes he wrote to fans and family. I saw pictures of him as a baby. IT WAS SO AWESOME!!! I heard previously unreleased stuff that he wrote right before he croaked that sounded crazily awesome and modern and cool and totally different then anything he'd ever written. It's SUCH a shame he died. I did all this at the coolest music museum ever in Seattle. They had a whole exhibit hall dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. I spent almost 3 hours just in that one exhibit hall. My friends were really frustrated with me by the end. I listened to every audio clip and song and read everything I could. I saw his record collection, and the drum set his drummer used. (The name's escaping me.)
Tonight I had a night on the town with four of the most awesome beautiful girls ever. (And yes Finbar, I took a couch photo. I'll make sure to show you when I get back.) I've found a new hero in Desmond Tutu. A big hero in South Africa. Man, I'm on such a high right now. I can't wait to get back and tell all my stories. Everything about this program has been so spectacular. The 4 other guys are crazy cool, especially Karl, who's now on my best friend list. And the girls. THE GIRLS! They're SO great. It's cool, cause I don't have big crushes on them or anything. It's like I have 22 sisters and they're all amazing. And I'm gonna spend three more months with them in South Africa. They're all so compassionate and smart and beautiful. Man, they're awesome.
And I've grown so much closer to God, and learned so much more about Christianity, and about how us liberals in Ontario have painted charismatic Christians with as broad a brush and been as closeminded as the fundamentalists can be. Anyway, I can talk more about that later. But yeah, it's possible to have a 'personal relationship with Christ' and not be a scary right winger. In fact, the people who *really* embrace personal relationships are the most 'left wing' and compassionate of all. That being said, I've seen the gamut of Christianity. I've learned that even if I disagree with the scary right wingers, I can still be good friends with them, and that they are willing to listen to reason. (I've managed to convert quite a few homophobes into realizing maybe being gay isn't a sin)
And the things I've done! Swimming in the ocean, climbing mountains, climbing rocky ocean cliffs with the raging ocean below me, bodysurfing... I don't know how much to write, cause I don't want to go too deep with the religious stories, but... Oh what the heck. I've felt God's hand like CRAZY in my life. I've heard his voice, and I know it sounds crazy, but he's done things to confirm that yes, he's God. He's given me supernatural strength, he's highlighted people I need to encourage, and once he actually predicted the future through me. It sounds scary, but it's true. And it wasn't a vague Nostradamusy thing, or something that could easily be interpreted to fit anything.
Whoops. I didn't mean to go off talking that much about that. But yeah. To me, God is real, beyond a shadow of a doubt. I've experienced 100 lifetimes of coincidences over the past two months. If you wanted, I guess you could explain them away as coincidences, but to me, it's proof that God is real, that he loves me, and that he's got an amazing plan for my future. He's revealed bits and pieces to me and I'm SO hyped for it. I'm sorry if this God talk is freaking anyone out, but it's the #1
thing that's exciting me, and it'd be false of me to write about my time without talking about his influence in my life. And I've seen it in the others too. God's just so strong in our group. And it's SUCH a great group. There are 2 other sites in Canada right now, which will go to Guatemala in January, instead of South Africa like my site. Anyway, our guys went and spent a weekend with the guys from the other sites. There were SO many of them. Their guy to girl ratio was much more like 1:1. And it made me realize how lucky I was to have the guys I had. We aren't alike, but we all pretty much click. We're all sort of geeky and unjockish. The guys from the other site are predominantly skaterish, or snowboarders, or in general sporty. I would've felt a LOT more out of place with them. Also , with so many more guys, they socialize mostly just among themselves, where with us, we're constantly spending time with the girls, cause there just isn't anyone else to socialize with. I love my group so much. And the leaders are amazing too.
I've been wrestling like crazy, and I always lose, but I'm gradually getting better, and they say I'm getting stronger too, which is cool. Anyway, I should probably finish this off. I'll see y'all soon!
|Thursday, November 18th, 2004|
Hey everyone! I've got SO many stories when I get back. If you guys are up for it, I'd love to chill with the posse guys. I've realised recently how much I've missed all of ya, not just for the three months I've been gone in Western Canada, but for quite a few months before that too. So... if everyone wants to get together sometime after Dec. 9th, lemme know. That'd rock hardcore. I miss all of ya! Oh, Erika Check it out! You're on my Trek meme!
|Sunday, September 19th, 2004|
A new phase of school is about to begin. So far, this year has been very Winnipeg focused. I've either been in Winnipeg, or an hour and a half from Winnipeg. It's become my home away from home. I even got lost in the 'bad' part of town by myself, and got to where I'm staying in one piece. I've really started to think of it as 'My City'. It hasn't replaced Toronto, I've just got two cities now. Tomorrow, though, I leave Manitoba behind, and the school starts it's epic journey towards BC, beginning with a 20 hour trek to Canmore Alberta.
