Friday, December 6, 2013

Traveling is to life as a slide is to a swingset.

In the past 2 weeks I've had the sheer joy of leaving Cusco for adventures to the second deepest canyon in the world, the largest lake in South America, and one of the worlds seven wonders (again). I went to Machu Picchu for the second time with Mei, a dear friend from home, Lake Titicaca [for a brief entertaining geography lesson please click here: animaniacs ] and the Colca Canyon where we traversed to the bottom, with big ol' condors circling above, clearly monitoring our vital signs and hoping for our demise. But what beautiful, awe inspiring places! Even with a wide angle lens, I couldn't capture it. Breathtaking. [Side note: I realized however that word breathtaking is a literal translation of your pulmonary capacity when working so hard to get somewhere so beautiful]

Staying in hostels along the way, joining up with fellow adventurers, leads to one of my favorite parts of traveling- meeting people from all over the world. (Then of course friending them on facebook so i have somewhere to stay when i finally go to Spain, or Australia, or Dubai) One night, sitting at a hole in the wall 'Chifa' restaurant, the same questions were asked. "Where are you from" "How long have you been traveling" "Where have you been" "What has been your favorite so far". In comparison to the more romantic answers of people literally traveling the world, 11 months strong, from exotic places, their favorite has been riding elephants in Nepal, or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, my answer always felt a little sheepish.

"I'm in Cusco, volunteering at a special education school and an orphanage. I'll be there for 4 months"

Much less romantic. In moments like those, I wish I had planned these few months differently, spending the money not on rent for a volunteer apartment, but rather for those nights going from cheap hostel to hostel, swapping stories of survival in the bush, swimming with dolphins, yoga retreats in India.

"Oh, that's good of you, Cusco is a nice city"


Well, not exactly, but that was more or less how I interpret those conversations.  Coming back after an exhausting trek, getting off an overnight bus at 4 am, getting back to my rented apartment I've been struck with this contrast. Traveling is to life as a slide is to a swingset. Living in Cusco is fun. There are different things to do, lots to see, lots to explore, but you end up in the same place. Travelers slide through, catch the highlights and move on to the next playground.

Living somewhere like this, so different from all I've known in my life, I've had no choice but to face the challenges that arise, the frustrations with work relationships or cultural issues. The questions asked by fellow volunteers aren't the romantic one either. Its more like "Hey, how are you feeling?" "Have you had diarrhea lately?" I haven't handled these past few months perfectly either. Hardly. I've taken time away, needing to heal, to process, to deal with so many mixed emotions, (the ups and downs of that swingset). Granted, I'm only here for 4 months! This is hardly the long term! But it has been enough to recognize the value of bunkering down, commitment, the long haul. Currently that's where my prayers are. Lord, where do you want me? I need a job as soon as I get home, I have bills that have piled up while being here, but I have that constant wanderlust that stops me from just picking a place and settling. If you are reading this, its probably because you're one of my favorite people. That being said I'm open for bribes...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Machu Picchu, check.

Before I officially decided to come to Peru, I read a book a friend gave me called A Million Miles in A Thousand Years. Or Thousand Miles in a Million Minutes, or something like that.  In it, Donald Miller outlines his quest to train and accomplish this lifetime experience of visiting the ancient city of Machu Picchu, one of the new wonders of the world. Reading it and hearing his conclusion about such adventures, it was a strange confirmation for me. Yes. I'm going. This place is truly a marvel, a wonder, even a mystery still tucked away far in the heights of the Andes. Absolutely breathtaking. 

Before our trip, i became the semi-expert, looking up tours, and guides, and trying to figure how it could be done on our own, price checking, and reading blogs. It was fun planning! It made getting there finally more like a triumph than just a tourist trip. There are 3 ways to get there. The famous Incan trail, 2 or 4 days, but is usually booked really far in advance; the Salcantay trek which is a 5 day trek reaching an altitude of over 20,000 ft before descending 10,000 ft where Machu Picchu rests; and lastly the Inca jungle trek including more adventurous activities like biking, zip lining, and rafting. This last one was the trip my friends and I chose. I went with the volunteers from my program, and we made a lot of new friends on the way, from all over the world. Travel connections? Yes please.

