Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

In five and a half hours not only will I be heading to Egypt, but I will be heading into a new year. You see all these quizzes and questions like: What are your best memories? What do you reget? Most craziest thing you've done? Did you fall in love? Did you lose someone you close to you?
Honestly, it's hard for me to look back and remember this past year. I want to say that I did/went through a lot. And yet another part of me can't remember it. I guess with a thought like that I can say that this year has been...interesting. I know I came back to Andrews with more of an open mind about it realizing that this was where I was suppose to be. That I chose to go there, no one made me. I have great memories of working late nights at the dairy, and going on awesome road trips down to Southern. Haha never thought I would drive ten hours two weekends in a row. And yet even though I was feeling better about Andrews going to Southern opened some doors that well, will never be answered. I made new friends, wrecked my car, and  started getting over someone all in one weekend. (crazy weekend) I made the decision that a year off was definetly needed. And that's probably one of the best decisions that I'll ever make in my life. I can't even imagine what things would be like if I was back in the states. Then again there probably wouldn't be much difference. I remember thinking how glad I was that '09 was over with. And yes I was, but are years really different from each other? I mean yes we choose how our years /life are going to be (for the most part) but some things just never change. Family problems are always around, friends always make stupid choices, and sometimes when we fall down we aren't always able to get back up as quick as we thought we could. Hearts are still cut. I guess in the long run, I still don't feel like I know where my life is headed. I have such amazing, smart, talented people, who can do ANYTHING. And then I think...what can I do? I'm not a genius, I can't save lives, I can't compose music, I'm not good at everything like some people.  I mean what's the point?
I pray that during this year I can gain some wisdom and insight. That my heart will soften, so that I wont lose the family that I have. To be able to breathe and be happy with where I'm at. To trust that God wont abandon me like I feel so many have. To not have my heart broken; by family, friends, or anyone else. Maybe this is childish to wish (yep, pretty sure it is) but I don't know what else to do. I wish that things could go back to how they use to, with my family, with you and me. But some wishes never come true. So goodbye 2010, you've given me great memories and heartaches. 2011...bring it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Great start to Christmas break

Christmas break began beautifully! The last of the girls left early Thursday morning which officially announced the start of break. Friday morning started out great, not only because I was able to wear a tank top with out getting in trouble (for the most part) but there was a brunch for all the workers here at Maxwell. It was a lot of fun being in the kitchen cutting, and butchering, fruit, making hashbrowns and eating doghnut holes. Jess, Violetta, Tyson and I served throughout the morning. I really liked it cause even though I see some of the other workers I don't get to see many of them. It was also fun to have there families there as well. And man was that food gone! They didn't leave anything behind. After serving brunch it was time for everyone to load up and head to Splash. Splash is a small water park here in Nairobi with two slides, a kiddie pool, a larger pool and some volleyball courts. Oh man, did it feel good to lay out in some sun. The great thing about Christmas time here is that it's during the summer, which meant 80 degree weather. Granted I was nice and red but by now I can say I do have a touch of a tan. (Thank goodness) Later than night Jess, Violetta and I were invited to the Butlers home for dinner. Just a small Christmas get together. I can say that right then and there was the first time I realized I wouldn't be in the states for Christmas. But then being with the Butlers and realizing where I am going to spend Christmas came to mind, which is really cool.
On Sabbath the Crutchers, Jess, Violetta, the Butlers, and I headed up to the Ngongs to watch the sun rise. So windy!! I think I could have flown up there. It was really fun though. We just goofed around and took pictures and enjoyed the wind making coke bottles sing haha.

That afternoon we had a fantastic potluck. Which by the way, have I mentioned how much I love potlucks? They are amazing! Great good and great people :D We had a lot of laughs and just a really good time. After the Crutchers, Derek, Caleb, and I went to the Giraffe Center because I have never been and they like going. So yes, I did kiss a giraffe. Haha definetly an experience. We had fun hiking on the trails and finding Pumba tunnels. Which note: do not go into a Pumba tunnel, you will get fleas. Just ask Derek and Caleb haha. The night ended with the movie Grown Ups, and a nice walk. Fact: water towers are fun/ scary :)
On Sunday we were up and running again because Joy Butler had invited us to go to the race track with her. For free! Oh man, I wish I could go to the races more often, it was so much fun!!! But it was crazy some of the jockeys were so big! And the horses were so little haha go figure.
Oh and in the last three days I have had Indian, Ehtiopian, and Chinese. Great!  But yes, later that night we ended up watching Cheetah which is an old Disney movie. It was neat cause it's based here in Kenya and I actually knew some of the places :-) On Monday Tysons parents got here which led to a fun night of Habesha's and Java house. We were out so late. But it was a lot of fun. So yes, I would say that the break is off to a good start and I hope Egypt comes together. We are being told different things about getting a visa so who knows how that will work, but it will :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Almost Finished

I am sitting in the office with only four girls left in the dorm. The last few days have been quiet an more peaceful than usual. I can't believe that the sem in over with. Four months of my time in Africa are over with, and only roughly four more to go. Even though I'm being asked about when I am coming back home part of me can't really imagine me being at home. I can see school, but other than that I can't see what's up ahead. I can't see what the next chapter will be like. And I think I'm ok with that. Not only do I feel that I can take a step back and breathe from school, but that I can also take a step back and just breathe from everything. I feel re-leaved, and just happy. It's what what happened after I posted my last post. I got an e-mail from someone who I am truly blessed to have in my life. And yes, even though some people who we were once very close with walk out of our lives, there are those that were given to us as well; sometimes we just don't see it. 
In all honesty I think I'm finally letting go. I'm letting myself be happy with who I am and what I have. I am having the time of my life here in Kenya. I have people who love me at home and realize that it's time for me to grow up. And I have amazing friends who never fail to put smiles on my faces. Example: the other day I had a skype date with Ashley, Trevor, and Darren. Oh man, I miss hanging out with all of them so much. The jokes and random comments are just haha undesirable. Yesterday I got a random phone call from Cowboy (Andrew Marsh) and it just made my day to know that someone who I don't talk to very often took the time for a 5 minute phone call. And today was spent playing Gim Rummy, Risk, and Pit with Jess, Tyson, Rachel, and Caleb. (note to everyone, don't play games with me. I'm competitive and am not always the nicest loser, just ask Tyson grrr) But yea, I can tell this is gonna be a fun break. And I can't wait for Egypt! 
I'm realizing I can be happy on my own. That even though letting go is hard, sometimes it's the best thing to do. I'm happy with myself, and I'm happy with other people. I remember having this high, happy feeling when I went off to college and was able to leave my family issues behind. There was nothing I could do about anymore (not that there ever was) but I was able to say I don't want this to affect my life and I'm going to say how my life turns out. It's up too me. Another time was on a Sunday morning when I went walking on the Green Way at Southern. I felt like I was given answers and that I had direction as to where I was suppose to go. Ha, funny how that is quite opposite now, but hey God works in funny ways. That does terrify me cause He has such a crazy sense of humor that who knows what He'll bring my way next. I mean I'm in Africa for crying out loud haha. But yea...in a few more hours this dorm will be empty and there will be no students for almost seven weeks :) *sigh*

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why am I here?

