I remember being very young and believing that if I swallowed a fruit seed the plant would grow inside me. I didn’t know about digestive acids inside my stomach. I (apparently) didn’t consider that plants require dirt, and that I didn’t have that in abundance within me. There were things that were true that I … More swallowing seeds and other reasons to not fear
John 3:3 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you … More we know, but we don’t see
Luke 9:23-26 Then he [Jesus] said to the crowd,”If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, … More are you following Jesus?
Being a follower of Jesus is not about addition, but rather addiction. It is not adding Jesus to a part of your life while leaving the rest of it unchanged. It is a complete takeover of your patterns, desires and focus. An obsession with knowing, loving and conforming to him, at whatever the cost. Matthew … More addiction, not addition
They think I take God too seriously. Do they know the definition of “God”? How seriously do you take an earthquake? A tornado? A black hole? Lightening? A hurricane? An ocean riptide? A tsunami? Do you think the Creator is not greater? Lord, please open our eyes to see Your furious, powerful, burning, beautiful holiness. … More why so serious?
I started taking a class on language acquisition and adult learners. I am LOVING it! Last week, we had to respond to the prompt below. I have always loved the Spanish language, ever since I started learning it some…(wow)…17 years ago! But I’ve never really been able to pinpoint why. Here’s a theory I considered … More why do i love Spanish?
Genesis 8:20-21 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice… The concept of making sacrifices to God (or a god) is an old one. In Noah’s … More who owns your stuff?
Hebrews 9:25-28 And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. … More in your sin, draw close to God
I cried on election night 2008. At 24, I never thought in my lifetime that I would see a black American rise to the highest government office in the nation and the world. I laughed and shook my head after watching Chris Rock’s movie Head of State, because of what I thought to be the … More barak and michelle
It’s been said to not question God. On the one hand, doubting God’s wisdom is futile at best, haughty at worst. On the other hand, God isn’t afraid of the questions we have about him. He is good. Sometimes it’s a journey to re-learn this, but we can bring him each doubt along the way. … More is it okay to question God?
Ruth 1:19-22 …when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, “Is this Naomi?” But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home … More you are not forgotten
Just a reminder: You don’t have to have a great audience to do great things. Being destined for greatness doesn’t always mean you’ll stand before many. It does always mean you’ll make the right impact, right where it matters. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, … More destined for greatness
Have you ever found yourself to have grown in a virtue? Maybe in a disagreement, you found that you were more patient or gracious with the other party than you would have been a year ago. Maybe you’re more generous in your financial giving than you were six months ago. Or you were more kind … More no need to grow
I’ve shared this a few times this past week, and in the true spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I’ll share it with you. Sometimes when I feel myself getting down, or when I’m distracted from the truth of God’s goodness, I bring myself back into focus by taking a page out of the … More the Lord is good, so give him thanks
Okay, folks. At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I have to address the elephant on the screen: I’ve not posted a blog in more than 3 years! Since March 2013, things have changed in my life. I extended my service in the US Peace Corps until June of 2014, I dyed my hair (a … More for the sake of my voice
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said … More the options
Literacy Intervention Before the Christmas break, I started my literacy pull-out program with 18 third graders in the elementary school. I call it “Leer y Crecer,” which means “read and grow.” I asked the teachers to give me their low-performing readers, evaluated them and put them into three groups of 6, based on reading ability. … More 1 year, 11 mos, 4 days (3 months left)
I spent most of the month of October in….(drumroll)……………America! And I was very happy to be there (in Hakeem voice, from Coming to America). I am so blessed with awesome family and friends and church family at home that I was able to see. Miss you guys! At home I also went to my 10-year … More visiting america, holidaying in the DR
At the beginning of August, I took two girls from my community to a Peace Corps conference called Celebrando el Cibao (El Cibao is the region of the country I live in). We discussed topics like diversity, discrimination and basic treatment of others, in a safe environment. We did dinámicas, arts and crafts and had … More 1 year 6 mo 29 days in (7 months left)
