Monday, January 25, 2010

violations and vaccinations

Saturday night I participated in a volleyball tournament (which was awesome, by the way) and ended up coming home at 12:30. We have a back door to our apartment that I'll use often because I always lose my ID card that gets me in the front (surprise surprise). Our back porch faces a huge field...and isn't lit at all. As I got out of my car I made a call to one of my friends, and as I was talking and approached my porch I looked over and there was a man, leaning on the pole, standing on our porch.

gasp. loss of breath. sprinkles of fear running through my body.

"I sorry, I sorry" in a thick Hispanic accent.

I wanted to walk quickly by and get to my door, but I also wanted to know what the heck this guy was doing on my porch at midnight.

"What are you doing?"

"Just looking at the stars."

ok creepster Joe, there's a whole field wide open for your star gazing pleasure...get off my porch.

I came inside and told my roommates and Nick what had just happened...and Nick being the MAN that he is...went outside to check it out. Creepster Joe was gone. But later when Nick was leaving he went back to see if he was there again. And he WAS. Nick talked to him for a bit and asked him what he was doing...he told him the same story...and then Nick told him to leave and followed him to his car.

Campus Safety came over after and we found out that this guy matched the same description of the "Suspicious Man" that has been lurking around the girls' apartments in Southern Village. Nick and I are the first people reported to have actually talked to him...but he's been seen around many times.

ugh. When I think about walking back there so late...and him just standing there in the stomach feels weird. I wonder if anything would have happened if I hadn't been on the phone...or maybe he's just creepy and harmless, but creepy just the same.


On another note, I'm going on that soul-searching possibly direction-of-life-changing mission trip to Peru a month from today. I just found out that the yellow fever vaccination is in shortage, and they're only giving it out to people that HAVE to get it. Well, apparently Peru recommends it, but doesn't require it... BUT Iquitos is in the "yellow fever zone" is that not enough? Guess not. Awesome.

One month. Dang. I've got a whole lot of preparing to do...on a lot of different levels.


And lastly, I'm listening to Pandora radio, which has commercials now. Dumb. In the commercial that just came on they were talking about textbooks and the lady said, "You'll save a butt-load." Really f0lks?

Happy Monday friends.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I've already got tickets, thanks.

Hands down, favorite part of the day/probably week:

I was walking behind a guy in the hallway today at school. He didn't know I was there... or now that I think about it maybe he did... But right before he turned to go left into another hallway this guy stopped, flexed his bicep, looked at it, and then walked on. I'm not even joking.

Oh men, you slay me.

Monday, January 18, 2010

sticky note

dear tara.
embrace it.
all of it.
every day.
it might not ever come again.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

make it stop.

17,000 children die every day from starvation
6 million every year
1 child dies every 3 seconds

My professor, Mindy Rahn, shared this reality with us at the beginning of our first class last Wednesday. Then we sat there and watched the clock for a bit... "one child just died" "another child" "another child". Ugh. It's in times like those that I'm so disgustingly aware of how comfortable my chair/life is.

Humanitarian Intervention is the name of the class, and it's amazing. It's going to shake me up, I can feel it. She had us read an article from Time magazine today entitled "South Africa's New Slave Trade and the Campaign to Stop it".

I hate sex trafficking. I hate it. Especially when I think about the little girls.

I did a research paper on it last year and my heart hasn't ever been the same. There's nothing that makes me feel more angry, passionate, firey, discouraged, helpless, saddened than this disgusting issue. When I started reading that article, and when we were discussing it I got that burning feeling in my soul that has become really familiar whenever this issue is brought up.

I've been researching anti-trafficking internships for this summer. There are some that I've found that seem really amazing, and provide great opportunities to learn and do more. I've got a couple different possible job options for this summer, but I'm not sure where I'll be. I don't think there is going to be any other job that is going to feed/rip up my soul more than one of these internships though. So I'm gonna pray a lot, and apply a lot...and then see what happens.

That article was just sitting on my desk as I wrote this and a classmate next to me read the title, "What kind of slaves are they trading?" he said in somewhat of a light tone. "Children. It's about sex trafficking."
"Oh, that's rough."

Yeah. It's rough. Real real rough.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

an evening well spent

Ever since break I've been planning on making a bean bag. I would think about it before I went to bed, picturing what it would look like and how I would make it. I get excited about these things, you see. Most of the time the things works out exactly how I picture it . Most of the time.

After some input and discussion we decided that doing it like a baseball would make it the most round-ish. The plan was to sew together the material, then go to FedEx and ask them to load me up with packing peanuts. Brilliant and resourceful, my favorite.

I spent the whole evening working on it tonight, while my other roommates did their own crafty projects. I finally got the outline done. Well, one outline done. Then I started to sew, using my NEW sewing machine for the first time!

I started to have doubts about the durability of this epic bag, so I asked Nate what he thought.

"Honestly, I don't think that thread will hold Tara. And I think the fabric is too even if the thread does hold I think the fabric will eventually tear."

Dangit. Honesty.

I started to sew anyway, explaining to Nate how very careful I would be when I sat on it (it's hard for me to let go of these ideas once they've been formed). But then my sewing machine jammed, a sign that it wasn't meant to be, I suppose.

I think it's gonna require tools this time. Tools that I don't think I own.

So now I have an outline of tape that could be mistaken for a crime scene where Mr. Peanut was murdered, and there will be no handmade bean bag.

I was thinking about it though, and I never imagined that this would be what an evening of mine would look like. I never thought that I would love to sew different things, or crochet funky stuff, or shop at Hobby Lobby. But I do. I love creating things.

And it's not just my style and taste that has changed. It feels good to grow into your own. When I was at Walla Walla I could feel it. I could feel something, or Someone, in my soul telling me that I wasn't reaching high enough, that I wasn't who I was supposed to be yet. And I wasn't going to get there if I stayed in Walla Walla.

