Saturday, February 28, 2009

Internet Inconveniences

The internet has been out since Wednesday and when it came back on today, you would have thought it was Christmas. All of the students were lining the counters of the computer room waiting to check mail and facebook like their lives depended on it. I was right there with them, though I have had email all along on my phone. So much has happened since I have written and in the same since, so little.

I will start with the most trivial of thoughts. We have these little Geckos here that must be chameleons, but I mostly find them on the walls here, which are white, so they are a kind of clear color. For some reason I love the clear baby Geckos. Speaking of creatures, I also have acquired ants. They are WEIRD, I thought that they were little spiders at first (lucky for ME they were NOT.) At first I tried to kill them, tried to get rid of their trail, took the trash out and moved the trash can, get up any scattered food and try to eliminate crumbs...but not, I think I am just trying to embrace them. (Poor freshies who are moving in with me next week...) They don't bite and they are as long as they aren't ON me or my food, we are at peace. Live and let live. Even with bugs. I have, about twice, probably thought that I might have felt on crawling in my hair. I was convinced I had gotten lice. I bet some of you would've liked to have seen me talk myself out of that one.

Wednesday I laid out and read a book Jenny had lent me, my first Karen Kingsbury novel called A Thousand Tomorrows. I read that on Wednesday. I took a break from reading on Thursday, which I will get to momentarily, and Friday I reread The Shack. That pretty much took up all of those days.

Thursday I woke up feeling horrible. Wednesday had been a rough night and I ruined lent already and slept in until 10 AM. By the time I finished KP I was down for the count. I decided to skip ice cream (I felt that bad) and went back to my room to rest. I was reading a bit when there came a knock on my door. It was Aaron inviting me OUT to dinner with he and Jenny, the boys and two older couples. One of the couples was from Pennsylvania and the husband had been coming down for years and had finally brought his wife, and it was tradition for him to treat some folks to dinner Thursday night at a restaurant called Scotchie's for jerk chicken. So instead of resting I took a shower and got ready to go out. I knew this could be a good opportunity for Malachi-points, so I took some fun drawing things and chocolate along for the ride. 

I was SO excited, dinner OUT! Jerk chicken! Just the Turnbulls, basically! Woo! This was going to be so fun. And we did have a great time--fun company, some amazing jerk chicken, yam and festival--which is like a fried doughy thing more like bread than a doughnut...hard to explain and I didn't actually have any being the not-fan of bread that I am. but it is apparently a Jamaican “dish.” I was thrilled that Malachi and Ezra came and I really got to sit and talk to Jenny-Rae and Aaron for awhile. The highlight of my night was the car ride though because I got to hold Malachi on the way there and Ezra on the way home—I have never held a baby in a car before because of car seat laws in America. It was such a treat for me to have a baby on my lap! 

Later that night in honor of Saundra’s birthday we had a girls night and watched a movie—P.S. I Love You, which I had heard was REALLY sad, but probably due to my extreme lack of attention, I didn’t really get that into it and didn’t cry until the end, and probably then it was less because of the movie and more because it was getting late and I was getting tired and like I said in my last note, really starting to miss some people… The night before had been a rough night and I haven't really had a good night since. 

Friday I woke up late, feeling sick again, nights and mornings have just been really hard and I can't quite figure out why. I ate some cereal and then went to the pool because if I was going to sleep more, I was at least going to be in the sun. I kept a low profile today, my Real Simple magazine that I’d gotten at the airport kept me entertained for the majority of the day. One of the dts girls finished The Shack and so I asked if I could reread it and I did that the remainder of the day. I stayed at the pool then from noon until 4, though by about 3:30 the sky had started turning black as if it were about to storm so I retreated to my room where I stayed. Something sweet, Alice, my British friend, who [eventually] picked me up from the airport, came by to check on me tonight because she hadn’t seen me all day, which she though was “a bit unusual” and she remembered I hadn’t been feeling well so she wrote me a little note on a post-it and stuck it on my door. It was nice to feel like someone knew I was alive…and had missed me today.

I finished the Shack and moved on. I started the 7th Harry Potter book-on-tape this time and have really been enjoying that while the internet has been down and I have not felt good enough to read for long...and I haven't been sleeping's made for some good background noise in the least.

