Thursday, December 30, 2010

Am I my mother's daughter??

I can't figure out how to do this side by side comparison on facebook. I have been told that with my new haircut, I look like my mother. We shall see.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pacux: Day 2

This morning when we arrived at the church, the girl (whose name I can't remember) ran up to me and said "Me gusta ma amga" and gave me a big hug. I have done nothing to receive her love. I have hugged them and walked with them. I long to help and give to them whatever I can. They are so loving and gracious. I knew (or had heard) of this, but it is surreal. How can people, who literally have nothing, be so loving? Their shoes are torn, barely on. They have only 1 or 2 outfits total. One boy was so excited to see us when we pulled up, he ran to the clothesline, grabbed his pants, and changed from his shorts to his nice khaki pants. He wanted to look nice for us. We already have so many stories, and it has only been a day and a half. It amazed me today when our USA kids whined on the bus. I even asked, "How can you still play video games and eat candy when there are kids RIGHT OUTSIDE THE BUS who have nothing!"

This morning we had a mini women's conference. We told them about Christ's love, what it means to be a godly woman. I translated my testimony in Spanish (with help from a co-worker) before we left. So I read it to the women. They said they could understand every word. I thought it would have a lot more meaning to it if I read it myself. It went well. We also prayed. The people of Pacux repeat all the prayers when one prays out loud. We also had a time for them to pray. I don't know much Spanish, but I listened to this prayer. She thanked God for "the Americans" and tried to PRAY FOR US BY NAME! (Including using the nickname "Santa Claus" for my husband and another youth on the trip.) Some find it funny she prayed for "Santa Claus", but I find it humbling to think that she could be praying for ANYTHING, but chose to pray for us. She had no food, clean water, many clothes, possibly even 4 walls (a hurricane could wipe them out) and she prayed for US!

*Not originally part of the blog: We also washed their feet and painted their fingernails. It was a way for us to pamper the women while we had their children somewhere else. We also gave everyone a gift bag with soaps, shampoos, toothpaste...etc.*

This afternoon we had another VBS. We were also having the mothers come. My experience was a first for the trip: I got angry and upset. Yesterday when I passed out bubbles, I was concerned about the mobs. I tried to stress it to the group how to avoid it again. We colored first-it worked. All the kids sat and they passed out papers and crayons. It was amazing how they colored and that they colored the people white, not brown (cafe). Most did a nice job. It was calm. However, while they were happily coloring, they started passing out play-doh. They said nothing about lines, so the kids started to push and shove. I am upset. Each kid did not receive one and some got more than one. There is a lot of bullying going on. I don't like to see them fight and push over play-doh, bubbles...etc. Why did we create chaos? It hurts so much to see the weak, who Jesus loved the most, be shut out. They are sinners too. I don't know how to feel. None have it and all want it. It is kind of like survival of the fittest. But WE are creating it. I don't know the solution. In a culture of chaos it is expected, but it shuts out the weak. I don't want to see us Americans create sin because of our things. Maybe that is why Americans are so selfish. We have so much, but it is never enough. Kids got a small thing of play-doh, but it was not enough. It pains me to see the sin because of us. I wish I had a solution. If they could sit we could see who has been served and who has not. I guess I need to pray and not let my own sin get in the way of this ministry.

On the positive, it was cool to see the mothers interaction in the playground. Tina was there. They also wanted their photo taken with their friends and family. I am sad that I don't have a child that I know that well, but I know I am ministering to this community. Besides, apparently I have a good Spanish accent, even though I know maybe 30 words. (I also saw a "gato" today. They have tons of perros!) I also washed my clothes in the sink today. That was different! I took pictures. We have also had interesting meals. I have eaten all of them. Yesterday we had eggs, toast, and funny looking sausages (I didn't eat these)/Cheeseburgers and Cheetos/fried chicken (very yummy). Today we had funny pancakes (very dense)/burritos with chicken and onions (I had them make me one without onions)/Spaghetti and toast.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pacux Day 1

While in our hotel room in Rabinal, I decided to write down everything. In pen in paper that means "journal" online it means "blog." So I am going to transfer my "journal" into a "blog". I am trying to decide how to edit it, since I smushed day 1 and 2 on the same page. I am going to copy it as best as I can word for word. At some points on the trip, I became very emotional due to the very nature of the trip.

