Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Last Days in Jarabacoa

Sorry I haven’t blogged in SO long! I got caught up in the hustle and bustle of saying goodbye to people, having some last adventures, and then packing up and leaving. This blog might be a long one considering I have so much to say!

Where did I leave off? I’ll start on Wednesday. The rumor that Josh Hill and I (one of the interns) are dating is still going strong, and everyone gets a big kick out of that joke. You will see why later. Today was the day in which we traveled to La Vega to play volleyball, and then that night was the volleyball outreach night in the community I am normally in, Pinar Quemado. I went into this night with excitement to see my girls, not knowing that after I would have to say my last goodbyes to two of the ones I had gotten really close with because we wouldn’t be able to make it back to this community the rest of the time I was here. The outreach was good, we played around and Raul spoke at the end. When it came time for leaving I said bye to the girls ( Kasey and Lili) and Kasey started sobbing. I was strong up until that point. I don’t think it was the fact that I was going to miss her a lot, which I will! But more of the fact that I was starting my goodbye’s and I hate those. Jess held me on the bus on the way home while I shed some tears as quiet as I could. It’s a weird feeling not knowing if I will ever see these people again.

Thursday was the hike that we do for every outreach! It started out awesome and so fun until we got to the bottom. Being the klutz that I am, I fell and heard my ankle pop and immediately felt immense pain. It swelled up almost immediately and I seriously questioned whether or not it was broken. Then reality hit that I had to to hike the 40 min hike, UPHILL, with this ankle. Luckily, my friends Jess, Joan, and Moreno helped me. Joan and Moreno really are one of a kind friends, they were only concerned about my health, and made the trip actually kinda fun. We took breaks whenever I needed them, but being the stubborn person I am, I just wanted to get to the top without a lot of breaks. We finally made it to the top and I was rushed to the physical therapist, who told me to go get an X-ray b/c he wasn’t sure if it was broken. I went to the doctor, and had to get a shot, in my butt, for the inflammation. For those of you that really know, know that I HATE shots, and I had no idea what a shot in the butt felt like, but I found out real quick! The X-ray results showed that nothing was broken, but I was already bruised and so swollen, he told me it was just a grade 3 or 4 sprain and that I would need crutches for a few days and lots of icing. I think I used the crutches for... 3 days. I was just tired of using them, so I didn’t :) It’s still swollen and bruised but it’s gone down a lot, and i’m walking on it like a champ. That night I even went to watch Jess and Heather play another game in La Vega that I was invited to play in, but obviously couldn’t.

Friday was my last day of outreach duties, and it was weird to see it come to an end. My girls this outreach were absolutely amazing, I couldn’t have asked for more. They were so encouraging even with my hurt ankle and crutches, and made everything seem so much fun. That night was the banquet, my last one. At the end there is a time in which all the site leaders (like Jess) come up and say a little something about the students they had for the week. We conveniently went last, and after Jess said something about our students, she moved onto me. It was a very sweet, touching speech in which she was crying and couldn’t finish her words, and of course that made me cry. Jess was a very special person to me on this trip, and we got as close as sisters. It was awesome. After she was done, all the interns came up and Vicki (my boss) said some nice things about me, and all surrounded me and prayed over me. I got a few parting gifts. Some earrings, and a really cool photo album that Jess made, with letters in it from a lot of the people I had contact with here. It’s so cool to see the impact that you didn’t really think you had!

The next morning we left for the BEACH! All the interns and our bosses (Josh and Vicki that all of us call dad and mom) left for a resort a few hours away that was all inclusive, and absolutely beautiful. I felt so spoiled. The weekend consisted of our days being spent laying out at the beach and the many pools, going to the swim up bar for non-alcoholic drinks, and being in community with each other. Some of my favorite times were at nights when we would all just sit on the beach chairs down by the beach and talk, share testimonies, and worship together. There is one particular night that sticks out to me the most, because it was the night I was completely embarrassed, more embarrassed than I’ve ever been in my whole life. Well, remember the running joke about me and Josh Hill dating? Well he took it to a whole new level. Our last dinner night, he clinked his glass in the middle of the restaurant to get everyone’s attention in the WHOLE restaurant. I knew at that moment that I was going to be embarrassed. He proceeded to go this whole explanation of how we had fallen in love, in a really loud voice. And then got down on one knee and proposed with one of the interns old rings she had dug up. Needless to say, I screamed the entire time out of embarrassment. All I could hear was all the interns laughter, and everyone in the restaurant that we didn’t know saying.. say yes! So all I could do was mutter under my breath, sure. He jumped around like an idiot and screamed “I’m marrying this woman!!” which proceeded to embarrass me even more. We got congratulated several times, and Josh was loving it. When we got back to the base the next day, he told everyone there, all of our staff and our bosses. The director thought it was hilarious, and ended up playing a cruel joke on Josh to get him back yesterday, yess!

