Monday, November 30, 2009

A Bailar!

For our Thanksgiving Dinner Show,
I decided to do 9 genres of dance
in a five minute time frame.
Super informal and super FUN!
For those of you who don't have facebook,
I thought you might need to add a laugh to your day.
This is really how I dance in my room alone...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My fire by night, My cloud by day

Whew, may I just say my life is never boring? No, honestly. I insist upon this declarative statement. This past Friday night I was at a friend's house preparing for an event we had coming up on Saturday. Well, as we were dropping off the people from our group, I knew by the first stop I couldn't go any further. There were storm clouds brewin' within. I have always had a sensitive stomach, but I can count on two hands how many times I have thrown up in my life. From 2am until 10 am, however, I was at my friend's house doing nothing than just that.

I won't get too graphic, but I was rushed to the emergency room to rehydrate my body, with an intravenous. Also, a shorter lady came into my hospital room with this honker of a needle and said, "I need to put this in your gluteus. Please turn around." I looked at Dove, my dear friend, and with an appalled look on my face, said, "Is she for real???" So, for the first time, my butt was attacked with a needle. Wowzers. We were in the hospital for about 6 hours, recuperating and waiting for results. At the end, they said I had an infectious bacteria -- meaning it could have been food poisoning or that I caught it from someone else.

Either way, I have been in my bed for the last 24 hours, just relaxing and sipping on my long-lost love, Yellow Gatorade. Yet, I would also like to reaffirm how God has been so faithful in it all. Even to the point of blood, bile, or whatnot, I know that He cares even about the small things in my life. That's what makes our Heavenly Father so different, so relational. The following song keeps coming to my head:

Luke Wood - A Picture of Your Love.
Your love is the rock that I cling to.
Your name is the tower that I run into.
Your strength is what lifts my head when it's bowed low.
Your song is the light that shines through my window.

And like the sun after all the rain is gone,
The morning without any cloud comes.
With a picture of your love.
And when I think of the stars so high over me,
The moon in the darkness lets everyone see
A picture of your love.

After the Rain has fallen.
...the sweetest name remains on my soul.
After the rain has fallen, after the clouds all role away,
...the sweetest name remains on my soul.

Cause you're faithful, you're always the same.
You're faithful, know you never change.
You're faithful, you're always good. Always good.

Though I walk through the valley of shadow of death,
I have no doubt, you have already gone ahead.
My fire by night, my cloud by day.
Though ten thousand fall to my right and my left,
under the shadow of the most high, I find rest.
My fire by night, my cloud by day.

I'm still lovin' life and taking everything one day at a time.
I cannot believe that in TWO weeks, I will be in PATAGONIA.
Let the good times roll.
Sending a hug from CHILE! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Give Thanks

In a nutshell, the city of Mendoza, Argentina was one of my favorite trips I've taken here; I never thought I would enjoy it so much. For pictures and more stories, I refer you to the link "Argentine Adventure" (remember, you can click on the thumbnails to see in a larger format)
Fall is one probably my favorite seasons -- perhaps because of the leaves, the bonfires, or maybe because of Thanksgiving. Each time I travel, I become more grateful for my country, my family, or other things I tend to take for granted. On the other side, seeing other ways of life also allows you to appreciate the simple things of life, loving both the host culture as well as your own. Therefore, just imagine what 5 months in another country can do to a person. :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! A verr... It shall be in a Chilean version, I suppose.
I am thankful for:
-my ears to hear whatever genre of music on the micro bus, the cats screaming outside my window at night, the ocean waves, a laugh, a voice.
-my nose to smell fish markets, lavender, perfume/cologne, bakery goodies.
-my arms to hug.
-my feet to dance, to skip merrily about, to hike up killer hills, to walk out of obscene classroom discussions.
-my eyes. my eyes to see. to see all the beautiful and majestic creation God has given to us, simply overlooked.
-my health, only three flea bites and a few bruises from different "adventures." nothing more serious than that.
-my comfy bed where I sleep every night, avoiding extreme cold or heat.
-eating three times a day, if not more. not having to look through the garbage cans on each street hoping for the next meal.
-security. trust. I love how in America we can ask a friendly stranger nearby to keep an eye on our stuff while we go to the bathroom... or leave our laptops openly out in the library as we go grab lunch in the next building.
-warm showers in general.
-nondripping faucets.
-wearing a backpack as a backpack, not hanging and protected in the front.
-always having toilet paper fully loaded in the stall in the bathrooms, in restaurants and random stores alike. the end.
-buying fish without the bones, not having to worry about politely taking out the 73 mini-bone structures found in a fish.
-my own car and little scooter. although I don't mind public transportation at all now, I have come to realize what a privilege it is to sit down in a car and be driven directly to a place. ever thought about it?
-the ability to read and write. boy, we take this for granted.
-being raised with old-fashioned ideals, to be a lady (although I don't seem to always achieve this)
-everything my parents have done, said, given, and shown to me -- such trust, respect, freedom, wisdom, maturity, love mutually given. thank you.
-to be in Chile for 5 months, to reunite with dear friends and my family upon return.

