Friday, August 25, 2006

An Intern Weekend

Last Saturday the intern group drove to the outskirts of San Antonio, destined to help a new Christian family related to a VF staff member move in. As will hopefully be our custom, we were the first to arrive and got right to work as soon as introductions were made. With our help, the initial crew amounted to about six and work seemed to be going at a good pace. Then a few minutes later, two and then a third vehicle drove up and more smiling VF staff members pilled out and helped make short work of the oversized U-haul. With guys constantly going in and out of the truck and house we finished unloading the entire task in about an hour. Then after setting up some beds and rearranging some furniture we all left a very kind and grateful family behind with big start to life in the new community.

After leaving, we interns decided to make the most of our few minutes of free time and stopped along the sides of the old, winding, and decrepit Texas highway to snap a few pictures. First we pulled over at the top of a hill that descended , slightly rolling up and then down, finally ascending to the other side of embankment. This spot looked great for a snapshot so Chris and I jumped out. Unfortunately, Chris’s picture turned out much better than mine so you’ll have to go to his site for the great view. We then continued retracing our route home and stopped on the far side of a bridge which spanned a beautiful, yet foul smelling, river. The dark, rough, mature, and steadfast trees which grew along the bank stood in contrast to the cool, blue and flowing river which winded lazily through the landscape. After a few shots here, and a slight fright by a dead snake “lurking” on the water bank, we moved on. Our next stop brief photo shoot at an old church which blended well with the Texas colors of the land and just looked kind of neat.

We then journeyed on to another sort of destination which we knew would comfort us with somewhat of an at home-type atmosphere. That place was Costco. Now if you’re not part a big family then you really wouldn’t understand just why Costco plays such an integral part in life. In light of a kids perspective, there’s tons of books to sit and read, plenty of free food at every corner, and the often times happy ending of a Costco pizza or at least a pretzel. Any, so we were heading to Costco and started writing down the list of items we needed to buy. Apparently, our kind driver (note: Mr. Kent will not be specifically be named here as the driver) seemed to come to the conclusion that we needed more time to compile our list, so he missed the correct street and wound up driving over 4 miles in a circular attempt to reach our destination. “Isn’t this a nice drive?” he asked us all while smiling ear to ear. Three blank stares returned his carefree question. Then we all started laughing.

The last adventure of the day for me was to get my hair cut. Now this was no small chore because frankly I’ve never gone to a public barber in all my life. That may seem odd to you but averaging about 1 cut a month to the price of about $8 a cut for a period of about 19 years, there’s a savings of about $1,824. Good thinking mom. But as I was saying, I needed to get a cut so I stopped by the PX (Post Exchange) after a brief trip to the commissary. After viewing the average hair cut, a close shave around the head with a hair cutter followed by a electric shaver which left only a tuft of hair on top, I asked that my hair was not cut too short. The barber nodded in agreement and went to work. 10 minutes later she handed me a mirror. I was shocked. Now mom may nick me on the ear if I I’m being mouthy, but she would never butcher my head in this fashion. Oh well. Welcome the uncaring world I guess.

I have much more to share but this post is getting long so I’ll add more in a few days. I hope all those reading my blog, from my dear friends in Washington State to the friends and family of Chris, Jason, and Tait, will continue praying for us as we endeavor to serve with all our strength and energy in our work here at Vision Forum. Thanks for all of your support , from keeping up and commenting on our blogs to sending us “Care Packages” (want our address?).

I will work on keeping this site updated a little more consistently, so stay tuned.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Another Perspective

For some great photos of this conference please visit Nathaniel Darnel's blog at
Nathaniel is part of a two man team that is responsible for VF videography and the enjoyable Everyday News Network. The actual pictures were taken by VF Event Photographer Michael Fowl whose main job is that of leading the IT (Information Technology) department at Vision Forum.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Entrepreneuriel Bootcamp

A photo of yours truly during one of my first big assignments as a Vision Forum intern.

VF's large warehouse. This is where we are all working for the first week or so. This way we can become familier with all of the products in as we work up in other departments.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pictured here (from left to right) are Jonathan Berkompas, Tait Zimmerman, and Christopher Berkompas. We as interns had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Tom Berkompas and Jonathan the in the days preceding the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. Mr. Berkompas, who is a great photographer, took a few pictures and wrote a post about staying with us. The site can be found at
By the way, the meal above was largely prepared by Mr. Berkompas. His great meals ultimately lead to his eviction but you'll have to read his blog for the details.