Other than the parasitic nightmare described in the previous post, it’s been a while since I’ve updated, and quite a bit has happened since late July. For starters, my birthday! Sabrill and Damien came up, my host family made me some very yummy food, my church sang Happy Birthday to me in English (LOL!), I … More birthday 2012
First, I hate that THIS is the post that I start you off with after a long period of not having updated you in a while; sorry about that. I started working on another one, and then, well, this happened. Second, because of how freely Dominicans tend to discuss their bodily functions, I may or … More so, you have an amoeba
Summer means the beach. The beach means shells. And shells means…? Earrings! I’ve collected some shells from the beach and started turning them into jewelry. 🙂 All I did was use the hole at the top to poke a hole all the way through with a safety pin. Then I put string through there and … More earrings from the sea
Two to three days a week I go to the homes of two 3rd graders to help them with reading. We go over letters (their names and the sounds that they represent), how they form syllables when paired with other letters or by themselves, and how those syllables come to form words. I’ve really enjoyed … More learning to teach
The 4th was great this year. I had an incident in which a few items were, uh…misplaced (talk to me personally for more on that), so I’ve had to borrow pictures from other people’s cameras. This year I sang America the Beautiful and the national anthem at the volunteer party, and I collected and announced … More 2nd 4th
At the end of June, I visited another volunteer’s site to give a charla (a talk) about Black American Culture. The other volunteers that presented were a Mexican American and a Jewish American. It was so great! A lot of Dominicans think that all Americans are white, with blond hair and blue eyes. I’ve had … More what does an american look like?
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been passing time playing with my hair. Well, not playing playing, really just trying out different protective styles. Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of natural hair information sources talk about the importance of protecting the ends of your hair—since it’s the oldest and therefore, most vulnerable … More protective styling
On Tuesday, I started working with kids who have trouble reading. PCDR’s education sector has officially transitioned from mostly ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) to literacy and basic education. I did some basic education training with my high school and elementary school teachers a few months back, and, despite initially thinking I would avoid it, … More words and songs
Highlights from celebrating one year of Peace Corps service. One down, one to go. Sometimes, I can’t believe I live here on this beautiful island. I really am living my dream. 🙂 God is good!
I was at the elementary school about to leave when I heard that the father of one of my teacher training group participants had passed away that same day. I had to make a quick decision: go home as planned or go to the home of the father of one of the teachers I knew … More awkward mourning
2012 is an election year. You know how it goes: everyone up in arms about the right or the left or the other. Fun, arbitrary campaign slogans and strategies overshadowing talk of real solutions to issues that affect the nation. And voters are left struggling, trying to decide between the lesser of two evils, or … More politics
Written Tuesday, April 24, 2012 So, it’s been a year already! I’m over the hill with my Peace Corps experience, and I hardly know where the days have gone. Twenty-seven months is approximately 810 days; I’ve completed about 418 of those. Pretty soon, I’ll be writing this about finishing up my service (wowzers!). In the … More 1 year 1 mo 23 days in
Written Tuesday, April 23 I live for Thursdays. On Thursdays, I go for an hour to guitar lessons. I don’t know why I didn’t pick up learning guitar before, but I now have a new love in my life! I’ve wanted to learn guitar for a long time, and now I have time to do … More soundtrack
Angry face! I spent a total of about 3.5 hours cleaning out a major ant infestation in my house. And these are the ones that bite! I’d never seen anything like this. I have to be even more vigilant than before now.
On Sunday, I graduated my teacher training course. *Heavy sigh of relief* I spent the two weeks before the graduation working with teachers to get certification requirements finished, inviting people with titles, and of course, planning the event. I made invitations and printed them in color, created and printed the certificates, bought balloons, had Sabrill … More teacher training graduation
In February, Peace Corps Dominican Republic celebrated 50 years with el pueblo Dominicano. We had a pretty big shindig in the capital, which included the presence of the worldwide director of Peace Corps, Aaron Williams (also a former volunteer in the DR). I was on the Communications team working before and during conference. Check out … More we turned 50!