Tuesday I was officially signed out of Students International, and that meant that I could ride motorcycles. Jess had put together a motorcycle 4 hour trip for me her, and her visiting sister Heather to go on. It was so scary, and fun, and tiring! My body hurts more than I ever thought it could today, because of all the bumpiness and weird ways my body moved and stayed in one spot for so long. But riding in the Dominican Republic, with not a care in the world around mountains and rivers, was absolutely priceless. That night I went to the base to say bye to all the staff, and then after dinner the interns and some of my Dominican friends all came over to say goodbye. It’s a cool feeling knowing that all those people came for me, and I didn’t even cry saying goodbye because I think I’d already cried enough.

This morning we got up super early to drive Heather and I to the airport. My two closest guy friends, Joan and Moreno came with us just to say goodbye. Joan even made me a shirt with a bunch of spanish song lyrics on the back to signify our friendship, and we found it quite funny that he wrote his name in big letters on the front, instead of mine. I can’t wait to wear it :) Now i’m sitting in the airport with Heather in Miami as we wait for our departing flights to Michigan and me to St. Louis. Now I really know that my trip has come to an end. I never thought God could bless me as much as he has this past six weeks. I was blessed with an even stronger relationship with him, a strong strong love for another country, amazing interns who became my brothers and sisters in Christ and friendships I know I can rely on, and a special sister, Jess, who will always know how to help me and will continually try to get me to come back and be on staff somehow, someway. Who knows what my next step is? All I can concentrate on right now, is taking my state standard test, going home, student teaching, and then seeing where God wants me. I know he will show me in his timing, and I can’t take it for granted. Thanks for an amazing six weeks God, it was more than I could have EVER asked for.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Showing me new things...

