Thursday, June 29, 2006


One of my favorite things is playing soccer in the rain, which I got to do today- and in bare feet, while randomly speaking Swahili, at that! The team was a strange mixture of an American (me), people from various countries throughout Africa (Somalia, Kenya, ect) and a drunk Canadian who kept trying to show off fancy moves, dispite his poor reflexes and delayed reaction time.

People keep asking me what I am doing to celebrate Canada Day (July 1st). Well, I plan on spending it with a group of non-Canadians to celebrate a birthday! Not to be anti-Canada in any way, I just think its funny how things turned out. Hopefully watching Harry Potter in Spanish last night will have improved my comprehension of the language, as I will be with Salvadorians and Guatemalans for most of the weekend.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Experiences from camp

Sleeping on the chapel floor with Becca
An underwear party
Swimming in boy's swimming trunks
6 cups of tea every morning
Awake at 6:30 am every morning
Oreos and peanut butter (of course!)
Public speaking 8 days in a row
Sleeping in the same twin bed as Hannah
Afternoon tea with Elise as she tells me the best places to visit in Amsterdam
Reading the letters campers wrote to kids in Uganda
Up to my elbows in bracelets little girls wanted to share with others
Having God send a down-pour just for me
Watching 'The King and I' because I miss Thailand
Question and answer time with Dot
And of course- daily back massages!

Monday, June 26, 2006

My 13th Year (at Hilltop Christian Camp)

I feel so affirmed, so loved, so beautiful, so young, so old, so...blessed!!!
The car that returned from camp was loaded with bags of donated T-shirts, boxes full of letters written by campers and bracelets. And I am told there is more to come!
The T-shirts are mostly Hilltop Camp T-shirts and will be taken with me to Thailand, the scriptures on them will be used as a tool to tell the wearers about Jesus.
The letters and bracelets will accompany me to Uganda- letters which tell these amazing and brave children that they have been prayed for and that they are loved by children all throughout Indiana.
One says: "WWJD --Walk With Jesus Daily--" what that must mean for a child who daily must walk miles and miles to sleep 'safely'. Lisa, the little girl who wrote it asked me if it was a silly thing to write-- 'Oh no. It's perfect.'
Her sister surprised me, giving me 2 garbage bags full of clothing and some stuffed animals. She hugged me and exclaimed: " I only have 7 outfits left!" Wow, a girl entering 4th grade.
Reagan promised me the first hug after she was baptised- coming out of the pool, she pushed the towel out of the way and ran into my arms- I've never been so glad for a soaking shirt.
My collection of bracelets includes a beautiful wooden one- unique against the the prizes and leftover gifts (not that they are not cherished and wanted!) because it belonged to this girl before camp and was still warm from her wrist when it was pressed into my hand.
And an orange cloth bracelet, precious because it was important to the woman who gave- yet gave it even though I had bags and bags of identical bracelets; 'it's the right thing to do.'
A week and a half full of amazing children, smiling faces and plenty of hugs.
And now... to sleep in my own bed!

Hilltop Christian Camp

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Well rested and well fed.

I slept last night. That's actually significant because I hadn't slept in 2 days. Possibly having to do with the fact that I had slept for about 24 hours in a period of 2 days. I'm not lazy! I was sick.

It feels so good to be home. sitting in the warm sunlight, feasting, laughing as we talk about morbid things, dancing on the porch, mayonaise in my hair, a hot tub- it's good to be home.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Something Amazing is About to Happen

I don't know what I am doing this summer.
For some people, thats normal- but not for me. Especially now that I am serving in Winnipeg.
Our summer program being canceled is (as I hate to admit it) sort of a relief. I was not looking forward to it; it meant giving up so much of what I am passionate about. Well, at least laying those things down for a while.
However, I still don't really have a clue.
And normally, that would set me into panic-mode.
But I'm not worried. What's there to worry about? God's in control, and I know He has a plan He is working on.
And maybe the most remarkable part is that, although I think I will be in Winnipeg for the summer; I am excited! Not excited to be in Winnipeg, but being in Winnipeg and having something that still energizes me and makes me not want to sit still is amazing. Even if I have no idea what that something is.
Earlier this year, I thought June meant I would be going to Thailand. Now, I think that was meant for next year, but I'm not totally ruling it out! So much has already changed, who's to say that is immune?

