Sunday, February 28, 2010

it's starting

As I write this I am laying in a hammock, in the most awesome tree house I have ever seen. There are like, six floors, with hammocks stationed on each one. Paul’s adopted daughters (Candy and Martha) wanted to go swimming, so Amanda and I brought them here to this incredible pool with a fountain.
Below this little haven I can hear Spanish music blasting…probably from a stand on the side of the road, there is a child screaming, a dog barking, people laughing, and now I can hear boys giggling as they climb up these ladders…probably on their way up to where I’m at. But up here it’s nice…cause I can get away and think.
We went out to eat with the girls from Poppy’s house tonight (that’s the name of the home that all of the girls stay). There are 9 girls, and three of them have kids. Some of them are between 12 and 16…and I think a couple might be in their 20s? We haven’t had very many opportunities to hang out with these girls yet, they just got done with their summer school finals, and Amanda and I have been settling in and hanging out with Paul and the girls…so this was my first opportunity to really talk to any of the girls. And when I say “talk” I mean…well…have broken conversation. I sat next to a girl named Victoria last night on the bus on the way home. At first she was indifferent…answering my questions, but not really interested in talking to me. But after I persisted a little more and started asking her what she liked to do she started to open up and actually ask me some questions. Connection. Yes. We laughed and took pictures, I told her to make a silly face…and at first she resisted..but then she finally kinda stuck out her tongue. Man…the power of smiles and laughter and love… what a beautiful combination.
Tonight we’re going to go over to Poppy’s house and talk to the staff about the things we can do with the girls while we’re there. I bought a lot of crafty things before I came (like tie dye, puff paint, markers, clay, etc.) and we’re hoping to incorporate those things into some kind of lesson that we want to get across to them this week. All of these girls have come from an abusive home, and nearly all of them were sexually abused. There’s so much brokenness inside all of their eyes…but when they laugh…sigh…my heart swells.
Candy just came up to get me, she is so cute. She doesn’t speak English as well as Martha…but she is seriously so sweet. She’s…18? Studying to be a doctor. They want me to come and swim…but I gave my swimsuit to Amanda. But apparently Amanda has some master plan to get around that little issue “Come talk to Amanda, she speak English better.”
Anyway, there’s an update for you. It’s hard for me to write these because there’s so much…but yet not enough yet. I haven’t started working with the girls yet…so I don’t know what’s going to happen or how that will effect maybe what I want to do in the future. But just from last night I can feel my heart starting to connect…and that’s when things start happening for me. So I’m sorry that this isn’t very descriptive, and I’m sorry it’s not written super well. Bottom line is that I’m starting to really connect with people here, my Spanish is rough and I laugh at myself a lot..but I’m getting it, the heat is ridiculous here and I may actually come back with a tan (but don’t get too jealous…it may just be an awful burn), and I can feel God working.
Ok now Martha just yelled at me…something about swimming in my underwear. Gotta go friends. Blessings!

Friday, February 26, 2010

estoy aqui!

I'm here!

Currently I am sitting in the compound...the sun is setting, and it's starting to cool down. Guys, it is HUMID here. My hair is PERFECT for this place!

Amanda and I met up at the airport in Atlanta and enjoyed a plane ride full of playing Bejewled on the little touch screens in front of us, catching up, practicing Spanish, and a whole lot of laughing. Then when we got here Gimbel was here! (Ben and Nick, I have yet to do what you asked...but I will, promise?)

We had our first encounter with the communication barrier last night. This worker at the airport was trying to tell us that we needed to pay an airport fee, but we thought that we had already done all we needed to do...but neither of us could communicate that so we just stared at each other. Kind of trying to communicate? But kind of knowing that we didn't know how. So I just started giggling while Amanda tried to use hand motions and things. It was just such a funny awkward moment. We got it figured out eventually, but for awhile there it was a little rough. I'm gonna giggle a lot this trip, I think.

Paul took us to the market tonight. How is it that I can take a 6 hours plane ride and land in a place completely opposite from where I come from? How does this happen? Why didn't they get a better start, and why won't they have a better end? The people here are so sweet, but some of them you look into their eyes and you just know that life has done them wrong. Ugh.

I love the kids here you guys. I haven't been able to love on any of them yet...but I will...and then I think my heart will start to attach, and who knows where I go from there.

Anyway, there's a quick update. Just spit out on the page for you. I'll do more when I get a chance.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers friends. Until next time....adios!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ready. set. GO.

Here I sit. My suitcase is open, almost full. There are Walmart bags everywhere, deflated soccer balls at my feet, and packages of pop tarts scattered on the floor. It's almost done. I'm almost packed. Jessi just brought over her travel bottles and head lamp that she's letting me borrow. Check. One more thing done.

Tomorrow will be the finish line, I won't do anymore tonight. It's late...and I'm tired.

People have been asking me all day if I'm excited. At the beginning my response was, "I'm overwhelmed", in the middle it was "I will be when I get everything packed", and now here at the end I think I'm just...amazed.

Amazed that one day this summer a friend and I sat at a coffee shop talking about our hopes and dreams, and this idea was born. And now I'm going.

I'm amazed that I said I was going to do it...and then I did.

May THIS be the pattern of my life. I have big dreams and high hopes for my future, but those don't mean much unless I apply action to those words.

Step one starts tomorrow. I'm not sure how many steps I'll have to take to get where I'm going, but as long as I keep taking them....that's alright with me.

Thanks for your prayers and support friends, they honestly mean so much to me.