And I can't figure out why this font changed in the middle...And I can't figure out why some people can't post comments on my blog and why I can only post comments on a few people's...BUT I just figured out how to copy and paste, that'll save me a lot of time online...anyway...answers to these are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Traffic and Falmouth

Last night after everything Saundra, a girl from Switzerland who just finished her dts and outreach, decided to stay in the country for a week and travel. Well none of her other team members decided to stay so she has been all alone. Thus far she hasn't really gotten to do any traveling and tomorrow is her birthday so she really wanted to go visit somewhere. So she looked in her traveler's guide book and decided that she wanted to go to Falmouth... Everyone asked, "Why Falmouth?" But we didn't REALLY discover why they would all ask that until we got there. Needless to say she talked me into going and a girl on staff named Melanie would also accompany us. I just wasn't thrilled at this idea. The part of me that likes to just do the same thing everyday didn't really want to go anywhere. The part of me that is young-American didn't want to go see anything historical. I didn't want to ride with strangers, really I could have just been FINE sticking around the base and laying out at the pool all day. The reason I was finally talked into it is because they said the word BEACH. They figured we would go to Falmouth look around at the neat historical things for an hour and then go to Doctor's Cave and enjoy the beach for the afternoon. So I figured I could handle the boring to make it to the beach. We had grand plans of leaving at 9 AM which would accomplish my goal for the first day of lent of giving up sleeping in too late.

Well the bad thing is that I couldn't sleep again last night. I tried and tried to fall asleep and I think it was about 2 or 2:30 before I finally crashed. Then for reasons unbeknownst to me I woke up at 6:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. I think I must've been cold and buried myself beneath the covers for the first time and then got hot because I woke up soaking wet with sweat. I was so irritated. First the sleepless nights that haven't disappeared since arriving to Jamaica and then night sweats. 

So I got up and got ready to leave, had a bowl of Cheerios and we were off on our adventure. We walked to the end of the drive and took a taxi into a very sketchy part of the city. I began to get nervous and afraid again. I had my initial leaving anxiety last night after I had committed to going but then it seemed to subside as I began getting frustrated about other not sleeping...

The city scared me. The Swiss girl kept doing things that the girl on staff kept pulling her away from and reprimanding her because it was a bad idea. She kept trying to get us into money exchange places but none of them were open because Ash Wednesday is a holiday in Jamaica. So she kept leading us around all the scary streets, the men kept asking us if we wanted a taxi, "Where you want to go?" and we weren't supposed to answer them. If I even shook my head or looked up or smiled when they said hello they would swarm us and I would get so overwhelmed and freaked out and afraid that we might be killed. If I had known the people I was with it would have been one of those situations where I just grab onto their hands and just get pulled along.

Different people we asked questions of pointed us in different directions. We got into a bus station and this man got ALL upset with us telling us that it was "very dangerous" and that he was not going to rob us but that it was not safe for us to stand there not knowing where we were going to go. When we were trying to decide what we should do and Melanie was trying to explain to Saundra why she shouldn't do what she was doing and trying to correct the mistakes she had already made...and as we weren't talking to him or looking at him...he started yelling at us, which made me want to cry, and he kept telling us that it wasn't like America here, that we didn't have "Uncle Sam looking out fa you. No troops, no cameras here watching..." and he talked about all of our daddys and their money. I was so ready to get into ANY vehicle to get away from him. 

The ride was great when we finally got going. I loved looking along the coast as we drove, literally on the edge of the land. It's kind of like that on the Pacific coast highway but here you are at sea level, not on a high cliff. If you stepped off the road you'd actually be in the ocean on most parts of the road. On the other side of the road was mountains and all kinds of houses and shacks were built into the sides of the hills. They were obviously places of poverty because they were built in close quarters to each other and made from any materials they could find. Fences were made of  pieces of tin roofing material and there were clotheslines. Everything reminded me of Venezuela and Costa Rica this morning from the CRAZY traffic and city streets to the landscapes, and it made my heart ache. I missed having a team, I missed my friends.

We arrived at Falmouth and saw just about all I cared to see in about 10 minutes. It looked like any old third world country village. There were little shacks on the side of the road, fresh pineapples and coconuts and bananas, men riding bikes, some random cars parked places...some random cars LAYING on their horns as the careened toward us as we crossed the streets. The streets were paved, but they are mostly packed dirt and crumbling rocks. Some of the buildings were original and very old...but honestly, they didn't look much different than any other historical building I've ever seen... I was bored. I took a few pictures and I promise I will post some...but about the only thing that I saw that I really liked and was amazed by was a HUGE window like the ones I like to paint. I would've really liked a window that big. It wouldn't have even fit in my house.