I can't imagine a quiet summer- something big is brewing...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Suddenly This City Shrunk

The bus door opened and a very excited Crystal came flying out, throwing herself at me in one of her wonderful, crazy hugs. Reminded me of Tuesday when the van came to do pick ups for youth group, I knocked on Adrian's door and she ran straight at me and gave me a giant bear hug; the type that knock the wind out of you.
That's why I love helping with LBE.
I had vowed to not help with Kid's Church today, just wait until the kids arrived so that I could hug them (because I don't know when I am volunteering with LBE next). I recieved a month's worth of hugs, stayed for worship then left. I did leave, I was walking down the street. And then someone called me back and I got designated to be a hall monitor, and then later, as a chaperone/referee on a bus.

Went to the park to do some reading. Those guys who I met yesterday? Saw 4 of them at the park today. Now, this isn't a huge city, but I shouldn't run into them 2 days in a row at two very different, random places.
And then I went to a church event. Standing infront of the church, I saw a woman who I have seen before when helping with LBE. She asked what was happening in the church and I tried to explain, but then just said, "see for yourself" and invited her in with me. People kept asking me to introduce my friend, who I had to ask remind me of her name. The service started and I leaned over and said (as if by now she had no idea) " oh, yeah, it's in Spanish."
So that was my random day.
Well, I didn't mention the clothing give-away that started my day, but that feels so long ago it might as well be last week.

Friday, June 09, 2006

On Kennedy Street

I just spent the last 2 hours hanging out with some African men (and by generalizing Africa I am being serious [because I hate when people talk about Africa like its a country] Ghana, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya). I got to learn new words in the Dinka language (a southern Sudanese tribe) and have 4 people talk to me once, all in different accents.
They smoked a joint, shared cigarettes and asked if I was in the FBI. Well, thats Winnipeg for ya.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I'm excited (if you couldn't tell)

strawberries until you get sick of them... biggest blackberries you've ever seen... biscuits and gravy... krispy kreme donuts... midnight milkyways...
a hot tub waiting for me... warmth... wild flowers... stars... my cat... laundry that isn't coin operated... and the list could continue, but it won't.
I get to go home in 1 week!!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

If by chance I ever get old...

Helping serve soup at a drop-in center today I met the kind of woman I want to be when I grow up. At first I thought she was just senile or something-'I'm going to Nairobi in 10 days' this wrinkled, little old lady tells me, ' I need to start packing.' She was wearing a yellow and green Caribbean-style print dress with a blue floral print house coat over top. The pockets of the house coat were a lighter color, giving the appearance that she was wearing it inside out, and only feeding my assumption that she was just old and loosing her mind.

Nope, its genuine- this 81 year old woman started an orphanage in the Kibera slum of Nairobi (along with 6 feeding programs) and this will be her 10th trip- at 81 years old! I want to be like that when I get old (not that I will ever grow up).

Monday, June 05, 2006

tech support makes me laugh

It is pouring down rain. One of those cool things to watch... the sky grows darker, a few drops, people sprint down the street to reach shelter, and then the pouring starts.
I've been told this means the end of those worms!!!

I spent much of my morning on the phone, talking with computer support because the battery for my laptop is dead. In good timing as well, the warranty expires in 18 days! I guess I'm lucky.
It was one of those conversations that just left me laughing after it was over, wondering if the man had heard a word of what I had told him.
If the battery is dead, then the computer will not start without the adapter plugged in (this was immediately after we ran a test to see where my battery power was at- 0%)
If you can't repeat the registered address for security purposes, then it is stupid to later tell me the shipping address for verification purposes
If the battery is dead, then there is no point in running a test that requires 25% battery power
And the hold music varied from opera to Eye of the Tiger, starting my day of with a good laugh

