31 May 2008

taste and see

Whither shall I go from they Spirit? or whither shall I flee from they presence? (psalm 139:7)

There isnt a place that He isnt. The spirit of God, his presence is all around us, embracing us...waiting for us, waiting for me to recognize it.

this week has been a week of recognition. recognition that, surely the Lord was in this place and i knew it not. (i sympathize with jacob in genesis28). a recognition that every moment, every activity, every conversation is an oppotunity to taste and see that the Lord is good.

as i sit in a small cubby hole in the third floor laundry room of my sweet host family i have so much to say and so few words.

i can say that i have found joy in my experiences here. and i am grateful.

i can say that living in the reality God, of His eternity, regardless of where my physically body is has become my greatest desire.

i have met people who have developed into dear friends.

i have found that i absolutely love tacos.

i have seen and experienced the bus trip to the Silver capital of the World.

i have become an addict when it comes to anything salsa related. i have two weeks left and that means only 14 hrs/10 days left of salsa lessons. estoy muy emocionada (very excited, mom)

i have finished my Culture and Civilization class. in which i overcame a lot of fears relating to my spanish speaking abilities...and realized new ones.

i have found again that people, no matter what language they speak or what country they live in, are a lot alike.

i have a new appreciation for HEB :)

i have found i would much rather sit at home with the fam, than fall asleep at a discoteca with amanda at 5a.m. (dont worry mom we are safe and sound...just a little tired)

i have seen the hunger in the eyes of everyone around me for something more than this world.

i have found that the movie theaters in Mexico are much much better than ours back home. sitting in the VIP section with reclining leather chairs coupled with a swivel table with a freshly made crepe filled with nutella and peanut butter...all while watching Narnia (a fantastic movie by the way) is a grand experience.

i have gained a new new insight into history, and a hunger to learn more and more about the past.

i have realized yet again the nessesity for me to have an answer for the hope that i call my own.

I have found that His whole universe is alive with His life....

24 May 2008

vida en México!

ok wow.

It has been a whole week and I haven’t updated. This is too overwhelming! So much has happened and I want to write about everything…pero no puedo porque no tengo bastante tiempo. I am going to write a mini diary…

My family here is more than I could have every hoped for. They have honestly welcomed me into their home as another hija. I have two sisters, Teri and Mari. Teri has a little boy named Enrique and we also have a cousin who lives with us, Erik.

(this is Enrique!)

Disclaimer: I am going to write sometimes in Spanish b/c it just comes out.


Today was my first day of classes! I am taking “Culture and Civilization” and “Lititure”. Before I came I thought I would be staying for 6 weeks because I wanted to take an extra grammer class but after being here for only a day I realized that it is actually better to jump right into my classes, plus I will save money.

My classes seem like they are going to be a bit hard for me. Let’s be honest, Emily doesn’t really speak Espanol that well, but I am excited for the challenge. I am in classes with mostly Native speakers and I know that there will be many frustrating days ahead of me.

Everyone here is very welcoming! After classes all the new students had a potluck dinner—each of the host mom’s brought a dish and we had dancing and lots of food!

Entonces,después del almuerzo mis amigos y fuimos al Centro para andar alrededor y experimentar un poco de Cuernavaca! Me gusta Cuernavaca mucho mucho mucho!

The people here have stolen my heart already...


After school, my roommate Zoe and I decided to go to la galeria (it is like a mall) and buy a cell phone to have to call taxis and call our madre. We went with our cousin, Erik, and our little nephew, Enrique. We have had so much fun with our family!

Zoe, our madre, and I went to Zara and picked out clothes to try on and put on a little fashion show in the dressing room, although the clothes there are muy caro we wanted to try them on anyway!

some of the great fresh food we having been enjoying :)


Fuimos a un orfanato con un grupo de estudiantes. (we went to an orphanage after school today)
The name of the orphage is NPH: Nuestros Pequeños Hermonos in a little pueblo a cera de Cuernavaca, Miacatlan.

This facility houses about 1,000 children ranging in age from new born to 18 yrs old (I believe) The facility is way over 100 acres and they have their own farm full of pigs and chickens and fish ponds, they harvest their own grain to make tortillas, and they have tons of fruit trees. The manure from the pigs is used for food for the Tilapia fish. The Tilapia fish ponds are found at the top of a hill and every 6 weeks they are ready to eat. In order to water their gardens they open up the fish ponds and the water that is full of nutrients b/c of the fish is used to fertilize the garden. Perfect picture of the circle of life

The guys at the orphanage are responsible for all the harvesting and it gives them a great opportunity to learn how to provide and work hard.

