Sunday, March 22, 2009

Zippers, cleaning and nights, oh my...

I have had very few things to write about lately. I have NOT enjoyed being at home. I have slept the entire week away and overall, it has just been CRAPPY being back. The one interesting thing I discovered this week is that zippers can lock. Did you know that the little zipper pull when turned down prevents the zipper from going is locked so to speak. I was absolutely AMAZED when I learned this this week and haven't been shy in telling all I meet. AND, a pair of my favorite jeans has been salvaged. I have thought the zipper has been broken all this time and today. Basically new jeans. 

The next thing I have discovered is that Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are the best things EVER to clean a shower with. So tonight I decided that while I was awake, an not planning on falling asleep anytime soon...for reasons I will only tell if you ask, I decided I needed to clean my whole house really, but tonight, my bathroom. Something you should also know...I buy ANYTHING. If it looks cool, if the commercial makes me think it is amazing, if I think it will make my life easier in any way...even if it is in a little size, I'm sold. So I have had these Magic Erasers for quite sometime now and have never actually sat down to use one...Well tonight something urged me to try one...and it was the best and easiest cleaning I have ever done. It makes me want to clean my shower MUCH more often...and I already clean it a lot...

Lastly, as my title alludes, nights. I really hate night time. I HATE not being able to fall asleep. I hate being wide awake when EVERYone else in the world is asleep. I hate that there is never anything on TV in the middle of the night and I just kind of hate when I do fall asleep because of dreams. I seem to NEVER get good sleep unless it is at a time when I should be awake. I am starting to think I need to get a job that has a night shift. Then I would at least be getting paid for being up all night. AND it would be appropriate to sleep during the day. Any thoughts? Stock-girl at Walmart? Anyone? Putting GREAT use that college diploma, I know. What about a truck driver. I could be getting paid to DRIVE all night long. That could be glorious. Maybe this week while I am sleeping all day I will find time to research getting my CDL...or even seeing if that is what I would need to be a trucker. I think I would be an awesome trucker...and always in my pearls.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pictures FINALLY!

To see ALL of my pictures from Jamaica visit !

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Coming...home. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME!!!

Friday night I was SO sad. It had been building for the last few nights and I knew it was coming. I am glad I got most of it out then instead of this morning. OH! Saturday was my 25th BIRTHDAY! We woke up on Saturday and I was a little stressed because we were in quite a hurry to get everything done that we needed to do before we left. We all had to wake up at 6:30, pack up all of our stuff, clean our room completely, take our stuff up the hill, take a group picture and then have breakfast and go. It was chaotic, but I think everything got done. I managed to pack all of my stuff from the month in just two suitcases as opposed to having an extra carry-on like when I came down, but failed to realize (again) that it isn't about size as much as it is about weight. 

We got our room as clean as we could using the only thing they provided...a windex-type product...and we couldn't find a really, the room was still a mess...but it looked good for having been lived in for a month!

Some people volunteered to take my stuff up the hill (it is a BIG hill too) for me since it was my birthday! A couple of people handed me cards so I had a lot of things to open! Caren had given me a present yesterday, Ashley today, and a lot of cards. I was really blessed! Everyone said "happy birthday", yesterday and today, it was just a fun morning. 

I didn't take a shower. I looked a fright. We took the team picture (WITH only ONE camera thank you very much!) Then I tried to connect my computer to Aaron's so I could send him ALL [400] of the pictures I had taken of the month, but mostly of the building of the house...but it didn't work. I was really frustrated. 

The team sung to me at breakfast, we ate festival balls, which I liked better that the sticks, and fresh pineapple for the last time. Then it was time to leave. We all hugged and took pictures and cried a few tears and I got hugs and kisses from Malachi and Ezra. Malachi asked, "Are you leaving today?" and I said, "Yes, I am." "Oh. That's sad" he said, and I replied, "I know, it is really sad. I am going to miss you." and he replied, "Yeah...but don't forget to come to Canada." I told him I would get right on that and laughed and gave him one last hug. I didn't think it would be the last hug, but when I REALLY tried to give him the last hug he said no and that, "Remember I just gave you one." 