Our first day was mountain biking from Abra Malaga downhill for 2.5 hrs. Thats a lot of downhill, we descended about 9,000 ft. Weeeeeeee!!!!!! It was a blast. I really loved it. By the end though we were all soaked though flying through the rain and clouds. Totally soaked. We got to a little town called Santa Maria next, and I was feeling surprisingly amazing. Lungs, what is this? Full breath of air? Ohhh we're only at 4,000 ft!! the lowest I've been in months. My rib still hurts, but not constantly finally. Coughing is the only time I remember, oh yeah. But that didn't slow me down! We played in the small town there with some kids, enamored with my frisbee. An 11 year old boy donned in Rastafarian gear who we dubbed "Marley" invited us to his bar luring us with cervezas and a pool table. He even popped behind the bar to serve us drinks. Oh Peru. 

Little creep.
The next day was our jungle trek from Santa Maria to Santa Theresa. 6 hours of hiking, about 14 miles through jungle, up and down cliff sides, through the original Incan trail. This is where I met my monkey friends. One of them was a brat and bit off the end of my camelback tube, little sneaky biting pickpocket. I met a little one named Mono Lisa too. She had a mustache. Other animals of significance we encountered on the way were the bugs. Mutant mosquitos that feasted on all our foreign blood. I did my best to keep sprayed and covered and escaped with only minor bites, but boy o boy I did not envy some of the other legs I was staring at during the hike. I was armed with bug spray, even for everyone else. I think the Frenchmen thought I was weird, asking if i could spray their legs because it was making me so uncomfortable, their legs were more like french corn cobs at the end of the trip. Side note though, those frenchmen were a marvel themselves. Smoking at every rest stop, I swear they chain smoked through 2 packs a day and still were in the front of the group, astonishing the rest of us with their pulmonary capacity. The other humbling sight was when I would be huffing and puffing on the side of a mountain, in the middle of the nowhere mind you, and encounter a seasoned Peruvian, easily double my age carrying a load of plants or something heavy, with enough breath to say a full greeting and I could barely mutter "Bien" (sarcastically of course). We had to cross the river (twice, which seems strangely redundant) and the grand finale of our hike was paying a local man 2 soles, about 75¢ to pull us across the river. Very efficient. 

After an 8 hour day, 21 km, we straggled into civilization, feasting our eyes on the famed Santa Theresa hot springs. I don't know if it was because I was so exhausted, or they were as amazing for the well-rested soul, but I was in heaven. Imagine Havasupai, minus the waterfalls, but plus about 40ยบ warmer. Clean, clear, warm water, i felt like a million bucks.

The next day was zip lining. Some will say once you've done one zip line, you've done them all. Well. I'd never zip lined. and it was so so fun. Flying high above a rain forest canopy, on one of the longest and fastest zip lines in South America, i mean.. i was elated. One of the guides even said I was a "natural" as I came in to his platform. If ever someone could be a natural at something so unnatural, i guess that's me. I loved it. The rest of the day was a lot of stairs, walking along the train tracks, double rainbows, and constantly on mosquito defense duty. 

But the next day. THE NEXT DAY. WAS. INCREDIBLE. if you've been there you know how daunted I feel right now to write about a full day exploring Machu Pichu. Oh mercy. From above it you can see it is arranged in sections, with perfectly fitting stones, the mystery enough to keep your imagination running wild. We had a 2 hr tour, but every guide was pretty much saying something different. I chose to draw my own conclusions, theory on its purpose (see below). We hiked Wayna Picchu mountain, the tall mountain spire you see on the post cards. and somehow there were ruins up there as well. (those Incans* were crazy.) That was a harrowing hike, more steep than any I've ever done. It is limited to only 400 people a day because of its dangers and incredibly narrow passages.

