Flying over an active volcano: check

The sign of an exciting trip is when the first few hours start out completely different than how you had planned for them to go. And if that’s any sign, then this upcoming trip to the US will be sure to impress.

Original plan:
-       Monday 3:20pm – Present thesis in Karlskrona
-       Tuesday 6:38am – Catch train from Karlskrona
-       Tuesday 12:20pm – Fly out of Copenhagen to Boston
-    Tuesday 6:30pm –Arrive in Boston

New plan:
-       Some time before Monday – Mr. Volcano decides to wake up
-       Monday 2:00pm – Spud finds out that we are no longer flying out of Copenhagen, and instead need to be at the Copenhagen airport in 6 hours (which in those 6 hours I still need to present a thesis and ride 4 hours by train) to catch a bus to Oslo (which for non-Scandinaivians, that’s not exactly next door)
-       Monday 2:20pm – Our thesis group manages to convince other groups to shift times and we present an hour early (who needs all that time to practice anyway)
-       Monday 3:00pm – Spud rushes by bike and rides from the school to his apartment to quickly get packed and rush to catch the 3:38pm train
-       Monday 3:38pm – Spud miraculously catches the train with 15 sec to spare
-       Monday 3:38pm (10 sec later) – Spud realizes he forget his passport – Quick! Jump off the train!
-       Monday 4:48pm – Spud is back on the train with passport in hand and on his way to Copenhagen to see what adventure comes next, thankfully Rebecca is an hour ahead of him to take care of all the booking details
-       Monday 8:00pm – Spud meets Rebecca at Copenhagen airport
-       Monday 10:00pm – Spud and Rebecca board a bus headed to Oslo
-       Tuesday 6:30pm – Spud and Rebecca arrive at Oslo airport and manage to get first in line in the queue to get our flight tickets
-       Tuesday 6:31pm – Airport employees inform us that security doesn’t show up until 9:30 and if we want to keep our spot, we’d have to sit there for 3 hours – that’s not going to happen so we head to the lounge and do a bit more waiting.
-       Tuesday 12:30pm – We board the plane – success
-       Tuesday 2:30pm – After a minor wait on the runway waiting for all the luggage to get loaded, we finally take off. And, as Spud’s luck may have it – on a packed flight in which tons of people were trying to get back home to the US, Spud and Lora managed to get four seats in a row all to themselves, oh silly people who pay for first class…
-       Tuesday 5:00pm – After taking quite the long journey north to get away from the ash cloud, we assumed we would be able to steer clear of the volcano. Little did we know that the pilots had a completely different plan in mind – instead, why don’t we just fly straight over Iceland and the volcano, sure, great idea! Now normally it would be a problem that we were in the center of the plane because we have no access to windows, but SAS decided to one up other airlines by installing a camera directly beneath the plane in which you can watch from your seat (I hope whoever came up with that idea got a raise). So although we didn’t see the volcano itself  (I imagine we were a few miles from it), we did get to see the terrain beneath us covered in ash as we approached the island. I’ve got to say that that was one of the cooler things I’ve ever done, who would have guessed we would be flying directly over an active (and erupting) volcano, that’s one to remember :)
-       Tuesday 10:00pm – Finally make it to a bed!

So that’s a rough idea of how day 1 is going – another 22 to go J For those of you slightly out of the loop on the latest happenings in Spud world (which I blame on myself) – Rebecca (my thesis teammate) and I will be traveling to the US for 3 weeks to meet with a variety of individuals to discuss our thesis and present on communicating for behavior change towards sustainability. On April 23rd we will be at MIT running a workshop at the Sustainability Summit alongside some really inspiring and exciting individuals, we’re really looking forward to meeting more individuals passionate about creating the necessary change needed over the next few years and who have a wide variety of skills to offer. After Boston, we will be hanging out in NYC for a few days, followed by Lancaster, then DC, and finally up to State College (while Rebecca heads off to St. Louis).

