Monthly Archives: October 2013

Semester at Sea

By Stephanie Fuchilla, Math Education Major — Study Abroad: Semester at Sea

Today was amazing. I got to learn more about Pencils of Promise. I visited a school that was being built and one that just opened last week. We handed out pencils, tooth brushes, bracelets, and SAS gear. I had a grade 6 class write letters to kids on our ship. In response to the letter,s the ship kids wrote for them. It was amazing.

Stephanie Fuchilla in Ghana -- Semester at Sea

Stephanie Fuchilla in Ghana — Semester at Sea


Amalfi Weekend

By Marisa Guerra, History Major


Fourth of July weekend this summer was one that I will never forget.  Being in Italy for 6.5 weeks for a study abroad program with four other girls from GCU, we had the good fortune to book ourselves a trip to the Amalfi Coast.  Out of the entire trip, this was my favorite weekend.  There were many highlights during this trip, including the fancy hostel we stayed in (yea you read that right, HOSTEL) to my brush with death in the water, to the great friends I had with me.  Life was good!

amalfi group

amalfi 2


Photo credits: Marisa Guerra

Photo credits: Marisa Guerra

That Friday, after the minimal breakfast that Italy was fond of serving (packaged toast and croissants) we went to the island of Capri.  On our boat ride tour there, we stopped at the Blue Grotto where you had the chance to go in and swim.  Let me tell you, that water was magnificent! The sun’s reflection on the water underneath that cave gave it this crystal clear aqua blue color that felt so refreshing when you jumped in.  Being me and my spastic self, getting back into the little rowboat was a tad bit difficult!  I tried like, 3 maybe 4 times to hoist myself up, but to no use.  My upper body strength is pitiful.  I told our boat rower that I’d just swim out of the cave but he was like NOOOO and then lifted me up with one arm.  I landed face first in my friend’s lap with my legs hanging out the boat like some dead fish.  Story of my life! If anyone ever has the opportunity to visit, please go swimming.  It will be like nothing you’ve ever done before.  I mean, how many people can say they went swimming in one of Europe’s Seven Natural Wonders???  Well…. I can now!

Later that day, after touring the island and taking an awesome chair lift, we headed back down to the meeting point.  We had about an hour and a half still, but we decided to check out the small beach they had recommended.  We didn’t have any towels on us and I certainly didn’t want to be full of sand, so being typical Americans, we just bought towels.  Consumerism at its best!  Little did I know, Italy doesn’t have sand for its beaches! Instead, they have rocks.  Yes, ROCKS!  It was so uncomfortable to walk on, but we managed.  Somehow.  We were swimming in the water when it all went downhill.  For me at least.  One minute I was frolicking all happy with life and what have you and the next, I was swimming for MY LIFE.  I was ATTACKED!! Almost eaten alive!  I guess that’s a bit of an understatement, but never having been stung by a jellyfish before, I panicked.  My leg was on FIRE.  It hurt quite badly actually.  It swelled so much it looked like I had a boil.  Later that night, after the burning went away, I looked at it and it was as though I had been burned.  My skin was gray!! Like what?  That’s crazy, right?!?

The next day, Saturday, was our beach day.  We went to a large beach after walking down twenty million flights of stairs- talk about depth perception issues!!  Again, more rocks.  But I mean, what could ya do?  It was a beautiful day out, sun was shining, it wasn’t crazy hot out, it was perfect by all accounts.  Being from Jersey, we decided to tan!  JK JK, Jersey has a bad enough rep as it is to be joking about tanning rules.  Francheska and I put that baby oil on (after putting on sunscreen, don’t worry guys) and roasted.  By then, the heat was a little bit too much for us and as we got up to go out into the water, Icey and Rachel had just returned from it.  They looked at us and Icey said, “I didn’t know you guys were in the water! I thought you were still tanning!”  Meanwhile, Francheska and I are cracking up!  We were sweating so much it looked as though we went swimming!! LOL

