Tuesday, June 21, 2011


T-minus 1 hour and 30 minutes. At 19:00 I will be heading to the airport to begin the trip back to the states. I'm not gonna lie, I'm starting to get excited. I don't know if I'm more excited to be in an airport or to walk out and see my parents and grandparents waiting to see me. Haha I can just see my parents: my Mom jumping up and down waving her arms "Hey Monkey!!!" and my Dad almost doing the same thing with a little bit less jumpiness and sayin "Hi Sister." I took a walk around campus a little while ago and ended up at the gym. When I went into the ball room to get a basketball I was very proud to see how neat and organized it was. I couldn't help but think, good job guys. When we first got here Tyson and Jess worked on that place like crazy, it was a disaster! But now it looks great. It got me thinking to other parts of the year, and even how now I am proud of the SM's that were here with me. We all gave as much as we could this year, and you can even see it with the clean ball rooms and apartments that we are leaving behind. I'm very glad and have been truly blessed to work with ALL the staff here.
I'm headed home soon. Wow...I'm going home. There aren't any words, there just aren't. But to those of you that are reading this state side....I'll see you in a few hours :)

And I'll get to see Ceasar....YAY! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


"Life is change, growth is optional. Choose wisely." ~ Unknown
This is my favorite quote. It's one that I have re-read many times through out the last couple of years. It's helped me realize many times that if I want to grow as a person, as a Christian, and a friend, and daughter that I need to be able to change.
Everyone has told me that I shouldn't expect things to be the same when I get back to the states. That I'll have changed, matured, and will be a different person. But what about everyone else? What about the family that is now actually ending? What about the parents who are going on different paths that have never been walked upon before? I hate the fact that I wont see the change in me until I am in a different place, and with different people. I want to see it now! Staff here have asked me what it's going to be like for us when we SM's get back to the states. And I think for a lot of us, we don't have an answer, because we don't have a clue. I've never liked going into something without having an idea of what's ahead of me. I like change, but only when I'm ready for it. When I have prepared myself for all the possible bad and good situations that can happen.
Before I came here I went and visited my friends in TN. I remember crying in Trevors kitchen the night before I had to leave for Cali. I remember crying to Jared telling him how scared I was that everyone was going to move on with out me and that I would be left. Now I'm scared of going back because I have to fit into the unknown. I have to see if I really was left or if things didn't change as much as I thought that they would. I don't know...we'll just have to see if I'm open to growing and change.

....I don't think I want to be.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I feel like my thoughts, feelings, emotions are scattered all the house. I can't figure out how I'm feeling about everything. I'm remembering my first couple of days here when I'd sit on the couch and gaze out the window just in awe of the fact that I'm here. I'm wondering of what lies a head of me and if I have the guts to actually do what I want and not be swayed or pushed because I feel like I have to please people. I'm thinking of things that have gone and shouldn't be entering into my mind, and yet I can't help but wonder about them. Will I be able to handle home again? Will I be able to look you in the face and not be disappointed by the realizations I've had since being away? I'm scared of getting home and feeling lost. Lost from who I am and what I'm suppose to be. Lost from the people that I love so much and yet they don't seem to realize how much they hurt me. Lost from you. I hate that I feel this way. I shouldn't feel this way! I shouldn't feel like it's the first day of school going into my fifth grade year. Heart racing, head pounding, palms sweating. I shouldn't feel like I have to prepare myself for a blow that's going to break my heart. I thought after coming here I would have more of a grip on things, more of a grip on who I am. And yet, why do I feel, why am I scared of seeing who I am when I get back? Is it because I really don't have a hold on who I am and what I as a person represent in Gods eyes? Or do I know who I am...and I'm just scared that the people who once knew me, wont know me at all?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Questions, questions, and more questions

Germeen left today. Jess is leaving tomorrow with her family till the 19th. Thomas and Tomiko are leaving the 14th. Tyson leaves on the 19th and then Jessica and I will leave on the 21st. Aka two weeks come tomorrow. I'm walking around this campus with few students left. It's weird to think that I need to start cleaning out my room and cleaning the house. To start taking things down in the dorm that I once put up in anticipation for the students to come. Realizing that I'm going to have the house all to myself in a couple of hours. Realizing that in a matter of weeks I will be walking back into a society that I once fit into and now I feel out of the mold.
I feel that I've always been a strong individual. I know who I am, and what I believe in.I know that God is always by my side, and that some sweat and elbow grease never hurt anyone. That we need to love the ones that we are blessed with while we have them. And yet...why am I wondering who I am? A part of me feels more scared now about going back to school then when I first went off to Southern. I'm going to have to re-establish myself to a place that I left with a bitter heart. A place that I didn't want to be at in the first place.
I'm going back as a 22 year old Animal Science major. I'm going back knowing what I want to do but apprehensive if I can attain those goals. I'm going back scared, because I don't know what or whom lies ahead of me. After being here I can't say that I really know who I am, because I've always known. And yet I'm going back asking, who am I going to be. Will I be a disappointment to my parents? Will I be a friend to those who once were close to be? Will I be the God fearing women that I've been in Kenya?
I've been told that going off as an SM will change me. But change me into what? Who am I now that I wasn't before? Who am I going to be that I'm not now? I guess only time will tell...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Being There

Three big events for this graduation weekend  are over with, with only one more to go. Tomorrow is the big day. The Seniors will be marching into the church, receiving diplomas that they have worked hard for. There will be smiles and tears, and lots of hugs and pictures.
How is it that while one phase of life can be so exciting, at the same time it can be utter terrifying and lonely. After I blogged last night I shot a text to a friend of mine who had once been an SM. I thought that he would understand, instead it went right over his head. And with that came the crashing realization that I am going to be alone.  I am going to be alone with no one who understands. I feel like I am stuck in limbo. I can't go back to how things once were, and yet I don't know what is going to be in front of me. I just went through some of my old high school pictures, reading comments that friends and even old boyfriends had left. It's interesting to think how back then I thought I knew it all. I had all the answers. That life was just going to be happily ever after. But it wasn't and it hasn't been happily ever after. People I love have left, my family is not a family. I have hurt people and hung on too long. Am I still hanging on? Maybe not to something or someone specific but am I still hanging on to the thought that I could have happily ever after. And I don't mean in the romantic sense, I just mean in the way of life. I'm happy here, I'm comfortable. I like the friends I have here. People I trust, who I know have my back. Who I know will help me if I need a hand. I guess I'm scared of going back and not knowing who is there for me. The people that even though they can't and wont understand they will still be there and not leave me. Ha, I'm realizing as I write this that my fear of people leaving me that I acquired when I was younger is still very strong.  I don't want to be left alone without someone to be there. I don't want to leave these people here, friends, faculty, students, because they know me. They know what I've been through when no one else has. I don't want to leave because I love them, and when I get home...the people I love, I fear, wont be there.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Facing Reality

