Sunday, July 6, 2008



  1. What is the one vegetable that is always sold as is and is never sold sliced, diced, minced, cubed, pressed, cooked, sautéed, pureed, etc.?
  2. What is the only North American landmark that is moving backwards?
  3. What is the only fruit with its seeds on the outside?
  4. The spirit called pear brandy is usually sold in a bottle that contains a pear in it. The pear adds to the flavor of the drink. How do they get the pear in the brandy bottle?
  5. What are the only 3 words in the English language that begin with the letters “dw”?
  6. What are the two vegetables that continue to grow perennially without having to replant, reseed, or sow them again into the ground?
  7. McDonald’s is involved in two world affairs measures. One is called the Big Mac Index which is an index of the big Mac’s price in countries around the world in order to compare aspects of the economies. The other is Golden Arches Theory which states that no two countries with a McDonald’s have ever gone to war with each other. This theory was violated for the first time in recent history (let’s say past 50 years). What two countries battles or war violated this?

I continue to be amazed by people’s bathroom etiquette. Have you ever seen a person leave a stall without washing his hands? I don’t understand it. And I try not to judge because perhaps he was blowing his nose for a really long time and the severe congestion was why he was straining.

When I was in the Limpopo Province speaking to the kids about AIDS we didn’t have running water, so I had to use a latrine I guess you could say. They do use that word in South African English, but you know what is. Either I’m losing weight or they are changing the design because it didn’t hold me when I sat down on the stone. I would fall straight in 30 ft to the cultured bottom! So after trying to dry the urine-stained stone in front, I had to lean my bottom on the left edge of the stone opening because my hips were too small. I kept questioning myself if perhaps this was a squat latrine where I should stand over it, but the seat/hole was elevated from the ground like an extended (width-wise) shelf. It still confuses me to this day.

I’ve included pictures of cherry trees in frost. These cherry trees sit on the mountains to the west of Cape Town. If you’ve seen any pictures of Cape Town, you will not have seen these mountains. But when you stand on the mountains of Cape Town or at UCT and you look east across Cape Town there are mountains on the other side. One of the ranges is the Ceres. That’s where these are from.

And I’ve included a picture of “Ferrari in Pole Position.”


June 23, 2008


Hi, everyone. This is Victor. It’s hard to judge, but I gather that you hear about Zimbabwe in the news somewhat. I don’t think you hear about it as much as we do, but you do. I was reading Anderson Cooper’s web-journal entry on Mugabe and how sad it was. That guy had over 400 responses. I couldn’t believe. I think it’s because he’s famous. Anyway, life here is good. Interesting week since I wrote you last Monday on the 30th of June.

FYP – Frontier Year Program Volunteer, person who volunteers 6, 9, or 12 months of their life to serve in a sister church (part of New Frontiers Churches) in another country


I received an e-mail from an engineering journal saying another paper from my thesis (one of the three) was accepted, and that I should submit a revised draft. Surprise, surprise.

Also I had an Ethiopian dinner for friends.


Vinod was contacted by Rice University because he gave a talk in which less than 10 minutes was devoted to his thesis. My ex-advisor, searching the internet for us, found the talk (posted on a New Mexico State University site) and reported it. So now Rice is trying to get him to sign another unethical contract.


I took myself out to a movie because I hadn’t been going to half-price movie night (on Tuesdays) in over two months because of work and choir rehearsals. I fell asleep during “Son of Man.”


I went Sukie or Suki dancing. I’m not sure of the spelling because it’s not said clearly enough for me to determine (do you like how I turned that around instead of saying I don’t pick it up?).


We had a farewell party for 4 of the 5 FYP’s who were leaving.


A university interested in changes its mind probably due to money and scheduling.

I met the FYP’s for lunch and presented them with a gift.


I took the FYP’s to the airport. Actually a lot of people came. It was quite sad.

Because of the time that I went to the airport, I missed a talk given by Desmond Tutu and Raphele Maphele and another woman on UCT’s campus. The talk was about Zimbabwe.


I don’t remember. . .supposedly.


Jeannie’s friend Josh was in town, so I went with them to do jazz dancing (not to be confused with the category of professional dance called jazz [jazz, modern, tap, ballet, etc.]. Jazz dancing is dancing to jazz music like swing dancing. The place we went did not have this type of music. They played what’s called house. So we sat there. Jeannie’s friend Kristin also came because her sister Shelly was in town visiting.


Made some good progress on the artery problem. Still working. Missed Jeannie’s call to hang out with Josh again. They went to hear jazz this time.


I went to Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope (so funny to be saying that like it’s next door when I used to read about it in school), and saw penguins, again. Then Saturday night (U.S. Independence Day weekend), we went to see MuayThai fighting. It gave me the chills.

Like I said before, there have been times when I was unsure if I should have come. I did this postgraduate position in an attempt to see if I would enjoy being a professor and teaching at the university level and I find that I love research when I can do it fully and freely and unhindered. So that’s why the choir event and the HIV/AIDS Youth Day Youth Rally were huge for me. Hopefully I can do more of that.

My church has already asked me to see if I can organize a choir to sing repeatedly. Unfortunately they want the Hillsong model—worship leading choir, so the choir wouldn’t perform numbers which I love. But we will see.

And the pastor (she’s a Sepedi South African girl in her 20’s who recently resigned from a position working with Adrianne (my friend from Texas) as a missionary for Nazarene Compassionate Ministries) now contacts me a lot. She sms’s me things telling me she’s thinking of me. Normally I wouldn’t think anything but it has the slight feeling of – well she said she thought what I did was amazing and beyond words. Now if it was then that’s ok. But it really wasn’t. So it’s kinda funny. So I might have my first SA fan which is a definitely a black SA person because white SA people don’t really see me in that way as much as I could be seen in that way by others in a city like NYC. Interesting.

I made vegan strawberry muffins and took them in to work. Excellent!

The Ethiopian dinner was especially excellent because Ross and I didn’t cook everything. Instead we made the event cooking the food. So when the FYP’s arrived, they were put to work. Luckily most things had been chopped, diced, pressed, minced, or made (with Ethiopian food, some of the ingredients have to be made like Berbere or Kibeh). It was WONDERFUL food! And we did it all with candles!

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