Bone Church

While being abroad in Europe I discovered one of my all-time favorite cities – Prague. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love in Europe but Prague had stolen my heart and I have yet to get it back. I think about Prague all the time, whenever I get an itch to travel I picture myself walking down the old streets of Prague in the warm summer heat being greeted by beautiful old architecture and friendly street vendors.

During my time in Prague we took a trip to the outskirts of the city to visit a church called Kutná Hora or otherwise known as, the bone church. This church is exactly what it sounds like, it is decorated from wall to wall in human bones. Creepy right?

Story goes that a local abbot made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and brought back sacred soil to spread across the Sedlec cemetery in front of the church. After the public got ahold of this knowledge, Sedlec cemetery became one of the most famous places to get buried. Between the plague and the crusades over 40,000 people were buried at the here.

While Kunta Hora was being built all the bones began to get stacked around the church, sitting undisturbed until about the late 1800s when a local woodcarver named Francis Rint was hired to make something beautiful out of the remains.

Although may some might find it unsettling or creepy I couldn’t help but feel fascinated by my surroundings. So many humans and so much history kept in one place fills you with a sense of wonder and awe. Prague – even though you have a church filled with human bones I still love you and your weirdness.

Kerilyn Kostek

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Fisher Family

This past weekend, my Fisher Lacrosse team participates in a summer tournament at RIT. We’ve been doing this since before my freshman year, 3 years ago. The whole point of the tournament is to get the team together over the summer and to meet the incoming freshman. We take pride in how close our team is that it really is like a family. Each player cares for each other. Overall, we won 2 games on Saturday and lost 1 on Sunday. To us, the games weren’t as important to us when compared to getting our team together and meeting the incoming players. Making them feel comfortable and at home with all of is really important. It was a weird feeling that, now being an upperclassman, it’s our responsibility to take care of the freshman and make sure they have a place to stay and are meeting the other players. I still remember my freshman year, coming to this tournament over the summer, not knowing anyone and then meeting 50 people instantly. That’s what’s it’s all about. Having 50 brothers instantly that would do anything for you. Everything came full circle from my freshman year to my junior year and how the perspectives have changed. Having everyone together and meeting the new players has me even more excited for the season than I already was.

By Jack Laino

SJFC Mens Lacrosse Team at the Summer RIT tournament this past weekend

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A Glimpse into Ghanaian Life

This past January I had the opportunity to travel to Ghana with my college business program. I still think about my trip to this day, so I’m going to take this opportunity to share some of my favorite parts of the trip.

My first day in Ghana we visited a chief’s castle in the mountains. While there we met the medical team, who were giving aid to the elderly. This was my first look into true Ghanaian hospitality. It was the chief’s birthday and on his special day he chose to welcome us into his home. Not to mention he also had his servants cooking and bringing food down to the elderly patients of the village. I was taken back by this selfless act from the chief. To a certain extent I almost felt upset that I was surprised by such a kind act. Why was I not used to seeing kindness around me? That was when I knew Ghana was going to be unlike anywhere I’ve ever been or anything I’ve ever seen.

One of the more fascinating parts of the trip was when we visited a local fish market. I went in not really sure what to expect, but it was incredible. To an outsider looking in one would think it was hectic. However, I thought it was beautiful. The way it worked was like a community. They all watched out for one another, working in harmony. This was their livelihood, something that had most likely been in their family for generations. It was clear to me how amazing it was that they created their own little business sector.

Later in the trip we traveled to Cape Coast. Our first night there we visited a slave castle. The beauty of the castle made it hard for me to picture what terrible and horrendous things had occurred there. In a previous travel, I had visited a concentration camp in Germany. I had a very similar heavy feeling while being at the slave castle. It was hard for me to take in what had happened directly beneath my feet. Before this trip slavery felt like it was long gone history. Little did I know was how prevalent it still is today and how little time had elapsed between then and now. It was hard for me to process and still is to this day. How as human brothers and sisters could one race do this to another? How could something as simple as a physical characteristic make one person more important than another? In what ways was any of this justified? Walking throughout that castle made me linger on these questions and feel sick to my stomach. I prayed for those who had lost their souls there. I made a silent vow to myself to always stick up for what I think is ethically right.

