Oregonian Summertime

July 29, 2011 in Life, Sport by Mark

As our four previous visits to Oregon had all been in the winter, it has been reassuring the past few weeks to discover that Oregon does actually have a summer too, and so is not identical in climate to the autumn-winter-spring-autumn cycle of southern England. The last few weeks we have been able to get out of the house a bit and to enjoy the summer with friends.

For four weeks I was helping to run our church’s “soccer festival” (I’m highly ashamed to say I’ve now become so used to saying “soccer” that the word football sounds strange to say…) This was a time when kids from the ages of 6-12 from the local neighbourhood came to the church to play soccer/football and to hear about Jesus. The days were packed and the festival was hard work, but we had a great time with the 120 or so kids who came each day, building good relationships with them, many of whom are wanting to continue to play at the church once a week.

Immediately after the soccer festival was finished we spent a weekend camping with various families from the church at River Bend County Park. The first day was wonderfully relaxing as we sat in the sun by the river reading our books. After that the weather turned slightly wetter, and we felt just like we were camping in England! Let’s just say we were very grateful for the covered shelters where we could build a fire and cook meals, and that we were rather soggy by the time we got home…

Building a boat

The teams compete to build a boat that will sail down the river...

Our good friend Likius, who organised the soccer festival (and likes to have his photo taken...)

Our good friend Likius from Namibia, who organised the soccer festival (and likes to have his photo taken...)

Last weekend we were very excited to be able to see our friends Brad and Stephanie get married! It was a great day with warm sunshine, and was the first summer wedding that I had been to in the US!

Us with Brad and Stephanie

Us with Brad and Stephanie

Stephanie and Jennifer

Stephanie and Jennifer

Over the past few weeks I’ve also been doing quite a bit of running, training for the Cascade Lakes Relay – a 216.6-mile run completed by teams of 12 people. My three legs (5.4, 7.1 and 7.2 miles) sound daunting as they’re at around 5,000 feet and hilly, but I’m looking forward to them nonetheless (or at least looking forward to having finished them…) The relay is next Friday and Saturday (5-6 August), so watch this space to see if I survive…