The ride to the airport was fine, we got dropped off and walked in to a HUGE, barely moving line and waited. I was actually one of the first people on our team to get up to the check-in. Then I placed my bags on the scale and lo-and-behold my first suitcase was over by 5.5 lbs. My oter bag was only 40 lbs. so I thought, oh, that'll be easy, switch 5 lbs. into that one...but they told me I couldn't do it right there, I had to move and do it and then rejoin the back of the line. I was thinking..."What...There is no way I will make it through THAT line again and make it to my flight on time...but I did what they said. I struggled to figure out what I could move that was at least 5.5 lbs. but up to 10...and it was so stressful because if I didn't move enough I would have to go through the entire process AGAIN! So I cut back in line with the group, and finally made it up to the counter again. LUCKILY my first bag was 43 or something and my other bag was 48. (I did put some cans and books in another girls bag.) 

The lady checking me in looked very hard at my passport and the date, the computer and my passport again...and looked at me and finally said, "Happy Birthday!" I was totally surprised and I think it showed on my face, but I thanked her and told her I was sad to be leaving beautiful Jamaica...and she went on about checking me in. She handed me my ticket and itenerary back. She wrote the gate number and boarding time on my boarding pass and lastly said, "And you are in seat 3D...that's first class." I didn't get it right away, but then I realized that she had bumped me up to a FIRST CLASS window seat...just because it was my birthday! I was so excited and had to tell everyone what God had given me for my birthday! I had never flown first class before... 

We found our gate easily and I joined a few of the leaders for one last meal together. Last time eating Jamaica ketchup for awhile...last time eating Jerk chicken for awhile...although I am looking forward to a reunion trip to Kelly's Jerk once we get back to Athens.

Our flight had already been delayed almost an hour, but I didn't think to let my mom know we would be late. We found out that the weather back home was dreary and cold and that made me SO much sadder. On the other hand, first class was great. I boarded first, had a lot of room, got served a was sweet! When I sat in my seat a flight attendant handed me a little bottle of water. When Christina boarded and walked passed me she asked if she could have it...I joked with her "of course you can have it...I can probably get another one with a snap of my fingers anyway!"

I actually slept most of the flight though. I could curl up pretty comfortably in my seat and lay my pillow against the window...and I didn't realize it until we had landed and heard the rest of my team grumbling, but we sat on the runway for 50 minutes before taking off and I had no idea. I was dead asleep already!

The airport went smoothly, it took awhile to get through and we were already so late that it felt like forever even though we had no issues. My mom picked me up, had a dozen roses for me and we collected my bags and left. At that point I was just exhausted. All I wanted to do was get a hot shower--the first one in one-day-shy-of- one month--and go to BED!

When I arrived home my kitchen was decorated for my birthday, I had another card and present to open and I found out that my roommate Carol is HOME. No more semester in Atlanta and only seeing her on weekends! And one last exciting thing for my birthday...Carol asked me to be in her wedding! SO fun! Happy Birthday to me and goodnight!!! I am home safely, have caught up on my sleep and have had a relaxing first day back!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Good-bye Jamaica!

Whew! The past two days have been a whirlwind! We have participated in such an array of activities too! We began our Thursday morning with prayer walking. We divided into groups and walked all around the community here and prayed for the island and people of Jamaica. My group joined together with Bob's group and took the very scenic route, the first trail I took to Tortuga on my walk with Alice. We found a little gazebo on the side of a hill and climbed down to a beautiful view of the ocean. When we had taken turns praying there for awhile we continued on to Tortuga. We got ice cream and rested before we began quite a hike back UP the way we had just come...We gathered on a high clearing above the base to worship and pray together.We covered topics from marriage to the government to children and schools to justice and YWAM. We then began quite a trek down the mountain back to the base for lunch. 
After lunch we departed in two groups: half of us went to Robin's Nest Children's Home and the other half went to Westhaven, another children's home. It was an eye-opening experience for many, a humbling experience for all and potentially a life-changing experience for each person involved--those ministering Christ's love and those receiving...though sometimes they were one in the same. I think, as contrary to who I seem to be as this might be, I quite enjoyed the work better than the relationships...especially this afternoon...but when I finally found a baby who would just sit and rock I was set and the time went by faster.

