Monthly Archives: March 2013

Please Send Me to Africa…

Africa

It’s a little bit scary seeing a dream come together. Part of me is so excited it feels like a dream and the other side of me is scared out of my mind wondering if everything is really going to work out.

I’m excited about moving to Kenya and working at the Riziki Children’s Home. I can’t wait to begin working with Kenyans who are building into their communities and tackling tough problems. I don’t want to be the pushy American who thinks they have all the answers. I want to support the work that is already going on. I want to learn. I want to help where I can and be a part of something bigger than myself.

The plane tickets are purchased which is so exciting. This trip is something I have wanted to do for so long. Now it is finally starting to feel real, and that is an incredible feeling. I get to travel on the way out with one of my best friends who is coming out for a short term trip to also work at the orphanage. My friend has always wanted to do an overseas mission trip, and it’s been such a pleasure doing trip planning together. Well, except for the shots which are scheduled for a week from next Friday. That part I’m not looking forward to, but I told my friend that if she gets me through the shots. I’ll get her through customs and airport security.

So we’re going to Kenya with an eleven day stop in Europe. I’m so blessed to have friends who are willing to host my friend and me. If everything goes right we will be able to spend time in London, France, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and possibly Germany. Even writing that sentence scares me a bit because at this point I don’t really know how I am going to pay for everything. But this is such a once in a lifetime experience, so I’m just praying that everything works out.

I’m scared because I’m the type of person who likes to have everything planned out. I budget, I write lists, I want every detail set before I take the first step, but at this point I can’t have that. It’s a one day at a time thing. Planning what I can but learning to let go at the same time which is something I’m not very good at.

So…. I especially appreciate prayers right now. Prayers for wisdom with trip planning. Prayers for finances, prayers for time management and prayer for just a sense of peace because so many times I just don’t have a clue what I’m doing.

But, as I think about going to Africa for 6 months to a year, my heart feels truly happy something I haven’t felt in a long, long time. I feel like in away I am returning home. It’s where I grew up, it’s where I feel comfortable and welcome. As they say, “you can take the girl out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of the girl.” I know I’m American, but a piece of me still feels very at home in Africa. Growing up, the song Please Don’t Send Me to Africa had it’s popular streak to the point of being annoying. In the song the songwriter pleads with God to honor his one request and never send him to the continent of Africa. My siblings and I wrote our own version of the song, “please send me to Africa I don’t think I have what it takes to live in suburban America I miss my spiders and snakes.”

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Lasting Memories

Love birds

Love birds

 

Last Thursday I headed to Florida, but it wasn’t a happy spring break trip to Florida it was for my grandma’s funeral. I was put in charge of collecting pictures for the photo board display at the service and also creating a background slide show to run during the visitation.

Grandma and her camera

Grandma and her camera

I love pictures especially old black and whites and also those adorable cute kid pictures, so I spent several hours pouring over my grandma’s photo collection. I know I inherited some of my love for pictures from my Grandma Pontier. She had books and books of neatly organized and labeled albums lined up on shelves in her bedroom. Every grandchild has a book stuffed with baby pictures and almost every out of state trip earned a book as well. My pictures are nowhere near as organized as Grandma’s, but I’ve massed quite a collection myself.

Due to a limited amount of time before the funeral, I didn’t finished the slideshow to my satisfaction, so on the 13 hour car ride home I decided to finish it. When I think of my grandma, her love for pictures is one thing that I am very thankful for. The memories she captured on film I’m sure will continue to touch generations for years to come.

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Meet me in St Louis, Louis

Yesterday I got my first parking ticket so in I way I feel like I am an official city resident now. Yes, I’d read the no parking on the first Monday, third Thursday, and second Friday after a full moon signs but as a creature of habit I tend to park in relatively the same place everyday and forget which spots should be avoided on which days. Thankfully, parking my car in the path of the street sweeper was only a ten dollar fine and should help me remember to take those signs more seriously in the future.

So far, I love the historic city of St Louis. My friend describes it as many different neighborhoods connected together with the city spreading out instead of up as it does with skyscrapers in many other cities. I’m not a fan of the traffic though. Living on the south end of the city is nice and definitely has much more of a neighborhood feel, but when I drive toward downtown for work the five lanes of traffic still up my stress levels. It’s fun being able to see the arch as I drive toward the city, but I have to focus so much on making sure I can get over in time to catch my exit that I don’t really have the chance to enjoy the view.

The houses are beautiful. Mostly slim brick row houses with a quaint almost European charm. The city and neighborhood parks are charming as well and help take away the harsh concrete jungle effect that others cities have.

St Louis

 

People love their pets here. There always seems to be someone out walking their dog. I know people all over the country love their pets, but in a city having a pet (especially a dog) has almost a different purpose. Pets are a social door. Walking a dog in the park is a safe way to communicate with a stranger without getting too close. Pets allow for friendly interactions between strangers without anyone coming across as a creeper.

I’ve also noticed that St Louis loves four way stops. It seems like when not on the interstate those red signs pop up all over the place. Four way, three way, on coming traffic has the right of way. I’m starting to get the hang of it mostly and have only gotten honked at a couple of times.

Overall, I love it here. One of my favorite things about living in the city again is that people ask you what you do for a living instead of who are you dating. It’s also been refreshing to be around different ethnic groups and to hear a foreign language being spoken at the grocery store. I love the diversity, the culture, the chance to be around intertwining worlds. St Louis has a lot of beauty, and I’m glad I get to call it home for the next few months.

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Filed under Contemplations, Travel