Friday, December 31, 2010


“A driver is a king on a vinyl bucket-seat throne, changing directions with the turn of a wheel, changing the climate with the flick of a button, changing the music with the switch of a dial.” -Andrew H. Malcom

“You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I’m concerned, happy campers you will always be.” -Dan Quayle

“Yosemite valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” -Ansel Adams

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget.” -Anonymous

“A true friend is someone who thinks you’re a good egg, even though he knows you are slightly cracked.” -Bernard Meltzer

“I must return to the mountains - to Yosemite. I am told that the winter storms there will not easily be borne, but I am bewitched, enchanted, and tomorrow I must start for the great temple to listen to the winter songs and sermons preached and sung only there.” -John Muir

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The wind will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while care drop off you like autumn leaves.” -John Muir

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” -Psalm 24:1 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” -Psalm 150:6

Monday, December 27, 2010

Perfection and Comparative Fashion

Perfection is sitting on my soft tan couch, Belgian chocolate, Spanish coffee, Enrique Iglesias, and a sleeping, purring cat. I want to pause this moment. I take a sip of my steaming Cafe con Leche, nibble on my Speculoos chocolate Ruben brought and stop to stroke kitty. I want to put this moment into a secret envelope and save it so when I'm feeling stressed or sad, I can pull it out and savor it. This is beautiful. I discovered Enrique Iglesias' new song and have it on repeat. Oh Enrique, why must you be so talented and handsome? Can I put you in a secret envelope too?

Ruben, Sara and I talked yesterday on how exactly to identify the difference between Europeans and Americans. It's a funny phenomenon; waiting in the San Francisco airport or in downtown Sacramento, a person will walk by and immediately you know they're European. And Ruben says it's the same in Belgium; someone will pass by that's obviously American. How is that?

First of all, we decided it's the shoes. Americans wear running shoes or converse and white socks. Dead give-away. White socks are a huge no-no in Europe (or at least Belgium) as we found out the hard way. So, running shoes and white socks = American. Conversely, Europeans wear Pumas or Adidas, skinny little shoes with straps on top. And they wear black socks. Skinny shoes and black socks = European.

Secondly, pants are a key determinant as well. Americans are a bit famous for wearing baggy pants or skinny jeans. Now we have the marbled kind or the ones with fake holes, but generally denim reigns. Baggy, skinny, ragged pants = American. We chuckled about European pants; the half-calf kapris so common in Belgium and other European countries. Ruben wore them two summers ago when he was here, and when we visited his family in Belgium, they sent us home with pairs of our own. He winced now at the memory and swears he no longer owns any more of them, but it's true, kapris (along with colored or patterned pants) = European.

Now, these are generalizations of course. Many Americans wear colored pants and I know Europeans who wear converse. But it was fun to compare our fashions and note the differences. I find it interesting that, just by apparel, you can peg someone's nationality. Ruben laughed, "You just know who's American. It's the whole package." And it's the same when I'm at an international airport; you see a person and they're a European "package". I love it.

I love how different we are. How different and how similar we are. I love travel and people and cultures and fashion and music and....everything. I love comparing and having fun with our differences. Isn't that the essence of life and loving?


(Picture from Google)

Step 1: Find blocks of ice.
Step 2: Find a park with really big, steep hills.
Step 3: Find a bunch of friends who don't mind getting muddy.
Step 4: Put rags on top of the ice so your bum doesn't get frozen and slide down the hill!
Step 5: Repeat.

Tonight, Ruben, JJ, my siblings and I went ice-blocking for hours in Minnesota Park. It was a total blast and we got incredibly muddy. We looked like mud zombies staggering around in our mud-soaked jeans and grimy faces. We laughed and fell and slipped and raced and rolled down the hill getting more muddy and excited with each trip down. I've been ice-blocking many times, but each time it's a tad different and always a thrill. Maybe it takes away your breath because it's already very cold and you're playing with ice. Maybe it's because you get the wind knocked out of you when your block suddenly stops and you go flying off into the mud. Perhaps it's just plain *awesome*. Who knows.

We piled in the car (sure to place paper towels and sweatshirts down so we wouldn't get the seats dirty) and invaded the nearby McDonalds. The workers eyed us warily as we came through...."did you, um, fall?" one of them ventured to ask. "You" We laughed, explained ourselves and ordered almost everything on the menu. Ice-blocking makes you hungry. Very hungry.

Tomorrow I think I'm going to be really sore.
Totally worth it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Magical Traditions

San Francisco is magical at Christmas. Stores are transformed into alluring worlds where every color, scent, discount and employee work to awe and entice you. The streets become bustling channels of humankind; a maze of stoplights, crosswalks and hurrying footsteps. And Union Square becomes the Christmas Mecca. Macy’s giant, brilliant tree stands looming before you twinkling and dazzling in the chilly night air. Children and adults alike laugh and wobble as they circle the nearby ice-rink, while bystanders sip hot cocoa and steaming lattes. The air is full of smiles, cinnamon and lights....hundreds of twinkling, magical lights.

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful!” -Norman Vincent Peale

I have been particularly in love with this Christmas. I continually surprise myself by how nostalgic and traditional I am this season...I want things to be as they have always been. I want every tradition to stay intact. I want us to snuggle on the couch, sipping peppermint hot cocoa, and watch It’s A Wonderful Life. Perhaps it’s because things are so very different this year that I’m so very nostalgic. Perhaps it’s because everything’s so different, I want everything to be as beautiful and warm and wonderful as my memories. And so far, this year has surpassed all expectations. I love this Christmas. So very much.

I love hearing Ruben’s laugh in the next room. I love making paper chains with Mark and hanging them in the doorframes. I love exploring Sacramento and the thrilling magic Christmas has sprinkled everywhere.

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” -Calvin Coolidge

Tonight was the candlelight service at church, and as we sat, surrounded by beautiful lights and majestic organ music, I felt so very small. It is exactly as Pope Paul VI said, “Christmas is the encounter, the great encounter, the historical encounter, decisive encounter, between God and mankind. He who has faith knows this truly, let him rejoice.” The reality of what Christmas really is is so incredible and so powerful, and I can’t help but feel humbled and awed.

During the service, all lights were extinguished save the Christ Candle. From it, the pastor lit his candle then lighted the candles of a few others who then passed the flame to members of the congregation. One by one, as members lit each others’ candles, the light slowly spread. Yet still, the entire congregation sat in darkness but at the pastor’s welcome, hundreds of people lifted their candles into the air, filling the sanctuary with warm, flickering light. It was as if the stars themselves had found their way into our church and filled the sanctuary with their magical presence.
Ruben and I just finished stringing licorice on the Christmas tree. It’s been a family tradition for as long as I can remember and as far back in my memory as I can trace, I remember waking up on Christmas morning and finding hundreds of skinny strings of licorice hanging from the branches. It’s not always easy to find the licorice, few stores are selling the skinny kind now, but Ruben and I found a package at Raleys. We waited until everyone was in bed to open the package and string up the licorice. High and low, around ornaments and between lights, on branches and tossed up high, we strung the licorice. Tomorrow morning it’ll be a delicious surprise to everyone else. :)

Why are traditions so beautiful? What makes them so sentimental and important? Whatever it is, I have so loved sharing them with loved ones and making them a reality again this year. God has been so faithful to us and His goodness is overwhelming, especially now. I feel so incredibly blessed to be here, with a licorice-covered tree, paper-chains galore, an amazing family, and a God who loves me so very much.

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to men on whom His favor rests.” -Luke 2:14

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Family

This is us. We rock.
My brother from Belgium arrived two days ago and we drove to San Francisco to pick him up and see the beautiful lights. It was cold and misting, but the lights sparkled and danced in the wind and they made the rain magical. Ruben laughs at us when we say it's cold...."I just left a snow blizzard" he scoffs. I love hearing his laugh and his accent when he makes fun of me.
We've written, texted, facebooked and impatiently counted down the days and hours for months...and now I look over and there he is, sitting on the couch across from me, wiggling his foot. The dog sighs and we both stop writing for a moment to sigh back at her. Silly old dog.
We decorated the Christmas tree last night. I strung the lights up a week ago, and while the tree stood beautiful in its little twinkling lights, it still seemed quite bare until last night. Our antique lucky pickle was carefully hung, our baby ornaments unwrapped, and great-grandma's three-tiered glass ornament was hung in its revered place at the top of the tree. We didn't pay much attention to hanging ornaments on the back of the tree since that side remains against the window and unseen. Suddenly, under the weight of all the ornaments placed on just one side, the tree slowly tilted and began to fall! With all the ornaments! Ruben was on a chair and caught it and Ryan found some twine to tie it to the wall. Our tree is securely tied now and the ornaments are safe....but it's funny to remember our shocked and alarmed faces when we realized our tree was falling down.
Yes. There are going to be plenty of adventures this Christmas season.
Because we are family. And we rock.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finals Week

My room has been transformed into a writer’s sanctuary.
It already has the feeling of a psychologist’s room with it’s calming brown and olive green walls. A large tan couch waits for a meaningful conversation and my pictures hang on the walls. Maybe it has something to do with the fact my sister wants to be a psychologist? Who knows.

Today I have a 7-essay final to write and I’ve shut myself in my room until I finish. The final isn’t due until 5:00pm, so I have six and a half hours to write all about history and world civilizations from 1500-present. It’s been a fascinating class, but trying to sum everything into a couple pages feels daunting. Can I just write a dissertation? Please?

Some of my topics:
1. Do you believe in the concept of progress? Depending on your response to the previous question, does the twentieth century represent the death of the notion of progress or the proof that progress is possible?
2. Drawing from three areas (East Asia, India and Europe) define and explain nationalism, and compare/contrast how nationalism operated in different areas and among different people.
3. Why was the twentieth century the world’s bloodiest? What light do science and art shed on this question?

So yes, I’ve found ample amount of blankets, a good supply of music and a whole plate of yummy goodies. I don’t plan to come out until I’ve finished my opus. Shhhh.....writer in progress.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter gold

I got home from school today and just wanted to curl up with a blanket and sleep. The winter sunlight streams through our big glass window and the amber leaves cast a golden glow across the room. The air is still and a soft piano melody plays....calmingly. Tranquilly.

My gates stand watch over the living room, draped in red and green christmas chains. The doorways all have our paper christmas chains up giving each room a festive feel and each passerby a little christmasy thrill as they walk beneath the arch of color. This is such a wonderful season.

Well, the test is over and I didn’t die.
I forgot some important things (Diversionary War Theory and Long-Cycle Theory) which will certainly mean loss of points. Darn-it. I think the problem with having professors as close friends is that when you don’t do so hot on a feel like you disappoint them. You know how they’ll sorta sigh as they grade your paper and see that you forgot important factors.

But now it’s over and I have a whole weekend of intense singing ahead. I’m so excited! Tonight is our dress-rehearsal, then we sing on Friday, Saturday, Sunday morning and Sunday night! The concert is going to be incredible - as it always is - but especially this year since we have six more orchestra members. 100+ voice choir and over 40 orchestra members. It’s going to be incredible. In-cred-i-ble.

But for now, I’m going to curl up with a textbook and a blanket. Finals are next week and I’m going to pause time to study. Time to study while the air is still and the room is golden.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

HST, NEIO, FDI, oh my!

What do you do when you’re faced with something you know is going to be incredibly difficult and probably painful, but there’s no way around it?

I have a test tomorrow in International Relations. It’s a blue-book test, not a scantron, which means by the end of the test I’ll have filled a whole booklet with my definitions, explanations and analysis of a variety of international theories and economics. It also means you absolutely *have* to know your stuff because, to fill that booklet, you have to have something to say. I’m terrified. There is *so* much I don’t know and you can’t bs a blue book test. You either know it or you don’t. I’m in the “don’t” group at the moment.

I’ve been reading, studying, wikipediaing, writing, outlining, emailing classmates and brainstorming for four hours now and I feel I’ve only just begun. These topics and questions are huge! Complex. Difficult. I’m so scared of getting into class, sitting down and getting my test, and drawing a complete blank. A mental blank means my hard-earned A goes down the drain. Ooooo, too much pressure.

World Systems Theory and Dependency Theory’s explanations of development and underdevelopment?
External and internal sources of international law?
Compare and contrast commercial liberalism and mercantilism?
Analyze the five features of the international political economy?


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Take time... notice the very, very small things.

They’re not here forever.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dear International Community,

Your liberalistic pursuits led to the promotion of your self interests while stripping us of our right to protectionism and economic sovereignty. Now our unemployed farmers sit and rot while our children starve and our women’s jobs our outsourced. Thanks Chiquita and Dole for monopolizing the banana industry and wiping out our last remaining competitive market. Thanks IMF for your loan which handcuffed us and forces us to let you dump your goods in our public sector; undercutting our farmers and stealing our jobs. Your sterile Free Zones leech off our desperate labor force and exploit an already crippled system. Your vicious legacy of neo-mercantilism and colonialism continues in an even more subtle and dangerous way than your ancestors could have imagined. We have the resources you need and you have the power to keep us in your web of dependence and disadvantage. We watch as globalization and “modernization” destroy our economy and can do nothing. The modern world continually spins on, wrapped in imperialism and greed.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Thursday night was Black Friday; the day when American consumerism is manifested in winding lines of freezing people outside retail stores at ungodly hours of the morning. After spending the day cooking and eating Thanksgiving dinner, hundreds and thousands of people bundle up and wait for *hours* for their favorite store to open and rush into the organized maze of material goods in a frenzied race to find the best bargains.

My friends and I weren’t outside waiting to empty our bank-accounts, instead we arrived armed with coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider, brownies, cookies, muffins and more. As those cold, bored people waited in line at 1, 2 and 3:00 in the morning, we sold them our deliciously warm goods. Steaming cups of caffeinated happiness. Individually wrapped chocolate packages of joy.

It was awesome. They loved us and we raised almost $200!! What a great way to fundraise, right? One dear soul in our group brought a propane heater, so during a baked-goods lull, we’d crowd around it, warming our hands and bursting with laughter. At 2am!!

It was a great Black Friday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

2 Corinthians 12:9

The leaves blaze bright against the dull grey clouds. Splashes of red and vibrant yellow resist the coming monotony of winter. The air is crisp and cold; the leaves are the last remnants of an indian summer nearly gone.

The raindrops softly hit the windowpane, quiet reminders of the impending storm. Inside the house is quiet; George Winston plays on and I’ve a steaming mug of tea to warm my cold hands.

I snuggle up on the couch to solidify UC applications. How does one sum up one’s life in a couple pages? How do you recount your experiences in 160 words? This is difficult and I feel very inadequate and unprepared.

George Winston makes me nostalgic and melancholy today. I want to sit and watch the rain fall on the colorful leaves. I want to close my eyes and remember times long past. Hugs and whispers from a time to which I can’t return.

Seasons come and go. Memories intensify and fade. Our journey changes and grows. Nothing is permanent; life is not static.

I look out at the beautiful red and yellow leaves; bold against the stormy sky. His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in my weakness. How can I be dismayed?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Quiet! Can you hear it?

The endless heartbeat of the earth.

An echo; throbbing, pulsing

Hidden deep within its chest.

Its rhythm is eternal

Its beat is so intense.

In the ocean, in the rainfall

In the cadence of a song.

Can you hear it? Can you sense it?

Quiet, softly pulsing.

Hush! Can’t you feel it?

The endless breathing of the earth?

A soft and peaceful rhythm.

The rise and fall of time.

It beckons and it calls

Internally whispering.

In the breeze, in the shadows,

In the laughter of the young.

Hush! Can’t you hear it?

Mysterious. Innate.

Listen! Can you feel it?

The rotation of the earth?

Spinning, flying, endless twirling,

A great celestial dance.

You see it in a lifetime

That once vibrant now grows wane

Something ending, something growing

Neverending. Ever turning.

Spinning, endless twirling.

In the seasons and in dance

Sleeping, waking, living, breathing

Stars and moon and rocks and plants

Listen! Can’t you feel it?

It’s the endless pulse of life.

From the heartbeat to the spinning,

From the whisper to the laugh.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


* UC Applications
* Petition for creating my own major
* MUN, calendars, new members, details and politics
* Applying for graduation and A.A. degree(s)
* IR, Anthro, Film, History
* Weekend shifts at Jamba
* Planning for next semester’s classes
* Choir rehearsals
* Wrestling with God

“You better lose yourself in the music, in the moment. You own it, you better not let it go.” Eminem

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jim, Part II

Jim came into the store today.

After taking a break from Jamba Juice over the summer, I’m back once again. Back to the world of blenders, frozen fruit, fresh OJ, sticky shoes and sore hands. It feels like old times again; many of my friends still work there, the smoothies are the same, and my customers get excited when they see me again.

I had missed Jim over the summer and, when I’d drive down Fulton Ave and see him slowly trudging along the sidewalk, I’d worry about him. How was he? Were they making his coffee like he liked it? And more importantly, where was he sleeping? Was he hungry? Was he okay?

I was the pre-closer today, and as I scrubbed on the orange juice machine, I heard the door open and I suddenly smelled Jim. Turning around, juice-filled rag dripping in my hand, I found Jim wearing new faux-aviator glasses he had found. “Someone left them on a table”, he said, pointing outside. “I waited for a couple hours, but I think they look better on I’m borrowing them.”
You look dashing”, I replied.

Jim was wearing the same clothes he had worn the day I left, back in June. They were a bit more tattered now, with new stains and holes in the knees. He wanted a coffee, but he only had a dollar. “I’m not sure why I’m here”, he mumbled, “I only have a dollar....”, and he turned to leave, embarrassment rising beneath his scruffy beard.
I rang him up for free. Not sure how I’ll explain that one to my manager yet, but I’ll come up with something. His eyes watered and he smiled. “I missed you”, he whispered.

There were other customers to serve, smoothies to be made, and a manager to dodge, so I had to leave him with his coffee. Some fifteen minutes or so later, as he wiped down his corner of the bench and thew away his cup, he waved me over. As I approached, he struggled to pull something out of his patchy leather wallet. A photograph. Dirty, wrinkled fingers held out a picture of a chubby baby laughing, blond curls playing ‘round his ears. “He’s my grandson”, Jim beamed at me. “I’ve never met him. I had an ugly divorce when his dad was 16...I haven’t been allowed to talk to my son since. I don’t know how old the baby is now...or where they live. But this is him. He’s my grandson.”

Jim’s visit made me realize two very different things.
First, if someday, when I’m a doctor, I can do something for a patient to earn the kind of smile Jim smiled at me today, all those medical school loans will be worth it. Every single cent just for that smile.
Second, I realized how incredibly fortunate and blessed I am. I have a family who loves me, a place to go home to, a snack to eat before bed, clothes to change into, a toothbrush and a comb.
Life is so hard for many, many people...including Jim. I am so incredibly loved and blessed. God truly does have me in the palm of His hands.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Choice - A Clockwork Orange

"Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man." -Prison Chaplain, A Clockwork Orange

In A Clockwork Orange, the viewer is introduced to Alex, a psychopathic teen who delights in ultra-violent and horrific acts toward humanity. Amoral and devoid of empathy, he tortures, beats, rapes and murders for pleasure and finds entertainment at the expense of humanity. Alex is a heartless monster whom you secretly hope is subjected to some equally horrible punishment as a sort of compensation for his victims.

Alex's desire for evil is ended after he is subjected to the Ludovico treatment, which, by forcing him to watch ghastly crimes against humanity and injecting him with nausea-inducing substances, causes him to be repulsed at the thought of violence. Like one of Pavlov's dogs, Alex is conditioned to be repulsed by violence; the mere thought of it causes intense, debilitating physical pain.

In an effort to protect society from Alex’s horrific “fun”, they eliminate his desire to do so by ensuring his body’s agonizing protest. In doing so, they prevent him from committing further crimes against society, yet they strip him of his ability to choose. He must proceed through life, unable to defend himself, unable to fight, unable to see or think about sex, unable to witness crime, without being subjected to uncontrollable, crippling pain.

The two sides:
Prison Chaplain: Choice! The boy has not a real choice, has he? Self-interest, the fear of physical pain drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement. The insincerity was clear to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice.

Minister: Padre, there are subtleties! We are not concerned with motives, with the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down crime and with relieving the ghastly congestion in our prisons. He will be your true Christian, ready to turn the other cheek, ready to be crucified rather than crucify, sick to the heart at the thought of killing a fly. Reclamation! Joy before the angels of God! The point is that it works.

On a social level, the punishment is a success and Alex no longer poses a threat to society. On an individual level, it is argued that Alex has lost a crucial part of his humanity.

Is choice an innate human right? Does stripping a man of his choice strip him of his humanity? Is it better to create a robot capable of morality solely due to fear of physical pain in order to protect the rest of society? Do Alex’s horrific crimes justify his punishment?

How is it that by the end of the movie, you identify with and sympathize with a depraved sociopath? Why do viewers also feel violated when Alex is stripped of his *choice* to be good or evil? Why are the effects of the Ludovico treatment so disturbing? Doesn’t Alex deserve it? Why do we protect our choice and individual freedom with such fervor?


Friday, September 17, 2010

Aged Beauty

A wisteria blossom floated down.
She sat beside him, her soft, wrinkled hand tucked in his.
The breeze rustled his white hair.
Her eyes laughed as she smiled up at him.
He chuckled as she tried to apply her lipstick without a mirror.
She reached across him for her purse and patted his belly.
He played with her hair.
They leaned back into the wooden frame of the bench and sighed.
Hands clasped, they quietly observed the people passing by.
A wisteria blossom floated down.
The hem of her floral dress ballooned with the breeze.
He gave her a sip of his iced tea.
The gold band circling her hat sparkled as she bent to sip from his straw.
He beamed at her and she touched his nose.
The wrinkles next to their eyes crinkled up again.
A wisteria blossom quietly floated down.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Earth is a Satellite of the Moon

Apollo 2 cost more than Apollo 1.
Apollo 1 cost plenty.

