Vacation Time in Colorado

Sweet merciful days of awesome! Vacation is here! This is my first official vacation since starting work (I’ve had a couple of sick days, but no fun days off as of yet). I can’t help but chuckle that as my first vacation destination, I’ve chosen to return to the scene of the crime my alma mater. I worked so hard to get away and now I can’t help but return, must be some form of Stockholm Syndrome.

I touched down tonight in Denver at 8pm. I don’t really have plans for Thursday, so who wants to hang out?

Friday is an awesome episode of The Feed, but I’m free in morning and early afternoon.

Saturday is pretty open, except for around dinner time.

Sunday is open except for after 7pm when I’m hoping to head over to Merge.

I’ll be around Monday, but I’m hoping to hang out with Brother if he’ll let me.

Operation Water Engineering: A Mission Trip to Haiti?

For several months now, shortly after I saw The Advent Conspiracy, I have wanted to be involved in humanitarian/missionary projects to bring clean water to places that don’t have it.

Last semester (Spring 2009), I was part of a group at Merge (Flatirons Community Church) that was looking for opportunities for college-aged people to be more active in mission work. It was at that point that I started developing more passion for using my engineering skills to serve other people, specially with regard to getting access clean water.

A specific idea I had was doing what I’ll call “emerging technology transfer.” The idea is that we would take some form technology and extract the emerging technologies out of it to be put to use in different ways. For example, technology in a Toyota Prius, could be used to design a wind turbine where the blades would be made using the same composite technology1, which would connect to a generator that is based on the regenerative braking system. The same motor-generator system would also be used to power the water pump. Excess energy would be stored for later use in NiMH batteries ius. And for the cloudy days, the efficient gas-engine could be used. There are other issues, such as: will they be able to maintain this equipment? So I digress.

Convergence, the Young Adult Ministry at University Presbyterian Church, is going on a mission trip to Haiti in January to “come alongside UPC ministry partners Bruce and Deb Robinson as they serve the Haitian people through various community development initiatives, mainly through flood control projects.”2

From upcconvergence.files.wordpress.com:

We will be doing a variety of work, ranging from irrigation projects, rebuilding structures damaged during hurricane season, and more. We will primarily work on construction projects. If you have specific professional skills, we will inquire to see if they might be useful to the community. In addition, you will get to see how God has been working through the Robinsons during their time in Haiti.

As it turns out, I do have specific skills that could probably be useful. I have a passion for the project, I can get the time off, and I can mostly afford the trip (if I decide to go, I may ask for some fund raising help). I’ve also never been to Haiti before, which would sort of tack on a bonus country to my Travel the World goal.

But there’s still that hint of reservation…is this what I should be doing?


  1. I actually don’t know if such technology is used on the Prius, just assuming here. 

  2. http://upcconvergence.wordpress.com/mission-trips/haiti/ 

Colorado for Vacation

I just booked my first vacation as person in The Real World™, and I’m going back to Colorado! Woo! This will be my first flight since getting back from my Europe Trip in August. I’ll be flying out right after work on Wednesday, November 18th, at 4:20pm (arriving at 8pm local time) and departing on Monday, November 23, at 6:05pm (arriving at 7:59pm local time).

It’s Brothers birthday1 on Thursday, the 19th, and some other familial obligations to attend to on Friday, but that leaves Frinight and the weekend open for whatever crazyness I can stir up with your help. I also want to go to Merge on Sunday night, so plan on that.

Should be a good little respite from work.

On a side note, sorry that updates have been few and far between. That’s sort of the way life is going for me right now. Hopefully that will change and I’ll get back to my usual posting antics.


  1. 21st to be precise 

Dear Friends

Dear Friends (and Family) in Colorado,

I’m leaving Colorado tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Leaving Colorado has been one of the most bitter sweet things I think I’ve ever had to do, even more so than at the end high school when I left Seattle for Colorado. The hardest thing for me has been trying to express how I feel. The deep love I have for all of you. The extreme sadness in the fact that I have to go. The giddy delight that I’m returning to Seattle.

I’m sitting in my grandma’s back yard right now, on one of those rocking benches. It’s pitch black out, save the glow from my screen. The wind rustles though the leaves. The wind chime softly sings. It’s one of those perfect moments of reflection, when everything finally comes into focus.

