Sunday, March 30, 2008

The 411

It's been a while since I have posted anything so I thought it would be a good idea to put an update on where I am in getting to Paris and all that is currently happening.
Things are going really well, I have been introduced to so amazing people and it looks like so great potential fundraising events are going to be happening soon.
A few weeks ago my mom hosted a luncheon for me where family members and a few of her friends came. I had a great time, I enjoyed being able to share with my family what I will be doing as well as meeting a few of my mom's friends.
Every day seems to be going by so quickly and that my day is filled with to do lists. People I need to call, appointments I need to set up, correspondence I need to respond to. It seriously like having another full time job. But I am having a great time with it all. I just know that it will all be worth it once I finally arrive to the office in Paris and will be doing the work I am preparing for now.
It has been suggested that I put my donation information on my blog so for those of you interested here you go:
1. You can mail a check to me made out to Campus Crusade. If you need my address leave a comment and I will get it to you.
2. Go to this link and then you can make a donation to my account using a Credit Card.
I still have a long way to go until I have completed my fundraising but I know that this Mission is where God wants me to be and that in his timing all my funds will be raised.
I greatly appreciate all of you out there who are following me on this journey, praying for me, and keeping me encouraged. I couldn't do this without you all.
All my love!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Turkey? That's Random...

So for those who don't know... I went to Turkey! It was fabulous and very last minute. Yes the destination is not one that you would generally pinpoint as a place to go and visit. But I did! The most common reaction I would get when telling others I was leaving for 7 days to go to Turkey was... "Turkey? That's really random?" or even better those who weren't even aware I went out of town, let alone to a foreign country that most people only identify as the main dish during our great American holiday in November (Thanksgiving for those of you who are a bit slower ;) ). Suffice to say, people thought it was quite strange. But I then pose the question to them... when do I ever do anything that is normal? I am usually random, so it would almost be more "random" for me to be at the movies then making a one week trip to a country afar.
Well after that long introduction... I should probably tell you a bit more about my trip. I'll hit all the most asked questions and try to tapper in stories when I see fitting and exciting enough to occupy your time.
Question One: "Turkey? That's random... why are you going to Turkey?" Or "WHAT? You went to Turkey? Who the heck goes to Turkey?
Answer One: I go to Turkey... when invited by Campus Crusade to get a better idea of what I am going to be doing when I finally take the plunge, pack my bags, and move to Paris. I helped out with the annual Leadership development conference and met all the people who will be working in my office. (this is the main part of my work as well once in the office)
What I really did... Stapled packets, laughed at many ridiculous situations, pumped up 200 balloons, drank lots and lots of coffee (about 10 cups a day), enjoyed the beautiful view of the beach that our hotel was appreciatively located on, and met many fantastic people who live in over 22 different countries.
Question Two: How was the food?
Answer Two: It was really good. There was plenty of it. Lots of fresh meats, veg's, fruits, TONS of coffee and tea, and the best part was the great baklava (Sp?) at the end of each meal. Yum.
Question Three: How long was the flight?
Answer Three: I flew from LAX-Frankfurt (10.5 hrs). Then a 2 hr layover. Then Frankfurt-Istanbul (3 hrs) and then from Istanbul to Antalya (1 hr.) Long enough. and I don't sleep well on planes so... I was quite out of it by the time I finally arrived to my hotel.
Question Four: Best Part?
Answer Four: There were many great moments. I met a new fantastic friend named Stephanie and I don't know what I would have done without her there. We literally spent every moment together for 7 days. But we got along really well and that made the trip all the more memorable. And I quite enjoyed laughing at her and me during some of our more long moments of the day or experiences in a new country.
I greatly enjoyed watching the people attending the conference relax and interact. There were about 200 people who attended this conference many of whom are what they refer to as MBB's (Muslim Back Ground Believers). When at home these people live with the daily reality and fear that their belief in Christ can be cause for the end of their life. Betrayal of their families, assuming they even still have contact with their family. Many of their families have turned their backs on these people. It was beautiful to watch what mirrored a huge reunion for many of the people. A place where they could feel at rest, safe, and with people who understand the trials they face daily.
Another amazing fact about these people is that they are all such bright lights in some of the darkest regions of the world today. These missionaries are from Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, and 25 other middle eastern countries. Places where such negative and painful connotations are associated. But these people... they have hope, they have joy, they have peace and it was encouraging to know that even in these places where such despair, darkness, and destruction are named characteristics, these people are characterized as ambassadors of truth, joyful in all circumstances, persevering, and loving to all people. They have powerful stories, a passionate love of the Lord, and a faith that I can only strive to emulate after.
Turkey... yes it was random. Yes it was fantastic. And Yes I can't wait to go back again and be an encourager to those who taught me valuable lessons, in the one week I had the opportunity to meet, serve, and glimpse into the reality of their life.

Next stop... Paris. (I hope!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Juh, Rgh, and Euh

What do early Saturday mornings, two tablets of aspirin, and a very large cup of coffee have in common? Me, Trying to learn French. Please note the emphasis on the word Trying in the previous sentence.

I officially learned I was moving to Paris, November 5
th, 2007. Since, I have been asked many questions. The most obvious and common question asked is... Do you speak French? My response: a coy, innocent smile along with a witty french response of "Wi" (I have sense learned that yes in French is correctly spelled: Oui)

Thanks to the highly reputable resource network known as... "Craig's list." I found myself a French tutor. The result has been: me, waking up early Saturday mornings, to meet with a witty French man, in a coffee shop, for 3 hours, stammering over words that I am unable to pronounce. Correction, stumbling over words would be a good day~ I am usually stuck on~ the alphabet. To remember the letter E (
euh) I have to scratch my head, To pronounce R's (Rgh) I am forced to hack, and G's (Juh) I pretend to silently cough.

I believe
Soleli (my tutor) is one of two things. The first would be a saint for having the patience to sit with someone like me for three hours time. I continually ask simple questions, ask why the French have stupid rules, and stare at him blankly when he gives me directions only to then spit out "OH, you want me to say it!" I imagine he continually thinks... "stupid girl," underneath his kind giggle and "but of course." He also quite often tells me to, "quit being a stubborn woman" where I correct him in that I am sassy, not stubborn. Sassy is one English word he is not familiar with.

My second theory and more probably, is that Soleli is the epitome of evil and is making up silly rules of when the sounds of letters change . (If an "S" is between to
vowels then it makes a "Z" sound. every where else it makes a "ssss" sound. But the "S" is not pronounced at the end of any word ect...) I am convinced these rules are all to make an eager French learner , frustrated. And believe me... I am the most eager French learner of them all. Secretly, French must be a simple and easy language. He must take great pleasure in watching foolish beginning French students like myself, struggle to formulate simple words in a language that was given to him naturally at birth. Some people have all the luck, I'll tell ya. shiesh.

However! I will overcome! I will keep scratching my head, coughing, and hacking or whatever it takes for me to survive the most basic understanding and pronunciation. I have however learned, that French is a language that lacks any logical connection and that French only sounds beautiful when someone French is speaking. I do this language of beauty, no justice whatsoever. Dang!

Revoir! (avhoergh- yawn, hack, Va, eugh, yawn, hack)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

200 trips to Kinkos

I am pleased to announce that after 200 trips to kinkos in the last month, I am now ready to start asking people to help support me in working with Campus Crusade for Christ! Seriously... everyday for the last month was spent in some form or another either: planning, printing, or picking up items from Kinkos. It's pretty bad when every employee knows you by name, after only a few days. I even debated buying Christmas gifts for some of the employees.
I cease to be amazed by all the options there are for printing. I thought you simply pushed the start button and out popped a replicated copy of the page you put in. Oh no... there is a large plethora of options on those copy machines- which i think explains why copy machies are consistenly jammed up. The contraption (formally known as a copy machine) is unable to process all the dynamic opportunities awaiting the paper copy consume
r, thus a jam is created. And then leaves someone like me, scratching their head, pointing, and telling the Kinkos associate the thingamabob is no longer working. The Awe-inspring part of each trip is the fact that you can select from about 8 different paper sizes, 92 types of paper, AND color copies can be yours for the low low price of 49 cents a copy. *special so hurry in soon* However, this too can create a problem: You can become paralized from so many great options that you simply cannot decide what to print your now subpar template upon.
So let this blog commemorate the end of a fantastic one month relationship with the kinko's company, employees, and copy contraptions. But let's not think of this as the end of an era. When one door closes another one opens. I am simply now opening the door to the world wide opportunity of fundraising. Here! Here!