We actually went cave swimming and cliff jumping that day as well!  Most people would probably be nervous… I wasn’t.  Not really anyway.  I was more nervous about being stung again, as there were two incidents of jellyfish stings in the group that went before us.  So obviously, with my luck, I was waiting to be attacked again.  Thankfully, I wasn’t.  The cliff that we jumped off of had a few different heights to it.  The rocks were so smooth that I was fearful of slipping off of it and cracking my skull open.  That was the fear- not the fear of jumping.  When you are up there, you have just a split second where you think of all the things that could possibly go wrong and then just say F*** It and jump.  It resulted in the biggest wedgie of my life, but hey, it was a great couple of jumps!

To end the night, we went to this club that built in a cave- Afrikana! It was unbelievably cool inside.  There was actually a wedding party finishing up in there when we got there, as it’s so nice it’s rented out for such events.  All the music was like a mix of the old stuff (Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston) and the new stuff( what we kids today call pop and what other generations call garbage).  The Italians LOVE American music!  I think I might have only heard two Italian songs the entire time I was in Italy.  That was a late night, but was well worth it.  It capped off our amazing time at the Amalfi.  And overlooking the water at night with the boats out and lights on below us was picture perfect, even in the dark.

*Sigh* I miss Italy.  That weekend was honestly the best.  We had such a good time and it was so beautiful there.  I would love to go back!  Amalfi was just one of the many great experiences we had while studying abroad.  I wish I could fit everything in, but I can’t, otherwise you would be here for hours reading!  If you do have the chance, however, visit it! You won’t regret it.  As the saying goes- All roads lead to Roma!!

Tivoli Gardens

By Dr. Geraldine Velasquez, Department of Graphic Design, Communications and Multimedia

Tivoli Gardens, what a surprise.

Not tulips but sky rides and kiosks and families having fun.

Copenhagen, you offered me variety and made me happy.


Photo credit: Geraldine Velasquez

Photo credit: Geraldine Velasquez

A Postcard from Salt Lake City

By Dr. Pamela Rader, English Department

When I went to visit friends who had moved from the Lower East Side to Salt Lake City, I found myself in a hilly town enveloped by mountains. Out west, the perspective shifts back to the horizon. Streets are wider, and high-rises are limited to a sepia-toned downtown. Back east, unless you’re standing on the beach, the eye is drawn upward, along the vertical axis of skyscrapers and tall, council oaks or ancient sycamores. Always changing, the western skies hold my gaze. I write ‘skies’—because there seems to be so much sky.

The trompe l’oeil of the thick, low hanging clouds gave the impression that one had awakened in the mythical Shangri-La: a hidden community surrounded by mountains. For the first few days, clouds scrolled like illegible sentences, but it was the mountains I wanted to read. Patience. A white vapor-canvas punctured by a ridge here and an escarpment there. The occasional pocket of corn-flower blue. A brief rain shower was followed by stunning bursts of light and Roy G. Biv’s far reaching arch.

Slowly, the peak-laced horizon revealed itself. To the west, the shorter range of the Oquirrh Mountains extended, and the Wasatch Range resembles an archer’s bow, running north-south. Living in the mountains encourages gazing. Subtle hues of fuchsia develop into warm apricot tones before becoming shadows. In the evening light, everything appears to becoming something else.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:


Surprised by Salvador

By Jennifer Summerhays, Global Education

It was a surprise,

falling headlong

for the samba in the air

and the white plate moon above the Pelourinho

and the peeling pastel paint

and the smell of sweat and sex and sacred

and the way things come together to help us find ourselves.

