Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just Around the Bend...

The semester is coming to a close. I have watched it fly past at an exhausting rate of speed. And in the back of my mind there is an ever present questions. "Now what?" Friends ask me, strangers ask me and I ask myself. I wish so often that my life was a book that I could go pick up and turn a few chapters into the future and see what is going to happen, what I should do, or where I should go. But life isn't as simple as a novel and no amount of wishing and hoping is going to reveal the future to me (not even the tiniest bit) I cannot see what is ahead. See, life is more like a series of books all released at different times. I am approaching the last chapter of this book and the publishers are enjoying the suspense and anticipation of the next addition. There will be no sneak-peeks, spoilers, or promos and so the only thing to go on is the speculation of the fans and they try to see which of the various choices ther heroine has will be the subject in the next book. So what should I do? Well, the true author of the situation is God so technically I should ask Him right? Well, easier said then done. But I must be doing a little something right because this November is hectic but it has been one of the most content and peaceful times I have ever had in my life. I may not know the what lies around the bend after graduation (if I pass my exams lol) but I do know that the maker of the universe has a plan and it is going to be one heck of the story! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Notre Dame Pics

Here are a few pictures of dinner's or other items that I have been making at Notre Dame this semester during my internship there. It has been crazy and I am exhausted but I am learning quite a bit and getting a lot of good experience. Enjoy browsing the pictures :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Dawn of Hope (an original work)

This is just me working on expressing some feeling that have been swirling in my mind. I find that I can easily talk/think myself into a depression or at least a slump and I am trying to remind myself that the way out is through teaching yourself (over and over again) the truths of scripture. Life is more then just going and doing and jumping into the next activity. Written 09/15/10.

Outside I wear a smile
Inside I bleed to death.
The world around me waring
Looks to me to see,
A hope, a joy, a reason
A reason just to be.
A hope for life eternal.
A joy for every day.
What reason can I give them?
When I feel this way.
My tender heart is aching
Drowned by cold, chill pain.
Loneliness surounds me
Like a pouring rain.
Why do I fear silence?
Why is loneliness my bane?
I join my hands with Pity,
And sink into despond.
When I should be a beacon
To the light beyond.
"Misery loves company"
Or so the poets say.
But once you've been companioned 
How do you get away?
You teach yourself a message
and throw away the lies.
And little points of truth 
Will dawn across the skies.
And as those lights start breaking
They pierce your very soul.
They break your bond with Pity
And dash Miseries control.
They fill your heart with hope,
And with that hope pure joy.
And this dear world is reason
This truth is the whole reason.
The best and only reason.
Your reason just to be!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

All My Haiti Pictures

Here are some links to the rest of my Haiti pictures that I posted on Facebook... Enjoy! And thank you to all who supported me through prayer and financial support :)

Just copy each of the above links to your search bar and hit enter

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Haiti in a Nutshell :)

So here are some basic point/highlights (be they good or bad) :)

Day 1: Arrival and Craziness aka Culture Shock
The flights went smoothly and we had a 2-hour bus ride form the airport to the base. That was quite a sight. The airport was like a big warehouse with a flight of stairs and some fold up tables with policemen behind them. We went through customs and then hopped on the YWAM bus and went through town. That was quite a sight as well so much devastation and so much craziness. The driver’s main tool on the road is their horn it was going almost non-stop! And just so you know there are like no rules for the road the biggest vehicles has the right of way and you better move or you'll be squashed flat. There were some times I honestly thought that we would hit either someone walking or someone on the motorcycle. The compound is surrounded by a high wall and has 2 gates one in the front and one by the new on base school building in the back. There is one big main building that has the open air cafeteria and the dorms (aka big rooms lined with bunk-beds) 1st meal... yep red beans and rice :) and yes I ate it we also had some Amazing pineapple fresh from the market. We all picked bunks after dinner and set up our mosquito netting and then took showers. They are some crazy showers it is a stall with a curtain and a pipe with a string. You pull the string and out comes water, but if you let the string go *poof* no more water, it was a little tricky at first but I got the hang of it and as you might have guessed with just a string there is no varying temp for water it is all one degree cold, but if feels amazing after the long day working or after sleeping.

Day 2: Seeing the City and Climbing a Mountain
Saturday we took a hike. We drove the edge of the city and climbed up this mountain trail all the way to the top were there were these old ruins of a French fort and overlooked the whole city. That was a HARD hike and it was so hot in the blazing sun. The view was stunning and we sat up there and prayed for the city and for the week we were about to start. The hike down was harder then the hike up (funny how you would think that would be opposite) I slipped and fell about a hundred yards from the top and scraped up/ bruised my knee, arm, and hand I felt like such a klutz. After the hike I went swimming and ate some dinner (well pineapple I was too hot to eat much else) During dinner it started pouring and it was WONDERFUL the rain+ the breeze cooled us down and the rain dropped the temp to about 87 or so.

