'84 '85 '87 '88 '90 '06?

Oh man! This is too much to handle as the only Edmonton Oiler fan that I know for thousands of miles. I can't wait to check the scores online every second day to see if Edmonton won or not. I was blown away after they beat out first place Detroit, then beating out 5th place San Jose, now ahead 2 games to none against 6th place Anaheim. Yikes! They are getting really close to the Cup. And I can't watch any of the games!!!

All this without Fuhr, Tikkanen, Kurri, Messier, Muni, Anderson,Coffey, Gretzky, and Ranford. They've still got MacTavish, Lowe and Huddy in management and coaching though.

They could be the first Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup in 13 years. I recognized that all the American teams have huge Canadian player representation. But the Canadian teams have been underdogs for the past 15 years (except for Ottawa, who always chokes in the playoffs). It's so great to see Edmonton going so far.

I've been an Oiler fan since grade 5 when they won their 3rd Cup. I followed them heavily until grade 9, then I lost a lot of interest because money took over the NHL and the game got boring as far as I'm concerned (very defensive playing). I wish I could have watched more games since the NHL has changed.

I want to thank Dean for taking me to my last hockey game back in September. He got us primo tickets to an Oilers exhibition game against the Dallas Stars. It was a great time - though Edmonton lost in overtime.

They're not losing now!



Yesterday, I drove a little seven-year-old girl home from the hospital where she will probably die.

I was in the Cobán hospital with a short-term mission team from Canmore, AB. We take all the teams there to pray for the kids and give gifts to the new mothers in the maternity ward. When a few of the team arrived at one bed, the parents were dressing their daughter to take her home to die. Aleyda has advanced meningitis and a tumor in her head, along with several infections. Her eyesight is failing too, as a result. A nurse commanded us to take them home as they live nearly an hour away, practically guilting us into it. I had my car along, so I was a natural choice to go, and I'm glad for it.

I took a couple men from the team with me - Walter, a programmer from Edmonton who grew up in Bolivia with his missionary parents and Trevor, a pastor from Canmore of Japanese descent. Aleyda lay in the back seat with her head on Trevor's lap. He cooled her forehead with a wet clothe the whole trip. Her body and legs where held by her parents. Her older sister stood up in front of her father in the backseat and held on to my headrest. Her father looked like a very nice man, devoted to his family, hard worker, wild hair and very defined Mayan features. They hardly spoke Spanish, in fact they spoke an indigenous language I had never heard of. I could hear Aleyda moaning in the humid air.

The drive took us north of Coban on the highway toward Chisec. We journeyed 40 km (45 minutes) over 2 mountain passes and through a thunderstorm. We took an exit for Playa Grande where the road was gravel, and then another turn onto a dirt road. I had to stop half way on this road (about 2 kms short of Aleyda's house) because my car couldn't manage the ruts. Some people had received a phone call that we were coming and they met us on this road with a hammock. Aleyda was placed in the hammock and we bid our farewells. We gave them some money as the father was at the hospital for 10 days and those 10 days went without pay.

We drove the 90 minutes back to Tactic with a quick stop in Cobán for bathrooms and ice cream. I washed my hands when I got home. Blaise was already sleeping.



Nearly four years ago, I visited Tikal with Amber, Saison, Dean, and Mariah. Very little has changed since that time. Most noticeably, more areas are restricted to the public - not to be considered a deterrent however as none of the signs are obeyed by anyone (well, I obeyed them) (mostly). The other thing that was different was that there were almost no animals this time.

The greatest sensation I felt when visiting Tikal was the heat and humidity. I drank tons of water. We brought a 5 gallon jug from Tactic, so we had lots of 25 degree water to drink.

The second greatest sensation I felt was the power of nature to destroy. Here were palaces and temples and altars and commemorative markers all made of stone - but all of them have lost their functionality due to the power of roots and decaying plants and wind/water erosion. Huge trees dwarf some of the buildings that used to stand majestically on a paved street 1000 years ago.

The third greatest sensation I felt was very strong curiosity - every guide you talk to in the park tells a different story about the history of this Mayan city. No one knows for sure what life was like or why it ended so quickly or what the buildings were used for exactly.

My papa visited us the week prior to our trip to Tikal. We decided to make the trip to shorten his bus ride to Cancún, Mexico where he caught a plane. My family strolled around the ruins without any pressing agenda. It was really good to have that with my wife, son, and father.

The second day, only my father went to the park with me. We had nearly the whole day to visit the portion of the park we hadn't seen the first afternoon. We spent a good portion of the time visiting with people we met - a computer programmer from Poland and his New Zealander wife (a teacher), a nurse from Vancouver, a retired couple from Nantes, France, a Guatemalan photographer. The rest of the time, we climbed, took photos, ate melted chocolate andtrail mixx, and enjoyed eachother's company among the jungle vapors.

Look out for the tapir!

Driving to the World Heritage Site of Tikal in the Peten of Guatemala,
one must be exceedingly cautious.

(though I only saw 4 of the pictured animals the entire trip)