Christmas at the White House 2013

A great Christmas this year.  Had a fantastic time with my family.  We spent Christmas here at the White House then traveled over to Jersey to see the Clines and my Mom and Dad.  It was a good day.

Here are some photos.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

KOA for a few days.

Just got back from a delightful little get away to Harpers Ferry, WV.  Yes, West Virginia.  Harpers Ferry is located in the weird little hanging part of WV in the Eastern side.  Sorta makes the state look as though it were walkin like an Egyptian.  Anyway, we stayed at the edge of the Harpers Ferry National Battlefield which is run by the DOI and thus NPS and thus shut down due to the cry-baby-stuffed shirt senators who couldn’t do their one job.  But I digress.

One of the upsides to staying next to a shut down National Battlefield is that you get to do everything for free.  That is if you don’t mind climbing barriers and sneaking around trails–which I don’t.  I managed to get several runs in this weekend and only had to wave at one NPS car–he didn’t seem to care, it could have been my loud singing of “This land is your land, This land is my land, From California to the New York island; From red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, This land is made for you and me.”  Thanks Woody for getting me through the 7 miler yesterday.

But, we had a really good time, despite the disappointment of not getting to see dressed-up townspeople from the 1860s.  Running into town early yesterday was a bit reminiscent of The Walking Dead as no one was out on the street–it had a something is just not right feel.  I kept running.  The KOA at Harpers Ferry was great.  We rented a little cabin and had our own little fire out front every night to roast/burn marshmallows.  We had a great time.  Billy says he really likes camping.  I hadn’t spent the night in a campground since I was 12 (one exception to this is a week I spent several years ago at the gulf shore).  Absolutely nothing has changed.  It is as if they went back in time, gathered all the people that I use to see in the 80’s and put them at the KOA campground in WV this weekend.  It was great.  We had a great time.

Here are a few pics of the trip.

Trip to Longwood Gardens

Had a great time today on a little jaunt down to Longwood Gardens.

Got a few photos below.

Click on one to take a look.


Holiday Streaking

I am going streaking! It is not what you think.

I have run 583 miles this year. Not bad, seeing that I am currently at the end of a 3 week layoff. I decided that I will only be happy if I hit 700 for the year. So, starting Monday (Monday to the end of the year is 50 days) I am going streaking.

I am going to run every day for the rest of the year. This is also called a streak. In order to hit 700 for the year I need to average 2.34 miles a day. I am gonna call that 2.5.

So. Who wants to go Holiday Streaking with me? Run every day between Monday November 12 and the end of the year. Set a personal rule for yourself to make it count. I might do more than 2.5 somedays but will only count it as a run if I hit 2 miles minimum. Not gonna be a legalist about the whole thing but me running to the car in the rain can’t count as a run.

I will do my best to tweet daily, you can follow me @markallenwhite (that connects to Facebook if you don’t wanna).

Who’s in?

Africa: Day 15

[The following is a rough typed version of my journal from Africa.  I have about 15 days worth of notes and some of them only mean something to me, however, I believe you will be blessed to read through these.  The trip was epic in every way and this will help me to remember things and for you to get a glimpse of the things I saw.  Enjoy.]

Day 15

Up at 5:30AM.  The power is out.  There is a storm on the lake.  There is strange chanting like noises coming from down the hall.  Lots of voices hollering and doing that high-pitched screaming thing.  Not sure what it is.  I poked my head out the door to see what was up…I can’t see anything, too dark.  I got up and put my clothes on and unlocked my back door in the event it is a bunch of weirdies looking for a pudgy sacrifice.  I have heard too many true Africa stories to just roll over and go back to sleep.

The sun is up now.  The noises have stopped.  The bats are returning home to the trees.

Visited the Jinja Children’s Hospital today.  I will never complain when I am taking Billy to the doctor again.

We are back at the Entebbe Flight Motel.  This is where it all started for us.  Tonight we go to the airport to catch our flight.  Not looking forward to the security at the airports but I am looking forward to getting it underway.  I am ready to be home.  I will be unpacking this trip for years.  So much happened, I saw so many things, I experienced so many things…it has been epic.

Africa: Day 14

[The following is a rough typed version of my journal from Africa.  I have about 15 days worth of notes and some of them only mean something to me, however, I believe you will be blessed to read through these.  The trip was epic in every way and this will help me to remember things and for you to get a glimpse of the things I saw.  Enjoy.]

Day 14

Up early.  Thinking about that dinner last night.  Good pizza.  When the bill came I was told that one of the  local missionaries always tips 5%.  He told my traveling partners that they don’t expect a tip anyway so this is very gracious.  I said, “[He] is wrong.”  Am I not grateful for the service here?  Our bill was 134k shillings for 7 people.  That is approximately $65.  This guy would have us leave the server around $3.50—no.  We left 20%.  We are blessed to be a blessing and serving is hard work no matter what country you are in.  These people did great with us and all mzungu are tough customers.  The whole meal we sat and talked about doing God’s work and our love for Jesus.  How then can we stiff the server and expect them to think that the Jesus we were talking about is the same Jesus in the Bible that died for us?  This was on my mind all night.  We do this in US as well.  I have been out to lunch with preachers that talk about growing churches and how much they want to reach a community then they drop a buck on the table when they leave.  Come on.

