Sunday, July 3, 2011


Okay peeps I know it's been a long time and I have no excuse other than that I am just that lazy at writing.

As most of you know I am currently in Rome and will be here until the end of August.  You may think that I spend all of my time here sightseeing but that is in fact not true.  I spend only my Sundays sightseeing and that's only if I'm not too lazy to go out.

As it so happened I was not too lazy to go out today and I was well rewarded for my efforts to get up out of bed at the early hour of 8:30 am.  My plan for today was to go to the American Catholic Church here in Rome called Santa Susanna for 10:30 am Mass. This church happens to be very near the Piazza della Reppublica.  Below is a picture of me at this Piazza. It was, however, not taken today but approximately 2 or 3 weeks ago:

Anyway I attended Mass there and then proceeded to go to view one of my favorite Bernini sculptures called the Ecstasy of St. Theresa which is across the street from Santa Susanna in a church I don't know the name of.

After this I wandered into another church I don't know the name of.  I instantly liked this church because it was well lit and mostly by natural light streaming in through the windows in the circular rotunda above.

After this I went over to one of the Tourist Information kiosks that can be found throughout the city to ask where I could find one of my favorite paintings by Caravaggio The Conversion of Saul.  I was informed of it's location and I headed on my lunch. 

Where did I go? Was it to a fantastic little restaurant where the most delicious Italian food could be found?...No, I went to Subway.  What? In my defense I haven't had a sandwich since my trip to Singapore in December and an added bonus to eating at Subway was that it cost me only 6 Euros for a full meal which is a pretty damn good deal considering how expensive a meal like that can be in this city.

Anyway, after my lunch I headed out in search of The Conversion of Saul.  I got on the Metro, which is the underground subway system and started my journey to the Church which was not very far at all.  As I was standing in the subway car paying attention to the stop, I suddenly felt something like fur or hair graze against my elbow.  I looked down and saw this cute little five year old girl.  She suddenly looked up and gave me the biggest grin.  She smiled for what seemed like a long time and I wondered "Why is she still smiliing?" when it dawned on me that she was waiting for a smile back.  It hadn't even occurred to me to do that.  When it hit me, however, I grinned back and that's when she looked away as to say "That's all I was waiting for."  Anyway it was definitely a highlight of my day.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of her but, unfortunately, it all happened too fast.

Anyway back to the Caravaggio painting.  I was told that it was in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo

which is in the Piazza del Popolo.

So I headed there, only to find that the front of the church was closed.  I thought it might be open somewhere in the back and I headed up some stairs that I thought might take me to the back of the church but actually did not.  Instead they led me to the magnificent Villa Borghese which is a huge park in Rome.  My disappointment at finding the church closed was quickly changed to joy when I realized I was in the park.  I was just in the right mood to take a walk which is what I did.  Today being Sunday the park was full of locals and tourists alike, happily intermingling.  It seemed like a fantastic day to be in the park.  I wandered over to a bench near a small man-made lake and just read and people watched for an hour or so.

The day was perfect.  It was not too hot or too cool.  Families were out in force enjoying themselves.  It was really kind of cool because everyone seemed to be either peacefully relaxing on the green or happily walking or biking with their families down the paths.  I have never seen so many children here in Italy at one time and the most extraordinary thing was that I did not hear a child cry the entire time I was in the park.  I also did not see anyone at all angry with anyone else.  It was as if everyone agreed that Sunday would truly be a day of rest.  Rest from not only work but also from anger or worry.  It was really a treat to be in that park because it kept me in a happy mood throughtout the day.

Later in the day when I left the park and on my way home I was happy to find out that Santa Maria del Popolo  would in fact open today and all I had to do was wait 20 or so minutes. After the doors opened I walked inside and immediately started my search for Caravaggio's painting after, of course, acknowledging the presence of Christ on the altar.  I paid little attention to anything else in the beautiful church which I failed to get a picture of in my determination to find the painting.  I searched the left side of the church and then the right side and then the front but found nothing.  I wondered if maybe the lady at the tourist office had given me the name of the wrong church when I felt compelled to sit on a pew on the left side of the church asking God to open my eyes to see the painting if it was in fact there and you know what happened?  Of course you know what happened.  I saw the painting from the corner of my eye.  It was actually on the side wall of one of the interior chapels.  Difficult to see if you don't know it's there and also difficult to see if that chapel happens to be in the dark which it was when I walked in.  Anyway not only did I find Caravaggio's Conversion of Saul but also his Crucifixion of St. Peter. I stood staring at both of these paintings (one at a time because they're on opposite walls of the chapel) for a long time.  I was so happy to see what I had long ago studied in my Art History class in college.  It was amazing.  I felt so happy when I left.