Ready. Set. GO.

tomorrow is the day

I leave tomorrow.


I still need to:
  • turn in a paper
  • take a test
  • get internship information in to my career counselor
  • shop for peru, and everything that entails
  • pack
  • sew some stuff (if I have time)
  • prepare my brain
  • prepare my heart
  • prepare.
It's gonna be a long day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

on another note

boys: you're not listening.

girls: you're making it too complicated.

Human kind: Let's love better.

both feet

I'm leaving for Peru this week. Man, just saying that makes my breath come in a little faster and my heart start poking my insides a little harder. I've got too many things to do. Midterms. Ugh. Midterms. I'm leaving school one day early...which means early preparation and early deadlines.

Expectations...are you guys going to let me down? Anticipation...where have you taken me? Reality... why are you beating me so hard? Time...what is your hurry? Don't you know I'm not ready yet? Efficiency... could you step it up? Stress... you know, sometimes I wish I didn't know you so well. Peace... can we become better friends? Excitement... I see you back there, stop hiding, you can come out now. Creativity...this is no time for hide and seek. Brain... I expect your best behavior these next few days. Fear... I will fight you, I took self-defense two years ago. Heart...get ready, you're about to have sensory overload. Future... ready or not, here I come.

Monday, February 15, 2010

oh my God

"Sometimes I can not forgive
These days mercy cuts so deep
If the world was how it should be
Maybe I could get some sleep

While I lay, I'd dream we're better
Scales were gone and faces lighter
When we wake, we hate our brother
We still move to hurt each other

Sometimes I can close my eyes
And all the fear that keeps me silent
Falls below my heavy breathing
What makes me so badly bent?

We all have a chance to murder
We all have the need for wonder
We still want to be reminded
That the pain is worth the plunder

Sometimes when I lose my grip
I wonder what to make of Heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give up

Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat them
All the wounds that money causes
All the comforts of cathedrals

All the cries of thirsty children
This is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers
This is our greatest offense

Oh, my God
Oh, my God
Oh, my God"

-Jars of Clay

Sunday, February 14, 2010


My grandpa died last night. Between 11:50 and 11:55. So the official date is February the 13th. But today the calls were made, today the tears were shed, and instead of today being a day of love, today is a day of loss.

My dad has lost both of his parents. His historians. The people who told him stories about the silly things he said when he was five, how he reacted when his first pet died, and the ones who scooped him up in their arms when he slammed his finger in the door. His memory keepers...they're both gone.

Ugh. that ok? How do you cope with something like that? I talked to my dad tonight, he's doing ok. We've known this was preparation has been a nice cushion for this fall.

My heart aches though. It aches for my grandma who, when all the people are gone, will be left with a house all to herself. It aches for my dad and my aunts. Their DAD is gone. It aches. It aches. It aches.

And here I am in stupid Tennessee.

My grandpa wasn't very religious most of my dad's life...but my dad said that by the time he started fading he had made peace with God. My dad talked to me about how, really, grandpa is the one who is lucky because the next thing he will see is Jesus' face.

Tomorrow I get to wake up and spend another day in this broken world. Tomorrow my family wakes up and feels a hole that wasn't there yesterday. Tomorrow more children will be sold into sex slavery, more mothers will be beaten, and more families will be destroyed by infidelity.

The speaker at vespers Friday night said that he believes that Jesus is coming soon, and we are living in the end times.

Well, my grandpa was told that when he was a boy...and he lived his whole life with that being said over and over.

So did my dad, and sometimes I wonder if so will I.

Dear God,
Please come soon. We're dying down here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

humanitarian intervention...why aren't you simple?

I'm an idealist.
You want to give me a dose of reality?
Ok...but I won't like it.
Just a warning, I'll chew it and make faces
And you'll have to make me open my mouth to make sure I swallowed.
But the more you make me eat, the harder my stomach will get
Until maybe I won't taste anything at all

But give it to me straight
And give it to me with compassion in your eyes
I'll take it
But only because I know I need it

Sunday, February 7, 2010

d to the red

I got a dread put in a week the bottom of my head. Just one. I would explain to you why...but that's for another blog.

Right now my dear friend Melissa is diligently working to get this dread out. Zach took first shift, and now she's finishing up. It's knotted. Knotted good. Zach put it in...but wasn't expecting my hair to dread as easily as it did. "I've never seen a white person's hair dread like this." Well...that's because I don't have white person hair....

Anyway, I'm not exactly sure what I thought dreads were...I had never actually thought out the process. But, turns out, it's a bunch of knots. A bunch of matted knots. And they don't come out easy. But we're trying to take it out nonetheless. I want it to be we're re-doing it, provided that I have any hair left.

They've been working on it for two hours, while we watch the Superbowl. My butt is numb...and I'm sure Melissa's hands are tired. She's been combing through the knots, applying gooey conditioner and taking precautions to ensure that my scalp stays attached to my head. She's wonderful.

Oh the dread. What a fun memory this will be someday.

putting it in....

taking it out....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

1 Corinthians 13

I'm a secret agent.

You don't know where I'm from, or why I'm here. It's all about the low profile. And from what I understand, blending is key. I get to say a lot of things...but have been instructed to go easy on the application, I can't be standing out.

It's a beautiful set up, really. I get to live two lives in one world. Oh the talking is the best...I get to say things that dress me up and shine me up pretty. Are you impressed? You're meant to be.

But hey, don't look too close. Don't ask to see the application of my fluffy words, I won't be able to show's the low profile.

I'm a secret agent. I work for...Jesus?