Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Birthdays and Kwaanza

I took a lil' blog break but never fear, I am back. I am pretty sure I have yet to write about our Kwaanza fun. On December 26th, all of us on base went across the island to Kihei to a touristy beach. It was pretty crowded with people trying to get as much sun as possible before returning to whatever frigid wasteland they came from. We had a lot of fun bodyboarding and I saw one of the biggest mullet owners ever. A great day!

I saw a flier in town that advertised a Kwaanza celebration. For those of you unfamiliar with Kwaanza, it is an African American holiday between Christmas and New Year's. There are many traditions that I don't fully understand but when I saw the words, "soul food potluck" I knew I had to be there. Soul food may very well be my favorite genre of food. We went to a local elementary school and found possibly the largest concentration I had ever seen on the island. There just are not very many black people here. I miss them. We hung out, ate and played Kwaanza bingo. We were going to get our faces painted like African animals but the line was too long.

The 28th was Amy's birthday. I am very intent on making people's birthdays as good as I can. Since Amy is my closest friend here, I had to make her birthday special. I did not let her know what the plans were. We started the day by going to IHOP for breakfast. Then we went to the Maui Ocean Center. It is this aquarium that Amy really likes. I had never been there and my previous unsatisfactory aquarium experience made me skeptical. It ended up being cool. They have some really amazing fish and it is cool to think that they are all located in the ocean around Hawaii. The sharks and the jellyfish were my favorites.

After the aquarium, we went to play mini-golf. Amy and I both got hole-in-ones. Seth did not, haha. Then we came back home and watched more episodes of Lost. We are pretty into it. We have been getting the discs from Netflix so we can't watch them exactly when we want them but we didn't have to pay for the whole thing. I made Amy a rice krispie cake since she can't eat white flour. I think she had fun. If not, at least I did.

Now we are back to work. I have a lot to do after a weeklong vacation. I am most excited about exploring my new job. Hopefully I will still be able to put my heart into housing as well.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Getting the giggles in church

Last night the 11 of us left on base went to Paia Hawaiian Protestant Church for their candlelight service. None of us had ever attended the church but it is only a short walk from our house. The church was mostly full when we shuffled in. We ended up sitting in the very front. Our group tried unsuccessfully to all squeeze into one pew but we had to overflow into the next.

I was sitting between Gena and Kristy. The service was pretty formal and involved a lot of alternating between sitting and standing. The sermon was hilarious. The pastor was not a native English speaker. I presume that he was from the Philippines. He mispronounced words in ways that had us shaking to control our laughter. He kept talking about retinas (he said Ra-Teen-as). He said we were supposed to love our enemies but he pronounced it (Enemas). There were tons of other flubs. I was trying valiantly to keep from laughing out loud. Sitting next to Gena did not help one bit. It reminded me of High School when I sat next to Neha Patel. One time I was struggling to supress a giggle when Neha whispers that she "has the giggles." This does not help me one bit.

Last night Gena kept poking me and looking at me at inopurtune moments. I was silently laughing so hard that I twice starting crying. It felt like when you feel like you are going to throw up and try to hold it in. It seemed like most of my companions were having similar difficulties. I lost the not laughing game when the pastor for some reason said a word that sounded like "Poos." I actually laughed out loud. I could not believe it. After that I kept thinking about the fact that I had actually made a sound and almost busting out again. I was so excited when the sermon finally ended. The congregation held no grudge despite my loud guffaws. They invited us to have Portuguese soup with them afterwards. They also gave us little good bags with fruit and strange edible Asian treats. A good time was had by all.

After church, we decided to open the gift we bought for YWAM. We bought Catch Phrase. We had fun playing it last night before bed.

In the morning we all gathered around to open presents. We had received permission to let the three boys on base spend the night in an empty bedroom at our house. That way we could all wake up like a family. After we opened our gifts, we had a good breakfast with bacon, eggs, toast and cinnamon rolls made from scratch. After that we laid around watching the Law and Order SVU box set that Amy got for Christmas.

Then our group separated to have lunch/dinner with two different families from our base. I went to Tam and Libby's. There was some good food. We had mashed potatoes, ham, rolls, green bean casserole and dessert. It was great. I heard that the other group only got pupus (that's what they call appetizers here). Haha Suckers! I ate until I thought I would explode. Amy and I have resolved to start eating healthy and workout again starting tomorrow so I had to get in a final act of gluttony.

After gorging myself, I took a nap. It started out as a short nap but it just kept going. It was so nice. Everyone came over and we played more catch phrase and another fun game. It was good times. Not to sound prideful, but I have an uncanny ability to play many board games. It always surprises people. I am also strangely good at Jeopardy. I have yet to find a way to capitalize on this talent of mine. Too bad I cannot play board games for money. For example, when given the clue, "She's a slut and she's married to..." I correctly answered, "Carmen Electra." I don't know how I do this and it unfortunately did not help me much in school. It is only an amusing party trick. If anyone has an idea on how to capitalize on this, let me know.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Joe Montana and Me

Wow! I cannot believe that tommorrow is Christmas Eve! That is so crazy. It really does not feel like it. I think the main reason is that the weather here is still sunny and warm. I went to Wal-Mart today and it was crazy. People still buy lots of stuff at Christmas even if it doesn't feel like Christmas. Amy and I went grocery shopping to pick up some more food for those of us still on base. I could not believe the prices. I don't shop for food much here other than picking up the occasional item like spray butter. A loaf of bread costs $5! So does a box of cereal and a jar of pickles. It is insane! I got so frustrted by the prices.

I have kept my eyes peeled, looking for Paris. I was unsuccessful. I did, on the other hand, see my first celebrity since being back on the island. (During my DTS I saw Laird Hamilton, Willie Nelson and Gabrielle Reese but they all live here so that's not too special.) Today I saw Joe Montana waiting to cross the street at our town's only stoplight. I was not sure at first but I have seen him on tv enough to be pretty sure. He was wearing a Notre Dame tee-shirt and I found out on the internet that that was where he went to school. So, it was him for sure. Yay! I like spotting famous people about as much as I like spotting mullets. There are a lot of tourists on island right now so I am hoping to see more famous people.

Getting the mail has been very exciting. THere are lots of letters and packages for people. I have heard rumors about people sending me packages but so far I have only received one and that was from Sarah Sto-Gregor. She's always so on top of things. I figure that between now and my birthday, (January 17th) I will probably have a package 'o' rama. I will get late Christmas packages and birthday packages. How exciting! I love mail!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Where's Paris?

I got a call from Gena today. She was working at Anthony's, the local coffee shop where all the cool people hang out. She called our house as is the protocol I established with her, to inform me that Paris Hilton was in the shop. I was about to go to the beach anyway so I hurried down the street. I found out when I got there that I just missed her. I scanned the street and looked into some shops trying to find her. It was a very funny concept: Me playing Hide and Go Seek with Paris Hilton. I don't know if the fact that she did not know she was playing counts. Unfortunately Paris eluded me. I had predicted she would come to Maui for Christmas since she is currently dating a professional windsurfer whose family lives in our town. I am hoping to see her sometime during her visit. I don't even really like her but I just want to see a celebrity.

I once read an article about Amy Poehler, the chick on Saturday Night Live who does weekend update with Tina Fey. She was asked to describe herself growing up and the two words she used to describe her child self were bossy and a tomboy. This is probably what I would say about myself as a kid as well. I thought this was interesting.

Lately I have been doing a lot of nothing. I am off work for the week so I have been vegging. I finished reading THE POISONWOOD BIBLE. It was good but sad. Now I have moved on to INTO THIN AIR about a big Everest expedition. It is pretty captivating. It feels so good to just relax. It is making my ankle better. It is still not perfect and I can't run yet but it is improving.

I haven't hung out with my best buddy here, Amy, very much lately. Her boyfriend has been in town this week. I have hung out with them some but I also try to stay away and give them their alone time. I definitely remember what it was like to be in a long-distance relationship. At least in our case, we were only 7 hours away by car. They are more than 7 hours away by plane and in different countries.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A baby extravaganza

Ankle Update- It is slowly getting better. I am trying to stay off it more. Yesterday I spent most of the day laying on my couch, reading a book while elevating this pesky ankle. I do notice a difference today. It is hard to do nothing like that all day. I think we all have this inner voice that nags us to not be lazy and not rest too much. Sometimes that voice is simply wrong. I know I need to stay off my feet but sometimes I just can't take so much sloth sometimes.

So many people here are having babies. Three of the wives on base are curently pregnant and the other two have had babies within the last year. Apparently being in YWAM contributes to fertility. I think I am soon to be entering the season of my life where lots of my friends are having babies. Erin and Zach are having one in May. I am hoping they have it on May 5th- Cinco de Mayo and my dad's birthday. Then I just found out that Sarah Musselman is pregnant and due in June. I think I am probably about a year off before a deluge of babies for my friends. I have always planned to be married at least a year or two before trying to procreate but as I am about to have my quarter-life birthday, I realize that I am no longer a spring chicken. What does that saying mean anyway? I'll just have to see what God's plan is. I often wish God would just tell me who and when I am going to get married but he doesn't operate the way I'd like. Luckily I am able to remember most of the time that his timing is best.

Christmas is fun mail time. I have not received any X-mas packages but almost everyday I have received several fun Christmas cards. I like the ones with updates. It is always cool to see how friends are doing.

Today we had a basketball team from California come and help out on base. Gena and I put them to work doing yard work and cleaning our vans. It was so needed. They totally blessed us. This little old neighbor guy had them clean up his yard as well. Smart guy.

I have decided to make a calendar called "Wayne in your bed." Wayne is a guy on staff and I am taking pictures of him in the beds of girls on staff who have gone home for Christmas. I plan on leaving each girl a copy of a pic of "Wayne in their bed" on top of their bed when they get home. it should be really funny. I am really excited about the calendar. I will post pics pretty soon.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Firefighters and Policemen Galore!

Last night was quite the adventure. The plan was to let my housemates watch some Felicity episodes and then for a bunch of us to watch LOST. None of us have seen it so I ordered the first disc from Net Flix. We are ready to join the craze and have another connection to the outside world.

Our hot water was out so the boys went outside to switch the propane tanks. One of the tanks was defective and started spewing propane gas. It made this really loud whooshing noise. The guys told us to get out of the house. It seemed like an overprecaution but I departed, nonetheless. I was very unprepared for the evacuation as I was not wearing shoes and had only the clothes on my back and my cell phone. Then the neighbors called the fire department and they pulled up in their big truck. They were followed by four police cars. We were told we would not be allowed in our house for an undetermined amount of time. We headed over to the other girls' staff house. It was pretty scary not knowing whether our house would be okay and not knowing when we could return. I kept wishing I had had the foresight to grap valuables like my laptop or even my purse. We tried to watch a movie at the other house but we were all on edge. Then we all got together and prayed. That made things feel less out of control.

It turns out that the firefighters went in and turned off our electricity. In the process, they found numerous fire hazards, which they thankfully did not fine us for. One of which was the ghetto decorating job Amy and I had done by covering the broken maintenance van next to our house with Christmas lights. At one point they closed off a bunch of the street and then hosed it down. I don't really know why. Anyway, three hours later we were back in our house safe and sound and watching poor Felicity try to return from the past to the present day.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Urine and Blood

My foot stil hurts and I still walk like a gimp. If I was wearing pants, I could probably say my limp was a result of having one wooden leg. I guess I could paint wood grain on my bare leg but that seems extreme. Every day my ankle has felt significantly better except today. Today it felt the same. This was probably due to the fact that I have not been icing it much or elevating it or staying off it. I need to go easy but going easy is not my strong suit.

Today I had to get a physical because my parents are getting me life insurance. Actually I guess they are getting themselves life insurance because I will be dead and get nothing out of it. I had to answer a long questionaire on the phone prior to the physical. The guy who asked me the questions was not particularly smart. He asked if I had ever smoked. I said I smoked about five cigarettes in my life. He asked when the last time so I said maybe a year ago. So, the genius writes down that I quit smoking a year ago. Then my uncle who is my insurance agent called and asked if I was a smoker. Word got back to my mom who called concerned about my nicotine addiction.

The physical was not as bad as I had feared. My roommates got me scared the night before about how thorough the exam would be. Apparently in Canada, the word, physical means a gynecological exam. Uh, no thank you. I did have to contribute a blood sample and a urine sample. She weighed me and measured me and that was it. Not too bad and no taking off my clothes and wearing those terrible paper gowns that leave nothing to the imagination.

Tonight a local church made us food. It was so nice. The church members were really cute and even performed a hula for us. Good times.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I have a cankle.

My ankle is recovering. It is still swollen and funny-looking. It looks like I have a dinosaur foot or a cankle. I feel bad for the people who have cankles that will not go away with ice and elevation. I am able to walk. Hooray for no crutches! I walk stilted and funny. It looks like Frankenstein or like I have a stick up my butt. I am slow and steady but it sure beats armpit assualting crutches. The ankle is still sore and tight but it has already improved so much so I know it will get better. It seems to be healing pretty quickly since it was only Sunday that I did it.

I officially agreed to staff the Summer DTS school. There are a couple of other people who are interested but I don't think they will be able to since they have not been asked. I feel like maybe I am supposed to go to Bangladesh but I am not sure yet. If so, there is a chance that this Summer's Bangladesh team will go on a 40 day prayer hike across Bangladesh. That sounds intense. We'll see what God wants.

Amy- my current YWAM best friend, has her boyfriend, Luke coming in town today. She is more than excited. I am interested in meeting him since she talks about him so much and I have talked to him on the phone a bit myself. I hope they have a really good time together.

I hate it when I am looking forward to something so much and then it turns out to be a big letdown.
I remember one Christmas where I got it into my head that I was getting a trampoline for Christmas. My suspicion was seemingly confirmed by the fact that Jocelyn knew what my gift was. I asked her if she would want to play with my gift and she said she already had one. Since she had a trampoline, I knew I had figured it out. It turns out that I was wrong and my big gift ended up being a desk. Not quite the fun and exciting present I had hoped for.

The latest time this has happened to me I was so excited and then it turned out to be painful, hurtful and disappointing. So instead of being uplifting, it was draining. Yesterday I was really upset but my housemates were very supportive and I feel much better today. There is definitely a sense of sadness when I think about it though.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The sea was angry

On Sunday, I had an altercation with the ocean and the ocean won. It was even stronger than Sarah Morgan. I was suntanning and went out into the ocean to cool off a bit. The waves were stronger than usual but since I live in Hawaii, I knew I could handle them. I was mistaken. I was only about ten feet away from the shore when I began to get pummeled. I fell down once and ended up with a bathing suit full of sand. This was funny and I laughed along with some little kids on the shore at my slight misfortune. Then another wave took me up in the air and slammed me into the ocean floor. The sheer force was amazing (in a bad way). It felt as if the full force of my upheaval came down on my left leg/foot. My left foot felt as if it shifted to the right while my left leg continued its downward course. For those of you unaware of such things, this is an awful feeling. I expected to see my bone poking out when I finally escaped the ocean's clutches.

Luckily reality was kinder than my imagination. There were no bones poking out but my foot definitely felt wrong. I hobbled with the help of Thama to the outdoor beach shower to attempt to rid myself of the sandbox that had developed in my bathing suit during my gnarly adventure at sea. I knew I could not walk the mile back to my house so I called one of my housemates to come and pick me up with her car. Since then I have been unable to put pressure on my foot and therefore unable to walk. Luckily the base had a set of crutches lying around or I would be completely immobilized.

My ankle/foot has swollen up and is a slightly abnormal color. Yesterday I went to the doctor and after x-rays was assured that it was merely a sprain with no broken bones involved. I think this may be my first sprain ever. I have seen many other people with them but not me. It is not much fun. I remember thinking that crutches were fun when I was a kid. That is a lie. They are annoying and even painful. Yesterday I spent all day on them and today the thought of getting back on them makes me want to cry. Luckily my foot looks and feels better today and though I cannot manage without the foul crutches yet, I can imagine a time in the near future when I will be able to. The foot still hurts but not nearly as bad. I hate having to depend on other people for things. This is my downfall much of the time. God keeps trying to teach me these lessons on healthy interdependence but I do not listen so He has the ocean teach me a lesson. I need to learn the lesson the easy way and not the hard painful way. That's what I get for being so stubborn I guess.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Scandalous shower gifts

Time here moves by at a lightening fast pace. I feel like there are so many things I want to do here that I don't have time to do. I don't even feel terribly busy so I do not know where the time goes.

Yesterday I helped throw a shower for my good friend, Sherry. She is getting married at the end of January. The shower went well. It was held at this former-YWAM girl's house. Her house is super nice but it was a bit cramped with 25 people in it.

I, as usual, gave the most scandalous gift. It wasn't even my best showing. I gave a candy necklace man thong-thing called a posing pouch. It was exquisite and definitely provided the shock value I crave. I think everyone had fun.

I think Thama is having fun though I have not been the world's best tour guide. It is more like I am letting her see how me and my friends hang out. Last night my whole house minus Sara plus Thama went to Lahaina, the tourist town on island. We saw a celebrity. Keala Kennely is a famous female surfer. She was on Blue Crush on the part where the main girl is competing and nervous. Keala tells her to go for it. She was signing autographs at a store. We thought we were too cool to get one. We saw the Banyan tree all lit up. The banyan tree is this giant tree that looks like 20 trees because all the roots have grown up like separate trees. They light it up for Christmas. It looks cool. It is not as cool as the lights on the riverwalk in San Antonio at Christmas but cool nevertheless.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thama is here!

Thama is here! My first guest! Well, actually she is the third McGregor to come visit me. Yay McGregors! I should probably entertain her since she flew out here. But yay she's here!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

So much to say

This morning I wanted to sleep in to try to make up for the amazing lack of sleep from this past weekend. I had no such luck because the neighborhood dogs began barking at 7am and continued to bark every few minutes after that. So annoying. I hate waking up early against my will.

I don't want this to become the world's longest blog entry so I will try to stick to the important highlights. This weekend I went home for the wedding of Emily Ray and Van Hardin. I arrived Friday morning, which turned out to be a very stupid idea. I should have scheduled myself to arrive earlier. I barely got to spend any time with Emily, half of the reason I was in town. I felt like the recurring theme of the weekend was not enough time. I got to see some of my most favorite people in the whole world but for painfully short periods of time. It was like I had forgotten how much I love all these people until I saw them in person. It made me remember all the incredibly fun times we had had in the past. Knowing that many of those times cannot be repeated was quite painful. Maybe this is why I teared up every time Fred sang a single note. It so reminded me of the amazing times at camp.

I cried so much this weekend. I don't know why I was so emotional. I think it may have been a combo of lack of sleep, jet lag and more. At the reception I was also on a sugar high since the only food left to eat when I got there was fruit and chocolate fondue. It was so good to see so many people I love together at once. I spent much of my time at the reception talking to Zach and Erin, who I miss so much. I almost cried when I heard they were in town. I told you I was emotional. I got to see lots of fun Cho-Yeh friends including those who play for the other team. We seem to have quite a few of those these days.

I have decided that in order to retain my sanity, I must return home for a longer period of time in the Spring. As of now, my plans are to say yes to leading the summer DTS. This would mean I start training in May, the students have lecture June through August and then we go on outreach to a foreign country from September through November. That would mean I could not go home at all during that span of time. So, I think I will come home for 2-3 weeks in the Spring. Then after I get back from outreach I will probably come home for X-mas. After that I won't come home until I am leaving YWAM. Thinking about coming home in the Spring makes me happy. I just need more time with the people on the mainland I love.

So, despite the tears and excessive emotional times, the wedding was really good. It was standing room only in the church. Emily and Van are very beloved people. During the reception, there was a line to talk to them at all times. They made these little cards that said instead of giving out parting gifts, they made a contribution to their missionary friends: me and this guy named Jeff. That blessed me so much and of course when I found out, I started to cry. The tears should come as no surprise.

I got to spend some quality post-wedding time with Jocelyn, Jason, David Morgan, Sarah Mo'Bryan, Devin and Lee. It was good to get some chillin' time since pre-wedding and during wedding time was pretty rushed and hectic. During the hang-out time, Jason Fowler fixed my N key. This is huge since I was becoming angry every time I used my computer because of that pesky N key.

On Sunday I had Christmas with my family. It went really well, despite my fears about being crunched for time. I got a bunch of TV box sets. Yay! My grandma made my favorite meal and good times were had by all.

I stayed with my DTS friend, Misti on my overnight layover in L.A. It is weird how it was not weird to see her even though it had been more than a year. I love friendships like that. I am now back in Maui. This is good but I am glad to have a tentative date to return to the mainland.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sarah Fun Day

My looong weekend came to an end and we went back to the working world. Today was another break from work. The teams left at 5am this morning. I woke up early to see them off. Those who know me well know that I am not the nicest version of myself when I wake up in the fours. I was, however, surprisingly chipper this particular morning. I am definitely going to miss those guys. I can't wait to hear their stories!

Two of the female students were not going on outreach but their flights did not leave until tonight. One of the girls was Sarah Barthel, who left after two weeks when her mom died. The other girl was Brittany who is getting married in May to a guy currently stationed in Iraq. I did not want them to spend the day sad about missing their friends. I decided to turn it into Sarah Brittany Fun Day! I added Amy and Amy's friend, Sarah and Brittany, one of our mission builders. So the count stood at two Sarahs and two Brittanys. It was a good time. Everyone knows how much I love Sarahs. We took them across the island to teach the girls how to surf. Gena and Kristy met up with us later. I taught three of the girls to surf. It was so great! They all stood up! I got the leash caught around my neck and I thought my ears were going to come off. Very scary! Other than that, lots of fun. Also my friends were surfing at our local beach and saw a shark. Scary.

