Panama Journal Entries

June 30~

On my way to Panama once again! Yay! Cameron is traveling with me and I am extremely excited for him to experience an inkling of what I lived through for three months.
My mom, dad, and Teresa are all being involved and teaching a marriage seminar in El Valle.
Cameron and I are watching the children so that the couples are able to deepen their love for one another without such distractions.
God will use us–I know it!

He is awesome, mighty, and graceful–who knows what whispering ways He’ll work in us… 

I am practicing my Spanish in my head and have been for the last week. I had two days where my rambling mind only allowed me four hours of sleep.

I have only spoken little bits, here and there, but this trip I am going to try to be more outgoing and not care how bad my Spanish is~yo necesito a practicando! 

Our flight goes from Detroit to Houston to Panama City. And we are currently about an hour and a half from Panama!
Gracias a Dios por su bondad! Safe flights are ALWAYS nice! 

Sleep seems to be out the door–none of us has really rested well, just enough to rest the eyes.. Good thing today we don’t have too much planned besides catching up with mi otra familia and putting together the marriage seminar books.
I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M BACK!!!!!!!!!
 

July 1~

Genesis 25 con mi amor; Cameron.

Went to visit the school today and saw so many familiar faces, each one of them lit up my heart as their smiles came after meeting my eyes. 

When Nair saw me, I almost cried because of how much she hugged me.
I was sort of scared that none of the kids would remember me, but the girls saw me at the playground and Cameron put it this way “She was mobbed and I was back, standing alone watching”.

Jesús {one of the second graders from last year that I connected with} was in my friend Florencia’s third grade class, so when she was outside her door-I asked her if I could see him.
She called him outside, “Jesús, please come here”
I was slightly around the corner digging in my back pack for a picture and frame that I put together for him for his birthday the next week.
His little body popped out the door and when his eyes met mine, I saw something I’ve never seen before–ever. Desperation for love and an unbelief of presence. I almost cried how tight he held me around my neck as I picked him up in an embrace unlike any of the other kid’s. 

I love that boy, I pray he realizes that. 

Nair introduced me as her sister to her class 🙂

It was different without Sanna…

I love Cameron, he is so quiet and trying to soak up everything. I think he’s comfortable, but frustrated with the fact that he can’t speak Spanish–I know; I was there…I still am sorta there.
I pray God uses us. There are only so many scheduled options for God though…He’s to marvelous to work in a way we expect! 

When José picked Cameron and I up from the Weet’s house, we were introduced to three new couples, I reunited with Glendon and Isa and then met Glendon’s wife!

Rita–who is a Spanish teacher to a high school helped me practice all the way to El Valle. She doesn’t know much English but she is good at helping others, like me communicate. Just like me, she understands more than she speaks (her for English, me for Spanish)
I told her I needed her in my life and that she was good for me. 

José told me that my Spanish was very good. I told him that I hadn’t practiced when I was home. He was astounded.
I think that it was just a lot easier {by God} because I gained self-confidence and decided to not care how terrible I truly do speak. 

It is so good to have friends and family here!!!
I have missed Panama mucho…

July 2~

I woke up this morning and after walking on the beautiful pathway, Rita came up tome and was excited so she started speaking rapid Spanish. I was trying to understand as much as I could, but keeping up was hard–so hard in fact that I misunderstood her; I thought she was asking me to talk to her daughter on facebook, but really she said that I DO talk to her daughter! Then she said the name of her daughter and it clicked that I had misinterpreted and actually KNEW her!!! I was so surprised and happy, I hugged her at least five times. Haha! 

The kids and us overseers went on a long walk for two hours while the sessions for marriage were happening. 

I have never seen Cameron so precious and endearing before. Lucas is a {8 month old(?)} baby who Cameron sweetly carried when my arm got tired, it was so adorable to see him care for him. He was so good with the kids.

I had a good supper with Michelle, Cameron, Kati, and a couple who are a pastor and wife from Chèpo. She doesn’t speak much English at all, but she knows some nouns.
He said he knew some English, but forgot a lot because he did not practice.
Michelle assisted in being the translator when I struggled understanding or spelling correctly.
It was SO good to do that again, like I did in the tribe, except I had Michelle as a translator this time! 

Cameron and I talked a bit before we each went to our rooms. We both are finding it hard to not treat this like a vacation We don’t feel as though we are needed as much as hoped for. Hopefully God brings the harvest to our eyes–a very encouraging thing, BUT even if He does not, I pray I trust Him better yet. 

Feeding Lucas and walking with the group; that's my man 🙂

O, how humidity destroys my thinking patterns…

Oh heavens how I despise feeling useless.
I’m so addicted to travel and adventure that when I finally have the chance to be home, I have to find something productive to do;
*figuring out how to wear that $2.77 shirt I bought from JCPenny {{it was cheap-I couldn’t resist!}}
*braiding cord together to make a bracelet
*cleaning my room
*finding myself on the computer more than I should be…
*alphabetizing books
*testing out that new nail polish
*going for four mile bike rides and running 

in other words–I get desperate to keep myself busy, it’s just how God made me.