When I first got the the DR, I was so pleasantly surprised at how fresh the eggs tasted. There was this whole lack-of-steroids taste present, accompanied by a free-roam-chicken taste. I didn’t even know how those things tasted before. I commented to someone about the freshness of the eggs, and they replied, “Yeah, they’re so … More why my eggs taste better than yours
Written January 8 I read in Acts 26 about Paul recounting his conversion to King Agrippa. After he had finished, King Agrippa said to him, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” This just had me wondering, “What was it that held King Agrippa back from ‘altogether’ (as Paul worded it) coming to fully … More to almost believe
Say what? I remember reading in one of the Peace Corps publications something about “learning a new way to communicate.” That sounds so pretty, doesn’t it? But it can be really hard and very frustrating when you’re accustomed to being able to communicate in one way, and now have to in a completely different one. … More say what?
Written Thursday, January 19, 2012 I don’t know if I could do justice with words to describe how wonderful it was being home for Christmas and New Years. It was awesome. My first family stop in the US was to my sister’s house in Philadelphia, and I rode the train to get there. I sat … More home again
Since the last entry about teacher training, my group of high school teachers has tapered off to a consistent five participants every Saturday. I’ve also started another training group with the teachers at the elementary school. While I was preparing for one of the Saturday workshops at the high school, a teacher from the elementary … More more teachers and some youth
Written Wednesday, October 26 It is truly God who enables us to believe. We have songs like Byron Cage’s “Faithful to believe” and even the traditional hymn, “I have decided to follow Jesus” that speak of our choosing to follow the way of Christ or be faithful to him. But it is truly only God … More grace to choose
“While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” – John 12:36 We have gotten so accustomed to humanity’s distance from God and from godliness that we’ve become comfortable with it; it has become the standard. But Jesus changed that all. He called us to believe, so we … More the light
Written Saturday, October 8, 2011 Last Saturday, I started my main project: training teachers on teaching methodology and incorporating technology into the education process. After spending time with another volunteer, who has the same main project, I got really excited about beginning. Fourteen teachers from the daytime staff signed up. I didn’t think all 14 … More teacher training
Written Saturday, October 8, 2011 Remember Mamita? The hood rat, uh, I mean street dog that I wanted to take to come live with me? Well I guess you can take the dog out the streets, but you can’t take the streets out the dog. After two confusing conversations with the previous owners, Mamita followed … More must love dogs
Written Saturday, October 8, 2011 It’s been forever since I’ve posted an update to the blog. I’ll try to make updates more often. Sorry for the wait! 🙂 I moved on my own at the beginning of September. I love my house. It’s small, but just right for me. It’s kind of like a studio … More ¿cómo se dice “moving”?
Written Wednesday August 31, 2011 I published this before, but for some reason it didn’t go though. Anyway, here it is again! 🙂 I majored in Spanish Language and Literature in college, so I’ve been pretty invested in the Spanish-speaking world long before I came to the Dominican Republic to live and work. I remember … More apellidos
Written Wednesday, August 17, 2011 Think about the first day of school in one of your grades in high school…let’s say 10th grade. What did you do? Get locker assignments? Get books? Maybe you went over material in the first chapter of the text book, or perhaps just talked about how summer went in your … More the first week of school
Written Wednesday, August 17, 2011 Last week the Education sector had its 3-month In-Service Training Conference (IST). This is where we present our community diagnostics after having been present in and having interviewed our community for three months. It was really good to see all the other volunteers’ presentations and the diversity of communities in … More IST, MRI and mange
Written Wednesday, August 17, 2011 Usually for my birthday, my girls come up and we go out to eat, or to the movies or on a road trip and have a sleepover. This year, two weeks before my birthday, I almost forgot that it was approaching. For my birthday, the neighborhood kids all made me … More my birthday in the DR
Written Wednesday, July 20, 2011 Gary, Dave and Beth (my sister’s in-laws) came down Sunday for their annual medical mission. I went down on Monday to meet them and helped Mr. Gary with the interpretations. I had an awesome time!!!! I really enjoyed interpreting and making the patients feel comfortable with the process, but most … More fun & faith with the foresters