There has been some talk of different options for me going overseas. There is the Philippines basketball boomerang in the summer, around the world touring our outreach destinations with Amy in the Fall or staffing the summer DTS in the Summer. I am praying about what I am supposed to do. There are some exciting options but I just don't know what.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Flashing at the Hilton

Yesterday I had some fun times. Me, Amy and Sarah hitchhiked across the island to the tourist part. The hitching was really effortless. We got two rides from nice women. It is nice to hitch with women cuz you can assume they won't be shady. On the way home we met up with some fellow YWAMers who had one of our giant green vans. We laid out at the Hilton and pretended to be guests. It was good times. I did have an embarrasing moment poolside. I took off my tanktop only to discover that part of my bathing suit rode up, exposing one of my boobs to the public. I quickly pulled the bathing suit down. I scanned the crowd to see if anyone's face showed an "I just saw a boob look." No one seemed to have noticed. Miracle! It was still embarrasing. Luckily it was not near as bad as in high school when Jocelyn came off a water ride at an amusement park and inadvertantly exposed herself to the cutest guy in our church youth group and his girlfriend. She did not even notice right away and had to be told by the couple.

We did some shopping and I got stuff for almost all of my family members. Yay! This is important since my Christmas with them is on December 3rd. I still have a few more things to get so hopefully I will pick up some stuff when I take the students into town.

Last night a bunch of us went to a local church where some of our YWAM friends were leading worship. I love it when our people lead worship. They are so talented! Sherry sang and I also feel really proud to be her friend when I hear her sing. She has such a beautiful voice.

Then we came back and watched Coach Carter. Amy was in a weird mood and kept doing strange things with her exercise ball. I solved this problem by throwing a pudding snack pack at her.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving a day early

We celebrated Thanksgiving a day early here in YWAM land. It was really good. I have discovered that I really just need a bunch of people and a lot of food including turkey for Thanksgiving to be good. Family is nice but as long as I have turkey, I am good. Christmas is not the same, however. I need more than just presents. I helped serve at our Thanksgiving. There was soooo much food! They cooked 13 turkeys! The only thing that ran out was the corn. I had to fish through the corn juice to find the few morsels that were left. It was really interesting to watch which of the delectable Thanksgiving treats people chose. Luckily I served the stuffing, something I don't like. If I had liked it I would have been tempted to eat it.

After dinner, my friend, Gena cut my hair. She did a pretty good job. She wants to be a hairstylist so she takes even a trim for a friend pretty seriously. Last night, Amy and I decided that we would go to a spin class at the gym in the morning. The gym here is not very smart. They have offered me two ten-day passes for free so far and have never even told me how to become a member. How do they ever get anyone to join if they keep giving free passes?

The spin class was very similar to being tortured by enemy soldiers. I thought that my MS 150 biking experience would make things easier. I was wrong, very wrong. I was ready to quit after 20 minutes of the hour-long class. Luckily Amy and I were never ready to quit at the same time, so we stuck it out. Also we were in the back corner and we were afraid that the instructors would ridicule us if we quit. I was proud that we made it. Then we picked up Amy's friend who was on her way back home after teaching in Korea for a year. Her name is Sarah. I love Sarahs. It is always nice to be in the company of Sarahs.

Speaking of Sarahs, I probably mentioned our DTS student, Sarah Barthels earlier. She is the student who left after the third week because her mom's heart surgery went bad. Her mom died and so she did not return. Well, this week, she came and surprised her fellow students. She will be here until the day the other students leave for outreach. I did not know she was coming and it was so great to see her again. I hurt so much for her when her mom died. The students leave early Tuesday morning and she does not leave until that night. I have decided that Tuesday will be Sarah fun day. I want her last day here to be really fun.

Crazy story- One of my housemates, Alicia, is 36 and never been married. Some of the staff here thought she would be good with a guy they knew from back home. He is 39 and divorced with two kids. The two of them started talking on the phone a lot. Things got really serious and after they had been "phone dating" for about three months, they got to meet for the first time in his home town over Thanksgiving break. Talk about a lot of pressure! It was the first time they had ever met each other. She is still there right now. A few days ago Tony proposed to Alicia. Now they are planning on getting married in April. Crazy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

YWAM Sports has come to an end.

I had such high hopes for my basketball team in the playoffs. I thought that unlike volleyball, that we really had a chance. Apparently I was mistaken. We lost our first playoff game by ten points and are therefore, no longer in the tournament. This definitely sucks. The worst part is that no one really played to the best of their ability. Only one of our local players, Marci, played really good. That chick was on fire with at least 5 three-pointers. I played okay but definitely not my best. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. At least now I don't have to scrounge around for rides.

Yesterday was so busy for me. In the morning we commissioned the Fall school students during our base-wide worship. Commissioning is where we pray for all the teams before they leave. The teams leave next Tuesday. I can't believe it is happening so soon. After we prayed for the teams we still had a full-length worship service. This meant we went about an hour longer than we normally do. Then we had a fractal meeting which is a meeting with all the heads of the various departments. This went until it was time to get the mail. (My favorite time of the day) and then we had lunch.

