Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Photos from Mexico!!!

Seeing as how I have been thinking about Mexico non-stop, I figure it is only appropriate to add photos to the blog.  They are kind of random because I don't have all the pictures on my computer, but hope you enjoy! :)

Lots of thinking

This week has been filled with racing thoughts.  What if I was to leave school and go down to Juarez?  I know it seems pretty dumb to even thing about, but what is the importance of a degree if my heart is going to be elsewhere?  I am drawn there; like I finally found my purpose.  I have always wanted to do some kind of service work (PeaceCorps, etc.) but haven't had the opportunity yet.  Now that the opportunity has presented itself, do I walk away and hope that another chance arises?

Before we left for the trip the group leader told us that no one will understand the experience unless they have lived it.  It is so true.  This week has been incredibly rough trying to explain a spiritual, emotional, and physical experience that many Americans will never have.  One of the Casas por Cristo volunteers explained it very well when he described the feeling of "being more alive than ever before."  But again, if you haven't walked in those shoes, you can't imagine the humility, inspiration, joy, and devastation that the week brought.  I don't know if everyone in the group experienced it, but I know that this was a life changing experience.

Right now, I feel like everyone is thinking I am a total flake... maybe I am.  Maybe I will continue walking through my life uncertain of my next step or next destination.  But what is wrong with that?  We all go about the motions of school, work, retire, die... is that what it's about?  Maybe being a flake is right where I need to be.  Maybe I need to see the world, experience everything there is out there, try every occupation possible.  Who knows???  What I do know is that my heart is in Juarez.  I feel like I left my home behind.  Totally crazy considering I was only there for a week, I don't speak the language, and I am a big lesbian.  (Not a super open place for gays.)  I have more thinking to do; more soul searching.  Hopefully I can find a way to follow my heart.  Although it is flakey, I want nothing more from life than to be a blessing to others and feel at peace with myself.

Well, there is a stream of consciousness blog post for you!  I hope you and your families are well!  Happy Wednesday! :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I just got back from Mexico last night.  I went to Juarez on a short term missions trip with a church that my father belongs to.  We went with an organization called Casas Por Cristo to build three houses for families in need.  Then once the houses were complete, we spent two days at orphanages in the city.

It seems like I have been gone forever, but it also feels like it went by really fast.  The trip was humbling in so many ways.  We spent the first three days building our houses and the last two days at an orphanage playing with children and doing some painting for them.  It was an amazing experience.  The director of the orphanage asked me if I would like to come down to volunteer there for the summer.  I am very torn.  While my heart is there, I am worried that I will not want to come back.  I want to finish school, but also feel like maybe there are other things that are more important in life.  I am not sure where to go from here. 

I have always had a really hard time with the whole God thing.  Not that I don't believe that there is "something" but I just don't know if the God of the bible exists.  Whatever God there is, he was present this week.  And our team motto turned into "we are right where God wants us to be," which took on several meanings throughout the week. 

It was amazing to see how kind, generous, and humble the people in Juarez are.  Despite the fact that they live in complete poverty, they share everything they have and always greet you with a smile.  It was eye opening to see the difference between the US and there.  Americans have everything, every opportunity and yet we still complain and are unhappy.  It brings about all kinds of guilty feelings. 

Anyway, I am sure that I will have the chance to share more with you as time goes on, but right now (as you can tell) my brain is still processing all of it.  It was an amazing experience and I hope that I have the opportunity to go back very soon.  I feel drawn to that city and its people. 

One of the team leaders wrote this in the church blog and I think it was an extremely important part of our experience.  When we were driving along this stretch of highway, the van with 14 people in it fell completely silent.  There is no way to reconcile the poverty on the right with the overindulgence on the left.  Steph said, "as we drove into El Paso the highway ran along the border between the United States and Mexico for several minutes. To the left were the suburbs of El Paso, and to the right, on the other side of the border fence, was Juarez. The difference is as stark as the line on a dirty windshield where the wipers won’t reach. To compare the multimillion dollar houses with the 11 foot by 20 foot home we had just built, a home that could be duplicated for dozens of mexican families with the money that it cost to build one of those Texas homes, was like a fist in my chest. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live on the lower side of the fence and look up at the wealth above any more than I can imagine looking down at the scattered shacks and huts that serve as houses from my thousand dollar couch in my million dollar home."

I know that this is pretty scattered, but I wanted to get some of these thoughts down while they are fresh.  I will try to write more soon and fill in details.  I hope you are all doing well in blogland!