For the first time that I have been here I found myself seriously asking, "should I really be here?" Thoughts such as, "this is a mistake, God picked the wrong person, I shouldn't be here," and "Susan should have picked the other girl not me," came to mind a lot yesterday. Over the weekend there was a couple of incidents concerning M. One was dealing with her free labor and the other her dress being too short for church.The reason why these were problems was because of the disrespect that was shown, which isn't the first time. It ended up with the principle, vice principle, Susan, and I talking with M in the office. The aftermath of this even is what led me to those thoughts as well as tears. (Which is really annoying. I HATE crying and yet I've cried more than I hoped since I have been here. Grrr.) M. told Meds and Geershom that Susan and I are rude and that we do not respect the girls, "especially Miss Cassie.".......................huh?
I don't get it, I'm so blown away by this that I just sat there in the office stunned. I've had more talks and laughter lately with the girls then I ever have. Shoot! I even did one girls make up for banquet! Yes, Susan and I have tried to crack down in the dorm concerning noise and rowdiness but I don't understand. Meds was saying how she thought that it was more of a culture difference. Coming here I found out quickly that there isn't much of a sense of humor, and there has been times when I had to let the girls know that I was joking with them, which they then laughed about. M. also told them how I'm going into there rooms at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 in the morning searching there rooms. When Susan and I heard this we just looked at each other and laughed. But still, it irks me to hear that these "rumors" are going around in the dorm about the Deans. Granted, yes it's not surprising but really? I don't know....
I've felt that things were getting better between her and I and yet now I think she knows a weakness of mine. I feel that she's doing and saying what she can to get to me. And yes, I'm sure that sounds crazy but also with M it wouldn't surprise me. And even after the meeting I had girls joking around with me, and talking with me about things and I was just like...do they really think that I disrespect them? And if I am that I am doing it on purpose? I've come here cause I've thought that this is where God wanted me. So that I can serve these girls. Sometimes I don't think the girls really think about what it means to take a year off and be here. Leaving school, friends, family. Coming to a new place, to a place where you have no idea about. For me, not knowing how things are going to be, how they'll work out, or even not knowing where my life is headed scares me to death. I hate not having a plan and knowing where I'm headed. But then again my "plan" went out the window Freshman year of college, and then some.
Am I being rude and disrespectful? Am I hurting the girls more than helping them? I sure I'm not. I wish I knew what to do.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I don't know what to title this.

So as of right now I have a lot of women in my life. Not only do I have my friends and family, but I also have 46 others that I interact with on a daily basis. For the women back at home (Mom and Grandma) I don't talk with them often. And yet even though I am so far away they still have an impact on my day and therefore my life. Some of these ladies have no respect and therefore disrespect authority on a daily basis. Some are so bad that they lead us to the feeling of pulling out our hair, among other things.
Now to be honest: I've been very content not having much connection with home. I'm not homesick nor have I ever been homesick. That includes missing my parents and other family members. I'm sure that this sounds horrible, but it's true. I was raised to be independent and that has happened. My mother knows this, though sometimes she regrets that she has raised me so; but still. Another reason why I don't really want to talk with my mom is because of an incident that happened days before I left for Kenya. When this happened the final string was broken and I felt that is was time to really move on with my life and to stop trying to always please the people around me. I have a life and I need to live it, I can't do that by staying at home and trying to fix problems that I never made to begin with. (I'm realizing I'm starting to rant and I hope that no one takes this personally this is just my blog with my thoughts.) I can't change the past! As much as I wish I could at times, all there is,  is the present which we have to deal with, and the future which we can have a say in how it turns out.
I found out today that my mom was in a car accident during the week. Even though I feel that my mom and I are on different terms, and even though sometimes she feels as if I am "divorcing" myself from her, the tears were very easy to come. I called my Grandma at 3 in the morning (bless her soul) and she was able to fill me in a little, which is better than none. I still haven't been able to get a hold of her, so I don't know how bad it is, or how bad it isn't. But I guess I'll hear from her in time.
My friends who were task force workers and past SM's have told me that while I'm far away things still are going to keep going, and that I'll find myself wondering how to get back in the swing of things once I get back. I'm realizing that even now some. There are events happening at home that I'm just now hearing about that happened a month ago! I know that I'm not going to know everything, and I don't want to! But I do want to know if a loved one is hurt, I want to know that my Grandparents are making it. I want to know that my brother isn't partying to much that it will end badly. I want to know how my Dad is doing with diabetes, and that he is taking breaks when he is over working himself. I want to know when a friend is suicidal and that I can be praying for them. I want to know when my mom raps her car around a telephone pole!.........I want, I want...*sigh*

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving, Bomas, and more

After a friendly reminder that I do have a blog and that people do read it (you know who you are), I figured it was time that I have a new post.
To begin with Thanksgiving was very very nice. No, we didn't all sit around one huge table on Thursday, but instead I sat at a table for four with Jess on Wednesday. The food was A-mazing! Especially the sweet potatoes, oh man I thought I was in heaven. It was just the usual Thanksgiving meal (minus the turkey of course), nothing big or fancy, considering that most of the students here don't even understand what Thanksgiving is about. This has now been my third Thanksgiving away from home. I wasn't sad or lonely, wishing I could spend it with other friends or family but I was grateful to be where I was for it. I mean come on! I'm in Kenya! :) The day was very nice and amazingly with all that food in the girls bellies most of them were asleep by second study hall :D

If you would like to have some humerus entertainment you can go to this link:
vhttp://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=144486935600793&subj=1317050484. Here you will laugh and enjoy my misery of being hauled up on stage at Bomas of Kenya ( a cultural place down the road from the school where you can see dances and all different kinds of huts from different tribes. 1. Did my friends help me not go on stage? Fail. 2. Was my face as red as a tomato the entire time I was there? Yes. 3. Did they give me anything for going up (this was Tyson's biggest concern)? Besides a blown kiss from Francis, no.

I was able to have a different change of pace this morning which was nice. Violetta needed a sub for her elementary classes this morning so she could take her driving test, which gave me the privileged  of subbing her 5th & 6th grade reading class, as well as her 7th & 8th grade English.  It was nothing earth shattering or anything, but it was nice to be in a different environment with different kids. Before I went I looked through all my papers from Intro to Elementary Ed class that I took at Southern which was a nice review. And then I started thinking, "oh no, what if I do this enough and I'll want to change my major back to elem. ed?" As of right now that is not happening. But it was still fun and I'd love to do it again for more than just two classes.

This past weekend was my long weekend off. We went to Samburu park and did some more safariing. I'll post pics and more details about that later.

* To my friend who kindly reminded me to update my blog: happy now? :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Doors


For as long as I can remember I have always had this fascination with doors. Doors with lots of windows, ones that are cracked and chipped from the weather, ones that are so plain and yet so beautiful because of a lovely old door handle, doors that are covered with ivy and inviting you to use your imagination. I know I'm weird but I love them. I even have a picture of a door that I took in photography classes framed on my wall in my room.
We all know that doors can go one of two ways, either open or close. And the old saying, "when one door closes another one opens." Maybe that's why I like them so much. Because when I look at doors I don't see them as something keeping me in, but a way for me to escape, to break free and run if I need to. Tonight I was looking through some pictures from Southern my freshman and sophomore year. I'm not gonna lie, I miss it. I miss the friends that I have/ had there, I miss being a part of a group that felt like family. I miss how I was apart of something that seemed like it wasn't going to go away. But then...the door closed. And when that door closed, it didn't just close...it slammed. BAM! Some of those friends are still in my life, others aren't. Some  drift in and out, while others...well I don't know where they're at.
But when that door slammed shut, a door to Andrews opened, and with that one opening I know God opened up more doors that led me to where I am now. I miss my friends and how things use to be, and there's always a part of me that will. But I am grateful that when one door closes, another one opens. 

"What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut." ~ Rev. 3: 7 & 8

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Dress

It's that time of year again when all the girls start looking at banquet dresses and hair dos for banquet. I remember two banquets in high school that were really important to me. My sophomore year for Christmas and my Jr. Senior banquet. Oh man, both of those were really fun banquets for similar and different reasons. I remember looking for a dress like a crazy girl especially for my Sophomore year. It was the first banquet that I kinda sort of (ha ha don't ask, it was high school) had a date too. That poor boy had to deal with pictures at my Grandparents house with my mom, Flavia, and Al being there too. Lol oh my word. He was a good sport about it though.
Before I knew for sure that I was coming to Africa one of my good friends Lisa got engaged and asked me to be a bridesmaid for her wedding. I was so thrilled! Lisa and I lived on the same hall Freshman year at Southern. All I have to say is that girl is A-mazing :-D The picture is of the dress that I would have worn. But life is full of choices. I remember when I told her that I wasn't going to be able to be in in her wedding because I was going to be in Africa. For me, not being there for friends and missing out on important events is really hard for me. Looking at the dresses with the girls in the dorm and thinking about Lisa's wedding really had me thinking about things. First, I was sad. But now even though Lisa's wedding and being an SM are once in a life time opportunities I wouldn't change where I'm at. Looking on face book and see all what my friends are doing has me feel as if I am missing out. That I'm not a part of there lives anymore. And yes, in a way that's true. But I know that God wanted me here for a reason. Ha ha honestly now as I think about it I'm still not sure what that reason is. I know I've done a lot of changing since I've been here, and I know that things are really going to change once I leave here. But it's good to know that even though I feel as if I have no control, God does have control. And I'm glad it's Him rather than me. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Power Naps

According to Wikipedia.com, "A power nap...is a short slumber of 20 minutes or less which terminates before the occurrence of deep slow-wave sleep (SWS), intended to quickly revitalize the napper... The 20-minute nap increases alertness and motor skills."