After lunch, we left for our Housing outing. Gena and Kristy and I took 3 of our 4 housing students out surfing on the other side of the island. There were no waves but we were determined to teach the girls how to surf. The water was ridiculously shallow for some reason. When I was paddling on the board, my hand would graze a rock, even when I was pretty far out. It was a bit unnerving. I am not a very good surfer but I can teach almost anyone how to stand up on their first lesson. I got both housing girls who wanted to surf to stand up and it was such a good feeling. It was almost as good as teaching my Young Life girls how to surf. I got one good ride myself but got really freaked out at the end of the ride when I could see the bottom was only like a foot away. The bottom of the ocean there is reef and not sand so it can cut you up.

After surfing, we arrived late to dinner and I had someone save some for us. I scarfed down my food. Then I changed out of wet clothes and into basketball gear and we left for the game. Such a busy day!

I got approved for my proposal of a new position for myself. I call it Community Relations Coordinator. I will be in charge of Kairos- our community outreach for the students. I will also be responsible for our image in the community, find opportunities for the staff to serve outside of our YWAM duties, call businesses and let them know of our willingness to serve, solicit donations and whatever else I think of. I am excited because I think this will be more fun/fruitful for me. I will still be doing housing stuff part-time but Gena will be the head. She is nervous because she has a job in town too, but I really think she can do both with ease.

I really like being here and I feel this is where God wants me. Once in a while, I do miss home, or more accurately I miss a specific stage in my life. Lately I miss living in the duplex with Lindsay, Lucy, Big Sar and Emily Stone. What a sweet time that was! I am lucky that my living situation now is living with a bunch of girls but it is not the same. I need to appreciate the past but not dwell on it too much.

Yay I come home soon! Yay Thama is coming to visit!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Waxing party

This week I did a lot of painting. It is getting old but the office bathroom is looking so much better. It is also nice to have something I know I am doing when there is nothing else I have to do. I also got to monitor the bathroom patterns of the people who work in the office. I will be posting a chart on my website. Not really.

Last night Kristy, Amy, Julia, and I went to Wal-Mart and Costco. This is pretty standard YWAM free time procedure. It is a bit like working at Camp Cho-Yeh, the options are limited. We do, however, have world-class beaches unlike Livingston, Texas. When we got back we watched Office Space. Such a quality film! It did make me miss Austin some. Oh, speaking of Texas, I was wearing a Longhorns shirt and the other day as I was walking down the street, a guy was walking towards me, also wearing a Longhorns shirt. He was probably in his late forties. Instead of the usual Texan-to-Texan talk of where are you from and such, he says "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" To which I replied, "I live here." That was the extent of the conversation. How odd is that? It was like seeing someone you know from home so you say hi but it someone you don't like so you just say the minimum and move on. Very strange indeed.

Today I tried to sleep in. It is a shame when I cannot sleep past 10am. I used to be a champ at sleeping in. YWAM, what have you done to me? I was planning on going to the beach. I need to be tan for Emily's wedding. Everyone expects the girl who lives in Hawaii to be tan and I definitely do not want to let them down. Instead of going to the beach, Amy convinced me to go to the mall with her. I realized that since I am doing a family Christmas on the 4th of December, I should probably be getting the presents pretty soon. I ended up getting Shella's present so I was at least partially successful. Then there was a "waxing party" at my house. Sara, one of my housemates, has a sister who is trained to do waxing and such. She came over and people paid to have her wax armpits, upper lips and eyebrows. Don't worry, there were no bikini waxes involved. I personally did not participate in any hair removal but I did take part in some tasty treats.

Then Amy convinced me to go with her to the office. This was after I made fun of her for wanting to go to the office on her day off like a big dork. She wanted to print off stuff for support letters and then ended up printing invitations for the bridal shower we are throwing for Sherry. I ended up going the humorous route instead of the cute route. The front has a frightening picture of Jonathan, the future groom, making a strange face and dressed in a girl's shirt and jeans. The caption says, "Here's your chance to make Jono smile..." and the inside has the details about the lingerie shower. I think they are funny but I hope the other hosts don't get mad that they aren't very fancy. After invitations, we watched Amelie. It is such a cute movie and it always reminds me of my hearth-tending former roommate, Emily Stone. I miss that girl.

Friday, November 18, 2005

What is a garberator?

I am around Canadians quite a bit here at YWAM Maui. For the most part, they seem just like Americans. I am always a bit confused when they start referring to kilometers, liters and Celsius. The other day we were playing Loaded Questions and someone’s answer included the word- garberator. Apparently this is what Canadians call trash compactors. Weird!

Last night my basketball team, the Born Again Ballers won another game. Whoohoo! We start the tournament on Monday and I think we have a real chance. I am talking with two of my teammates about having a basketball boomerang. A boomerang is when our base goes back to a country we have been to in order to do another outreach. There is usually a short training time before hand. We are going to be praying about going to the Philippines.

Last night after basketball, the power went out in our whole town. It was pretty crazy. I ended up taking a shower at the other girls’ staff house. Our shower is outside our house and the night before I had taken a cold shower with two uninvited roach guests. The other girls’ shower was so much nicer even by candlelight. It will be hard to return to my shower. My house is the cooler girls’ house except for the shower part.

Today the team who just returned from Borneo spoke about their experiences. It was so good to hear about what happened there. They had so many amazing stories of miracles, healings and people coming to the Lord. It was intense. I hope the next Borneo team has as good of an experience.

