Wow. Don't really even know what to say at this point. I feel pretty bereft of poetic thoughts and feelings. Just sort of empty, yet overflowing. I realize that paradox doesn't make any sense. But I suppose that's how life is sometimes--we can't make sense of things all the time. I certainly can't make sense of my life right now. I don't know how to encapsulate the time left undocumented in anything that would make sense to the reader. So, I'll stick to weather-like topics.
I had to leave my husband again for an unknown length of time to return to a job and a house contract here in the States. I can always look back and think that I ought to have done some more research, taken more time, chosen a different process...but I have the here and now to deal with, so I guess I will tuck my shouldas, wouldas, and couldas away for a rainy day when perhaps I can share my life experiences with others in a similar season.
I am still working at figuring out a functional system here in Missoula in my new job, Spanish teaching at Valley Christian School. Although I have to admit moving to Missoula was not on my bucket list, or even a preference list, or even a "like" list, I am loving living here! OK, I hate Reserve, but who doesn't? It's not the worst I've driven in, and even with traffic, I'm only 13-15 minutes away from work. Plus, I get to keep my 3rd-world country driving skills fresh and active this way. :-P (Comment specifically intended for those who KNOW what that sort of driving entails!)
My coworkers are fantastic, my kids have won my heart already--(and keeping me on my toes every moment)--and if I ever find time to mow my ginormous lawn, I will have accomplished a full transition to life here...well, almost. Once my husband gets to be here and not 3,500 miles away, I will have accomplished a full transition. As it is, I am torn in half and constantly feeling a giant distraction gap somewhere in the functional portion of my brain and heart. I wish somehow I could slice through the beauracracy of immigration and just have them make an exception for me, but I am but one of thousands wishing the same thing. I do not want to be reduced to a whining, bitter waiter, but I admit that at times, I can feel only bitterness toward a system that really doesn't care for matters of the human heart. I know that my God is bigger than man's red tape, but I still find myself wallowing in despair at times, feeling like the reality of Bairon ever coming here is more of an irreality, really. One day at a time!
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Lately, I feel as though I have somehow lost focus on who I was on my way to being. Do you ever find yourself in such a place? I am a firm believer that life is a journey, a process of continual transformation. Each decision I make, every day, impacts who I am becoming and how I will respond to life situations in the future. I do not life is about sitting on my derriere and waiting for the transformation to just happen, so I can wake up tomorrow with my wings totally unfurled, dried out, and ready to test the air currents. I desire to have a continual divine discontent...discontent with dulled consciousness of life and existence; I want to burn with passion in joyful expectancy of my destiny, and be living it along the path to reaching it. I will never reach it if I am not moving toward somewhere. I can't wake up one morning and expect to have suddenly arrived at my destiny. We're not designed that way. True contentment is having that joyful expectancy, with full assurance that God is moving and has us in His palm all along the way.
So why am I in this joy-sucking eddy in which I feel desolate and impatient? How did I let myself get stuck here? When did I stop running and sink into the quagmire of complacency? Why do I find myself dwelling on the "what-could-have-beens" and "what-ifs"? Life is not a formula in which I plug in the right variables and spit out the perfect product each time. We humans are a bit more complicated.
So, since I am convinced, (flawed logic or not), that mistakes are only such if I don't learn from my poor decisions and stop doing them. Sin is sin, I know, and I am a sinner, though redeemed and a new creature in Christ. His blood has already redeemed me, and His hand continues to shape me as I go along. Do the little dirt flecks in the lump of clay that is my life truly ruin the whole piece? If I recognize those areas in my life that exhibit flaws, selfishness, false pride, rebellion, etc., and allow the Potter to poke them out with his potter's needle, and allow myself to be pliable in His hands, will I not turn out a beautiful finished piece in the end, tested and refined by the purifying refiner's fire of grace?
So, now to lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help, to focus on the Author and Perfecter of my faith, and persevere, praying for wisdom, learning to focus on what I want to become and living out the steps to get there, seeking first the Kingdom, and all the rest will be added to the richness of the transformation process. I choose anew to live life with vibrancy and passion, with my focus on traits I want to exude, not kicking myself over mistakes and struggles.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I decided to be terribly cliché this year and post something in the spirit of romance and lovey-dovey poetry. I wrote these two sonnets some years ago, and might even post a third eventually, if I feel uber inspired to write a new one. Voy a traducir mis sonetos, aunque no tendrán la misma forma correcta de un soneto en español.
