Saturday, February 27, 2010

Anna in Kisumu

I know I posted about Anna before, but if you have the chance you should really read her blog. She just recorded the stories of her journey from Cape Town to Kisumu. British trains, baboons, singing and praying with strangers, the Ngong hills from Out of Africa. Amazing!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Two things

1) I'm a klutz. I am not proud of this, but I feel like admitting it makes it less embarrassing.
I was starting to think I outgrew it. I have not. In the past 24 hours, I dumped an entire glass of water on David's pile of bills, closed my finger in a door, dropped my papers twice while leaving campus, stepped on David's ankle while getting into bed, and tripped over a dog. I spent time last night trying to convince David that I actually am coordinated. That leads me to number 2.

2) Snowy weather makes people nice.
The first time I dropped my papers, a women ran and pinned them down with her foot so they wouldn't fly away. The second time (about 30 seconds later), a little girl picked them up and handed them to me. Once I started walking again, a woman said, "Be careful. The ground is icy."
After the blizzards, we were trying to parallel park in a snow-covered spot. A couple of guys drove by in a truck, and David and I both commented that they had mean looks on their faces. After they parked, they walked over and offered to push our sweet/weak little Honda over a snow mound. Turns out they weren't mean after all! (Yes, we felt bad for being judgmental.) I waved an apology to another man waiting for us to park, and he smiled nicely. Once we were parked and out of the car, he drove by and said, "Be careful, it's slippery out here!"
And finally, a few days ago, we were parking and a boy walked over to remove a ball of snow that was blocking our tire.
Are they being nice because they can tell this snow/ice thing is new for us? Do we look that out of place?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

As the forehead of the congregant is marked with ash, the church leader says, "For you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19). I need that reminder. I've got pride issues, as David loves to tell me.

Today, Ash Wednesday, is the beginning of the season of Lent. Despite not being Catholic, I have been practicing Lent since junior high. That was a time when giving up candy or soda was cool, and my friends and I loved being able to complain about our sacrifices. "No candy for 46 days! How will you do it?" "Not that big a deal when you're awesome" (paraphasing).

This year, I'm praying for something different. My hope is that Lent will help me reflect on my own depravity so I can better understand how undeserving I am of God's love. I am but dust.

For those who are wondering (VANESSA), I'm giving up snacks.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


"We are all receiving Charity. There is something in each of us that cannot be naturally loved. It is no one's fault if they do not so love it.... You might as well ask people to like the taste of rotten bread or the sound of a mechanical drill. We can be forgiven, and pitied, and loved in spite of it, with Charity; no other way. All who have good parents, wives, husbands, or children, may be sure that at some times- and perhaps at all times in respect of some one particular trait or habit- they are receiving Charity, and are loved not because they are lovable but because Love Himself [Christ] is in those who love them."
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Happy Valentine's Day to the one who loves me anyway.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow days

Being snowed in (for 6 whole days!) isn't so bad when you get to be with this dude. And you have electricity. Oh, and good food. And blankets. And movies. And you pretend you don't have any schoolwork.

Snow days all week= Winter Break Round II.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Farewell, Anna!

(Years ago, after her first trip to Kenya.)

One of my most wonderful, creative, loving, lovely friends just moved to Kenya. This is not the first time Anna has up and left us for months/years at a time. One of her returns was the day of my wedding. She yelled my name and ran across the beach to give me a hug. I'll miss her hugs, but I know people there will enjoy them too.

She flew into South Africa and will travel up to Kenya by bus and train, making friends and having adventures along the way. I can't wait to hear her stories!

Monday, February 8, 2010


One day, nothing. And the next, everything has been iced with white frosting.

When the snow stopped falling yesterday, we joined a crowd of people and dogs for play time by the monument. Looking up and down the streets you could see groups of people walking down the middle, eager to see what the snow had done. These are the same streets that are usually packed with honking cars, construction, and traffic. The snow transformed them into peaceful streets of sparkling white.

I feel really lucky that we get to be in Baltimore for record-breaking snowfall. First snow day of my life today, and another storm is coming in tomorrow.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It is well

A few days after the earthquake in Haiti, a family stood up in church and asked for prayer. They held hands and fought back tears as they explained their situation. For months they had been waiting for their adopted Haitian daughter to be cleared and flown to the US. With the earthquake a few days before, they were desperate to see her and hold her and tell her everything was okay. At 6 years old, they were unsure of her emotional state and how much she would be affected by the terrible things she had seen.

A few weeks later, the church service had just begun and the congregation was singing.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

A family walked in and took their seats in the back. There she was- the one who had experienced disaster, tragedy, pain- holding her new mother's hand. Bundled in a hot pink jacket and snow boots, she stood just a few feet tall. She was introduced to the crowd, and as tears welled up in our eyes she buried her face in her mother's coat. She doesn't speak English, and her family only knows a bit of Creole. She doesn't like the snow, and she hates wearing shoes.

How different is her life now; how drastic are the changes. But she ran and played with the other kids after the service with a silliness and happiness in her face. I smiled as she passed me. She patted my hip, covered her face and giggled. She is still a child.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


On the way home from school, I stepped into a packed shuttle and took my place standing between the rows. And then, something amazing happened. For the first time all year, a boy offered me his seat.

He made my day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Welcome back, LOST

(Claire and Locke, duh!)

Tonight, LOST returns for its sixth and final season. Island. Smoke monsters. Jack vs. Locke. Love triangles. Jacob. Dharma. Time travel. Sayid. Answers (maybe).

My feelings for LOST are something like this: "What in the heck is happening I'M SO CONFUSED BUT I LOVE IT please never end but if you have to end please please please don't disappoint me."