From the children's homes we met back near the base to head up to Patricia's house, our project this week, for the dedication ceremony at 5 PM. It was an emotional and moving experience to be a part of. The keys to her new home were passed to each person in attendance to say a quick word of prayer and blessing on she and her family and their new house. We were all very touched I think.

We had dinner and then...our annual talent show took the place of our formal team meeting. We had a variety of acts, some serious and some not-so-much, all competing to be the next Jamaican Idol, our very own spin-off of American Idol complete with guest appearances by Simon, Paula, Randy, Cara and of course Ryan Seacrest. 

We all stayed up pretty late and began the next morning, our "fun" if the other days haven't been fun...everyone fully excited at all the day would hold. We boarded two buses and drove to Ocho Rios for the day. Once in "Ochie" we met up with our fellow team-members who have been in Mandeville this week. It was such an exciting, encouraging and refreshing time to be together today! Everyone shared stories and was just a really good time. I got to see my freshmen girls, Kimberly, Emily, Whitney and Kristi...and I got to see Caren. I was very excited. 

We had time to spend in the craft market before lunch and most everyone had a good time haggling the vendors to get prices down so we could bring home some quality Jamaican items. Several guys decided they needed to buy handcrafted machetes. Pray that THOSE make it through customs tomorrow!

And after lunch in town we headed to the much anticipated Dunn's River Falls for an afternoon of climbing the falls and laying on the beach. The falls are more like a little uphill trek through a rocky river and are fun to say you have done. When we finished climbing, though some people did it multiple times, we all ended up at the beach sunbathing and a majority of us PLAYED in the ocean all together. It was VERY fun! I LOVED playing with Malachi in the ocean and taking him to climb a little bit of the falls. We had a good time and I hope we got some good pictures!

Tomorrow we depart for home. Please be praying for everything to go smoothly and be a safe, relaxing trip home. I am eager to see all of you! Though I have had an amazing week, I've missed you all and couldn't have made this trip without you and all of your prayers! I am pretty bummed to be going home, but in some ways it will be a think that's all this will be my last post from Jamaica.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


My baby sister is 7 today and I am gone, yet again in another country, missing her birthday! Lydia, I love you, I hope you are doing good, enjoying school--I know I am going to be so surprised with how much you have learned since I have been gone! Be nice to the boys and make them be nice to you! I miss you here, you would like it. I can't wait until you are old enough to go on mission trips. The world just isn't ready yet huh? I will see you soon! Save me a cupcake! Make a good wish! Look forward to your present! MUAH!

Workday 3

Today was the last WORKday...or so we thought. We didn't ACTUALLY finish the house today so we are going to have another afternoon of work for a few people tomorrow. 

Mornings are getting easier. Today I didn't go back to sleep for the first time after breakfast. I have been sorely disappointed in breakfast this year. I love cereal and all, but I could eat that in my room and not have to get up 2 HOURS to be AT breakfast. Today we had porridge, but I ate cereal, the days before were cereal and Sunday was baked oatmeal. (I had cereal.)

Today at the school we had a lot more interaction with the kids. I prepped the girl who was doing the lesson and things were kept more on a child's level. They loved singing again, thought the skit was hilarious, and they did a lot of participating as an audience. I felt better about devotions today than I have either of the two previous day. I was glad to end on a good note. There was some reinforcement and points driven home from the last few days, we prayed and then closed. 

One little girl I had never talked to before came straight to me and wanted me to walk her back to her class and I agreed. We were about to have to leave anyway. I walked with her to the little school house in front of the main building and she said, "I wish you were my mother." I asked her why she said that and if she had a mother and she said yes. Then I asked her if she had a sister. She said had a little 1-year-old sister who spoke Spanish, but didn't live with her...the point was that she didn't have an older sister. I told her that her mom probably works very hard to do a very good job taking care of her and loves her very much, but that we could "almost" be like sisters. Then she looked up at me and asked, "What was your name again?" I thought that was great. "Will you be my mom? What's your name?"