We bought soccer balls and lots of piñatas to take with us to play with the kids. We first got a tour of the orphanage and then spend about an hour hanging out with the kids. They were so full of life and personality!

Words really can’t explain, but this orphanage was absolutely amazing. The vision of the founder to establish a place where the children there would call each other family, where they would learn how to serve because they have been served, where they would go to school, where they would learn a trade, where they would be loved…

Our tour guide explained that many of the kids there were left in boxes at the front door. He told us that they had two visiting days each year where, if the children did have any family that on those days the families could come and see them. He began to explain that those days are the hardest. He said that early early in the morning all the kids line up at the gate of the facility. They all sit down and wait. Wait for their name to be called over the microphone. Wait to hear that their dad or their mom or their aunt or uncle has come to see them. But he said that most kids don’t get a visitor and then he said for weeks the kids come to him with endless questions of why their Dad or Mom doesnt want them and he has no sufficient answers…

There is a garbage dump about 15 minutes from the orphanage facility. The orphanage started a program to go and pick up children who live in the garbage dump to come and receive food and go to school. At the end of the day the kids are dropped by off at the dump to be with their families because they have to help their families earn a living as well. As of right now about 115 kids are picked up every day.

I will never forget this experience. Please pray with me for the kids at NPH and for the families who live at the Garbage dump in Milpillas.

Go here for more information:


Class is pretty difficult, and today was kinda frustrating. We are reading stories and about every other word I underline b/c I have never seen it before. I am going to have to do a lot of studying…

But after class we (Amanda, Zoe, and I) went to salsa dance lessons! Great way to break a sweat and release stress :)

I absolutely LOVED salsa class! It was so so much fun! Every tues and thur at 5 o’clock you can find me at “Amor de Salsa” dance lessons!

After salsa we went to good ole’ starbuck for internet access and to study for our test tomorrow. We ended up seeing the director of our school, Letecia, and we joined her for doughnuts after studying :)

(p.s. this is what we taught enrique to do!)

Ahhh its Friday!

After classs today we came home and ate a wonderful lunch and then headed to take a nap. We haven’t slept much lately and today we woke up early to study more for our test, so a siesta was much needed.

After we woke up we colored our madre’s hair. yep. We are her new hairdressers! It was so fun!


Today Zoe went on an excursion to Pueble, a city about an hr away.

I am staying in Cuernavaca to relax and hang out with my family. Today is my host sister, Teri’s, birthday and we are having a big celebration tonight!

This morning I went to the fresh food market to pick up some of Teri’s favorite food. Let’s just say the ‘grocery store’ here is much much different. I loved all the fresh vegetables and fruit! There were so so many! But then when we reached the meat section I became slightly light headed….I don’t know if I will be going back to the market but it was definitely a fun experience.

(me and enrique in the taxi after the trip to the mercado!)

hasta luego!

14 May 2008

home sweet home

Not much can make my heart sing louder and clearer than

…jogging on county road 3115 at dusk
…filling and re-filling my parents coffee cups about 10 times a day
…sitting silently in the middle of the field just north of our house with Beethoven staring blankly at me
…the drive to walmart with momma
…seeing everyone I know, and then finding out quickly that they know every detail of my life that has happened in the past 2 months (thanks mom)
…cooking fresh vegetables from the garden (thanks Deb—she gave us her first fruits of the summer, asparagus, sweet peas, carrots, potatoes, broccoli..mmm nothing like it)
…watching o’reilly with dad and laughing. a lot.
...answering to the name anna.
…making about 4 pots of coffee in one night because our door is always open, and well, family is so much bigger
…shelling pecans
...seeing roughly 40 little people (under 3 yrs) tackle my dad screaming “Pastor Wandy!!”
…then seeing my dad’s eyes sparkle
…playing secretary for a day and watching people in need flood in the doors of an open building filled with people who are the church
...remembering the 'old' me
…waking up to the sound of a bush-hogger (how exactly do you spell that?)
…eating supper on the back porch
…the indescribable beauty that is East Texas
...watching home vidoes
…driving on the back roads
…watching my dad teach P.E. at school. calistinics have a whole new meaning.
…making mom's carrot cake
...watching my parents flirt. and snuggle. after almost 25 years.
…reading. just for fun.

It feels good to be back.

It’s different this time.

Everything I own is in boxes. Mi casa in CS is no more—and well, mi casa here isn’t really mine either. It is different this time, and i never thought it would come so soon. more on that later...