The Commons asked faculty and staff to send in photos of what they did over Christmas break. Here's what we got (Thanks to all who participated!)...
G DeCastro of Campus Ministry sent this photo of the Campus Ministry group that went to Tijuana, Mexico to work with Esperanza (esperanzainternational.org) helping build homes. "I led the group of 16 students from various academic programs along with faculty chaplains Paul Milan of modern languages and Naomi Kasumi of Fine Arts," he writes.
This one came in from Andrea King of University Advancement, who writes, "Over break, we took our kids to the SU women’s basketball game vs. Gonzaga. Very fun!"
Phil Barclift of Arts and Sciences found himself in what’s becoming a familiar costume. “This is the third time I have spent the Christmas season working on the West Bank,” he explains. “Somehow the Sisters of Charity always seem to know when I’m in town around Christmas, so they keep approaching me to play Santa for their orphans. This little princess was so expressive in her eyes, voice, and gestures that Old Santa knew precisely how to respond, even though he is weak in rapid-fire 'kid Arabic.' As I’ve said to others, in my next life I’m going to come back as Santa Claus."
And what was Phil doing on the West Bank? “I work with a group of NGOs on the West Bank, Israel-Palestine conducting training workshops in nonviolence and community reconciliation for Palestinian villages and refugee camps in the conflict zones around Hebron, the Beqa’a Valley, Nablus, and Jenin.”
Maggie Keelan of University Advancement writes, "I visited my in-laws in Southern California and we went to the Rose Parade in Pasadena. It was gorgeous!"
Lê Xuân Hy, associate professor of psychology, left, was in Israel for the better part of December on a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant. While there, he met Joseph Doan, S.J., right, who previously served as regional assistant to Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, former Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Fr. Doan currently is rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute house in Jerusalem where this photo was taken.
And finally, one more Santa story, this one sent in by Casey Corr of Marketing Communications, who explains: "I’ve had my photo taken with Santa with only two interruptions every year for more than a half century, originally at the old Frederick & Nelson, then at Nordstrom. I love the progression of images of kids getting older and the subtle differences in the guy in the Santa costume, shot against a largely unchanging backdrop. I continued the tradition when my children were born, but as my extended family got bigger and older, it’s become extremely hard to get such a big group together. So this Christmas, I walked past a very long line at Nordstrom’s Santa, feeling a bit blue that my adult-age children and their cousins had been too busy for a get-together. But then, a Christmas miracle: I discovered at Westlake Park a discount Street Santa, dressed in somewhat disheveled outfit who would pose for whatever donation you offered. No waiting in line. No fancy “elves.” No exit into a department store to overexercise the credit card. Just a guy in character who connected me to a lifetime of happy moments. Street Santa said I could put my arm on his shoulder as my wife shot this image with a camera phone. The shot is blurry and rushed, but I ended 2010 ended with a tradition revived."