Day Two: It’s Off to Work We Go!

July 31, 2008 at 8:59 pm (Real Life, Spiritual) (, , , )

Well, everyone arrived today. Which is really nice, since the trip feels a little more real and normal now. I’m exhausted, but in a good way. Not beacuse I’ve been awake forever, but because we got a lot done. Well, we got a good amount done. We could have done a lot more.

Everyone arrived in one piece, which was good. That is always the preferred outcome. There was no drama this year, for which we were all EXTREMELY happy. Still, it took a little while to get everyone on the bus, suitcases in tow, and on their way. But, we got to the hotel, got everyone checked in, and…waited. Apparently, some people thought today was a good “stay in the hotel and rest” day. Yeah, we don’t have one of those. They were given thirty minutes to drop their stuff, freshen up (why you would, I don’t know. You sweat as soon as step outside the AC), and get back down to the bus. Forty-five minutes later, we were finally heading to the bus. I as kind of annoyed, because we have stuff to accomplish. This isn’t a day we can use to just sit around.

Well, we got to the church and started working after some quick introductions. Everyone started running around, bagging food. It’s a crazy scene to watch; I recorded some for later. It’s somethign you have to see to believe. In the end, we bagged about 650 bags of food. There was this adorable little girl putting the sugar in everyone’s bag. She was four, named Daniela. So cute. I’m a little surprised she could lift three pounds of sugar and put it in the bag! We ran out of beans because, after being told to put seven cups of beans in the bags (we re-bag the beans form the one hundred pound bags into three pound ones), the people began putting seven four cup scoops into each bag. Which shouldn’t have fit, but somehow did. So, that was crazy. But, we got enough for tomorrow, and that is the important part.

Everyone is worn completely out. I don’t blame them; in fact, I understand completely. We had Campero’s brought in to the church tonight. If you’ve never had it, you’re missing out. Delicious. But, afterwards we had our daily devo and then loaded up. No one was too concerned about hanging around for goodnight’s. Primary concern was getting on the bus and home. To the hotel, I mean.

Oh, I saw Francisco, Isaac, and Daniel today. So, it feels a little more like home. Isaac was nearly killed a few weeks ago on the bus. Leaving the Bible School one night, the bus was boarded and robbed. They were taking his backpack (from what I understand, he was letting them take it rather than do anything taht would provoke them) and they tried to shoot him. It grazed his head, requiring six stitches in the end, but they missed. Before they could try again (which they were about to), his sister threw herself in front of him and begged the men not to shoot him. So, he was fine. I’m really glad we don’t ride the public buses down here.

Well, that’s all I can think of for tonight. It was good, fun, and all that stuff. I’m just tired now and need a shower desperately. So, goodnight!

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Day One: Safe and Sound in San Salvador

July 30, 2008 at 9:36 pm (Real Life, Spiritual) (, , , )

Well, the video refuses to work. The risk of trying to use a computer running old programs. I should have brought mine, but I didn’t. So, I learned a lesson. I just don’t have the energy to fight it anymore. Maybe I’ll post some pictures later, but given the speed of this computer, I would be here for months. So, I’ll probably just wait and get back to my nice, working computer.

We had a good day. I’ve been up entirely too long, but that’s okay. The flight’s went well. We met a group leaving Atlanta that was going down for mission work as well. They were a Baptist/Methodist group from NC heading up into the mountains. It was a lot of fun to talk to them. And then I sat next to Margaret, an older woman from College Park, MD, who had set up Mental Health teams. I thought that was pretty cool. She left these people going into the school systemns and counseling and whatnot. It was a lot of fun. cause it’s something i could actually do one day.

We got here and got loaded up in the van for today. It ran out of gas and the group following us had to run and get gas. But, we made it to Santo Tomas and saw Paz and Priscilla. Fancisco was at school at the university, but he’ll be around later.

We left to go and buy food (after dropping our bags at the hotel), but discovered that our work was done for us when we got there. So, we stared at the piles and piles of food, and then wandered into the market. It was pretty crazy. People yelling, selling everything imaginable. So many people. It was pretty much a sensory overload. But, I thought it was pretty exciting. A new place.

After taht, we headed back to Centro, then decided to grab some dinner. Dad, Mo, and me. We were going to meet Udi, but after waiting thirty minutes or so for him to show up, we decided to go on to La Unica. I had four papusas, each as delicious as the one before. It was nice. And now I’m sitting very sleepy in the hotel. So, I’m going to say goodnight.