This past year has been amazing. Being a fifth year senior presented a unique set of challenges, and an equally amazing set of opportunities. Most of my friends graduated a year ago, leaving me and just a handful of others left. At the same time, a spark in my faith set me on a journey. I regularly attended church for the first time since leaving Seattle; not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I found an amazing new set of friends through church (both Merge and The Annex). What’s more, this renewed sense of faith found me challenging my beliefs, which is always a good thing, I think. And when I stumbled, you guys were there.

The biweekly Feed1 was often my cornerstone during the week, grounding me when school, and life, was just to much.

At the beginning of this school year, I very desperately wished for school to just be over. However, I’m glad I wasn’t allowed to sleep through these past nine months, as they have easily been my favorite nine months of the last five years. Part of me wishes I could do the first four years over again.

So thank you. To you. To all of you. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for all of you.

With Much Love,

Andrew

P.S. My hope is that this is not the end. Colorado always has been2 and will continue to be a second home for me. I will be back. And of course, you always have a bed (at least for a few nights) at my place in Seattle.


  1. a bunch of us would get together at Lance’s house (usually) for dinner, s’mores, and company 

  2. both my parents are born and raised in Colorado, and all my extended relatives live in Colorado 

The Quest Continues

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

I’m thinking that maybe I should start making weekly updates on my summer plans. To follow up on last weeks report, I’ve prayed and thought long and hard about Messenger and Engineering Ministries International and I don’t think those would be good matches for me.

Messenger is really a community-based missions trip and I think me not returning to Colorado next year is not inline with that goal. eMi seems to be more of planning organization rather then a doing organization. I’ve been planning for the last five years, I’m ready to do.

I’ve talked to a couple friends I have in Switzerland (Remo and Günther) and Germany (Philip). One thing that I’ve started to look into is using RyanAir and Eurail to travel. RyanAir would be nice and fast, but I think is ultimately unfeasible to use on a regular basis because they only fly into cities with airports. Once I get to a city, I’d need to find some mode of transportation if I wanted to explore anything more than walking distance.

Eurail could be the ticket, though. I could get the 21 country pass and travel to just about any city of a decent size. Sure, it would be slower, but the sheer number of cities available make it completely worthwhile. Besides, Europe is that big. $1039 buys me two months of travel. I’d also probably consider 15 days of travel in two months for $709. If I did get a Eurail pass, I would probably just visit a lot of cities, spending as many days I wanted in each city (sleeping at a hostel, presumably), and then catching the next train to where ever. To this end, I have a phone call with Jessica planned tonight to

But I haven’t given up on a mission trip yet! My search is progressing and I talked with Lance who suggested an organization called Serving in Ministry. It looks like SIM has some really interesting short term mission trips, including a photography/videographer position; I’ll definitely be checking them out some more.

Flatiron’s Community Church may also be planning on sending a college group to Afghanistan over the summer. I emailed Ron, the Director of Missions at FCC to see what the deal on that will be.

I did finally call the Department of State today to see if there were any special travel restrictions that I needed to observe. They didn’t seem to have a list, so I’ll probably just keep an eye on the Entry/Exit requirements for countries I intend to visit. (Side rant: Why doesn’t travel.state.gov work with Google Chrome?)

Photographer for Hire

Background: Another couple friends of mine got engaged this past weekend. I was talking with them at Old Chicago’s (which is where we go after Merge) and they were wondering if I’d shoot their Engagement photos. I said yes, explaining to them how I’ve been wanting to do more portrait photography this year. I was eventually planning on blogging about, but I guess I just do it now.

I feel that I’m pretty much at a place where I feel confident offering my photography skills for hire. I’m also looking for a new challenge in photography, mainly taking pictures of people.

I have not set rates yet, but I guarantee that they will be very competitive. I would be interested in shooting engagement photos and general portraits. I would not like to shoot birthday parties or other real-time events for the time being, this means that I probably would not shooting weddings, although feel free to ask.

I currently have Fridays and weekends available, so drop me a line if you’re even interested (my contact information is always on the front of my blog). I’m definitely up for negotiating prices, so you really have nothing to lose.

To give you an idea of what I’m thinking about offering:

  • Taking 100-200 photos over a couple hours on location(s)
  • Delivering 25-75 processed photos in JPEG (possibly DNG if requested)
  • Physical prints would be extra, but affordable with minimal markup
  • Option for producing a photobook
  • Online photo gallery (probably through Flickr, maybe through another source)

Thoughts?

Portfolio: