Sunday, September 13, 2009

Miracle at Woodbury Lakes

I'm going to write a story of little to no significance. But, I like it. You may think, "Of everything that happened this entire summer, is this really that important?" And trust me, it's not. I just feel like writing it...and I do what I want.

During the past year in Rwanda I've desperately wanted two(ish) things: 1) a pair of wedges 2) a hammock. While it might be expected for me to tell the glorious story of searching for months in every market of Rwanda and Uganda for wedges...nope. [although thanks to my patient brother at the outlet mall and a clearance in Maryland, I will be returning to KGL with 2 pairs of wedges :)]

So here is my story:
When I went to San Antonio, I kept my eyes peeled for a hammock. I can't buy a hammock with a frame or a stand or with wooden rods because, of course, it couldn't be transported easily. I literally took notes on hammocks I saw at Whole Earth, Dick's, and even Bass Pro. Of the "post-less" hammocks I found most were somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 and of significant weight and size. I kept my notes just in my notepad so I'd know what options I had found. I was looking for the perfect hammock...and I was getting discouraged.
Fast forward >>> to Minnesota, mid-summer. I was running a few errands, one of which was looking for a bowl...I had checked a few places and decided to just stop into Kirkland's Home since I was passing by. It turns out they didn't sell bowls there. And, to be honest, I was kind of overwhelmed with how decorative all this house decor was. So I just kept mingling and headed towards the door. When what should my wondering eyes should appear?! A little sign that said "SALE"...and BEHOLD...the sale item was- you guessed it- a HAMMOCK! They were thickly woven cloth and came in a cloth sack complete with a metal hook-thingy to hang it from 2 trees! The sale was a serious deal: only $15! Can you imagine my unutterable surprise when I looked down and saw not only the perfect design, perfect price, but also that the colors were the same as the Rwandan flag?!?! It couldn't be more perfect. Nothing short of a miracle.

Roommates: Start scouting our sturdy vegetation...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chigari On My Mind

I’ve been learning so much in Okotoks with the teachers of early reading intervention. I’m trying to soak up everything while I’m here so I can implement/tweak an effective model once I’m familiar with the students in Kigali.
I’ve been staying at a teacher’s house from the school I’m interning at, and I feel like an addition to the family…and besides the welcoming at this B&B, everyone I’ve met in Canada has been so friendly and helpful. Not a bad place to be, eh?

My mind has been on Kigali so much recently. And I’m looking forward to getting back and settling in again. (Thanks to my great roommates Emily and Marissa, I’ll already have a house to move into late Sept!)
This summer I’ve been so thankful for the precious time I’ve had with family and friends. No number of emails or calls could be traded for being in the presence of someone...although that is not news to anyone. It is a special thing when someone cares to make extra effort to spend time together, and especially when we can pick right back up where we left off even after missing over a year of each other’s lives. You don’t realize how important ya’ll are to me!

A few things I’d like to prioritize:
Being on top of my job: I want to do an excellent job at what I’m doing, so work will be top priority for where my time and energy goes!
Improved blogging: shorter and more consistently! **
Studying Kinyarwanda: (nzashaka umwarimu) If you understand than maybe it could be you! I’d like to spend a lot more time listening/hearing the language. I’d like to use concrete experiences too like going to the market and cooking a meal with someone.
Building friendships: It is too easy to get busy…so it will take intentionality about inviting people over, making plans, and being available for spending time together.
Concentration during prayer: Actually…shout out to Dr. Hood because I was frustrated that my mind kept wandering the other night and I remembered what she tells her Kindergarten Sunday school class, “Get your body ready to pray”…and what a HUGE difference!
Exercise: It seems to take much more effort to make time to exercise in Rwanda…especially when it gets dark so early in the evening…but I’m going to discipline myself somehow!
Getting sleep! This may be the most difficult task of them all...
Nyugwe forest: I think this is top on my list for places I want to go in Rwanda. I’ll be sure to let you know when it happens :)

I’m going to leave the list at that…because remember how one of them is more concise blogs? And I still have to make sure to mention that prayers have been answered for my roommate Cady- and she left for Rwanda today!! Praise God, this was a miracle!