Sunday, May 31, 2009

good ol' usa

what a fun time it has been. i have slipped back into my country and find it quite pleasing. it's a bit shocking how clean and comfortable and neat everything is...I'm worried about driving back through Managua...but I also realize I am smack dab in the middle of high end Coloradan suburbia, and not having to work, so it's rather fairy tale like. some things i have noticed:

-i feel awkward and shy in my first language...don't know if that's just me being introverted or what, but i don't feel that way rattling away in Spanish...but as a rule, I am quieter in Spanish.

-i feel overwhelmed by places like target...i never was a huge shopper, but i felt like i needed 5 hours to make it through that store...i just wanted to look and touch and smell.

-my need to be pleasing to those around me, to draw attention and approval was faintly roused in the middle of all these events, but it was good to realize it is no longer a driving force in my life. that feels real good.

-appreciation is something best learned in absence...the real reason for fasting, i think.

-it is wonderful for me to see these people who have so much wanting to be a part of what we do...not in a lets throw money at it and fix it but more lets be a part of, lets share, lets support.

-one of the ladies i met at the event said to me, don't worry honey, God will bring that material blessing soon, you just see...you're just in a missionary stage of your life...and i found myself not wishing for that at all. i mean, its really nice a lot of it, but i dont want to desire all that stuff again or have it managing my life. no way. and i won't go into what i thought about that missionary stage comment...just that i don't agree. but she was very sweet and well-intentioned all the same.

-it is so important to see these people doing what they do here...sometimes it just doesn't break through to what we do in nicaragua and the people there lose heart...it was amazing to have Pastor Luis see that there is a huge number of people here working to support what he does.

-getting to see my Papa for two days...really just such a blessing, being on the other side of healing.

-in the midst of it all, just missing my nica home and family. excited to go back and share it with them.

Those of you coming to the wedding will be thrilled to know that the clinic team is coming down the same week as you all, so there will be tons of opportunities to see first hand what we have been up to and the people here stateside that have been working alongside us...i'm so excited!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

news

GUESS WHAT: Im coming stateside!!! It is only for a weekend and Im going to Colorado to translate for my pastor...he is going to share at the fundraiser in Colorado for the clinic and feeding center and last minute, their translator fell through...so I get to go!! Im so stoked.

check out missionstripnicaragua.blogspot.com to see their side of what is going on here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

may flowers and showers

Sickness.

I´ve discovered all sorts of sicknesses here in Nicaragua – stomach sicknesses that scold you for drinking that cacao fresco, gripe cold sicknesses that hang on and on and on, homesicknesses that start as an outward missing of home but then become a subtle dislike of things that are not home, stress sicknesses that just make you tired and spiritual sicknesses that weigh on your soul and make you listless.

I´m encountering a new sickness…and no, it´s not AH1N1 or whatever that thing is called now. It´s called lost footing sickness or something of the sort. I haven´t really lost my footing, I just feel like it. Maybe it is the craziness of May at my school – exams, monthly plan session, a huge fundraiser, lots of tutoring and we still have the giant holiday of mother´s day to look forward to. Maybe it’s the less than 2 months I have to prepare a wedding. Maybe it’s another bout of homesickness, realizing how out of touch I am with the people I care most about. Or maybe it’s a soul sickness, a need to get out and get quiet for a while.

I honestly think it just might be the outcome of making so many large decisions and doing life outside of the environment I was used to. It is a very strange feeling to live my life here with the absence of my family, close friends and church body. I have friends and family and church here, but it just feels different. With Peace Corps, there was at least the little US bubble you had around you all the time as a volunteer, if not in person, in mind and phone calls. But I find myself with some identity issues…I am not Nicaraguan but I don´t feel fully gringa either. And yet sometimes this distinction is important. It is just a very strange feeling, this way of living. I am not sure I can fully explain it.

Maybe it is like a lily uprooted and planted among hydrangeas. I mean, they are both plants and can relate, but a lily is not a hydrangea. Nor is a hydrangea a lily. But they can still both thrive and live in the same garden right? Even if there is not a single other lily or certainty about leaving the hydrangea garden for the lily garden?

Has anyone ever experienced this feeling before, this foreign yet not foreign transformation? Missionaries out there that know what I am talking about? I want to be clear though…just living in a foreign country does not necessarily invoke this feeling…but the integration into that community does. I´m meeting a lot of missionaries who don´t really integrate, so they don´t know what I am talking about. Maybe it is not necessarily a foreign country thing…could be a different religion or race or class thing too…who knows.

Final note: No one worry (mom or grandma ). I’m doing well actually, enjoying a lot of stuff these days. Just doing some internal processing in the public forum.

New things.

Some new things I am doing or discovering here
-I can make a pretty tasty pizza. And Mois├ęs is actually an excellent cook. We have fun in the kitchen.

-I can´t stand prideful ministers. There is something so upsetting to me about someone who uses their position as a minister for their own glory, their own authority and power…and it infuriates me to watch them use it to control others. Absolutely infuriating.

-I really enjoy movies…if you have not seen La Misma Luna, or Under the Same Moon, find it and enjoy it…really really like that one. The new Earth movie too was really fun.

-I have a huge black rat living in my ceiling. Not a fun new discovery but a new one…sick. Working on that problem this week.

-I am getting on my feet at work and connecting with my students. It feels good.

-I am realizing how much I miss being a single classroom teacher…accompanied the first graders on the field trip…what a blessing.

-I need so much more patience.

-It is really neat to be the connection between a Colorado church and my church and see how God uses it to meet needs here in El Crucero – pray for the clinic and kid´s feeding centers we have going on here.

-Only six weeks until vacation and then two more weeks after that that I get married…don´t ask me if I´m ready. :)

-I am really enjoying reading through the Old Testament…find yourself a one-year chronological bible…it is fantastic and really helps paint a fuller picture of how things happened. The story of David and his reign is particularly encouraging.

-I´m getting fat here…WAY too much Coke, chocolate splurges and popcorn. It´s become an unhealthy and out of hand stress coping mechanism after work. I gotta start exercising again!

-I miss my mama and my closest friends…not just the people but the experiences we had.

-Learning to be grateful and receive what may come with hope and joy.

-Respect is something I have to fight for without letting it affect my confidence.

-The only thing worth seeking after is Him and His kingdom.