My day had ended on definitely a good note.  I didn't even mind almost missing my bus on my way home.  (God was kind to me, however, and I managed to make it.)  I'm sorry that I could not post any photos of the paintings but as many of you may know some places do not welcome photos of famous paintings.

Today was truly a blessing and I am so grateful for it as not every day in Rome is as it was today.

Anyway I'm thinking of going back there again before I leave Italy.  Not just to the church but to the Villa Borghese since today turned out to be such a great day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Animals and other difficulties

Okay I'm gonna make this quick.  I already ranted about this on Facebook but I feel I must do it here also.

The animals in Indonesia are driving me crazy!  I almost stepped on a poisonous green snake last week as I walked to my house at night.  I raised my foot to take another step and I caught sight of the snake just in time, just before I put my foot down.  It was ready for me, it raised its horrible lime green head ready to lunge at me but I was too quick.  I screamed, and turned and ran.  I called one of the convent workers to kill the snake but, unfortunately, the snake had already ran or slithered away and was unable to be exterminated.

Oh there's another mouse in my pantry!  I'm sick of mice!  They're so disgusting!  but they come in the poorly built house which has holes in the wall where the sink pipes go through.  The most recent mouse found a home in a portable kind of oven I have in the house.  I was gonna use the oven to make cookies but now that's a no-go. Gross.

There are pigs that constantly come into my yard and I suspect knocked down part of my poorly constructed fence that fenced plants which are now being eaten quite freely by the pigs.

There was a gigantic spider in my bathroom a couple of weeks ago.  It carried a huge egg sack.  I tried to spray the spider and in the process she dropped her sack.  As soon as she dropped the sack it started spilling out hundreds of baby spiders which I quickly exterminated.

There are cats that poop on my patio.  There are stray dogs that sleep on my patio.  There are roosters that crow all the time and chickens that are constantly digging and searching for food in my yard.

There are tiny ants in my house that eat anything and everything that is not put in a plastic container with a tight lid.  There are medium sized black ants that are all around the outside of my house and somehow I always manage to find some of these ants crawling all over me.  How they get on me, I don't know. Oh there are also huge red ants that have a mean bite on the second story of my house.

The animal situation stresses me out and it wouldn't so much if there was some way I could just keep them all from coming inside my house.  Oh well.  It's a difficulty to offer up to God and it adds character.  How?  I don't know.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I just came back to Indonesia from Singapore a few days ago.  Before I arrived in Singapore I thought I would finally have a chance to act like any other tourist...but my first day there made me realize that wasn't exactly possible.

What I mean is that I'm a missionary.  I live in a poor rural community in Indonesia where $5 for a T-shirt is considered crazy expensive and anything over $10 for pants is considered ridiculous.  Needless to say that coming from this environment and going to Singapore, a shopper's paradise, was overwhelming and strange.  I felt so out of place in Singapore my first day, like I didn't belong there.  It seemed I was looking at a familiar sight but from a greater distance.  I don't know if that makes sense.

I wanted to buy a few clothes and nice shoes in Singapore because it's virtually impossible for me to find any clothes that fit me properly in Indonesia because most stores there sell clothes made for the typical Indonesian woman who is tiny.  At first I was looking at items and looking at the price from Indonesian eyes.  Thinking that a shirt over $10 was outrageous.  Don't get me wrong, I could afford to spend more but I also felt a bit guilty being able to afford things that were considered expensive where I normally live in Indonesia.  I initially tried to find shirts for $5 but soon I began to realize that I could not apply Indonesia pricing to items found in Singapore or else I would never find anything.  Slowly I began to spend more and more money for certain items and I will not lie, at first it was a bit painful, but soon, like a true American, I got into the swing of shopping and, although, I still checked myself with regard to several items I no longer looked at clothing items though Indonesian eyes but started to use my American vision.  Even by my American eyes certain items were still too expensive (did I mention my eyes are those of a cheap American?) but other things were not so bad.  I didn't go wild in spending but I did indulge in a few things like a Starbucks hot chocolate which I felt guilty about as soon as I paid for it, but it was delicious despite my guilt.  Anyway spending became easier as I was in Singapore longer and as I told a friend its easier to spend money when the people around you have money and have no problem spending it. 

Did I mention that shopping is not really an option but a must in Singapore? You can't not shop there because the government makes it impossible by building over 250 malls in the space of what the CIA Worldfact book says is a country about 3.5 times the size of Washington D.C.  It's no joke that they have a mall like on over block and my guide must have said at least 5 times "That mall just opened..." or "A new mall is opening up there soon."

Anyway enough about shopping.  While in Singapore I went to the Botanical Gardens, which I will admit was kind of boring and hot.  December is not flower blooming season in Singapore, and although, there were some nice orchids and others it wasn't a feast for the eyes.  I still got some decent pics of orchids, though.  Although at the Botanical Gardens I did go into a place called the Cool House and I promise you that get what you're promised.  The Cool House was incredibly cool!  It was made to duplicate mountainous climates where certain wild orchids grow.  The Cool House was an incredible refuge in the Singaporean heat.  My guide will tell you that I was extremely reluctant to exit that glorious place.  Better than AC building, I'll tell you that.

Later in the week I went to Chinatown which was really cool.  I bought 30 mooncakes to bring back to the girls at the Women's Training Center where I teach English.  Those mooncakes were freshly made with red bean past filling-that's right red bean filling.  Sounds gross to one who has never eaten beans in a dessert but in reality it is quite delicious.  There were many shops there with Chinese products and decent prices.  One of my exciting finds was 12 sets of redwoodish kind of chopsticks in beautiful Chinese fabric holders for $10.  Gifts or oleh-oleh as they're called in Indonesia for the Sisters in my community.  Lots of shopping in Chinatown and I also managed to find a nice blouse for $20ish which I was told by my guide was a "very reasonable" price.

In Chinatown I entered a Hindu temple and I observed as Hindus gathered to pray.  It was really interesting because I had never seen people pray like that.  There was a person playing this long thin horn and another beating on a drum and there was the smell of incense in the air and there was a man barechested wearing ankle length fabric holding a metal tree full of small candles in his hands.  He moved it around a statue in a circular motion and the people gathered there either put their hands together in prayer pose over there heads and raised their hands up slowly or simply bowed down on the floor.  It was really quite interesting.  I enjoyed seeing it.

I also went to Little India while I was in Singapore which had a lot of shopping also.  I entered another temple there but no prayer was going on at the time which kind of disappointed me.  Oh well.

Another thing worth mentioning about Singapore is that one of it's main shopping mall roads called Orchard Road was beautifully lit up for Christmas.  The main colors for Christmas this year being purple and blue.  There were many beautiful trees and it was wonderful to finally see Christmas.  Sure Christmas lights are not the true meaning of the season but twinkling lights are something that I have always associated with the holiday and I missed them because in my part of Indonesia they don't commonly have Christmas lights.  I was like a child going down that Road 'wow-ing' as I passed this beautiful Christmas tree and that amazing Christmas light display.  It was special for me.

There's more to tell about my visit but that will have to wait for some other day.  Anyway Merry Christmas to all!  I hope it's a fantastic day for all and I hope we all remember why we celebrate this day.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

3 and a half months later

Okay yes, it's been a long time.  I apologize.  No good excuses just laziness and only weekly access to the internet if even that.  Updates are as follows:

I am alone now.  Mary left me in early June as you who are avid readers of this blog may already know.  No other volunteers are coming to join me at the moment but that's okay.  I'm actually happier than I was last year.  I think its right what they say when they say two years abroad is better than one because after a year you become more familiar with the culture and how to do things in that culture and you also become more comfortable in using a a language, even if you still speak it like a 2 year old, you become a very confident 2 year old.

I am still teaching English at the Women's Training Center and I teach some outside students also.  I am not currently teaching the middle school kids but I miss them so much that I think I will ask the Sisters if they will give me permission to teach those kids again in January.  They are really the sweetest kids ever since they are taught to respect their elders.  I can't believe I'm an elder, I remember being a sweet kid like it was yesterday.  Yes, I was sweet (most...some...of the time).  I think part of the reason kids in America are not so sweet is because they are taught, as we all were, that it is important to be an individual, to question authority.  I don't think it was specified, however, how a kid should question an adult's authority (i.e. in a respectful manner).  Anyway here kids don't really question adults' authority.  I have yet to decide to what extent that is good or bad.  Anyway I'm happy they don't talk back to me and as they don't disrespect me I don't disrespect them, not accounting for cultural differences/misunderstandings.