This morning was suppose to be spent fixing the school. But, we really didn't know what to do. We went to the school first. Earlier that day, I was timid. I couldn't speak Spanish, so how could I love these kids? How would they know? As I was sitting, a little girl came to me with her sister. Her sister was only two and scared of the "strangers". But the older sister knew the "Americans" well enough to know we were nice and meant well and wanted her sister to know us too. She kept giving her to me to hold, but she would cry every time. Finally, I managed to communicate that she needed to hold her hand while we walk so she was not so scared. (The child's name was Margarita.)

So, we went on a tour of the village with the children. We just walked, no where to go. We saw the "tile factory" where they make tiles for their roofs. It looked more like a tent where they made tiles. Nothing more. There was a mango tree nearby. I saw boys picking up rocks and throwing them hard on the ground. I asked myself "why?" Turns out, they were "testing" the rocks. They then threw the rock at the mango tree to knock down the mangoes to eat. They SHARED! They watch out for their friends and family. I was holding the 2-yr old and walking with her sister (looks 6, but is 9). The older sister went to a different tree by the river and looked for mangoes on the ground and gave one to her baby sister. Since I was carrying her, I got mango all over my shirt. (I called it the mango shirt because I HAD to wash it in my sink.) She also gave one to a girl who was walking with us who had special needs. She was mute and had to have someone interpret into spanish for her and then interpret it to us in English. So sad, kind of like a double outcast. She then gave ME a mango. She hardly knew me, but was generous and shared a good mango she found off the ground. She didn't keep it for later, but gave it to me. I felt bad because I was told not to eat it, so I gave it to another child. Note: They do not eat the peel of a mango, but spit it out. Even the baby knew this and so she continued to spit out the peel on my arm/shirt around 10 times. Once again, so generous.

As we were walking back towards the church, getting ready to leave for lunch, the girl I had been walking with said, "Tu es bonita" (I cannot spell Spanish at all!) I had no idea what she said so I just nodded. I found a translator and asked what is "bonita" and she said "beautiful". She said I was beautiful?? I am not. I am so selfish and wealthy is makes me sick. I want to love them. I want to hold them and provide for them.

So, the first day we had a VBS in the park. Thanks to my LMHS students, we had SO many bubbles. Once I started passing out bubbles, it was a MOB. I had kids pushing and shoving so much. They were knocking me over. I got a translator to come over and say "1 per kid." Once the initial group went away, they came back for more. Apparently, they were taking more than one and hiding it for later. Our USA kids found slews in the bushes, plants, dirt, and even behind a chain link fence. It is hard to believe something as simple as bubbles is coveted. (I later learned that they were getting extra for their family and friends, not themselves.) I learned how to say "No tengo" and "Uno (hold up bubbles), uno nino." I found out later "no mas" is what I should have said. Here is the astounding part: we went back on the second day and saw MANY kids with bubbles. They had saved them to use again for days to come. The USA kids would waste it and come back and ask for more. These kids were so gracious they cherished it. They also cherished the wordless books and children's bulletins we brought for them.

After the first day, I couldn't believe what else He would have in store for us.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guatemala Mission Trip: Day 1

The first day was full of travel. We left the church early to board the plane. It took us from 17 hours to get from Louisville to Rabinal, Guatemala. From the start the trip was different. There were storms, so they had to divert our plane and it took an additional hour to get to Houston. We barely made our flight to Guatemala City. Once we got there, our first stop was the mall to get money exchanged. We had McDonald's for lunch. A little disappointing, but oh well. (Note: they DO NOT serve honey at McDonald's with chicken nuggets. I was very sad.) We also saw volcanic ash all over the ground. It looked like black sand. There were bags filled with it all over the city. The city had also endured a tropical storm over the past few days, so it was also soggy.