I am finding that these power naps and I are becoming quite close, and that I have even begun to look forward to them through out the day. When I take these naps it can be at any given time (well at least when the dorms not busy) but I'll take them even after couple of hours of being awake. Maxie has even begun to join me by sleeping on my back.It's interesting though how I never think I'm tired until I lay down. Guess that's what happens when you have a comfy bed.

Derek was talking with Jessica and I on Monday and telling us how this time of the year is when SM's start to feel tired and homesick the most. He encouraged us to take time for ourselves and even come crash at his house when we needed too, just to get out for a bit. (Fact: the Raymonds are awesome.) As I sat in the cafe listening to this I was thinking to myself, "I'm glad I'm not home sick. I think I'm doing ok. Yea I can hold out till Christmas break." Apparently being homesick wasn't the only thing that Derek was talking about. Later that night when I came back on duty I had this overwhelming feeling of, I DO NOT want to be here. (as in on duty) I'm finding that not only are the students tired and ready for a break but I am too. There are just some days and weeks when grrr (and yes, that's the only way I can describe it.) Then there are others when it's not so bad, like today. Jess told me today too that other SM's have told her that January is the hardest time. I guess I'll have to see how that goes. Is it wrong that I'm not homesick? Is it weird that I'm more worried about going home then being here now? Is it odd that I don't feel the need to talk to my family everyday, but more like once a month or so? When my Mom raised me to be independent I can imagine she didn't think that I would be this independent. Hm.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Victory!

Is it a bad thing that I am happy that justice has been served? Am I happy that what was wrong has now been corrected? I'm sure there are different ways that people can look at those questions, but for me I am happy with the out come.
I am talking about the phone situation with B and L. I am happy to say that after a week has passed and with prayer to an amazing God, the phone has been "found" and turned it.
God answers ALL prayers; even the little ones from deans in Africa.

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." ~ Matt. 6:8

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Hope

I hope you surf the waves in from the ocean,
big and small. 
I hope you watch the sunset from a mountain straight and tall.
I hope you sing a song to the angels, 
loud and clear. 
I hope you'll always try nre things,
never giving in to fear. 

I hope you fall in love,
with one who makes your world go 'round.
I hope that if you fall out,
your feet stay on the ground.

I hope that you can understand,
that true love waits for you.
That you may have to wait awhile,
but when it comes it will be true.

I hope you feel the sand,
hot on your toes on summer's day.
I hope you learn that sandals,
help to keep the pain away.

I hope you find a rainbow,
and realize it was worth the rain.
I hope that through your journey,
you'll learn to balance smiles with pain.

I hope that you realize,
life isn't always on your side.
I hope you know when hope is lost,
in me you can confide.

I hope that your glowing smile,
brings someone out of gloom.
I hope you taste your life,
with more than just a spoon.

I hope that when you're lost, 
you are also one to find.
And I hope that your hand, 
never grows too big for mine.

I hope you watch the stars shoot by,
upon a grassy hill. 
I hope you know I love you,
always have and always will.

~Laura O'Neill

Just somethin I found and thought was nice to share.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wow oh Wow

So yes, this is pretty much how Susan and I have been feeling for the past oh I don't know, three days now. A lot of people have been curious about the deaning side to my time here at Maxwell. Well folks you're gonna get an ear full.
It began last week during second study hall. Two of the Sophomore girls came to me and told me that someone had stolen 1000/- shillings and $100 from there room. Susan and I checked the cameras (which are quite wonderful to have) and we made a list of all the girls that had been in and out of there room. It wasn't clear who actually had taken it, so Susan took the list and gave it to Roy (who is in charge of the finances). "Please let us know if anyone comes and exchanges any money, there's money that has been stolen." "Actually someone did come and exchanged $100 this afternoon." Part of me was shocked and saddened when I found out who it was. To me, she is a nice girl, who yes likes to be mischievous and have fun, but is really sweet. We have already had some issues with her this year, so to have more wasn't welcoming. Apparently she had already told the friend that she had stole from that she was sorry, and was going to work it out (?). That night when I was on duty, I saw this girl and a senior friend of hers talking. Next thing I know the senior is in the office telling me how the friend wanted to kill herself. Not only because of feeling bad about stealing, but because some one in class that day had asked her boyfriend why he was dating a monster. I mean come on! These kids blow my mind sometimes. Also that night the girl gave me notes to give to both of the girls whose room she had stolen from. I read the note because the Aunt did not want the girls to know who took it because she thought it would ruin there friendship. In this note she said she wanted to kill herself. Oh boy. So as of now she is suspended for school for three days and is to pay back the money that she had spent of the $100.
It was my weekend on this past weekend, and it wasn't all too bad. Or at least not at first. I had one problem on Friday concerning an earring (which I now despise more then ever). If I ever had a slim desire to get earrings Maxwell has cured me of that. On Friday night everyone was really rowdy, even after lights out. I went into one room and saw L. talking on the phone. I didn't think anything of it because the students are allowed to have there phones during the weekend. but then I remembered that she never checked her phone out. Something was fishy. When I asked her about it, she said that she had borrowed it from a friend cause her phone wasn't working. On Sunday night I got suspicious. She had told me that she had given it back to the boy, but after calling Tyson I found out that was lie number 1. Back and forth we went with figuring out where this phone went. After saying she had given it to him, she said she gave it to someone else to give it back. Then she tells me she can't find it anywhere and doesn't know where it is. So during the break I go down and tell her and her sister that I need to search the room. I find nothing.
God bless Bliss! I love this girl, she is so sweet and nice and oh man the talks that we have together. She makes me laugh so much. She is also an RA of mine an I am so glad that she is. I had told her and another RA to keep a watch out with L. and B. While I was checking the girls room both of them slipped out and apparently went down to Bliss's room. They handed something to J (Bliss's roommate) who told Bliss not to say anything to Susan or I. With this Susan and I knew that we needed to check there room cause J was helping them hide a phone. While we were doing room check we didn't find the phone. But I did find an empty bottle of Smirnoff  of however you spell it. Ug! I can't even explain how I felt, I was just like really? Really? I really really like J. She's a sweet fun girl. She is also from California, Santa Cruz area. It's been nice to talk with someone who knows the area and misses the beach like I do. That afternoon I took J to talk with Geershom (V.P.) and Susan. Man, that girl was spinnin tales. Not only was she helping someone break the rules, not only was she drinking, but now she was lying to my face! I couldn't believe it. In the end we got it out of her and she held up really good, until I told her that I didn't trust her anymore. And how can I? It's so disappointing.  She even asked me to be one of her college references, I don't think I can do it now.
After talking with Bliss and J  and looking at the cameras there is no doubt that these two girls are lying to us.
Susan and I talked with B first. She is the older of the two, and one that I have had issues with in the past. She was very cool about it, she said she left the room when i was checking, she said she went to J's room during that time. When I told her that I thought she had a black phone in her hands her response was, "Wow, I have never had anyone lie to my face like that. No, don't say anything." And started talking to Susan. It would have been so easy to call her out on it, but J had asked us not to bring up her name. And I had told Bliss that I wouldn't mention her either. When she left I just broke down. I was so angry and fed u with the lies and the games. What really ticks me off is that there's girls are willing to let there friends take the fall for them. I mean what kind of friend is that?! We later talked to L. and with much prayer she did confess that it was her phone, but that she still doesn't know where it is. So alas they have a phone, where it is, we don't know. But hopefully it will show up one way or another. With J is has been decided for her to have in house suspension, to clean the dishes for breakfast and lunch by herself. To have no phone or computer privileges and if she does need any help is only to be in the library. This will only be till Friday. Is it enough? I don't know.
I want to trust these girls, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. But how am I suppose to when they lie, back top, and are so disrespectful. These events are just the big things that have been goin on here. This doesn't begin to cover what else is going on with other seniors and sophomores. Lately I've been feeling like I've been causing more problems for Susan, instead of helping her. Yes, we do have some great girls in the dorm, I just wish we could remember that when all the other junk is going on.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just Another Day

Earings.