My love is vague and fleeting after rain,
Like twilight he is neither day nor night,
I often dream, beneath the stars have lain,
In hope he might transpire upon my sight.
Most oft he blurs the visage trapped behind
His cloak of swirling droplets. Just as I
Reach out to touch, he disappears on wind;
He comes and goes upon my ling'rng sigh.
On silv'ry threads he shivers, then he shines,
With kiss of light from quiv'ring gentle breeze
To tease and tug upon the lethal lines
But won't be caught; entrapped by none of these.
To see my love, await the coming down,
When fears and all obscurities are gone.
Mi amor es vago y efímero después de la lluvia,
Como crepúsculo no es día ni noche,
Siempre que podía, yo he soñado debajo las estrellas,
Esperando que él aparezca en mi visto.
A menudo se desdibuja el rostro atrapado detrás de
Su capa de gotas remolinas. Así como yo
Llegar al tacto, se desaparece en el viento
Él va y viene sobre mi suspiro prolongado.
En hilos plateados él tembla, luego brilla,
Con un beso de la luz de un viento cariñoso
Al provocar y jalar a las líneas letales
Pero no podrán capturarle—atrapado por ninguno.
Para ver a mi amor, espére la llegada del amanecer,
Cuando todos los miedos y las oscuridades han ido.
When rays of sleepy sun come peek upon
The stretched horizon found to east of shore,
When darkness, fear, and dusk are found no more,
The morning after night is hailed the dawn.
My love to me is slowly taking on
A shape I see I think I saw before,
The vapored sunlight bright as gold does pour
Around his formless face. And with fear gone,
I revel dancing, gleaming soft delight;
We sway with hands entwined like rosy vine.
My love is dew that nestles close to grass,
Resplendent dashing valor blinds my sight,
In tiny glimpses, see this love of mine,
In air suspended. Time does cease to pass.
Cuando los rayos del sol soñoliento vienen a mirar
Al horizonte que se lo encuentra al este de la costa,
Cuando la oscuridad, el miedo, y el anochecer se encuentran nada más,
A la mañana después de la noche se celebra la madrugada.
Mi amor para mí es poco a poco tomando en
Una forma que lo veo que creo que lo he visto antes,
La luz del sol brillante como el oro se vierta
Alrededor de su cara sin forma. Y con el miedo desaparecido,
Me deleito bailando, brillando el deleite suave—
Nos mecimos con las manos entrelazadas como la vid de la rosa.
Mi amor es rocío que está ubicado cerca de la hierba,
Valor gallardo y resplandeciente me deja ciega,
En destellos diminutos, vea este amor mío,
En el aire suspendido. El tiempo deja de pasar.
Friday, January 28, 2011
...it sometimes gets lost. No job for two months has punched me into a sort of time warp. I can most aptly describe the feeling as being "stir-crazy", which, for those of you out there who don't mind absolutely useless trivia, is connected to the Romany (Gypsy) term for "imprisoned". That's how I've felt some days: imprisoned by the excess freedom without any structure or schedule. That, and I've been living out of a suitcase since arriving back in the country, traveling regularly to visit friends and family, attend conferences, and share my trip with various groups.
Seriously, though, this month has marked several changes in my thoughts and behaviors, mostly for the better, so I think I've finally overcome the reverse culture shock period and have returned to my finding-joy-where-I'm-at phase. It's a much happier place to be, I've decided.
I got to dance for hours at the S.O.B Barn at MSU-Bozeman, attend the SALT conference in Butte, visit my Bozeman peeps for a week, swim at Fairmont Hotsprings with my family, ride my horse in the snow, pick up the violin again after a LENGTHY period of not practicing, and watch my little nieces grown and develop. So, it's been a great month, regardless of me being a jobless bum.
I have an interview in Richey, MT on Tuesday. Road trip! I'll see how many books on CD I can make it through. Oh, and on a reader's note, I highly recommend Aurelia's Thread series and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Good reads!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Perhaps finishing my last entry with "The end." was a bit dramatic. But I'm still struggling with letting that chapter of my life go. Strange how we cling to now-deceased fragments of things made irrelevant by the present. It's not as if life will never again be that good. Yet, my heart still aches at times as though I were grieving the death of a loved one. I've cried more over this change of location more than anyone I've lost. Doesn't seem right, but I guess it is what it is. Now is the time for my story of "now".