After being jumped on Tuesday, checking girls out of there rooms and today sending home one of my seniors (aka not graduating) things are starting to hit me. And I don't like it.
For the past couple of weeks Jess has been talking to me about going home. Sharing with me her fears and what she's worried about. How even though we are going home, we aren't going "home." She is reading this book that mentions how home is where we are comfortable at. And well....I'm comfortable here. This is home.
Everything is going to be different when we get back. Sure there are some friends where we will fall right into step with, others...it's going to take awhile. My biggest fear is that people are going to try and be apart of my time here in Kenya. They are going to try and come into my life here. And they can't! They can't see what I've seen. They can't meet the people I've met. They can't know the ups and downs, the heartache and tears, the laughs and jokes that I have here with these girls. They just can't understand it!
I'm ready to see people back in the states, but I'm not ready to leave this place and these peoples. Especially certain ones that have been THE ones to be there for me...I'm going to be crying my eyes out.
Any time Jess and I have talked about this in the past I've just nodded my head, uh hu, yea, sure...type of responses. But now, it's starting to stick. Now I have to face reality. And the reality is...I don't want to leave home.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's Hard to Believe

Today is the last full day of school. There will never be another Thursday of regular classes again. Well at least for me. I'm sitting in the office with Switchfoot playing in the background, a long with Kesly singing in the hallway and Karen talking about what she wants to do during summer. We got our year books today. I think this is the most excited I've been over a year book since I graduated high school. From what I've seen they're pretty nice (props to Miss Jess :))
I'm so glad that I came to Kenya. I'm so glad I let God lead me here. When I look back over the year I can see how I have changed so much. The two biggest lessons that I have learned are 1. to let go and 2. to be patient. Now granted, patience doesn't exactly run in the family but I think I'm getting a better handle on it. Haha at least I hope so. I love the relationships that I have built here. I love the students. I've seen a love between some of them and I especially this week with things coming to a close. Part of me wishes that they would come to Andrews so we could just chill and hang out, talk about nothing. Haha but then again I don't think I would have enough chocolate to hold Winta over for more than 2 years.
Letting go is one of hardest things that I think someone can face. It's scary and lonely. But I'm glad that I've made it through that stage. I'm glad that I've let go so that I can now see what's in front of me. Which I think could be a good thing. Granted just because we let go, doesn't mean there wont be anymore problems. There has been a lot of things that have come up for me within the last year too. Decisions and choices that will forever affect my future. Some things I don't want to deal with, but I know I have too.
It's good to feel this way. It's good to feel happy again. I haven't felt just silly happy for a long time. I love life, and I love the one that God has given me. I love that the warm sunshine makes me happy. That I can be singing in the copy room and people know that it's me. I love hearing Zivah scream that shrill baby yell in the office. I love how Sabrina comes in my office and just chills on the couch and talks about the most random-est things.
Before I came here I was so scared that life would move on without me. That I would be left behind. And for awhile I felt like that. But the thing is, the people that really are my friends and that really care aren't going anywhere. They aren't leaving me behind. And for that, I'm going to be a bridesmaid :)
The thing about letting go, is that we have the chance to start over. If we didn't like how things were before we can change it. If there was something about ourselves that was negative we can work on it to make it better. And if there once was someone who broke your heart, there's someone who can help put it back together. And FYI He's pretty cool.
This is my last Thursday on. But with all these lasts...I'm looking forward to all the firsts :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Finally Hit Me

So it's finally hit me...in 44 days I will be leaving this beautiful place and landing on my own soil. Honestly, I'm amazed that all this has happened to me. I am amazed that God could send me...me!...to Kenya to do His work. Granted there have been times when I wonder if I really am doing His work, but as Debbie reminded me, I can't see it now but one day I will.
When it actually hit me was last night, when the girls were getting ready for JS (Junior Senior banquet). I remembered mine, and taking pictures in the back yard with Jake. Going bowling, and posing with paintings. Taking tons of pictures with my class. And it just made me realize that the year is practically over with! I now know for a fact that I will be tearing up all graduation weekend, especially on graduation day.
Ya know even though this year has been tough, we forget those and remember the good. I had forgotten some of the events I've had with girls, with being called demon when ever I walked by. I forget them because I remember the fun, silly times I have with them.
It is also hitting me that when I get back, things ARE going to be different. I know, I know, I've been hearing this all year but due to some recent news it's true. I'm looking forward to being with my brother and dad and spending more time with the. For me, I feel like it's time to move on from home. It's time to start my life...haha an who ever would have thought it would be in MI?! But ya know what? I have more of an open mind than I did when I first went, and I do have some amazing friends there, who I can not WAIT to see :) It's gonna be good this year, I can feel it.
But yea...44 days. Man, they are gonna go by so quick. I better get on to bye gifts for everyone haha

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Family

Tonight we had a going away for the Sandavol family. This family is amazing. Eisia runs the hostel, where they live, while her devoted husband works (I believe) though the ECD. They have two wonderful children, Francheska and Ronit. The sweetest, Jesus loving kids you will ever meet. They have been here for four years, but now now chosen to move to the Phils for work and school.
While we were in the library waiting for the family to arrive, I scanned the room looking at everyone present. Most of the adults were sitting in chairs chatting and laughing, while the kids were running around being animals. I couldn't help but feel this swelling feeling in my chest. This is my family. For the last ten months they have been there for me. To encourage, uplift, wipe my tears, give me hugs, make me pull my hair out, and roll my eyes. They are my support. They are my friends. I couldn't help but think about how in a few weeks we would be back in this position only now, the people who would be leaving would be us (the SM's).
I'm ready to go home, but I wish I could pack these people away in my suitcase and bring them back with me. Especially the Raymonds, Crutchers, and Doss's.
The other thought I had was how nice it would be to have this in my family one day. I've always wanted a big family, where everyone gets together for the holidays and birthdays. Where there is utter chaos and noise. But people who love you no matter what. I think about Eisia and Ronald and see how devoted and in love with each other they are and I pray I will have that one day. I look at their kids and see how much they love God and I hope my kids can have that close relationship too.
I'm going to miss my family here in Kenya. But the great thing is...I know that they will always be there for me. Just because I'm leaving soon doesn't mean that I am going to lose them. And that puts a smile on my face.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Not a Good Week

