Motocars, taxis, buses, and trucks flying every direction. Honking. Swerving. The doctor was driving over 100 mph. I was a little scared. This is Peru. I am here for real. Traveling was a huge blur. And then I crashed under my mosquito net atop my wiggly bunk bed and woke up two hours later to roosters crowing. Who cares that I didn't sleep at all last night? I'm here and there is lots of learning and exploring to do. Km 38 is a beautiful place. There are lemons the size of my face, a lovely outhouse, cold showers, and warm people. 
The rest of my first day in Peru consisted of venturing into Campo Verde, cramming 7 people in a motocar, playing Uno, deciphering Genesis 1 in a Spanish bible, eating a fabulous lunch prepared by the doctor and his wife, and lots more. First, let me tell you about this food. Arroz con frijoles (the staple food). Ensalade de pipinos (cucumber salad) with a lemon dressing. And a big bubbling pot of chicken. I wasn't brave enough to try the chicken just yet, but I'm sure it was good. It smelled good. It was a real fiesta. The doctor gave an introduction of the various projects that we would be working on throughout the year and I am very pleased to announce that I understood everything that he said. Now I just have to learn to speak. My mind always draws a blank. I guess that will all come in good time. After eating, the doctor and other Peruvian workers decided that it would be a good idea to go the the lagoon for a swim and some futbol. So all 15 of us got into Doctor's tiny pickup. It was a painful ride to say the least. But well worth it.
There was a sort of peace down at the lake. The sun was about to set, the water was warm, the mud in the water was extremely squishy, it was serene. There were cows and chickens and dogs and kids running around. We were trying to catch little fish with plastic cups. We played volleyball, futbol, and some Peruvian game called "Murderer" that was kind of like dodgeball. 
I then got my first taste of what my showers are going to be like for the rest of the year - cold. And good. So good. The hot, sticky air mixed with a cold shower is pure bliss. There was a little frog hopping around by my feet while I was bathing.
Details. I know it's a lot of details. But it is these things - the smells, sounds, tastes, sights - these things that I don't want to forget. 
Necisito practicar mi espanol.


No school? I like the sound of that.

School is starting tomorrow. But not for me. This is a brand new thing. I don't think I've ever not been in school. Since I was 4. It's crazy. And I kind of like it.


Worrier or warrior?

Lately, I've been a worrier. I don't know what my future holds, so I think about it. And I think some more. And it doesn't get me anywhere or gain me anything. Here's how Matthew puts it: Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes (The Message).
I like how he adds the part about not worrying about missing out. Because that's exactly what happens when you worry. You miss out on the beauty around you.
In his book I Don't See It That Way, Ken McFarland points out five truths about worry:
Truth #1: Worry never works. Worrying about the past doesn't change it. Worrying about the future can't make anything happen or not happen.
Truth #2: Worry paralyzes. Worrying about something makes us freeze and hone into that particular problem. So why not come up with solutions and take some action? Ol' Kenny says that "Action is worry's worst enemy." True dat.
Truth #3 (My favorite): Worry is a choice. Just like happiness. Just like love. We have to make a conscious decision not to worry. To hand everything over to God. To step out in faith onto the wildly amazing ride that He has planned for our lives.
Truth #4: Worry is the child of fear. Having peace of mind is the child of trust. When we internalize the promises that God has made to us - worry just slips out the back door. Promises like Jeremiah 29:11, 1 John 5:14, Psalm 55:22 tell us that God has our absolute best interests in mind. Just trust.
Truth #5: Worry is a hand shadow. A hand can cast a shadow on a wall many times its size. Likewise, worry can make things seem a lot bigger and scarier than they really are. I remember when I was younger being scared to death that there was something under my bed. I would hear a little creak from the house breathing or some other noise from my cat running around and become undeniably convinced that there was a person under my bed just waiting for me to fall asleep. So they could get me. So I would stay up and not move a muscle. Listening for any other little sound that they might make. I was too afraid to get up and run out because I thought they would grab my feet and pull me under the bed. I was too afraid to call out for help. I was too afraid to move. Eventually I would work up enough courage to jump out of bed, run to the other side of the room and turn the light on. Then I would look under the bed. No one. Nothing. Nada. How bo-bo.
So, I am making a decision. I don't want to be a worrier anymore.

