Trip to United States

30 June to 20 July 2012

2-6 July 2012
Monday to Friday

Louisville, Kentucky

Monday to Friday

I had planned to visit Louisville sometime during my stay in the US and Sunday night (yesterday) after I arrived back from New Jersey, I decided it better be this week. I made a plane reservation online at 9:30 PM Sunday and left for the airport at 6:00 AM Monday. I had a very enjoyable week with family and friends in Kentucky.


At the rear of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners' property is the Ossining water tower. It takes on a different expression when hit by the rays of the rising sun as I was leaving for an early train into the City.
Ossining water tower at dawn
Leaving LaGuardia early in the morning, we got a good view of lower Manhattan and Central Park (the large dark rectangle in midtown Manhattan).
Lower Manhattan in early morning
I was staying at the home of my sister Mary Davis again. The Davis family always gives me a generous welcome. On short notice, the brothers and sisters gathered for a July evening get together.
Dinner time
The impromptu dinner gave Aunt Jane Dittmeier Browne the chance to catch up with one of her nieces.
Aunt Jane and a niece


In the morning I went to my sister's house and then downtown to talk to a credit union about international transactions from Cambodia. After that I had a few minutes before it was time to go to the National Association of the Deaf, so I stopped by the Louisville cathedral.
The Louisville Cathedral of the Assumption
Today was the opening ceremony for the National Association of the Deaf convention, held in Louisville this year, and I attended as the guest of Colin Allen, the president of the World Federation of the Deaf. Colin and I worked together in Cambodia at the Deaf Development Programme from 2001-2003. Click here for more about the NAD ceremony.
Deaf people conversing in Louisville


Today was the Fourth of July holiday in the United States and it afforded an opportunity to get together with friends and family.

In the late morning I had lunch with the sign language interpreting crew that has faithfully served the deaf community of Kentucky for many, many years. Present for the gathering (left to right): Sally Newton, Donna Laswell, Nancy Reynolds, Peg Darcy, and Norma Lewis.
Sign language interpreters
In the afternoon, the Dittmeier brothers and sisters got together for a cookout. Bailey (rear) joined Jane, Emily, and David Browne on the deck before we ate.
The Browne family
This gathering was held at brother Paul's house where he has added a new tent over part of his backyard deck.
Paul's backyard
Inside, out of the record-breaking heat that has affected Louisville this week, were Aunts Mary Davis and Martha Reed with nieces Olivia and Amy.
Two aunts and two nieces
Most of the guys braved the heat to sit out by the pool where they could hope for a breeze as they settled the world's problems.
An outside gathering
The younger set--there are about eight or nine teenagers in the family now--took to the pool and set up a water volleyball game.
Fun in the swimming pool


Because time is running out, I spent the day making many stops, first visiting my sister, then my cousins, and then going to Wal-Mart for a few items.

The last two nights in Louisville I stayed with my cousin Judith and in the mornings we went to mass at St. Margaret Mary Parish where Fr. John Miles was presiding in a hospitality room while the church was being worked on.
Fr. John Miles
In the evening, Judith and her husband Bob invited Frs. Tony Olges and Joe Graffis to dinner because Charlie hadn't been able to go to their churches to see them.
Charlie Dittmeier, Tony Olges, Joe Graffis
Both Tony and Joe are competent theologians as well as experienced pastors, and they regaled us with a variety of stories and insights during an enjoyable evening.
Dinner at my cousin's house


The National Association of the Deaf convention ran from Tuesday through Friday of this week. On Saturday approximately 10,000 deaf people descended on Louisville for the Kentucky DeaFestival which has grown into a sizable annual event.
Sign for Deafestival at the airport
Because of its association with the Kentucky Derby, horses play an important part of Louisville's culture and identity. This wire sculpture is of the mythical winged horse Pegasus which has become a symbol of the Derby.
Pegasus wire sculpture
After a stop in Cleveland, in late afternoon we were flying over midtown Manhattan with the huge Central Park clearly visible.
Flyiing over Manhattan