God is so good! Can i just say that first?
Okay great! So this weekend was a good one and a kinda busy one.
Saturday Katy and I led an excursion to the lower falls, and just sat by the water and read for a few hours which was SO relaxing and much needed even if it was way too hot, and we stayed there for wayyyy too long. oh well! That night we took teams around to shop in the city, and then to dinner as well. My group was pretty easy and simple, so they didn't stress me or Mackalah out at all!
Sunday some of the interns led the prayer walk in the morning while the others went to church and then vice versa in the afternoon. This prayer walk was cool because I for once felt the leader side in me come out, which is something I don't normally experience. Sure, I've been captain on a few teams I've been on in the past, but never really a spiritual leader. I've always looked up to certain role models in my life for that, and haven't really been looked up to or led in that way really before. The prayer walk opened my eyes to that. I had four girls, and we have a sheet where we pray for different things in the community of Jarabacoa that we are serving in. And yes, I've already led too, but this one they were so dependent on me and hung on my every word, it was so cool.
That same afternoon we went to Amor a Quisqueaya (I have NO idea how to spell it), which is the church I am prone to going to b/c Jess goes there and all my volleyball girls and baseball boys. Jess brought my favorite little five year old (Weeme) and she fell asleep on my lap. That night at bible study, we had a really good discussion over the book we are reading, "Crazy Love", and then split into our prayer groups (boys and girls). My prayer this week was a praise for feeling like such a leader with this team, and my request was for all the goodbyes I have to make soon. We all prayed and when it was my turn to be prayed for I bawled like a baby. I have grown so close to this group of interns, and we are just starting to have more and more fun. My heart is here and I'm not ready to leave.
Monday came and went, with lots of volleyball being played and fellowship with my students. We have been sharing our testimonies sparingly throughout this outreach, and on Monday we heard several. It was cool for us girls to just sit around and learn about each others lives for a few hours. Monday night was a free night for us interns, we went and had dinner in town (chicken fingers.. SO good) and then ice cream, and then to watch some of my guy friends play softball. That night when I got back I had a note waiting for me, from a girl from this outreach.
Let me back up, I had a couple awesome notes in my lunch earlier that day.. from two of the interns that were so encouraging and just all around awesome! Then that night when I saw I had a note and read it I realized how much God's hand is in all of this. The note was from a girl named Morgan whom i really BARELY know.. it was so sweet. It said that she has been thinking about me, and God had really laid me on her heart to pray for. So the letter was a prayer, and then she asked for some prayer for herself as well. I teared up and thanked God for all the weird and crazy things he does.
Today.. the men's sports intern Josh and I are pretty close, and we decided to take our day off together and visit the developmental therapy site where Mackalah works with her fun site leader Amy :)
I LOVED it.. I have a whole new appreciation for people who deal with special education kids like that that are so severe. Mackalah and Amy have such strong patience levels and high energy to deal with so many kids all day! Mack took lots of pictures of me with the kids since my camera isn't working, I'll put them on facebook soon! Meanwhile, Andrea (an intern) came to the site, and delivered me two more notes. One from my boss and her husband ( we call them mom and dad), and one from Angie an intern whom I'm so close with! I teared up, then realized that notes from people on staff here whom i've connected with is a reoccurring theme, what a wonderful friend in Mackalah I have. It was partly her idea and some other intern(s) as well. They are so great! They know how hard it is for me to leave, and are making me feel so good about it.
Also, this morning during worship one of the leaders of one of the groups here, whom I've gotten to talk to quite a bit about life and other things handed me a piece of paper with two verses on it, he said that he was praying last night and those came up for him to give to me. Isn't that so crazy? Ahh it's such a reassuring feeling seeing how God thinks about you and cares for you.
Tomorrow we have a game in La Vega again, and I'm excited!


Goodbye's suck.. help me to be at peace with leaving.

My shoulder has been bothering me a LOT lately with all the volleyball and activeness, but I love being able to play!

God to continue to show me great things this last week..

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Beginning, and Almost the end..

I've been wanting to blog for a few days now.. but just haven't been able to find the time. Now as I finally get my much needed two hour break.. i'm ready to blog.
I got a new team this week, six girls. At first, I was so nervous because six girls is a lot! I didn't know if I could handle the hormones of six teenagers. But I was completely wrong. I love these girls. One of the older ones is only two years younger than me and is in her second year of college, and that makes me relate to her so much better! These girls are just so different in their attitudes, the way they carry themselves, and their maturity level. Ahh, it's a relief.
Jess's sister Heather is also here visiting for a few weeks, we actually leave on the same day and the same flight. Which will be nice to have someone there to talk to and hang out with in the airport.
This week Jess and I have talked about really wanting to make sure we are being serious about wanting to practice volleyball a lot, and be able to motivate the girls for our weekly games in La Vega. I think this has been a big turning point for Jess and her site because this really motivates the girls to want to work hard to be able to travel and play. And when they do that, they are able to hear God's word and messages spoken through people from him, which is always so cool.
Wednesday we had a good English class in the morning. One of the new approaches Jess is taking to this class is to use groups which I have been taught is good way of learning, and it has been good interaction for the students, which is what they need! After class we went and played around for a couple hours in the sun on our volleyball court. Here, I had to actually use my spanish skills to ask one of the boys whose house the net was at, and could he go get it for me? Jess was picking up some of the girls from another community and wasn't there, so I felt as if I needed to step up for once! :) It was fun and encouraging for me.
After a couple hours of practice we ate and Jess and I shared testimonies, which was good. After that we went right back to practice. I could honestly say that by the end of that day, I was more exhausted than I've been since I've been here. It was just a long day in the sun, with no shade, but well worth it!
Thursday we started playing volleyball right from the get-go. We played for a couple hours, then Heather , Viansy, and some of the DR girls went to Jess's to just hang out while the rest of the students and Jess made a trip to the store. After lunch and resting we headed to the river to a place called "The Jacuzzi". It's a little tiny waterfall with some rocks to jump off of, and the water below swirls around like crazy, like a jacuzzi :) The water was SO cold but felt good. That night we went to dinner in the community again, and we had it at Viansy's house. Viansy is a 19 year old Dominican girl that is Jess's assistant at the volleyball site. She is just an older example to the girls, and helps Jess out a lot when I'm not here, her and I bond and gel really well together and I like learning Spanish from her, and teaching English to her. Her mom is an amazing cook, so I knew I would be eating good! We ate so fast and had about 2 hours to waste, so we had a team photo shoot, with all my students from this outreach. It was really fun, and there were lots of giggles and craziness shared. We also had some time to love on some of the kids in the community. I would show you pictures.. BUT my camera is broken. The lens is stuck, and I think that some sand got in there and it won't open. Oh well, I'm hoping people can just take plenty of pictures for me :)
Today, we had class this morning but it was test, that the Americans took as well! Then we played some baseball with the men's sport site. We took a break for lunch and hung out for a bit during "siesta" then walked down to the river where we just played and swam and talked. There is a sand pit on shore that some people wrestled in, so we all surrounded the two would compete and watch, it is so funny and also kinda scary!
Tonight is a worship concert which I'm so excited about, who doesn't love a good worship time??
Also, I had to meet with the doctor on staff today because my big toenail is falling off. He said he is going to get some numbing stuff and just PULL it right off. He said if he doesn't so that, it will hurt really bad tomorrow, and possibly get infected. Yikes, not looking forward to that at all.
This weekend is the excursion (i'm going on a little hike), and shopping and dinner in town, church on sunday, and relaxation to start a new and long week! It should be wonderful.
Something you can pray for besides my usual requests that I will post in a second is clarity. I've been struggling with what God wants for me from here, whether to see about coming on staff as a full time missionary, or opening up doors just for summer work, or not even at all. I am trying not to let my emotions of wanting to be here get in the way of what God is calling me to do, so if you could pray for that.. that would be awesome!