Anyway my house is constantly a mess as I am much to lazy to clean an incredibly large house that requires constant maintenance.  Screens need to be changed, curtains added, bugs killed and so on and so on.  Oh the other day my house flooded again due to unseasonable heavy rain. 

It should be dry and brown right now but rain, which has apparently not been seen in these parts for many years, is preventing things from browning.  I don't know if its good or bad.  On the plus side, there's still water.  On the minus side, farmers cannot clear and prepare their land for planting next year's rice.

Oh my computer is kind of broken at the moment because I stupidly tried to watch a burned Sex and the City dvd and the stupid dvd did something to my computer.  The punishment fits the crime but as a result I can't listen to music because my music is on my computer and I'm going insane.  I need music! How can people live in silence all the time?  Maybe God wants me to figure something out in the silence but so far I have just focused on how I miss noise.  I think I need to tune in to God but that's not easy.  I have tried to grow spiritually but I think God is calling for more effort.  I wish I wasn't so stubborn, though.

Oh have I forgot to mention, there's a doctor from Jakarta at the Sister-run clinic now.  He'll be there for at least four more months.  He's my age and a doctor already.  Its strange because in the States doctor's don't become full fledged doctors until they're at least 30 years old but in Indonesia it does not take nearly as much time.  The youngest doc I've met has been 24 years old and no he wasn't like an intern or resident.  Anyway Doc (as I like to call him) speaks excellent English.  He also has been kind enough to help with the Guys' band I am in charge.  Actually he's pretty much taken over the Guys' band teaching them religious songs (since he is a musician also).  That's fine with me, since I know nothing about playing instruments.

Canasta night is something new that started when I came back from my traveling around the island these three months.  Every Sunday night I play Canasta with the Sisters.  For those of you not familiar with Canasta, you need to play with a partner.  Every Sunday there are three teams of two.  Last Sunday I played with Doc (who is also included in these games), whose name is Raymond, as my partner.  Our team name being Raylia, a combo of names thanks to the Sisters.  Next time I will insist on Cecmond.  Anyway I like and hate playing Canasta.  I like it because its fun and I hate it because I always lose!  So last Sunday, sure enough my team lost and the Sisters decided to make things more interesting by making the 3rd place team (i.e. the losers) sing an Indonesian children's song, complete with hand motions.  I was not happy because I did not agree to do this before the game began, but my wonderful partner took it upon himself to agree on my behalf so I was stuck.  I was consoled, however, by seeing Doc, was not happy with the situation either.  Anyway we got through it, Doc sang and hand-motioned and I only hand motioned as I don't know the song.  It was still fun, though.  This Sunday, though, I hope to kick some Sister butt, no offense Sisters!

One last thing to add.  I was locked in my bedroom this morning.  I lock my bedroom every night as it faces the outside, motel style, but this morning I could not unlock it no matter how much I tried.  I had gotten all ready for morning daily Mass and was ready to go but my damn door wouldn't open.  What was worse was that I had to wait like 30-45 minutes to text someone for help because the Sisters were all in Mass.  As there was nothing I could do to get out I decided to mandi (bathe using a bucket full of water and a scoop) in my bathroom (thank goodness for having a personal bathroom).  I mandi-ed using ice cold water.  Usually in the morning I heat up my bathing water on the stove downstairs as the water is really cold in the mornings and heated shower water is an unknown luxury.  Anyway heated water could not be had this morning because of the imprisonment situation so I mandi-ed with cold water.  When I was done I considered any other way I could get out, thinking it would be humiliating to text the Sisters that I was locked in my bedroom and couldn't get out.  I figured everyone in the village would hear about the situation and I would be teased mercilessly.  I tried desperately one last time to unlock my door and as if by magic the door unlocked like there had never been a problem to begin with.  Oh life...

One last thing.  Celebrated Halloween last Sunday by giving out candy to the girls at the Women's training center and a few other people.  Halloween is an unknown holiday in Indonesia.  Many people think its funny that adults and children alike dress up in weirdo costumes.  Many think its strange that children go around house to house asking strangers for candy.  One girl asked me if this tradition of children going from house to house to house asking for candy was well known amongst the American people because if she had children coming to her house dressed in strange clothes asking her for candy she would just tell them to go away.  Anyway I made the girls (who are approximately 20 years old) trick or treat for their candy.  I closed the classroom door and told them to say Trick or Treat and if they did not say it correctly I would not give them candy but close the door and make them do it again.  The girls thought it was the most hilarious thing in the world and they could not stop laughing.  I told them they sounded almost authentic except the children in the States don't laugh hysterically when they say Trick or Treat.  I appreciated they played along however.  It made me feel a little better about missing Halloween in the States.

