Friday, September 3, 2010

Return to Venezuela

The countdown has begun! Or shall I say, the countdown has almost concluded!

Sunday, yes, THIS Sunday the 5th of September I will be returning to Venezuela!

This year has marked my longest stint in the United States by far, since I left for Spain in the fall of 2005. Finally after many months I feel as though I have settled in and adjusted to life in my hometown. Just in time to pack up and move again!

And when I say pack up and move, I mean big time! Five suitcases, a giant bin, a guitar and laptop later... hopefully my and my future home´s belongings will be contained. Thankfully my parents are heading down to Venezuela in just over a week so will be helping in the moving process. Don´t worry, this is not all my personal clothing, shoes, books, etc. At least half are wonderful shower and wedding gifts that will help Cristian and I create our first home!

Please pray with me as I say goodbye to friends and family. Pray for safe and uneventful travels. Pray that I will be able to finish packing on time and have all my paperwork and things organized before I leave on Sunday.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Poor, Abandoned Blog

My poor, abandoned blog. It has been well over a year since I have posted anything. As I prepare for many changes and transitions in the next days, weeks and months, I think I would like to share some of what this last year of absence has held for me.

July 2009:
-July 4th, 2009 God changed my life forever and challenged me to step out in faith and begin dating Venezuelan Cristian Rico.

-July 5th, 2009 I returned to the US, after my second school year in Venezuela working with Campus Crusade for Christ.

-End of July/Beginning of August Along with my brother and sister-in-law, my nearly 60-year-old father, and some other friends, I climbed my first mountain. At 14,494 feet, Mt. Whitney in California is the highest peak in the contiguous United States. *Note: When I say first, I mean first, as I hope to climb many more mountains and have many other adventures in the years to come.

August 2009:
-I traveled to Costa Rica and spent three weeks getting to know the country and the culture better, visiting the Campus Crusade ministry in San Jose, and most noteworthy, getting to know Cristian better. It was a time of really deciding where our relationship was going and deciding our willingness to see what God would do in the next months and years, as for the time being, I had no concrete plans to return to Venezuela soon.

September 2009:
My training to become a full-time staff member with Campus Crusade began with a 10-day trip to Orlando, Florida.

December 2009:
December 14-January 5th: I returned to Venezuela to visit my amado (beloved). My parents joined us for Christmas. This was their first visit to Venezuela and more importantly, their first time meeting Cristian. On our last night with my parents, I translated the conversation as Cristian asked my parents' permission to marry me. They said Yes, of course! Boy was it interesting being part of that conversation! As the translator I didn't necessarily participate much, but rather observed and repeated. So lovely to see a wonderful, godly young man nervously explain why he wants to spend the rest of his life with me!

To be continued....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Patience Please

I've been so proud to say that even though I seem to make up for it with other ailments, it has been 9 months or so since I have had a cold or the flu. Moving to Caracas complete with a huge population and much public transit wiped out my immune system for a while last fall, but as the year progressed it seemed to get stronger and I healthier. I'm afraid I finally must swallow my pride though and admit that I've been gotten... and that I've been gotten good this time. I have no voice, and I do believe that I can hear the entire wind section of an orchestra warming-up when I breathe deeply.

So to those awaiting a phone call or response to something, and to those who may not yet know that they are awaiting a phone call from me... Have patience. I am completely convinced that a phone call, however much later than anticipated, in which one can hear and interpret the speech of the person on the other end is much more valuable than a prompt phone call with absolutely nothing, or perhaps some wheezing on the other end.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I would like to announce that I am the proud new owner of quite the sunburn. 

For those who don't know me well, I have olive-ish skin which generally tans like crazy but never burns and turns red. After living in Venezuela for two years, just two and a half weeks away from my return to the US... I have my very first Venezuelan sunburn! Actually it is my first real sunburn in as long as I can remember! 

I spent most of this last week in Mérida (where I lived last year). I was there to help orient a group of 12 american students and Campus Crusade staff who arrived last Friday for what we call a Summer Project. They will be in Mérida for about 5 weeks sharing their faith and building relationships with Venezuelan students. I spent all day on campus Thursday and as a result have a beautiful burn. It just makes me laugh, as I equally spent time on campus last year and never got burnt!

Hopefully my beautiful tank top stripes will go away before the wedding in which I´ll be a bridesmaid in just 3 weeks!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Fruitloop phenomenon

Generally I am a pretty natural, healthy food sort of girl. Nothing overly sugary, pumped with chemical coloring or salt. My motto tends to be something of the "Made by nature, I'll take it; Made by man, no thanks" sort. 

I made the horrible mistake however a few weeks back of going to the grocery store while incredibly hungry. Low and behold there was a whole section of Fruitloops. For some reason they called my name, with gusto. It may be that I was so hungry that anything sounded tasty. It may be that I had some sort of sugar or chemical coloring deficiency in my diet at that moment. Or it may simply be that there it was, something familiar and overly American staring me in the face. Perhaps I was homesick that day. Whatever the reason, I proudly took home my box of Fruitloops and proceeded to consume them a little too quickly in the following days. 

I think I have become addicted. Is there a 12-Step Program for Fruitloop addicts? I just bought my 3rd box today, so I guess I'm not going through them that quickly. I still can't decide however whether I really just like them a lot, or if it again is the familiarity to home. Home of course being the US and not my actual home, as Fruitloops would never in a million years have entered my home as a child.

Ode to TP

I am currently meditating on how very thankful I am for toilet paper. It had never crossed my mind before living in Venezuela as something to be thankful for. In the US it is so incredibly easy to find, always present in numerous styles, sizes and scents, and always in abundance. This is not always the case in Venezuela. On numerous occasions in the last two years we have experienced a scarcity of TP. Last year on a visit from the North West our leadership even packed an entire case of TP in their suitcases to bring to us. 

I have a new respect for this simple daily item. I have consciously counted how little I can get away with using each day. I have used napkins, kleenex, paper towels and even notebook paper as replacements. Yes, today I am so very thankful for toilet paper. 

I almost leapt with joy when I saw a few packages on the shelf in the store today. We haven´t seen it in any stores since last week, when of course we had plenty. I thought to myself... I wonder how many packages I can get away with buying? I wonder if like milk when it was hard to find last year, there is a limit to one or two per family? So I bought two packages and I also bought several packages of kleenex, just in case there is again no TP to be found when we begin to run low again. And here I am, happily home with my toilet paper... writing about it for all the world to see.