Social.

Attitude.

Stealing.

Depressed.

Unapproved clothes.


Illegal phones.

All just daily events in the Girls Dorm. 

Pastor Rich Visists Maxwell


On Monday, the day we got back from the Mara Pastor Rich arrived at Maxwell from Union. I'm really glad that I got to meet him, not only cause he's a really cool person, but because he and my Dad worked together back in the day. Enjoy the pics!



Seniors and SM's at Pizza Inn thanks to Pastor Rich.







Pastor Rich took us to the Animal Orphanage.
L to R: Jess, Tyson, Germeen, Me, and Tomiko






If I look worried it's because I was! You try takin a pic with an animal that could pluck your eye out while your friends make scary faces at you. Not easy.

That's me...with a Cheetah!! Oh. My. Goodness. So cool! :D

The whole group; Top: Me, Germeen, and Pastor Rich Bottom: Jess, Violetta, Tyson and Tomiko. I

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

22 in Africa!

To begin with, I feel that I have soo much to write about, but alas I will have to split it up some. So! To begin with my birthday was amazing! Almost beats my top birthday...almost :)
For this long weekend a trip to Masai Mara was planned. There are two trips throughout the school year that the SM's are able to go on. One we have to pay for ourselves, the other the school takes care of. I chose to pay for the Mara trip so that I can go on Mount Kenya (can't wait!) There was a total of 23 of us who went on the trip, which was a really good number considering our vehicle could only hold 25. When I first saw our ride it reminded me of a tank. No joke! Big, and boxy. But surprisingly it was really roomy and comfortable inside. That is until we started driving. Just FYI the back of  a vehicle when driving down the road with many speed bumps, uneven ground, and pot holes, is NOT the place to choose to sit your rump. Oh man, my back is still recuperating from those hits. After about 5 1/2 hrs and a couple of bush breaks, we made it to the camp site. If there was ever a blustery day this was it. Tents were flyin everywhere when we tried to get them nailed down. To say the least Friday night began very nicely, not only did we have a free place to sleep but the food Yani made was great. And yes,. I do believe Yani is right when she says that camping food is better and therefore we eat more then we should. Haha I'll have to put up the pictures of the staff with our food babies. Oh so bad haha.
My birthday fell on Sabbath which was a blessing in and of itself. Going into the park I was expecting to see things right off the bat. I've been told that the Mara is practically the "it place." But for the first few hours it was starting to drag. I had seen a lot of animals when I went to Amboseli so as Tyson would say my safari virginity was gone. But oh did we have fun laughing and just being random in the truck.
Most of us know about the big five, lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalo. I had seen at least 3 out of the 5 when i went to Amboseli. (granted the lions were a ways away.) But oh man, did I get a great gift! As we are truckin along some beat off path another safari car pulls up to ours and our driver Joseph and the other start running off in Swahili. None of us had any idea what was goin on, but the next thing we knew Joseph is flyin us down the road. Now granted Joseph had been just cruzin pretty much all day but now we were goin fast! The next thing we know we are stopped under a tree. A tree? What do we want to look at a tree for? Because....there was a Leopard! Yep, up in the branches was my first Leopard. Most of us could only see it's hind end, but it was soo cool! There were cars comin from everywhere to see it. Crazy! After we took some photos we started on our way again, and what's the next big thing we see? Lions!! Right by the side of the road :) They weren't worried to walk by the cars or anything. And they are huge! It was soo neat! After leaving the park it was time to get ready for worship and supper. And unbeknownst to be some people had some tricks up there sleeves!! After helping with supper I went and ate dinner by the fire. Apparently Yani and talked with Jess and Tyson about keepin me away from the kitchen some how. So by the time I get there what do I see? A pitch black room (we had no electricity) but for the flicker of candles and all the staff and students singing Happy Birthday. I can't remember the last time I felt so bashful haha. Yani made me brownies with Reeses in it...the best! I got a card and happy birthdays and hugs. The best thing I could ask for.
What amazed me the most was just how blessed, happy, and loved I felt. I mean here I am away from "home" and yet I felt more at home and more content then I have in awhile. I was wishing I could be with my friends celebrating or wishing that I was somewhere else. Looking at the stars that night I could just feel all of Gods love around me, and I knew that He was going to be with me and bless this coming year for me. God is just so good!
My gifts didn't end there. The next morning (Sunday) we were told that we could go into the park for a couple more hours. It started off really slow again with not much excitement. That is until a safari vehicle told us about the Leopard. That's right I was going to see 2 Leopards. This one was on the move, which made it more exciting. She was so elegant and couldn't care less about the 38 cars that were circling her. I took lots of pics on Dereks Nikon D50 which was sweet! After seeing her we ran across some Elephants, one which had a calf. The calf was soo tiny, it had to be a new born. After driving some more we came across a Cheetah and her cub! It was soo neat to see them in the wild. And yes I probably am rambling but I can't help it!! It was awesome!
The day ended with us driving back to Maxwell  and learning how to play 7-up thanks to the help of Tyson and Jess. Haha man that was just such a good trip and I know I'm forgetting so many things but there wouldn't be enough time to write it all if I did. So this is a blip (ok a long one) of my 22nd birthday in Africa :D one that I will never forget.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Balloons

For some reason tonight as I sit here waiting for the RA to finish room check I am struck by a memory that I have from when I was a little girl. I'm standing in my front yard at Shafter with Cinderella planted in the yard.(Cinderella was a tree that was planted in front of our house for my brother.) I remember the feel of the sharp blades of grass poking my bare feet. The red Cadillac convertible sits in the driveway with the top down, which means that it had to be a Sabbath cause that's when Dad would take us out. There are several grease stains on the driveway. I think the balloon that I was holding in my hand came from the birthday party from Jessy's house. They always had parties on the weekends with loud mariachi music. I remember looking up at the sky and wondering if I let my balloon go, how far will it go? Could it reach the clouds? then the stars? what about if it got to Heaven? If I tied a letter to the string would God read it if it made it to him? Now granted my child mind was probably only the age of 6 or 7. And why I was wanting to send God a letter by Balloon Mail I can't recall. But I remember how beautiful the sky was, it was filled with fluffy clouds that looked like cotton candy, just ready to eat. There was no question as to if God would answer my letter, or if He would even get it. You know how little kids are, they may have a profound thought on moment and be off playing in the mud the next.
I think about this tonight because I wonder how long will it take for me to get it. How long will it take me to let that balloon go and for me to actually figure out that God will receive it. How long will it take for me to let go of things and people of this world and just watch them float towards the clouds?
In some ways I have always thought of myself as a runner. I've ran to school to solve my problems at home in high school. I ran to Southern to make a new start. I ran to Andrews to escape from a pain and try to discover something new about me. And in a way I have run to Africa as well...for some reasons that I'm not totally sure of. Is running bad? Is trying to move on by escaping to new places wrong?
As I end this entry I think about that balloon...did it make to Heaven? Did He get my letter. I guess now all there is to do it wait. To let go and wait. Who knows, maybe I'll get a letter back some day.

Are you Ballin?