As a result from my 4 ish hours of sleep I got worn out really fast. As a result of my being bored and hungry I was ready to leave very quickly. We had another VERY rough encounter with transportation men and finally got in a taxi and headed home. Yes, home, not to the beach. After all of that, we weren't even going to the beach--AND we had missed lunch at the base.

I was very irritable. I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, had a granola bar and an apple and parked myself at the pool with a book that I hoped to prove mindless reading perfect FOR an afternoon at the pool. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ordinary Jamaica

It rained again today and it was here to opposed to yesterday...did you all like my rhyme? So I slept in, finished Mark and then went to lunch. Praise the Lord I got dismissed from KP today...and it wasn't my look of disgust, there just wasn't anything for me to do. So I read some more and then got to work on my doors. 

I rigged up a contraption that I could effectively paint with which entailed a q-tip taped to the end of a pencil and was able to give all fifteen doors a first coat. I ended up having a conversation with Aaron that REALLY made me want to do a DTS and then come on staff here at YWAM. The only thing I wasn't thrilled with was the two month outreach and a bunch of 18 year-olds...and Aaron pointed out that I will have done half of an outreach by the time I leave Jamaica. I was floored and expressed this to Aaron that I had never thought of it like that...and allowed myself to ponder the idea further. I mean who wouldn't want to learn about things like the character and nature of God, prayer, evangelism, missions, forgiveness and etc. each for a week at a time. Who wouldn't want to be discipled weekly by a member of YWAM, who WOULDN'T want to live off the land in Jamaica for the rest of their lives! Well I will tell you, I do. 

I am really loving the idea of being a hippie-flower-child who lives on little to nothing...but I can't figure out what purpose my life would serve...seems the trend whether I am a flower-child or a high-maintenance, matching pearls, bows, and dresses wearing kind of girl. What is the point?

I had dinner for the third night in a row out on the veranda of the Great House. The intimate setting, few partakers, right as the sunset, see, I could also live like that. I think I know who I am...but I really change a lot too. I think I've pretty much dropped the high-maintenance part of me while in Jamaica. I know I can do it, I OCCASIONALLY even like it (not usually). BUT I LIKE life like it is at the beach. Laid back and casual, amazing weather--even if it rains, it is warm, you can wake up when you want, eat a light brunch, spend all day on the beach only interrupted by a long walk in the surf, come in to clean up and put on casual evening wear and go out[side] for a nice dinner. If the mood strikes an evening stroll and ice cream... I think I am spoiled.

I was asked when I was a freshmen in college if I could do anything what would it answer was lay in the sun all day long, read good books, be really tan. My answer has not changed. I don't want to do ANYthing. We should play a game, all of you should suggest things that I might like to do and I will explain to you why I do NOT actually want to do them.

Ok...after dinner I got talked into going for ice cream, even though it was leaving the base after dark, taking a taxi, and it just another girl and myself...I know, I'm such a daredevil... I got to experience Jamaican taxi, and Jamaican ice cream--Devon house. It was amazing and my scoop was the size of a softball. 

The internet has been down so I thought I wasn't going to get to blog tonight, but Aaron graciously allowed me to use their wireless. I hung out there while they all watched a movie, License to Wed. It was kind of funny, kind of bad, but I enjoyed the religious humor in it. Another thing I want to confess...I love cheesy Christian movies. Thinking about this one--though not exactly a Christian movie, and Raising Helen really make me laugh. Facing the Giants made me squeal and cheer and then cry with joy, and I even enjoyed Left Behind,  A Night with the King, the movie about Esther, and I can't even think of more, but I am sure there are some. Well the point of this is that I saw another one, it's called Another Perfect Stranger, and though cheesy and terribly low budget, I really though it had a LOT of good things in it.It is a sequel to a movie called A Perfect Stranger, and I would even like to sit down and watch that one. It makes you think about how to talk to people about Jesus and Christianity. Oh and the Passion of the Christ.

Lastly, I should add that all of the things I don't want to do in my life, and the things that I actually DO...I don't want to do by myself...From mission work whether here in Jamaica, in Mexico this summer, on a dts, or is NOT as fun as it could be with any of my friends. I don't LIKE to do these things by myself. I can, but it is no fun.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Freshie Freshies!

