Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I may live in Latin America but I will always love my roots in my beloved city of Pittsburgh. I can’t be present these next two weeks of pre Super Bowl preparation and I won’t even be able to watch the game (sniff, sniff) since we’ll be at a camp forming CCI instructors in the middle of the Argentine mountains (on the map to the left, in the middle where it says Cordoba), but as I read this piece of writing about Pittsburgh, I found myself tearing up with pride with my beloved Steelers/Pittsburgh. I trust you’ll enjoy it!


(sent to me by Patricia Mattica)

Being a Steeler fan means so much more than football. It means being from a corner of the world unlike any other.

It means being from a place where the people are so tough-minded that they have survived the Homestead strikes, the Johnstown flood and most recently the Etna Floods. These people have the DNA of hard work, in mills and mines, without the necessity of complaint. They live simply, with no frills. They don't have movie stars or fancy cars.

Instead, they have simple traditions like kielbasa, Kennywood, and celebrations. They live in distinctive neighborhoods like Polish Hill and the Hill District and all of the surrounding counties. These people are genuine.

They don't have chic internet cafes and cappuccinos, but they have The Original Hot Dog joint, Primanti's, Eat n' Park and Iron City Beer.

People from Pittsburgh don't have sunny beaches or fancy boats, but the rivers roll gently, connecting the small towns of people whose histories have been built on strength and humility.

People from Pittsburgh don't have the biggest shopping malls or the best nightclubs, but they'll take Friday night high school football and Steeler Sunday over anything.

Steeler football means so much more than you think. It symbolizes a Diaspora of generations who had the best childhood they could imagine.

They ran free without a care or concern in the valleys of those Allegheny Mountains . Their blue-collar world was easy ... there was no one to tell them that they lacked material things. There was no one to tell them that they needed more.

As the steel mills closed and the jobs disappeared, some of these people had to leave. While the world benefits because they spread their Pittsburgh values, they long for their home where things were simpler and more pure.

They teach their kids about Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Ham, L.C. Greenwood, Joe Greene, and Myron Cope in hopes of imparting not just the knowledge, but the feeling that they represented.

They are everywhere, those Terrible Towels. They wave, not just for the team, but for the hearts they left behind.

They wave in living rooms in Fort Lauderdale and in the bars of Washington , D.C. They wave all the way to the Seattle Superdome! They wave for the Rooney family, whose values mirror our own - loyalty, grit, and humility.

They wave for football players like Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward, whose unselfishness and toughness have allowed sports to be about the game and the team.

Make no mistake that Steeler football is not just about football. I could not be prouder to be from the Pittsburgh area than I am right now!!

Even if you no longer live in the area, you have South Western Pennsylvania in your blood no matter where you go.

And deep down in your heart of hearts, you can still hear the Super Bowls of times past, the excitement in everyone's voices especially our fathers, cousins, and anyone else who gathered around the TV on Football Sundays!

Make no mistake, it’s just as exciting right now! It's not just about rivalries and who is better than the other, it's about family, tradition and roots! It's more than football, but its football at its finest! If you now live in Arizona , Colorado , Ohio , Indiana , California , Florida , Nevada , or Texas , be proud of where you were born and who your FIRST favorite football team was!

Go Steelers, Picksburgh GO STILLERS! Ah yes! "Picksburgh"

Yunz is from the Picksburgh area or maybe you grew up there if:

1. You didn't have a spring break in high school.

2. You walk carefully when it is "slippy" outside.

3. You often go down to the "crick."

4. You've told your children to "red up" their rooms.

5. You can remember telling your little brother/sister to stop being so " nebby."

6. You've gotten hurt by falling into a "jaggerbush".

7. Your mother or grandmother has been seen wearing a "babushka" on her head.

8. You've "worshed" the clothes.

9. I ask you to hand me one of those "Gum-Bands" an' you actually know what I'm talking about.

10. You know you can't drive too fast on the back roads, because of the deer.

11. You know Beaver Valley , Turtle Crick, Mars, Slippery Rock, Greentree and New Castle are names of towns. And you've been to most, if not all, of them.