I’m currently fighting the battle of job hunting, it helps me keep my mind away from attempting to duct-tape myself to the wall…haha, just kidding, why would I do that…but it might be interesting…Oh goodness, I’m not THAT desperate!
I’ve applied to so many pharmacies and hospitals I feel useless and worthless that I haven’t been called back yet :/
I know that no matter what though, I’ll eventually get a job, and me not having one currently opened up the opportunity for me to be a counselor at a camp!
God’s got His amazing ways of multi-tasking;
in the midst of teaching me patience and trust,
He’s allowing me to impact lives for Him! 

I suddenly don’t mind not having a job

 Somehow, in the midst of all my scatter-brained-ness I still feel at peace with my Lord.
Some people need to have sit-down-i’m-not-doing-anything time,
Some people  need on-the-go time,
Some people need the casual as-I’m-at-work time, with God.

We work differently, that’s why its important to figure out how to fit our schedule together with precision. Just like a puzzle piece, together they will open your eyes to the grand picture. 

…well, I’m off to figure out how to make something handy with buttons…

Adventure into Memories

I’ve missed one Christmas at the farm in my entire oxygen-breathing life.

My grandparent’s have given us {their children and children’s children} one of the best gifts anybody can receive, human-to-human…a love and faith foundation. They raised their children beautifully, even through sweat, tears, stress, and conflict. Every kid [all four] became a disciple of Christ and pursued bettering their own personal relationship with Him.

After each kid grew up, they all met their wonderful spouses–adding to the Christ-like atmosphere. God blessed the four children with kids of their own. My grandparents, being very close to their kids, began the tradition of annual family reunions. Around the 4th of July, for as long as I can remember, our family has united. The distance never kept our families from gathering. The farm was a place of fellowship and because of my grandparents, we had the best atmosphere–one filled with laughter, memories, joy, peace, faith, love, and hope.

Life is filled with change–it’s a fact.
I love change, except when it comes to family.

The farm’s barn was taken down and life got a little harder on my grandparents. Just like a cousin eating one of grandma’s marvelous pancakes, the farm was sold fast. My grandparents moved and moved on.
I wrote a post on this last Christmas–click HERE to read.

After my cousin’s wedding this past week, my two cousins, parents, friend and I took a trip to Minnesota and were able to see the farm…

We were headed down the last road before the driveway, I could feel my cousin Annie’s mixed emotions, knowing she felt just as attached to the farm as I did.
I wonder how different it will be…I bet it will make at least one of us cry…” I began thinking as we turned down the driveway. The mail box looked familiar as ever.

“You want to turn back now?” asks my dad.
“Ha. Ha.” was the reply.

We rounded the corner and out popped the house in sight.

“What did they do?!”
They painted the house and garage!
Yuck!”

 While various exclaims were exchanged, I noticed something, the drive way was expanded to be a circle drive around the light pole. It was a good idea.

Everyone stepped out of the van and began taking pictures–mentally and physically.

It surely looked terrible, the color of the house was a sad sight. Changes were made that caused the land to look dry and bland; harsh and ugly.

We met the owner’s fiancé, what a sweetheart; she was so open to having us there, thank God!

As we rounded the far corner of the house, Annie was swinging on the beloved, magical swing I helped grandpa put up years ago. 🙂
It was the highlight of our adventure into memories.

Entering the house, I immediately exclaimed,
Oh! It’s beautiful!”

The kitchen, dining room, living room…spot after spot was gorgeous. This couple utilized the space accordingly. I was overly surprised and my expectations were exceeded. I praised her for her decorating ability and she said something that caused a jump of hurt, “We’ve had fun fixing it” …those last two words…

I thought, “How could you ‘fix it’, it was perfect before!”

We left the house and walked outside, thanking her for allowing us to come and visit.

Annie said, “It’s like the farm is alive, after its family left it got depressed.”
We stared at the sad grass and flower beds…

I left being reminded that I feel that love and comfort when I hug my grandparents, not when I’m at the farm. IT’s the people–my family who made the farm ‘laughter and good times’–not the building.
The farm will always have a special place in my heart, but my family is far more important than any building or gorgeous piece of land.
My family, thanks to my grandparents faith and ultimately Jesus, will live on forever.

Chicos

I am just doing a quick update, I don’t have much time.
We are here at Rincón Vallero eating lunch.
The marriage seminar is going wonderfully, my mom reported!
The kids are few, but we are still good for them to have.
If Cameron and I leave tomorrow for Panama City, we will help out at the school! Tonight I will post more of what happened yesterday.
Oh and it’s a beautiful 15-20 degrees cooler here than the city of Panama 🙂

Entering familiarity

We arrived safe and sound!! The Internet at the airport didn’t work, so my update is a bit later than I hoped. After walking to the Rey (local grocery store that I’m so familiar with), tackling Jesse in the kitchen, and being embraced by the humidity, we all went out to the Cozway for some delicious food at Alberto’s.

It is amazing how time flies (como pase el tiempo!)
I was telling Randy how it seems like I have been gone six months, by it also seems like I never left…everyone is so familiar, nothing has really changed, except for the lack of Jordan and Sanna :/

The streets are as busy as ever and the Weets are still as comforting as ever. Rain and humidity; white clouds and skyscrapers.

It’s good to be back.

Cameron and I will be riding with Michelle, whom I love dearly, and her parents to El Valle (the place we will stay for the marriage seminar)

Yay