This morning it poured down rain. It was amazing! I can't remember a time when it has rained like it did without it being a thunderstorm. The rain was so heavy that I couldn't see any of the island across the Bay, it looked like a heavy gray fog. Then out of nowhere it stopped and the sun shone as bright as it has since I have been here.

With the sun did not come rainbows...BUT it did come muggy, sticky HOTness.

I painted three digit numbers on three doors this afternoon and was so frustrated that I had to stop there. First of all, things are just more difficult in another country. The paint (oil based) wasn't right, it was very thin and ran really badly. I was using a 4-year-olds paint brush before I got fed up with that and changed to q-tips, The paint was a rust red color that when it dripped it looked like blood. I seriously wished I could have taken a picture because it looked like something straight out of a horror movie... which did not make me feel good about the job I was doing. So I finished my three doors and called it a day...I didn't mention that I had 15 still left to do...oh boy.

I have only one Malachi story from today and it is actually from last night because I didn't actually spend much time with him today, but I remembered it and it made me laugh. We were watching Wall E and for those of you who don't know, Wall E has very little dialogue in the whole movie, so 4-year-old Malachi was watching it and as inquisitive as he is, asking me question after question after question. I have never seen the movie in its entirety so I didn't know the answers to any of his questions and I kept saying, "I have no idea." Later he came up to me and said, "Cafrin, ask me a question." and I thought, ok... and asked him some off the wall question and he said, "I have NO idea!" and started laughing hysterically which of course made me laugh.

Vivian made chocolate chip cookies from scratch tonight and I was so happy...chocolate chip cookies will be my demise, but I can NOT get enough. You need me to do something, it's as easy as if trying to persuade a small child..."If you help me I'll give you a COOKIE" and I'm so there. Cookies.

Cookies might be one of my most favorite things but tonight there was something else that was the highlight of my night. I co-lead a Bible study for Freshmen girls at the Wesley Foundation and we meet on Monday nights. It was sad not being there last week because I was traveling or recovering, having just arrived in Jamaica and all, but this week we decided I really needed to be back for it since Stephen was talking about dating...and I am such an expert (ha. ha.)... 

No really, we did video chat through gmail and it was amazing! I was SO happy to see people I knew, to talk and hear their voices, to laugh with them and talk as fast as I wanted to and not have to pay attention really hard to what they were saying in return...(I'm not so good at listening to the people here with accents...they have to repeat a lot and I have to concentrate)

I felt like I was there in the room. I was so happy, I got to talk to Michelle, my co-leader, and Becca and Rebecca--and Jason and Natalie, it was so exciting! It really made my night and I stayed up past 11! Whoa! I know. Crazy. Well, it was a good day, hopefully tomorrow I will finish painting the (15!) doors and have some quality time at the pool!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Prayer list

Here are some things I am praying for this week and would love and appreciate your prayers as well:

  • For a job at McPhaul to open up for me
  • To figure out where I am going to live next year...for the 8th year in a row or something. I'm really tired of living year to year and would appreciate and enjoy some stability SOON. God has always provided the perfect place, people and for the perfect timing a place to live and I have no doubt that he will continue to do so. I would boldly ask for a house.
  • To have courage and faith to pray more aloud
  • That studying the Bible would become more of a daily discipline
  • That I would continue to grow in hearing God's voice
  • To establish and master routines--more discipline
  • To meet and marry the right man
  • For help in friendships and relating to friends
I'll update you as I think of more...

It's a new week!

If you want to pray for me, you should pray about sleeping. I have some major sleep issues and they have not disappeared since arriving in Jamaica. I have a really hard time falling asleep, but when I finally do, I can (and have no reason not to) sleep for 12 hours. Last night I prayed before I fell asleep that I would wake up when it was the best time for me to wake up...that I wouldn't sleep too much or too little, that I would sleep the amount that only God knows is perfect for me. I woke up at 6 AM. This isn't a big deal because I have been going to bed around 10:30 or 11 here...but after I'd been awake for 2 hours I didn't have anything to do so I decided to go back to sleep... and slept until NOON. I also have really vivid dreams that I usually don't know what to do with. So that is one area I feel like if I could ever get under control would help immensely. 

When I finally woke up I decided to kind of lie low and not be in the sun because I'd gotten burnt the day before. I did a little of my Esther study keeping to the shade and then I ran into a small super hero. I said, "Hi super-hero-Malachi. You are playing with Lightnin' McQueen!" He said, "Yeah, I usually play with Mater, but he is back in Canada." So the conversation had sparked and the afternoon turned out to be one long playdate with me and my boy. 