The following day was spectacular. We went on a jungle walk along the top of the jungle. On the way to the jungle walk I noticed the innovations of Ghanaian people. On the dirt roads, the people of the town would create their own speed bumps by moving the dirt to one area. I assume this was to decrease the amount of dirt flying around their town. I absolutely loved that little innovation. We also passed through beautiful rainforests and I got the opportunity to spot some monkeys. When we arrived to the jungle walk I was in awe. The beauty around me was unreal. The walk up the mountain was so educational as I got a glimpse into Ghana’s ecosystem. When we reached the jungle walk at first, I was intimidated by the vastness. As soon as I stepped on the walk however, I was elated. The natural beauty around me was stunning. I looked down and could just see the tops of the trees. At first it was scary, but I soon got comfortable with it. Hearing the laughter of my group while we were there made all the jitters I experienced before getting to the walk worth it.

After being in Cape Coast we headed back to Accra. While back in Accra I had the opportunity to teach young children at a school. The school was ecstatic to have us there. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a traditional African dance by two students. It was an amazing thing to experience. I remember being introduced to the children and having them be so beyond excited to simply say my name back to me.

We broke up into classrooms and I was put with class 3. They ranged from around 7-10 years old if my memory serves me correctly. The energy in the room was crazy. I was supposed to be teaching coding on the computer, but after arrival we soon learned that there was only one computer for all of the school. My team and I quickly adjusted and decided to go with a different lesson plan. We would have them create sounds (or beats) with their hands and feet to help them understand that there’s different components to making a computer work, similar to there being sounds in music to have it come together and make a song. The kids loved it.

Upon coming home, I finally looked through all the pictures and videos I took. The entire trip I had my camera glued to my side as I tried to capture whatever I could. I was so amazed by the eagerness of people who didn’t know me and still wanted to be captured on my camera. It was so wonderful and pure. A lot of the people and children I photographed had never seen themselves on a camera before. Their reactions are something I will never forget.

Overall this was an experience I will never lose touch with and will always keep very close to my heart. It was such an honor to be received into Ghana with such open arms even though I was a complete stranger. The knowledge I have gained from this trip will last me a lifetime.

Tori Terrazzino

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Buffalo Bills Training Camp

I’m excited to see how the Bills kick off their season this year. With the same QB as last year, but a more mature, Josh Allen will be in control of our offense. We also added another WR Cole Beasley.

As the players begin to compete for the 53-man roster, they will have to play their hardest and finest. We drafted Ed Oliver earlier this year as well. This is a big key player to add from the University of Houston because we need a threat to the opponent’s QB that is fast. He reminds me of Mario Williams in his prime. So he should be very fun to watch at training camp.

With the NFL, anything can happen. Cody Ford, who is a substantial player, might not make the starting roster this year. He is good enough to play in the starting roster but the Bills currently have Ty Nsekhe in that position ready to go for the next 2 years at $10 million.

Something that I am disappointed in is not being to see Frank Gore play. Gore was put on the NFI (non-football injury) list right before the start of training camp. I would have liked to see Gore in full motion at training camp but I will just have to wait until the season starts as he will be complementing McCoy in the running game.

Overall, the Bills have added some new talent to their roster and have the potential to become a good team this year. In training camp, now is the time that the Bills have to see who will make the team and who will not. I am very excited to see all the players play because anyone can have a shot at making the team. They just have to work hard enough.

Marc Ayala

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Not your average SUV

The Rolls Royce Cullinan. This is the first-ever SUV made by Rolls Royce. The attention to detail in this vehicle makes it like no other vehicle on the market. With a sticker starting at $330,350, you get a lot of cool features that will have you ready for whatever you have planned. Coming standard with 22-inch rims, you can upgrade to the 24s but I don’t really see the need. This car looks about as classy as can be. I like to think of this car as a 5-star hotel on wheels.