Prayer Requests:

My toe! :)
Continue to keep me healthy
Peace- since i'm leaving SO soon and I definitely don't want to.. my heart is here!
Strength to finish my time here strong and with everything I have...

Thanks! :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

End of the Week and Weekend off!

I was so looking forward to Friday, because it meant the week and the outreach was over!
But when it finally came to an end, I was not as happy as I thought. I happened to get pretty close to a few of the high schoolers, and since I hate saying goodbye to people.. it was harder than I thought. The kids I got to know.. were my favorite by far. But we all exchanged facebook names and things like that, so I know we will be keeping in touch.
Friday, Mackalah came and hung out at the baseball site on her day off, which was absolutely fantastic! I loved her being able to see what I do and who I hang out with everyday. Except we didn't have volleyball practice so she didn't get to meet all my girls, but that's okay. We went to the river in the afternoon and jumped off cliffs again and it was a blast! Friday night was the banquet for the end of the outreach, and I loved being able to take pictures with everyone, socialize, and eat some wonderful food. After the banquet, we hung out and played some games with some of the Dominicans, and then Katy and I rematched out Domino opponents, David and Rodley, and lost again.. surprise surprise.
Saturday morning we got up to say goodbye to the Bakersfield group ( which has the students I got the closest with in it), and I said goodbye with the notion that I would be seeing them later since I was invited to go hang out with them at the resort they were spending the day at. One of the staff members here, Amy let me take her car there to hang out with them.. so nice of her! I went and laid by the pool and swam for a few hours and then said my real goodbyes.
That night we went over to the Slabach's house for hangout time, dinner, and a movie. Nate and Maggie Slabach's are two of the head missionaries in this area, and their daughters Andrea and Chastity have become pretty close with us interns, and we all wanted hangout time! One of the interns, Laurel, cooked up some Moroccan food, we played some games, and then we watched Nacho Libre, in which most of us fell asleep :)
Sunday was the day that most of us had been looking forward to for a week!! We were going to the beach!! We know that we have been living on an island for the past month, but since we are in the mountains you can't really tell, and now we have proof! The trip to the beach is about 2 hours, and so well worth it. We packed 14 people into the Students International 15 passenger van and had some great bonding time on the way. All of the interns are sharing their testimonies at one point or another before I leave, and we heard 3 yesterday, and 2 the week before that at Bible Study. I never realized how much testimonies open your eyes to, you can really have a better understanding of that person when you hear their background. It creates so much more community with the group. The beach itself was SO awesome.. oh my gosh. We left at 7:45 and got to the beach around 10. I was nervous how long we were going to stay, because I know that I could stay at the beach ALL day and be completely content with it. We all got to the beach, and we immediately rented some umbrellas and chairs and ran into the water. Oh my gosh, I wish I could explain what it felt like to finally be in salt water again. I loved every second of it! After playing around and laying out for a few hours we walked to all the restaurants on the beach, and landed on one called Jose O'Shea's.. which was an irish pub with all kinds of american, mexican, italian, and dominican food. It was great!
We headed back to where our stuff was, laid out, read, went swimming, body surfed, walked along the beach, laid out, read and swam :) We didn't leave until 6 at night, and got back at like 8:30 ( we were going up the mountain so it took a little longer) We were all sunburnt and tired so we just watched Kung Fu Panda and went to bed. It was a wonderful wonderful day.. I LOVE the beach :)
Today we meet the new teams that are coming in! I'm excited and have big expectations for the SIX girls that I have at my site. Josh (the boys sports site intern) has TEN students, and since we do a lot of things together, it is going to be a big group this outreach. But it gives me more responsibility and I'm really excited about that :)