He and I "flew" around with super hero capes on and had so much fun. I pretended I was afraid to "fly" off of things that were a little high and he assured me it was fine and told me I'd done great after I jumped. He explained to me what the mango tree was and pointed out an almond. He's so bright and it just makes me think that he reason he is as inquisitive and intelligent as he is because his mom and dad don't talk to him like a baby.

We snuck up on lizards and caught frogs and then had to go fight monsters, "No, WOLVES!" in the "Deep, dark, woods." He also nonchalantly told me that the baby wolves that were "Jutht tho cute" lived just behind "the burning bush there." Soon we wound up having a treasure hunt. I drew a map of the base and we played just like Dora the Explorer. I told him he had to go "past the Great House, through the deep, dark, woods and around the burning bush. We had to fight the wolves--except for the good one, and he was like Aslan and came back to life "when the table was cracked." 

When I was supposed to have dinner his grandfather later told me that he said, "Cafrin ith my good friend. She played with me for a very long time." Then, the highlight of my night was that as we were finishing dinner, outside on the porch of the great house, he came walking up and his eyes lit up when they saw me and came running over and looked up and said, "Cafrin, want to play?" Of course I want to play Malachi. It is amazing what energy I really do get from the conquest of winning small children. I just love it. I love them...and I miss them. I miss Eva, Lydia, Lyla, Kyle, Eli and Jackson, baby Who...

So with all of that said I have a lot of good energy to start the next week. I have vacation week under my belt and now this week to get serious. Boot camp has to be re-initiated and a lot of productivity must occur--of course now mixed with time to play with the boys! 

P.S. GOOD JOB followers on the pictures! Excellent response times!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pictures...coming soon!

This is Malachi. He's awesome. His parents are awesome. They are from Canada and they talk awesome too. He has a baby brother, Ezra, who shares my birthday. He will be two. There are pictures of him on my facebook-photos-albums-Jamaica-any picture of me holding a white baby. Ezra. I'll try to get some current ones up soon...of the boys and of Jamaica!


So today has been the best day so far! I woke up late and hit the pool I think around 11. I stayed there until, well time doesn't matter as much as sun, so I stayed until I had a tan line in the shape of a cross from the necklace I wear. (I also have a tan line from a little plastic yellow bracelet I wear, given to me by a sweet little girl whom I love like a sister, my Lydia, to remind me to pray. Those of you who have silly little plastic bracelets from Lydia...will maybe do the same...)

I had a splendid conversation about British accents with a girl who has a British accent, which led to many discussion topics from YWAM to Harry Potter. Then at about 3:30 I went in and made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch because the kitchen is closed on the weekends. Who knew? We actually learned that the DTS students are going away starting today until Thursday to the Mandeville campus, but that means we will only have a meal at lunch for the entirety of this week as well. Should be fun. But at least no fishes with eyeballs...or KP!

The most exciting part of the day was at 5 when Alice, the girl who picked me up from the airport (and the girl who I had the British conversation with earlier) asked me if I wanted to go get ice cream. I said sure, adorned the Chaco's because she said it was a little hike, and we left the base.

It was the first time I have really felt like I was in another country. I saw bits of the culture and the poverty all around. There were shacks and half finished houses all alongside the "road" we walked on, and clotheslines. I think clotheslines are my favorite. Beautiful flowers and the view of what seemed like the whole ocean decorated the scene for our excursion.  

I ended up getting my exercise for the week as Alice, who-could-give-Laura-a-run-for-her-money, set the pace...and it was no "little" hike. But it was amazing. 

We arrived at the bottom of the mountain and walked along the highway at sea level for a little distance and I could smell the ocean for the first time. It was so refreshing. As we approached Tortuga, a little park area and two shops on the side of the road, I was so excited. It was absolutely precious. The outside was decorated with Caribbean themes and pirates and christmas lights, the inside felt like you were in the hull of a ship, the walls and the floor wooden planks. We got our gelato, I got choco-cocco (chocolate and coconut) in a cone and sat and enjoyed ourselves (or caught our breath if you were me...) 

We took a much shorter route home but it was just as scenic. I REALLY want to bring our team here when they come. It is the cutest little place and it's walking distance from the base and you really do get to see a couple other aspects of life in Jamaica...and you get ice cream.


First order of business, if you are my "follower" you must have a picture. If you don't have a picture posted soon I am going to "manage" my followers...and God only knows what that means, but it will NOT be good.

