Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano
Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

10 December 2006


December 8, 2006 11:00pm

I had a really good day today. Not exactly sure if any one thing made it really good, but it just was. Perhaps it started because I woke up pretty early (7am) to get into lab and do some work there before going to coach. I love being up in the morning. I’ve been out of the habit of getting up very early here… but, as I walked along the streets in the dark morning light with the chilly air I just start smiling. I also can’t help but think of when I used to wake up much earlier in the morning and do a whole bunch of stuff before even heading off to LMS. Of course, part of me just wants to curl up in bed and go back to sleep, but I guess maybe I’ll do that when I’m home for Christmas. It was really fun to be in lab early and just be in that environment with others who really care about what they’re doing too. I seem to love being in lab early in the morning, late at night, or on the weekends (though I’m not granted access to the building at most of those times – it is secure government property – so I guess it’ll have to do for now to be there in the sorta early morning, not the very early!).

Perhaps the day was so good because I had the chance to coach… and really do whatever I wanted with the girls. Anders had to attend some meeting, so he asked Erin and I to coach the “basketball class” for a group of young high-schoolers. I guess I was supposed to be the head coach today and Erin the assistant ; ) – we’ll probably switch next week! The girls were super cute… they worked really hard, did whatever we asked of them, and looked very enthusiastic and excited to be working with us. It was so easy to coach them and do drills with them because they wanted to be there and truly looked like they were enjoying themselves. Hopefully they had as good a time as I did!

Erin and I ate lunch with Patrice and Erik (two guys that work in the club office upstairs). Patrice is Dutch. He says my name sounds German (Rappahahn, that is). Or maybe Finnish. Finnish? I think German before Finnish, but what do I know; where are the historians in the Rappahahn family?! : ) Erin had some meat and potatoes; I had a fish burger. The food at the café is really tasty. The restaurant is actually known (or at least written about/reviewed) as being a “hot spot” to go and eat. Lucky for us that it’s so convenient to eat there.

Headed back into lab this afternoon. Ran a gel to test the PCR reactions I had set-up. Not super successful… need to do more reactions… but, thankfully Aaron is so helpful! He really is a great teacher and always makes sure I understand everything, especially the big picture of what we’re up too. It sometimes is easy to get caught up in tiny details or just the procedures of how certain experiments are set-up; he makes sure I understand the reason behind everything and their importance. I am very thankful for this.

Another highlight of being in lab is being able to “chat” with Grammie. She had me smiling from ear to ear today!! (and pretty much everyday that I exchange emails with her too!). It just works out that she’s online at home in CT, when I’m online in lab. Though we aren’t technically “chatting,” we exchange emails impressively quickly. It’s cool to think that even though we’re across the Atlantic Ocean, we can be thinking of each other and communicating at exactly the same time! Thanks Grammie for all your love and support. God is Great!!

Practice was pretty chill tonight… nothing spectacular, just a good practice. The best player on the team we are playing tomorrow is injured (some sort of foot problem), so we won’t be seeing her in the game (so says some reporter that Anders talked to). That’s a disappointment. I really wanted to see her play and to play against her! Lily, one of the girls I met at the first church I went to here, is coming to the game tomorrow. Yay, someone to put on the guest list!

Tonight Erin and I ate dinner together in the café at the club again; then we watched “21 Grams” using my dvd player and tv. My dvd player only plays European (type 2) dvds, so all the dvds I brought from home, well I can only watch those on my computer (which works fine, but sometimes it’s nice to watch movies on a slightly bigger screen). Anyway, have you seen the movie? Sorta intense, but very interesting. Sad. I would recommend it. I think the actors do a super job. Glad Erin came to watch it with me; I think I would have been lost, confused, and perhaps left feeling a bit uneasy if I didn’t have the company. Right now I have the European Women’s Handball Championships on my tv, but will go to bed soon.

Oh, last thing. When I returned home tonight, after having been gone since 7:30 this morning, I had a small pile of mail. The Stanford Fund found me all the way in Sweden! But then I had some really fun mail too…. a Christmas card from Laura and her mom (cute pic Laura!), a note from Grammie (so funny you should send those pics; I was just telling Erin tonight about how much fun I had at the last wedding I went to!), letter from Wes (thanks; sorry the first one was lost, maybe it will turn up eventually?!), and a slip to pick up a package (will check into that tomorrow, yay!). Anyway, great way to be greeted after being gone all day… the mail really means a lot to me. Thank you for everyone who has taken the time to right me a note or send me a kind word. My apartment is decorated with the letters, cards, newspaper clippings, and pictures you send. Thank you. Thank you!!

Last basketball game of 2006 tomorrow. We need to win to put ourselves in the best place possible heading into the Christmas break. We will be tied for first with a win tomorrow. Anders wants to celebrate Christmas with us being in first place; me too. Good night.

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