Day 3: "Take the Shackles of my Feet so I can Dance... I just want to Praise You!"
Then on Sunday we had a very interesting day. After a rough night of sleeping and a cold shower, we visited the local prison with the prison ministry team. Just so you know American’s who break the law in the US have it great but people here are all in one cell practically on top of each other and they don't get to come out like ever (even in the courtyard) There were about 20 cells with 310 people (100 teens and 60 women). You do the math of people per cell ;) (Women had 2 cells). That was a lot to take in and I am still processing that a bit but the people there are so in love with Christ (about 220 have made professions of faith including 2 guards, all through the prison ministry) Since the base kind of has a "day off" on Sunday we played a variety of card games throughout the day. Brendon and Bruce taught Tiffany and I Uker (yeah I have no idea how to spell that but it was fun, Brendon and I won) and then I totally smeared Brendon at poker then we had church here on the base that night and it was great. We sang songs in English and Kreol (we raised our voices along with the sound of falling rain because it rained again that night, in fact it has rained all but one night while we have been here) There was one little Haitian girl who moved to my side during the singing and she grabbed my hand and didn't let go all evening and during the message she crawled up in my lap and fell asleep (she knew that phrase "what is your name" "up" and "give me" most kids know that last one though and they say it a lot.) I felt energized after church and slept better that night because it got quite a bit cooler.

Day 4: The 1st day of Working on the House
I woke up at about 5:15ish about when the sun comes up (side note: I was about to go find and kill the rooster that had been crowing since 4ish, just had to find him and a small part of the group would have fried chicken!!!) Breakfast was at 6:30 so I had plenty of time to get ready. After breakfast we all loaded into the back of 2 pickup trucks and hit the road. We drove to the village (quite a bumpy ride by the way :) and all hopped out near the foundation of the house. Each house building team sets up the foundation for the next house, unloads bricks, and makes the doors and windows too. So as soon as we were out of the truck we all put on out gloves and tackled the pile of cinderblocks near the foundation. We made chains and passed the blocks around stacking them in various piles around the foundation and on what would be the floor of the house. Those things were heavy and awkward and we were all hot, sweaty, and a bit tired once we got them moved around. But one cool thing was that right as we started people of all ages appeared out of nowhere and jumped into line and helped us :) Once that was done we started sifting dirt and mixing it with concrete to make mortar. Well, that requires water so the women of the village were carrying 5-gallon bucket fulls back and fourth from the river and pouring them into a huge garbage can so that it could be held for a while. Well Tiffany and I started to help them, that was funny apparently. It was about a 1/2-mile walk to the river and then you scooped up the water and walked back. Well, a flock of children melted out of the bushes and pointed and laughed at the "blancs" (which is what they shout at us everywhere we go) with the orange or white buckets on their head. That hike back was hard, those women make it look so easy but my neck and back and arms hurt after one time and I did it 4 more times lol each times more and more kids appeared. I cannot imagine doing that everyday multiple times becuase I knew I wouldn't volunteer for that again. That sums up that day and we apparently worked faster then most groups and we had our house walls almost all the way up :)

Day 5: Smerfs made an appearance on the worksite :)
Tuesday aka the 2nd day on the house we started stuccoing and painting all the windows and doors for the next house. We worked on painting and building doors/windows for the next 2 houses :)the blue paint wasn't water based and so it got over everything! My hands were totally blue for a while. Then sun was really hot and I drank a ton of water. I got really hot that day though and felt a little dizzy and sick to my stomach but after lunch and sitting under the one tree for a while I felt better. I poured some water on my head and started to work again. But this just wasn't going to be my day: One guy smacked me in the face while we was talking (he uses it hands as inflections just like you mom), then another guy smacked my in the shoulder with a long board he was carrying (that still hurts today which is Thursday), and then another guy smacked me in the head with a surveying tripod they used on the foundation lines of the next house. So I kind of ached in a few places by the end of the day. Went back to the base by 4:30 and did laundry by hand in some huge plastic tubs (With Tiffany, Bruce and Victor (the guys had to borrow my soap, am I the only one prepared for things? lol) after dinner. Then it rained, well poured really! But it was so, so nice and a relief from the sun.

