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Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Consolidating blogs

I’m finding four blogs a little much to keep up with. So Becky and I are merging our two ministry blogs over to Wycliffe Canada’s website. Bookmark wycliffe.ca/m?TeamEyre. Better yet, click “follow” and keep up with all of our updates.

On the new site, note our new Partnership page.

For the record, my other blogs:

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EyreMail Dec11

[click for full-size, readable pdf]

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Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada held an induction ceremony for the new president, Roy Eyre, on Nov. 30. The event, held at Cornerstone Church in Calgary, was well attended by local pastors, church and national leaders, as well as Wycliffe members and Wycliffe board directors. It was a time of celebration as well as “passing on the baton.” T.V. Thomas, a Wycliffe Canada board member, hosted the program.

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I’ll post some thoughts about today’s induction service, but my brain isn’t really working this evening. So, since pictures are worth a thousand words, here are about 3,000.

 

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Drinking the Kool-Aid

On my leadership blog, thebackrowleader.com, I posted a while ago my thoughts about absorbing and understanding the corporate culture when you go to a new organization, new department or new job. Let me give you a couple of ways I’ve tried to do that in Calgary, in pictorial form.

There’s a strong movement at the Wycliffe Canada office to ride to work any day you can. It’s part of the western Canada enthusiasm for outdoor activities, but it’s also the characteristics of a select group of staff, a number of which serve on the Leadership Team. So, they’ve got me riding. In the 10 weeks I’ve been in Calgary, I have ridden my bike more than the last year in Orlando.

Of course, the definition of “cycling weather” is different for everyone. A couple of devoted enthusiasts ride to work year-round. For me, I’ve established my limit at 25F. When I start losing feeling in my toes and fingers, it’s not fun anymore. Until I get better clothes, I’m a fair-weather cyclist. The other factor is how much snow is left on the trails, of course.

I also mentioned the Wycliffe Table Hockey League. This is not bush league; it’s serious stuff. Each of the teams has a team logo and hockey card. There’s a commemorative program, full statistics and an annual awards banquet. As you’ll see in this shot, it’s not a simple endeavour. In addition to the referee, each game requires two people counting shots on goal, a timekeeper and someone to play the hockey music between periods.

So far, I’m a spectator and fan. I just can’t find a way to operate six sticks with two hands. They’re already working on me to be the whipping boy next season. If I can increase the morale of the staff by surrendering my pride, perhaps it’s worth it.

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Fortitude for altitude

This morning we drove out to Kananaskis to give the kids their first full dose of mountains. We took them to Bragg Creek a few weeks ago, but those were foothills compared to what we saw today. Kaitlyn adamantly told us she wanted to hike up to see the snow, and the snow-capped mountains were glorious, but that snow line looked so high up…

At Kananskis Lodge, we sought the concierge’s advice for a hike where we could see the view, but not too strenuous since we had a five-year-old. He knew just the one and promptly pointed us toward Troll Falls. Great name. Lots of potential. But when the first kilometer looked like the “hiking” we did in Florida – a gravel driveway with little altitude change – the complaining began. The kids even joined me. And Kaitlyn began to complain she was tired. “We want a mountain,” the boys insisted.

So we found a mountain. I couldn’t tell you the name of the mountain or the trailhead. All we had to go on were a handful of cars on the side of the road and a path that wasted no time going up. And up it went. Cotter was in his element at the front, imagining himself blazing the trail for the rest of us. Aidan set his own pace, occasionally slipping away to try a side excursion, as is his style. And Kaitlyn chugged away energetically, her tiredness replaced by a thirst for adventure. At first our goal was to find a clearing with a great view and a sunny rock to eat our lunch. That took far too long, and we were surprised to see a dusting of snow on a few logs before we found the sun. Boy, did snow give our kids energy. They could see the snow line now, and those little legs kept moving after a short break.

Incidentally, we’ve only seen this type of snow once before, 13 years ago in Lake Louise. Clearly the inspiration for dippin’ dots ice cream.

With Kaitlyn finally tiring after over 75 minutes of climbing, her little legs no longer clearing the rocks in our path, the guys went on alone in hopes of summiting. But as the path grew snowy, the footing got treacherous. We gave up the quest a quarter mile short and headed down to find Becky and Kaitlyn. One day we will return. That pass needs taming.

So, what did we learn?

  • Cotter was born for this. Mountains are in his blood.
  • Tiredness is a state of mind more than a state of body.
  • Aidan doesn’t like to give up. It took some persuading to get him to turn around.
  • Our Florida legs are strengthening. We’re rounding into shape.
  • The kids’ thirst for snow is alive and well. We’ll see how long that lasts.

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Comedy of errors

I learned in English Literature class that Shakespeare wrote two kinds of plays. If it wasn’t a comedy, it was a tragedy. The hardships might be the same during the journey, but the ending defined which it was. Let me give you a couple of examples from our last week. Each begins with a few short words that describe a triumph where the process was anything but short.

We made our flight last Wednesday. All the way to the end, we wondered if we’d be able to fly. First, Aidan got pink eye, which mercifully didn’t transmit to anyone else. Then he got an ear infection 10 hours before the flight, which thankfully didn’t both him too much in the air. Then the airport trucks couldn’t get the airplane engines turning fast enough to get us away from the gate, squeezing further an already-narrow layover in Dallas. But we made our connection and arrived in Calgary on time.

We’ve moved in. Of course, it took two moves. Four guys spent a 15-hour Friday driving down to the border, transferring everything from one U.S. truck to two Canadian U-Hauls to bring across the border. Sure, it was a bonding experience and great for teamwork, but I would have chosen a different method for doing that! Our moving company got their carrier number on Monday. Getting that carrier number one business day earlier would have allowed them to deliver to our door.

Yesterday we got the internet and wifi set up. Let me set the stage for this one. The story begins with packing our boxes in Orlando, where I made mistake #1, putting my cell phone charger into a miscellaneous box that we didn’t identify until yesterday afternoon. That left us reliant on a car charger. Complicating matters, the screen went out on the phone over the weekend, leaving it still starkly useful if you have a basic understanding of its functionality. That detail is strangely irrelevant to this story. While we were still in Orlando, we booked installation of Shaw internet for Monday, and true to their word, a man came and “got everything working.” Mistake #2 was letting him leave before I had the internet up and live on my computer.

That mistake was rectified with a 3 hour and 45 minute phone call with Shaw, of which actual speaking time totaled about 5 minutes. It’s one of those things where human nature causes you to dig in and stick to your guns. “I’ve been on the phone an hour, and there’s no way I’m giving up my place in line!” Well, what happens when you’re on a cell phone for almost 4 hours? Without a wall charger? You spend a chunk of that time in the car, with the engine running and your head slightly cricked because the cord is too short. Yet the cable modem is inside, so when you finally get someone on the line, you can’t be charging. Sure enough, after getting a technical service person on the line and successfully getting two out of three computers working — each of which strangely required resetting the winsock catalog (whatever that is) and turning off both modem and computer — the phone died. Thankfully we were able to apply the same fix to the final computer and got all three working, other than the fact that we have to turn everything off each time we trade out computers on this modem. “Unusual situation,” the tech support person assured us.

Last night when I wanted to get our wifi router working, I called a friend. He had me up to speed in five minutes with no wait time. All three computers can now surf at leisure without having to restart anything.

I told you this was no tragedy. Tragedies end with tears, not cord-free blog posts written from the sofa in my living room.

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