This is also the most expensive SUV on the market. The Bentley Bentayaga comes in second and the Lamborghini Urus takes third coming in at $200k. But back to the Cullinan, this 6,000 pound SUV with 563-hp, 12-cylinder engine makes in a beast on the road. With numbers like those, you will most likely be paying $100 dollars at the pump every week to fill this bad boy up.

When it comes to making ultra-luxury cars, Rolls Royce knows how to perfect them. The big thing about cars of this caliber is the price obviously. Do you want to buy a really nice house or a Rolls Royce Cullinan?

Marc Ayala

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Viva Las Vegas

During my trip to Las Vegas, I experienced a lot of amazing things. To start, the food was spectacular. All of it was fresh and made by the best chefs in the country. I also got to try some items that I have never tried before like this fruity pebble ice cream (see below). The seafood here was also very fresh and presented with elegance. I also got to enjoy my favorite burger from In and Out burger. Which that alone is worth the trip out to Vegas.

Now onto the art and buildings that call Las Vegas home. Starting with the famous Bellagio fountain. This show is very stimulating to the eyes. Water flies up from the ground and goes along with the song that they are playing on the speakers surrounding. In the Venetian hotel, there is a little river that goes through inside where all the shops are and adds a Italian vibe to the whole place. Everywhere you walk in Vegas, you will see a great piece of architecture. When walking on the strip outside, I ran into the Eiffel Tower. Although this is just a replica, it was very cool to see it lit up at night.

Overall, Vegas was a very unique experience. Being able to try some of the world best food alone was the highlight of my trip. I’m not a big gambler but there are tons of casinos for those who are. Everywhere you turn there is a table or slot machine waiting for you. Las Vegas is definitely a place you want to visit at least once in your lifetime.

By Marc Ayala

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B O S T O N

Having a parent that was born and raised in Boston, I’ve learned to love the city. I’ve been there more times than I can even count since I was born. It’s a tradition for my family to go and spend the Fourth of July there. Read closely as I share with you some of my favorite things about the city.

Coming from a Sicilian family, I’m most familiar with the North End of Boston, also known as little Italy. In the summertime, it’s impossible to not indulge in their seafood. They have some of the best lobster and clams I’ve ever had. Our first stop in Boston was a place called Chart House. It’s right on the water overlooking all of the boats coming in and out of the pier. To start my family shared an order of mussels. I, of course, had to eat my food with a Blue Moon, making a perfect combination. For my main course, I couldn’t avoid getting the lobster. It was amazing.

Another restaurant in the North End is my favorite pizza place in all of the world, Pizzeria Reginas. It’s the traditional thin crust pizza, but it’s to die for. There’s always a huge line outside due to the pizzeria being so small, but it is always worth the wait and has yet to disappoint.

If you’re a dessert fan you have to hit Modern Pastry. It is my all-time favorite stop for cannoli’s. Their selection goes beyond that though. You can get everything from cookies, to cupcakes, to chocolate, and more. If you like more fun cannoli’s, Mike’s Pastry is a good stop too. You can choose from Oreo to strawberry filling.

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Having been there so many times my family no longer does the fun, touristy stuff, but there’s so much more to do in this great city. A personal favorite is the duck boats that go from driving on land straight to being a boat in the water. It’s also very fun to walk along Paul Revere’s trail, easy to spot by the red brick in the cement. If you’re ever in the area make sure to check out Salem, MA. It’s the most fun spooky town, especially around Halloween. Or even take the ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard and spend the day on one of my favorite islands.

The best part about visiting Boston, I have to say, is being able to spend time with my family. Not only does it bring together my brothers, parents and I for a 7-hour car drive, but it also brings together my extended family. Being able to be in the presence of family for the Holiday’s is very special to me.

Tori Terrazzino

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Name Game

So, we’re back to the lacrosse season. The day of the game against Gettysburg. When we travel for lacrosse our coach picks out restaurants to eat at. Sometimes it’s a sit down and sometimes it’s at the hotel. The majority of the meals are Italian, so that means a lot of chicken parm. However, the one place we went to for lunch in Gettysburg stuck out to us in particular. First off it was called The Historic Dobbin House. Which on its own is funny because our head coaches last name is Dobbins. The meal we had was one of the best we had in our travels. Salad, potato salad, pasta, sandwiches, lemonade, chicken and to top it all off cake. It was a perfect meal before our game.