Day 6: "Let the rain fall down..."
Then on Wednesday we went to the worksite and the walls were up! We started roofing the house and that was so great! It is amazing to see it all come together. I think the YWAM people consider PBJ's the food of missionaries because we have that everyday for lunch and it is a breakfast option too :) so I don't think I will want any of those for awhile once I get home :D It was really hard to be around the kids for awhile, not because I didn't want to be but because the most common phrase uttered was "give me!" and it is hard to say no about some things since they seem to have nothing at all. But it is getting easier it is almost as if they don't care if you say no and really you can give it to them to use and then pull the same thing with them and say "give me!" and they give it back and laugh and start the whole thing over again. I really hate to say I was kind of worried about setting stuff down becuase I thought they would take it but they don't really bother stuff, they ask for it but they don't just take it so that is good. This day thought it was a bit crazy, just about 10 or so minutes after we finished putting the last pieces of tin on the roof it started to rain, just so you know it doesn't just drizzle here once it starts it pours and then lulls. So everyone started scrambling and gathering all the tools and putting them in the nice new house, just so you know the roof doesn't leak :D the truck came to get us and we all got SOAKED on the ride home but heavy that means we didn't have to wash all the dust and dirt off our clothes that night or something like that. :)

Day 7: "The bucket must be made of gold!"
Then today we went out the Ba-la-le where 3 of the guys in our group built a house last year. It was great we got to do some serious off-roading. Tiffany and I sat in the cab with the driver so we were the only ones not covered in mud from the splashing on the road. We got stuck once but not for long the scariest section of road was a stretch of all water where at one point it was so deep the car was sort of like a boat but thankfully we didn't get stuck and Todd got some video that he is going to post on FB soon which is really cool! In the village there was even more poverty then in Timonet (where we are building) and St. Marc (where base it) and it was really sad to see but the kids and the people are so happy there even in the poverty. We had some translators and we lined all the kids up and passed out crayons and pictures and it was so FUN everyone was great and then we kicked around soccer ball with all the kids too. We spent about an hour and a half there and then went back to our house site. We put the 1st coat on the house and the second coat on all the doors and windows and then we went to play with the kids. We went to the well to fill all the water-balloons and borrowed a bucket from one lady. Well buckets are some serious things and a HUGE HUGE fight broke out. Another lady was trying to take the bucket that we were using that belonged to this other lady and there were people screaming and shouting and then some hitting and almost rock throwing. Needless to say I was a little freaked out and we dropped the whole water balloon idea and went back to the house. We gathered the kids later and passed out crayons and pictures like in Ba-la-le but WOW such a big difference in the effect. There was fighting and shoving and crying and it just wasn't fun or nice at all really. We put stuff away fast and didn't get it back out. But it calmed down quickly and we just kind of hung out with the kids. Went swimming to cool off before bed.

Day 8: "Off to the resort for a swim in the Caribbean..."
The day was ssssooooo relaxing! Even though I woke up at an obscene hour of the morning it was really relaxing also. After breakfast we went straight to the beach. A resort really, not quite like ones in America but loads better then outside the walls. Our bus went through the gate and it was a drastic difference. One side was total devastation and the other the breathtaking beauty of the ocean. It was nice to swim and relax on the beach.

Day 9: "Not such a great day..."
I spent half the day napping because I felt kinds sick but thankfully I was better by the late afternoon ( think it was cuz people home were praying) It was brutally hot that day so I think that contributed to my feeling crappy too. But I don't think anyone was feeling the greatest becuase they were all laying around sleeping and sitting. I even found one guy sleeping on the cement floor under a table because the floor was cold :)

Day 10: "The end is in sight..."
Last day is here wow!!! It seemed to go buy so fast 1/2 of me wishes to stay and 1/2 of me wished to get out as fast as possible. We dedicated the house and it was Amazing! The 2 families were so excited and it was wonderful! It was so rewarding and exciting.

Day 11: "Homeward Bound..."
I had been up since 3am because I was so afraid of sleeping in to late it was crazy. Took the 2 hour bus ride to Port-au-Prince airport and hopped on a plane. When we hit American soil I wanted to shout for joy. Tiff and I practically raced through customs and found the first pizza place there. We bought a really over priced piece of pizza and enjoyed every single bite!!! Then we had a 2.5-hour layover and then got on our plane to Chicago. Once I got there I couldn't wait to get my bag and get home. But it was late to I went to my Aunts house. Had more pizza and some ice cream too. It was delicious! Took a shower that required no effort and loved every minute. Then I jumped in a cozy bed and went to sleep in a room with AC. Ah the comforts of home. The next morning I was officially home and it was great.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

