Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas List

Our flights today were late or delayed. But that's alright; the plan was to come a day early to DC, because traveling out of Canada in December is usually a recipe for delayed flights, so in arriving early, we wouldn't have to worry about missing our flight.

However, during the delay just sitting on the plane, Biruk and I made our Christmas lists from the SkyMall magazine.
Okay, not really- because I don't want someone getting the idea that I really want any of these things. However, if anyone wants a gun that shoots marshmallows, there are two different ones to choose from! Really? Two different companies created guns which shoot marshmallows?

Or how about a game that uses your brainwaves to solve an obstacle course? It's called the 'Telekinetic Obstacle Course". Hm... that just makes me think I would get a headache. But maybe I really can move a tiny fan which causes a ball to move by simply thinking about it, as this game suggests. Pay $99.95 to find out.

Now, I don't have a pet. But if I did, I think I would be trying to prevent the thing from constantly climbing on my furniture, not buying it a set of stairs to make access to my furniture more accessible. But, if you do want these stairs, they only cost $200.

Want to know your dog's DNA? I'm guessing if you're into dog shows and want to enter your dog, you already know his or her DNA and have the papers. But if you're a simple pet owner and want to know your pet's genetics; here's the perfect gift! You have to go to your vet and get a blood sample, then, 3 weeks later, you'll know what breed or breeds your dog is! Only $125. But if you have to go to the vet anyways, couldn't they just tell you?

The ad began by emphasising how comfortable the passenger sleeping on the plane must be. However, the person looks nearly dead, or at least passed out, on a small, plush hill which is resting on his legs. The man is leaning forward, face smashed against the gigantic pillow. I wish I had a picture to show! But I'm also wondering how the man even got the big pillow on the plane, because I woudn't fit overhead or under the seat. Imagine sitting down and having a pillow tall enough to reach to your chin- a little big for an airplane.

Now, I couldn't choose between these two. Both are my favorite for being the most ridiculous:

"Golfers- rid yourself of those ugly sock tan lines forever. If you always feel like people are gawking at your white feet and the unsightly tan lines around your ankles when you wear sandals or pumps, then you need the Solafeet food tanner. Those tan lines can be gone in 5 to 10 days with just fifteen minutes a day...the Solafeet is ideal for flip-flop wearers, tennis players and joggers." So, for $230.00 you can--duh duh duh: Tan your feet!

"Shape-up Pads. Add sexy curves without surgery. Just place them (which are white-people-flesh colored silicone bumps) inside your pants or undergarents to create extra curves instantly. They are lightweight with washabe and reusable silicone adhesive, they adapt to body temp and mold to body shape. They stay put even when dncing or exercising."
Exercising? You're going to insert silicone blobs in your butt when exercising?
Wait! You're gonig to insert silicone blobs in your butt, period?

So, I am in the United States at this moment. But only for the moment, I'm going to Ethiopia tomorrow.
The hotel is really nice.
Burik and I hardly ate because we had to rush to catch our next flight. Which was delayed for 2 hours. We arrived in DC after 12 am, meaning any restauraunts in walking distance were closed. So we ran to the near-by gas station. Twice. But now we're not so hungry and watching the Tiger Woods News while Biruk tries to call Addis Ababa, since I gave him the wrong arrival time in Addis- 4 hours off!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Invisible Daniel

My first thought has evolved from 'church talks'. The congregation that Biruk and I go to has been looking at the book of Daniel. Someone gave an imaginative modern-day representation of Shadrach, Meishach, and Abednego not bowing down to the idol and facing the furnace for not obeying their boss because they did not want to worship money or a business and were 'fired'. It was cute, but more so- thought provoking. We can still face idols today that we might be demanded to bow before. Often, I don't even think about some things as idols, and I might very well be worshiping them with my time and finances.