Second, Malachi loves me. OK, he knows I exist. Most of you who know me know I have these kids that I randomly uh, love, and consider it among my top priorities to "win over." Last night I was leaving Jenny and Aaron's and said, "Bye Malachi!" 
"Bye!...Whaths your name again?" he asked.
"I'm Catherine." 
"Ok, bye Cafrin." 
Then I just decided to ask, "Hey Malachi, will you be my friend tomorrow?" and he said, "We are already friendths right now. But come back to my houthe tomorrow." Aaron was cosing the door after me and Malachi continued to call, "--come back after my bed sleep" I gave him a high five, mopped up my melted heart and went to movie night.

Then today he wanted me to swim in the pool with him which no matter how cute you are I just don't do, on principle...which could have lost me major points...but then again tonight when I was hanging out at his house again he said, "Whaths your name again, Cafrin?" and we had the best discussion of Disney movies and characters and Walt Disney World...see, now we're buds and I have 3 more weeks to really win him over. I feel like the endless hours of kid-stuff I have endured well into my adult life is never for nothing, as proved I will go right on watching The Princess and the Pauper and The Little Mermaid.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Daily Schedule

So for those of you wondering, I have quickly established a daily schedule, so here is what it looks like.

8:30 (ish) I wake up, I follow my morning routine which posted on the counter. If you haven't seen my boot-camp-manual that holds my list of routines, you are missing out on a good jaw drop. But here is a sneak peak: I fold my blanket, I sleep on top of my bed so there is nothing to make up. I put on the dress I have decided to wear (chosen the night before) and wash my face, my hands and brush my teeth. This takes all of 5 minutes.

Breakfast on the base is served at 6:30 so seeing as how I don't EVER make it to THAT... [Becca stop reading] I mix up a little powdered milk (this is the Jamaican-ized routine) and pour it over a nice bowl of cereal. For those of you curious, the super market here DOES have Capn' Crunch. So I "teefed," Jamaican for "stole" (get it, sounds like theif-ed) a bowl, spoon and knife from the kitchen and keep it in my room. I brought my own dish soap so I am golden in the breakfast department! Sometime I like sit sit in a swing and eat breakfast overlooking the Bay.

From 8:30-12:30 is my time. I use this time to relax, read from either of my two syllabi, and pray. I have been trying to get caught up in my Esther Bible study--I miss all of my fellow group members! I have also been reading a book called Living Your Strengths, which TALKED about Esther today, coincidence? I can swing, sit out in the sun on the grassy hillside, or tomar el sol by the poolside.

At 12:30 I get lunch and have meaningful conversations trying to get to know the people here and learn from everyone who crosses my path. That is sort of more of a theoretical thing than what is actually happened so far, until now I have mostly been learning names and trying to figure this place out. I have realized that if I don't fully understand the chain of command somewhere, if you can't explain to me the hierarchy of how a place is run, I don't like it. I need to understand WHO is in charge here. And no ones really in charge HERE.

After I eat... I can tell lots of stories already about what I've eaten, NOT my favorite aspect of another country... I stroll (taking my time until 1:30) back to my room to make sure I have on sleeves, closed toe shoes (much to my chagrin) and my favorite apron-that-I-brought-from-home. At 1:30 I report back to the dining hall for kitchen duty...the sickest of all duties. No pun intended. If you know me at all, put me ANYWHERE but a kitchen.

So far I have had to stick my hand, day after day, into lukewarm, murky-with-food-remains-water...and wipe down tables. Then I have to start again, but with the dishes-that-many-people-have-eaten-off-of and about the time it takes me to get over it (which is no small feat...and about an hour...) I'm supposed to move mopping...which is STILL disgusting because all I do is drag that SICK, dirty, raggedy dust mop soaked in-gray-water-and-who-knows-what-else.

So after kitchen duty (which I haven't even scratched the surface there was a pool of animal blood on the kitchen floor--OK I'm really moving on)...I find Aaron and work for him doing grounds and maintenance work...MUCH more my speed...except when he had me shoveling, hauling and spreading mulch. You want to know what I NEVER want to do again is MULCH.

From 3-5:30 I do work for Aaron, then I wash my hands (and usually arms and face) and go to dinner...which is more like a snack 6 most nights.