We got back on the bus and headed to Rabinal. This is the town where our hotel was located. It was about 10 minutes from Pacux. The bus ride took SEVEN hours. Traffic was really bad. We drove past the sink hole, but couldn't see it due to a wall. There was also an accident. A car hit a motorcyclist!! Unlike the US where the road would be shut down, police and ambulance would come, insurance....etc. Nothing happened. The guy that hit him, helped him move his bike out of the road while the guy was limping off. Then traffic proceeded. Nothing else. No calling the lawyer.

We kept going, but you have to go over the mountains to get to Rabinal. Unlike the states, there are no highways and the roads are not entirely stable. There were many mudslides so we drove through water from time to time. The lines on the road are optional to the drivers and guard rails come at a premium. I was glad it was slightly dark because I really didn't want to see straight down the cliff. We made a stop at an ice cream stand with bathrooms. (Apparently, the sewage system cannot support toilet paper. So, you have to throw it out in a trash can next to the toilet. I am very thankful I can flush toilet paper.) We stopped at an orphanage where one of our interpreters lived t pick up tons of bottled water. The children were sleeping, but the wife offered some cooked mango in syrup. I tried some.

The last 30 minutes of the trip was horrible!! The roads are so curvy that it makes driving through the Appalachian mountains nothing. The other drivers are very reckless. They will pass blindly and practically cause wrecks. I had to sleep to not get car sick. One of the girls thought she was going to get sick so we pulled over. She didn't, but it was bad.

Once we made it, I was relieved. We chose a room and had dinner. It was a shame that they made us an authentic Guatemalan meal but most of us were too tired and full. The room was REALLY hot. I don't think I have ever sweated so much in my life. We had a small fan, but it didn't really help. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking something was crawling down my shirt, only to realize it was SWEAT!

About time to blog again

I realize I have been on a two year break from blogging. Thanks to facebook and JCPS blocking blogger from school, I haven't made it a priority. However, I thought that it would be better for me to blog about the mission trip here, then on fb. So the next several entries will be about the trip. See fb for the pictures.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pictures from Florida

I know I have been bad about blogging. Partially b/c I use facebook all the time. But I will continue to post pictures here as well, especially for Granny K. (I love you, Sugar!)

This is Jason and Lauren posing with an ATV.

Much to my dismay, we rented jet skis for a half hour. Needless to say, I was freaked out most of the time. (Especially when I saw Jason's flip!) Lauren was nice enough to go "wussy" speed for me the whole time.

This is a captured sea turtle. Basically, they have a nuclear power plant down there and they suck in water from the ocean to make it run. However, sometimes turtles and other marine life get sucked in too! So they capture the turtles take them back to the ocean. This one weighed over 200lbs!!!

This is another captured sea turtle returning to sea. However, this is a juvenile. Since he was so small and cute, I decided to name him 'George'. (You can't tell the sex of a turtle until it reaches adulthood, but I decided to guess!) Anyway, it appeared that this was not a very bright turtle. Since they tag and microchip them when they are captured, they could tell that he had been there before. Oops! I have a feeling that he will be least they have a real name for him!!

A series of unfortunate events occurred in Florida. While we were there, Jason's grandfather (the rocket scientist) went into the hospital with a racing heart. The good news is that it was just the MSG's in the pizza he ate and nothing serious. A byproduct of this was that Jason's uncle Mark, came down from South Carolina to help out. I had never met him, except at our wedding, so it was fun to get to know him. He is a funny guy and very sarcastic!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Badger VS Ella

Here is the story of Ella, Greg and Christy's cat. Actually, to save time, let's just say that Jason isn't a big fan. He tries to chase her and calls her "phantom face." However, he has recently decided she looks like a badger. So this is a comparison. Hmmmmm.