Photo credit: Jennifer Summerhays -- Salvador, Brazil

Photo credit: Jennifer Summerhays — Salvador, Brazil

Photo credit: Jennifer Summerhays -- Salvador, Brazil

Photo credit: Jennifer Summerhays — Salvador, Brazil

Photo credit: Jennifer Summerhays -- O Mercado Central, Salvador

Photo credit: Jennifer Summerhays — O Mercado Central, Salvador



A Modern Form of Slavery

by Ana Alvarez, Graduate Student — Criminal Justice

Human Trafficking is a big deal in our society today, namely, it is a modern form of slavery and the fastest growing illegal business in the world. After having the pleasure to attend the Human Trafficking conference on October 18th hosted at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, not only did I gain a more comprehensive outlook on Trafficking but my awareness on trafficking increased overall. The main focus was fostering activism, sexual exploitation, forced labor, survivors, resources available and other forms of involuntary slavery.

I was surprised that the average age for victims in this business was thirteen years old. It was interesting to have learned how and why this epidemic started. A few Push factors (leaving home) and Pull factors (attracting to this new area) that consist of “choosing” this life style include abuse, neglect, socio economic status, unemployment, and personal gratification.

I am thankful to have experienced this opportunity and it is great to have met and networked with people who are passionate about helping and advocating for those who are victims in this industry. Moving forward, I can alert others of this campaign to end this modern form of slavery. We can all do something, intervention is the first step. Know the real facts!

Photo credit:

Photo credit:


Combating Human Trafficking

By Jamie-Lee Sonnenberg-Smith, History Major — International Student, Canada

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

 Since high school, I have had a passion and interest in combating human trafficking, which I believe to be the worst injustice a person can face. I had a great opportunity to attend a very informative Anti-Human trafficking conference at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Although I had a good background on the issue, I still learned many new things about the so called “ins and outs” of the human trafficking underground business and what we, as concerned citizens, can do to help.

One thing that people need to be informed on is that human trafficking and slavery is still very prevalent today. 27 million people are being trafficked world wide, and this is on the low end. We will never know an accurate number because it is an underground industry. Another important fact that was highlighted at the conference is that large events attract traffickers from all over the world. These include events such as The Olympics, The World Cup and The Super Bowl. The Super Bowl should be a concern for us because in 2014 it is being held at the Met Life Stadium here in New Jersey, that hits very close to home. These events are involved with human trafficking in ways that people never even realize. The Super Bowl shirts and hats that are being sold, where do they come from? When there is a large gathering of people in a city for an event, trafficking becomes an issue. This is because of the demand and reducing the demand is the key to ending trafficking.

Sister Kati Hamm, Coordinator of Education, Life Way Network, had a very moving speech at the end of the day. She emphasized that we need to take action to end this problem. One thing she said that really stuck with me is “The Traffickers aren’t going to miss The Superbowl, why should we?” At the conference we learned many simple things we can do to target trafficking at this event, mostly through educating hotels and their staff in particular about the issue.

Many people consider human trafficking and slavery a thing of the past. We do not want to be reminded of the reality of trafficking because we participate in it on a daily basis. From the iPod’s and apple products that we own, to the clothes that we wear. We do not want to envision that New York City ALONE has many enslaved people who are beaten and suffer horrific psychological, physical and sexual injustices on a daily basis. We need to wake up and become aware of this, to stop living in the bubble of ignorance. I learned many ways to do this at the conference that I will carry with me. I would love to start a campus initiative to raise awareness about the problem of human trafficking, and how to combat it. In final thought, one thing I always remember when it comes to making change happen in the world is a fantastic quote by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Tokyo: An Urban Sprawl of Steroids

By Dr. Nancy Sardone, School of Education

July, 2013

Tokyo is urban sprawl on steroids. Days 1-6, I felt overwhelmed with the sheer number of buildings, choices of events and destinations, and public transit maps (oh, my!) but mostly, my void of the Japanese language. I found myself speaking slower and louder…in English…and using pictures and pantomime type movements to be understood. On Day 7, I found a common language…art. These photos were taken at the Hakkone Open Air Museum, located in the foothills of Mt. Fuji. In my remaining days in Tokyo, I learned basic Japanese words and spoke them, evoking kind smiles from the natives. Some said (through a translator) that they were impressed that I was trying!