I don't know what the deal is, but this is just not my week. This past weekend was really good, very busy but good. We had international night on Sunday, which left me really missing home and yet still very proud of all the girls that participated. Sunday was also really hard though too because it was the day that my class was graduating from Southern. As in, the plan was for ME to be graduating on Sunday as well. And well...obviously I haven't graduated and obviously not from Southern. I just feel that life is passing my by. That life is rolling for everyone else whether it is graduating, starting a new job, getting married/ engaged. I feel like I'm stick not moving.
My attitude doesn't help any, I know. Everything is just starting to bug me now. Germeen reminded me that both teams are on this weekend, I was ready to punch the wall. Ants got into my box of Honey Nut Cheerios that Debbie sent me and I about burst into tears. As Sabrina told me today, " yea pretty much I want to stay in my room and see no one. It's just too emotionally draining." Amazingly she hit the nail on the head. I want to stay in my room all day. I don't want to see anyone. I don't want to talk to anyone.
What a good dean, hu? Why is it that everyone is moving on, but me? I know that God has this great plan for me, but right now I'm in a pit. I'm scared of that great plan getting ruined by myself of others. But worst of all I'm scared I may not reach it.
The only way for things to change is for me to change my attitude; therefor, positive things this week.
1) Amazingly fun and funny: Americans trying to line dance
2) Started 2nd month of Insanity and totally loving it, even though it's kicking my butt
3) Thankful to Katie and Debbie for letting me cry on there shoulders when needed.
4) Only 31 days till graduation: 48 days till I'm in the US
5) Lots of rain = very green Kenya
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ready to Go

We are half way through the last week of April...and it can't go by fast enough. I am ready to go home. I just am. I miss my friends and family. I miss Ceasar and riding for countless hours. I miss my room and cat. I miss seeing my friends and being apart of what ever may be going on. I'm actually missing it so much that I google mapped my house, my Dads house, and the ranch. Just so I could see them! Nationality night is coming up on Sunday. We've been brain storming about ways to represent America and I miss my country! I miss it!
I'm done with the griping and complaining. I'm done hearing about how horrible we are and how some of the girls hate us so. I'm done giving 100% when it's not appreciated. Don't ask me to do anything else than what I already am, cause I just don't have the energy to do it.
I hate that I feel this way! I don't want too. I want to be stoked for this last month. I mean after this month I will probably never see these students or staff...ever. I may never be in Kenya again either. I wish my friends could be here. I wish my family could ALL get together for once and it be like old time. But, whatch ya do? There's no turning back the clock on some things.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What to do, what to do

Well this week started off with a kicker, one that really shook me up. Lusungu is a very sweet girl. She came at the start of this sem and at first had a very hard time being here. well truthfully she didn't want to be here and refused to leave her bed for several days. But things have gotten a lot better for in. She's made good friends, things are working out for her and her roommate. She seemed like she was enjoying in for the most part.  Come to find out her sister and I actually know each other from Andrews (she is so sweet too). On Monday(?) Lusungu come to my office and in her quiet voice tells me that she feels like cutting herself. I promise, I think my heart broke. She told me she just wants to go home, that she is so depressed and that she just wants to die. It really shook me up cause when I was a freshman in high school I was right in her shoes. Not for the same reason, but none the less I was there. A friend in my class was known for cutting herself when things got rough, and even though I thought about it I new I could NEVER go through with it. I don't like pain. Period. But cutting isn't the only way...
I was telling my RA Bliss last night how I so wish that I could shake some of these girls. That I could tell them that they don't know it all, and that in just a few years they'll look back on this time of there lives and think to them selves, "What was I thinking?!" I've always said I never want to go back to high school, and yet here I am in the middle of it. Using what I went through to try and reach these girls. Please pray for her.
Then today I find out that one of my Juniors from Norway (the BLONDEST girl ever!) that she has thyroid cancer.
....Um excuse me, could you repeat that?...
There's been other incidents too where I just wish that these girls could see that now doesn't last for ever. That they will grow up and change SO much in the next couple of years. And that even beyond that we have so much more waiting for us from out Dad.
I'm glad that I am leaving tomorrow for long weekend. I have things I need to think through. Things here with the girls, facing home, and trying to hear what God wants for me and well yea...other things.
I've been thinking about my future a lot this week, and I dont know why. I mean I am thinking about things that I haven't really thought of. I mean I did once, but that was different. That was because someone was asking it of me. Now I'm thinking about it for myself, and I'm not sure what to think of it.
Plain and simple: just too many thoughts.

Friday, April 15, 2011

In Answer to Violetta's Worship

I love my God.

I love that He's there for me.
I love that He's promised to never leave me.
I love that I can talk to Him when ever I need.
I love that He doesn't get tired of listening to me. 
I love that He loves my family and friends more than I ever could.
I love that He knows what He's doing in my life, and even though it drives me nuts not knowing, I love that He's looking down on me and chuckling, probably think, "Oh you just wait."
I love that even when I don't have the words to express how I feel that He knows exactly what I'm talking about. I love Him for dying for me. 
I love Him because He loves me...for me. 

Violetta did worship the other night for us in the dorm. She told us about her love story. At the time I'm pretty sure that she wasn't thinking about how we could apply it spiritually, but there were some things that really got me thinking. 

If I really loved him (as in the man I'm with) would I do anything for him? Would I follow him to the ends of the earth? If he asked me too would I pack up my bags and go that day if he told me to leave everything and everyone I loved? 

I once thought that I would do this. Actually I knew that I would if he asked me. But now I'm asking myself these questions about a different man. And it goes a little something like this. 

If He asked me to leave everything and follow Him would I?
Would I really do anything for Him?
If He asked me to go to the ends of the earth would I? 
Would I leave my family and friends to do as He asked of me?
Would I be uncomfortable so that someone else may find comfort in Him?

As scary as this may seem I wanna say...yes, I would. 
I love Him. 
I love Him with all my heart and soul. 
I love Him for who He has made me to be and the young women that He is changing me to be right now, even this night. 
I love Him. 

Now...what about you?