Today we are going to the chapel service at Global Theological Seminary.  Looking forward to that.  Bro. Cathey started this seminary while he lived here and it has really taken off.

Only today and tomorrow left in our journey.  Two weeks in and I am finally starting to get the hang of things.  But, I am missing home and can hardly wait to see Jennifer and Billy.

In chapel and Bro. Cathey is preaching.  I love hearing him preach.  He is in Romans 8.  That is some good stuff he is saying up there.  I have always loved chapel services.

Today is by far the hottest day we have had so far.  It has got to be in the 90’s.  It is so humid you can drink the air.  No AC anywhere.  Gosh we have it good back home.  Bro. Cathey said that missionaries who come here and try to live in the villages have it very tough; it is very difficult to do if you did not grow up that way.  They normally get sick.  I can see why.  It is a hard life living in a mud hut.  I know that I wouldn’t last very long.

Tomorrow we are heading to Kampala then Entebbe.  Not looking forward to that 24-hour plane ride home but cannot wait to see Jennifer.

Buck, Bro. Cathey, and I went out to look at the stars tonight.  Saw the Southern Cross.  Then the three of us discussed the Word for about an hour.  Having access to Bro. Cathey’s mind is a real treat.  He knows just how to answer things.  This past 2 weeks has been excellent in that regard.  Bro. Cathey has done more for the Gospel in Africa that we will ever know.  He is one of God’s choice servants.  Buck said he is like the Indiana Jones of preaching:  fearless, brave, bold, and has a Bible for a whip.

9:30PM—good night.

Africa: Day 13

[The following is a rough typed version of my journal from Africa.  I have about 15 days worth of notes and some of them only mean something to me, however, I believe you will be blessed to read through these.  The trip was epic in every way and this will help me to remember things and for you to get a glimpse of the things I saw.  Enjoy.]

Day 13

Up at 5AM with loud booming bass music from the room next door and loud squeaking fruit bats outside—you don’t get that everyday.

We are heading over to Victoria Baptist Church this morning. It is the church that Bro. Cathey built and pastored while he lived in Africa.  It is, by far, the best looking building in Jinja.

My tummy is a bit teed at me this morning over those somosas.  I don’t blame it, I would be mad at me too.  A couple Imodium should settle it down and make the day possible.

Just found out that 10 more people were killed on the road from Gulu north.  That makes 40 in the last 18 days.  Uganda has the distinction of having the most deadly roads in the world.  Nice.

Church at Victoria Baptist.  Very nice.  It is conducted much like a service in the states.  Feels good here.  They even give announcements involving committees and deacons—one cannot escape the Baptist way.

I am missing my church this morning—wanting to preach.  Looking forward to see how God will use HHBC in the coming year.  Really looking forward to seeing how He will use me in that.  God has His timing and for now He has told me to preach the Word.

This service is by far the most formal we have been to thus far.  Normally we have dirt floors—not here.  Here they have lots of shirts and ties—scary.

They had all of us visitors stand and give our name and where we were from.  How did they know I wasn’t local?

Met a lady named Esther.  Several years ago her entire family was killed.  Only she and her baby survived the attack.  She escaped and hid in the bush.  She then walked to Jinja, 90mi.  She is a member of Victoria Baptist now.  That is the type of people you bump into in Africa.  Everybody has a story and they are all incredible.

Bro. Cathey had a student show up late for school once—noon Tuesday and class begins Monday morning.  He was not happy, as being there on time is a big deal when you are covering so much so quick.  Bro. Cathey saw him walking up the path and went to meet him and scold him, “Did you miss your bus?”—“Did your car break down?”—“Did your bike quit?”—The student said no to all these questions.  He told Bro. Cathey that he had walked 70mi. to get here and had slept on the side of the road.  Bro. Cathey, in tears, said, “Brother, you won’t have to walk back.”  Their passion for the Word is something I have never seen on such a large scale.

I am sitting at the hotel now, watching cricket on TV.  I don’t get it.  They guy pitching is named Morné Morkel.  I think if I watched this for a couple of days I might catch on but not at the moment.  I don’t think Morne is pitching…I think they call it bowling.  Baseball please.

Ate at a very swanky hotel at Bugagali Falls this afternoon.  I am told it costs $170/night for a room.  It was full of trim Europeans in their trim Speedo like bathing attire.  Even if I could afford it I don’t think I would stay there.  Food was good, though I am looking forward to eating a vegetable.  I need to lose some weight; I am very fat.  On the way out they were watching cricket in the bar.  I yelled, “Is Morkel on the mound today?”  No response.  I guess it isn’t called a mound.

The more of Africa I see and cultures from around the world that are here the more I am starting to get the sense that it is America that is the oddball.  We are the ones with different cars, outlets for electricity, food, entertainment, hotels, houses, drinks, etc…we are this big country all the way on the other side of the world that is pretty far out of touch with what is going on in the rest of the world.

Ate pizza tonight and it was pretty good.  Tomato sauce was strange but overall very nice.  I ate like a big fat American today.  Ain’t life grand?  No.

10:15PM it is time for bed.  Just got word that India won the cricket match.  I have no idea how.

Good night.