Prayer Requests:
The new team coming in, that the girls at my site would go a little better than last time
Strength for my next few weeks here, i'm getting sad that I'm leaving so soon!
Continuous bonding with the interns, and all of us being a body as a whole together
The girls that we are coaching would continue to show up and work hard

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

An Exciting Couple of Days!

So I left you all with the beginning of the week that I considered to be EXTREMELY long. Well, it kinda was.. but now that it's coming to an end, I don't really know how I feel about it. One, it makes me think of how I only have a little less than three weeks left, and two.. I've really connected with some of the high schoolers and I'm going to miss them a lot.
So Monday and Tuesday were pretty chill days, which was nice. I've created for myself somewhat of a social life since I've been here. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that is reading this whatsoever. We "work" all day, then dinner and then if we don't have to help out with the activity for that evening we try to make other plans. Our newest hangout has been in Cristo Rey, which is the place where the baseball site is. We go with Jess and watch the men play softball, which they are so awesome at. My guy friends that I'm always hanging out with are always there. My friend Moreno and I have been having more conversations lately, but there is a language barrier there b/c he only speaks Spanish and I only speak English, but I really am learning a lot and am trying to get better at it and he is working on English so it's working.. kinda!
Tuesday we went on the prayer walk in the evening for about an hour. I was given a group of 5 high school students, by myself, and we walked around the community of Cristo Rey. The instructions were, that if we felt led to stop and pray somewhere then we did it. Somehow, I got with the 5 high schoolers that I am the closest with. Which I was a little nervous about, because I wasn't sure how involved they would get, or how serious they would take it. It ended up going beyond my expectations. They started a lot of the prayers and the stops we made. But it did make me think, did I pray like that in high school? Did I pray without a lot of passion, but really did mean it? I'm not saying that my praying abilities are so amazing. Because I truly do believe that no matter what your prayer is or how it's prayed, God hears it. This made me look back at see how much I've matured over the years, and made me feel a little accomplished, but also SO proud of my high schoolers as the same time.
Wednesday was one of THE best days I've had here so far. You wanna know why? I really felt like I accomplished a LOT. Remember the game that I blogged about a bit ago that we were trying to get organized for the girls? Well it finally happened! With the help of Raul, we scheduled a game in La Vega, which is about 40 min away. We took two trucks, one for all the volleyball girls and then some, and one for all the baseball guys. They were supposed to have a game, but it got cancelled because of the rain, and they still came to support us, which was so cool! The place we ended up going to ended up being really nice and inside. When I say really nice, I mean it was still a concrete court, and there was no air condition, and no lights inside only natural light from the tons of little blocks cut out. Jess and I have been coaching the younger girls, so that was the most important game. Then we brought a few older girls, and used our two high school girls (who don't play volleyball) and me and Jess to play as well :)
It was fun being a volleyball coach again. ( I coached a 6th grade team for my high school senior project and these girls were about that same age.) And at first we were a little nervous b/c the other girls were all wayy bigger than our girls, and a little older too. But we ended up winning the first two games, and since it was 2 out of 3 it was over. It was a great feeling! Next came the big girls games. I haven't played competitively since high school, so this was so weird, but I loved being back in the competitive mode and getting into it. The guys were so supportive, and my proudest moment was jumping up to block a ball (which never happens b/c I'm so short), and actually getting a little bit of a hand on it and slowing it down! It was awesome :) The only downfall was, we were playing the National team. And they were all so awesome, but we only ended up losing each game by like 6, so that was an accomplishment, at the end we had a little devotional and then Jess exchanged numbers with the coach and one of the girls in order to set up more games in the future. Our goal is to go there once every outreach, and my heart leaped for joy when Jess turned me to as we were walking out and said, "Cristi look what you did, this was all your idea!" My immediate thought was Thank you Lord, you have helped me really be involved :)
Today, we went on that tiring hike again. But this time seemed to be SO much easier since I've done it once before, and I actually faced a fear and slid down the rock water slide. My fear of heights is so evident, but I'm trying little things :)
Tomorrow is the last day with these students from this outreach, and I don't know what to expect.. but i DO hate goodbyes.. with a passion.