Then from 6:30 to 7 I usually attempt to bathe. That usually involves washing my feet and the occasional washing my hair. If you noticed the pattern, there is not a time when I get my entire body wet at the same time. I avoid THAT like the plague. The water is cold! I hope all of the freshies coming down are ready for the CIZNASTYFUNKOLD showers!!! Stina, that was for you.

Then from 7-10 I do pretty much nothing. I come use the internet, I watch a movie in my room, I will wrap up and go swing (because when the sun goes down it is cool) read some more or just go to bed. 

Tonight is movie night with the girls and there will be brownies. I am just excited to have human interaction after 6 PM. Really.

The dts kids are really young, really kids. I haven't really gotten to know many of them, but maybe that will change. I'm also thinking of sitting in on some of their classes. Tomorrow I will be finishing painting numbers on all the room doors--be excited UGA team--shiny new numbers on your doors...and I will be using one of Malachi's paintbrushes. Malachi is a 4 year old little boy, to clarify, and has about the smallest paintbrush we can find around here. He doesn't like me (because there is younger competition) but has graciously decided I can use it--though it's "only really" meant for painting on paper. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Facebook statuses

I was thinking about changing my status on facebook this morning, but realized that it is a little too rare that I get online here to change it very often. But that didn't stop me from thinking in status mode all day for some reason and so I decided to list out all of the status changes I might have made the past few days. It spices the reading up a little I think...

So first, Catherine was up early this morning
Catherine is catching up a swing overlooking the Bay
Catherine thinks the breeze is quite chilly if you're not in the sun

Catherine's fish at lunch DID have a head today
Catherine wore her favorite apron for KP today!
Catherine weeded and raked some today...though the Carribbean breeze is not so conducive to raking--especially for a gold
Catherine hasn't had a shower since she left America and got quite dirty today

Catherine ate a hamburger the size of a sausage patty for dinner. No fries with that...
Catherine can't imagine tornado warnings right now
Catherine is sorely disappointed that her PB M&M's didn't last longer
Catherine might get quite thin without the PB M&M's to sustain her...
Catherine braved the cold for her first shower in Jamaica...sort of...

Catherine wants to crimp her hair and sport a side pony in honor of Wesley's 80's night extravaganza. Will the Jamaican's even notice?
Catherine is ready for a haircut...
Catherine might be settling in for a movie and bed though it's only 8:15
Catherine needs to know why she can't BB messenge Lindsay
Catherine hopes email and BB messenger really are free...but is just going to have to be ok with a high phone bill this month.
Catherine might need to try a little harder to be free of technology and slowly step down off of her friends...
Catherine quickly changed her mind, it is not a program.
Catherine can hear baby goats...m-e-e-e-ehhhhh

Catherine got SUN!
Catherine pruned today--wonder if that is next for the heart...
Catherine got so hot that she desired to SWIM today, to actually get IN a pool--What!?
Catherine says, "You know what I DON'T want to do ever again? Mulch."

Catherine had GREEN alfredo on her spaghetti for lunch...lime green...just for "fun"
Catherine hasn't laid out YET!
Catherine thinks Chaco's make her feel like a man. She just can't do it.
Catherine is sad because Malachi doesn't love her
Catherine gets to paint--that's fun
Catherine is TIRED..."Shower"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My first day

The plane ride was good. No throwing up and I actually slept. The landing was really rough for a little girl who was about 2 and she made me cry more because she was so sad or scared or something. I kept wanting to go give her fruit loops and a big hug. I wanted someone to give me a big hug...

When I got off the plane I went through customs. It was a madhouse. It took me over an hour and there was just me... They lady gave me a hard time because I had said I was a "student" on my form and had told her UGA when she had asked where...then how did I have a month off of school? How was I on vacation? time I will be sure to write UNEMPLOYED all over everything.

By the time I got to the baggage claim carousel the next flight's baggage was already coming in and mine were the last bags there just sitting and waiting on me. This was good because they were there...but it meant I was really late and I started getting really anxious. The only thing I had really feared before I left was not getting picked up at the airport...

Three hours of sitting and crying later...I realized I had been left. I called my friends from home who found phone numbers for me to try and ended up getting me picked up as soon as they could. 

The girl who picked me up...(yes, a girl, thank goodness, though I would've gone with anyone at this point, I was so afraid I was going to have to take-a-taxi-and-get-kidnapped-and-all-sorts-of-worse-and-I-hadn't-said-good-bye-to-so-many-people...whew!) So the girl had a brittish accent and despite all of my practicing, I couldn't understand a lot of what she was saying...I wasn't afraid of being safe anymore now that I was at the base, but I was so freaked out and terrified as to just WHAT I was doing here now!?

