27 November 2009

the annunciation

The angel said to her, "Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favour. Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High." -Luke 1:30-32

18 November 2009

giving thanks

Having missed out on Halloween, I signed up immediately when I heard about this Thanksgiving gathering.

Then I brought the dish I've always made on Thanksgiving, a layered salad, that everyone seems to like. It's not a dish I'd make for a family of three, so I was very happy to have a large group of people to prepare it for.

I got a little teary when I walked in, because the place was decorated so beautifully. Turns out there was a group of people visiting from the U.S., and they had brought the holiday decorations with them for this occasion.

Did I ever mention anywhere that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all? More than Christmas, more then Easter, it has always resonated with me. I hold dear the idea of having a formal occasion to gather together with family and friends to share a meal, for the simple purpose of giving thanks for all that we have. I also like how it hasn't been commercialized (or "kiddied-down") the way other holidays have been and is therefore low-key.

I was very, very glad to have a place to be and people to be with, to celebrate my favorite day of the year, albeit several days early. I sat across the table from a local (i.e., French) gentleman who reminded me of our uncle in Nothern Virginia, not least because they have the same name. Oh, how I miss him and other relatives on the East Coast.

But this is where I am now, and these are the people I am with. It would be a shame not to celebrate that.

So I say, with a thankful heart, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, everywhere.

07 November 2009

one small light

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. - Matt 5:16.

02 November 2009

scenes from Geneva

Geneva. What a beautiful city.

We only had a day (and spent nearly one-third of that at Palais des Nations), so I'm not sure if we saw much.

But what we did see was lovely, and we enjoyed it all.

The weather was perfect in a it's-the-beginning-of-fall kind of way, and because it was a bit overcast, I had excellent lighting for taking photos all day.

This kind of shows what my frame of reference has become, but my first impression of Geneva was that its streets and sidewalks were clean. I was walking around while looking up at the buildings and taking photos, and I didn't have to worry about stepping on something!

The only thing that wasn't lovely was how expensive everything was. We went to Starbucks for breakfast (because breakfast for a family of three at our hotel would have cost us over 100CHF), and there, a venti cafe Americano was 6.20CHF, a maple walnut scone 3.80CHF. I wanted to buy one of those huge mugs that said "Starbucks Geneva" (I know, I know, but I was a tourist in Geneva), but I didn't get one because it was 19.50CHF! That's approximately $19.50, or 12€!

A quick web search reveals that Geneva has the honor of being the fourth most expensive city in the world. Ouch. FYI, Lyon has the 18th position, Paris 9th. I'm not sure why San Francisco didn't make the list -- L.A. is listed at 15th.

But this post isn't about other cities; it's about Geneva.

We had to pay 30€ for a Swiss Highway Pass that expires at the end of the year, so our plan is to go back soon.

It's only an hour and a half away, so why not?