Lee picked me up from the airport that frigid night of November 22nd. I met up with some Bozeman friends the following morning, and happily packed into an already-stuffed carpool in the afternoon that got me as far as Butte. Jerrit brought me the rest of the way to Divide. I surprised everyone! It was fun to see the look of dumb shock on each face I encountered. A LOT of prep work and vague responses went into achieving such a widespread sneaky return. Only four people in MT knew of my early return, and only two of those were family members. Mission complete!
We spent Thanksgiving with the Stewart family, so I had some catch up times with Jillisa, though I don't know that I had processed anything sufficiently to interact with human beings at any normal level yet. A week after my return, I had my second emotional-wreck day. After that, I was able to talk with several dear ones from my other home down south, and my mood and outlook on life drastically improved after that.
December 1st, I moved with my suitcase/luggage/thingamabob to Darby in time to spend the next few days with Jason's sister, Andi, and her boyfriend, Caesar. That Thursday, my sister Sara needed a ride back to Bozeman. Since my parents supplied me with a new set of wheels to drive around, and her wheels had stopped functioning, I made the trek eastward. I went to visit some old college friends, and they asked if I were attending their Christmas banquet the next night! My former roommate, Lily, lent me a dress, Rod even went shoe shopping with me, and I kicked off my wool socks and Carhartt for a night of good company, hilarious skits, and fabulous dancing.
I figured the best way to put Laura into labor would be to leave town for a few days. I had sort of joked about it, anyway, but a text after midnight confirmed that she had gone into the hospital due to high blood pressure, and that they would be inducing in the morning. So, at 0200 on the morning of the 11th, I drove back the two hours to Divide. Laura had already popped out Hadassah Love Wilham by 0643, so I leisurely made my way back to Darby to help Mom with Selah. The newest family member and proud parents arrived back home around 1945, and the next several days were just trying to get into a schedule with a new baby.
I went to another dance with the homeschool crew on the 17th, (at Jillisa's request), which was much more middle-school style, but still enjoyable. On Saturday, we were going to do dinner and a huge bonfire, but it was super cold, we were already funned-out after dinner and chatting, and Matthew still had something to do. He set up a treasure hunt for Jillisa, with little treasures along the way. The hunt led to a Lego puzzle box he had spent most of a night and part of a day constructing. In it, she discovered a ring. And Matthew got down on his knee and proposed. She was super surprised, but still managed to respond favorably! We got two Christmas trees before everyone left for church in the morning. Fastest tree harvest ever! We found and harvested two in approximately 20 minutes.
The Wilhams and I drove to Divide for Christmas on Thursday. We passed the days playing new games, hanging out, eating delicious food, and enjoying each other's company in general. Caleb and I snuck away on a brother-sister date to watch the Voyage of the Dawn Treader and afterwards met up with the family at Rodney's and Jeni's new house. It's quite the project! I'm amazed to see people's creativity and skills in construction.
Christmas was very relaxed and lovely. I stayed in Divide on Sunday after Hadassah's dedication at E-Free Church to help the parents move cows back down to the Moose Creek Ranch, 7 miles away. Even though I was wearing no fewer than 5 layers, 2 pairs of wool socks, two scarves, a hat, chopper mittens, two pairs of pants, and riding a fuzzy furnace, I could feel the edge of cold on the 27 degree weather as we rode. The sunset was incredible! It's nice to remember that here in this dry, frozen land, just as in the humid paradise in Honduras, beauty and joy exist. I just have to keep my eyes open.
Once again, I was blogeligent, and therefore am WAY behind in my entries. I pity your poor eyes. Only read if you have a super good cup 'o something tasty and are seated very comfortably. :-) Here we go....
Entry from 11-12-10
If 7 weeks seemed like too short a time, then 9 days might very well kill me. Way back in October, I spent Natasha's last day here climbing the water tower, making cookies that mostly never made it to cookie status, and drinking large quantities of tea. The next day, I escaped early from a delightful dinner with the Rumbaughs' and practiced violin for almost an hour with practically no one in Staff Housing, (they were all still at the Rumbaughs'). I played fútbol three days in a row that weekend, had a great movie night/chat with Samuel, and moved out into the community with Joelle. She and Christine asked to take care of Rigo's and Christy's house until they get back in January. Christine was still in the States, though, and Joelle needed a housemate, so I'm it until Christine returns. The same week, Patrick asked for some help with saddling and working with Izzy, Sydney's mare. So, we did some groundwork for a while, and then he got on and took a ride around. I even took her out for a short spin. Not like cushy fat horses, but at least I got to ride a horse. :-)
We had a goodbye party for Mackenzie at Renee's to send her off. The time crunch has begun! I spent Sunday afternoon with the Yosts, cutting up enormous donated scrubs for shop rags. Christine returned on the 25th. And the next day, I finally filled the tires up on Christine's and my bike and rode it home to San Luís. The seat was still broken, so the trip was more difficult than usual, but still a beautiful ride. Dianny helped us make tortillas and arroz con frijoles y leche de coco. That Saturday, I translated for the new doc, Abby, and she taught me to do stitches. Unfortunately, Joelle had to work that night, but Christine, Samuel, and I cooked dinner by lantern and candle light due to a long power outage, and then had fun doing stupid human tricks and acrobatics. Who needs TV to entertain?