I kept getting, "So where are you from? Are you a part of a team?" [Yes, but not quite yet] "Are you a mission builder volunteer then?" [Well, not exactly] "But you're not in dts, thinking about a dts, a mission builder or scouting out for a team...What are you doing here?" ..."a little vacation didn't seem like a good enough answer, that or they were like, "no, really...?"

I caught up on my sleep...woke up the next day and found the missionaries I knew, Aaron and Jenny. We talked about what is expected of me and what I actually want and how things work around here a little more and then I felt much better. He put me right to work pulling weeds and I immediately thought that maybe that was an illustration of what God is doing in me first thing, pulling the weeds that are choking my heart and causing me pain and preventing my heart from growing.
I was able to use the internet, got all settled up with Accounts, and had lunch. Oh yeah--today I had a choice between curried goat or fish with the skin on it--but it didn't have a head. I chose the fish, had a bite of the goat, and called it a day!

Jamaica is as beautiful as I remember and the warm sunshine is great. I'm staying in the dorms that face the bay this time and the view is breathtaking! It's louder than I remembered with horns honking and tires screeching and large engines revving I presume. I hope to either get so used to it or if all else fails, wear earplugs! I checked my phone plan today and changed some things so that hopefully texts aren't going to kill me and as far as I could tell internet isn't going to cost me more so emails are GREAT! BUT if anyone knows differently let meknow...though I have just come to terms with the fact that my phone bill is going to be pretty high this month!

I love you all and will write again soon!

I'm baaccck...

Well, the weekend of the retreat went really well, thanks to those of you praying! We had fewer kids than the year before, were familiar with the facility as opposed to last year and then had lots of returners to my staff! It was great! I had planned better and just gone with much simpler activities and lessons as well. I think as this was the 5th year I've done it it is getting to where I just don't care too much as long as the kids are safe and having fun. If it is too much to do a skit that day, throw it out... If we're not feeling singing, we don't have to do them. I definitely haven't always been that laid back about things. I was able to relax and just enjoy being there and hang out with a lot of people my last weekend in America. 

I was completely packed by the time I left for the retreat and so there was little to no anxiety about that and all I had to do was run a few errands when I returned home--and try to find a bathing suit! The biggest problem I was encountering was that I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was sleep until I woke up. I fell asleep talking on the phone, which I have never done before...I was just so tired.

I went to one last Jamaica meeting and was pretty useless. It was good though and I am glad I was there for a little while. I finished all of the tasks that I could before I took my last warm shower and got in my bed for the last time for a month. 

I had a hard time with all of the good byes, which isn't unusual, but it was different this time. I didn't cry at all, which is SO unusual, and didn't even lose it after I'd said goodbye and people left me. I pretty much just crashed.  

The next morning I was still really wiped out from the week before, weekend retreat and now the 4:30 am wake-up, but I still did really well. I didn't cry until I got left at the airport and then it all came out. I wished at least one person I knew would be there with me. I wish people could still see you to your gate before they had to leave. I wish that I had gone ahead and gotten upset while I still had people around. But instead I gave lots of people in the airport and on the plane a good opportunity to use their imaginations as to WHAT was wrong with me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Every little gonna be alright...I hope

I started a blog because I'm leaving the country and my only follower, Erika, said I needed a blog. I'm ordinarily not that impressible--oh wait, yes I am. I just do what people want me to do. I usually feel that it doesn't matter what I want. Until now. I have decided I hate winter, I like very few people these days anyway, I don't have a job or anyone tying me down so I am leaving. I am heading to the lovely isle of Jamaica for a month. I'm actually going to do it, I'm going far away and for a long time, all by myself. I think it's going to be good. I need to prove it to myself that I can do something like this and I have to figure out my life independent of anyone else. 

I'm sure I'll typically write about how much I don't like the food, but that is going to be good for me too because I am a high maintenance girl and I don't usually tolerate things that aren't just the way I like them very well...but I need to learn how.

The next few days are going to be crazy, I have a bunch of last minute things to do for a weekend retreat that I am coordinating for children at our church. I have to make it through that weekend and be ready to leave the country at 5:30 am the next morning. I will be sure to let you all know how it goes, the retreat, the leaving (another of my not-so-favorite things) and then of course from Jamaica!