Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Off to Europe

August 18, 2010
It is off to Belgium and points East this afternoon to attend the wedding of our first foreign exchange student, Arnaud Fieve, in a little town outside of Waterloo, Belgium (August 19-22), then on an overnight train through Germany to Prague (August 23-25), and Cesky-Krumlov (August 26-27), in the Czech Republic, then to visit a young couple, Mani and Kia, whom we met while in Samoa and who live in Steinbrunn, Austra near Vienna (August 28-31) for a belated combination wedding-baptism we missed in July before returning September 1st. One never knows what to expect with our ad hoc accommodations and train tickets. I hope our adventures are manageable.
Stephanie and Arnaud, March, 2007, Mall of America
Mani (Manfred) and Kia (Kirstin) Phlovitz, March, 2008, Samoa

Here is a link depicting the course of our journey:,+Belgium&daddr=Prague,+Czech+Republic+to:Cesky+Krumlov,+Czech+Republic+to:Vienna,+Austria&hl=en&geocode=&mra=ls&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=33.29802,78.837891&ie=UTF8&z=6

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

John Kleive Redux

August 14, 2010

John Kleive and his Minnesota Summer Home

John Kleive ended his Peace Corps committment this past May. While he awaits his return to Samoa and his old job as a welding instructor this September, not as as a Peace Corps Volunteer, but as an ex-patriot, John lives on his boat at a Lake Superior marina docked in Superior, Wisconsin.

Mary and I went to spend a night in his home and to get first hand knowledge of his marina life. We are happy to report that John is doing well.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Would Sherlock Holmes have brought you lunch?

August 8, 2010

Below is an email I received from a fellow American living in Samoa and gave me permission to publish it. The predicament is one with which I am familiar and one a foreigner can expect when living abroad.

"We have an opportunity to catch the thief who has broken into our house twice now, because he stole and is using one of our cell phones. All we need to do is go to the service provider and get the phone records and connect the dots on who the thief was calling or receiving calls from. Our security officer and I were eager to get this information ourselves and start the investigation, but we learned that we must go through the police department in order to get the phone records. So we went down to the station on Monday and talked to the officer in charge of our case and he assured us he would have the phone records by tomorrow and we could start to locate the thief. So we waited... and waited... and waited... and finally we were promised delivery of the phone records on Friday morning by the officer. Not surprisingly he didn't show. While laying in bed and reading on Saturday morning I get a phone call from the officer saying he was one his way to my house to drop off the records. Two hours later (I live 10 minutes from the station) he showed up with the phone records and two cans of corned beef. He told me to boil some rice so we could have lunch. We sat down to look at the records and they turned out to be from a 10-day span from before the robbery even took place. Three years of cultural conditioning have trained me to not hurl obscenities or less than kindly instruct the officer how to do his job, and since he was already there, we thought we might as well have lunch anyways. So over some corned beef and rice we talked about our jobs and I jotted down some notes on the search warrant to help him refine his phone records search. (The same notes I gave him in his office on Monday) After lunch he left and said he would try again next week. I just hope his next search doesn't end in another corned beef lunch. Wish me luck..."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lunch with John Kleive

August 3, 2010 John Kleive on his 77,000 mile "Hog"
with a case of Three Buck Chuck strapped to the back for his return
to his boat docked on Lake Superior.John's newest tattoo
John Kleive finished his Samoan Peace Corps assignment as a Welding Instructor last May. He has decided to return to Samoa as a private citizen this coming September to continue his teaching at Don Bosco College in Apia, which is a school for men who had dropped out of high school before graduation or are returning to learn a trade.
While John was in Minnesota for the summer visiting his children and tending to his Northern Minnesota home, Mary and I met him for lunch in St. Paul.
John plans a trip New Orleans and Las Vegas on his Harley as he makes his way back to Samoa, only to pick the cycle again in Las Vegas when he returns to the U.S. next May. What a life!