Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Bio-Itzá Website!

Check it out.

The Asociación Bio Itzá does great, inexpensive Spanish-language immersion programs for individuals or groups in Petén, Guatemala.  It's a short trip from the Flores airport to their school and homestays in San José:

and it's also a short trip to Tikal:

They also have a school for teaching indigenous Mayan languages like Itzá, Quiché, and Kekchí. 

There are some slightly cheaper language schools in Guatemala, but this one makes your money go a long way, since they use the income to preserve and protect one of the largest unbroken stretches of rainforest North of the Amazon, and to preserve indigenous culture, protect archaeological sites, and promote sustainable agriculture.  In addition to learning Spanish, you can learn about medicinal plants; local cooking, music, and culture; rainforest ecology; Mayan archaeology (they have a licensed archaeologist on their staff); and a lot more.  Students interested in rural medicine can ask about arranging to work in the local medical clinic.  Worth every penny.

(Thanks to Luke Lynass and the other Augustana College students who worked to get this new website up and running.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On Enemies

Just heard a very thought-provoking talk by Augustana Professor Janet Blank-Libra on the story of Jonah.  As she was talking, it occurred to me that in the story, God makes this disturbing analogy in Jonah 4.10-11:


It's not the only possible interpretation of the verse, I admit, but it looks like at least one way to read it is that the people I think of as enemies might be as delightful to God as a shady spot in the hot desert was to Jonah.

Sam Harris Needs A Mirror

Sam Harris recently tweeted this column by Nicholas Kristof, adding this tag: "Found: the most sanctimonious person on earth."