The game was afoot. Hiding behind my tower of car tires I poked my head around to see my enemies. Jessica, in an orange jumper at nine-o-clock was beside her bunker. Tyson at two-o-clock was beginning to look like a grey Dalmatian with yellow spots. Caleb in his blue long john jumper was staying skillfully behind is metal bunker as not to get shot by any of us. I sounded like Darth Vader as scanned the course for Derek. "Pow" a shot came in from left field. I couldn't think as I fired back at Jess. My tower had protected me, this time. More rounds were fired as people moved and dodged. Forgetting about Derek, Jess and I had begun in our own battle of the wits. If only.....
Forest Gump described his hit by saying, "something jumped up and hit me right in the buttocks." And no joke something had. Feeling the horrible sting on my back side I turn around to see Derek, who in his green jumper should have been plain as day to see. But alas his huge grin could not be missed. With one hand on my battle wound and the other in the air, I grudgingly (and with a few angry thoughts in my head) walked out of the course. The enemy had won, and I have a welt to prove it.
How often are we on a paintball course with Satan and don't even realize it? We have so many "enemies" that are out to get us that we loose focus on who the real source of trouble is. We hide behind tires and suck in a breathe as a round comes and SPLAT! right on your face mask. We get so distracted with the yellow paint on our mask that we don't see who's slowly biding his time for the right opportunity to pull the trigger. And sometimes Satan and his works are plain as day, and yet when you feel that sting and jump in surprise you know your done for.
Satan has dozens of distractions and ways to beat us down. He's trying his best so that when he pulls out "the big guns" we walk away defeated, with our hands in the air.
But wonderfully in the big scheme of things we have some one who is no much greater than no matter how many bruises or welts, He is there to doctor us up. He is there to encourage us to get back in the game and to realize that even though we may feel alone on the course that He is always there beside us to pull us through.
But now the question remains: who are you Ballin' for...the enemy or for Him?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Breathe in...breathe out.

First off, God is good. He has blessed me so much this week that I don't even think I can remember them all. I was still pretty shaky coming back from my weekend on. Actually to be quite honest I felt like throwing in the towl. "Why am I here?" "There's no point to me being here when I'm not even making a difference."" These thoughts among others were drifting around in my head. It really scared me cause unfortunetly I was feeling as if the whole dorm had done something to me, and that I was angry in a way at all of them. But like I said, God never stopped blessing me. I called my dad that weekend which was really helpful. Aftering being a Dean for so many years, I can say that he had many words of wisdom.  I also recieved my first two letters! One was from my great friend Ashley Boyko. The other was from the 4th grade Sabbath school class at PMC. It was great to see all there sloppy signatures on the card :)
Tuesday was our Town Day which I was really looking forward too. I have felt like I haven't really seen much of the area around me but Tuesday was awesome! We went to Karen Blixens home and took a tour.
We were all running around like goof balls taking pictures, it was a lot of fun. After we went to the Kazuri bead factory. This is a factory where jobs are given to women from around the area, there are now 350 women working there. The beads and such were beautiful. Jess, Germeen, and I are planning on going back to do some suvineer shopping :) After we went to the Mamba village. This is like a little theme park where they have horse riding, animals to see, boat rides, and rides for little kids. I held a crocodile! It was awesome! Later we were shown ostiches, a giraffe, and camels. Which by the way I got to ride :) Definetly not a horse, but still so much fun. Even though the day was great and I need it so badly as soon as I walked on to campus that night I felt this weight on my shoulders. I felt agitated and that I didn't want to be there. The last thing I wanted to see or hear were the girls. I went to bed that night with a moody attitude and definetly woke up that way. FYI, this is not a good thing.
Amazingly I got an e-mail from my best friend Genie. It was so random cause she and I havn't really talked since I've been out here. But in the email she said she was just checkin on me and gave me about 5 different Bible verses. All of which were exactly what I needed! I felt like God was directly talking to me as I went down the list and read each one. When I wrote her back and told her what had happened and replied, " I don't know, I guess it was just one of those God things. I just felt that I needed to write you." As I think about it now my heart feels light with His love.
I know that I am here for a reason, for what that reason is I don't know. But God does. And I'm realizing that trusting Him is the only thing I can do. Though this is quite hard for me at times I know that he's got my back (like a bra strap :)) and that He knows what He's doing. The week from there has gone quite well. I actually feel like most of my relationships with the girls have grown in little ways. And they aren't walking all over me which I was worried they'd try to do. I even got a note on notes night :)
And we now have 31 girls in the dorm for it is open weekend this weekend. No plans are really set for this weekend. Maybe go to the hot springs tomorow, and then to the All Saints Cathedral to hear a choir in town. So after all this I can breathe in, and I can breathe out. It's good to finally rest.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Round 1: M

 " Working in the girls dorm is the hardest  job on campus." -TRUE
I had the pleasure of discovering that lovely fact this weekend. Oh man, am I glad that I only have 10 more hours on duty. This weekend was harsh, much to like I thought it would be. Funny how we have these "gut" feelings really can be true. When ever it comes to Vespers and Church there is always an issue with the clothing being "Maxwell approved."  There are a couple of girls that I have to keep my eye on for sure for they would have no problem walking out in skirts to there thighs and tops that show well, everything.
M. is a student who has only been in school here for a few weeks. She came late due to an accident that her mother was in. When I met her she seemed like a nice girl, however I did notice that she was snotty with her parents. When she spoke with me she was fine though and I knew that she was going to get along great with the Senior girls. Now I must say they are getting along too well. She has formed quite a group of friends and to say the least it isn't all the best.
Friday night began with me walking in an telling her that she needed to change her skirt. "What? Why? my skirt is fine. I'm not changing." exit M.
A little later I cam back down the hall to check on the girls again, M was in another room where I could hear her and others saying, "that's approved, you don't need to change...don't worry about it." I poke my head in and ask, "M, is there something that we need to talk about?" with a roll of the eyes she continues to put on her makeup. " You need to change otherwise you can't go to vespers." "I'm not going to change my clothes." Before I left I told her that I needed to and went to check on the other girls. Everyone was leaving the dorm and here comes M. in her same outfit heading for the dorm surrounded by a group of friends. " M you are not going to vespers until you change."  With that...the match began.
"I wore this the first day here and you never said anything to me, so why are you telling me now that I can't wear it?! You should have told me when you were checking me in! I'll call my parents, they are my witnesses that you NEVER said anything about it." From here came a long argument of why she needed to change, of me saying that I told her about the dress code and even told her that she couldn't wear that skirt. And if I did miss her then it still didnt matter because I was asking her to change now. With this I had four other Senior girls who were refusing to go to Vespers until M. came with. They kept saying, just let her go and then we can all talk about this later ect ect. Not easy dealing with a girl who is already arguing with you and accusing them of calling them a liar. By now I didn't even care so much about the clothes but for the fact that she was practically yelling at me. And granted yes, my voice was raised as well which I know I shouldn't have done. Grrrr how am I not suppose too? Definetly need to work on that. I told her that she wasn't being respectful, her response, "you have to give respect to get it." She said that she wanted to talk with Mrs. V so that she would approve the dress. I told her yes, but once again we went another round. After pulling down her skirt and pulling up her top she asked if that was ok. Not thinking before answering I replied yes, an before I could say anything else she was out the door. My head was spinning so much I couldn't even think.
Ug, talk about failing. I went into Vespers to see all the other girls talking and looking at me and M. How is I can't have one girl listen to me am I going to have 44 others? I had a couple of girls come over and ask how I was doing, and if I was ok. Pretty sad when you have students checking in on the staff. But granted I felt like dirt. Here was this girl who had back talked me, raised her voice, was being disrespectful and yet she walked into church with only her clothes disheveled. To make it worse, I called Mrs. V (who was off duty) and asked her to come because M wanted to talk with her. Of course she was as sweet and quiet tempered as can be with the principle. I now know what people mean when they say teens can be mean. It's not a lie. So not only did I fail at getting her to change, I feel like I failed with the other girls, I bothered Mrs. V, and I cried in front of the principle. Very very rough.
On Sabbath I had no problem with her, we were like boxers in opposite corners just watching and waiting to see what the other would do. I tried to come off as having a good attitude, which I guess worked considering only one girl asked me how I was doing. Any time I walked down the hall I heard doors slamming. And when I poked my head in to see how M and her roommate were doing. I got a "yea, what ever." followed by a slamming door. The other girls were great, asking how there dress was, if they were approved and those that weren't didn't have a problem changing. Thank goodness.  Ug, I'm tired just thinking about all this.
My discouragement has kept for most of Sabbath due to the fact that I was hearing more about M and how she was bossing people around and giving hard core attitude to her class mates over a picnic table! Saturday night came and went with the Amazing Race, which according to students wasn't that amazing and how all the cliches were put together and well a lot of other stuff.
I'm not gonna lie, when you have a couple of roudy kids it's hard to look at and remember the good ones. And sad to say I was seriously thinking of how much I would love for her to not be here anymore. I got the shirts that I made, ordered, and bought with my money the other day for the girls. I was really excited about it, but now part of me doesn't feel like giving it to them. Yeah....just a hard weekend. I'm glad it will be over soon. Sorry this was so long.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Frustration