*Everytime i write the word Incan I cringe a little because I know better. The whole world is under the wrong impression that the people responsible for Machu Picchu, the Incan empire, etc are called Incans. Well, technically, there was ever only 14 true "Incans". Only one at a time- the king. The people of the empire were actually called Quechua (Keh-chu-ah). I've been continuing that falsehood because saying "those incans were crazy" somehow sounds better than "those quechuans were crazy" Sorry. Lo siento. 
The view from the Sun Gate, the mountain driectly opposite is Wayna Picchu. The city of Machu Picchu is that lighter patch on the left above the road.
Anyway, from there I hiked to the Sun Gate which is the opposite side of the city, matching altitudes to the Wayna Picchu mountain, making for a very long day. It was a beautiful view from there, farther off, it was the portal to the city via the Incan Trail. I stayed up there for about an hour, thinking, marveling, praying. God really met me too, encouraging me in the quiet, His voice for some reason easier to hear closer to the heavens. I snickered to myself a little looking at this wonder of the world, and yes it was incredible, but i lifted my eyes to those mountains, their majesty declaring the quiet strong presence of God. It took 8 million Quechua people over 100 years to build this city, and my God created everything else around it. It started to look incredibly small from this viewpoint.

Lego House. see.
My theory on Machu Picchu? It's very scientific. I believe that it undeniably is a part of the Incan Empire, the Incan trail running right through it and everything. But it was hardly a royal village, or a university. Please, come on. It's so obviously one of God's lego sets. He made the legos out of the rock, and then went to town. (bahaha, get it)

It was the trip of a lifetime, except that I'm probably going to go again while I'm here. Why not!?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yo Soy Americana y Estoy 'Loyal'!

Technically speaking, I'm still in America. Apparently the Global Association of Whoever, otherwise known as "they" decided that its politically incorrect to introduce myself as an American. At least that's what my Spanish teacher tells me. But truly, I've never felt more American than now, being by far the minority though hopefully not in the stereotypical arrogant American way! I respect this culture and that Peruvians live the way they do, however I am not Peruvian. and that's ok! I can have cultural humility and yet love my homeland just as much as the Peruvian. In fact, this realization has led me to recognize this trait in myself, and put it in the spotlight for a second.

Loyalty is generally considered a positive characteristic. Although I am happy to say I am a loyal person, but, as my closest and dearest circle knows, its not always in my favor! Here adjusting to this new way of life, and missing my American conveniences, again it has struck close to my heart. I miss my family, i miss my friends, I miss frosted-mini-wheats, Dunkin Donuts, a steady paycheck, my bike. I miss San Diego beaches, and road signs in English. I miss Helvetica font on store fronts, and I miss one stop shopping at Target. And amazon prime. Boy, do i miss free 2 day shipping.

In some of the lower points during this adjustment process, I've come to elevate some of these conveniences to a place they don't belong. (I would pay big bucks for a donut) And this morning, the Lord has given me clarity and I'm happy to share this with my loyal readers. (Hi mom and dad) The Christian walk is similar to living in another country, choosing to leave the comfortable behind, not following the natural selfish man. And no loyalty to that way of life will do anyone any good. The Lord calls us to forsake mother and father, and to even hate them in comparison to our devotion to Christ. That is SUCH a hard word for someone like me. Someone who fiercely loves the people in her life, her everyday comforts and american cereals. How am I going to make it here in this new world? It was this question that made me recognize this issue of loyalty- and the desperate reality that I need to be loyal to the death [of everything else except] Jesus.

The psalmist David over and over proclaims that only God satisfies his heart, and God is the only one He seeks after, early in the morning, late in the night. His enemies, physical, spiritual, emotional, seek to overwhelm him and He cries out to the One who satisfies his heart. Oh that He would satisfy mine!! Is God enough? Of course! More than enough, but my wandering heart deceives me and those thoughts find me in my low moments and tell me no. Things would be better if only... this. Or I will be having an easier time when... that. Nope. False.

So Peru, here we are. and Lord, here you are. Never leaving or forsaking me. Equipping me with your power and none of my own. Because I've got nothing apart from Him- and He is enough!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Perros, Perils, and Prayers!

