Adventures of a Manboy and his Father

The Adventures of a Manboy and his Father

Monday, November 5, 2012

I get to do this?

Where do I start?

Galapagos I suppose.

Last week my group went to the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos are a group of 13 volcanic islands approximately 500 miles off the coast of Ecuador.  They are famous not only for their beauty, diverse and unique ecosystems, and giant tortoises, but they are also the place where Darwin researched and constructed a lot of his ideas on evolution (eventually published under the book The Origin of the Species.)

It was a pretty fast trip. Four days and three nights (2 on the island of Santa Cruz, and 1 on Isabella.)  The first day we traveled (two plane rides, two bus rides, and a ferry) and we arrived at our hotel let me tell you what... I was really surprised.  The place was soo nice!  For our lunch they brought out these fish steaks and you would have thought we were in a five-star restaurant or something.  I was almost uncomfortable with the quality of it all.  That afternoon we hiked across part of the island to see the Grietas which is this series of canyons that are partially filled with amazingly clear water.   At one point you can rock climb up one of the walls and cliff jump from the top (about 45 feet).  It was pretty scary actually, and I afterwards I felt like someone had spanked me really well, but it was so cool!   Here's a pretty sweet picture my friend snagged:

The next day I accidentally changed my clock the wrong direction and woke up at five in the morning, which turned out to be awesome!  I went down by the port and was able just to see a fantastic sunrise and enjoy some intentional time with Jesus.  As a a group that morning we went to a spectacular beach called Tortuga Bay.  There we were able to take a ton of pictures of Marine Iguanas, and just enjoy the sand that was as fine as flour.  It really is a beautiful place, kinda like the ones you see on movies or the travel channel, white sand... turquoise water... wildlife... beautiful people like me without their shirts on... you know.   In the afternoon we took a short boat ride to a tiny little Island and got to see some unique lava formations and more marine iguanas.  That night a couple of us went dancing at a local place and I got to laugh as two guys from Israel tried to pick up two of my friends.

The last day was my favorite.  In the morning we went and saw giant tortoises.  At one point, as I watched a two foot long tortoise much on some leaves, I realized something:  not only was this tortoise actually older than I was, but twenty years after I die, he'll probably still be living on an island munching on the same type of grass.  Kinda a humbling thought.

Then in the afternoon I got to go snorkeling for the first time!  I'm not sure I can describe how incredible it was.  At first I followed around this sting ray for a while.  Then an 8ft sea lion came and swam around us (which was a little scary actually), and I was able to swim with a school of surgeonfish.  The most amazing moment came when my friend called me over and we were able to swim with a sea turtle.  The thing was really big and had a kind of nobility to him.  Something about the graceful way that old creature moved through the water just spoke to me.  I just had to keep thanking and praising God while swimming with that guy.  It was so cool! After snorkeling we were all pretty beat and headed back to the hotel for a chill night and a beautiful sunset.  During the trip I just kept asking, "I get to do this?"  The Lord blesses me abundantly, unfairly, so generously.

Coming back from the Galapagos, it was a little hard to get back in the swing of things academically (sometimes I forget, or at least want to forget, that I'm a student still).  Then to make it worse this week I  started becoming sick, especially for the last 3 or so days.  Chills, hot flashes, headaches, loss of quality sleep, loss of appetite, coughing, eyes that hurt when I move them.  Its been a crazy ride! Kinda fun in some ways, and God has been faithful in providing everything that I need, and this morning I feel a decent bit better, I think I'll even try to teach today.

I'll close with a quote.  Yesterday, while still pretty sick I read nearly all of the book Through the Gates of Splendor, written by Elizabeth Elliot, which chronicles what God did through the lives of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian in their attempt to reach the Aucas in Ecuador.   Many things were impressed upon me while reading this book, such as how talented each of the men were, how well they planned for each step of the process, and how driven they were for evangelism (with such a passion to which I am unfamiliar).  One thing that blew my mind though was many of Jim Elliot's famous quotes were actually not penned on the mission field, but instead while he was in college, wow.  One of these quotes in particular hit me last night:

When the time comes to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.

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