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Archive for the ‘just because…’ Category

Watching people shop for clothing in La Limonada is interesting. Sometimes it’s a very organized affair, someone with a blanket and the clothes are folded neatly and up for grabs.

However, sometimes it’s different. Sometimes there is just a pile of clothing for people to shift through. On these instances, this is what it looks like.

I know that I will remember how easy it is to ascertain whatever we want when we shop in the States. Wal-Mart. Target. Everything that we want is right at our fingertips. Consider this.

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Yesterday was the official start of our vacation from the schools in La Limonada. My original plan: sleep, coffee, blogging, laundry, more sleep, lunch, etc. Tita and the gang from the schools were going to take the team visiting from Origins Church and some of the gang members to the volcano for a hike. I sat in my pajamas with my coffee while they waited for Kate to arrive to pick everyone up. Something in me woke up… and literally four minutes before Tita and Kate arrived, I decided to join everyone. I threw on some clothes, filled my water bottle, grabbed my shoes and was ready when the time to depart arrived.

The whole reason that I had decided to stay home was because I am still (kind of ) nursing the remnants of my sprained ankle from two weeks ago. So, I decided to take a horse up the mountain when we arrived. I felt like a coward. I felt kind of lazy. Then I remembered how hard it is to ride a horse. My feeling of laziness eased. Riding is harder than I remember it being, especially when you are in a massive incline and you think that your horse hates you. Champion was a great horse. While most of the rest of the group hiked the mountain, I was the only adult who was consistently on a horse. I had to prove to myself that I could ride this horse up this mountain. The reason that I hadn’t been on a horse in so long is that I have been tossed off twice. The first time was when I was young, at a summer camp… I was about 11 or 12. The second time, I was 23. The feeling of being tossed is not one that you can just shake. Riding the massive, muscular beast was an amazing feeling. However, today I am very sore in places that I forgot that I had.

Once we got to the base of the volcano, we hiked. The terrain was unlike anything I had ever seen in person… one of the team members said that it reminded him of Jurassic Park, which was kind of true. The group was far ahead. The lovely Mann family from Colorado stayed behind, and made sure that I didn’t kill myself on the hike. It took about 40 minutes of climbing (because of my slowness), but I totally did it. When I reached the resting place where everyone was having lunch, I was greeted with applause and cheering. I felt kind of ridiculous, but proud nonetheless. I admitted to my fear of heights, especially the decline… where I am always certain that I will somehow plummet to a bloody death. Tita called to me that she was proud of me and that every time we do something that we fear, we break a chain that holds us back. I will always remember that.

I did not climb to the flowing lava. I was so shaken by the height, that I kind of chickened out. But I got to hang out with Monika and Gracie while the rest of the folks hiked ahead. We sun bathed on hardened lava, which is not as comfortable as it might sound. Hardened lava feels like tiny razor blades… not so great for sunbathing. It was a beautiful day, and the wind was cold. We could hear the gas being released from the volcano. Laying there looking at the sky, and how fast the clouds moved around the volcano’s summit was a beautiful thing. Just… wow!! I felt free.

 The group returned, and we started our decline down the volcano. This is where I started to panic. The terrain was unstable. Stuff would move when you stepped on it. The climb was much easier than the decline. I was ecstatic when I reached the bottom of the volcano without injury. I got back on the horse, another unstable thing while on a decline. Riding the horse down the mountain was much scarier than the hike down the volcano.

At the end of the day, I can say that I conquered some fears. I had a great time. I had to say good-bye to a beautiful friend, who I know that I will see again someday soon. I also got to spend some time in the front yard with the team from Origins, and amazingly beautiful group of people who love God in a way that impressed me.

It was a very good day.

 (Thanks for letting me gank your pics, Wade)

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What happens when the kids get ahold of my sunglasses…

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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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