Sunday, November 27, 2011

Manila - Chicago

November 26, 2011

Peace and Good,

I finished up my visit in the Philippines. I wasn't feeling all that well at the beginning of the week (a travel stomach thing), but I always carry the right medicine with me and I recovered quite quickly. I finished a series of talks to the candidates at a place called Novaliches. This is a complex run by the friars on the north of Manila including their residence, a church, a retreat house and a clinic for the poor. The deacon there, fr. John, was a civil engineer by trade, and he has done wonders in sprucing the place up.

In these two weeks, I managed to give 28 hours of presentations on Sacred Scripture. It was well worth while, and I think the friars appreciated the fact that someone had come from a distance to offer them assistance.

I flew out of Manila on Friday morning. The first flight was to Tokyo. This was my first time in Japan. It was a four hour flight, and a five hour lay over. Then an eleven hour flight to Chicago.

I always suffer from jet lag, and this is a ten hour difference in time zones. I arrived on Friday evening, and I am writing this on Sunday noon and am still under its effects.

Because I passed the international date line, I actually lost a day in flight. It still freaks me out that I technically arrived in Chicago before I left Tokyo.

I finished a few books this week. The first book was Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag. I had seen her name often, but this is the first time I have read one of her books. It is about a judge who takes into account the need to exclude prior bad acts in a trial about a current matter when those acts have nothing to do with the case. There is outrage at her decision, and she is shortly after assaulted and later kidnapped. There is a lot of action, and the writing is good. I would recommend it to others if you like this type of mystery.

A second book is Winter in Tirane by Jiri Kaajane. Tirane is the capitol of Albania, and it describes the lot of a man caught up in the period right after the revolution that removed a Stalinist regime from power and before things began to settle down. Everyone is either trying to continue the past or launch themselves into a future which is totally unknown to them (for they were very restricted in what information they could receive from overseas during the communist times). A lot of the hair brained plans remind me of Romania when I would visit it shortly after the communists fell. Everyone is selling something, whether it be influence or flour stolen from the job or know how.

A third book was Icebound by Dean Koontz. The previous books I read by Koontz were more horror stories. This one is more of an adventure mixed with hunting for an insane murderer story. It was good, but some of the details were a little far fetched.

Have a good week.

fr. Jude


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