Monday, September 25, 2006

Pictures

Remember the little girls who stole the flowers? Josie and Angela
These are the little girls I promised to share pictures of

Jen, Gift and Charity- Gale


My daughter, Jeanette- I love her, she is such a sweetie!

Keep reading further down, I wrote lots and lots on here today because I finally have internet again!

Farewell and Thanks


The Indian Summer is taking its last breaths, but I'm thankful for the extended warmth just the same. It has been a wonderful break from winter coats and gloves.

I said my good-byes to the few brave folk who had come out for a game of soccer- it was a small group, even with the little boys who joined in at the end. 2 Canadians, an Iraqi, and someone from Cameroon and an audience of my adopted grandmother (who is Peruvian). I hugged them all and hoped that we would have a few more days warm enough for soccer, or else I might not see them until next summer.
I walked home the long way, sweaty and tired, a wonderful tired from running and laughing. It is probably the last time I will wear shorts in Canada all year. I contemplated all the things I had to be thankful for over the summer:

- practice in swahili, spanish and a few lessons in portuguese
- a new nickname- which means 'rice'
- a free pair of sun glasses
- a free beautiful wool coat
- finally finding not only one, but 2 churches to call home
- lice (no, I don't have it again, but it is something that I am thankful for- it means lots of hugs and getting to know the little girls better)
- the office moving; which is now a regular stop-point for kids on their way to school
- learning the street names of marijuana and crack-cocaine
- getting to be a doula
- eating ingera, puposas and other 'ethnic' (amazing!) foods for the first time
- a list of people who's houses i can stay at for a night, a week or even months
- parking garage attendants who know me and brighten my day
- a neighborhood full of children to give fresh-baked cookies to
- not able to walk around downtown without seeing someone i know
- evenings full of soccer with great guys
- even the not-nice guys who make me realize how lucky i am that i have protectors and temporary big-brothers
- little sisters and pretend daughters
- some of the hardest days of my life, but great lessons learned
- realizing why i was called to this city
- embracing the fact that i am incapable and rejoicing in that

Sunday, September 24, 2006

holding on with both hands

Last Sunday, I sat at church. A break from a busy week. A drink. A burst of energy from even just sitting on a chair. Or perhaps from the many hugs I recieve. Or the offers to pray for me. Or the opportunity to pray for others.

As the service came to a vauge close, prayers rising up from all around, I look around to see my friend, sobbing. Her head was pressing into her boyfriend's shoulder, her body shaking with sobs. Her pants were soaked because of the rain-drenched weekend, and her hair was un-washed and messy, but still somehow managed to look beautiful. Her dirty, stained fingers intwined within her boyfriend's two hands. Their fingers were discolored almost the same shade, creating a puzzle to discover who's hand was who's. It was the best, most beautiful comfort being offered; to hold her hand in both his hands because sometimes that extra grip makes all the difference.
I sat beside her, laid my head on her shoulder, as if I could comfort her at all. But perhaps the knowledge that someone else saw and cared would help, even if just a little. I brought her a tissue, watched her dry her eyes and then walked away, admiring the beauty of the homeless couple holding eachother.

It reminded me that humans are helpless, no matter if we are homeless or not. Tears shed for her dying grandmother, a situation she cannot help and cannot change. She needs God just as much as I need God. She needs bus fare to visit her grandmother in the hospital, but visiting won't change the diagnosis.

The picture still easily pops into my mind; the smelly, slightly-high, beautiful couple holding hands in church.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I accidentally cut myself with a knife

The amazing thing about that is that it was with a butter knife. I didn't think it was possible, but I rammed the knife so hard at the object in my hand that it actually broke the skin (not enough to bleed), broke the nail and will probably bruise. I guess the title of this post should also have added that I bruised myself with a knife.
And I gave myself another cut with cardboard. 2 objects that are supposed to be child-save, I guess I am an exception.

Interesting happenings today:
Walking over the bridge to visit my friend this morning I see a little old lady infront of me. Just before walking off the bridge she picks up a soaking wet sweater crumpled up against the sidewalk. She holds it out, then gently lays it across the railing as if it were a clothes line. I wonder what she does when she finds a shoe on the ground.

On my way back from getting the mail I passed a very interesting-looking old man; for starters, he was wearing a woman's fake fur dress coat. It was black with a leopard print on it. He was also pushing an empty dollie down the street as he wobbled a little while he walked- I guess a dollie is a good substitute for a walker.