Prayer Requests:
Clarity on some confusing thoughts..
Safe Travels for these teams as they head back home to the states..
Rest for me and Jess this weekend..
my family as they are on vacation :)

Thanks everyone.. sorry it's long :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while!
I feel like sometimes I get SO busy, all I want to do is plop on my bed and check things really quick and go to bed.
Okay.. so I've learned a little about high schoolers so far. One.. they aren't all at the same maturity level as my sister is (which is what I was expecting) and two.. there are some that I enjoy hanging out with. The girls that are at my site, are a little immature in some ways, but LOVE learning about the culture and are always excited to learn more and be involved which is SO awesome. I'm glad that I've found some of the high schoolers that I can really relate to and actually hang out with, because then I feel like I'm doing my job and being involved, which isn't how I felt with the last outreach group.
Thursday night we went to Dinner in the community at one of our volleyball girls' houses, Tita. She is about 10 and is the sweetest thing you will ever meet, and so is her mom and her twin brother Tito. They make my heart melt with how cute they are! They live in a cement shack, and it was hard to fit even the four of us in there to eat. But her mom made a fabulous meal, and we enjoyed playing with some of the neighborhood kids that kept walking by and talking to us. I even played some hopscotch with some of them, and don't worry I have a video of it :)
Friday, was the last day of the week and I was completely exhausted. I think most of it was just from emotionally actually having students this outreach, and they are a lot to keep up with but it's good for me! Jess got her ipod jack thing fixed, and we rocked out and released some of our negative energy singing High School Musical, ahh it was wonderful! Then after dinner we had a campfire worship time, which was very freeing and nice just to sing with voices and acoustically. We also had a time of prayer, and I felt like God really allowed me to pray as I've always wanted to pray, without the feeling of not saying the right things or looking stupid if I said something. I just prayed it out. I think he's been teaching me that these few couple weeks, to just pray to my heart's content.. kinda like the saying.. dance like no one's watching.. pray like you've never prayed before. It's nice!
Saturday was the excursion day, and then dinner and shopping in town. Mackalah and I got to go on the excursion of white water rafting. Now those of you who know me pretty well, know that adventure sometimes really isn't my thing. I'm freaked out by heights, and if something is dangerous, I just don't even try to attempt it. So going on this trip was kind of a big step. I was lucky enough to be in a boat with another intern, Andrea, and her boyfriend, who made it SO fun. Andrea is a great girl who i'm getting to know better and better, and all the pictures we took were so great. All in all, the rafting was awesome and made my heart race a few times! Our tour guide was funny and adventurous which made it more dangerous, but made it more fu at the same time. For shopping, we divided into groups. It made me feel good when I had a line of students wanting to me in "my group". But we had to evenly distribute everyone, so I only ended up with three, but they were 3 of my favorites so it made it okay :) I had AJ, Darrian, and his girlfriend Paige. Paige is so cute, she reminds me SO much of my sister it's weird. That's why I've really latched onto her this past week or just in the past couple of days we have gotten pretty close, and I love every minute of it.
Today, was the prayer walk, and then church in the afternoon. The prayer walk went well, and we even sang "How he loves us" overlooking Jarabacoa which always makes you feel good :) In church this afternoon an American spoke, and he was SO good. He talked all about "what you are filling your pot with", and it was based on Joseph in the Bible. He can speak some Spanish, but he was African-American and very energetic, so his Dominican wife translated and they were such a great team.