Sunday, June 04, 2006

After the Leader's Retreat

My stomach is full, as it always is after any event involving LBE (Living Bible Explorers). I think the name should be changed to something involving food.
They served the longest hotdogs I have ever seen, almost everyone was scolded for starting on the dessert before the food was ready, and we had a rousing competition of Fris-knock.
Fris-knock is indeed the English term, it is a fun game using a frisbee and 2 glass bottles; I am sure is going to be famous soon and make the inventor a lot of money. I have to brag- my partner and I won the last game and beat the other two teams claiming to be the champions. However, a sad loss resulted from one of the games- my coconut ring broke. I am still sad about it. It was from Thailand, and I won't be able to get another one (from Thailand) until next year. (Jenna, I have heard they sell them in Brazil, Christmas present???) The ring broke, but I caught the frisbee, so my competitive side cheers me on for the sacrifice.
And we managed to stuff 23 people in a 15 passenger van. I thought it was only (!) 21 at first, and then I was informed that two others were lying under the seats, which was confirmed when I heard two faint voices answer when their names were called and saw a suspicious hand rise from the very back of the van- almost creepy actually.
That has to be a record of some sort, just imagine for a moment what that looks like, and how low the van must have been to the ground.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Envy Me

I would like to announce that I have one of the greatest friends in the universe. You should all be jealous. She has offered to drive from Michigan for about 6 hours to Indianapolis, to pick me up, drive back to Michigan, let me stay at her house, then to drive me back to Indianapolis so that she in turn has to drive back to Michigan.
Now, I am not sure if this will work out or not, but the fact that she offered makes her amazing.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Who needs a tv?

I informed someone the other day that our tv only is useful for playing dvds and nothing else. They seemed to feel sorry for me, oh, if they only knew!

Watching the house across the street is just as (if not more than) entertaining as television, and much more surprising. For example, I have no idea who lives there. It is a small house, barely a second story to it. Yet I manage to see 20 different people a day going in and out. All different nationalities and ages, too.
Just a moment ago, two men were sitting on the front lawn, both rather drunk. They were yelling at eachother, demanding that the other stand up so that they could fight. One was Jamaican, I think, but the accent was hard to distinguish because every word out of his mouth was slurred.
The kids from the house never fail to make me laugh. Their bedroom is the second-story of the house and the bunkbed is right up against the window. The kids frequently dangle their bodies in a most unsafe fashion out the window. And there is sure to be one wearing just a diaper, if that much either standing in one of the two windows which faces the street, or out on the porch.
And I question if they have a bathroom, because much too often on of the little ones uses the bush to 'do their business'.

As I said, who needs a TV?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Complaint Against Worms

I hate these horrible worms that hang from the trees! I can’t even go on a short walk without having to pick these little green worms off of my clothes and out of my hair. Its disgusting. And the fact that the trees are all dripping sap doesn't help, because I can't get out of my mind the idea that I have worm-urine all over me.

I love honesty, its great. Especially from pan-handlers. Maybe they are more sensitive because they are used to people lying to them about not having any spare change. I ran into two of these honest men today, they asked me for some spare change "to buy some alcohol and get high." Well, I purposely left the house today with only keys in my pocket. So no, I did not have any spare change. The man smiled and asked, "Well at least a hug and a kiss?" So I blew him a kiss, which he caught as I walked away laughing.
4 hours later, as I was walking back from Sage House, I saw one of the girls I know from there and the man she was with shouted at me, “Give me a kiss!” She jokingly slapped him, but it made me wonder if he knew…

On my way to Sage House I saw a woman wearing lipstick that was an amazing color- a bright mixture of red and orange, but with slightly more orange. And it was smeared all over her face- I don't just mean her lips (and they looked as if she obviously had not had a mirror) but there was a line on her forehead. A verticle line from the middle of her forehead down to almost inline with her eyes. For some reason I questioned her sobriety.

The other laughable thing today was the woman I saw pushing a large trashcan (the kind with wheels) down the street. Maybe it was a recycling can, I’m not sure. But is not everyday you see a woman in a skirt pushing a trashcan almost as large as her down the street, accompanied by 2 others who were carrying groceries, and I cannot even begin to assume where she was going with it or why.