Thursday, March 31, 2011

I don't want to be here, that's all I can say.

I don't want to be here.
I don't want to be here.
I don't want to be here.

I got on that plane without a choice. I can't take it. I sat through my classes today, and I was fine. Until Bible. Of all classes, BIBLE! SMACK! One huge stack of papers slammed on my desk. Financial videos to make up, 20 paged packets, 3 tests in the mix, and a stock project, and we call this Bible. Don't get me wrong learning how to deal with finances are important, but for Bible? This trip has opened my eyes to just how valuable life is. There are much more important things in life than money.

I couldn't take it. I cried. I cried in my piano practice room, so I called my mom. I cried. I went to Mrs. Lacey's office to drop piano. I thought I could make it, but then she made the comment on how puffy my eyes were... and so I cried. I returned to my room and let it out. I cried. I shook in agony until there was hardly anything left. I didn't think I would be able to make it through the day. And I tell everyone that asks about my puffy swollen eyes and beat red face that I'm tired, and sunburned, in hopes that they won't ask any more questions. And if they do I tell them I'm stressed out by the amount of homework and how little time I have to finish it all.

But even more than that, I don't want to be here. My heart is in Africa. I never fully realized it until I left.

We were leaving Omatako, the small boarding academy we visited to build a school and put on VBS for the kids. I said goodbye to all the kids, and then there was Maria. There are only a few kids that I had a special connection with that really stand out in my mind. Maria is one of them. Everyone loved her, I don't know how you couldn't. I picked her up in a giant hug and clung to her. She put her hand around my head and pulled it to her shoulder. Her grasp was tight and I knew she didn't want to let go either. I stood there holding the small girl. Most everyone else was in the vans ready to hit the road. A small tear formed in my eye and slid down my cheek.

I don't want to go.

I couldn't help but think I would never see her again. I don't know what kind of life she would have, how old she would live to be, would she be happy?

I can't hold it in any longer. I miss Maria. I miss the laughter from the kids. I miss the church service. I miss the music. I miss the work. I miss VBS. I miss soccer. I miss the language lessons. I miss the sunshine. I miss the late nights and early mornings. I miss the deep conversations next to the fire. I miss bartering. I miss the bright stars. I even miss the soup and bread. I miss the rain brought by the lightning and thunder clouds. I miss the hugs. I miss the dancing. I miss the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. I miss the sunrise on the dunes. I miss it all so much!

And my heart cries out.

Take me back!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stomach Flips

Africa! Everytime I hear the word my stomach flips. I tried to take a nap today after church, but the word "Africa" kept creeping into my head. I would roll over and toss back and forth hoping to get rid of the butterflies. No such luck.

I'm reading this book right now about a student missionary and her experiences in Cambodia for 10 months. Right now I'm almost half way, and she's about 5 months into the trip. It's horrible! She hates it there! She's not having any fun and all she really wants to do is go home, that's all she ever thinks about. She was traveling to go sightseeing in a new town one day and while on the train, she met a Spanish traveler. He had been everywhere! She tried to understand the man's broken English the best she could. He told her of all the beautiful places he'd been, and all the things he'd seen. "I've seen breathtaking landscapes on the coast of Greece and beautiful countrysides in Florence, Italy that are indescribable."
"That sounds gorgeous!" She said. "It can be so hard to find beauty in Cambodia, especially in the city!"
"Oh, the beauty is here. You just have to look for it. The character and values, culture and smiles of this country are infectious."

I wonder what I'll find in Africa. Is the desert beautiful? Picturing it in my head makes me want to say no. Not breathtaking at all... It must all depend on perspective. The sights we see in America of ideal conditions and beautiful landscapes are the norm. I wonder if I will be able to adjust to this new culture, so I can actually experience this adventure.

Some people think that as missionaries, God does not exist in the foriegn countries until He is brought there. That simply isn't true. God is everywhere. Different parts all over the world may not be immune to Him, but He is there. Our job, as missionaries then, is to point Him out in the beauty we see.

I'm praying for open eyes through this trip. I want to SEE everything in all it's glory. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I have to make it count for all that it's worth.

I heard today that the sky at night is so jam packed full of stars there is hardly a blank space without any in the sky. If this is true, how could anyone NOT see God? God is definitely present in our midst... just look to the sky.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

1 Hand 5 Fingers

Hold out your hand. 5 fingers. Imagine each finger representing a 24 hr period. This hand represents the amount of time before I get on a bus and begin my travels to Namibia. 5 days. Count it on one hand.