 I've been telling my friend Sarah, one of the other volunteers, that i am going to write a 'dog blog' about all the dogs in Cusco! Seriously! There are so many, different colors, sizes, shapes, breeds, and many that look even pure-bred. Where is the puppy farm? There has to be a factory somewhere just churning out these guys. And who knows who or if they belong to anyone, except the ones that clearly guard to the death their front doors and garages. I've seen enough dog on dog, then dog on child and then mom on dog violence to know that animal control isn't a big priority in Peru. 

Another non-priority in Peru is the utilization of dumpsters. Those large, metal, nearly dog proofed bins where human trash can be kept. Meaning on trash mornings, when the night before trash is piled in the streets, the dogs are in scavenging paradise, and those poor trash men have to collect the trash strewn about the entire neighborhood. Which brings me to the traffic patterns in the streets. There isn't one. In fact the only ticket I've seen issued to a driver was for stopping too long on the side of the road, therefore impeding the flow of unlimited speeding cars, with no regard to those dogs, children or pedestrians. They simply don't stop. Most of the traffic is taxis and I once foolishly wondered where do the taxis park when they are off duty? Silly me. They are never off duty. I've begun to recognize some of them by elvis dash board bobble heads, or Virgin Mary fuzzy dice on the rear view mirror. Pedestrians run for their lives. I laughed so hard at this sign, because its run or be run over here in Cusco. We went for a weekend trip and again these taxis are crazy. Please see the attached video for proof. I'm so glad I'm alive.

There have been tragedies also. Just this month 51 people were killed in a bus accident in southern Peru after the bus rolled off a winding mountain road. All on board killed. I'm making that particular trip next month. Prayers appreciated. Also while you're praying, I have had more than a few weeks of trying to recoop from a pain in my left rib cage, either a fracture or a costochondritis but it doesn't really matter because I'm supposed to rest and give it several more weeks. Just this weekend I re-injured it doing the oh-so-dangerous risky behavior of sneezing. I dislocated one of those imported ribs at the a costocartilage joint, and now those angry muscles are back with a vengeance. "How dare you sneeze without bracing yourself on something!" Owwww. Well that means I'm hanging out at home, taking some time to not lift children or do PT with them, but all the while trying to brace myself to lift heavy things like my laptop or coffee cup.

This trip has not been as expected. Oooh life, gets me every time. But who was I to assume that coming to Peru as a PT meant that I would actually do PT, or go to a Peruvian church (which i haven't yet) or eat guinea pig (no that one's ok to skip, no gracias.) But really, it hasn't been as expected. I have felt stretched on every side, culturally, linguistically, emotionally and physically. I'm at maybe 50% of my capacity to.. walk. forget biking. (Cusco is a mountain biker's paradise and even though my heart rate is back to normal and I'm not winded walking up steps at these 11,000 ft, I can hear my body laughing at me when I google Inca bike trails.)

So that leaves me here, in my home casa home, seeking the Lord, my heart choosing to praise him instead of question what kind of cruel trick was it that got me here? For though He slay me, yet will I trust Him, and as my mom wisely told me, a seeking heart will not be ignored.

Friday, October 4, 2013

another dia, another monopoly dollar.

I've become really fond of using spanglish. Its the lazy man's language really because you just say whatever comes to mind, whether may be the english or spanish palabra.. err.. word. See! I think it means I'm learning. Not to be confused with easy though, because its not. My brain is tired of trying and some days I just know I'll never get any better. My fluent roommate Chelsie says that progress is hard to track because one day you just realize "Hey, I understood most of that" and I'm really hoping I get there.

 Perdon, sorry to wake you, Cuanto cuesta por la bolsa?
So! what does life look like in Peru? Let me start with the driving. Everybody here takes taxis for the most part, and they are terrifying. The kind of ride where you definitely should wear a seatbelt, but there's no way you want to strap yourself down in case of emergency. Its getting easier to just trust that I'll make it to my destination *fingers crossed* alive. The money here is another conundrum, i still call it monopoly money. It just doesn't seem real yet. The conversion is definitely to my advantage, the US dollar carrying much further than the Peruvian sole. Making shopping more fun. Alpaca stuff in every shape and size, from head to toe, walls to rugs. and I wish you could feel it! Its so suave!! err... soft. Granted, without income, it still could easily add up quickly. The markets and street vendors have so many things for tourists! And I am a total sucker for souvenirs. Check out this vendor in the local artesian market... look closely. 