Spencer came back and all of the kids LOVED getting to see him again. They had asked for him by name the day before and were distraught when he didn't return to see them. Needless to say they were ecstatic to see him today.

Today on the worksite I started on the roofing team. I already felt like the team leaders were not thrilled with me because I forgot to change shoes and all I was wearing were flip would be a long day on my feet but I was convinced it would be fine. My tennis shoes don't stay on my feet anyway... but it was hard work and things I had no experience (or skill) at doing. No one did a particularly good job of teaching me either so even though I picked it all up pretty quickly it was very slow moving. I wasn't really bothered by it, I was just enjoying the view of the island and the Bay (we have been at a much higher elevation that even the base so you can see so much more.) Unfortunately it took us a very long time to get started today. There was a ton of little detail work, but it was almost more effective to just do it rather than find someone who needed a job and could do, wanted to do it and explain to them HOW to do it. We started to get behind, we realized, when it was getting close to lunch and all of the rafters that would soon hold the roof were not up. 

We took a break for lunch which Patricia, the lady we are building the house for, cooked for us. It was great.  Yesterday we had a very traditional Jamaican lunch of spicy fish, dumplings, and yam and today we had a chicken and rice dish. Both beat a PBJ anyday.

After lunch it seemed that I had gotten demoted. I was a little bitter for awhile until I realized I wasn't replaced or traded in for anyone that I felt would have been insulting. I wasn't even traded in for a boy...I was traded in for a Jamaican. That was ok by me, at least we would start working efficiently now...or so I thought.

Pretty much all afternoon I played with the kids or did random odd detail jobs. I blew bubbles, took pictures, did some trim work, cut some "zinc" (what they call sheet metal for the tin roof) and that could very well be all. I handed things, held things in place and did all kinds of THOSE things...but not too much hard-core-that-makes-me-feel-very-accomplished kind of things or get-my-aggression-out things, like hammering. The icing on the cake is that even though I got kicked off the roofing team we still didn't get the roof on and finish the house today. I was a little disappointed.

We had an injury on-site today, a board or something fell down or was dropped and hit a girl in the forehead. It was a typical head wound and bled like crazy. I was really glad I wasn't in charge on my site because I would have panicked. I got the first aid kit ASAP, but didn't deal well with the blood and was convinced that she was going-to-HAVE-to-have-stitches-and-that-we-were-going-to-have-to-take-her-to-the-hospital-no-life-flight-her-back-to-America. The bleeding stopped VERY quickly and we were able to get a better look at the cut and see that it really was going to be fine. We could tell it was a corner of whatever it was that hit her. I think I could've handled the situation, but I also think I was having terrible flashbacks of when Hadley, a little girl that I was baby-sitting, flipped out of a trampoline's net and landed on some gravel, on her head, and had to be taken to the hospital for stitches...It was a bad day. I thought I might never baby-sit again because of all of the thoughts going through my mind of what COULD have happened IF...but luckily I did start [much more carefully] baby-sitting again. And to think I wanted to be a doctor.

Bob, our director at the Wesley foundation joined the Montego Bay team today and will remain with us for the duration of the trip...which is quickly coming to a close. I am SO sad that I have to leave this place. I am really very very sad. I don't want to ever come back...I think that is about all for today...tomorrow we will have a much more restful day than the labor intensive ones we have had the last three days. We will have more of a ministry day which I will fill you in on after it has happened... yay.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Workdays 1 and 2

This is perhaps the most frustrating thing...copying and pasting blog entries and trying to upload pictures without them messing everything else. 

