Wednesday, October 27, 2010


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


"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.