Mom, I really liked what I read of taht book so far. I didn’t get very far because they played 21 as the in-flight movie and I wanted to watch it. It was pretty good too. Daddy’s staying pretty calm, but tomorrow is when it’ll get a ilittle crazy.

Justin, Dad is telling everyone about your concussion. I know you probably aren’t reading this, but someone will pass on the message.

Calea, I miss you. I want to have coffee with you once I’m back. Oh, and Logan sent me a message about a room in Kendall. Don’t know if he sent it to you as well, but someone might want to call. I don’t think it’ll do any good, since there’s already a waiting list, but who knows.

Sam, I miss you lots and lots and lots and lots. I can’t wait to talk to you again….

To everyone, love you and miss you. I’ll try to write something every night, but it depends on how many days are as long as today. So, for real this time, goodnight!

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As Time Goes By…

July 26, 2008 at 9:40 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life)

I leave in three days. Three days…I don’t know how it snuck up so quickly. There were days that passed at a crawl, but they are now gone nonetheless. The summer has managed to outrun me again. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel so lonely here in Nashville, so removed from the entire world I know. So removed from the majority of my friends. Summer ripped away the life I had come to know and put the old, faded one in its place.

I feel done with this. I’m ready to pack up and  move on again. I’m ready to go back home. I’m ready to see Sam again. I’m ready to keep my own hours and make my own plans. But, I have a few weeks still. Time has flown though. To deny that would be foolish. Otherwise, I would have actually known that ES was in three days. That I need to pack and start getting everything together.

And time has crawled, because it’s been forever since I saw Harding.

I’m ready.

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Quick Update

July 24, 2008 at 1:37 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life)

Hey everyone. Here’s the deal: I leave for El Salvador in six days. I can’t ask for too many prayers on this trip. I hope that everything goes well, but there’s a legitimate anxiety mingling with the usual excitement. I have to start packing soon, but the summer doldrums have set in. You all know that lazy trend that smothers everything, when the heat and humidity squashes any desire to do anything productive. I finished my main job yesterday, said goodbye to my summer children, and now only have one catering job before it’s all over. So, I lay around and contemplate doing something productive. I have some fun plans coming up, but mainly I’m wondering if I should dread or look forward to next week. I’m going to stay positive and hope for the best (ideally), but we need all the prayers we can get.

Relatedly, I will attempt to keep a video blog while I’m a couple thousand miles away. I’ll host it on youtube, then supply the links here. I may try a write up a night or two, but the truth is that they would be barely coherent. It wears you out more than anything I’ve ever done. So, anyone who wants to keep up…

So, six days until ES, 21 days until I fly out to MD, and 26 days until I’m back on campus. Of course, seven of those days will be in ES, so it feels like even less…summer is wrapping up quickly. And unlike Dunbar, I can’t stand the thought of slowing time down. It’s all about avoiding boredom. A la Catch-22.

Yeah, if I haven’t seen you…today, I miss you. But, that’s part of life, I suppose. A stupid part of life, but one nevertheless.

Random: Some lady jst stopped by the house to ask if she could pick apples from our tree. At midnight when she gets off work. Nashville is a wonderful and strange place….

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Wanderlust

July 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Spiritual)

“I’ve been here for so long
I think its time I moved on
So tell me where it is that I need to be

Where ever the wind blows
You will find me there
Standing exactly where I wanna be”
-Pillar, Wherever the Wind Blows

I’ve got wanderlust again. Driving past the interstate this morning, I couldn’t help but wish I could just turn onto it and follow it to the sea. Of course, it only runs straight onto the beach in childhood dreams. I used to think that the interstate just eventually dissolved into the sand, leaving you at a perfect beachside locale. Oh well. My reality was far more romanticized than the real one.

I can’t wait to take the ramp onto 24 and start driving. The day that I won’t have to stop until I hit Harding’s Campus. It can’t get here soon enough. Regardless, I am so tired of Nashville. I can’t believe I’m ready to trade in the big city for Searcy life. It will be wonderful to get away again. I mean, I guess I have El Salvador coming up. That will probably appease the wanderlust for a little while. Long enough, ideally, for me to get packed and leave. Then it’s in the air to Baltimore, and hundreds miles before I’m back home.