"No matter how discouraged we get, God has not asked us to do the impossible."
 ~George Grace

As I read this quote, I'm trying to believe it. Today has been one of those days where I wish a could fast forward threw and all ready be in bed. I am feeling like Susan was the other day, where ranting about sin and clothes seem like the only answer. Ug! I don't know why but today just feels like one of those breaking points. I'm not looking forward to being on this weekend. I know that a couple of the girls and I are going to go rounds, and I hate it because they show no respect and to me it feels as if I'm not apart of this dorm. 
How is it that even though we have so much good things going for us, we focus on the negative? It seems that it's more often then not easier to frown then smile, when in reality it is completely in opposite. 
Please pray for me and this weekend, pray that I don't break. Pray that I am the best person I can be here for these girls....pray that tomorrow is so much better than today.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gluten, gluten, and more gluten. Oh yeah, and potatoes.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This blog is about gluten and potatoes. No joke. Before I came to Kenya  one of the assignments that we had was to look up different things about it, such as; culture, religion, climate, and most importantly food. Within my study I thought that surly after spending ten months here that I would come back thin and in good health, thanks to beans and rice. Granted I am eating both beans and rice but no one ever told me about how much potatoes they eat. I feel like I am connecting with my German roots! Potatoes are a prime source of food here in Kenya, just like gluten in a prime source here at Maxwell. Almost every meal you can expect to have one or the other if not both. I wont lie, I was a little shocked (maybe that's not the word) when I came for breakfast the other day and found the meal to be gluten and beans. Talk about hard core protein! If anything after coming at eating at the cafe 2 times a day I feel that the dream of me coming back to the States a little bit trimmer may be out of reach. But hey at least my sodium levels will be up, Up, UP :)
Haha alright enough about that. This week has been good, as in not much problems here in the dorm. If anything I am getting called to tell the girls to drink more water and to put socks on there feet due to many colds that have come about. Luckily I have not caught any of these colds...yet. (knock on wood). I am discovering even more that I am not a desk person. Thank goodness I decided not to do Social Work. I would be going out of my mind being in a cubicle all day. To those who can handle it, I solute you. There are some days when I feel so anxious to do some work that I even think about taking over the janitors job for the day here in the dorm. Granted I'm sure they would appreciate it, Mrs. V (the principle) not so much. So alas I have come to find that working out and running are the next best thing that I can do. I just started running this week. I tried when I first got here, but boy does that elevation hurt. It's still hard but it's getting better, then again I want to get out so bad I don't really mind it anymore.
I found out some awesome! news this morning at staff worship. Another one of our girls, Joy, is getting baptized here in a couple of weeks. And also Ange who is not an SDA is wanting to get baptized as well. Yay! My heart smiles when I think of it. My heart also smiles when I get notes from girls in the dorm, such as tonight. Every Wednesday night the dorms pass notes to each other, and tonight Paula gave me one :) It is going up on my wall for sure! I thank God for little pick me ups. He knows the people we need in our lives, even if it be a student.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gods got your back...

   Gods got your back...like a bra strap!

This quote fell upon my ears last night by way of one of the senior girls. She has been coming to Maxwell all her life, as I found out it is a family tradition, and this year is the editor of the Maxwell Mirror (school newspaper).  We were folding the last of the newspapers after she had had a very hectic and crazy day not only because of the copy machine not wanting to corropurate, but because of other things that have been going on in the dorm as well. When she first said this, I looked at her with the most questionable expression probably known to man. "huh?" "yeah, ya know...like a bra strap." We continued to talk till after lights out, which is when it actually sunk in that God and the word bra were both used in the same sentence. It made me laugh out loud then, and it makes me chuckle now. Definetely a quote that I will not forget here from Maxwell.
And even though it sounds silly, it makes sence! (if any guys are reading this, I'm sorry you have to read these next few sentences) Straps are there to keep things in place, to help hold things up. And God does the same thing! He's there to help us stay up when we feel like falling, He's there to help us stay in place once we have figured out where He wants us.
I find this comforting this morning as I'm thinking about things from home, relationships, and feelings. Sometimes I feel so frazzled about not knowing what's going to happen, and not even being able to understand my own feelings...that I forget that there is a man who not understands but knows EVERYTHING that is going to happen in my life.
So this is my little devotion to you this morning: when you feel like your falling down; slowly and gradually, remember that there is someone who is there to hold you us no matter what the cost, color, or size.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Meet Maxie!

It was lunch time last Tuesday when I noticed Derek standing at the door of the cafe. It was quite strange, for the fact that Derek is quite an eater (as well as that hid wife Yani works in the cafe). I walked over to him and after saying hello and taking a second glance noticed that he was holding something quite small and white in his arms. Enter: Maxie. Derek told me of how there was a mother and her three kittens that were hanging around the chicken coop by the workshop. The kittens were climbing up the fencing, and one kitten in paticular stuck her head threw the fence! Derek thought that he was going to have to get his wire cutters to rescue her, alas her head was small enough and she got herself out. He was asking if anyone wanted to keep her and if not then he would just take her back over there and let her go.
Now of course me being well...me, I decided that she should be apart of the family here at Maxwell. Hence the name Maxie.
Maxie has now been with Jessica and I for one week and one day (as of yesturday). She has come a long way from hissing at us and sulking away, and being confined to a smelly box. Today, she sits on my lap as I type, giving Jess and I many many moments of laughter which are most definelty welcomed. I like to think of her as a little tomb boy for she's always getting into things and exploring. Granted we have some concerns for the fact that she likes to attack her own image, as well as when she jumps away from things she usually hits her head against something in the process.
I think God new that I needed a little fur ball around. There's just something about an animal that I can't explain.
Now just to everyone knows, and incase my Mom shows the picture of Maxie to my cat at home (yes, she would do this) Maxie is not taking over Tigers spot at cat in my life. She will remain here at Maxwell when it is time for me to leave. She will be in the capable hands of the Crutcher family. Hopefully Tiger wont disown me when I get home :p


Monday, September 13, 2010

Positive Thinking

So today in the States is National Positive Thinking Day. I thought that I would try it out here at Maxwell and see how it goes. It was working great for me...until about 15 minutes ago. I knew that I would come across some girls that would challenge me and it would seem that she's just as stubborn and bull headed as me.
Grrr it just makes me so aggravated!Is it so hard to go change your shirt? Or is it just more enjoyable to make a scene in the cafeteria in front of the majority of the school? I have to talk to this girl at least once a week about her clothes, an really? Do you want me to have to do that every week?
I don't know, I just feel more agitated about it more than anything. I wasn't raised where you back talk your elders so it's hard hearing it from a student.
I guess some good does come from this. I had another girl come in and talk to me about it, just trying to help me see where she was coming from and ways to help me out. Grr, grr, and grr, again!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Good times on Friday nights