PBJ's must be considered the food of Missionaries

There they are everyday preaty much in fact we are having them for lunch this afternoon. So far they have been an option for almost every breakfast and are served to us at every lunch time while we are working. I guess cuz it is fast and simple and it won't spoil but what I really want is a PIZZA or some Mac and Cheese or something but not PBJ right now..... Anyway as you can tell Haiti food it getting to me along with those lovely PBJ's there is a ton and I mean a TON of rice. Rice with red beans, rice with red juice, rice with bean juice, and rice with chicken, and rice rice rice. It has been a little difficult but I a ok with it. If I am hungry I will eat but the main problem is I am not really that hungry due to the heat cuz as you might guess it is majorly HOT here. The sun beats down with quite an intensity. We have done a ton of things and the trip has gone really smoothly. I caved on internest acess about 3 days into the trip but I din't start blogging till today (2 days away from the end of the trip)

It has been crazy. Thankfully our group has pretty much avoided sickness (Todd got a sore throat and Brendon seemed to have an allergic reaaction to somthing) but we all are fairly healthy compared to some of the other groups. The heat and the intensity of the sun are getting to me and making me quite tired today but thankfully we don't have a ton to do since it is Sunday.

Our Home for Hope house is up and painted and ready to be dedicated tomorrow which is really exciting! I'll write more about that a soon as I get home and then I'll be able to post pictures too so. Ttyl

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Off to Haiti

Well here goes nothing. We all raised enough money to go on our trip. We leave tomorrow and fly to Miami and then to Haiti. We will be there for 12 days and I am really excited/ nervous about it. I have my bags packed (carry on and checked) and I don't think I have forgotten anything :) I am really hoping and praying that God will grow me through this trip and that it will be a life changing experience. Adios!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer so far... '10

So far:
Car wash which turns into a water fight with my little sister
A trip to Kal-Haven trails and South haven Beach which was tons of fun!
4th of July fireworks! Also amazingly fun!
And going back to my favorite city to see my favorite kids ;)

I love summer but it is flying by so so fast. I only have 9 days left till I leave for my trip to Haiti...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Long time no posts...

Not for lack of thoughts of lack of a few interesting activities but from a little laziness :)
So here is what I have been up too. I finished my spring semester and am working as a waitress (which I love :) and now I am enjoying my summer vacation so far. I have been to the beach twice :D and I have enjoyed a few cookouts/bonfires and lots and lots of sunshine. I have been to the city to visit "my kids" and I have been up to northern MI to visit my friend twice which is wonderful. Also I am planing a missions trip to Haiti with 9 other people. I am really, really excited about this trip. It will be my 1st trip WITHOUT my parents :) I have a lot to do to prepare for this trip and I would covet your prayers :) thanks and I'll update soonish

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And the new semester begins

Well here we go again. It is back to the grindstone tomorrow. I have 12 credit hours and work on the weekends. Understanding Literature, Menu Design, Classical Pastries, and Catering. It should be a good semester. I have tried to get myself organized so that the semester will start smoothly. I have all my books (yeah! for saving money, I rented them online and saved over $200!!!!!!!) and I think I am ready to get started.....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

whoosh! ..... 2010

So winter break is almost over. Did it even exist? I really felt the whole of December was a blur. Normally I am so excited for Christmas but that is because all month long we listen to Christmas music, prep for Christmas as a family, and watch Christmas movies on fridays. And I went to school and work. I feel like I just kind of drift in and out of the family and don't even know what they are doing, wait you guys went ice skating? When did that happen? Wait your going where nobody told me? It is really a different experience this year. Not that I don't like my job or enjoy school I just feel that I am slowly losing touch with my family. Somehow i feel very alone. Except last week, that was amazing! I got the chance to attend Urbana '09 in St. Louis, Missouri. I knew only one person in our group of 8 so I was really worried. But there was no reason to be :) I met my friend Kelsey in Fort Wanye at her college roommates house. Ruth (her roommate) and Daniel (Ruth's brother) were both very friendly and welcoming. We seemed to get along right away. Well we left from their house at 6:30 the next morning to drive to St. Louis. We got there in the afternoon and met David S. who had just flown in from texas. He and Kelsey had been friends since they were little, he was very friendly too and was accepting of me right away. I was starting to feel more relaxed but I knew i had yet to meet the last girl in our group and then the 2 guys that were also friends of David S. Welll I shouldn't have been worried they were amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Emily was great. She was friend.y, open, honest, witty, really just a joy to be around. Ben and David G were both amazing! They were funny, kind, considerate, and just wonderful to be around. I really, really enjoyed the Christian fellowship and the long talks too. Then it was my birthday, my 21st birthday. I was with all these new friends and they made it a memorable birthday. The guys went out and bought a bottle of wine to celebrate which was fun, but I was not really a fan of that wine so maybe a different one will be better. Anyway I miss them all and the community I felt there. How do I feel as content with God as my close companion as I did with those people there? Well now it is 2010 another semester begins in a few days I am interested to see what God as in store after this? :)


I heard once that loneliness is God calling to your heart and telling you to turn to him.