If only gas wasn’t so expensive, I’d just start driving, see where the road goes. I did that once this summer, trailing along winding back roads without a destination. Or that one day at Harding, following one road past everything to a new place I had never seen. Driving. Traveling. I miss it.

**I have a prayer request, too. Some of you have heard about the little boy that I babysit on occassion. He was diagnosed with Leukemia and has been improving. But a recent test showed that his Neutrophil count is at 40. The average person’s sits at 1000, normally. They fight bacterial infections, so it is worrisome to have them that low. If you would just remember him when you pray, it would be much appreciated. He’s very sweet and I miss being able to watch him. Thanks guys! Love ya.

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Weekend Update

July 8, 2008 at 2:17 pm (Real Life, Relationships, Spiritual)

It’s a long and lazy day. A sad and lonely day. A Tuesday. I have the whole week free, but I wish more and more that I had something to do just to take my mind off things. Oh well. What doesn’t kill me must, by process of elimination, make me stronger.
Sam was here this past weekend. It was fantastic. One of the best weekends of my life. I’d probably say the best, but it’s hard to rank such diverse things. Of our waking moments, only a handful were spent apart. For a weekend, I was completely disconnected from the rest of the world. I didn’t worry about my phone, about checking facebook, about looking over my blog. The person I cared about was here.
You can ask me if you want to know anything. I really can’t bring myself to recount it all right now. I’m still trying to figure out how the world can be so perfect one day and so lackluster the next. I miss being far too happy.
In other news, El Salvador is quickly approaching. I just realized when I started counting days until school starts. I leave the 29th. That’s 21 days from now. (Which means life will be wonderful again in approx. 40 days.) This is going to be one interesting trip. Looking over the itinerary, we should be eating dinner/at the hotel by 7:00-8:00 every night. Of course, they aren’t on daylight savings time, so that’s an hour behind everyone in Nashville. But I’m going to try to keep a pretty good log of it this year. Online this time, since my journal from last year never quite made it out of my notebook. But I really need prayers for this. Some of you know the whole story, others only that it’s going to be rough. It’s been a struggle and it’s going to get much worse before it ever gets better. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. And the dawn’s a good ways off right now. Please pray.
Well, it’s a lovely day in Nashville. With my mom out of town, I’ve got dinner duty every night. Oh well. At least there’s plenty of flour lying around…..
Have a lovely week everyone. Give me a call if you’re free and we’ll see what’s going on.

…………
…………Miss you, Sammy.

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It’s 11:30…

July 3, 2008 at 10:49 pm (Random Writing, Uncategorized)

It’s 11:30 and I’m fighting to keep my eyes open. It’s some last ditch effort to remain a wild and crazy teenager. But, there’s no denying that some part of that has died. Now, I work, I come home tired, and all I want is rest. I want a shower, supper, pajamas, and a good book or dumb TV. Nothing more. No late night gallivanting, no speeding around the city. I’ve grown up (though I’ve still got the heart of a kid) and part of me realizes that it’s okay. I want to work, get through the summer, and get back to school. There, I can play and stay up till all hours of the night watching Disney. Or spend an evening splashing through puddles and mud. Or have a fight with fistfuls of frozen bubbles. But here, Nashville, is about Work. It’s about making the money I need to feed my habit (school and friends, that is). It’s about keeping connected to my family and brushing away the hindrances.

And so it’s 11:30 and I’m ready to fall asleep. But, that’s okay. I had a long day, but I’ll have a great weekend. That’s when I live. No responsibilities on the weekend, no early morning alarms. No kids running and screaming and begging to play just one more game.

I don’t even drive fast anymore. I enjoy going the limit, listening to music, and watching the road dwindle by under my tires. I know, it seems an odd thing to remark on. But, it’s one of the biggest changes I’ve noticed. Besides being constantly tired. That’s because I spend all day trying to wear out a six and three-year-old. The driving thing is something I decided on. It’s calming. I don’t drive for a rush anymore, but just to be. The journey is more important than the destination. It would, of course, be better if I had better company. Me and myself occasionally have a spat or two.

It’s 11:40 and my eyes are closing. There’s that pressure in my head that I know means it’s been working for too long now. It wants a break before it goes on strike. So I sip at tea and watch the numbers turn on the clock. Because part of me says I should stay awake a little longer. Push it a little farther. But, I’ll feel much better if I turn in now. I just finished my book, I just finished my tea, and the house is silent.

It’s 11:50 and I’m going to bed.

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