Saturday, February 5, 2011

Little Burma

We've decided to rename our house "Little Burma." At any time, you can come inside and smell (for better or worse) real Burmese food cooking, and you can find people wearing longis and sandals and wraps that they use to carry their babies on their backs, and you can hear little boys yelling short Burmese phrases and mothers singing Burmese hymns. Sometimes I feel like maybe I am in Burma.

The morning after our special snowed-in sleepover this week, we were having a late brunch and looked out the window to see Lian and Cing shovelling a path from Little Burma to 711 House. We felt bad for them, considering all their progress was quickly being covered again by the still-falling snow in sub-zero temperatures, so Pam tried to tell them to go home and stay warm, and we'd come over soon. When we did go home, Lian was there waiting for us with a look in her eye I hadn't seen before... was she angry? or offended? I realized then that she was worried about us! She came in and tried to explain that when we didn't come home that night they all thought we were stuck and couldn't get out, and they resolved as a group that in the morning they would shovel us out. I felt guilty for having so much fun while they were so concerned... and it kind of surprised me that they cared so much. I didn't bother to tell them our plans because I assumed they would stay upstairs close to their space heaters and never even realize we were gone. But Lian is much more of a mother hen than I gave her credit for.

And when that hit me, something inside me changed... I had this mentality that I was the "house mom," teaching and helping the internationals in a new situation - and granted, I think Hannah and I are doing that, just not in the maternal way that Lian and Cing care for us. They have just as much (if not more) to contribute than we do. And its nice to have a "mom" away from home... oh, these mommas won't make us snickerdoodles or strawberry jam, though... more like ramen-type soup and quail eggs! But they really care about us and love us, and it feels so good to be so loved.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowpocalypse 2011

It is 2:00pm on Wednesday, and we are at 12 inches of snow and rising! There is a group on Facebook right now of about 284,000 people who are experiencing what they call "Snowpocalypse 2011"... an ice and snow storm of "epic proportions." It is certainly more snow than I have seen at one time, so I think maybe I deserve to get the marketed "I survived snowpocalypse" t-shirt. This snow and ice could be a bad thing, but we have thankfully retained power at I-house, and we girls (Pam, Kelsey, Hannah and I) are fortunately quite creative when we put our heads together. It started yesterday morning when we had ginger waffles, chocolate chip pancakes, and strawberry bread (all compliments of our dear moms!) for breakfast. Then we all ended up at I-house and we are still here! In the last 24 hours, we have...

- baked chocolava cookies - crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside... oh, so messy to make but so delicious to eat!
- eaten chocolava cookies - see previous comment
- watched three movies - what do you watch on snowy days? we watch light-hearted romantic comedies!
- watched guys clear the I-house parking lot - using a snowblower and a lawn mower with a plow, they cleared the lot, but now you can't even tell they were here. About as amusing as the movies, and they showed off a bit because they knew they had a good audience.
- listened to awesome music - Kelsey's CD pack is surprisingly full of music that Kevan would highly approve, so we have a great endless playlist.
- crocheted/knitted various things - Kelsey's working on a scarf, Hannah's working on something mysterious, and I'm working on tea cup cozies.
- drunk seven cups of tea - well, I have, anyway...
- made a midnight run to Subway/Walmart - well, Pam and Kelsey did anyway... When you crave a sandwhich, what else can you do... good thing that snow plow guy was there to dig them out of the parking lot!
- spent the night in big blankets on the couches - snug as bugs in rugs... and we woke up at 10:00am. And it was still snowing.
- made an amazing brunch - of scrambled eggs and pancakes made with French vanilla creamer instead of milk. Yes, they were incredible.

Later today we're gonna make snowmen and possibly snow cream! I'm so glad that, even though it may be the end of the world, buried in snow and ice, bereft of milk and bred, I have great friends to spend this snowpocalypse with.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I would go 69,000 miles...

"There is no place I'd rather be, God is alive and works in me
Yesterday is old and gone, and tomorrow we'll have to see,
But for today - oh, today there is no place, no place I'd rather be..."

About three years ago this week, I bought my Chevy Uplander (ok, so it is a van), a frost blue beast that I named Jack. My previous purple monkey of a van was a homebody, so he had to be retired because he didn't jive with my adventurous dreams and wandering tendencies. So when I got Jack, my plan was to spend all my miles travelling around the country. I love roadtrips, and since I’ve had Jack, I have been to and through a lot of states. In fact, this trip to Indiana was just supposed to be a grand roadtrip adventure for a summer, to check off one more state and see if there really was more than corn here. And I found out there is.

Beginning of February 2008 - Winston-Salem, NC

Friday night, Jack travelled his 69,000th mile. And it wasn't past the burning fields of Kansas or over the majestic Colorado Rockies or across the marshy wetlands of Louisiana. I don't think either of us ever imagined we would cross this milestone by dropping off one of our Somoli youth at her apartment on the southside of Fort Wayne after a crazy teenage girls night out. See, God decided that he would extend my little Indiana roadtrip indefinitely... he didn't want Jack and I to just whiz through and see the sights and take some photos; he wanted us to roll around in the slushy snow of this town... he wanted to bring Jack and me here to experience a different life and delve into relationships, to see where these kids live and what reality is like for them. And I'm just starting to "get my wheels dirty." I know at times it won't be easy, but I know I'm where I'm supposed to be right now... here with these kids in this ministry.

End of January 2011 - Fort Wayne, IN
It took a lot of miles and a lot of days to get here… a lot of questions and doubt and uncertainty about where this road was leading me. And yes, my road-tripping days are not done - I hope Jack has another 69,000 miles in him because I still want to see the burning fields in Kansas and the majestic Colorado Rockies - but for today, oh, today there is no place, no place I'd rather be.