Tokyo at Night

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Family Group (Bronze) by Henry Moore (UK) 1898-1986

Photo credit: Dr. Nancy Sardone

Mother and Child (Bronze) by Henry Moore (UK) 1898-1986

Photo credit: Dr. Nancy Sardone

Photo credit: Dr. Nancy Sardone

Fairy Chapel (Glass and Stainless Steel) 2005 by Satoru Okamoto and Nsenda Lukumwena

Photo credit: Dr. Nancy Sardone

Photo credit: Dr. Nancy Sardone

Teaching At Copenhagen International School in the 1980s

By Dr. Scott H. Bennett, History Department

[Scott H. Bennett taught at Copenhagen International School from 1986 to 1991.  In addition to teaching social studies, he served stints as chair of the teachers’ council (representing the faculty on the board) and as middle school coordinator.  This article originally appeared in Copenhagen International School: Our First 50 Years (Copenhagen: CIS, June 2013), pp 22-23.]

Image credit: CIS

Image credit: CIS

 From 1986 to 1991, I taught social studies in Copenhagen, after stints in American / International schools in El Salvador and Italy.  CIS was by far the most diverse and international of these schools.  Students from more than 50 nationalities created a vibrant, cosmopolitan, and cooperative atmosphere.  It was common to teach classes with 18 to 20 students from a dozen nations or national backgrounds and half a dozen religions.  Indeed, CIS and the wider CIS community demonstrated the primacy of our common humanity.

CIS offered a warm, safe, nurturing environment for students.  In part, CIS’s small size fostered this intimate environment.  Students were individuals, not bodies in a seat.  Before Copenhagen, I had tried to apply classroom policies consistently and without favoritism—and with few exceptions.  At CIS, I learned that exceptions did not have to mean inconsistency and favoritism.  I learned that making exceptions to serve the best interests of individual students did not undermine but rules but rather humanized policies.

The CIS students were amazing.  In addition to superior individual performance, students demonstrated great enthusiasm and creativity on group projects:  Conversations With History, Walls-As-Newspapers (Graffiti), Nations (politics/society/culture), Copenhagen Immigrants, and other projects.  Thanks to arrangements made by a CIS parent, I published an account of the immigration project in a Danish magazine: “Internationalizing the ‘Business’ of Learning: The Ethnic Kiosk, Shop, and Grill as a Classroom.” With research culled from the students’ projects, this article was a nice example of student-teacher collaboration.

In particular, the 9th grade course on Asian Civilizations broadened my horizons. Enriching the course were the large number of Danish-Indian, Danish-Pakistani, and Danish-Hong Kong Chinese students, along with students from other Asian nations and nationalities.  The Indian-Danish students spiritedly debated the respective merits of New Delhi and Bombay (Mumbai), as the Pakistani-Danish students looked on with bemusement.  With fondness, I remember class-related trips to Asian restaurants and a yoga studio.  As part of CIS’ summer reading program, one year I assigned Shogun a 1,000 page novel by James Clavell; in August, when school resumed, we discussed the book in class.  I’ll never forget one Japanese student, new to CIS and just beginning to learn English, who read the entire novel with the assistance of a English-Japanese dictionary!  In the lingo of my daughter’s generation, that commitment and desire to excel is “awesome”—and it typified CIS students.

I recall the annual class trips.  Destinations included Venice, Prague, and Dubrovnik (then part of Yugoslavia and soon to become associated with ethnic-cleansing and civil war).  In addition, there were trips to Paris with the French class, and a trip to the former Soviet Union that I organized.  For most of the class trips, Lorraine Wykes was my co-chaperone—and we had lots of fun.  One year, after arriving in Venice, we checked the students into their rooms before having coffee with the owner in the hotel’s ground-level “bar” (coffee shop).  We could hear the excited students on their balconies above.  Suddenly a balcony collapsed, crashing down on the restaurant roof.  Fortunately, the students were able to exit the balcony before the fall.