Okay this is a new record.  I have been at the internet for almost 2 and half hours.  Now it is time I go so until next time...Happy Belated Halloween.  Hopefully I'll talk to you again around Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Past Month

Okay, so I was away for a month in Timor L'este.  I am now back in my village but not for long I go away for another month on Sunday, but it is only to a city 5-7 hours drive from here called Kupang.

Anyway about my trip to Timor L'este.  I spent three weeks in the second biggest city in TL known as Baucau.  I stayed with the Canossian Sisters in that city.  I would have normally stayed in the volunteer house except that the house was full with people, Trisha, another American volunteer, the four Timorese teachers she lives with, and Trisha's sister, Alyssa and boyfriend, Greg, who were visiting for a couple of weeks from the States.  Anyway living with Sisters is interesting.  I had my own room in the convent but no privacy.  Although my door would many times be closed the Sisters would walk in (to call me for meals) without so much as knocking.  Mother Merlinda, the Mother Superior of the community would poke me in the stomach sometimes when she felt I wasn't eating enough.  Funny at first and then not so funny.  The World Cup began when I was there and who what of though Sisters were such avid soccer fans?  Well every night we watched soccer and they cheered just as loudly as any men I know when the team they favored made a goal.  I'd like to say more about living with the Sisters but that would take up too much of this blog post.

Anyway during my time in Baucau, I worked on the small library they were trying to set up for the girls' vocational school there.  I also learned how to make soap.  The vocational school has girls who have graduated from there earning a living my making a variety of different soaps.  The soaps are all made with palm and coconut oil.  They have like 10 different kinds such as lavender, lemongrass, Timor coffee, and so on.  Anyway I helped with the process and its interesting and fairly easy.  While there I also joined one of the cooking classes there.  The girls in that class where being trained for restaurant work.  The girls in general couldn't believe it when I told them that I didn't know how to cook and that I didn't know how to sew and that I was basically useless as a woman.  They liked that I tried to learn stuff, though.  I learned a couple of new things through the cooking classes.  Too bad we don't have some of the ingredients in the States that they have on this island.  You know i have seen many a strange fruit and vegetable here.  Well strange to me because they don't grow in the States.  Speaking of food, I should probably mention that I have never eaten as many different parts of plants as I have here.  I eat a lot of leaves and a lot of flowers here.  What's strange is that I find many of the flowers here are delicious.  I wonder what flowers we can eat in the States but don't.

I enjoyed my time in Baucau and kept busy for awhile.  It was relatively peaceful in the city but it can be very tense at times also.  Walking down the street I don't feel comfortable saying hello to strangers whereas in Indonesia I feel perfectly comfortable greeting people and people are always very kind.  I think this is because in the east there are many foreigners whereas in the west, where I live, there are virtually none.  I'm treated as an important person in my community many times just because I'm a foreigner.  This is really strange to me because I'm nobody special in the States.  I'm just a regular person but here people are pleased to shake my hand and treat me as an honored guest.  Its interesting and I'm not too sure I altogether like it.

There's a lot more to tell, like when the men at the bus depot in TL tore my luggage fighting over who got to take me in their bus, but I gotta get going now as I am in the city and have to go to the bank and to the travel company place to buy tickets. Til next time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


A few things to tell you.

Mary left our village on Tuesday June 1st.  She left Indonesia on Thursday June 3rd.  When leaving our village you have to make several stops along the way.  Usually it goes a bus from Nurobo (village) to Kupang (capital city of the Indonesian province), then a domestic flight from Kupang to Jakarta and then Jakarta to any international city.  It can take as little as 3 days to get home or as many as you choose it to take.

So I'm alone and I feel the loneliness of it.  I am currently in Timor L'este (country on the East side of Timor Island, separate from Indonesia).  I had to leave Indonesia to pick up passport pages because my passport was already full and the American Embassy in TL is closer to me than any other in Indonesia.  I was supposed to leave Indonesia on Thursday June 3rd but got rejected at the border by TL because of some new policy for foreigners traveling by land trying to enter TL.  I was not happy but as bad as it feels to be humiliated and rejected at the border its still could have been worse and I am grateful to all the people who helped me on my way back to my village.

