Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the struggle


instantly gone

escaping my grasp

jerking my heart

shouting in my ear

and I cry

not yet please not yet

the master of broken promises

talent of fierce cruelty

i am nothing but a nuisance

locked in the struggle


fighting for air

for a voice
for a whisper
for a murmer
for a whimper

for a breath

surrendering to Time.

Monday, April 25, 2011


The ocean waves crashed along the side of the shore.
The fire was to our backsides as we faced the open sea.
Too hot.
The moonlight was streaming through the trees and slowly uncovering over the hill.
Orions belt was clear as day, but the stars were limited.
The conversation was light and simple, but needed.
Nothing compares to Africa, yet somehow when I went to bed, I still got the same jittery feeling inside my heart.
With a smile set firmly on my face, sleep bestowed upon me, and sweet dreams settled in the air.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby Steps

Sleep? Help the homeless?.... Sleep?... Help the homeless?
But I'm SO tired! And sick! I should just sleep today.
Dang it.
And then I thought about those Africa kids I saw today in the video of our trip at church and my heart melted a little bit. I'm so selfish.

So with 5 minutes to spare I threw on some warm clothes and ran down to grab Lianne. She grabbed a warmer ski jacket to go over her sweatshirt, and grabbed her starbucks giftcard and we headed out to meet the bus.

Long story short, we ended up finding some people wrapped in sleeping bags and tarps under the bridge trying to sleep. We gave our sack lunches to them, some chapstick and umbrellas and started to walk away. We got about 10 feet away and Lianne stopped and turned to me and said, "I want to give them my jacket, is that weird?"
"No, that's not weird." I replied, kind of taken back because it was a fairly nice ski jacket. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yeah." So she walked over and laid it across their sleeping bag like an extra blanket. She doesn't know it, but this completely blew me away. If I had my ski jacket would I give it away spur of the moment like she did? No. I know the answer, straight up. I'm too selfish. If I told my parents I gave it away to the homeless or even lost it I would be in BIG trouble, I'm talkin' BIG! Even after going to Africa and having a softened heart I couldn't do it. I'm so impressed. It's just a little thing I suppose, but it's huge!

Then we came upon an old man and his son. His son had just gotten back from the military and ended up on the streets. He's been trying to get his dad out off the streets for a couple years now, but nothing has happened. He asked us what we were doing on this road, apparently even the cops are afriad to go down this street. He told us we should probably get out of here as soon as we could, just to be safe. He was a nice man, I liked him, but he smelled strongly of alchol. We sat and talked to his dad for about 1/2 an hour. He told us stories and jokes, but the very first thing he said to us was, "All four of you, WHEN and HOW did you find God?" How could he tell we were Christians?

I started getting jittery. I really did NOT want to answer this question. Yes, this would be cool, and a great ministry, I know I should be excited about sharing God, but I'm not ready. I'm NOT! And then I think of all the people God use and they never think they're ready either, but seriously here. I'm NOT. I'm STILL SEARCHING. I know nothing, I can't answer tough questions, I try out on the hall some nights and it's a challenge, and if I can't answer I feel like a complete failure. Thankfully Cedric spoke up and the homless man forgot about the rest of us. Cedric kind of avoided the question as well. Eventually the old man forgot about it, and we began talking of other things. He grabbed a coin from his pocket and read, "God grand me the serenity to except the things I cannot change, and change the things I can." He told us this was the motto he was trying to live by. He was an alcholic, that's what has kept him out on the streets, and he decided he wanted to make a change. So we wrote down all the contact information we could so we could find him again and try to help him.
Name: Red Rob
Location: Under the bridge every morning at 7:30
Suddenly his son and another man came out from around the corner throwing fists in the air at each other.
"Dude, there's kids here, not here, not now." The son said.
They eventually compromised and the other man walked away. Not long after, the son abrubtly changing his mind, made a fist meeting hand motion in the air towards the man walking away, and ran after him.

We decided we should get going, but the old man was having fun and didn't want to stop telling us rather disturbing jokes.

I hope we made a difference today.

We sang hymns today at Sundown med. I noticed that directly behind me an underclassman was sitting alone. I told my friends sitting in my row and we scooted down and invited her to sit with us. She gladly excepted, and the smile on her face as she sat down put a fire in my heart. YES!

I feel rather accomplished today. Like I really am making a difference in the world, or at least I'm witnessing a change. Sure, maybe no one else noticed, it was just little. But baby steps are only the beginning. Giving up a nap was definitely worth it. Thank you African children for giving me the courage and energy I need to make a change. I'm changing my way of thinking, and ultimately my life. If only they knew.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apathetic Slugs

We're learning about Mollusks in Marine Bio this week. Snails and slugs are apart of the gastropoda class, which is the biggest class in the mollusca phylum, comprising over 80% of all molluscs.

Lately I've been feeling a lot like a slug. Homework is at the end of my to do list. I don't really have a to do list, I do, but not really. It's in the back of my mind, I'm talkin' WAY back! I waste a lot of time avoiding it. I'm tired but I don't sleep, instead I visit with friends longer than I should, or sit at my computer reading blogs to get inspired for the day or look at Africa pictures for the 25th time. Wasted time.

Time is so precious. I've recently been exposed to this concept. It's SO PRECIOUS. Walking around Africa you could see that plain as day, life is short.