The past two work days have been SO amazing! We had KP Monday and I had a very hard time shaking off the early morning. I went back to sleep for about 30 minutes before we left for the school but it was hard to even keep my eyes open until we left the school and headed to the worksite (about an hour later). Luckily the next day was SO much better. We had to be at breakfast at 6:30 and I’d gone to bed a little earlier the night before.The weather was perfect. A little breeze to keep it cool, not too cold, not too hot, a little cloud coverage and some shade on the site. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Monday it rained a couple of times but it wasn’t enough to deter us either time. One time it stopped the second we prayed and asked it to. It was pretty cool.

Our daily schedule looks a little like this:
(Kitchen duty 5:45) each room of 3 or 4 has KP one morning and one evening meal this week. It involves preparing and cleaning up the dining hall for meals. (We eat pre-packed sack lunches on the worksites for lunch.)

Breakfast 6:30

Depart for devotions at elementary schools 6:45-8:20, depending on the team you are onI am on the 8:20 team. We walk up the road to Reading Prep School for devotions from 8:30 to 9:00. The teams are split into three groups so we go to three different schools in the mornings and then do three different work projects in the afternoons. The school I have been going to this year is PRECIOUS! The kids are really little and so cute! Today they sang their national anthem for us.

Then we go change out of our devotion clothes and into work clothes and head out to our respective worksites. First thing we did was break into teams within our team: building, painting and roofing crews. I volunteered to be photographer so I got to be all over the place. It suited me so much! I have decided I am a working “butterfly”…I like to flit and fly all over trying all of the jobs, doing them until I tire of them and then move on. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m not working very hard, but I really like to be able to see EVERYTHING that is going on. In fact, Tuesday for a large majority of the afternoon I sat on a little perch that I climbed on, on the frame of the house, before the roof was put up, the place where the interior and exterior walls intersect, and just watched for the longest time.

Monday we framed and built three walls and painted them. We actually painted the plywood inside and outside before nailing it to the frame and raising the walls. That way all we had to do was final coats and touch ups when the walls came together. We were blessed with water-based paint and so as opposed to oil-based painting, it wasn’t such a big deal to get it everywhere—AND we were outside so you know what we didn’t do? Worry about getting paint anywhere. We made a mess of ourselves but it was so fun! I have always been “too good” for paint teams at River of Life preferring the roofing teams, but today was so fun…even the paint “fights.”

Tuesday we put up the fourth and interior walls, and prepared to lay the roof. It was a very similar day to Monday just with new freshmen on our team. I missed Becca today because she had to rotate to another team and she took another fun freshmen with her, but we got to know some really fun kids today too!I am having major difficulty with uploading images and things onto the blog, so I am going to try and upload to shutterfly. If that happens I will link it to this page. Be looking for pictures soon, there are LOTS!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Church in Jamaica

I had a really rough morning starting with forgetting that Jamaica does NOT do daylight savings time, over compensating with my phone alarm…and ending up at breakfast, WITH my entire room, at 5:30. We all tried to go back to bed but of course, I could NOT. After breakfast however, I did…only to be woken up from a HORRIBLE dream by Becca telling me that it was time to go and we were waiting on me. 

I accompanied the group that went to Riverside Open Bible Church. The service was long and hard to understand, and a seminary student was the guest speaker…he has a long way to go on presentation. His message I am sure was great, but it wasn’t very captivating. 

Ashley and I played a very elaborate game of M.A.S.H and Jenny and I wrote notes back and forth. It was fun and a welcome refreshment from the usual text messaging. Old school, pass notes. Jenny made me miss Lindsay. She has that effect on me, calming and nurturing, like I have known her forever and she loves me…but it makes me miss my Lindsay.

After church we went to Doctor’s cave, a beach, just for the whole team to hang out and relax together before the work week starts. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day. I love the sand in Jamaica, it is like no other sand I have ever felt…and I have felt sand in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, California, Jamaica and Africa. It is shell beach but not like Edisto, it is white sand but not like Destin or silky like in Africa. It’s just…amazing. It is even cooler when it is wet.