Above all, I am so grateful for my intimate, precious relationship with Christ. He not only gives me a purpose & hope in living life day-to-day but a pure joy & satifaction in doing so...

de tal manera me amó
de tal manera me amó
cristo en la cruz
del calvario murió
de tal manera me amó


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My next trip calls me to the Argentine soils. Mendoza is the city.
We are taking a daytime bus there to see
the Andes Mountains up-close and personal
separating the two countries of CH and ARG.

Artisan markets, canopying, paragliding, thermal springs...
delicious meat, singing accents, chocolate factories, wine trails... who knows what might be in store?
Stay posted.
Nov 19 -22

Sunday, November 15, 2009

El Tiempo Vuela

It has been a month since I've last blogged! Golly Moses. You must know that I still love you, dear reader, but I was diverting myself entirely too much here in Chile to put my adventures to pen. :)

In the past month,
**I have camped out overnight at the beautiful Laguna Verde ("Green Lagoon") -- a green cove at the end of Valparaíso along the beach's shores.
**My program and I traveled to Santiago to learn more about the torture techniques and affects of Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile -- heartbreaking and life lessons. Please take the time to look at the following article:
**Also, last weekend I went with my program to Pucón, 12 hours to the south of Viña del Mar & Valpo. I fell in the mud flat on my face, went advanced white-water rafting, and soaked in some thermal springs. Such stress, no? (see "Pucon-ish" photo link)
**Lately, I have been working on a 6 page paper that analyzes and comments on the 8 stanza poem by Mistral, "La Bailarina." Although Gabriela Mistral doesn't romance a reader to her poems like Mr. Neruda, she has a certain profound sting portrayed. I would encourage you to read a sampling in your free time.
Then last but not least, the theme that inspired me to blog, is my hiking adventure to La Campana ("The Bell") yesterday. This has been on my list of things to do before I leave Chile, a 4-5 hour hike to the summit. APERRADA, hard-core is the ideal adjective. Nonetheless, I could not have gone with a better group-- 3 patient, hilarious Chileans and a beautiful fellow gringa, 5 of us in total. We explored mini-caves, made trails where only rocks existed, played with tarantulas safely, and sang children's songs in Spanish. As far as the hike itself, it was one of the most intense hikes I've done in my life, not counting the hike up the Costa Rican volcano this past summer (whew). When you get 80% to the summit, the other last bit is a one hour hike up pure rocks, at a 45 degree angle. I can see how it could be super dangerous. Yet there were children hiking this - what?! And that was the only thing that gave me motivation, my arrogance, "Well, if these little kiddies can get to the top, so can this pathetic 21 year-old gringa." When you reach the top, it is ALL worth it. Every last panting, sweat ball, tripping, dirt spot, thorn, and extreme thirst. Vale la pena, amigos. I saw the Andes Mountains in a whole new way. (P.S. For those who have known me longer, I had my "hysteria attack" of laughter in our hike climbing down. Nobody knew what to do with me.)

I will leave you to look at the pictures: "La Campana." However, without a doubt, a person should be at the very top handing out buttons as prizes when you finally arrive... something like, "You're a winner", or "Look at this hard-core hiker", or "You wanna talk about sweat?", or "You came with ONE bottled water?", or "Falling on your butt can be sexy", or "You're a Campana champion". Obviously, the buttons would have to be multi-lingual, but it would be a worthy business.