Never was I more proud of my students than during a trip to the Danish Resistance Museum.  In class, we had studied Nazi Germany, the holocaust, and World War II, and the museum visit was the capstone experience for this unit.  At the museum, the students broke into groups and went through the exhibits that document Danish resistance to the German occupation during World War II.  After their tours, the students begin to gather at our meeting place.  A couple of students told me about a German, also visiting the museum, who warned them that the exhibits were propaganda.  At that moment the German walked by, and I asked the students to call him over.  It turned out that he spoke little English.  However, with an Austrian student interpreting, we waged an impromptu debate on the holocaust right there in the museum.  The German denied the holocaust occurred; and the students, to my delight, challenged his denial with evidence and questions that dismantled his claims.  That 10 or 15 minute debate was a highlight in my teaching career.  (Of course, this German tourist, a holocaust-denier, did not reflect mainstream German thought, any more than neo-Nazis who I met in Europe represented the people of their nations.)

My time at CIS coincided with the end of the Cold War.  In the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev introduced glasnost and perestroika.  In 1989, people’s power movements in Eastern Europe overthrew repressive regimes in Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.  For months, I awoke to news reports of revolution, liberation, transformation, and hope.  During the Thanksgiving 1989 weekend, just two weeks after the Berlin Wall “fell,” I visited this symbol of Cold War conflict—now a site of excitement and festiveness.  Two years later, the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union; and the Cold War moved from current politics to contemporary history.

Danish taxes were a perennial topic of conversation.  Unlike most of my friends, I didn’t complain about high taxes.  I defended taxes, even though I paid 70% of my modest salary in income taxes and VAT.  Indeed, I often quoted Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., a U.S. Supreme Court justice, who declared that taxes are the price that we pay for civilization.  To me, Denmark’s highly developed “welfare state” undergirds a humane and civilized society that effectively advances the common good—a real bargain for our taxes.

To remain fit in middle age, I no longer eat Danish pastries—however, I do drive a Volvo; I still consider Scandinavia the most human place on earth to live; and I continuously recall my five wonderful years at CIS. 

Since 2001, I have taught history at Georgian Court University, a small Catholic university in New Jersey, USA.  My research focuses on peace history, nonviolence, pacifism, and conscientious objectors.

Photo credit: CIS

Photo credit: CIS

Broken Chair

by Dr. Michael Gross, Associate Provost for Academic Program Development &
Professor of Biology

It was my last day in Geneva.   On my way to take a tour of the UN building, I saw a huge chair sculpture.  But, it was on the other side of the street and I was nearly late so I didn’t stop to read about it. 

 When I got to the UN, the 2:00 tour was already full so I went across the street to the new Red Cross Museum.  I rushed through so I could get in line early for the 4:00 UN tour.  They only let in a few people for each tour and this was the last one of the day.  The tour guide explained that the building was constructed in Art Nouveau style for the League of Nations in the early 20th Century and then became the UN building.  Delegates from all over the world passed us in the halls. 

 The guide explained that the chair sculpture was called Broken Chair and was erected to draw attention to and protest land mines.  It was intended to be a temporary exhibit but was so popular that it was left in place permanently.  Now I understood why the chair was missing part of a leg.

Photo credit: Dr. Michael Gross

Photo credit: Dr. Michael Gross

Faculty Members Visit the Bahamas over Fall Break

By Dr. Claribel Young, History Department

From right to left: Dr. Claribel Young, Dr. Mary Lee Batesko, Captain Karin Stahre Janson, Dr. Sandra Sessa and Ms. Barbara Hutchinson

From right to left: Dr. Claribel Young, Dr. Mary Lee Batesko, Captain Karin Stahre Janson, Dr. Sandra Sessa and Ms. Barbara Hutchinson

Over the Columbus Day holiday, three GCU professors and a former colleague journeyed to the Bahamas on the ship “Majesty of the Seas”, a Royal Caribbean cruise liner captained by Karin Janson, the only female captain of a major cruise ship. The ship was registered in Denmark. The captain was a native of Sweden. The natives of over 600 different countries make up the crew. Interaction with the passengers and crew adds to the interest, delight and knowledge of other cultures and places. For instance, our cabin boy was from the Ukraine, our waitress was from China, the table captain was from Puerto Rico, the hairdresser was from England, etc. While on-board facilities provide a number of activities, we were more interested in going ashore at Nassau.