Never seen corn like this!
The food! I've spotted several displays that i recognize at first as a fried object in the shape of a rodent. Oh that's just chuy, or fried guinea pig to the less adapted human. They eat mostly carbs, lots of bread and I've never seen corn as big before! My host mom is a phenomenal cook and I have really enjoyed the food! All peruvian wine tends to be.. more like juice. Like the kind on sunday mornings you sip and look around and think "this is wine. no this is juice. no wine. no really old juice." But I'm so thankful that the host family makes all our meals and I've felt to welcomed and comfortable in their home.

I've been unfortunately sick these last few weeks here in cusco, and Rosanna and Lucho kindly took me to a local clinic which brings me to the health care system. There's a national health care system in place, decentralized with lots of confusing players. (sound familiar?) Anyway I had the pleasure of going to a clinic here, San Juan de Dios, and paying $13 for a consult, $18 for a chest xray, and about $23 for the medicines to treat a potential pneumonia. Which brings up another interesting aspect of this culture - bargaining. Next to nothing here has a price tag on it, you have to ask and then name a price and then so do they and back and forth until somebody says ok. They haggle for everything. Even my chest x-ray!! which ultimately I had done in the basement of this obscure building next door to a nail salon, so needless to say I was thrilled that Rosanna (host mom) offered to take me.

The weather, we're in the rainy season now which means random showers, sometimes strong, sometimes drizzling. But RAINBOWS galore! its been a beautiful sight to catch frequently here, but i hope I never get used to it!
There are many more things to keep you updated about, but I'm going to write more later about the school and the orphanage I work with. I've taken this week off to recoop from this frustrating illness, feeling weak though grateful for the continued prayers! And if anyone wants any specific Peruvian handicraft or souvenir, I'm happy to go shopping for you! Keep in touch!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Angelina, La Bonita

When I first got to Cusco, the school director asked me if I had any experience with little ones. One of their newer students was this little one, Angelina. 2 years old, virtually no head control, hypotonic, minimal voluntary movements, with a diagnosis of CP, and likely other neurological involvement. She was significantly visually impaired, with unclear auditory capacity as well. I didn't have access to any medical record for her but I loved her and got to work with her only once or twice. 

Angelina passed away on Tuesday night. We had an anniversary celebration only hours before where I took these pictures. These beautiful images are of a little girl growing up in a tough culture, not friendly to the needs of children with disabilities of any kind. I had recognized my limited resources as a PT quickly, as Angelina could have benefited from durable medical equipment and frequent therapy from all disciplines. At the school, I was looking forward to working with her, her potential, her smile, the joy she brought to her family. These images caught that joy, and her mom that night asked me to get her copies of these pictures. Neither of us at the time knew I would be bringing them to Angelina's memorial. 

Last night when the other volunteers and I arrived in the neighborhood where the memorial was, we were struck by the number of funeral homes, flower shops, churches, and a general sense of heaviness in the air. We were gently warned that this memorial was already in full emotional swing, complete with wailing and shameless display of emotion. I was glad for it. The death of a child is something there are no polite ways around. Its horrible. I walked in the home, these precious pictures in my hand, and when it was my turn to pay my respects to her mother, her precious abuela (grandmother) spotted the pictures and broke down, thanking me for them and taking them over to Angelina's father, currently separated from her mother. What happened next I was totally unprepared for and I'm sure it will be a lasting memory with me forever. Her father, in mid cry, took them and began to cry even harder, "Mi crispita, mi corazon, mi princesa" he wailed. "My curly haired girl, my heart, my princess". I couldn't take my eyes off of him, his grief, his pain, his despair hit me to my heart. 