Well tonight for Vespers I was asked to give a testimony. I told of how I felt I was lead to come to Maxwell. It's funny thinking back on how it all happened and part of me wonders and am in awe at how God has things planned out. I mean I don't think that they way I got here was His first plan, but He got me here none the less. I hated and still don't like what I went through with everything at Southern, and then leaving there to going to a place that absolutely despise. Yea...not what I had in plan. But minus a few things here and there I'm glad it happened.
Vespers went well, and I can truly say that I do not have stage fright anymore. I never thought that I would get over it but thanks to Dr. Crumbly I am good to go :)
After vespers it was faculty family, which was a lot of fun. We made popcorn and juice and gave Moises a cookie with a candle in it for his birthday. I am on duty this weekend and so fare it has been good. Some of the girls didn't have faculty family tonight so I brought some juice and popcorn. All in all it has been a blessed day and a good start to the Sabbath.
I thought giving this particular testimony would be difficult but it wasn't that bad. I still wonder how things are going to be and if what I believe is  true. "Faith is being sure for what we hope for, and certain of what we can not see." I have faith that things will get figured out and that you will find what He has to show you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Update

There hasn't been to much action going on here at Maxwell this last week. Things have been pretty good and steady. Another one of our girls came and moved in today. Her name is Frida and she is from Norway. As of now she is the only white skinned girl in the school, and I hear from other staff that it could get interesting. Back when Maxwell was more known as a missionary school they had quite a diverse range of students. But within the last few years that has changed with mainly kids from around Africa and Kenya even more.
We have another girl who is here and will be testing it out and seeing if she wants to stay here.It's a hard circumstance because she has spinal bifida. Maxwell doesn't have the proper facilities to really accommodate her, as well as many medical aspects that Susan would have to take on. It's definitely a big prayer on out prayer lists. I worry most about her getting depressed, which I know can be really dangerous, especially with the fact that her family is going to be in Tanzania. *sigh* I pray God works it out. Then again I'm praying that He works everything else out too.
I have so much on my mind lately that it's starting to grate on my nerves. It's funny how God ends up answering our requests though. I was trying to have devotions this morning, and my mind and heart just wasn't in it. I asked God to open my ears so I could hear what He wanted me too. After a little bit I put my Bible away and hopped on FB. I started talking with a friend of mine and man, I felt like I got smacked in the face by a fish. It was just like, huh...ok God I got it. So to you kind sir, thank you for your words of wisdom :)
But yeah...even though we get our answers sometimes it's still hard to follow them. I still wonder a lot why I am here and what God is going to have come out of it. Cause as of right now I feel like my hands are tied behind my back. I feel restless and uneasy a lot, my relationships within my family are changing, and I've been feeling this slow loneliness that creeps up out of the blue. And yet I write all these things out that are on my mind and heart and I feel...peace. I know that God has everything under control and that whatever passes my way is apart of His plan.

"Stop feeling, and start believing." - I do believe I got my answer for this next year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Late Night Thoughts

Well it's the second study hall of the night which means it's serious study hall and it's very quite here now. I actually really like working here in the office before and after worship. It's nice actually having the girls here in the dorm. This week has been good thus fare, but I suppose I should knock on wood right about now. Last night Jessica, Tyson, and I watched Ghosts and the Darkness. All I have to say...Intense! It was more of the feeling of, wow I can't believe that really happened. It was good. But hopefully I wont be freaking out whenever we go on a camping trip now haha. Reminds me of the time I went camping with Genie and Char and we thought there was a cougar outside our tent. Haha oh how we ran.
I made cookies for the first time tonight. Now when anyone from home asks me what I miss my answer will be: state side chocolate chip cookies. Everything is so different here. The brown sugar looks more like black sugar and plus being higher up in elevation doesn't help much either. But hey, if the boys approve (Thomas and Tyson) then it's all right by me.
Susan has finally figured out a schedule for us. She will be working in the mornings mostly, and I'll come in at 10:00 and from time to time work the rest of the day. Which I don't mind at all. I hope that she's able to spend more time with her family this way. She's a great lady.
The Prayer Room is slowly starting to come together. I want to open it up for the girls hopefully by Friday after Vespers. I have a few more ideas but prayers for that to work and to be a positive thing would be much appreciated.
So I entitled this Late Night Thoughts and I guess I should get on with those thoughts haha. I just feel so at peace being here. I love being in this office and looking out and seeing the campus with the kids on it. I love that I am getting to know the kids a little more each day, and not just as the mean new dean but someone that they can come and talk to about things. Because of this my mind is already reeling with possibilities. I can already feel myself changing here, and part of me doesn't know if I'm ok with that or not. I mean I am, I've been wanting this for a long time. It's taken me a long time to actually be happy again with how things are (for the most part) and I'm ready to move on with my life. Maybe that's the thing that scares me the most. Is that now I'm ready and yet I'm scared to see what God is going to bring my way. I know that God has a reason for me being here. If it's to say that my heart is now here in Africa and not there then so be it. But I still can't help about wonder what's next. I mean I know I just started this huge chapter of my life, but like I've done since I was little I'd always try to read a couple of paragraphs in the next chapter just to have some sort of idea of what was coming up next.
I wonder where I'll be next year, if I'll be back at Andrews or not, if I'll still be an animal science major or if by doing this i will finally find what God wants me to do. Which honestly no matter how much of a hasel I feel it is to change majors, again...if that's what I'm suppose to do then I'll give it a go. And after being here only a couple of weeks I already know that God is going to bring about some changes. Maybe the reason I'm here is to help me get use to the idea of those changes so that when they come I wont run from them. Then again there's also the other big reason why I feel that I'm here. And I don't really know what to think of that. I really don't. Honestly...I think I'm done with it. And yet a part of me still has it there. But you can't really do anything but sit and wait once all your cards have been put out on the table.
Oh well. Well the lights just went out in the dorm which means I need to talk with the RA. Good night and sleep tight, don't let the lions bite :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Morning Thoughts

Well it's Monday morning and so far this week has gone good. Not much has really been happening in the dorm, most of the girls are behaving well. I love that I am getting to know them more. I can talk to them more about what's going on with them and joke and laugh with the. Kesly was so funny last night. She had a splinter in her finger and asked if I had anything to take it out with. I silently reached in my pocket and pulled out my knife and switched the blade open. Her eyes got so big haha it was soooo funny."Um Miss Cassie, are your being serious?" Glad to say the splinter is out and she still has her finger. Then Wanjiru came in later that night and said, "Miss Cassie I have something on my back" I pull up her shirt and touch where she things it is.She jumps and says yep that's it, what is it. My reply: a zit. Haha I start dying of laughter as she silently pulls her shirt down and walks out of the office. I really love these girls, more when I don't have to be a police for dress code but even then it's not too bad. I'm even getting to know my RA's better too where we can just talk about the day and how things are going.
I don't know if it's because school is going here for the students or because I'm in a different place, but I feel like I need a change. Yes, I know I'm experiencing a big one right now. But...I want a change. I want a new start. I don't know why I'm thinking like this but I just feel that I need to get my act together, grow up (a little) and make a change. I don't know where my life is headed but I know that everything I have gone threw has been for a reason. Leaving Southern meant me going to Andrews, which led me to come to Africa which will lead me to....who know's where. I'm realizing that my life is a very large map, and when I look back and see where and what I've gone through I know that things can only be better up a head. Whether that's here or there I'll have to find out and see.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What a day