And then the thought occurred to me. Where's Daniel?
We know where Shadrach, Meishach and Abednego are; they are in front of the king, saying that God is able to save them, and even if he doesn't- they still aren't going to worship (which I find so powerful; 'and even if He doesn't' has so much faith, even in the seemingly doubt because there is a chance that He might not.) And then we know where they are because they are in the fire. Walking around! And Jesus is right there with him- a fourth man who looks like the Son of God.

Pretty powerful. If I was them, I'm sure I would have thought that I was dead. Okay- we're in the fire. It doesn't hurt anymore. And we see God. I would definitely think that I was dead.

And still the question; where is Daniel?
He's not mentioned in this chapter at all. The only chapter he's not mentioned in in the book he supposedly wrote (for the record, I do think that he wrote it).
Did the brave young man who had the faith to not eat the 'unclean' food crack and bow before the idol? And if so, why doesn't he mention his screw up? It's almost prideful to put all this glitz on the 3 amigos who are faithful and then not mention his downfall- as if he was covering up for himself.
Or maybe, he's being really nice and letting the random 3 guys who aren't ever mentioned again have the spot light in the middle of his book. He steps aside and lets this powerful story be told, even without him in the lime light.

My thoughts? I think he bowed. He got scared. He probably 'prayed about it' and convinced himself that there was a way around it; when he bowed he would start praising God in whispers so that his worship would be directed towards God instead of the idol. Or he would just be 'sick' that day and weasle out of the whole sitatuion. Instead of facing it and putting his faith in action he chickened out.
And then he felt terrible about it. He was so ashamed and so upset; he confessed to God and asked for strength. And God gave him the words to interpret the visions of the King; scary words to say to the most powerful leader in the world: 'uh- you're gonna go crazy and lose everything.'
And when he was faced with a similar obstacle, he did have the strength and the determination to face it and be faithful; he prayed. And faced a den full of lions because of it.
I think we read of a stronger Daniel (one who is human- flawed and failed, who chose to learn from his mistakes and seek the grace of God) because of this 'invisible Daniel' in chapter 3. But really, it's all speculation and I don't know.

What do you think? Where is Daniel and did he bow or not?

We leave on our trip in 2 days and arrive in Ethiopia in 4 days. I am really excited, but it's almost a forced excitement, having to will myself to look forward.

I remember feeling this way in Winnipeg- this horrible loneliness that makes we wonder if I'm slightly depressed. When I moved to Winnipeg it took me months to stop hating it; and it was only when I came to terms that it was okay to hate it that I really got over it. I still don't like that city, but I do miss plenty of people there.

And now, here in Edmonton I feel similar. It's a strange mixture; because I love seeing Biruk all the time. It's like a light went back on and that dreaded 'missing him' is gone. I love spending time with him.
But in not missing him, I now miss everyone else in my life.
And really, if the choice is (and it may very well be): to live in here in Edmonton and hate it, but be with Biruk or live somewhere else that I love and not be near Biruk, I'll take hating Edmonton.
But I hope that I don't have to hate Edmonton. I hope that I can love it here and build a life here.

I felt the worst when I lived at my other apartment. Biruk noticed almost immediately when I moved to my new apartment that I didn't complain of feeling so lonely. The new environment has helped immensely. But it's wearing off.
I think my biggest struggle is not having made any friends. And I've been here for 5 months. And it makes me question if I even can make friends here.

When we return in January, I'm starting my internship. Hoping that being busy and feeling like I have a sense of purpose again will help. I truly hope that this is just a phase that will pass and then I'll love living here.

And if it's not then I am not going to apply for permanent residency to Canada. I'll extend my work visa or something until we can decide where we do want to live.

Now I'm not asking for pity or sympathy; I just feel better when I write things and let them go. Writing and leaving it as a word document doesn't really 'let it go' the way posting it does.

And I am excited to go to Ethiopia, it's just as if there's a mental blockade preventing me from really feeling the excitement that would be typical for me. Hopefully, as soon as I'm away from Edmonton it will change.