I took the kids for their last waterfall trip with me on Halloween. The main falls formed a giant whirlpool due to the abundance of water induced by extra rain. We swam in the lower pools! We made it back just in time to get ready for the costume party. Sam McKenzie and I were a pair: he was Apollo and I was his sister Artemis. I haven't dressed up in years, but he made it fun.
November began with a bang: I drove the land cruiser around without a hood, made a batch of chai, played soccer in the rain, made dinner for Samuel's and Joelle's anniversary, and Christine hit two horses on her moto, breaking a pinky bone and a metacarpal. We had a dance party on the 6th. It was a lot of fun, though it was difficult to teach the dances and not just DANCE. Yesterday, I went to dinner at Dianny's after making tortillas with Marta. We made baleadas and then Mailin taught us bachata, merengue, and punta. I loved every moment!
The young, single people of the community with few or no familial connections in Balfate caught the afternoon ferry to Roatan today, grabbed the key from Yourgin, and then went for dinner at the Argentine Grill. Then, later, we strolled the strip to Rick's Roadhouse and Grill for Ryan James.
Entry from 11-22-10
The brevity of my time in Honduras started to form a tight knot in my chest the next day. Julie and I slept in a little, and I visited with Brandi and Yourgin in the time we were waiting for Samuel and Joelle to arrive. We went to meet the group in West End for lunch and split for pizza and baleadas. I had to finish a translating project for Iain, so I chilled in Renee's room at Arco Iris for the afternoon, and then returned to Sandy Bay for some more visit time before we all met back up after our various and sundry adventures for dinner at the Cannibal Cafe. We hoped to find dancing, but it was too early. The know by that time had migrated into my throat and started squeezing out silent tears unnoticed in the dark. Samuel, Joelle, and I chilled on a dock for a while. I watched the lights float in wide ribbons on the swelling waves until I could bear it no longer. I tried to escape back to the house by myself, but Samuel followed me and witnessed me in my puffy-eyed, silent weeping state. So we talked for a couple hours before sleep. It was nice to have someone around who understands the strange isolation of such an experience. And I'm glad everyone else eventually found dancing and had a delightful time together.
Yourgin teaches a Sunday school to his uncle's family, so Samuel drummed with him and we listened to his talk on Isaiah. I was impressed with the content...it was no dumbed-down kid version, yet he made it relevant.
After Sunday school, Yourgin took Samuel, James, Canaan, and me out on his friend's boat to fish catracho style. I used a Gatorade bottle, James had nutmeg, etc. I caught nothing, but really enjoyed myself. The fish fry after was delicious. Good thing the others don't fish like I do! And then we joined everyone for dessert at the Lighthouse Restaurant in West End.
I woke up earlier than I wanted to in order to catch a taxi by 0600 to catch the early ferry back to the mainland. I got a few groceries and returned one last time to San Luís by chicken bus next to a VERY friendly Honduran man. Didn't think the chicken buses could get more cramped? I can tell you from experience, they can be utterly suffocating when unwanted interest is practically sitting in one's lap!
On the 16th, I walked to Balfate at 0700 for a haircut from Sharon. I watched movies with Joelle and finally finished my translation project in the afternoon. I walked the last bit to Balfate with Argentina and Ruth, who hadn't found a jalón (lift) and walked the whole way from the hospital. I spent some time with Mike and Peggy.
Iain trained Amy and me in sound engineering on Thursday, and then I learned from Marta how to make the dough part of the tortillas. Hers are SO delicious! After fellowship, Amy and I took a walk to Lucinda and back to catch up and start our farewell process.
I said my goodbyes at the Casa de Niños in the morning, followed by el Camino bilingual school (also turned out to be Hannah's 13th birthday party), then the bodega boyz, my last fútbol game, and then, at long last, an orange-squishing/baleadas/Uno/trompos/dancing party. That night was one to remember and cherish forever!