It's cool and hazy out this morning from the rain that we had all last night. It's one of those days where you want to sit by the window and curl up with some hot tea and just watch the day go by. Even though I'm not watching the day go by I am sitting here with a cup of Strawberry and vanilla tea, which is something all of it's own. The last twenty four hours has been pretty nuts. But first I should say how nice Friday night was. We had faculty families after vespers which is where a group of students come over to faculties house. Ours was fun. Violoetta had a nice game that helped up get to know each other and then we had ice cream and biscuits after. From there I went to the dorm where we had tea and biscuits. It was nice just bein able to hang out with the girls and just talk with them on a different level. I really hope that will happen more through out the year. Which I'm sure it will, it'll just take time for me to figure out my footing.
I now know what everyone was talking about when they would say that the girls dorm is nuts and that I better get ready. Part of me feels like I got a bucket of ice cold water in the face. We had to confiscate a phone for two weeks because we found out that it was an illegal phone. Meaning that it was the second of two phones, in which it was not being turned in and was being used after lights out. After figuring it out it went fine, actually not bad at all. The wake up call came Sabbath morning.
I think I'm really going to start complaining to the dress designers or something cause there is no need for dresses to be so short! Sad to say the first girl we called didn't take it too well and ended up slamming her door and crying for a bit. Lets just say she wasn't too happy with us the rest of the day. I called back a couple of other girls and they were totally fine with it, which I'm glad because that's just a tough spot when they don't. Part of me already feels like I'm the bad person. And I know that that is part of the job desciption, in a way, but it's not one that I want with the girls all year. Oh well, atleast now I know who I am going to have to put up with.
After all that I felt really drained and was wanting just a good church service. And to say the least, I really like the church service here at Maxwell. They are very conservative, with hymns and it's just nice. I like it. Very much like the Shafter church. Well in a way.
Later that afternoon they had activities, one of which was taking water to a near by village. It's been pretty dry here the last few months, and the river water isn't exactly the cleanest. And oh man...so what I needed! At first the kids didn't know what to do. And well neither did we. But after a few demonstrations of patty cake and ring around the rosy, the kids we're playin left and right. We played Simon Says, and Red Light Green Light, and it was just such a blessing. I swear if I could take all of the kids home with me I would! There so beautfil. When we got back it was time for vespers and then supper and then......ASB Maxwell Handshake!!
The Maxwell Handshake is the welcome back social that they do every year. And lets just say after about 80 or so kids plus staff, your tired. And no it's not a hand shake like a regular one. Haha I dont know if I can even explain it. You hit fists, then you hit the opposit foot to the other persons opposit. You bump hips and then you give a "church hug". It was a lot of fun. After we played fruit in a basket, musical chairs, and had a relay race. It was really nice cause when the girls came around that weren't oo thrilled with us deans, it's like they forgot all about it and we all just had a good time.
So yeah...it was fun.
As for today we are getting the monitors work schedule up, our work schedule up, and working on the "fashion show" for the dress code tonight.
Let the first full week start!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

An over due update

So.....there has been a lot, and I mean a lot, of things that I have been meaning to blog but the days have just gone by too quick! So before I head off to staff meeting I figured now is as good a time as ever.

Last Friday after sundown we had a dedication service for the school year. All the staff gathered in the church where Pastor Kent had a service and we prayed over all the teachers, buildings, staff, ect. After we had a communion service, which I will say truelly touched my heart. I am just so blessed to be here! And it just really warms my spirit to know that God wanted and chose for me to come here and serve Him for this year. Man...haha I'm just in awe.
Sabbath was spectacular!!! We all loaded the bus at 8(ish) and headed to Cresent Lake. It's a national park where you can picnic and hike around and see lots of  AMAZING animals!!! It totally rocked my socks :)
As soon as we drove into the park we saw Giraffes, and Gazelle. We had a little worship talk about creation and all the beautiful things that God created for us. And then we had wonderful lunch!....which we got bombed a couple of times by some Vervet monkeys. And yes, when I mean bombed I mean bombed, haha it was funny. We took lots of pictures and just had a really fun time together.
The hike was great we saw more giraffes, monkeys, gazelle, impalas, water buck, wildabeasts, zebra, and hippos!! It was soooo cool hehe ( yes, animals make me smile) Later that night when we got back the SM's, except for Thomas and Tomiko, went to the Doss's house and watched Out of Africa. Don't really know if there was a real point to it, but atleast I could say that I have been to those places in the movie.
Sunday began early with the first two girls arriving in the dorm. It was nice to get a jump start on things and meet some of the girls.By the end of the night we had about 7 girls checked into there rooms. Sad to say when some of the girls got here they weren't feeling good and I think it got passed to me or I ate something that didn't agree with me. Cause the night before registration I was sick, and not the fun kind. So yay for unexpected sickness's haha.
Yestuday was crazy! Lots of girls coming in asking questions, filling out policies, Moms asking questions, all that good stuff. To say the least by the end of the night I was pretty pooped.
I'm soo glad I have Susan here. She's so sweet and really nice, and yea she's just a great lady to work for.
And I love the dorm haha. Maybe since the parentals wouldn't let me go to MBA this is my way of being able to have a little boarding academy experience. Oh and it feels just like MBA too!! Yep that's right, it's over cast, and hazzy. Nice and cool where you'd want to curl up with a blanket. But yea, the dorms nice cause it does have its quiet moments and I can actually yell in the dorm and not get in trouble. Which I did when I was in highschool in the court yard, go figure!
I had worship this morning and the girls seemed pretty excited about the first day. Sad to say that wears off pretty quick.
I have my first town day today. I think I'll just run into town and grab what I need and relax and just work on some small things for the rest of the day. Sounds like a plan :)

So that's my update! Maybe not too detailed but atleast it's something.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yay for great nights and things falling together

Well staff week is still in motion, which I'm sure some of us wish that it wasn't haha. There isn't really much going because we are in meetings most of the day. It's been nice to be able to talk with Susan and get more of a feel for the "dorm life." I've been sort of intimidated because I'm the only SM here who didn't go to a boarding academy. So I sort of feel like I'm a few steps behind, but things are getting better!
I've been working on ideas for the dorm and the Prayer room that we'll have in one of the extra rooms. And I'm sooo excited because I found everything that I wanted at the store yesturday! I found glitter, I found rocks, and Nutella! Haha ok so that last one's for me but still, it made me very excited.
After we got all of the things at Junction we went to this amazing Italian resturant. And yes, apparently there are a lot of them Italian, Ethiopian, Indian...I have a feeling I'm going to have problems gaining weight rather then loosing it haha. But yes we had a very fun night. It's nice to go out and get off the compound every now and then.
This morning started off really good too, because I thought it would be cool for the girls dorm to have shirts! I found a website for it and it seems that it can can be done within a reasonable price range. Here's crossing my fingers!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Update from Maxwell

Well folks I have made it to Kenya safe and sound. I haven't written anything yet because today has been the first time that I could get internet set up. So alas, here is an update on my trip so far.
The flight over wasn't bad at all, not much sleeping was involved but I figured that would be good for once I got here. Jessica (my roomate and fellow Andrews partner) arrived at the airport at 9 o-clock. Unfortunetly getting threw customs can take awhile. But, that's not what took so long. British Airways some how felt that our luggage needed to spend some more time in London. to say the least Jessica got hers on Friday and I didn't get mine till Sunday. I'm really thankful for clean clothes.
I've gotten to meet a lot of the people and most of the staff here. They are all really sweet and friendly people. And of course, they are amazing cooks. I thought I was going to have a problem loosing weight....well I don't think that anymore. We've been able to go into town a couple times which is nice to see the "real" world ourside of the compound.
The other SM's and volunteers that are here are Germeen from La Sierra, Violetta from the Ukraine, Thomas from Andrews, Tomika from Alabama, and Tyson from Union. Of course come to find out my dad knowns Tysons parents. I just can't ever get away haha.
We've started staff week and I've been able to get a better understanding of what I am going to be doing as the assistant girls dean. I felt bad because that is my only job positsion, when others have about 4. But after talking with the Dean and the Principle it's for good reason.
The last couple of nights have been a lot of fun playing soccor and volleyball. Or I should say that volleyballs fun until my arms turn black and blue...then not so much.
Well I'm off to bed. Amazingly I think I've adjusted to the time change pretty well. There was only one night (Friday) when I was up pretty early, 4. Good to know that's not happening anytime soon.
Night!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Last Day

Well today us officially the last day in the U.S. Wow, I can't even believe that summer has flown by and that now within a matter of 24hrs I will be on a plane headed for Kenya. Completely mind blowing, overwhelming, and aw struck all at once.
Today will consist of one last ride with my horse :( saying goodbye to My Grandparents and other friends, dinner with my brother, last minute packing all throughout the day, and then of course running around like a chicken with her head cut off haha.
And now that I think about all that I have to do...I better get a move on.