I am putting my car up for sale. I still don’t know what God wants for my car situation. I feel a peace about it like something big is going to happen. I don’t know what. I know the peace is from the Lord because having peace about no car is not my style. It is more my style to try and get instant gratification and buy a new car right away. I am confident God is asking me to wait.

Please pray for my brother. He is having a hard time in the army at Ranger School.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Goodbye Wolverines, the end of an era!

Today was our last volleyball game. True to form- our referee was a transexual. This was the same transexual who almost decapitated me with her back row attacks. We won one of the three games. It was against the number one team. We played the best we ever have as a team. I played really crappy, however. It was definitely a shot to the pride since we had several fans in the house. God keeps teaching me the humility thing. I hate that lesson. I hope he doesn't have to teach me that lesson tomorrow. I want to play good at my basketball game.

Today I went shopping for housing stuff. I am so tired of Costco. Somehow buying toilet paper is not as fun as it used to be. I get to be kind of a biznatch when I have to go shopping for Housing. I hate it. In the afternoon I worked on painting the ceiling of our chapel's bathroom. It looks so much better already. I think I will work on it tomorrow too.

I put in a proposal to have a new job here. I call it community relations coordinator. It would encompass many different things. I hope it works out. The leadership team has to pray about it and talk about it. I will let you know how it goes. This position would allow me to use my gifts and strengths more I think. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Prank calls for adults

I am so excited because my friend, Thama is coming to visit me. She made her plane ticket so it is really going to happen. I can't wait to show her my life here. The funny part is that she is coming only a few days after we see eachother at Emily Ray's wedding. I told her I wanted her to come that soon. I have a few other people who are likely to come visit but no one anytime in the near future so I told her to come soon. And she's coming! Yay! I can't wait!

Last night I invited some of the girls over for a game time. We played my favorite game, Loaded Questions. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and slowly got the hang of the humor part of the game. After game time, somehow we started prank calling. I say we, but it was actually me that did 90% of the calling. First we called people we knew and then we moved on to businesses. I called Wal-Mart and asked about adult novelties, about other random things. It was a good time. I also called McDonald's and said I left my underwear in their bathroom. I was surprisingly good at not laughing despite the fact that there were ten people in the room. I closed my eyes to help keep me from laughing.

I ordered some great Christmas cards from Costco. Now everyone on base is ordering them. My Costco card is really getting around. We have ordered four different sets so far. The Costco people probably think I am crazy now and oddly obsessed with Christmas cards.

My friend, D-Ray is engaged! This is so crazy to me! I can't believe it! They have been dating for six months. The funniest part is that her name is Susie just like his mom so she will be Susie Ray #2. Haha. I think they are going to have a long engagement. I want to go to the wedding so bad. I hope I can go.

I already had some quality friends here when I arrived like Gena and Sherry who I knew from my DTS. My two newest close friends are Amy and Kristy. We hang out a lot. It is pretty funny that my main friends are a Czech girl and a girl named Amy. In late high school/early college, my main friends were a Czech girl (Sarah Stojanik) and a girl named Amy (Khoshbin). Funny stuff!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Transvestites are strong

Yesterday Gena and I went shopping for housing stuff all morning. It was tiring but we got all the stuff at the ten different stores that we needed to buy. We used some of our garage sale money to buy a mattress. This is not fully our department's responsibility. We usually do not even have enough money to make this an option. One of my Housing DTS students has lost two mattresses already. The first was infested with bed bugs and the second had mold. She was sleeping on an inflatable mattress. We found the cheapest new mattress on island for $149. She was super-excited about having a real mattress. It did not seem to matter to her that the mattress was covered with three prints of fabric: two mismatched floral and one American flags. Talk about classy!

I had the afternoon off and just chilled. I was feeling a bit sick but I could not put a finger on what exactly was wrong. I got to talk to Emily Ray, which was very good. We mainly talked about our number one complaints right now: her shortage of quality friends and my car being out of commission. No fun but good to talk/commiserate.

We had our final volleyball game before the tournament. We lost which I am almost positive means we are in last place. This would mean we play the first place team in the tournament. This means we probably only have one game left. This last game we played decently but the other team had an amazing player that we couldn't contain. He/She was definitely a transvestite. Thankfully (s)he played by the more restrictive guy rules. If (s)he had been allowed to spike from the front row, one of us may have been decapitated. Seriously!

After volleyball, I went over to the place Amy's mom is renting to take a shower and sleep in a non-YWAM bed. The two-faucet shower is amazing! In the morning when we woke up, Amy's neck was throbbing. She felt too bad to go to work. I felt fine and planned on being at work when it was time for the students to come. Then I was suddenly sidelined with a quick-onset of explsive diarreah. Not fun at all. I spent the next hour running to and from the bathroom in five minute intervals. After the eruption subsided, I felt weak and afraid to eat possibly ever. Amy and I basically spent all day laying on a futon and watching cable. I am going stir-crazy at this point. I think my stomach is no longer trying to wage war on my bowels. Tomorrow should be a better day. It better be since I am scheduled to have lunch with a lady from my church. Free food. My stomach better not plot against me.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Garage Sale Success

Blog 11-7

Sorry I have not written in my blog in a long time. I am a big slacker. I had a really busy weekend. On Friday night, there was a harvest party for the staff girls. Many people on staff come from parts of the world that experience four distinct seasons and they miss that being on Maui. It ended up being very fun. The hostesses had Fall-scented candles all around and hung Fall-colored leaves from the ceiling. Since the leaves don’t change here in Maui, one of the girls painted green leaves Fall colors. Pretty clever!

