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I Found My New Wedding Ring at the Beach*

Well, at least for now, it’s a good substitute (and for less than $5 hard to beat). I think it’s amethyst or something; some type of stone (although it’s really light). I like the dark color and that it fits. It’s good to have a ring again.

I got it this past weekend when we went to the beach with some fellow PCVs. We hadn’t had electricity or (drinkable) water for a week so it was just nice to sit under a fan and relax. I wasn’t sleeping too well without the fan. Once I woke up from that first deep sleep around 3 or 4 I had a lot of trouble getting back to sleep. Anyway, we went down to Port Antonio and stayed the night and most of Saturday. Woke up and ate some pancakes (courtesy of our host Shannon) then took off to the beach. It was a nice small beach with few people on it.

When I go around town and other places I rarely take my camera out (much less even bring it) and take pictures. This is for obvious reasons. A) It’s 100% conspicuous and draws attention to me, B) whatever small chance I had at convincing people I’m not a tourist is gone, and C) some people get weirded out when people point (large) cameras at them. Thus, I generally leave it at home, but I decided I’d just have to be a tourist for the weekend because I wanted to bring it. So pretty much all those things happened. I even got referred to as German today (usually it’s Australian). Hardly anyone ever guesses that we’re American which is unexpected. What this tells me is that probably most American tourists aren’t really… “adventuresome”(?) enough to head out to this part of the island. I mean, it is a bit off the beaten tourist path. Anywho, some guy that was over 50m out in the ocean got very concerned that I was pointing my camera in his direction. So after a bit of awkward small talk I proceeded to show him the photos I took and which little dark spot in the picture was him. So that was super fun. Also because many Jamaicans are extremely homophobic, some of my attempts at defusing the situation with being coy didn’t go over extremely well. So I just tried to put his fears (whatever the crap they may have been) to rest and move on.

How did the Republican Convention go? I just saw some of Obama’s speech at the Democrat one. Man, what a ridiculously good speaker.  Can anyone make sense of McCain’s VP choice? I mean, I can see some reasons with regard to appealing to a wider demographic, but was it as out of the blue to you guys in the US as it was here?

We graduated last week. Jess posted about that below. It was nice. Well, as nice as a “graduation” is.  Getting to stay the week in a hotel of sorts with AC and cable was the most thrilling thing. I love TV. The hardest part about going to beach here is that when you get done and you’re all salty and sandy, there’s no hotel to run back into and clean up. You have to get dressed and travel back home and THEN shower.

I don’t think we talked about the island yet. There’s this little island down the road you have to wade through water to get to. There’s a (approx) 30’ cliff you can jump off into the ocean. It’s pretty fun. So when you come to visit us, this is a place we can go. We went there the other day with some friends.

We just finished watching Pineapple Express. Well, at least most of it. The camera only got about ½ the screen and it ended early, but I liked it. Someday I would like to see it as the director intended though. Next up, Tropic Thunder and Death Race.  I hope they’re good quality. Please feel free to send us movies. I would say “any” movies, but, well, maybe some oldies but goodies and new ones we might not see here. We should come up with a list of oldies. AVI/DiVX files. Just mail them to the Comfort Castle address. We just got a few cards in the mail (which was pretty exciting). It’s looks as though it only takes 8-10 days for a letter to reach us, so that’s awesome.

Music. I’ve been jamming on a few new things of late. The Cool Kids (a Todd recommendation) are fun. Old school (minimal) hip hop with a new sound. If you like Clipse, you should like them. The Bug is a Jamaican outfit based in London. It’s good taste of heavier reggae (good bass). I guess almost dancehall stuff at times. It’s a nice mix of Patois and English so you can still understand a lot. The songs Skinny Love by Bon Iver and French Quarter by Delta Spirit are enjoyable. Check them out. I also got a lot of Jamaican stuff the other day from a friend. I got a bunch but Buju Banton stood out first. His album Til Shiloh has a different sound than the typical reggae I hear so I dig it. And then we went back a little the other day and downloaded The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Quite an album. I wasn’t into that kind of music at the time, but now it’s pretty impressive to me.

This is the belt buckle I got the other day. It was in a shop in town and Jess saw it. I immediately knew it had to be mine. I needed something to top the Datsun for graduation and this was it. Right, so obviously it’s a stack of money, but those are Jamaican $1000 bills (which is around $14US). It feels like Monopoly money. A $500 bill here $100 there.  So of course, this drew a lot of attention to my crotch on graduation day (even more than I was normally comfortable with). I’m pretty sure everyone with a camera took a picture of it.

And because I know you want it and because I get bored, here are some shots of me. I just shaved last week. I hadn’t since we left. But a beard get’s old fast here, so I’m gonna bring the moustache to the valley. I’m expecting positive results.

Oh! I’m reading this book The Reason for God. It was a recommendation of our pastor back in Nashville (Jim!). Seriously awesome book. This guy (Tim Keller) tackles all the really general tough questions about the existence of God and why He is the way He is. I’m not usually one for reading philosophy, but this guy is so logical it does my engineer heart good to read. For example…

But even as believers should learn to look for reasons behind their faith, skeptics must learn to look for a type of faith hidden within their reasoning. All doubts, however skeptical or cynical they may see, are really a set of alternate beliefs. You cannot doubt Belief A except from a position in Belief B. For example, if you doubt Christianity because “There can’t be just one true religion,” you must recognize that this statement is itself an act of faith. No one can prove it empirically, and it is not a universal truth that everyone accepts. If you went to the Middle East and said, “There can’t be just one true religion,” nearly everyone would say, “Why not?” The reason you doubt Christianity’s Belief A is because you hold unprovable Belief B. Every doubt, therefore, is a leap of faith.

So the first half of the book are chapters on doubt: There’s Can’t Be Just One True Religion, How Could a Good God Allow Suffering?, How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?, Science Has Disproved Christianity, and You Can’t Take the Bible Literally. The second half is on reasons for faith. How awesome do those topics sound? I’m a little over halfway through the first half and I’m just totally digging on all the philosophy stuff. Very cool knowledge.

Well, that about does it. I accidentally bought a pound of tobacco from my neighbor the other day so I’m going to go back to practicing rolling my own cigarettes. (It’s harder than it looks.) (When I say “accidentally” I mean I meant to buy a lot less.)

*UPDATE: Junior dropped my ring on the floor and it broke. Therefore, once again, I have no wedding ring.


2 Responses

  1. I was gonna say that some close friends of mine have wedding bands that look like that and they are supposedly indestructible. I’ve seen him drop his on the ground purposefully and it not break. Sorry about yours, obviously it is not the same.

  2. The Republican Convention went well. I watched both conventions, and up until Palin spoke at the RNC i really thought the whole thing had been a dud, less interesting and FAR further from the goal of rallying supporters. But after she spoke it’s like the whole party got excited about this election!

    I think she’s a smart pick for VP and is more than just a ploy to gain the support of women, although she’ll work for that, too. She also supports McCain’s whole “straight talk” motto. She seems to really do what she says she believes. She’s brought reform to Alaska’s politics, not just disapproving of but going after, corrupt politicians and has helped AK make strides in energy reform and oil drilling.

    I don’t know much else about her, but i do know she helps humanize John McCain. He comes across cold and stubborn, and she comes across warm and open-minded.

    Before her, i was really struggling this election. I’d actually considered NOT voting, although i could’ve never let myself go through with it! Now i think i can be behind McCain, even if it’s not for him that i’m cheering.

    Just my opinion….. :)

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