So, again, I'm reminded of how awesome God is, how awesome Southern is.

Southern is also awesome because Collegedale got 3cm of snow and we have a snow day tomorrow! Heeck yea!

mmm mmm good.

Competition: who can eat the most flour....

video taken by Chelsea Ingish (she was there, she wants you to know.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

em can say it better....

I helped convince Nick to road trip to Maine with Ben tonight. He found out about it just two hours before...and was debating on whether he should go or not. I told him that if he didn't go, these next couple of days would blur together and he would never remember them...but if he did he would always be able to tell the story, "yeah I've been to Maine, I found out 2 hours before and then drove through the night....." I told him it would be a good story and a fun memory. So he said, "Done. I'm going. You just spoke my language."

I thought about that tonight after he left. I love that I spoke his language, because that's my language too. It's the language of an adventurer and a memory seeker. I have other friends that speak that language too... and oh how awesome it is when we get together.

I was reunited with a fellow speaker this break. Emily Wilkens. Em put this post on her blog... but i wanted it to be on mine too. she's a much better writer/sumerupper than i am... so i thought this might be easier. so this is for those who don't read em's blog (which you should cause it's awesome) this is one of my favorite memories from break...

smells like living:

tara and i met long ago, but didn't become close friends (for some funny reasons) until a few years ago--when we became FAST friends. we've talked almost every day of this last quarter--chat, text, email, call. seriously, i love this girl--

i've MISSED her spontaneity--and not just spontaneity, but her make-it-happen quality, and her listener quality, and her quality quality....does that make sense?

we're memory-makers. at least when we're together--and when you don't see someone for long stretches of time, you have to make it count.

my friend israel and i once snuck into a hotel pool when we were on a long road trip and hadn't showered for days. we sat in this wooden sauna for a long time and when we rubbed our skin, it peeled off.

so this last friday night, tara and i decided to head to the hotels of walla walla, find the ones which had nice pools and jacuzzis, and find a way to swim. we went through my swimsuit drawer and found these two killer ones.

we went to four hotels without success.

strike one. walked past the desk, acted confident, found the pool, it was empty, with a card sliding lock.
strike two. knocked on the pool glass door in our suits, the couple inside looked at us and then ignored us!!
strike three. front desk man looked at us and asked us how he could help us--his eye brows raised really high! we scrammed.
strike four. asked for directions to the pool and were sent to a pool, outdoor and frozen. hah

with failure behind us, we pulled into the Best Western. and sometimes we get all sissy-like at these points--when things seem to not work out over and over. this was the last shot.

so we walked right on by the woman at the desk, tara greeted her while i pretended to talk on my cell phone (we needed to look like we already had a room and knew what we were doing). we rounded the corner and started to hush hush our plan: "Tara, you go tour around the upstairs. I'll wait here, until that couple who is soaking in the tub, comes out, and as they start to get up, I'll be talking on my phone and pretend like the timing just happened to be right, they'll open the door for me and i'll head on in. I'll call you once I'm in."

Everything happened just like we imagined--granted it was the fifth attempt--but soon tara and I were soaking and swimming and jumping--we had the whole pool to ourselves. We kept high-fiving eachother.

There were big glass windows through which the woman at the desk could watch us. she looked suspicious. i think she probably couldn't take us seriously in our swimming suits. but soon she was at the door to the pool. she came in with towels under her arm and i knew this was bad. she asked in a weird tone, "do you guys need any towels?"

I said, "No, we're ok."
Then she asked her real questions, "and what room are you guys in?"
I froze--flashed her a panicked look--eyes wide, like a dead giveaway guilty look.
She said, "That's what I thought." And she told us it was her job, that she had to kick us out. She was nice, and part of me thinks she let us swim for a while, that she had actually detected our sneaking earlier.

tara and i got out and smelled like chlorine. we smelled like living too which was nice.

-emily wilkens

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the wreck.

There was an accident yesterday, on our way from Walla Walla to Yakima. We were some of the first people to show up, and my dad is an RN, so we stopped. A married couple had been driving a big red truck with a huge trailer hitched on the back, the trailer started to fish tail and then flipped on its side, throwing the truck off the road and down the bank. The wife had gotten out and was fine, apparently she was walking around looking for her purse. The husband was in the drivers seat and appeard to be alright, but they were cautioning him to stay put until the ambulance came.

I sat in the car as my dad crossed the street to see how he could help. As I sat there I watched and reflected on what I saw unfolding in front of me.


Coming together.

One man had pulled over and was directing traffic, cautioning drivers to get on the other side of the road early. Other families were pulling over, grabbing blankets, and first aid kits, and bringing them over to the crashed truck. There were people on their cell phones calling for help, and hugs being given to the upset wife. My dad was one of three nurses who had stopped to offer their knowledge and help.

And as I watched all of the concerned faces slowly drive by, and the people braving the cold to help a stranger I thought... people are good. There we all are, from different worlds. Each having different struggles, beliefs, and personalities, coming together for a common good.

Sometimes I look at this world and all the crap that happens and I think "This sucks. This place sucks."

And it does. A lot of the time. But there's good, friends. There is good in this world. We have been created to be a people that longs for love and acceptance, a people that actually finds true joy in making other people happy. And when we forget that, we are just letting the devil win, letting him make this world into a place filled with despair and selfishness.

It's a new year. A new beginning. I'm sure we've all made resolutions and have this idea in our heads of who we want to be in twenty ten. And if we get to June and we've already made a mess of our resolutions and forgotten what we felt in these first days of January, may we never forget that we've been called to love, and love abundantly.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope, love. But the greatest of these is love."
1 corinthians 13:13