Friday, November 19, 2010


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 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, "A power 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


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






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.