We were given the task of assembling over 1200 notebooks complete with conference notes, a cover photo page, and a feedback form the day before the bootcamp. The task took about 5 hours of assembly line work.

All the colors of the Riverwalk. Posted by Picasa

Henery B. Gonzalez Convention Hall. This is a huge facility in the heart of downtonwn San Antonio were all local big VF events are held. Posted by Picasa

This is were the main seesion were held. There were over 1100 people registered and about 2000 chairs set up in this ballroom. Posted by Picasa

A panel discussion during the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. Posted by Picasa
Arnold Pent, author of Ten Peas in a Pod, autographs one of his books for two Bootcamp attendees. Posted by Picasa

This photo was snapped during our take-down mission at the completion of the conference. There was a joke by some of the staff who said that they really couldn't gauge how long it would take to pack up since the interns had not been tested yet. Well, we all finished a whole hour ahead of schedule, if that means anything. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Well friends, I thought that I would have time to go every detail of my trip from Oklahoma City, thru Lawton and on to San Antonio but I believe the conveyance of the fact that I met many old mentors, some who did not recognize me since I was at church 10 years ago, should suffice for now. Following are some pictures from my visits.

The Cara Family have been a source of great encouragement all through the years we have known them. I stayed with their family two nights and enjoyed the company of their children. The unique thing about this family is that the father is part German and thus mostly communicates with all of his children in German. The language is also engaged when the kids want to say something to a sibling without company knowing what is being said.

I will post some more picture later of the the Allison family who are family friends and fellow home educators. Blogger is not working right now so I'll have to post later.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My stay in Moore, which is right outside of Oklahoma City, was quite pleasant, though very hot. We arrived last Friday at around midnight and I felt the urge to jump in Grandma’s pool. Unfortunately her dog also felt an urge to escape from the yard so I was looking all over the 1 acre yard with a flashlight until I located the mischievous best wandering in a neighbor’s yard.

After multiple events the following day including a steak dinner and a play we returned home and dad prepared for his morning flight to Virginia. Then when Sunday came around I didn’t feel moved by the Spirit to get out of bed and take dad to the airport so Grandma filled the void and I woke up to an empty house. When she returned I was dressed and ready to attend church and play a few piano pieces which she had requested me to prepare for her Sunday school class. After Church my grandmother and I, along with a few of her church friends, went out to eat at a place called Pickles. After a brief rest at the house, we both ventured out again, though in modified warm weather friendly clothes, to participate in a Church wide outreach to the community. The plan was to give out bags of school supplies to the first 2000 kids that showed up, and it worked. There was free hot dogs, soda, outdoor games, face painting, crazy clowns etc. Grandma was supposed to run a booth but she asked me if I could work it. I did indeed take the position and had quite a bit a fun at it too even though I was in the 108 degree sunlight for two straight hours.

After the church event my Grandmother and I joined another group to a pizza parlor. However to my horror, the event clown showed up and waltzed right over to the rest of us. She was a really nice person but have you ever tried eating pizza at the same table as a clown?

I stayed a few more days with Grandma so that I could help her learn a few computer concepts including adding background texture and music to emails and basic graphic design. After that I then prepared for my solo drive to Lawton, my hometown. My next post will detail who I stayed with, who I met, and what I did all in two days. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Can Life Exists Without Internet Access?

As I write, I am sitting with the three other Berkompas guys in an air conditioned vehicle which is parked in front of a Best Western hotel. We are not stealing wireless bandwidth but are merely verifying the hotels claims of free Wi-Fi. As we all type away here in the parking lot, one of the guys looks over to the inviting hotel pool a few feet away and wonders out loud if we could verify the aspects of that hotel commodity as well.

I arrived yester day afternoon around 5 PM and was the first intern of ’06 to enter the door. But my arrival as the first intern put me in the position to accept my first assignment, make copies of the house keys. Christopher (19), Jonathan (17), and Mr. Berkompas all arrived about three hours after I started setting up. We first met and then started planning for what needed to be done in the next 24 hours.

This afternoon found Jonathan and I searching for Fort Sam Houston and the post Commissary for groceries while Christopher and his father shopped for house essentials at Wal-mart. After sorting through the new items once we returned, we then met the landlords who stopped by to bring a temporary refrigerator in light of the fact that the main system was malfunctioning. Shortly thereafter, Tate Zimmerman was dropped off by an airport taxi upon his arrival from Alaska. We are still waiting for Jason to arrive from Virginia.

Please note thata the intern household will not be connected to cable internet until about next Monday, so all of my updates will have to made through these types of, err, creative methods.