What a week

18 09 2011

So, this has been one strange week.

Sunday I stayed home from church because my cough had just worn me out. Did the same on Monday and Tuesday. So, I didn’t go outside for like 3 whole days.

Then, Tuesday night I went to stay with some friends until today because Monica and Alvaro were out of the country on a pastor’s trip. Fortunately, I really like the family I stayed with so it wasn’t unpleasant at all.

Wednesday I finally went back to school but was ridiculously ill-prepared. I even forgot my class schedule so I just tried to wing it. I will never do that again! Ever!!

Thursday I went to visit another school and I loved it there too. One of the students there was so impressed by me that she sent a gift for me with her teacher today. Toblerone chocolate 🙂

Also, on Thursday, when I got back to where I was staying, I learned the my Grandpa had died that morning. It is very difficult not getting to be there with my family during this time. It makes you re-evaluate things. And my family has been so understanding of why I can’t be there for the funeral. Their support has made it easier to be so far away. I need to see them more, and before the next funeral.

Friday was the school’s celebration of Love and Friendship Day (Colombian Valentine’s, basically), so the kids were distracted by their excitement and the classes were having parties so it was another weird day.

Today (Saturday), Monica and Alvaro got back. I really missed them. I was glad to have my Colombian mom and dad back.

But then Monica asked for my passport. We were planning on going to the immigration people this week to extend my stay. Well we discovered that I was only given 30 days….I’m on day 66. We may have some issues with that extension. I’m praying everything works out because I’m just not ready to come home, despite the homesickness. If it doesn’t, it looks like I may be deported, or worse: fined.

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9/11

12 09 2011

This year is the first anniversary since the attacks that I haven’t been home (aka America). And I’m feeling it like never before.  Like everyone else, I remember exactly where I was.

I was in 1st hour Psychology with Mr. Dill at Stilwell High School. I had dropped my pencil. I leaned over to pick it up. As I sat back up, the television came on with footage of the first plane hitting the tower. I remember thinking it was some kind of rerun of a past event. I thought the news anchors were talking about something that happened in the past that I just didn’t know about. Until the second plane hit. Then the reality hit: this was happening now.

I’m not going to say that I was scared. I wasn’t. I’m not going to say that I was sad. I wasn’t. I felt like I was watching a TV show. It felt like entertainment. Now, before you go judging me, please remember that I was 17 years old and I’m the product of a culture that gets its information in 30 second snippets and that I was living in Oklahoma. It took a long time – actually a trip to New York City in 2009 – before the reality of the event started taking hold of me.

I visited the site of the towers.  It was after museum hours so all we could see was Ground Zero through the chain link fence.  It was sobering.

What happened that day was evil, no doubt.  There are plenty of news reports that are 90% about remembering the horror of that day and only 10% about hope (and that’s if you’re lucky).  If you’re looking to hear about how bad that day was, I suggest turning on the news.  But I choose to look forward.

9/11 reminds me that God isn’t finished yet.  9/11 reminds me that I have a great Hope.  9/11 reminds me that the prayer “Even so, come quickly” is the most selfless prayer I can pray.  9/11 reminds me that someday we will see all sad things come untrue.

Killing Osama Bin Laden didn’t undo 9/11.  Our soldiers at home and abroad cannot undo 9/11.  Only God can.  And that is my great Hope.