I had a delightful breakfast with Norma the morning of my second to last day in Honduras. I worked on some internet stuff at el hotel (Staff Housing) for a longer bit than intended, picked up Christine and drove back home. I ate some lunch and then Alex Zelaya called. I met him at Pulpería Karen where he introduced me to Trotón (Big Trot), his tiny little stallion. Alex rode his bike alongside to La Quinta beach, where Sydney met us on Izzy. I rode in the waves, we swam in the river, explored through the tunnel and into the jungle, and floated out in the sea. That day turned out to be one of the major highlights of my entire year. It's a shame we save the best for last, sometimes.
I showered and walked to Ruth's to cut her hair and say goodbye. Bairon brought Samuel and me to music practice and we had to say our final goodbye there. ¡Uy! I despise saying some goodbyes! I seem to be making a habit of it. Practice was enjoyable, as was my community goodbye party at Reneeś. I stayed up organizing my belongings and packed Sunday morning. The soccer boys came for worship, since I had promised to lead two in Spanish. I said farewell to everyone at church, the boys, and then Christine, Joelle, Samuel, and I loaded into Norma's vehicle and we journeyed to San Pedro Sula.
I had to sort out my ticket mess, (wrong date for second part of my journey), so we just ate at Baleadas Express nearby. Final goodbyes and a 0230 flight. The end.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Entry from 7-30-10
Two days ago, I had an adventure. Colegio was canceled for the day, so the kids wanted to go to Río Coco and Bambú. Peter, Karli, Josh Bradley, James Morrow, and I went with. Río Coco was beautiful and refreshing. Bambú was also nice...until a naked catracho came streaking through the rocks, kyped our bags, and ran off into the jungle! We were all so stunned by his state of disrobe and leafy headband that we didn't react quickly enough to catch him. ¡Qué raro! No one was hurt, however, and we only lost 3 cameras, some moto keys, a shirt, a couple drivers' licenses, a cell phone, etc. Just stuff. And we now have a rather hilarious story. :-)
Entry from 9-23-10
At the beginning of last month, I began to teach Samuel McKenzie judo, though I remember very little indeed. We began with just proper running form and stretching, and progressed to basic falls. It's fun getting back into some sort of training.
Sometime midmonth, the teachers all over Honduras went on strike. The kids didn't have school for a terribly long time, and now, they're double-timing it to try to finish on time before their rainy season break from mid-November to the first part of February.
Amy came over for a sleepover on the 19th. We made crepes in the morning, watched Psych, caught up for hours, and then went to her house to make pizza and talk with Don. We went down to visit Karli, who seemed a bit better. It was very difficult to say goodbye...
I moved my stuff back in small waves due to the Yosts' return on Wednesday afternoon. That same evening, two backpacking bros showed up on the chicken bus. They stayed here a few days on their 5-week trip around Central America. We made killer spaghetti the first night, drank chai the second, and then had pizza and my gingersnaps on Friday. I had spent the whole afternoon on the beach with Amy, so the day was FULL.
I was dragged into town Saturday morning by Samuel, and it turned out to be a good thing because we were stopped at a checkpoint, and Samuel discovered he didn't have his license...or any documentation...with him. God worked it all out; instead of him going to jail and the car being impounded, Howard came and talked the cop out of the L1200 bribe he asked for and paid him L500 instead. I had to drive home. Later that weekend, we had a game night at the Lents and played a derivation of Banana Grams/Speed Scrabble, In a Pickle, and Apples to Apples.
Entry from 9-24-10
"Leaving, on a jet plane..." I will arrive to Denver in a little less than 3 hours, only to drive all the way back down to Houston. I must be crazy! The last week before leaving Honduras, I let a lot of emotional stress points go and refocused on what I know to be important in my work here. Once again, I came to the end of me, and now I can once again move forward in freedom. That's always such a lovely place to step forward, but seems to cost so much to get to that point!
Right before leaving, Samuel led the Thursday night discussion, and he talked about "when life sucks". It was a nice discussion of how we get through deserts, and our response should be one of not self-preservation but of willing sacrifice. And that is how we are triumphant. How Jesus lived the most painful life of all, full well knowing what life ought to be like, what food should taste like, etc., but suffereing through it to bring ultimate redemption and restoration. We each have a little piece of the knowledge of what life should be like, and hence, the discontent with sickness, disasters, evil, and all things not excellent. I appreciated the perspective he shared.