Graduation is around the corner. I get sad thinking about it. I don't want to spend my free time locked in my room doing homework, I would much rather make the last of my high school days put to good use. I'm already planning a sprinkler, water fight up at the field when it gets warm enough. Coffee runs in the morning mixed with watching the sunrise and going running. Making omlet's at Soule's house and getting off campus more. Visiting the tunnels and exploring to unknown places. Making new friendships and deepening the old ones. Riding bikes, playing frisbee, basketball, hide and seek, and the tickle monster. Swinging, jumping rope, working out, dancing, and yoga. Korean food, zip lines, barbaques, sun tanning in Soule's backyard, dinner on the roof, cafe runs, R.A. late night parties, movies till 3 AM, smoothies, gymnastics in the rain, cookie dough, and pineapples. Tea parties, store raids, experiments, dress up, picnics in cool places, pictures, and trying that Maui burger from the Harvester.

So I sit here in Senior Composition class, already behind on my paper... but I don't care. Call me a slug.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Goose Bumps

Goose bumps.
Not from being cold.
The kind you get all over again thinking back to fond memories.
Like watching the sunrise at the sand dunes.
Or African children singing their little hearts out to you.
The sunset at the beach.
Deep conversations around the fire with the late night stragglers.
Heart-to-hearts in the middle of the road.
Walking to the pier and down the beach at dusk with a friend.
Hugs and goodbye's to African friends.
R.A. celebrations.
Finding out you've inspired someone to change their way of life for the better. "I want what you have." She said.

These goose bumps.
The good kind.
I like these.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dream To The Other Side of The World

I would really like to be back on the warm beach in Swakopmund, strolling down the shore with sand squishing through my toes, crashing waves ushering foamy water around my ankles, and the best sunset of my life out beyond the distant waters.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On My Way

I sit here crammed inbetween the window in the wall and a sick kid on the trip. He leans his head against the fold-down table connected to the chair in front of him. He sleeps. The seats are small and I wonder how most Americans could fit in a chair like this. The girl in front of me leans her chair back to try to catch up with lost sleep. I begin to feel clastrophobic and my heart begins to race. Everything in me is telling me get out! But I am enclosed by all 4 sides. My knees press against the seat in front of me as I hold my pillow - an extra carry-on - in my lap. My feet squeeze into the hole on the ground created by back packs under and around the seat. We begin yet another journey - an hour from our destination - well, the country of our destination. I bend to bring my head down to the window and stare out as we lift off the ground. I see a huge city with sky scrapers, big buildings and pools in the backyards of brightly painted houses. Everyone has a pool. And I don't blame them, it's hot and it's only morning. Not far from the city and the neighborhoods, but distinctly seperate lies the houses of scraps; like you see in the movies with flat tin roofs and sticks, mud, fabric, garbage and cardboard to frame the walls. It's colorful, but not in the same way as the houses with pools. It makes me sad, and as I contintue staring more and more of these "houses" or "shacks" appear. Distinctly seperate. Their own community. Rough. I wonder what life is like down there.

I get my food. It's vegetarian - because I was too scared to sign up for normal (note to self, never do this again!) - it comes out first. First, I extract the hard bread roll from its plastic wrapper. I bring it to my mouth. It's like a rock. Yum. I give up and go for the main dish. I unpeal the tinfoil. Wonder what it is today. Cooked tomatoes, squash - well, at least I think it's squash - and lots and lots of mushrooms. This looks great, I love vegetables, and back home I would throw these on the girll and eat up. But the vegetables on my plate smell funny so I try them. They're drenched in oil and they taste the same as all the other meals I've ate in the last 48 hours... or haven't ate. Strange. They all have the same funny airplane taste. I just can't get past it. Oh well. So I put my fork down and go for the crackers. These I can count on. At least I know what to expect.

I'm done with my meal before anyone else in my row has even gotten theirs. It didn't take long considering I didn't eat much. They won't take my tray until they serve everyone on the plane, so once again I begin to feel more claustrophobic considering the tray sitting on the fold-down table, against my pillow on my lap takes up more of my personal space. So I wait. Everyone gets food. Everyone finishes. My tray is taken with the rest. I grab Emily's book, determined to make my first dent in it, but I can't focus. I want to write but I can't find a pen. So, I suck it up and sit. And wait.

We descend through the puffy clouds and make our way towards ground. The bushes and trees are plenty and I get excited when I see the traditional African tree (little did I know there would be millions of them everywhere we went).

We escape the plane on stairs that lead out to the asphalt - like in the movies. The airport is small. There's only one small plane across on the other side of the building. Palm trees line the entrance.

We get our baggage and wait ouside. We hear thunder and see lightning in the distance. I send up a quick prayer for rain. It does - short and sweet. We load up into the vans and we're off.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Oreos For The Hungry

I was making my way home this afternoon from school and I got off the freeway. I came to a red light at Pleasant View Road, where I was taking a left. There was a man on the corner with a sign:

Just Hungry.
God Bless.

I tried not to look at him, after all that's what I've been taught all my life to do. Ignore it. The people on the street just want your money for drugs... they could get a job, right? You shouldn't stare and make it awkward. But then I thought, maybe he just needs a smile today. So I smiled. He sort of smiled back. I thought about the kids in Africa and pictured their swollen bellies from malnutrition. He was hungry. If I had a friend sitting next to me with a growling stomach I would offer them any food I had. The light turned green and I was turning the corner. Aha! My oreos! I had grabbed a few from my room before I left. I was trying to think of any other food I could offer. I had just finished my blended chai, and I felt a little guilty. I was a ways down the road, and I thought about turning back. I contimplated, I had to make a decision FAST! I hate decisions! So I thought... but I didn't know what to do. I didn't know if I would get stopped at that light again and have time to give them to him... it just seemed complicated, and I was all alone. So, I kept driving.

I thought about it the rest of the drive home. I still wonder if I made the right choice. It was just oreos...