I crossed the street infront of a car with two individuals in the front seat. The window rolls down and someone whistles at me. I hate when people do that- especially when I am in my giant winter coat- I just do not look the least bit attractive. So I gave the car a dirty look, only for the girl to roll down her window the rest of the way and call out between her giggles, "Gotcha!"
It would have been less creepy if I had some idea who the girl was, but it was funny just the same.

Monday, September 11, 2006

People talk too much

A few days ago I met three little girls, fresh from Africa. They had been in Canada for 7 days when I met them. Poor things, winter is just around the corner. They couldn't speak English, but communication through speech is over-rated. We had a leaf fight and they chased me around in the park. The next day I saw them again; they were learning Canadian culture-shaking my hand. I laughed, hugged them and picked one up and swung her around, pretending to drop her on the sidewalk. Spend a few hours communicating without words- its very important.

Sitting too quietly at the park, a few friends and I created our own music- a water bottle drum, a set of keys as a tamborine and 'Z' as our dancer. We decided to call him 'Z' just yesterday because none of us knew his name, and if you spend time with someone on a regular basis for over a month, you should know their name. If not, create one.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Autumn comes early to the coldest city in North America

For whoever wants to doubt me about the facts of "Winterpeg"- look it up

Everything feels like fall.
The sharp, crisp air. Just waiting for all the leaves to drop. Playing soccer with long sleeves. Night comes earlier and the only thing I crave is hot coffee and apple cider. Hay rides seem about time... that would be a sight to see Downtown!
Fall arrived yesterday at about 3:50 pm. The first part of the day was sunny and warm. Then, the wind picked up, the temperature dropped and fall had arrived. No transition, although some would argue going from 25 degrees celsius to 10 degrees is a good transition for the coming weather of -10!
Wednesday all I wanted was some icecream, and I walked for about half an hour to get some. Today, I wore a wool sweater and drank plenty of hot coffee, amazing how quickly the weather changes here. And in only September!

Yesterday I did a frightening thing; I mailed off my passport to get my visa to go to Uganda. I handed it over to the man at the post office, in a hurry and very anxious. Today, sitting in someone's livingroom, listening to details about contractions and going into labor I remembered having mailed it off. Aaahhhh!!!
Please pray that we get our visas and that everything goes well with that. In precisely 28 days we leave on an airplane for Uganda, about 20-some hours later we will arrive in Entebbe airport. Please keep me in your prayers. Oh, and sign up to pray for the prayer project, because we need more people to sign up www.guluprayerproject.blog.com

Friday, September 01, 2006

Honestly?

I'm pretty good at putting on one of those masks that always smiles. And its even easier to make things sound all hunky-dory when its written. But things aren't.
I'll skip too many details and other things which are pulling me down, which means either giving fake names or just saying 'my friend' over and over again, and just mention the major one.
I guess reading my sister's blog, which was sad and not at all happy-go-lucky, made it easier for me to 'voice' some of the stuff of today.

11 year olds shouldnt be mature. they should be silly and goofy and disrespectful. they should complain about their parents, ask too many questions and get on your nerves. they should be naive and annoying.
11 year olds shouldnt be mistaken for drug dealers. 11 year olds should have someone who cares where they are all day. 11 year olds should have better role models than gang members. 11 year olds shouldnt take a nap on a car hood just because its warm. 11 year olds shouldnt lean their head on my shoulder and act like i'm their mom. 11 year olds shouldnt have tatoos. 11 year olds shouldnt be one of my informants. 11 year olds shouldnt be so well protected. 11 year olds shouldnt wear whatever color they want.
11 year olds shouldnt know so much.

a good thing which happened last week was the 16 year old who got kicked out of his house, sucked into the drug scene because the person who 'charitably' let him live there was invovled in such activity and stepping into gang stuff- back at his parents home now! i realize it doesnt solve everything, but it sure helps a lot!

and the lice is gone. i dont know for how long, because with moving the office, we are right around the corner from where the girl who most recently shared the little insects with me live. i've already seen her (and the little eggs which are visible to the eye without even getting too close) about 3 times today.

Sometimes I wish I could write more. But it's probably a good thing that I don't. I don't want to be abusive and splash people's lives all over my blog and justify it because I didnt use their name or this is actually helping them in some twisted way.
Should we always feed the hungry?
Would God heal someone of an injury they recieved by harming someone else?
If someone gets a sex change and then becomes a Christian, should they get another operation back to their original gender, return to living as the gender they were created with, or stay with the way they physically are- and what about future relationships?