Friday, we packed into the Wards' truck with René at 4:40 AM to head to San Pedro Sula. Joelle and I were on the same flight to Houston, though Samuel went through Miami. Aleisha met me at the airport and took me back to her sweet apartment in Kirby Place. We pretty much just talked forever, catching up on life, experiences in third-world countries.
On Saturday, we spent the most tranquil, lazy morning ever! We went out for a late lunch to Pappa's Burgers. I ate so much food! The highlight was the choco-banana-peanut butter shake. Sooooo good! We were too full for dinner, so we had rootbeeer floats instead.
We drove to Galveston for a day on the beack on Sunday. I read "The Alchemist" for the first time. We capped the night with more rootbeer floats and "7 Brides for 7 Brothers". Aleisha had class all day Monday, so I got up, worked out, packed, napped, and spent a relaxed day alone. Later in the evening, we went to a global discussions group. The host lived in labyrinthal complex, so we had a bit of an adventure just arriving. Dinner was delicious, and I enjoyed a stimulating politcal discussion with a brother in Christ, Edwin, from Africa. We were wiped out by the time we got home. Aleisha took me to the airport in the morning to fly to Denver. The parents and Sara met me at the airport.
I got to drive to Chris and Sue's. We had a lovely lunch on their porch, and I was pretty tired from the flight and lack of oxygen, so I napped for a little. Joel and Quentin made it for dinner, and we had a lovely family reunion time over a delicious fare. We stopped at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs the next day, had scrumptious Wodfamchocsods at Whit's End, and found some fun shirts at the bookstore. We spent a couple hours touring the Broadmore Hotel, Carriage Museum, and grounds before lunch. It was a beautiful place, but I can only imagine how expensive it would be to stay there. When Dad, Nana, and Papa stopped there in the 70's, a room cost $150.00/night!
Dad accidentally forgot to pack a luggage with his Tarzan book inside, so I bought him "Riders of the Purple Sage" by Zane Grey at Wally World and he, Sara, and I took turns reading aloud for the remainder of our trip. It was fun to experience that part of the West while reading a novel about it. We stayed at the Cow Palace in Lamar, CO, stopped in at Dodge City to take pictures with Matt Dillon, and snapped some pictures of the romantic sunsets into which western heroes always seem to be riding.
We were able to spend a short time with the Lawrences in Dallas, TX for a night and half a day. I could hardly believe how big the kids have grown since they left! It was a lovely visit, which just left me wishing we had more time together.
We made it to Austin before night fell and ate out at a joint named Hoover's. We all had a version of catfish. Aleisha and her Turkish roomy, Zeynep, came the next morning, and we all toured the capitol and ate lunch at Hoover's again before I said farewell to my family and began a much shorter roadtrip back to Houston. I SO enjoyed our conversation on our return. Zeynep treated us to Starbuck's coffee, and we talked girl talk the whole way back. It was such a refreshing time!
I met up with Symon in the airport early the next morning, ate breakfast before our flight, and then boarded the plane for the last leg of my journey. Iain picked us up at the airport since Sandy, the anesthesiologist, arrived on the same flight. We made it to Amy's birthday party when we returned, I threw some rice and veggies together for dinner, and then he crashed. The next day, I showed him around and handed him off to Brad to start some agriculture project.
Entry from 10-2-10
I jumped back into the swing of things after my day of reorientation, and loved being back with the kids! I took the whole lot of 'em to Bambú on Saturday, though luckily, the naked man was absent! The 28th was a cultural day for Honduras, a sort of extension of their Independence Day on the 15th. I was so excited to see German's and Jayson' folkloric dance, but after a 14-hour day, running the kids back and forth, a deluge cut short the celebrations, and they will have to wait until next year to do their dance. It was still an enjoyable day, despite the disappointment of missing their dance twice.
Wednesday was Symon's last day, so we had a bonfire in the midst of Bairon's English session. He had never toasted marshmallows before! Natasha and I had hung out most of the day, drinking tea, making cookies, and talking, and she wanted to see the sunrise, so she, Symon, James, Macknezie, and I arose at 0515 to go to the beach. We made egg-in-toast for breakfast, and then said our farewells.
I didn't have to do any school runs on Friday, so I was on-call translator for the new Dr. Abby. We ust had one 8-year-old who needed stitches. Abby taught me how, and said I could to the next ones! We had a group dinner and game night after that. It was quite enjoyable.