I had been told that an appropriate condolence was "Pesarme" meaning "Let me take your heaviness", and I felt it. If only I could have known how to say "Let Jesus take your heaviness, your sorrow, your burden" He came for this reason, he became human for this reason, to feel our grief, to be tempted as we are, to know our pain. And then took all suffering, sin and heaviness upon himself and defeated death itself on the cross. Laying down his life, and being glorified by the Father to have victory in LIFE. Life is always something to be valued. Always. The death of this precious curly haired angel reaffirmed this truth in me as I shared in the pain of this family. 

With my eyes fixed on this aching father, I saw him take my pictures and kiss them, wipe his tears with them. These images of a child taken too soon, in a culture not equipped for children with special needs, and in a family broken by the pain and heaviness of grief. "Let me take your heaviness" isn't enough. I can't, I couldn't. I am limited by the language, the culture, not to mention my humanity. The only answer I see is looking to Christ, the only thing that makes sense in a time like this, to the only One who can and will and has taken our heaviness. 

"Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. For I came to bring good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Keep your eyes fixed on me, the way, the truth, and the life."

And life is always something to be valued.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

further up 11,200 feet, literally!

Hi friends! SO. I've been in Peru for 4 full days, after an eventful 22 hrs of travel time from Virginia I made it. Higher than I've ever been in my life, I've definitely felt the altitude the last few days. Some muscle aches, headaches, but thankfully there's this magic Coca leaf tea that has been helpful (and no i can't bring you any back, its illegal) Mmmm. 

me, robbie, chelsie #roomies
steps to my apartment
Where i live: I'm living for now with this sweet host family, the de la Torres, in an apartment with two of the other volunteers at the school. 

Thankfully one of them, Chelsie, is fluent so she's been super helpful for me to start this brain exhaustion called spanish immersion. I'm 4 blocks from the school and about 15 min from the city center by taxi. 

What i've said: I definitely told my host family that my dad tells me that i eat like an airplane. I meant bird. #lostintranslation

Yair and his madre #muyprecioso
What i do: During the week I'll be at the school from about 9-1 and working with kids who primarily have Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome or Autism. I'm with a Peruvian doctor for 2 days of the week, and am helping implement an early intervention morning program for children under 3. The other days seem like they'll be a mix between being a classroom helper and taking kids one on one for individual therapy sessions.

What i've eaten: The food is really good! And if you know me, i eat like a bird remember? This is good news! They eat potatoes and bread and coffee and i really don't think they believe in vegetables! Jk, I've had some corn juice. Corn is a vegetable yeah? 

What i've done: A lot of city exploring, and a few of the Incan ruins around the city. The markets are awesome and not too expensive! Plus it's really cold here at night so I've needed to gear up with all this warm alpaca wear that is the softest thing i've ever felt. Today we went horseback riding through some of the ruins outside the city. A fortress called Sacsayhuaman which was completed in 1508 and is set in the most beautiful mountainous countryside!

The De La Torres kids, Andrea y Luis
It was the scene of a pretty gnarly battle through when the Spanish conquistadors came through and took over. I also got kicked in the leg by one of those horses ironically when I was asking what the spanish translation of "annoying american" is. I've got a bruised tibia, but thank God it wasn't my knee!!

What's dangerous: No drinking the water, its riddled with bugs and salmonella. No flushing toilet paper, also you have to bring your own toilet paper with you because for whatever reason they don't think to stock it. The shower is hooked up to anelectric water heater, so remembering NOT to touch the metal pipes is mucho importante. (Although it doesn't really matter if the heater is on because the water doesn't get above "not freezing") That's right folks, cold showers... happening not that often. Speaking of cold, it gets to 39 deg at night, and the apartment doesn't have heat, so, I call that dangerous too.

What i miss: you guys! feel free to email me or get the app called "whatsapp" for texting!

Cusco, Peru!

