Saturday, October 27, 2007

Supposed to....

Biruk's Dad was supposed to arrive yesterday.

I say supposed to because he is still in Ethiopia.

And their family still doesn't know whats going on- they have been pushed and pulled since May of this year. They were told their dad was coming in May, then the person in charge of his case went on vacation for a few months and no one knew who to contact or where they were at in the process. Then he was coming in August. Then in September. He was officially supposed to arrive a few days ago.

What is going on!?!?!?!

I feel so frustrated for them- a family who involuntarily has been split up for 5 or more years all because of issues with getting a visa for one person to come to Canada. I'm not quite sure where the fault falls, but I assume it must be Canada, as they are the ones issuing the visa and getting all those things ready.

Rather than rant for the next few lines, please pray for this family. It's really not fair to them at all and they are doing everything they know to do.
The youngest boy is 9 years old, he hasn't seen his father since he was 4. Now he is going to school, making lots of friends and playing soccer.
The daughter is a beautiful teenage girl who looks older than she is, and doesn't like taking commands or advice from her big brothers about not going to parties or dances.
Biruk hasn't seen his dad since he was 14, his dad hasn't even seen a picture of him since then (he was absent from the last family photos that they sent to their father). So his dad will have no idea what he looks like.

It just isn't fair- please pray for this. They need their father.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Special Request

I sent off my visa application for Brazil today- please pray that they accept my visa and don't loose my passport in the mail!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mid-term blues or senioritis?

I am so frustrated with school. It took my about 2 hours to do a simple assignment, not because it was hard, but because it was so easy, stupid, demeaning and tedious that I would get angry and stop.Anyone as a freshman or sophmore in college should know how to cite a bibliography in MLA (or know where to find that information, because I doubt most people know off the top of their heads) and know how to use the call numbers to locate library books. I would never say that the Owen Valley was a great contribution to my education, but it appears so here at college.
I thought college was supposed to give you a taste of the real world, but it feels anything but that.

I ended up having to walk out of the library because I was just so frustrated I was either going to cry because of what a waste of my life this whole semester seems (except for the one class that I enjoy- Racial and Cultural minorities, that sadly, probably won't transfer, but I am learning so much it's worth it) or start screaming because I was angry. All this money and time and I have assignments for looking up random books that we aren't using for any research papers and aren't writing about at all, just practicing how to cite them.

Today I am still frustrated with school. And frustrated that I don't know where I am going to go. I've known for a long time what I want to be- a social worker. I have ideas of what I want to do with that and where I want to go. But where to go to get my education for that? I never thought that would be such a hard question to find the answer to, perhaps I'm making it harder than it really should be.

I really like my job, and it sort of makes me sad that I have to tell my boss that I am transfering and moving out of state. The people are really nice and fun to work with. There are the moms, the one lady who's husband comes in at the end of all her shifts to pick her up and go grocery shopping together- it's so cute. There is the funny, sort of ditsy girl who has a new crush every week and does things to make everybody laugh. There's the two boys with the same name but completely different personalities. There's the older man who I call "Bobber" and joke around with- everyone jokes with him. There is the manager who smokes and just found out she has emphazema (however it's spelled) and mentions atleast once a day that her house caught fire a few years ago and they moved to a new one- no matter how unrelated to the conversation it may be. And there's the newly engaged kid who reminds me of my brother- full of himself, thinks he knows it all, often gets it right, gets away with whatever he wants with the managers (there is the story that a manager once caught him sitting inside of a cardboard box talking on his cellphone while he was supposed to be working)- we talked about drugs and such for about an hour last time we worked together.

Before the week is up I will (hopefully) have sent out my passport for Brazil, I have the 4th application infront of me. The other ones I kept messing up, like checking too many boxes for my education (which I don't understand how it is relevant for a tourist visa). I got my passport photos taken today, and I felt so silly writing a check for $2.00, but I really only had 1.00 in my wallet. And someone gave me 2 big envelopes, which was very sweet of them. It still hasn't sunk in that I get to go to Brazil and see my sister in the middle of winter. I'm really excited, but it doesn't seem real enough yet.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall Break

I had a wonderful weekend that began on Wednesday evening, when I ran for both my flights, had all my luggage opened and sorted through when I arrived in Canada (but what's traveling if nothing exciting happens; like boarding an airplane breathless?)

On a random note- I have found a very effective way to use 'enter' (because my enter button is broken and I lost the small rubber piece that belongs with it). I thought; the piece I lost was rubber, so a rubber hair band must work, too. It's one of those small ones for corn rows or the like, and it actually works better than the other button-piece-thingy I was using before. Second advantage: I have an endless supply!

My weekend was great, and busy. I got to see a few people. But the quality time was good. I got to see my friend who my last post was about (we did not meet downtown, because he was worried about getting jumped.) I haven't seen him outside of jail in over a year- he is like a new person! His personality is the same, what he laughs about, ect, but his character is different. He doesn't get angry easily, he has a more down-to-earth conversations, he cares about people in ways he didn't before; concrete ways, not just vauge hopes that something nice would happen to them.

There were others I got to see, as well. It was interesting to talk to them and catch up, and just be a listener and encourager, because I can't fill the role I used to because I won't be there, I haven't been there for two months.

While I was in Winnipeg, my Canadian family invited me to go to Nepal with them- they are going to live there for a few months. Oh, how tempting! But I already am making radical changes, I just don't have the time to go to Nepal (among a few other issues that would arise if I decided to drop my life and go serve in an orphanage at the foot of Mount Everest...)