The leaders came together and ate lunch before we hit the beach. Once settled in the sand I forced myself to read a chapter in my book, sat in the sun for awhile and then watched some of our team play beach volleyball. When it was almost time to go Christina and I walked in a gift shop with Christina and found the cutest top for Lydia, it’ll be her birthday present…I’ll miss another one of her birthdays…I am a horrible sister. But this is what her present looks like…and a surprise that I will save.

After the beach I came in and showered then organized room some because it is starting to stress me out. I feel really crammed and chaotic because I went from being all organized in a good sized space to sharing that with 3 other people and now being expected to wear three different outfits a day and being expected to be places at a certain time…ah!

I have a favorite kind of dress that I often wear over jeans, I got it for my birthday two years ago in Jamaica, often call it my Jamaica dress or my birthday dress…and they have them again at Old Navy! SO I went online and saw the options and I cannot wait to order like 5 of them! I really can’t wait. I have enjoyed wearing dresses everyday again almost more than being tan! (I said almost!) But dresses, I love them and I am SO excited about a few new ones! Woo!

Ashley talked about Mary and Martha which tends to offend me because I guess I just don't know what to do with that story because I AM a Martha...anyway, no new revelation came from hearing it again this time. I skipped out on the meeting after a little while and talked back and forth to Laura for the first time in over 2 weeks...then was upset and started to get really bummed that I am going home.

P.S. I taught Ben how to play minesweeper today and got a high five.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Negril and the WHOLE team is here

This morning we left for Negril! I was really excited to see this place after all I have heard about it. We CRAMMED on a bus and headed out about 9-ish, and realized about ten minutes before we arrived that the restaurant we were headed when we realized that it didn’t open until 12:30…so tragically we had to go spend some time at another beach until Rick’s opened. 

It was absolutely beautiful there and there were people cooking jerk chicken in a stand RIGHT behind our chairs so that there was a tantalizing aroma filling the air in addition to the salt and the sea. 

I pretty much tried to sleep the whole time. I wasn’t feeling great, I think from the bus ride, and I was a little out of it.We got back on the bus and rode for just a minute down the road to Rick’s CafĂ©. 

We walked in to a breath-taking-ly beautiful view of rocky cliffs and deep turquoise water that actually sparkled like a million diamonds. The huge waves crashed against the rocks sending white spray all into the air. Then there were the cliffs. There were multiple levels, two that tourist weren’t even allowed to do, that Jamaican guys would do neat tricks for $10 and $20. One guy did a handstand, a couple of push ups and then a swan dive into the ocean.There was at 35 ft. platform which was the big jump. There was also a medium-sized cliff that you could rope swing from and a small jump that couldn’t have been more than about 15 ft. I did the small one and considered the high one and the rope swing…I actually would've really liked to have done the rope swing but you had to jump in and swim too it…and that was just too much effort…even though I was already wet and didn’t think the water was that cold. It actually felt amazing. I LOVED it. If there had been a beach I would've loved to have snorkled and climbed in the cavernous rocks…ah.

We ordered, I got a yummy bow-tie chicken pasta dish with a light cream sauce, and then we lounged on the decks in the sun. We ventured into the gift shop for a minute until it was time to board the bus. I decided I wasn’t going to change into drier clothes because I had mostly dried off in the sun…but I was just damp enough to be miserable on the whole bus ride home. I was damp and cold and sticking to the seat and the sweaty guy (on our team) next to me. 

We were packed in again and the ride seemed SO much longer than it had the same morning. We were all very tired, you could tell because there wasn’t a lot of singing going on as there had been before. What did occur was discussions about their favorite childhood TV shows and games…which made me feel VERY old because a.) they are the same generation of kids that I BABY-SAT for…can anyone else say they themselves watched Pokemon? No. It was My Little Ponies and Care Bears, the original ones. Hey, I’m a child of the 80’s. They liked things that I have only watched with little kids…but now they’re in college. The second reason I felt old, b.) is that not only did they watch things I only associated with children, they had never HEARD of half of the things the other leaders and I reminisced about! They’d never played pogs. They knew different hand games and rhymes than us. Weird. I just don’t get it.