Nassau Port -- Photo credit:

Nassau Port — Photo credit:

Visiting the capitol of the Bahamas, Nassau, gave us an introduction into a different culture and governmental organization. Our tour guide there was an uncommonly knowledgable and mannerly young man named Darron. We toured the island and learned about the country which established its independence in 1978. There are no income or real estate taxes on the islands. The government derives its income primarily from Tourism, Banking and Customs. Customs fees are high, 80%. Thus, an imported used automobile (and all cars are imported), valued at $10,000 would be sold in Nassau for $18,000. Banking is big businesss since the Bahamas are a tax haven for many who wish to hide earnings from their own governments. This applies particularly to the U.S. While Tourism is the greatest source of income to the islands, it provides mostly low income, service jobs. Although many services are supplied by the government to its people, there are many low income familes on the islands. It provides its citizens with free education and health care. The highest paid employees on the islands are customs officials, teachers and police. Other professionals are in private business and not paid by the government. They live in more expensive homes in the high lands of the island. The Bahamas, a former British Crown colony, is part of the Bristish Commonwealth and recognizes the royal family.

Part of the local experience incudes eating conch. We had it in salad and deep fried — very tasty. A rice dish prepared with chickpeas and cooked in tomato paste appeared on most entrées as a main dish. Transportation between the many islands is by ferry and costs about $9 each way.

Conch Salad -- Photo credit:

Conch Salad — Photo credit:

Many cruise ships visit the Bahamas and add to the local economy through the visitors, the port fees, and exchanges of goods. Bahaman dollars are at the same rate of exchange as American dollars. Hotels and bed and breakfast accomodations are available for those who wish to stay a wile. A new, very large hotel is being built by the Chinese in the port of Nassau. Some people are so in love with the beautiful beaches, fishing, warm sunshine and constant breezes that they make their homes here. from the port of Nassau we could see Eddie Murphy’s private island. It is possible to buy an island in the Bahamas as he and others, such as Oprah Winfrey, have done.

Our short visit was most enjoyable, entertaining and informative. It was a profitable use of our vacation time. Our previous travels have taught us to observe as much as possible about the countries we have visited.


A Little Dirt Never Hurt

By Jennifer Summerhays, Global Education

A donkey leaned against the dirt house, and a spray of red sand fell into our rice. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, except that it was all we had to eat.

Silence … then we burst into laughter. Rice and red sand isn’t bad with extra large glasses of orange Fanta.

São Jose dos Basilios – Marninhão, Brasil

Photo credit: Jennifer Summerhays

Photo credit: Jennifer Summerhays

In Wadi-Rum, Jordan

by Sari Alshiekh, Information Technology

I went to Wadi-Rum after spending a couple of days in Aqaba on the beach. My best friend insisted that we stop by on the way back home. He said the place was “magical”. I didn’t expect much.

We got there about two hours before sunset, in a rented, very old, and beaten down truck. Our driver was a Bedouin. The Bedouin suggested that we sit in the bed of the truck. He said, “Don’t worry. I’m a good driver”. We drove about 10-15 miles into the desert. That was probably the best ride of my life. It was a bit scary; I won’t lie, but it was AMAZING…the scenery…the colors…and what really got me the most was the quietness. I had never experienced anything like it. 