We played Loaded Questions with Abby, Rimas, and Bairon. I finally caught up with Joelle afterward, since I had barely seen her since her return to Honduras.
Everyone was gone to missionary conference in Siguatepeque, and I was glad for the quiet solitude. Today, I cleaned, danced about when noone was watching, listened to music, and relaxed in general. Good day!
Friday, July 30, 2010
In the early afternoon hours of Friday the 16th, five young adults bounced down a bumpy, lumpy road on their way to an adventure. They bought their ferry tickets in La Ceiba and set off for the tropical island of Roatan, feeling giddy with excitement and expectancy for the weekend activities. The waves were calm, so the ride was tranquil, and the sea spray tickled their faces and spiced their inhalations.
And so began our weekend with my cousin Brandi and her husband Yourgin.
They made dinner for us the first night, which was absolutely delicious! Beans, rice, chicken, tortillas...does it really get much better than that? I'm STILL not tired of beans and rice! We turned in for the evening pretty early so we could get up and go the following morning.
Morning arrived the crack of dawn with Christine bumping about the room at 5:30 AM because she couldn't sleep. I slept a bit more after that, but the quality of it had declined severally. When we all were fairly functional, we made pancakes for breakfast and headed off to West End. We hired a guy to take us out to West Bay in his little boat and give us all snorkel gear for an hour. I saw a large blue parrotfish, normal parrotfish, many other what's-its and who's-its, and chased a turtle.
After our hour of snorkeling, we sat down in a small restaurant that we discovered normally just does breakfast until five PM. But since we explained that we had seen the sign for pizza, and would each order a pizza, she went in search of her pizza girl, and she came in to cook for just us. We felt pretty special, and very satisfied with lunch!
A cerulean blue kayaking experience followed pizza consumption. We all got a LOT of sun during that bit, with the exception of James, who went scuba diving instead of kayaking. We returned to our rooms to shower and such, and then I spent some time talking with Brandi and Yourgin while Yourgin worked on his Honduran jade jewelry. He does beautiful work!
We returned to West End to the Cannibal Cafe for dinner, and then found a live band at Rick's Roadhouse Grill for the remainder of the evening. The band was excellent, and we even got up and danced toward the end. We got in some tango, salsa, limbo, swing, and made-up-dance-moves-on-the-fly. I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Back at the house, I cut Samuel's hair, (he's back in a mohawk), and we all chatted and laughed about the evening until almost 2:00 AM.
James went out for another dive in the morning, and the rest of us went to a bilingual church where Yourgin has been filling in by leading music. So Samuel played djembe and Yourgin played guitar and sang. The message was spoken in English and Spanish, alternating ever few sentences between an English-speaking man and a Spanish-speaking woman. That was my first time hearing a translator in that capacity. After church, we ate pizza, said our goodbyes, and took a taxi back to the ferry. The Lents picked us up in Ceiba, we shopped for some groceries, and we had a very pleasant ride back to La Quinta.
The five travelers returned from whence they came tired, but jubilant and refreshed. The cyan waters still floated in their thoughts, and they with renewed energies returned to the daily routine, changed...somehow closer to each other than they had ever been....
Thursday, July 08, 2010
About a week into Naomi's stay here in La Quinta, Colón, Honduras, Norma approached me and asked me if I might be interested in translating for a visiting doctor for whom no translator had hitherto been procured. And thus it was that two weeks ago, I wandered into the hospital labyrinth to seek out Dr. Hans de Bruyn from Calgary, Canada. Several of the missionary families and docs are in the States for the summer, so Hans came down to help for three weeks since we were down to only two docs for most of the summer.
I have REALLY enjoyed translating! I certainly lacked (and still lack) many words and phrases in my standard classroom knowledge, like the word for "hemorrhoids", "lymph nodes", and "you have a chronic condition of such and such a type of arthritis, as well as leftover tissue from having part of your varicose vein removed, as well as parasite, as well as stress problems." Hard to translate that lot. But I also discovered after the first day on the job that even when I look up the real translations at night and try to communicate with the patients, most of them lack the education to understand those words, anyway. So I communicate in simple word pictures and analogies based on the patient's description of his or her environment and social interactions.
So when a patient came in with terrible loss of cartilage in one of her knees and was complaining due to the pain, she didn't understand the word for cartilage, so I thought for a moment, and God sort of nudged me to use "almohada" instead. Her face brightened as I told her that her pain was due to the fact that the "pillow" in between her leg bones was gone and so they were grinding together. Hardly solved the problem, but she was much less stressed just to KNOW what the problem was.