We arrived back at the base and the rest of our team was arriving. I RAN to greet Ashley and tried to get some random room key situations sorted out. We got reprimanded for being too loud again because the baby was sleeping. Now, I understand how much of an inconvenience it could be to have a team of 54 people to invade your home for a week…but you knew it was coming. Fifty-four people are noisy even if they are all whispering and wearing flip-flops as they walk to their own rooms. So I understand that it would be hard and I realize we should be courteous…no screaming and yelling, running, loud music…but even I can’t handle constant SHHHHH-ing the minute I get near the building… Move the baby. Close the windows. Find a noise maker.

I was very excited to see Ashley and she brought me presents from my friends back home, some for my birthday, some for now…which included PEANUT BUTTER M&Ms and now my life is complete again! Lol…just kidding.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Time of Preparation

We have been busy preparing for the team the last few days, checking out the worksites, preparing room assignments and team assignments, doing a lot of facebook stalking to get to know most of the team, and praying. We've also been catching up and hanging out. It has been SO good to have people I know here. I have had the best converations and just feel so encouraged by the boys already. I'm REALLY looking forward to all that the Lord STILL has for this last week. LAST WEEK...I'm so sad!!! I don't want to leave! BUT the Lord is doing some really cool things back home too and I can't wait to get to talk to some OLD friends. 

We took the YWAM team leaders out to eat last night and stopped in for ice cream as was a much needed break! We did some laundry and hung it all out to dry...and then chased it all down as it blew away...Before we left for lunch (which was curried goat again...and let me take a side note...I am putting Stephen Byerly to SHAME in regards to picky eating.  He has turned his nose up at EVERY meal he has been here for and is appalled that I would even touch it...and I just roll with it. That's who I am, you know, flexible, kidding... He keeps claiming that he is not normally a picky eater, but he's just not into this Jamaican food stuff...) anyway, before lunch we counted 16 shirts hung out to dry incase when we got back we were missing any blow-aways... I mean domestic life in the carribbean, it's HARD! :) 

It looks like we are going to be working for a Homes for Hope project which is, in fact, building a house this week. I'm excited because it will be my first wood-framed house. I am very used to working with concrete block structures since I have built in Mexico numerous times, but this will be new! I love hard work, from re-roofing houses with River of Life, to completely gutting out houses in hurricane relief work in New Orleans, to building houses in Mexico and now...being able to put up a wood-framed house, dry wall, and a traditional see that kind of accomplishment...done in just 3 days! I am so excited! 

I can't wait to post pictures and keep you all up to date on how the week with the team is going. PRAY that I will be receptive to ALL that God has left to do and to tell me this week!

Everything is ready for the team and I couldn't be more excited! I just can't wait for Becca, Christina, and Ashley to get here--I already have a list of pictures I want to take! This weekend will be crazy busy, as will next weekend, but I will be sure to post as often as I can! We will be going to Negrill, to Rick's Cafe and where there is cliff diving...just so you know I will NOT be doing THAT. Well go to the beach both Saturday in Negrill and Sunday after church. Then Monday the WORK begins! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kyle is One!



Many of you know that I am a big fan of Harry Potter. Last night as I was lying awake for the hours I lie awake almost every night...and the question that was plaguing my mind was: how many students ARE there at Hogwarts? I would guess a number and then divide it up..."ok, lets say 1000...there are 4 houses, so 250 in each house, divided by 7 years was about 37..." which was too many I thought so I would begin again. When I would arrive at a good number I would inevitably come across some other "fact" that made me think I could be right again. How many boys and how many girls are there... Where do all of these kids sleep. The only "dorm" I have ever heard of is the room Harry is in. What if there are 5 boys and 5 girls for each year and each house...10 first years in each house is 40...times 7 because there are 7 years of school... 280 students...under three hundred kids in the whole school? Is THAT possible...can ANYone answer my questions? I would just enjoy knowing...Yes this is REALLY what kept me awake last night...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Americans are here...

First of all (pretty much the phrase that starts every one of my blog posts...sorry) I am just so thankful that I was able to send much needed emails today with important attachments that I needed friends to be able to access in USA as soon as possible.