Last night we had our final Africa meeting. We had a pretty intense conversation. Mrs. Carter, who is basically our mom, told us vital information about being cautious while we were traveling through the cities and towns. She told us, that as women, we are more susceptible to danger. Now, I know every where you go there's risk invovled. Living is a risk. Sex trafficking, theft, and all these awful things happen in every country. But last night, the way she phrased it, even the walls trembled with fear. It went cold in the room as the joking came to a sudden holt, and everyones smirks fell from their faces. A frightened look blazed in their eyes. She described the way men look at women, using words like hunger, lust, desire, and insignificant. She recalled an experience while walking through a village, where she felt violated by the penetrating stares. These people have a single goal everyday. Survival. Life is not seen as valuable. People die everyday, it's a common occurance, so what's one more life?

The rule was established. They couldn't stress it enough. Girls are never to go anywhere without a boy.

Living in America my entire life, I watch women live for themselves. They don't need anyone to provide or "protect" them. They're capable of dealing with lifes struggles alone. Completely independent. I consider myself fairly independent apart from the fact that I rely on my parents for my boarding education. So this new instruction seems kind of repulsive. I guess for 2 weeks, I don't really have much choice. I'm sure in a situation like the one Mrs. Carter described I'd be more than happy to have a guy by my side.

Last night, a good friend of mine told me he was bringing a knife. I looked at him, and knew if anything were to go terribly wrong, he would give his life for me. For any girl I'm sure. This gave me quite a bit of reassurance, but didn't entirely put my mind at ease.

And so here I am, 5 days away from one of the biggest adventures of my life. Frightened, a little. Excited, substantially! Ready? Absolutely!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sing: to Vocalize Melodically

I like to sing. I like to sing if it's a song that I like. I like to sing when I mean every word. I like to sing at church. I like to sing while dancing. I like to sing with friends. I like to sing when I'm holding back a burst of laughter. I like to sing in the car. I like to sing at nursing homes. I like to sing for the homeless. I like to sing in big shows, performances, and musicals. I like to sing in Taco Bell. I like to sing in an old train boxcar re-done as a small diner. I like to sing on ferry's. I like to sing with 8 people squeezed into a small confined girls bathroom in the dark. I like to sing in hot spring caves in Canada. Yes siree! I sure do like to sing.

3 Pennies in a Puddle

Yesterday, I walked out of a Canadian Starbucks and into a puddle in the parking lot. I looked down to find 3 shiny pennies glistening in the water. I shouldn't say "pennies," they were the equivalent to an American penny. I'm not sure what they're called up in Canada. I couldn't help but stop and think about how random it was that 3 pennies were in 1 puddle in the street. Why 3? All in THIS puddle? As I began to make my way back to the car I thought of different scenario's to explain this mystery. The best story I came up with was either someone was having a bad day, and needed to make a wish, or a small child wanted to wish just for the adventure in it. In the small town of Nelson, where I found myself to be at the time, there are no wishing wells or fountains. So of course the next best thing, and obviously most convienent, is the puddle in front of them. And no risks could be taken. 3rd times a charm.

... Or someone was getting into their car and lost some change... but over-analyzing everything makes life a bit more fascinating.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

yucky, slushy, mush.

I walk out the door as the bell rings. Puddles slush underneath my feet as I jog frantically on the trail to the ad building. The snow is wet today. Slushy. It's a perfect day for rain boots. Too bad I don't own a pair. There's almost a foot of snow lining the edge of the sidewalk. It's sticky. Perfect for a snowball fight, but all I really want to do is go to the cafe and grab a piece of cardboard to take to the hills of wheat. The massive snowflakes fall heavily, and cover my clothes. I can feel my hair getting wet, and I lick my lips to remove the melted snow. I walk past the pillars and through the doors with wet glob's stuck on my eyelashes making it difficult to see. I'm covered in white for a few short seconds, and only soaked for a few more seconds after that. I find my way through the classroom doors, turn in my assignment on the way to my seat. The bell rings. We begin another writing assignment.
Karalee Rhuman
Sr. Comp. 1:45
Pro 1
March 1st, and still no sun.