P.s. Thanks Violetta :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


It has been a week ago today since everything that happened. I can say that this week I've been laying lowing, not wanting to be out there. And well not putting myself out there. After something like this it seems to take me awhile to pull my self back together. My big thing is that I'm always wondering what the other girls think of me. Do they think I did a stupid thing?  Are they glad that it happened? I don't know...I've noticed, at least last sem that it seemed when ever one of these matches went down that they would check in on me. "How ya doin Miss Cassie? Are you ok Miss Cassie? *click* Don't worry Miss Cassie, it's no big deal." They seem so random at times that I can't even tell what they are relating too. Since I am on this weekend I am praying that things go well. M and I have basically said nothing to each other, even though at Ad Com it was mentioned about talking and saying sorry, but oh well. It doesn't surprise me, it's high school.
I've kinda been wondering if I'm starting to get depressed because I've been sleeping a lot, and I mean A LOT. I wake up at 6:30 to work out at 7. When I come back at 8 I relax, take a shower and get ready for the day. By 9 I'm back in bed sleeping till 10 when I have to be at work. In the after noons I can usually catch 45 minutes to an hour. Then again I'm going to say that this is because of the work outs I've been doing with Yani. They are tough!...I like it :) I'm also going to say that it is because even though I am drop dead tired when I craw into bed I usually don't actually fall asleep till an hour to two hours later. Sometimes the mind just wont shut off.
I think I'm doing ok. I hope I'm doing ok. 52 days till graduation. Today was nice, I had a lot of talks with some of the girls. I told Inah she's my chill girl. I don't feel like I have to make a conversation with her, we can just sit and it's ok. Joy told me that my toes are obese...haha you have to know Joy. Cynthia and Winta always make me laugh, they were telling me how my shirt matched my eyes. Granted my shirt is a deep royal blue today, but hey I'll take it :) Navo came in too and sat down an talked, just talking about the most randomest things. But once again that's Navo, fun, loud, and random. I think that's why I feel like in a way they are checking up on me, because for the most part they don't always come in and just chill. They do, but not all the time. And for this to happen several times throughout the week...? I'm probably over thinking things.
Oh man, ASB banquet is coming up this Sunday. Study hall become a time for auditioning to sing, filling out orders for roses, and fake champagne. Basically shot haha. I hope it's just because of banquet, but I feel like things are getting roudy. Or maybe I feel like I'm getting antsy.
I take that back, I am antsy.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Match of the Season

The gloves have finally come off, the lights are low and the arena awaits. Today Mapenzi and I will face off in Ad Com.
I really don't want to do this. I wont lie I am scared spit less. Why? Because this girl is tougher than me, because she is quicker than me, because she's the smoothest talker I have ever met. Maybe I don't have enough faith in the staff, but I am so worried that just like any other time we have sit down to talk the discussion goes from her to me. To how I am the one messing up and doing wrong, to how I am the liar, the disrespectful and rude one. How the girls in the dorm don't feel comfortable with me because of what I do. I'm scared that I am going to get tongue tied in there in front of the comity, and Mapenzi, and there for "prove" that I am a liar.
I don't want her to go home. I want her to be here and to graduate in 55 days. I wont her and I to respect each other. Even though she had told me that she doesn't and that she doesn't like me. I don't care if she does or doesn't! I just...ug...I wish this "Golaith" would go away.
I'm tired of being the adult, I'm tired of dealing with childish things. And if I could I wish I could be in high school again, if only for a minute, because then I would deal with it my way. As in we would just let things be. I wouldn't talk to her unless she needed it and same for her. But I can't do that! I have to be the one to sit down and say lets work it out, even if I don't really care if it does.
I knew this day was coming...I just had no idea that I would feel this way. I sure hope God is gonna teach me something good out of this, cause this is the toughest yet.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Story Time!

Found this in an old News Flush.

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, KNowledge, and all the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all contructed boats and left. Except for Love. 
Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment. When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help. Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you." Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. "Vanity, please help me!" "I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat." Vanity answered. Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you." "Oh...Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!" Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her. Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come Love, I will take you." It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder, Love asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who helped me?" "It was Time, " Knowledge answered. "Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?" Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

There are only 58 days left here at Maxwell. And within the last couple of hours obstacles have been thrown my way. I keep thinking, what am I learning from this? How will this help me down the road? How will this effect my life? Is this a little taste to see how I'm going to deal with my own teenagers one day? (I sure hope not)
I'm sitting here trying to think of a way to show love to someone who does not like me. At all. How do you do that? How can you be an influence when they don't want to have anything to do with you and have no problem letting you know that? 
I guess only time will tell.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Is it Already April?

I remember two months into being here at Maxwell. My birthday was coming up, and I was starting to feel restless. I wondered how life was going back home. Why my friends hadn't kept in touch, and what I was missing out on. I felt like no one was there. Now two months away from going home...I don't think I'm ready. I don't want to leave Kenya. There is so much left for me to do and see. There are so many places that I haven't gone too yet. I was told last weekend that once Africa gets under your skin there's no way of getting away from her. And it's true! I'm not even gone and I'm already thinking about how and when I can come back. As of today there are 63 days till graduation, 63 days! Yes, I will be here for about 3 more weeks after that, but most of the students will be gone and I'm hoping that I will have more free time to spend with my family here before I leave. I really feel like I have a family here. There are ones who I love to death, others; who at times make me want to pull my hear out. There are times when I've laughed my head off and others when I've cried my eyes out. But these people have been my love and support since I have been here. And honestly, they've been here more for me than other people have.

"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely." ~ Karen Kaiser Clark

This is one of my favorite quotes. I think I stumbled across it my the beginning of my sophomore year at Southern. Honestly, when you take a step back and really look at it, it's really not an easy thing. For the most part we all welcome change. Sometimes it comes unexpectedly, other times gradually. Other times we choose to have change and make a direct way to see it. On the other hand most of us like growth, we like to see that we are growing up, that we can handle these different stages in our lives. But then why is it so hard! I recently got an e-mail which contained some comments on me preparing myself for when I return. I was told that I shouldn't expect things to be the same, that I have changed and grown a lot, and most likely when I come back I will feel like nothing has changed. An yet I wonder if I really will feel that way. What I mean is, have I really changed? Have I really grown? 
Yes, I can say that I see a change in me. I feel like I'm getting back to myself. Myself as in that crazy girl who didn't care what people thought about her. That girl who wasn't afraid to help someone else even if it meant getting hurt. I feel like I can laugh and skip for no reason. My heart isn't broken like it was before. And ya know what...it feels good. I'm happy. Yes I said it.  I. Am. Happy.
So until the time comes for me to face those new changes, I have 63+ days to wallow in Kenya. And I plan on enjoying every minute of it. High school drama and all :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What a Good Day Off

Almost every Tuesday I have chosen to go into town, whether is be to Rungai, Galleria, or the Animal Orphanage. Those have been fun, but today I chose to stay here on campus and boy was it nice. I got chocolate cookies made for Pastor Kent's birthday. Got the apartment cleaned (which needed it oh so badly, including cat box). Watched Sahara while cleaning and The Kite Runner well, while not cleaning. Had a good work out (Insanity is insane! hehe) and finished the night by having Kenyan tea (which I haven't had since Egypt, go figure) while watching Madagascar 2 with Tyson and Jess. Yes, good day.
Tonight while I was writing in my prayer journal and doing some reading I found 2 verses that I think are really great and relate to us here at Maxwell, and myself, well.