I was thinking about my acquired interests and skills over the years, and at first was thinking that I hadn't ever intended to become so diverse in my abilities/travels/studies/jobs/etc. But then I remembered studying about becoming a "Renaissance woman" in Ginny Emery's, (then Thrash), core group my freshman year. We intentionally sought to learn about different people, different fields of study, different hobbies, etc., with the intent of learning how to bridge to people. And God has certainly opened many diverse opportunities for me to do so!
Now I am able to connect with these people and help to educate them (in a language they understand) how to care for their injuries or to prevent/treat certain future ailments. The not knowing and feeling pain really aggravates their stress and symptoms.
Aren't our lives a bit like that? We feel the pain, dissatisfaction, or emptiness, and we try to treat the symptoms with all these ineffective home remedies--money, fame, relationships, drugs, work--without addressing the actual sickness. We are all broken and fallen creatures. And our cure is already paid for. But we have to go to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription:
I'll never wake up without an overdose of you
I don't wanna live
I don't wanna breathe
'les I feel you next to me
you take the pain I feel
waking up to you never felt so real
I don't wanna sleep
I don't wanna dream
'cause my dreams don't comfort me
The way you make me feel
Waking up to you never felt so real" (Skillet "Comatose").
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Who'da thunk I'd ever end up on the Cayman Islands? Certainly not me! I had priced plane tickets all over, and the one to Cayman was the most economical, though the lodging was not. I stayed at a little guesthouse called Eldemire's. I wandered the streets a bit on Thursday night to find some groceries, and then on Friday to see Smith's Cove and a bit of 7-Mile Beach. My first impression was that of distaste and also of claustrophobia. there are very few sidewalks, private property lines the majority of the beach, adn all the attractions are based on purchasing something.
So I didn't get to swim with a horse in the Caribbean, (though that would be rockin'!), or visit the turtle farm, or go snorkling, but I did finish some work I was trying to get done before I got sick the week before my trip. I walked for three hours on Saturday, and at least half of those were spent walking in the rain! I was happy as a barnacle on a boat! I watched two old movies on TV in the evening and just chilled.
On Sunday morning, Peter Hughes, a friend of the McKenzies, came by with his two kids while his wife was at day two of a rugby training camp with the U.S. national rugby coach. They took me out to coffee and showed me a bit more of the insider's view of the island. Peter works for the RedCross, and he had a suitcase of children's clothing for the Children's Center, (I checked it on my return flight), so I got to see his workplace before he dropped me off right before noon. He took me to church with him that evening, as he runs sound at the church. I was expecting stuffy legalism, but instead found an earnest family of believers who are from all sorts of walks of life. I was stunned by the authenticity of the church-goers, amidst/in spite of the grandeur of their facility. I have been in such humble surroundings for so long, the church building, gym, classrooms, stainglass windows, and stellar acoustics really blew me away.
Peter came by at 6 AM Monday morning to pick me up for the triathlon event he had to cover. I'd never been to a triathlon before, but I must say the younger age groups really inspired me to try one someday! There were three separate events, one for the adults, one for parents and 11-15-year olds, and one for the little guys. Claire came and dropped off the kids part way into it, so I got to help play with them and keep them occupied during the event.
Our last activity before my departure was breakfast. We ate at a little cafe that sat next to one of 4-5 wave machines that generate a big enough wave to surf! I even got to see it in action, because there was a private kids' party there while we ate breakfast. They didn't turn up the wave enough to be a legit surfing wave, but it looked like a ton of fun! We said our farewells at the airport, and then came the short wait to the next surprise.
Samuel and Naomi had a connection flight to La Ceiba through Cayman, and I kept my visa trip location secret long enough to keep it a surprise for them. Samuel saw me journaling at the gate, and thought I looked an awful lot like Kri......WAIT!!! It was most excellent! I'm getting into this whole suprise attack thing. Strikes three and four!
Their luggage did not arrive with them, so I filled out the paperwork and talked with the people in charge to try to locate it. The two travelers were rather weary, (more like dead on their feet!), but Brad, John, and I took them back to the mall area to get some food and groceries, and then we picked up Wannabe from the shop. I took Naomi with me and Samuel rode with the guys back to the hospital, were we had a brief dinner with the Rumbaughs and then retired for the night.
An altogether successful trip, I think! I am ready to jump back into life here, whatever it will look like from here on out. This summer will be very different from the rest of my time here, so bring on the adventure!