2013 JDP Slideshow Lots of time in Swaziland this year, with a Lewis & Clark overseas program and family adventure. Below is a gallery of 2013 images; click on any image for more info and a slideshow. Let's start 2013 with the academic stuff. In recent years we've launched a digital field scholarship initiative at Lewis & Clark, and in spring 2013 I taught an upper-division DFS seminar…fun! The students even presented their work to a national audience via webinar.2013 had a few conferences as well, this one a short hop down the coast to Los Angeles, where I presented on "Counting Beyond Two in the Anthropocene." (Title would take a bit of explanation…)A student shared this little cartoon with me…so true! Thankfully there are some thoughtful environmental conferences out there, but we can still encourage each other to ponder these enviro issues a bit more deeply.Spring came to Canyonville and our forest as it does every year. Here is Beagle Bailey doing his favorite thing: eating fresh shoots of grass (yes, dog owners, you know what comes next).One of Mom's favorite flowers growing in our forest near Canyonville. I think she called it kitten's ears, but the jury seems out on the correct name (cat's ears? star tulip? mariposa lily? Calochortus elegans?).In June 1980 I saw a view much like this as my first glimpse of the continent of Africa. In May 2013 I returned yet again, this time with ten Lewis & Clark students as part of a new overseas program.Our overseas program students volunteered daily in neighborhood care points, designed to address basic health and educational needs of Swaziland's orphans and vulnerable children. We also brought devices to explore digital field scholarship abroad!The formal task to which we put these devices was an environmental health assessment we did in the communities surrounding neighborhood care points; in all, we covered 210 housholds! But they also proved handy for quick photos, many of which we printed to give back to our Swazi partners.In addtion to volunteering in NCPs and doing the environmental health assessment, our overseas program included quite a few weekend excursions, this one to a rural area where students lived in traditional homesteads. Here they are walking back from participating in one of Swaziland's major pastimes: football! (Soccer to you Americans.)Here's a waterfall we hiked to in the Mahamba Gorge, one of my haunts during Peace Corps.…and a little Father's Day gift from a few of my creative students!...When we finished the environmental health assessment, we treated ourselves to a tour of Kruger National Park in South Africa. We saw all five of the "big five" game animals…but I perhaps most enjoyed the simple beauty and grace of the many giraffes we encountered.As one highlight in Kruger, some of us took a daylight hike! Mind you, this is where the lions and the tigers roam (okay, no tigers), and you sleep inside a fortified compound at night. If you look to the front of the line, you'll see our guides, each toting a massive rifle, which thankfully they didn't need to use this morning.Another highlight to many of our Swaziland overseas program students was the food! (Ask them about chicken dust.) Swaziland is not kind to vegetarians, but if you're a carnivore you've come to the right place.After the students finished their overseas program in Swaziland, many remained on the continent to roam around a bit, and I got a chance to spend time with Joy and Elise! Here they are, Elise bullying her big sister as usual.One fun thing I did with our students involved a multi-stage zipline tour of Malolotja Gorge in Swaziland, so I brought my daughters back to do it again. Joy turned several shades of green early on, but somehow we coaxed her through to safety.Malolotja Gorge zipline survivors earn bottled water and candy! Joy was excited about that.Here's another place my students visited where we were able to return with Joy and Elise: Mahamba Gorge, somewhat near to the Nxumalo homestead, here accompanied by our guide, Themba Kunene.Joy and Elise with their uncle Madoda Nxumalo at the local supermarket.…and Joy and Elise with a few of their cousins!Three of Bongie's siblings (Joy and Elise's aunt/uncles), including Madoda, Ntombikayise, and Langa. Sadly, Ntombikayise was the victim of domestic violence in late 2013. We are so grateful for the time we spent with her in July, and our hearts and prayers go out to their family for continued healing in this new year.We are also grateful to have made and visited many other friends in Swaziland, especially Siphiwe Nsibandze and her family, who faithfully see us off every time we leave the airport to head off on that long journey home from Swaziland.Back in Oregon, my sister Mary (second from right) has moved back after multiple decades in New Mexico. Here she is with her gal friends in Canyonville—not a shade older than when they went to high school together.Mary and brother Bob (above Mary in this picture) and I traveled down to Cave Junction in August to attend a reunion of the greater Reiske family, to which we are related via our paternal grandmother. Amazing that this Connecticut clan has connections in Oregon as well.One of many get-togethers Mary has hosted in Eugene, this one with the Eisen clan.And the newest member of our extended family is Kahdo Fujihara Eisen, here sumo wrestling in Mary's back yard with Grandpa Bob. (He's now far beyond the crawling phase.)When I got back from Swaziland I continued with a trail running group in Portland. Here we are on one of our favorite routes: run up to Pittock Mansion (~1K ft climb), then run back down and schmooze for awhile. I'm no runner, but much prefer our conversations on the move. Hooray to Danielle for getting it started!In fall I resumed teaching: here is the computer-based lab for ENVS 220, Environmental Analysis. Students learn all sorts of quantitative and qualitative tools for our highly interdisciplinary major.A sort-of selfie during our fall Portland Kojosho karate minicamp with fellow advanced belts.Another joy this fall has been playing my songs with Nate on drums and Elijah on tenor sax. Get ready for bigger things in 2014! (facebook slash jimsings)My 20-year construction project in Canyonville continues, little step by little step. Here is our architect's 3D model of the multi-structure dwelling...…and here is the bathhouse under construction…thanks to our caretakers Rachel and Matt for this photo, and thanks to builder Alan Peters for his fine work.What we envision for our extended family in Canyonville is more than a dwelling: we are also discussing a memorial area to honor departed family and friends. One element will involve benches carved from these incense cedar logs. Now we just need to figure out how to roll them uphill to the memorial site!New Year's Eve was spent at Duff's Garage listening to Soul Vaccination, a great 12-piece band! Ever since I was a wee lad blowing on one end of a trumpet I've always enjoyed mixing horns in with pop music, and who can't dance to the soul/R&B genre? (Even I can, and that's saying something.)Now, the pet passages of 2013. Here's a not-selfie of George and Bailey, with George at his typical position between me and my laptop. Dear George, who survived a dryer blast at age 2 and lived a dozen other lives in between, decided at age 18 that he'd had enough. He died in my arms. And Beagle Bailey, my daughters' four-legged brother, was just diagnosed with melanoma, a shock to us all.So I declare 2014 the Year of Beagle Bailey…even if it is the Year of the Horse. He's made many a person happy in our family, on Lewis & Clark campus, and wherever he's been parked in Portland, and I wish Bailey and everyone struggling with cancer a brave and gentle 2014.