|Monday, September 13th, 2004|
I went white water rafting the other day. Except I didn't use a raft. It's totally awesome going through fast rocky water with nothing but a lifejacket protecting you. I wussed out on the bigger run, but considering people have died and it's very possible to rip your arms off on it, I think I made the right choice in not doing it. I went biking in the bush for the first time, and my front brakes broke. And I went swimming in a beautiful lake, saw many deer, saw a bear, today I'm going to bike out to a suspension bridge, and climb over an old dam. This place is hella awesome. If y'all go to outtatown.com, there should be pictures up soon about what we're doing.
|Wednesday, September 8th, 2004|
I'm in Manitoba! I saw a bear and four deer, all wild! More to come!
|Sunday, September 5th, 2004|
I leave's tomorrow morning. If I knew how to put up pictures here, I'd have me with the biggest backpack I've seen in my life on my back. Since I don't know how to put up them pictures, you'll have to use your imagination. Or maybe Ares could post the picture in a comment cause I sent it to him. *hint hint*
|Wednesday, September 1st, 2004|
See Ben. See Ben be happy. Be happy, Ben, be happy.
|Thursday, August 26th, 2004|
|Week and a bit.
Week and a bit and I'm gone. Got my digital camera. Turns out e-mailing pictures won't work too well, so I'm gonna burn CD's, send them home and then stuff can happen. I'm tired. Oh so tired. Burned out tired. I can't wait to leave. CAN'T WAIT! Am I gonna miss things? The city, people, family, whatever. Yeah, of course, but at the same time, I'm looking forward to missing them. I'm looking forward to being in a situation where there will be things to miss.
Turns out I'm not half bad at writing sermons. I did a mini-one for a service by the youth group a while back, and it went over remarkably well. I'msa gonna have to do more with that in the future.
Tired...tired...tired. Finbar say's he understands my pain. He knows nothing yet. On the other hand, I just finished my last 6 day week. Next week I have 2 days off, and the week after that, I end on Saturday, so that's like... let's see... Work fri. and sat... off sunday.... work sunday monday tuesday.... off wednesday... work thursday friday saturday... off sunday.... MONDAY MORNING get in the car with daddy dearest and I'm OFF TO WINNIPEG!!! (And the girl to boy ratio is 5:1. Yippee.)
|Thursday, July 8th, 2004|
Today, I am exactly two months away from the start of my new school year. Rock rock on. I'm really looking forward to seeing people tomorrow. People are good. Biking is good. Star Trek is good. Deep Space Nine is good. Yes is good. (listening to Roundabout)
|Wednesday, July 7th, 2004|
Depending on how long I write, this could get very Emoish. I had lots on my mind I wanted to write about, but here I am at the computer, and I'm not quite sure what to say. I'm looking forward to seeing people at Finbar's. I haven't seen a lot of people in a long time. On the other hand, I kind of like it that way. Excepting occaisional bouts of Finbar and Robert, I haven't been doing much socializing, with work friends or non-work friends. I've been spending a lot of time with me myself and I and it's been good.
Another possible romantic lead in the life of Ben was smushed into the ground. Oh well. I'd convinced myself not to let any of that crap bother me for the next two months. The countdown leading up to an eight month leave of absence from home is definitely not a good time to kindle a relationship.
Which got me thinking on lines of thinking I haven't drawn in a while... What *do* I look for in a relationship? What do I want? Why do I want? Why is it that almost every girl I meet, that I become friends with, I inevitably crush on? It bugs me. It bugs me all the more because I have no idea what I'd do if there were any reciprocal feelings. And I've proved a couple times now that I *don't* have any idea what to do, so maybe it's all for the good that nothing will come of anything with this new girl either. Yup. There's the emo.
Oh, I just lost. S'Been a while since that's come up.
Work's been good. Social aspect is tolerable, though not great but the work itself I'm really getting into. I have authority. For what feels like the first time in my life I have some small authority over people, and I think I'm learning how to use it right. I was no good at being in charge at first, and I still would say that I'm not great but I'm not afraid of telling people they're doing something wrong. And I'm okay at doing that, and at giving the *right* way to do things without belittling them or making them feel stupid as well. Some of my fellow foremen could use a bit of tact when it comes to that. I'm also learning a lot of diplomacy when it comes to disgruntled customers. I can't just shove them on to anyone else now. I have to at least try and appease them myself, and so far I've been pretty successful at that too. It's no 100% success rate, but most people who complain to me walk away content, or at least understanding why things can't be done the way they want them to be.
My boss will hopefully now trust me when I say 'I don't think he's good at my ride, I'd rather have this other guy.' The boss overruled me, because his choice had more experience then mine. Well, seeing how one of the owners caught this kid almost killing himself, I think my opinion will now be respected a bit more.
I'm a loser. I've read through completely the scripts of the first two seasons of Star Trek DS9. I love being a loser. DS9 kicks ass.
Apparently someone at work thinks I'm really, really hot and desperately wants to do naughty things to me. I could've done without knowing that information. Especially since the few people I know at work who could've said that, I do *not* want doing naughty things to me.