I'll write more detailed entries when inspiration strikes, but I'll be here plenty of time for that to happen! Mucho tiempo, prayers appreciated! lovelove

Monday, September 2, 2013


People use that word *literally* all the time. Huh? Wait, no they don't. I always laugh a little when its used so incorrectly because its ridiculous. Like Chris Traeger on Parks and Rec, who's body is a finely tuned microchip and a grain of sand could LITERALLY shut it down... um, really? Haha. Well this summer has been such a time of letting go of what I thought is best for my life, and letting the Lord be in control. Like literally. His word to trust Him and go in faith has become more than a nice idea and literally a reality. "Sell all you have and follow me" Do you mean theoretically? allegorically? literally? I left California in June with all that fit in my car, which was essentially my only asset, and now I'm selling it. Crazy. Before we moved from the Kensington house, we had 2 major yard sales and then a come-and-get it curb alert on Craigslist to get rid of some of the miscellaneous junk still left. In Richmond, I helped with another epic mini-estate sized yardsale to downsize things at my parent's house. Goodbye attic treasures, goodbye childhood leftovers. Literally selling all that I have..

I'm leaving for Peru one week from today. Its not a glamorous trip, not a delusional escape to try to find happiness. I feel that its an extension of where i am right now- content in trusting the Lord. My car is on autotrader, I'm dropping my dog off this afternoon with his new foster caretaker, my student loans on deferment - its just not ideal. But it is an adventure that I feel 100% at peace about and that I know about 0% of what to expect. so I am literally at the mercy of God to lead and guide me, and am so thankful that He is trustworthy. Literally.

Let me close with this word of wisdom from someone who is literally the best character on televsion:

p.s. Anybody need a car?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What Makes It An Adventure

I started this blog in 2009. Clearly I am a regular blogger... hmm. So here goes: the good news! I won't update often! The bad news.. I won't update often.

So many of you kind people asked if I would be starting a blog to keep up with adventures, travels, pictures of food, the usual. And I thank all 3 of you for reading this far. To recap on the last 3 months, one of my dear San Diego Kensington roommates, Rebekah, got married to a wonderful chap named Aaron. My other dear roommate Laura and I were left with no eminent plans of marriage and therefore endless possibilities! ;) She and I packed up the house and moved on. 2 Laura's, in 2 Mazda's, with 2 dogs. (we should have started a blog then - oh the adventures) She jumped ship in northern california and my cousin Caleb, Scout and I continued to Virginia. I was planning to get a short term job as a PT, which unfortunately fell through. I have since been an office assistant, house cleaner, attic junk remover, interior design consultant, personal physical therapist to a laboring sister, aunt of the year, babysitter, calligrapher for hire, canine groomer, graphic designer, stained glass photographer, mosquito assassin, mountain biker, ebay seller, craigslisting fiend. I mean seriously... I haven't had time for a job!

Whats next? Peru. I'm leaving September 9th for 4 months at least to serve at a school, Manos Unidas, in Cusco Peru. I'll be volunteering as a PT at a Peruvian school which is specifically for children with special needs. I'll be helping the staff physician with plans of care for the kids, adjusting wheelchairs and equipment, and interacting with the families of these children as well. There isn't a defined role for me, which gives me the autonomy to prioritize and determine where the needs really are. I'm excited! And when I'm not at the school, I'll be taking spanish lessons, exploring the city, and hiking Machu Picchu, all boring stuff really.

As far as money goes, since I'm volunteering for those months, i won't be making any :) But the age old answer applies: Trust the Lord. and get creative! I've been as resourceful as I can this summer and the Lord has already provided in many ways here and there! And here is another little "here and there" that I'm starting to hopefully generate some income before and after I leave. I've started a little amateur endeavor on etsy and other online avenues.

Check out or follow me on instagram! @doodledeedo or

If you are interested in helping me more consistently or without buying anything here's the link for that:
Donate to Laura (Paypal) but a paypal account isn't required, just click 'continue' on the lower left side of the screen. Thank you so much!

Thanks for sticking with this first long ramble. I've very excited for what the Lord has ahead of me. I've already been tried and tested on different levels to keep my eyes and my heart fixed on Him. This process has not been easy, and I never want my life to seem like its something that it isn't. Its more like a roller coaster between the lowest parts of the earth and outer space- at least I'm not driving! I just can't see too far in front of me and that's what makes it an adventure.