Second, FRIENDS! Today two of the leaders of my team, Stephen and Keenan, two of the coolest people in the world, came down. It was so exciting getting to pick them up at the airport and sit and catch up at lunch and then again after dinner. I am VERY excited about the team coming and getting to be involved in all that we will be doing here together. 

This afternoon I left kitchen duty because I thought I was going to throw up--the worst I have felt while I have been here. I went inside and took some medicine, got warm (yes, though you all just survived a blizzard, we are having a little cold front in Jamaica too) and went to bed. I slept until 4:45 and woke up feeling SO much better. I am not sure if it was just good rest...or being out of the kitchen...just kidding.

Hopefully I will be able to post a lot this week, I will try, but you never know with the internet in this place... I can't believe for my first week and a half I didn't have a single problem and now...this. 

Well, I am well, that is about all, loving Jamaica, missing home (some)...trying to stay tan and not peel! Love from Jamaica

Monday, March 2, 2009

A boy...

A boy...who is NOT 4, who is NOT Malachi is the subject of one of my posts... Do NOT get too excited yet. I am mostly writing to vent my frustrations at this kid. So first I am about to say things that might be judgemental, that might hurt some feelings, so in advance I apologize and say that there are exceptions to every rule. The first thing is that this kid is 18 or 19. Do you know any 18 or 19 year old guys. They're idiots. He is conceited and arrogant and sometimes... idiot. He severely rubs me the wrong way. I think out of all of the things I can NOT deal with, the guys in my past who have driven me the most mad (in an irritating way), it is arrogance. My brother can be very arrogant and it infuriates me. 

The next thing this kid has against him is that he is from Chicago. A Northerner... I say it like it is a bug that I am ready to squash...but don't really have any reason to... they're just different. I feel like we don't even speak the same language, we are not on the same PAGE...and if we weren't on a YWAM base, he in DTS...I would be sire we weren't even in the same BOOK if you know what I mean. 

Probably the last thing this kid has going against him is my own disappointed expectations. I will completely honest (as it is on my "prayer list"), I would not have been too sad to come down here and meet a great, tan, hard working, (short term) missionary man to marry. My preconceived notions were that he would be American so we could go back to the [southern] states and get married and raise a couple of kids eventually. (What? You all know that this is ALL every southern girl dreams of... (ok, again, stepping on some toes? I am sorry.)) 

So I meet this kid, the only American close to my age, on short term missions, desiring to know God...and he is a jerk. Man, what a let down, no carribbean wedding folks. Very sad. Anyway, keep me in mind, keep praying. Let's get me hitched!

A Few Pictures

This is my favorite picture from Falmouth, I feel like it is what heaven could look the sea, simple little shops with all you'll ever need, I don't know. I loved it.
Here's my very own super hero, though I have many, and you know who you are! Super-Malachi is awesome! I can't wait for my friends to meet him and I am already feeling sad that I will have to leave him. Today he told me, "I got a flashlight for my birthday." "Oh yeah?" "Yeah, but the batteries are dead..." he seemed to think about it for awhile and then piped up, "Hey! Maybe when you go back to Georgia you can get some batteries and send them to me!" I thought this was great and told him I wanted HIM to come to Georgia sometime and he said, "Yah! And maybe I can ask my mom if I can go to your house. And we can jump on the trampoline." You also have to imagine this kid talking in a Canadian accent. I can't even write it, but it is amazing, just very enunciated correctly, no phonics problems in his future.

Here is one of my favorite views from the top of the hill I live on. You can see ALL around and it is amazing. You can SEE the rain coming in when it storms, you can watch the sun actually moving down while it sets in the evenings. Close your eyes and it is dark...just. like. that.

Another view from the base, and below is another picture of Falmouth...pronounced less like "Foul Mouth" and more like Plymouth...Fal-muth...just in case you were curious. And yes, I called it "Foul Mouth" all day and thought it was hysterical until I got corrected. Then it lost all of its humor and made me mad at the English language...why does mouth say two SO many others...anyway.