So I was forced to try again on Friday.  Needless to say I didn't want to but I was later informed by Sr. Aurora, whom I called from the border telling her of my rejection, that she called someone and I got special permission to enter again.  Prior to trying to reenter TL I went to my local immigration office in Indonesia to speak with the officer handling my Indonesian visa requests.  He said he got a call from the border from the Indonesian officers stating that a pretty American girl got rejected by TL.  I laughed out loud when he said this because I thought it was funny I was described this way.  Prior to this, the same officer commented on my weight loss and said I looked "pas" meaning perfect (not true by the way, I'm still overweight).  I think its funny how in Indonesian culture calling someone, fat, thin, or pretty is just stated as a matter of fact.  If you were to call someone fat in American it means you are trying to be mean, thin, you are either envious or trying to be mean, or pretty you're trying to hit on that person.  Its not the same in Indonesia, however.  They are pretty direct here at least when it comes to things like looks. Anyway I digress.

I talked to the officer at the immigration office and later headed to the border to try again.  The Indonesian officers told me that the Timor L'este officers said I would be allowed to enter that day.  I was allowed to enter and I was also given a lecture on how I now need to apply for a visa beforehand.  I was not in a mood for a lecture so I cut the officer off by saying "Sudah tahu" meaning "I already know."

So I am now staying with the Sisters in Dili, Timor L'este.  I plan to be traveling to another city in this country to visit the American volunteer here.  The Italians are in Bali and oh how I envy them.  I haven't had much to do.  I came on a weekend so the American Embassy was closed.  I went to the Embassy today (Monday), however, and was taken care of very quickly.  I think its funny how the officers at the Embassy become very relieved and much nicer when I attempt to speak Indonesian with them.  The officers are locals.  Actually all people here become much nicer when a person attempts to speak their language or a language known to them.  I think its true anywhere.  I remember when I was in Italy all these Italian people would be unpleasant and gruff with us foreigners whenever we spoke English but when we attempted Italian even if poorly attempted they instantly smiled and became kinder.

Anyway, yesterday I got a little break from my boredom here.  I joined a procession for the Feast of Corpus Christi.  There were hundreds of people and it was a long procession.  They separated the procession into types of people like students, aspirants, novices, sisters, brothers, priests and all kinds of other groups.  I joined the aspirants as they didn't have a special section for volunteers.  They prayed the rosary in the local language of Tetun (I think that's how you spell it).  I actually enjoyed myself and found myself meditating a bit which always good.  I almost passed out at the end of the procession when we reached the ceremony place because I was dehydrated.  I prayed that I wouldn't, though, and I didn't.

I am supposed to help out in Baucau these next couple of weeks.  I don't know what I'm supposed to do but we'll see.  I just want to be kept busy because having aloneness forced upon you is not the same as choosing to be alone.  Its not so bad, however, and I'm sure this is serving to help me in some way.  It would be nice to know how something is benefiting you as its going on but then maybe it wouldn't be as beneficial.  Anyway that's it for today.  As always I miss you all and to Mary I hope you're enjoying your time back home how I wish you were here to do stuff with me but oh well.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mary's Leaving

I will be officially alone on June 3, 2010 because Mary has chosen that date to leave me. So I will be alone for three months. A new volunteer will not come until this September. I will going to the East side of the island again, however on the same date Mary leaves me. She will be headed to the West and I to the East.

Lately, I have been missing home a great deal more than usual. I miss the comforts of home. I miss not having to translate everything from advertisements to what people say to me all the time. I miss being able to drive my car to the store. I miss not having a 5 second delay in phone conversations with friends and business people in America. I miss fast meals. I miss regular Internet access. I don't miss television, however. I miss deposits in my bank account (I'm tired of just having withdrawals). I miss knowing how to get things done in a system I understand. I miss a lot of stuff.

Even with all I miss, however, I still find many things here I like. I mainly like the people. I love the children and the friends I've made here. I like the sweetness of the middle school children. I love the way everyone raises a child, meaning that here, a child will be watched and taken care of by adults and children who are not related to the child at all. The people are what will make this place difficult to leave but at least I don't have to think about that for awhile.

I've been freaking out about going back home in a year, though. I have no idea what I'm going to do. There are many options but I don't know what the best path to take is. I have been praying to the Holy Spirit to guide me because I'm feeling a bit lost about my future. I think the fact that I'm turning 27 soon is making me really think about my future. I am going to be officially in my late 20s and I don't like the idea of that especially since I have a ways to go before I consider myself an adult. Okay that's it for today. Until next time.