Apollo 3 cost more than Apollo 2.
Apollo 2 cost more than Apollo 1.
Apollo 1 cost plenty.

Apollo 4 cost more than Apollo 3.
Apollo 3 cost more than Apollo 2.
Apollo 2 cost more than Apollo 1.
Apollo 1 cost plenty.

Apollo 9 cost more than all these put together,
including Apollo 1 which cost plenty.

The great-grandparents of the people of Acahualinca were less hungry than the grandparents.
The great-grandparents died of hunger.
The grandparents of the people of Acahualinca were less hungry than the parents.
The grandparents died of hunger.
The parents of the people of Acahualinca were less hungry than the people there.
The parents died of hunger.

The people of Acahualinca are less hungry than the children of the people there.
The children of the people of Acahualinca, because of hunger are not born
They hunger to be born, only to die of hunger.

Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the moon.


El Apolo 2 costó más que el Apolo 1.
El Apolo 1 costó bastante.

El Apolo 3 costó más que el Apolo 2.
El Apolo 2 costó más que el Apolo 1.
El Apolo 1 costó bastante.

El Apolo 4 costó más que el Apolo 3.
El Apolo 3 costó más que el Apolo 2.
El Apolo 2 costó más que el Apolo 1.
El Apolo 1 costó bastante.

El Apolo 9 costó más que todos juntos,
junto con el Apolo 1 que costó bastante.

Los bisabuelos de la gente de Acahualinca tenian menos hambre que los abuelos.
Los bisabuelos se murieron de hambre.
Los abuelos de la gente de Acahualinca tenian menos hambre que los padres.
Los abuelos murieron de hambre.
Los padres de la gente de Acahualinca tenian menos hambre que los hijos de la gente de allí.
Los padres se murieron de hambre.

La gente de Acahualinca tiene menos hambre que los hijos de la gente de allí.
Los hijos de la gente de Acahualinca no nacen por hambre,
y tienen hambre de nacer, pero morirse de hambre.

Bienaventurados los pobres porque de ellos será la luna.

In a world of plenty, even amidst our own economic downturn, we often lead a life of international ignorance. Usually out of just that, ignorance. Yet they are all around us; in the doorways of abandoned houses. In a cardboard shack just outside of town. In an impoverished country along the equator. In a WHO statistic or a UNICEF report. In Bogota. In Acahualinca. In Sacramento.

Maybe the poor will inherit the moon. But maybe they can receive our love as well. If we are His body, if we are His hands and His feet, then why aren't our arms reaching? Why aren't our hands healing? Why aren't our feet going?

Not everyone is called to serve overseas as a missionary. Not everyone is purposed to spend their days working in shelters and orphanages. Not everyone is willing to be used in that way. Yet, in our world of wealth and global unawareness, we can open our eyes. Open our hearts. Do something.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I haven't written in a long time.
Lately my mind has been quiet, not of thoughts, but of words. I have nothing to say. I feel, feel fiercely, and yet am mute.

I sit and marvel at the world around me. Bright rays of sun set the sunflower petals ablaze; molten yellow casts shadows of happiness on the warm ground. Round black bumblebees buzz lazily along the breeze; they have nowhere to go and all day to get there. Whispers of Spanish float across the yard from the pool; my two "hermanos" Irene and Eduardo are practicing their English grammar and correcting each other in Spanish. Their Spanish is thick and soft; more like a lullabye than a language. Our map is covered in desinations; places to see, places to go, people to visit, beauty waiting to be uncovered. San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Sacramento, Huntington Beach, State Fair, American River, the list is endless. Exciting.

It's unusual for my mind's pen to lay quiet. I tend to journal the day silently to myself, jotting down ideas and sentences on an internal notepad where they'll stay until I can retrieve them later that night. I usually am always describing things to myself in the hopes I'll remember it forever. Lately, though, I just watch. I just feel. I just breathe. Experience. Listen.

For now I'm going to stay behind my camera lens, hidden from the world. Silent. Watching. Recording. I'll leave my writing for another day. Another time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010