Some prayer for me:
I am confused about my plans after Student Teaching or even just the rest of the summer, so clarity for that.
Being able to keep my heart open
Patience (still)
Missing my family while they get to vacation without me... which I know was my decision.. but still!

Thanks to all who are reading this, and I love hearing what you think and how you are following it.. so keep it comin! :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Relaxing Weekend.. Then at it again..

This weekend was very relaxing, and at a couple times boring compared to what I have been doing. But it was really nice to relax and hang out with the interns, as well as some sunbathing thrown in :)
A new team came on Monday, a team of all high schoolers. There are some from Bakersfield Christian Highschool (in Cali) and then some from a church in Ohio. At first I was like yay high schoolers! I can relate to them, this will be fun! My thoughts changed somewhat fast yesterday :)
Yesterday we had worship in the morning, and then had lunch and sat with our individual sites. I have two girls this week; Emily and Danielle (or DJ). Emily is a sweet skinny little blonde 15 year old who loves to talk and is always smiling. Danielle, is a tomboy, and when I say tomboy I really do mean tom boy. She loves any sport she can get her hands on, and her favorite is motocross, and riding her dirtbike. That says it all right there. She is a very nice girl, and her intentions are awesome, she's ready to serve the Lord and help people out. The only hesitation is wanting to always be one of the boys. I've found that there is a big difference between kidding around with the boys in a friendly non-flirty way, and literally being with the boys and being one of them all the time. The problem is, the Dominican boys don't see it that way. They see it as a girl who constantly wants to be around them and do the things they do, and that's cool to them. But getting the attention of the boys is the last thing we want to get involved in. In the past, there has been a girl who came on an outreach, and left to go back to the states with her heart with one of the boys from the baseball site. "Special Relationships" are strictly prohibited to staff ( until they have been here at least 2 years), interns, and outreach teams. It takes away from the purpose of being on a missions trip. And i completely agree. It's a little hard for me and Jess, because the relationship we have with some of the older boys is so different, they are like my brothers, and I in turn their sister. There is an understanding of no relationship being able to go anywhere, so it's not even worth trying :)
In other news, today was the second day with the girls and they are hard-workers. I know that they look up to both me and Jess, so I have to be constantly aware of my actions, and learn patience in dealing with attitudes :) Today we taught English in the morning at the baseball field, played around a little, ate lunch, and played volleyball all afternoon.
Oh I forgot! Yesterday night; Me, Mackalah, and Katy took Jess's car (she lets me use it sometimes to have a social life :)) to the baseball field to watch a men's softball game with Jess and some of the guys from the baseball site. My friend Johan and I ended up playing this stupid rock, paper, scissors game. If you lost, you got punched by the winner in the arm as hard as you can. You keep going until someone can't take it anymore. Jess is pretty tough, and I certainly am not. But the boys are always calling me a scaredy cat, so I finally just did it. And today, I have a huge bruise on my left arm to prove it. Johan definitely won. We decided that we needed to make a club of these people that do these stupid games and get hurt while doing them. It's called "los masacis ( i have no idea how to spell it) but it means someone who likes pain for fun haha.
That's definitely not me, but oh well :)
I felt since I've been here that I am not doing as much as I would like to, to a certain extent. So I asked Jess if the girls were ever going to play in a tournament or anything. She was like no but that's a great idea! So we talked to Raul, and we are gonna start kinda slow at first. We are planning to play one game against a team in a different community called La Vega. Raul is planning is perfectly so that the boys will be playing a game there as well. That way we can all cheer each other on. That means that in practice this week, we have told the girls that they need to work hard and we will pick the best 8 to play in the game. I'm really excited and hope it works out!
Prayer requests:
The game against La Vega!
More bonding, and patience with my high school girls
Me being able to be a good example :)