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sure to keep this blog updated so everyone is filled in the loop. Here’s to an exciting journey (and hoping that no more volcanoes go off in the next few weeks).

today's in-between

Yesterday I sat in bed late at night with thoughts on my heart that I felt the need to translate to paper (or computer in this case). I wasn't entirely sure what all those thoughts were and it took some sparks of inspiration from other bloggers to get at what I was feeling.

Today, after writing that post last night, I stumbled across a group that parallels those thoughts precisely. It was as if God was drawing and easing those thoughts out of me last night to prepare me to discover a new group and idea (got to love it when that happens).

FOUR YEARS. GO. is a new campaign that recently started up to mobilize individuals around the world to engage in change and make the necessary transition to begin to turn our society towards a sustainable future. I highly encourage you to watch the video below (especially the last 5 minutes or so) as it does a great job explaining the purpose of the campaign and the crossroads we are currently at. As a global society, we are currently at a Holy Saturday (see the previous post for context). Al Gore writes in his newest book,
"the choice is awesome, and potentially eternal...a choice to be mourned or celebrated...a choice that requires courage, commitment, transformation and love."
During the easter holiday, that in-between day is often ignored or quickly skipped by without any understanding of why it stands in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And this does not just hold for easter holiday, Lynne Twist explains a similar situation for the Rennaisance. We often think about the Rennaisance or the Dark Ages, but how much time have we given thought to the quick time in between that was responsible for transitioning into a completely new society.

If we only began to understand the significant importance of that in-between period...

But that is exactly where we are today, will we step up and learn to appreciate Holy Saturday for what it is and where it falls in this grander holiday season. Let us take on that call to action and create the transformation needed for the generations to follow. Go join FOUR YEARS. GO. and share your next steps...


Lynne Twist presents FOUR YEARS. GO.

FOUR YEARS. GO. promo video

don't forget the in-between

I was reading a pastor of mine's blog this afternoon and he was talking about the role of the saturday between good friday and easter sunday. It's a day we don't give much thinking to during this holiday season - it's either a break between the busy days or just another 24 hours to pass by before getting to the important stuff. But what if we looked at this saturday with a little more importance. Dan writes...
Saturday is the lonely day of the Easter weekend. Good Friday has a purpose — we remember the death of Jesus. Easter Sunday has a purpose — we celebrate the resurrection hope of Jesus. What do we do in the in-between? The in-between is that season between betrayal and hope. It is the season of doubt, the season where we have been hit by the hurt of Friday but we don’t know if Sunday is coming.
Saturday is the season of choosing. It is the season where we will choose to hang on to Good Friday hurts or belly flop into Easter Hope.
Yeah I chose the words belly flop for a reason. If you really want to experience Easter hope you have to let go and dive in — but if you dive in, it’s going to leave a mark. Belly Flop into Easter. 
I wonder how often we forget to recognize the importance of those 'choosing moments' in our life. I know I for one am guilty of focusing on the points of purpose in life; the times which 'define' me and teach me something to better my life and the lives of others. But perhaps by focusing solely on the days of purpose (as we define as purposeful) we are missing out on the other days that god has specifically planned to be a part of the larger ride called life.

Would the Easter story really be any different if it had been prophesied and happened that Christ rose the following day? Perhaps there was a purpose for that in-between day that we were unaware of?

The in-between day, often referred to as Holy Saturday, is often described as a time of silence and suspense. It is bookended by two completely different feelings and emotions. Joan Chittister describes it this way...
Holy Saturday faith is not about counting our blessings; it is about dealing with darkness and growing in hope. Without the Holy Saturdays of life, none of us may ever really grow up spiritually…Today, alone and bereft, we come face-to-face with the question we try so hard to avoid the rest of the year: how do we deal with the God of darkness as well as the Giver of light? Have we been abandoned? Are we left on our own in this world? Is there nothing else?
We live in a world where we like black and white answers, darkness and light, despair and hope. But in order to get from one peak to another, we need to recognize the importance of that transition period and wrestle with the messy questions we often like to avoid. May we learn to recognize the Holy Saturdays of life more easily and take the time to reflect in silence on the necessary transitions in life.

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