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." ~1st Corinthians 15:58


"Do everything in love." ~ 1st Corinthians 16:14

 The first verse was just really encouraging. I've started counting down the days here at Maxwell. Not because I want to leave but, well its just a habit of mine. And granted knowing that graduation isn't far away helps remind me of what I still need to do here. Sometimes it's easy for me to just be like, oh well, there's always another day. But there aren't many more of those other days. I need to do the work that God has for me NOW. I don't know...I just liked it.
The second one was just a good reminder. It's hard sometimes to love these girls when they are rude to you. It's hard to love the people we work with when they don't do things the way we think they should be done. It's hard to love when, well, sometimes we just don't want to. 
I've started praying a lot more the last couple of weeks. And not just requests but just talkin with Him. Not just praying for myself but for others. Even for some people that most think I wouldn't need too. But ya know what, there's power in prayer. I'm starting to see that a lot clearer than I use to. It makes me wonder what would happen if I actually started praying for Bill. I don't know how I would start. Honestly I don't know how my heart would take it. But who knows, I mean what could it hurt? 
The thing that I find so amazing and cool is that I have such peace after I pray for someone or about something. I mean I just have this feeling that ya know what, Gods gonna take care of it. And He's gonna take better care of the situation than I ever could. 
Ya know why?

Cause He's awesome like that :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

God is Good

Things have changed quite a lot since my last 2 posts. When I wrote those I was feeling done, finished, and worn out. But God always has good timing. Last week was Week of Prayer and Nadine Nelson came from Union. I had met her when I looked at Andrews when she was still working there. She's a very helpful, fun lady, who I thought was so cool cause she's from South Africa and had a cool accent. The week was about facing our Goliaths, and boy, did she hit home with a lot of things. Not only with me but with the students as well. Almost every night she would ask them "is there a friend you need to talk to?" "do you need to go apologize to a dean?" I never knew that God was going to touch some of my girls hearts the way that He did. We went to Brakenhurst for the weekend where we ended the Week of Prayer. On Friday night we had foot washing and talked about how we may need to be humble with someone people and ask for forgiveness. I never thought that this would happen, but one of my girls did just that. She apologized for the way that she has treated me, and told me that she wanted/ needed to tell me this before it built up to much to where she couldn't. Ive very proud of that young lady. I know that God is really reaching for her heart. Of course she and I aren't buddy buddy I think both of us feel more comfortable around each other, an well if she doesn't I sure do. I had two other girls on Sabbath write me letters through an activity that we did for Sabbath school. One was another apology telling me how she's like for us to be friends. The other one was saying thank you for being their for her (and this came from the girl that had be balling my eyes to the Raymonds.) Since coming back from spiritual retreat to me, it feels the McKee Hall has stopped holding it's breathe and has breathed a sigh of relief. Of course there are still things going on; there will always be drama in a girls dorm. But some how there's a peace that is here.
I feel like God has really helped me tackle some serious Goliaths through this. One, I really needed to hear those apologizes and thank yous. He knew that I was getting warn down, and He knows that I hate the feeling of not accomplishing anything. Thanks to those comments, I now feel like I really am making a difference here. Secondly, I found out Jared is dating someone. I'm glad. And I pray that both of them are happy, and that she can help him find where God wants him to be as well as bringing him closer to God. Was it a shock? In a little way yes. It's always weird seeing someone you dated with someone else. But it's all good :)
And thirdly, I think some of my walls have come down. Darren has been telling me that I have walls, that I don't really let people in. And yea, I do have them. It was a defense mechanism that I started using when things went wrong with my family. I thought I had gotten over it, but in some ways especially when people are trying to get to know me...well they come up. But ya know what? I'm  ready for a new start. I'm ready for a better walk with God. I'm ready for a better outlook on Andrews. I'm ready for good and new relationships.
Since I've come to Kenya I've been waiting for God to show up, and ya know what?...I think He finally has :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Animals, animals, Jesus made the animals :)

So just a recap on all the animals I have  encountered since being in Africa.

1. Petting a giraffe
2. Holding a crocodile & tortuous at Momba Village
3. Feeding monkeys (Vervets and Sykes)
4. Petting cheetahs
5. Riding a camel
6. Riding horses (on the beach)
7. Meeting my friend the water buffalo Buchanan 
8. Being bombarded by baboons
9. Petting a baby elephant
10. And as of yesterday...holding a lion cub!!!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

