Monday, February 16, 2009

Well, things have been rather hectic lately. School has been taking up way too much of my time! Not only do I have my regular class assignments (readings and projects), but I'm in the midst of finalizing my internship and graduate project which means I'm writing grants, looking for flights, and finishing up a lot of seemingly unnecessary paperwork. Anyway, I guess it all has to be done. During what seemed like my busiest week yet, my brother Adam came to visit from England. It actually turned out to be a much needed and welcomed break. Traci and I took him down to Vegas for a night and spent a day in Zion National Park. Vegas was an experience, I'll probably never go back; but Zion's was amazing, (you can check out some pic's from our trip at We were also able to catch a Jazz game, which was a first for me. Overall, I was glad to get away from Provo and school for a while - even though it was during a crazy busy time.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I don't know if anyone out there is reading this blog anymore - if not, it's probably my fault for not updating it on a regular basis. However, my life is starting to get a little more interesting and so I thought that I would rekindle my blogging flame and give it a go again.
"Interesting" defined: I am now in my second semester at BYU as a grad student studying public health, and have been accepted for an 8 week internship with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland starting the end of April. I am also going to be spending some time back home in South Africa this summer working on my graduate project assessing a hygiene promotion intervention in the townships surrounding Cape Town. So... a lot of travelling and new experiences coming up which will hopefully make for some interesting posts. We (Traci and I) are going to try our best to make most of my travelling a family experience, so we'll see how that works out. Last, but definitely not least, by any means: Traci and I are expecting a little boy in March. We are so excited and can't wait to welcome him into our family. His introduction is definitely going to be a whirlwind, as (like I just mentioned) we are going to try make these summer travels a family affair.
So let me know if you're out there, occasionally reading my entries. I promise that they will start to become more regular and a little more interesting.
Till next time...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

From the LDS Newsroom...

SALT LAKE CITY 14 November 2008 Five months ago, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter to members of the Church in California, encouraging them to join the millions of other Californians from many religious denominations, ethnic groups and political persuasions in a broad coalition to defend marriage as it has been defined for millennia.
During the election campaign, both sides of the argument on Proposition 8 had ample opportunities to express their viewpoint. The result was conclusively in favor of traditional marriage. More than 40 states in the United States have now voted to protect traditional marriage, either directly or through their elected representatives.
Today the First Presidency issued this statement about the democratic process:
Since the people of California voted to reaffirm the sanctity of traditional marriage between a man and a woman on November 4, 2008, places of worship have been targeted by opponents of Proposition 8 with demonstrations and, in some cases, vandalism. People of faith have been intimidated for simply exercising their democratic rights. These are not actions that are worthy of the democratic ideals of our nation. The end of a free and fair election should not be the beginning of a hostile response in America.
The Church is keenly aware of the differences of opinion on this difficult and sensitive matter. The reasons for this principled stand in defense of marriage have already been articulated elsewhere. However, some of what we have seen since Californians voted to pass Proposition 8 has been deeply disappointing.
Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues. People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal. Efforts to force citizens out of public discussion should be deplored by people of goodwill everywhere.
We call upon those who have honest disagreements on this issue to urge restraint upon the extreme actions of a few that are further polarizing our communities and urge them to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yes on Prop 8

Check out my new "Yes on Prop 8" widget.

If passed, California's proposition 8 would change the California constitution, adding a new section stating "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The LDS church hosted a meeting this past Wednesday evening encouraging members to be active in promoting this proposition. Check out excerpts from this broadcast here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Violence in South Africa

Those of you who have heard anything about the current feeling towards foreigners in South Africa might find the following extract from an email (05/27/08) interesting. The email is written by a sister of one of my friends living in South Africa. There family is from Ghana:

“Hey, good hearing from you ! yes crazy times in SA! ….gratefully most of the violence has stopped. the government took forever to respond now they are trying to have peace talks with those who were committing the barbaric acts. so we will see what happens. its crazy rondebosch (Cape Town suburb) is so quiet cos most of the black kids at uct (University of Cape Town) are foreign students and you can spot a foreign black from miles away, so iv just been chilling at home since its study week. but things are better.but last friday was hectic cos the ppl were beating up the somali taxi drivers in clarermont (Cape Town suburb), and looting somali owned shops in milnerton (Cape Town suburb) and mowbray (Cape Town suburb)! so there was a heavy police presence in rondebosch were they evacuated most of the somali refugees to the rondebosch police station for safety as well as in random church halls in rondebosch. these days if you are not hearing police sirens its helicopters in the air! but asylum seekers and economic migrants have lost faith in SA, thousands of mozambicans were evacuated by their governments back home. so many consulates are organising safe passage back home for their nationals. but genuine refugees cant just get up and leave cos there is a possibility of them facing persecution upon returning to their countries of origin. and since SA granted them asylum, the SA government has undertaken an international obligation to protect these people. its disgusting how the government looked on as people were burnt to death, houses looted and torched, individuals butchered with pangas (machetes)!! we experienced a genocide on our doorstep! and the sad thing is it started in april but government said it wasnt xenophobic attacks just a criminal gang, only when all hell broke loose in alexander did the media air it….otherwise cape town is same old same oldbut south africa as a nation is ashamed of the atrocities they experienced first hand. pity those in power took a while before they felt shame and started speakiing out - but thats life!!”

With regards to the LDS Church and their actions, she said:

“from the sounds of things all the "refugees" from church were not affected by the violence, bishops whose members were in the hard hit areas, went into the informal settlements to find their members, and members of the wards housed them and i think they are still housing them. I guess thats the priesthood in action”

Thursday, May 22, 2008


So, we’ve decided to start growing our own food… well… at least some of it anyway. Jim and Debi (Traci’s parents) started a garden at the bottom of their yard and have invited us to join them, as we currently don’t have much space available at our place. We have decided to use half the garden space for a gardening technique that perhaps some of you have heard of, or even tried yourself: it’s called “square-foot gardening”.

We just finished building the 4-foot squared, six-inch deep planting boxes that the technique calls for, and mixing the prescribed blend of compost and vermiculite, and are going to begin planting tomorrow. The guy that came up with this idea has apparently been successfully doing it for years in many parts of the world. He markets his method as “no work, organic gardening” and claims that it yields 100% of a harvest in 20% of the space. So far, the prep work has been relatively simple and rewarding; hopefully the planting, maintenance and harvest will leave us in a similar mood - I have a feeling it will.

Have any of you tried this gardening technique or any others that you found to be successful?