polepole ndiyo mwendo

ya kuonana…
May 26, 2008, 3:35 pm
Filed under: everything

okay. so its down to 2 days before i leave for tanzania.
its kind of surreal. I know i have blogged about this quite a bit, so bear with me.
i have alot of people asking me who I am going with and what I will be doing when Im there, so i thought I would just give a quick run-down so everybody can be in the know.

I am going with LSU on a Study Abroad program called the Swahili Safari. The name should clue you in that I am going over there to study Swahili. Im going with LSU’s Swahili professor and 6 other LSU students. I have taken Swahili with this professor for 3 semesters already, and he is an absolutely incredible Tanzanian man that I highly respect. I didn’t know any of the other students until we had our group meetings, and so far they all seem pretty cool. There are 2 guys and 4 other girls. I have really clicked with one of the girls that actually goes to HPC and has been considering doing HPSM (totally incredible God connection).
I will be taking Swahili 2004 for 3 weeks and an independent study class we made up INTL4997, i will be researching and writing a 25(ish) page paper on Swahili and East African politics. should be interesting/ sounds really hard. I’m really scared about that actually.

I leave Wednesday, the 28th from New Orleans. go through Chicago and London to Tanzania. I get there on Friday the 30th. Mwalimu Deo (the Swahili Professor) is already over there and will meet us at the airport. (a group of us bought our tickets to all travel together, huge relief). We will arrive in Dar Es Salaam and drive to Bagamoyo, which is about an hour and a half away from what I understand. It is a beach town on the coast of the Indian Ocean, and we will be there for the first 2 weeks. For those 2 weeks we will be staying at a hotel and starting our daily classes.
Then at the end of those 2 weeks we will go BACK to Dar Es Salaam for the last 4 weeks. We will be staying in host families of University staff that actually live on campus. It has worked out pretty great where I will be staying in a house of a Pastor and his family (another total God connection). We will then take our classes at the University of Dar Es Salaam, and get to explore the city.
We do have a few weekend excursions, a 2-day Safari at a game park and a weekend trip to the spice island of Zanzibar (!!). oh my gosh. so excited about that.

Like I’ve said before, it is a country very religiously diverse, and has a large muslim population (especially in Zanzibar). I think that will be very interesting to encounter, and Im kind of excited to cover my head with a scarf in some neighborhoods, because if you know me then you know i love scarves. But more importantly I want to be a bright bright light of Christ throughout this trip. More than i want to excel in my classes or master the language, I want to be what Christ has called me there for, to love people with His love.
The people I’m going on the trip with as much as the Tanzanians I encounter.
Please pray for me, for strength and a continuous joy in my heart. I will need his strength more than I have before. I have never been gone for this long and Ive never been to Africa, ha!

Thank you for all of your support, for standing by me and praying for me, encouraging me, and helping to prepare me.
This is going to be a new season in my life and Im pretty much positive that I will not come home the same (in a good way, of course).

my title says ya kuonana, which means until i see you again. so kwaheri ya kuonana rafiki zangu [goodbye until i see you again my friends]
[will be blogging while gone, just not sure how often]


May 23, 2008, 3:14 pm
Filed under: everything

It is funny how some things that you experience may marinate for awhile before you realize their significance. hmm.
well here is an oldie but goodie//

I was looking through some old pictures during my flight delay in Dallas, and found him.
This is a picture I snapped in Peru in 2006 when we were playing soccer with some of the local street kids at Camino De Vida Church.
I don’t know this boy’s name. We don’t speak the same language and never talked. But the cool thing is that when there is a need, words aren’t necessary. When all the kids showed up to play soccer that day, we started off with some snacks at first- I’m pretty sure we gave them all some bread and orange juice, mmmm. These are kids that survive on the streets of Lima, with no place to sleep and night and no means to provides for themselves.
This boy had shoes on that were torn apart and far too small, they had holes ripped in them and his toes were dangling out of the front. He probably said something in Spanish to Danny, who relayed to us that this boy needed some shoes.
Well on that trip I had brought a bear of BRIGHT blue Guess tennis shoes I had bought a few years before and never really liked. I was wearing them that day and noticed that they were probably the same size as that boys’ feet. AH! Yes. So I slipped of my shoes and gave them to him. They fit.
Such a cool experience to watch this Peruvian boy run and play soccer in my shoes as I stood in the grass with my socks on. Jennifer Laird had to go with me back to the hotel to get my Chacos because; well unfortunately I couldn’t walk around Lima barefoot.
But what hit me was that our language barrier didn’t create a barrier for a need. Ya know? The need was still there, still real, and still recognized. We can still reach out in love and meet needs even when we feel so disconnected. I LOVE that.
Basically I just wanted to encourage you that if you are going on a mission trip this summer, or ever in your life- bring things with you that you are willing to part with. In the moment you will be willing to give anything, so be prepared. Don’t be attached to what you bring with you, but to the people you will meet.

Who knows- maybe you’ll come back barefoot

home on the range…
May 17, 2008, 4:56 am
Filed under: everything

I am up in Wyoming right now visiting my Dad and sister. Even though i don’t typically enjoy coming here due to the lack of human life, I still recognize that it is absolutely gorgeous.
One of my favorite things I’ve found in these parts is this..

Crazy Woman Creek. Then there is Crazy Woman Canyon (found along the Crazy Woman Creek) and this road that brings you up there. just loved that. I would love to know the story behind that name.
plus, it was some incredible scenery driving up there, I’ll have to post some pictures later.
OH! I got a Kavu bag today for my trip.

These bags are pretty nifty and seems like it will be great for travel, so I’m excited. I dont like to overdue it, but I love getting little things for trips. ahh, makes it so exciting.

Speaking of trips…. the HPSM teams headed to Africa [ Swaziland and Mozambique] and India just headed out. definitely need to remember to be praying for them. They are going out to the world to reach the lost and hurting and be a healing place. I love that, and I love that we can be a part here by praying for them continuously.
thats all.

coffee drinkers beware
May 12, 2008, 3:43 pm
Filed under: everything

today is Andrew’s first day on the job at Starbucks. yessss! I am excited for him to get a pretty cool job with a great company to work for. I am excited for me because I may get a discount on my beloved espresso-filled beverages more often, and because I may benefit from the fruits of his weekly markout?! I’ve missed Heather since she moved to Cali and could no longer get any of her markouts. [of course NOT the only reason I’ve missed her]
So if you go by Starbucks on Highland and I-10, give Andrew a high five.
high five? thats a whole other story….wont even go there.

Also– know I havent blogged in quite some time.
congrats to the recently married Songs and Contis. two very cool weddings that fit each couple perfectly.
Im going to Wyoming for a few days this week.
In 2 weeks Im going to TANZANIA!

thats all.

a little history fun
May 2, 2008, 5:11 pm
Filed under: everything

who knew WWII could be solved by rock, paper, scissors?
this is how we should settle all international disputes