So Much

I'm realizing that one of the main times when I blog is when things have been tough...and I need to change that. Even though I will talk about this weekend (not so hot) before I do that I think I should say how amazing Mt. Kenya was. It was our long weekend which we left on Friday and didn't come back till Tuesday. I'm discovering too that I LOVE camping. I want to do it more when I get back to the states. But besides that, yes it was a lot of fun. Being only with a few students, two of whom were my girls Jo and Joy (yez zer), petting/ feeding Syke monkeys (AMAZING!), and of course climbing a mountain. NO: I didn't climb to the peak, after having mountain sickness since the night before my body was done and decided that climbing to a good spot to see the sunrise was good enough for me.
When we got back though we were hit with hard new. The Mpiima family suffered the loss of there newborn child Lucy at 32 days old. We had the funeral on Wednesday, which the whole school attended, which I was very proud of them for. It was my first funeral of a child and it hit me...hard. It was really bad. And from there things seemed to spiral down.
Since I have been here calling home has mainly been to let them know I'm alive. But on Thursday I needed my Mom. We talked for an hour of everything that was going on from the funeral, to Darren, other things, about the girls in the dorm. It helped. Until the next day.
Things with the girls have been getting out of control. Once again I am hearing that I don't respect them and that I have not authority or right to tell/ ask them to do anything. Sad to say...it's getting to me. I don't like being walked on, I hate it! But here I feel like there is nothing I can do to stop it. You may say well, sure you can, where's the dean? What about the principle?....I guess all I can say in that is I wish things were different in the discipline side of things here. I was so upset about it all that I didn't eat for two days. Just didn't want to. And then Friday happens.
I have another girl who tells me that she will not do what I ask her to do, and tells me that Jesus and church are more important so she stalks out to vespers. I left the dorm around 10:45 that night and was over with Yani and Derek till after midnight balling my eyes out. (I'm very thankful to them, don't know what I'd do without them)
Sabbath was better after letting some of it out, but for the most part I had just turned everything off. It's not hard for me to be an introvert. It's my protection mechanism. Saturday night was fun. The girls club has been doing secret sister all week and that night Winta, Cynthia, Bri and I were putting food together for brunch the next day and hanging out in the office. Lets just say, they were rolling on the floor laughing and I now have two pairs of jeans that have wholes in the butt.
With the brunch and everything going on, I shut down. I did as I was asked, I helped the girls when they needed me, I was where I was suppose to be. Other wise I wasn't there (mentally) I was so mad at the girls. We had been up since 6:30 cooking for them and they are complaining and being so ungrateful. Must be nice to be raised with a silver spoon in your mouth. It's to the point where I just want to be home. I mean I don't want to be home, I just don't want to be a assistant girls dean. It's hard and painful. I don't know how Susan can do it. I guess like Derek said, I just haven't found a way to deal with it.
There's many things that have been on my mind this week. Soo much. Feeling like I've lost a friend (or at least messing things up majorly) to wanting to give up, realizing that it's really time to let go even though it still makes me cry a little. But as I sit here now the big thing that's on my mind is a question that was presented to me twice this week: Where do you want to be in your life?
The first time I aswered I was told it was very generic. Granted that was my answer, and yes also I didn't want to tell something so personal. It takes me a long time to let people in cause once I do, I plan on them sticking around for a long long time. But I've had many who haven't and I'm not ready to cry myself to sleep at night like that again.
It is a good question to ask, and hopefully I'll have an answer one day. But like I told Kent and Susan, " How can I think about twenty years from now, when I'm just trying to make it through today?"
God tells us to not worry about the future for the future has enough worries of it's own. I feel like I'm stuck in limbo.I'm still looking over my shoulder at my past, with my feet in the present but my hand on the door knob of the future. I can say I'm getting better with my past. It still hurts. I can't help but think that something good can happen twice, but I know it can. As a friend pointed out, hopefully I won't put up so many walls that I miss it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

How Am I Doing?....good question.

I don't know where to start. If I can figure out where the beginning is then starting there is probably the best place. For the last several weeks I have just felt...______(in the in blank). I can't even explain it. I have felt out of it, angry, annoyed, upset, frustrated, and probably more than anything... alone. There are times when I wish that I could just go talk with a friend and spill my guts. Just let everything go. But I don't feel like I can do that. The people here are great, but sometimes you need someone who isn't connected to the situation. And in this case there are so many situations that I feel too many people I know are connected.
I say that I've felt all these things and yet there is no way for me to put it into words. (Yes I know; shocking) But I couldn't and probably still can't. But after joint worship I found out I didn't have too. Jessica and I had a big heart to heart and I realized that much of what I was feeling, she was also. We here as a staff are tired. We are worn out. We have run out course. At least that is with most of us. People are so negative here. There isn't much positive and when there is, its never enough; something always has to be wrong. Instead of looking at the students and praising them for there individuality we look at them as a whole and sigh when they walk into the classroom or dorm. There is no more giving amongst us. Or if there is it is few and far between. When I first came here I was ready to do any and everything that was asked of me. You name it, I would do my best to be there and help out. But now...I don't want too. Or at least that was a strong feeling I was having before. Why should I give of my time to help, when no ones will give of theirs? I feel at times like we are stingy, and that in order for us to keep our sanity we don't see what we can do to help someone else out. There's so much more to this...so much more, but I don't think I can write it all down.
In the end it was really good that Jess and I got to talk. Even though I can't explain it I feel that God has really shown me what I need to do here. But it's so hard. How do you give when people don't give back?
Another big issue that has un-earthed this week is our lack on communication skills. Not only with the staff but with the other SM's. And it is so bad! All of us! There isn't just one to blame. But grr it's so frustrating! It's to the point where were are just done. We are tired of trying to communicate, when no one is going to be happy. We are tired of putting in the effort when others don't. I'm just tired...
You know one thing I hate the most? The weekends. Even though I know I need a break, I rather be on than off. I feel so alone on weekends that it isn't even funny. I wish I could pick up the phone, or get a text from one of my friends back home so bad. I just wish that someone was here. I can't talk with the people here cause it's too close to home. And the people I have at home, I cant talk to either. I hate this. Things are different with my mom and I. I don't share things with my dad because I know it is something that he doesn't want to hear about. My friends are living there lives....and I'm in Africa. And of course when someone does try to be there, I put my guard up cause I don't want to be hurt. (Man do I sound like a mess or what?)  I know this blog doesn't make sense but then again, not much is making sense to me now a days. I told Susan that we have 103 days till graduation, "getting anxious?" And honestly, yes. I think I am. I mean I'm happy I'm here, I wouldn't change coming here. Things are better with the girls, for the most part, and I'm enjoying myself. But...I don't know. I'm just anxious.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It Doesn't Matter How Old We Are