Of course- I got to see my boyfriend who I have really, really missed and spend time with part of his family. Like running through Wal-Mart with his little brother to get a Halloween costume (the boy didn't want to run, but I got him to do it) and dancing with his sister.

After 1/2 a decade (perhaps longer) they will see their father again- he is supposed to arrive on Thursday or Friday. So their house was a little hectic with major cleaning going on, lots of food being prepared and decorations being put up.
I would love to meet his dad, but not the first few days he arrives, that should just be the family.

However, I left him a pair of gloves, which he will need immediately because Winnipeg was cold for me the few days I was there, which I incomparable to someone who has been practically living on the equator.

Please keep this in your prayers, as there still may be some probelms... which is incredibly frustrating. It makes me so mad that the embassy doesn't care that they are ripping apart a family by making this take longer. What other requirements does he need to come to Canada as an immigrant other than his wife and children are there?
But that's a whole other subject...

I asked some friends if anything exciting happened in Spring Arbor while I was gone. "Nope, same old same old."
Then later, they mentioned that there had been tornadoes over the weekend. "Well, it wasn't THAT exciting. We just had to go into the basements. No one died or anything. Well, no one in Spring Arbor died."
Then what's your standard for something exciting happening?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This is the stuff of life

My friend got in a fight.
I'm so proud of him.
I'm so happy.
Too happy and proud to scold him for fighting.

I used to visit him 2-3 times a month at the youth correctional center. He was the first who I visited, it was because of him that I was able to get clearance as a pastor to go into juvenile detetion centers and visit the residents on a one-on-one basis instead of in a group setting such as chapel. And with gang-members (who are not allowed to attend chapel).

He has been out for a little over a month now.

He's in a tech school for elecrical work starting next month because the city schools wouldn't take him because of his past behavior (oh how one's past haunts them over and over again).

He saw one of his former friends, a gang brother and told him that he didn't want to hang out with them or be a part of that which led to a fight.
And I can't stop smiling as I think about that.

But it's the first step of many that he will have to face of separating himself from his past.
Please keep him in your prayers, because situations similiar to that one, which led to a fight are sure to come up again and again as he and his family still reside in the same city. It has to be a continual, daily effort to fight against the stuff that so many people keep throwing at him and tempting him with. But he can do it, I know he can.
And this fight gives me hope for that.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne may have a slight influence, as well

So, I just had a boy who is a pastor 'veet' my legs-which is something like removing the hair without shaving; its a lotion of sorts. My legs are quite soft now.
I have 2 weeks left until Fall Break.
A few days ago I went on a field trip to Detroit, it was my first time being there. It was a boring field trip where we spent most of the time in the van looking out the window. However, it was very important to me because it was clarification that I cannot stand this dinky little town. I need a city. I need transportation. I need places were I can walk to. I need an apartment where people are loud at night.
So I think I am gonna transfer colleges. I reserve the right to change my mind again at anytime, without notice or consideration of the reader. However, this has been on my mind for more than a week, which is a good sign to me. See- I have been the most flighty person since this whole re-entry thing. I am moody with my life. One day I love my life and recognize that I am one of the most blessed people on the planet. The next day I am so frustrated; I want more than this, I want to be graduated already, I feel so selfish that I'm not serving anyone or helping anyone. Then I think about if I stay here, could I maybe graduate earlier? Is that a good reason to stay or is that selfish, because what I want to do after I graduate is help other people. I have a chance at a good education, I shouldn't just rush through it.
Last week I changed my life around on a daily basis.
I think I'll do this. Next day: No, actually I'm gonna do nothing that resembles that at all.
But for a consistent week I have contemplated transfering.
Its not set in stone, there have been no applications filled out, I haven't begun to organize things with my academic advisor, but it's been playing out in my head.
I haven't been set on the WHERE of my transfering for enough days to mention that, however. Maybe in my next post. Here is what has been consisent, however: not in Michigan. Despite my liking of Michigan and wanting to be in a city- I have no desire to go to Detroit. The fieldtrip helped in that respect, as well.
Who would have guessed that a class fieldtrip would be one of the final straws in my decision to not attend that school anymore?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Sunday I went to a chruch to listen to a friend of mine preach.
The service took me back in time and across countries- being hours upon hours long, lots of spontaneous singing and clapping. They were such a sweet church, driving 20 minutes out of their way to pick us up in the morning.
In a 15 passenger van and a white limo.
The church had a ridiculously long name, this is the acronym: NGBTCAF.
The church was much smaller than the name, but very sweet and wanting to cook us food. They realized that lots of us are not from Michigan and don't get home cooked food for a long time, so they wanted to help us out, not just that one Sunday, but on a regular basis.
Yes, this is a BIG hint. If there are college students near where you live, find a group that is from out of state or out of town and invite them over for a good meal.

Today I cleared up 2 things- I took a writing assessment to test out of my Sophmore-level English class (and how I wish that you could see the many times I just mis-spelled sophmore, perhaps I won't pass that test...) and turned in my outline for my proposal paper to waive my Cross Cultural.
My back-up plan for if they don't waive my cross cultural: Transfer schools, because I'm still considered a sophmore by a few credits, I could do it.
2nd back-up plan: go to Greece. But, with as much as I love to travel, I don't want ot go there with my school. Perhaps it is because I like to travel that I don't want to go on a tour group with 30 other teenagers as they roam around museums and be perfect aims for muggings and listening to people blab about this and that statue- i want to see it for myself, experience it on my own terms and whims.
Tomorrow I am spending the day in Detroit (that is, after my lab, and my test). It should be fun. I don't know what seems like more fun- getting to see Detroit, or getting out of the bubble of Spring Arbor and into a city?