I am a warrior.

What I like

1.) Minimalistic magazine spreads. Less really is more appealing.

2.) Portraits. Especially candid ones. Black and white, please.

3. Wood floors.

4. Apple chips

5. Scribbly drawings.

6. Mmmmmmmate.

7. Typography. Especially hand lettering.

8. Feet shoes. Yikers! :]

9. Architecture.

10. Dreadlocks.

11. Yarn and all crafty things pertaining to yarn.

12. Forts.

13. Mustaches.

14. Good ideas. New and fresh ways of thinking.

15. This. Great album. Great art. It doesn't get much better.

16. Nice hands.

17. Christmastime. Don't mess with Christmas.

18. The wash behind my house. A great place for thought, rotting citrus, graffiti, longboarding, and just an all around good time.

19. Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. I'm not finished with it yet, but it's an awesome read. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out.

20. Drawing lines.

And the list goes on...


Fish tacos

I can say that I have been a vegetarian my whole life. Up until this point. I was just introduced into the delicious and almost unreal world of fish tacos. Oops.


Oh, crap

I haven't written anything in a very long time. I guess that's what happens when I get busy, I neglect the things that I like to do in order to do the things that i 'have' to do. I can really tell that God has been actively working in my life this summer. I must admit, the beginning of the summer was rough. But I cannot say enough times how good God is. First, a camp story.
It was Adventure week. These girls were hard work. Ten girls from completely different backgrounds - some very broken ones. How can we live in a world where seven and eight years old girls are being neglected and sexually abused? These girls are princesses. Daughters of God. It especially broke my heart when one of my campers started complaining about jeans making her butt look big. What are these girls hearing through the media and from their parents? Not only was this little girl very petite, but she was in fact, very beautiful. And yet she didn't think so. Eight years old.
Disclaimer: This is a poop story.
And then there was Kendra. She had hair cut like a boy, a big goofy smile, and a very smelly problem. This girl was a mess. She was always rolling around in the dirt and mixing her chocolate pudding with cheese. Or ketchup. Or cottage cheese. Whichever tickled her fancy. She was in her own world. All week I was running to the bathroom with this girl only to find out that most times, the damage had already been done. Or sometimes we would be sitting at camp fire when all of a sudden my nose would receive a scent that was all too familiar. Oh, crap. So I would have to get up with Kendra and take her to the bathroom and get her cleaned up. Over and over and over again.
Interjection - the absolute funniest moment of the week was when I was heading back to line call with her after a successful backroom run. Kendra was in her own world, per usual. I was watching her wander aimless around singing to herself. I noticed that she was about to walk right into a parked car. I just let nature take it's course and was pleasantly amused from her startled reaction. I really needed a good laugh after all the literal crap that she had put me through.
Back to my story...The funny thing about Kendra was that she never admitted that she had had an accident. Even though it was blatantly obvious. She would fight and deny and kick and scream.
I never thought that my job description as a counselor would include dirty diaper duty. But it did. Six times. And even though I didn't exactly love the mess that this girl would make, I loved her. Kind of reminds me of how we are as humans in our sins. We mess up big time and we know it. We stink and we're gross. Just sitting in our own mess. And yet we don't want to admit it. Ever. We don't want to fess up to our nastiness. But God has made it so simple. All we have to do is ask and God will clean us. And even if we mess up again, He'll still clean us. Talk about amazing grace!
"Come. Sit down. Let's argue this out. This is God's Message:
If your sins are blood-red, they'll be snow-white. If they're red like crimson, they'll be like wool." Isaiah 1:18 - The Message
"If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God." 1 John 1:8-10 - The Message