There was nothing but silence, and the occasional gust of wind.  I still remember the feeling I had, like it happened just a few moments ago. I’m planning on going again very soon, and spending a few nights staring at the stars, and enjoying the silence.

 ayman_tea Bedouin making tea taking pics uninsurable sunset by the valley 

Photo credits: Sari Alshiekh

New York, New York

By Dr. Geraldine Velasquez, Communication, Graphic Design, and Multimedia

Two women sitting below poster

Photo credit: Geraldine Velasquez

Photo credit: Geraldine Velasquez

I can picture my mother here, though this is not her.  A veteran New Yorker, lover of subways and museums, often in her senior years she would  travel on the #6 subway on the Lexington line all the way from the Bronx to 86th Street.  She often talked to strangers and it would be just like her to meet another senior/art lover relaxing on a bench in the lower level of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, shopping bags resting at their feet like obedient dogs.

Jeff Poons sculpture on the roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

Photo credit: Geraldine Velasquez

Photo credit: Geraldine Velasquez

What a great place to hangout on a sunny afternoon in the summer, the roof garden of the Met.  Looking in every direction, I fantasize living in a swell apartment facing Central Park.  Who doesn’t?  Men/women/children are colored by reflection from Jeff Poons strangely wonderful sculptures on the roof. Life rivals art in the floors below.

Global Gastronomy

By Wendy Turton, Counseling Center

People take pictures of food and markets because they are such intimate parts of our physical, emotional and spiritual lives.

Food takes us in and out of our comfort zone!

Photo credit -- Wendy Turton

Photo credit — Wendy Turton

Can you guess where? 

Photo credit -- Wendy Turton

Photo credit — Wendy Turton

Muscles anyone?

Photo credit -- Wendy Turton

Photo credit — Wendy Turton


Autumn Tea House

by Stacey Spina, Library -Technical Services

Feet firmly planted on my native soil

I watch the delicate, red fingers of the Japanese maples reach out to me,

then lift high to the heavens in gratitude of their own beauty.

They soar through the arms of the pines, and lightly descend to carpet my steps.

I cross the bridge,

pass through the low portal,

and pause at the serene tea house door.

I close my eyes.

 I feel the cool autumn breeze.

Turning my face to the east I sense the imposing majesty of Mount Fuji.

Life is good!

Photo credit: GCU marketing

Photo credit: GCU Marketing Dept.

Somewhere Near Karnataka

By Wendy Turton, Counseling Center

Last winter I was in the jungle on the western coast of India near Karnataka. I was visiting our daughter who lives there. It was a very big occasion for this community to have “Sarah mummy and daddy come”.  She had been there three years. It took us three days to get there.

On the occasion of this photo, my husband and I were invited to a local family to have a meal. The usual way to eat would be on a banana leaf, but in our honor two plates, dishes, forks and spoons were purchased, at what I can only imagine would be weeks wages. It was a humbling experience to be honored in this sacrificial and heartfelt way.

An Indian dish from the jungle on the western coast of India

Photo credit: Wendy Turton — An Indian dish from the jungle on the western coast of India

The woman known by her title, Mama, is holding a fish just caught because my husband said he would love to try a fish sizzler. Some days we waited a long time to eat!

The woman known by her title, Mama, is holding a fish just caught because my husband said he would love to try a fish sizzler. Some days we waited a long time to eat!

Photo credit: Wendy Turton

Photo credit: Wendy turton -- A pile of fish

Photo credit: Wendy Turton — A pile of fish

Croagh Patrick – Up & Down

By Leo Morrissey, Art Department

August 2012: County Mayo, Ireland, 764 meters to the top.

Cruach Phádraig” Irish for Patrick’s Mountain is an important pilgrimage site, known by the locals as…. the Reek.

 After an 8 mile hike, dominated by overcast skies and rain that made it impossible to see the top of Croagh Patrick, the overcast skies cleared so I climbed the REEK!

I didn’t hike back to town…I  hitched a ride……

On the way up…

On the way up…

On the way up…lunch

On the way up…lunch


On the top…

On the top…

On the way down…

On the way down…

Photo credits: Leo Morrissey