I'm starting to feel that this blog is more about my personal problems/ feelings than my experience in Kenya. But then again the things I go through and the feelings I have shape my experience in Kenya, so I guess it fits.
Divorce. Who thought that one word could mean so much and hurt so bad. Since starting this new sem I've felt like the girls and I get a long better. Maybe it's because we know where each other stands. Maybe it's because we are just use to each other after five months of "living" together. Or maybe, it's because they see that I'm not here to ruin their lives, and I know  that they aren't here to make me pull my hair out (most of the time).
Last night I was blown away to have one of my girls come in and actually tell me what was going on with her. It's not that she and I don't talk, we actually get along really well. She makes me laugh so much :) But she's never opened up to me like this before. Sad to say it wasn't a fun topic to talk about. She kept telling me how she was just done, how she couldn't take it anymore, and how she wish she knew what to do. When she would say the last she would just look at me as if begging me to give her the answers to make it all ok. But I couldn't. How do I help someone when I'm still stuck in the middle of it? How do I help them not hurt, even though whenever I talk with my either one of my parents I still feel hollow?
It's amazing to me how our parents, the ones who are suppose to be so strong, have all the answers, and love us unconditionally, are the ones that can hurt us so much. I know if either one of my parents were to see this it would bring tears to their eyes, but actions have consequences. I feel that we kids who have been apart of a divorce can relate to each other better than those who haven't. And yet when this girl was talking with me, there were no answers to be give. It's as if there's this quiet understanding of no words need to be said; someone just needs to be there. Even though my Dad and brother left my freshman year, it was really hard my senior year. There was still so much going on. I'm grateful that I had Jake at that time, cause even though he didn't understand he was there to help me get through it.
And now here I am four more years down the road and it's still hard. To have a dad who has moved on, and a mother who wont let go. Divorce never gets easy to deal with no matter how old we are. It still hurts. There are no answers, or if there are; sometimes they're just to hard to handle.
I'm glad that she was able to come and talk with me. I'm glad that I'm one of the few staff members she feels like she can talk too. Please pray for this beautiful young lady. She has so much to offer and God has truly blessed her life. Just like he's blessed mine. The sun always shines after it rains. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Where Are You?

I'm sitting here in my room with the realizations of my life crashing against me like the waves on a beach. How is it that sometimes we can feel so close to God, and we feel that He is here for us and yet in those late hours of the night when we feel most vulnerable it is so hard to feel Him. Why isn't He here?
And then I go to thinking about people who have comforted me in the past and I so wish that they could be here for me. I wish I could be in their arms, just crying my eyes out. With their chin on my head, not saying anything just being there. I wish they were here so bad right now. I have people here that care and want to help, but how can I let out my frustrations and tears without telling to much that in my mind, could hurt my family?  I can't help but want someone here who knows my past, and what I've been through. And yet, God knows everything's....but why can't I feel His arms around me? I know I can pick up the phone and call family, but they don't want to hear about. They've had too much of it themselves that they are done. They don't want to face the realizations that I am facing now, because they have faced them once before and that's enough for them. I don't blame them. It's hard walking through a door that's already been closed. I just wish you were here, oh how I wish.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I wish I knew what to do. I wish I had the answers. It's amazing how you can be thousands of miles apart from someone and yet they can still have such a strong effect on you and you're life. I spoke with my Mom today and found out that things aren't going well. It's like she's still trapped in this maze and I'm right their with her, trying to guide her out of it but every time I see a way out something snags her and pulls her down the wrong road. This is sounding like she is making these bad choices on her own. This isn't true. For some reason things happen to her that aren't her fault. 
This morning I read Psalm 18 and the verse that keeps coming back to me is "God is my shield." When I think of shields I think of being safe and protected. I imagine feeling brave if I were to go into battle with a shield. And yet now, I don't feel brave. I feel broken. And not broken for me, but for the ones I love. I wish I could fix things and make the pain and the fear go away. I know that God is my shield, and that has brought me comfort but I can't help but think if I was a stronger soldier that things would be different. 
God is my shield... since worship this morning I have received encouragement from two amazing girls that are here. I don't know what I would do if they weren't here to encourage me. Thank you both.
God is my shield...He is bigger than any problem and He wants what's best for us. He is a shield that can't be broken, a shield that can't be dent. So take up you're shield and know that though the battle is tough, God is tougher. 

Monday, February 7, 2011


Their are certain days when I miss Tennessee. And I don't just mean miss, I mean long for it. For some reason today it just hit me; I miss Tennessee. I miss the light, how green it is in the summer. I miss those beautiful blue skies with those white fluffy clouds. I miss the smell of leaves in the fall and the crisp air in the winter. I miss the hills (not mountains) and driving on the winding roads with my windows down and Def Leppard blasting from my radio. I just miss it. 
Some people think it's weird that I don't miss Cali the way I do Tennessee, but I just don't. For some reason Tennessee is home for me. It was where I could step out and me own my own, and my own person. I made friends their, along with memories that will last me a life time. Tennessee is where I was able to become my own person without the eyes of others making me wonder if I was doing the right thing or not. It was my decision, and one that I have never regretted. 
When I was little I use to think it would be so cool to have a secret hideout. You know the kind where all the kids can meet up, and get away from and no one has a clue where they are? Well I guess I could say Tennessee was my secret hideout. Actually Tennessee is my secret hideout. Granted, yes; people know where I am but for me it's a place I can escape to. 
I'm sure it's weird reading about a state, but there are certain days here that I am just reminded of it. I don't know if it's because it's the summer season here and the sky and the green remind me, but it just does. I hope one day that I can be in Tennessee again, God willing. 
For me it's home.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Packages and Blessings

Nature Valley granola bars -check
Chewy granola bars - check
2 boxes of Wheat Thins - double check
Butterfingers and Kit-Kats - check
2 bags of mint M & M's - check, check
Bath and Body Works make up bag with lotion and "the best lip balm" - check
A Christmas candle - check
"Honestly, I'm Struggling by Heather Bohlender - check

These lovely items greeted me yesterday (Friday) evening. Debbie is one of the sweetest ladies I know, and I am truly blessed to have her in my life. Not only does the thought make me smile, but the items (especially the mint M & M's) make my stomach happy too. 
My Dad had told me about the book "Honestly, I'm Struggling" when I first arrived here in Kenya. It had peaked my intrust, but with everything going on with the sem it wasn't the first thing on my mind. Since starting it this morning, I haven't been able to put it down. I'm afraid that I am reading it too fast to really get an understanding for it. But it's a great book! I'm sitting here reading it and I'm thinking, "I can relate! I know what you're talking about!" The desire to go home. Feeling like I'm not making a difference, or that I am failing at my job. That even though this is a year with God, that sometimes I still find myself running from Him and questioning Him....I can relate. I think that every SM who is out in the field should read this book during their year away. I think that it will strengthen and encourage them, even them in small ways. Even though this is a huge world somehow at times we tend to fill if we are alone. I know I've felt that being here in Kenya at times. But it's nice to be reminded that I'm not the only one who has felt this way.
I just feel so blessed. The first day started out hard but I'm realizing that the more I give my problems and desires over to God the less I have to worry about. I found this verse, I think it's from the Message, and I really like how it's phrased. 

"Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat- I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and Ill show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self- sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, you're true self." ~Luke 9:23,24

Within the last couple of weeks I have really felt a change in me. I think it all began at Watamu. There were nights when I was there that I just felt so alone and wanting things to be different. I mean how can someone feel alone when you're on a trip with 30 some people and on a beautiful beach? I felt alone and empty. But after having some good time to myself and time with God I realized that there's nothing He can't do, and that if I want to let of my problems that I can, because He's their to take them for me. I don't know...I just feel like I have a new trust in God. Haha I feel like this isn't making sense but oh well, sometimes things aren't suppose too I guess.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What is the Deal?

With the last few days approaching the new sem, I've been feeling really excited about it. Susan and I have been running around getting rooms cleared out because we were told that we have 50 girls in the dorm. Well sad to say we have lost Erica and Vanessa K. Which really bummed me out! I like those girls! Not that I don't like the other ones, but you know what I mean. I'm gonna miss Vanessa comin in with her wild stories and preppy attitude. Erica was always very sweet and quiet (for the most part). Yesturday was great, getting girls moved in and seeing old faces. We have 6 new galls which is fun.It's nice to have a little bit of a change. But today, the first day of class, I don't know what happened with me! I woke up early, and had a good devotion then as soon as I got in the office it's like I could keep things straight. Other things kept popping into my head and distracting me. Today was our town day, which I took, but I didn't want to go into town and I didn't ven want to be around the other SM's. I needed to go for a run to blow off steam, but wasn't to effective cause I ran with someone else. (note: running to me is my escape, it's time to think and get away. I don't do good running with others) And I felt like a complete jerk when my friend was like I wanna go running with you again, but I told her no cause I feel like I slow her down and cause I'm selfish and want the time to myself.
I feel restless, and even though I'm happy here the thought of having to deal with these girls for another 4 months is sort of...taxing. I think I'm kinda ready to go home. I don't know, I can't explain it. I miss my friends, I don't like feeling like I am missing out on things and being left behind. And with some of my friends I feel that more than ever. My friends are moving on with their lives, starting new relationships, getting engaged and married. I don't know. I think this post is just me trying to get what ever is in my system out of it. I don't think it's working very well.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In the Land of the Pharohs

First introduction to Kushery = the bomb diggity

 So after a week of resting, hiding away from the world, and going to bed way past my bed time ( :-p) I do believe that it is time I informed ya'll on my wonderful adventurous trip to Egypt. Ever since I was little I had listened to my Mom tell me stories of her and her friends traveling through Europe, or Carla who was like a big sister, put thumb tacks in a map of the world showing where she had been. (By the way I think that is the COOLEST thing and can't wait to start mine when I get back.) But never once had I ever thought about going to Egypt. It had never crossed my mind. But I am glad that it crossed Germeens cause it's one trip that I will never forget. After seeing fireworks explode outside the Maxwell wall Tyson, Jess and I were dropped off at the airport to start our adventure. Note 1: Not having to take your shoes off when you go through security is pretty bomb, just sayin. We arrived in Cairo the next morning and after resting at Germeens house she and her brother John, and their mom Janet showed us the night life of Cairo. Note 2: The day begins at 9:00 pm. Everyone and their mother is out roaming the streets; shopping, eating, mingling...it was amazing.

In Giza checkin out the pyramids
The next day was amazing! After being terrified that my knife would be taken by security (yea I know...) we walked up the hill and saw the Pyramids! So astonishing to look up and see these huge pieces of history towering over us. And not only being able to see them, but stand on them, and even check out the inside as well. Sweet!

At Karnack Temple

Before we had left Kenya we had planned on going to Luxor. Oh man, what a place. I can say that Luxor was definitely my favorite time in Egypt. Besides the flirty men (which were everywhere! one man offered me 43 camels...just for my hair!) it was an experience. After riding all night on a train we got to Luxor and immediately hit the streets. The first stop was the Karnack Temple. One word: columns. They were everywhere, an not not just in Karnack, but every other temple we went to as well. It was a fun first experience, getting to learn about Ramses, the god of fertility (haha) Horus, and a whole bunch of other things too. Later that night we went on a boat ride on the Nile. We went on a ride when we were in Cairo, but that was more of a party boat. This one we could relax and got to learn more about the area and history from Paula, the wonderful lady who bent over backwards for us. Her husband owns the hotel we stayed at and she gives tours and such to her fellow Columbians.

Our new Columbian friends.
We had a blast with this group.

Even though seein all the temples, goin to Aswan,  going shopping, and meeting new people I think the best night was the party that was on the roof of our hotel. A new group from Columbia had come in and they were havin a welcome party which she invited us too. Granted we were the only greengos there and our Spanish was not really up too par. But after some uncomfortable dance lessons....well lets just say we didn't go to bed till late :-D
Once we were back in Cairo it was fun being able to hang out with Germeen, Sandy, and John again. Oh man...lol they are so much fun. Note 3: If invited to an Egyptians house you will be greeted with open arms and lots of food. Speaking of food, it was very good. I would tell you what they were but I know I am going to butcher the spelling so I guess you'll just have to ask me in person some time :)

Our new Egyptian friend teaching us
to dance...in his market both :)
We stayed in Cairo again for another couple of days, where we relaxed at home, started mastering the Metro station (is was a slow process, literally), and went bowling with Germeen, her cousin, and friends. It was really cool going to church on Sabbath. It just blows my mind that even though the world seems so big and sometimes we feel like we as Adventist aren't getting the Word out about Christ we still have churches all over the face of the earth. And yes, there was a translater there.

I'm at a castle! Woot!

 Our next stop: Alexandria. Pastor Wagdy (Germeens uncle) was so kind to us and we were so grateful for the rooms that he let us rent from the church. Once again another cool place to go visit. There isn't too much there but there are some things such as the Citadel castle, the Alexandria Library ( Grandma you would have passed out seein this thing), the Roman ruins, and seein the Mediterranean Sea. After spending a couple days in Alexandria we ended out trip with a good Saturday night outing with the SM's from NUA. I thought it was funny how we here at Maxwell are almost all girls, but at NUA it's all boys and one girl. To say the least Tyson was glad to be with some guys. We went ice skating at a mall in town, ate some McDonald's (yes we were lovin' it) and did some bull ride
MAA & NUA unite for a fun Saturday night.

All in all it was a great Christmas present/ trip and I am blessed that I was able to go. I always thought that traveling the world would just be a dream, and not something I could actually do. But I'm very glad that I can :)
Egypt: you have left me with fond memories and plenty of reasons to go back. Whether that be to eat lots of iush, ful, and kushery. Or to stare death in the face while trying to cross the street. We shall meet again :)