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Archive for December, 2009

I’m not entirely sure how how it happened… but I managed to ruin one of the things that I love most in life. Baths.

So, I’m taking a soak in the tub… and not the regular tub, in my bathroom. Oh no… I’m totally taking advantage of the fact that the fam is gone for Christmas, and using the big ‘ol garden tub in Beth and Lance’s bathroom. So, I’m taking a soak… and I sat there almost entirely relaxed. I’m feeling all kind of relaxed.

 Then my brain decided to  try to figure out how many gallons of drinkable water I just decided to float around in and try to relax.

I will never be able to enjoy a bath again.

This is how you ruin something that you love.

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When Worlds Collide

It was the big thing this past Saturday night. We had a giant party to celebrate my upcoming departure for Guatemala. This was the first time EVER that my Evergreen family, work friends, and friends (from neither of those places) have ever come together. Everyone crowded into the commune and just had a great time.

My friend Denice (who is my oldest Raleigh friend) called the next day to tell me that she had a good time… and that she was amazed at what a motley crew of people I know. Yes, I know everyone, seemingly. We had pastors, single moms, former gang members, conservative white guys, a cop, gays, straights, young, old, introverts, extroverts, neighbors who’s names I don’t know (don’t tell them I said that)… and they were all here to wish me well. I was so touched by the sentiment. We had food, drinks (lots and lots of drinks), good conversation, new friendships that were being formed (according to friend requests on Facebook). It was a good night.

My favorite moment of the evening was with my beautiful niece, Kassidy. My heart gets heavy when I think of leaving her. But I know that this  journey is a dream come true for me. I hope that someday she will want to know all about where I have spent my time abroad, and about the work that is being done in the impoverished areas of this world.

Thank you all for your support.

I love you.

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Because Nice Matters

Since the news is out that I’m leaving CFI at the end of the month, some of my good work friends have started checking out my cubicle for trinkets and treasures. Believe it or not, I actually own things that I don’t need at work. One of my co-workers said that it was old-fashioned (she’s quite a bit older than me), but she wanted me to “will” her something and then leave something behind for the new person that would eventually take my place at work. This didn’t have to be a “thing” perse… it could be words of wisdom or something tangible. I became intrigued by this idea. As it turns out, I inherited this enormous plant when a pervious co-worker left the company. So, why not follow the lead?

I walked over to my co-worker with a post-it that says ” Just Be Nice”. She took the gift and put it on her phone, prominently placed so that it couldn’t be missed. She thanked me and said that she really liked how simple of a message it was.

Love for others is really this simple. Look someone in the eye that you don’t know and say ‘hello’. Don’t just give a homeless man a dollar, ask his name… he has a story. Everyone deserves to be loved. Love is all we need.

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For as long as I could remember, I have had this goal/dream/coolness-in-my-head. I have ALWAYS wanted to move to a country where I didn’t know the language and be forced to adapt. I love languages.

During my time in Ukraine in 2006 and 2007, I began to understand the gist of what was going on around me. I didn’t speak any Ukrainian before I went, but I picked up some important words and phrases to help make my time there easier. In Ukraine, not only was there the language barrier, but there was also a ‘handicap’ of sorts. I worked at a camp for deaf Ukrainian children. Here is an example of any conversation in Ukrainian:

Me: Hey, what’s for lunch today?

English-speaking translator– translates into Ukrainian.

Ukrainian translator who signs — translates into Russian sign language to the child.

Child– answers Ukrainian translator who signs.

Ukrainian signer translates to Ukrainian.

Answer for original question is translated into English for me to know that we will be having some kind of fried meat (“What kind of meat is this? I don’t know, maybe pork.”), mashed potatoes and the best coleslaw that I have ever had. Now to some people, this would be an extremely frustrating way to have a conversation. I, however, love this interaction.

On January 16, 2010 my dream comes true. I will be moving to a country where I have no knowledge of the language. I can basically order a beer and extra cheese. I will be living with a family in Antigua that I have never met before, for four weeks. I get to go to a school that is specifically designed to teach me to survive in this environment. I couldn’t be more excited. I have always been a survivor and love people. I truly relish every minute that I get to hear the story of someone’s life… especially in a place that is so different from everything that I know. I am blessed.

I’ve never been one that loves a specific Bible verse… so this is a first for me. I looked this up after seeing it on a football game.

John 16:33–“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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