12. A girl walks up to three of her girl friends and says, "HEY,YENZ GUYS!"

13. You hear "you guyses" and don't think twice. Example: "you guyses hause is nice."

14. You know the three rivers by name and under stand that "The Point" isn't just on a writing instrument.

15. Someone refers to "The Mon" or "The Yough" and you know exactly what they're talking about.

16. You remember the blizzard o f 1993 (or 1976, or 1950, or 1939, or...) and remember not being able to go outside because the snow was over your head and you would have suffocated.

17. Someone starts the chant, "Here we go Still-ers!" and you join in-in the proper cadence, waving the appropriately colored towel.

18. Bob Prince and "There's a bug loose on the rug." hold special meaning for you.

19. You drink pop, eat hoagies, love perogies and one of your favorite sandwiches actually has coleslaw and French fries ON it.

20. You know what a "still mill" is.

21. You expect temps in the winter to be record-breaking cold and temps in the summer to be record-breaking hot.

22. You know what Eat 'N Park is and frequently ate breakfast there at 2:00 AM after the bar closed and made fun of people.

23. You order "dippy eggs" in a restaurant and get exactly what you wanted.

24. You spent your summers, or a school picnic at Luna Park , Kennywood, Westview, Sand Castle , or Idlewild.

25. You've been to the Braun's Bread Plant or Story Book Forest for a school field trip. We went to the Heinz plant and the Isaly's plant for Cub Scouts.

26. "Chipped ham" (from Isaly's) was always in your refrigerator when you was growin'up.

27. You refuse to buy any condiments besides Heinz unless a Pittsburgh athlete's picture is on the side of the container.

28. When you call the dog or the kids you shout, "Kum-mere" and they come.

29. Franco, Roberto, and Mario don't need last names and you can recite their exploits by heart.

30. Food at a wedding reception consists of rigatoni, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut and polska kielbasa.

If you don't understand the last 30 items, YUNZ probably not from Pittsburgh!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Here we are in Argentina!

Traveling with a Senior citizen like Bob Sabean has its distinct advantages! We are co-directors of the Institute for Forming Instructors and were en route to Argentina for 3 weeks of intensive teacher training.

Upon our arrival in Panama, Bob offered to go to the counter to get our seating rearranged to sit together for the upcoming 6 hour flight, while I watched over our bags. Engrossed in a new spy novel, I barely heard him coming until he excitedly showed me the new boarding passes and exclaimed: Lisa, I can't believe it! They upgraded us to FIRST CLASS! Who knows why since I didn't ask for it but praise God from whom all blessings flow!

We couldn't believe our good fortune--we crept into our seats like two elementary school children who had switched their seat assignments and were hoping the teacher didn't notice! After a few minutes of tension, we realized our good fortune started to enjoy seating in the "lap of luxury!" Six hours of sheer pampering! :)

This delightful start to our trip has been just one of many signs of God's blessing and providence as we gather the week before the Institute of Forming Instructors starts with the Teaching Team--a team with members from Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, Argentina and Bob and I.

Each day is filled with deep, intense discussions about how God brought our here, how to evaluate our performance as a team, how to harmonize our cultural differences, how to follow in the footsteps of Bob and Lisa as the up and coming professors of IFI, how to handle other people's expectations, so many delightful and memorable conversations.

I am overjoyed to be a part of God's work in Christian Camping International and we anticipate the arrival of 15 new instructors next week to be certified to teach our CCI counselor-training courses.

I invite you to accompany us in prayer:
  • Lord, keep us teachable one to the other.
  • Lord, mold us together into a harmonious team so that you may be glorified by our unity.
  • Lord, enable us to grasp the concept and be gifted in teaching it to others.
  • Lord, make us sensitive to the needs of others as we live, work, play together 24/7 for 3 weeks!