After eating we walked around the house as it’s also a museum. Little did we know it is Gettysburg’s oldest and most historic building. It was built in 1774 by Reverend Alexander Dobbin. The whole history behind the house was pretty cool a just the fact that the name of the house is so similar to our head coaches.

After eating and walking around the house, we went to the Battle Of Gettysburg battlefield to look around. Then went to have our own 2019 battle on the lacrosse field. Which was won by Fisher in double overtime. That’s covered more in one of my previous vlogs.

By Jack Laino

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A More Eco-Friendly Diet

Did you know that animal agriculture and eating meat are linked to climate change? Now I’m not here to preach because I still eat a diet that contains meat and dairy but the main lesson here is moderation. Cutting down on meat and dairy are also proven to improve your health and reduce your carbon footprint.

It’s believed that if a widespread vegetarian diet was adopted it could cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly two-thirds. Although it is unlikely everyone would turn to a vegetarian diet, habits like adopting a meatless Monday mentality could help reduce one’s carbon footprint. Did you know that it takes approximately 1,700 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef whereas it only takes only 39 gallons of water to produce a pound of vegetables?

Even just eating locally helps reduce your carbon footprint. 13% of US greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food alone. It would also help to refrain buying any meat that comes from the Amazon due to deforestation. There’s a reason the Amazon is called the “Lungs of Earth” is because of its ability to absorb about 25% of the earth’s carbon dioxide emissions and it also producing oxygen in return. As of right now cattle ranching is the biggest cause of deforestation, accounting for nearly 80% of deforestation rates.  

Now cutting down on meat and dairy won’t only help the earth but will also help YOU. There have been numerous health benefits found to eating a more plant based diet. Dr. Cohen-Lewe stated that eating a lot of red meat can increase your chances of colorectal cancer – a diet rich in vegetables can decrease the risk of cancer due to veggies being in high in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. A diet also high in veggies can reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

There is so much more to be said for cutting meat out of your diet, even if it’s only once a week! If you want to educate yourself more on meat consumption and how it effects the environment and your health you can watch documentaries like What the Health, Forks over Knives, Cowspiracy and Rotten which all can be found on Netflix.

Kerilyn Kostek

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The Age of Music Festivals

Although there have always been music festivals throughout the years I cannot help but feel like the hype and popularity that surrounds them has exploded exponentially. Within America alone we host more than 800 music festivals per year that party-goers flock to. Festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Firefly, Electric Forest, Governor’s Ball and so many more.

The unique thing about music festivals is that some cater to specific crowds. For example; there’s a whole culture of EDM (Electric Dance Music) that people dress up for in iconic outfits and there’s flashing neon lights everywhere. There’s also country music festivals that mostly (and un-ironically) take place down south; one of the the biggest being the CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee. There are also rap music festivals like Rolling Loud in California.

Last summer my friend and I went to one of Canada’s biggest music festivals in Montreal which was a wild experience. I saw a ton of my favorite artists perform like the Arctic Monkeys, The Neighbourhood, Rex Orange County, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Dermot Kennedy, and many more. This three day experience were exhausting – but in the best way.  

My friend Kristine and I arriving at Coachella

There was even a ferris wheel, boat rides, and instagram photo opts all throughout the festival.

Osheaga Ferris Wheel
Boat rides through the Osheaga Venu
My friend Kristine posing in the Instagram photo opt

We completely lucked out with the weather; it was warm and sunny but at some points it was unbearable. They had sprinklers showering the crowds throughout the entire day to keep cool.

The sun setting while Post Malone was performing

Although I swore that festival took days off my life between the walking, the drinking and the heat I would do it all over again. There’s nothing like being around people who you love while being in nice weather listening to music you adore. If you have the opportunity or if going to a music festival is on your bucket list I would say go for it! Even if it’s a one time thing at least you can say you did it.

Kerilyn Kostek

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