They had Fall-themed snacks that were very tasty. My favorite was definitely the Jello jigglers. It had been far too long since I had had any Jello. What a wonderful surprise! The jigglers were in the shape of leaves and pumpkins. We also played some games. A lovely time was had by all. The only downfall was that because of the unholy amount of baked goods I consumed, I was subject to an uneasy stomach for the rest of the night. I really need to learn self-control but those jigglers were so delightful!

Early Saturday morning we had our base-wide garage sale. This was my first big thing as housing head. Gena, my assistant and I worked the whole sale and I had my students work in shifts. The whole thing went awesome! We got rid of so much junk and made $277.70. That is way more than we have made at any other garage sale. Man, I must be a good housing head! Just kidding. There are definitely some differences between Hawaii garage sales and those on the mainland. At home, people start coming as soon as you put up the signs even if it is not officially time yet. Then by 11am, no one is coming anymore. At this garage sale, we had steady customers from 8am to 1pm. We were supposed to end at noon but people kept coming and buying stuff, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we were obviously cleaning up. It was good and I definitely learned some things for next garage sale. At one point, we had a female customer in a dress in our tangerine tree picking tangerines. It was a sight to see. It is crazy that we have so much money in the housing department right now. We have about $300 and this is after we got a bunch of stuff for our guest/speaker house. I am considering using the money to purchase a couple of mattresses. One of my housing girls is currently sleeping on an inflatable air mattress. Her previous mattress had mold inside it and the one before was infested with bed bugs. We could use 50 new mattresses but I doubt we will ever have that much money to spend on mattresses. But if we purchase them a few at a time, it is do-able.

After the garage sale, I took a nap. Then Gena, Sherry and I used our ten-day passes to 24-hour fitness. I worked a lot harder than I expected. I am seriously wanting to join the gym but the start-up costs are high. We’ll see. On Saturday night I worked on a present for Emily and Van’s wedding. I hit a few snags but I hope to remedy the situation. On Sunday we went to church. There was an Indian piano player there as a guest musician. He was good, I suppose, but I could not take my eyes off the power point presentation that accompanied all his songs. It was full of pictures of him with orphans and other pathetic looking people. And there he is with a weird front to back comb-over and cheesy grin. Creepy.

Sherry and Jonathan and I were bored after church. My car’s transmission had been malfunctioning again. Jono discovered that the transmission fluid was bone-dry. Apparently there is some kind of leak. I miss Toyotas. My corolla and I got along great! He refilled the transmission fluid so the car works now, but I feel like I am just constantly waiting for something else to go wrong. Dumb old American cars! We went into town to alleviate our boredom. Then we had a terrible dinner of “whatever is left in the kitchen.” I don’t think it was called that officially but it is definitely what it looked and tasted like.

At night we had a going away party for our base director and his wife. I really didn’t want to go but my conscience would not let me skip. The desserts were good but the whole thing went long. The base director has not really been in the picture for the last six months so I don’t really feel his absence. I have never been on staff when he was in charge. I was only a student. After tearful speeches, I was tired and went home. Thus ends my hectic weekend.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Awkward Eighties Dork

Last night we had an eighties party/dance. It was lots of fun. I had put together an outfit from things I found at a thrift store. I did not fully realize until I put my outfit on that I had gone for eighties dork. Most people were dressed as funky eighties people. I brushed out my hair, something any self-respecting curly-haired person never does. It got really big and scary. People were shocked at how different I looked and I loved watching the double takes. I made an awkward dork face in all pictures.

Today Gena, Jono, Sherry, Amy and I went to the gym. Amy is a member and has been harrassing me to join as well. She has almost broken me down. Today we went as part of a ten-day free pass thing we got on the internet. The gym was pretty nice but not near as nice as the one my dad belonged to. Amy and I worked on arms and back and she kind of acted as my personal trainer. She competed in a fitness show once (like a combo of body-building and a pagent). Apparently there are no roids or super manly women, just fit women. Anyway, she worked with a trainer and knows how it works. I think if I had someone counting on me to go with them to the gym that I would be less likely to not go. I know Amy would want to go a lot. She had been waking up at like 4:30 am to go with another staff member. She is hardcore. So, I am about 75% sure I will be joining the gym.

In other news, I finally got my housing prize in the mail. We have been waiting for him since before the students arrived. It is a lifesize cardboard cut-out of a police officer. He is amazing! I plan on loaning him to the cleanest house each week. Tomorrow at worship, I will be unveiling him. I am excited to see how people respond.

I have a busy weekend coming up. On Friday some of the girls are throwing a harvest party because they miss the changing seasons of the mainland. I don't know what the party will entail but I believe there will be board games and baked goods. What more could I ask for? Then on Saturday morning we are having a garage sale. My department is hosting it and the proceeds go to us. It will be interesting to see what the local hippies purchase. Then on Sunday I have church and then a going-away party for our base directors. Hopefully I will get some chill time in.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Born Again Ballers With Special Guest Win!

We had a basketball game today and it was so fun! We won our second game so far. I finally got what I have been wanting since this DTS began. We had Lindsay Lieser play on our team. She is a DTS student who played four years of Division 1 basketball in college. The students have growth groups (bonding time with their team) on our game nights so she has not been able to play with us. This time I convinced her leaders to let her play. The only stipulation was that her whole team come so it could be a growth group. I arranged enough transportation to get my team and the 12 person Bangladesh team to the game. It was so fun having so many fans. About five other people from the base came as well.

This week we are doing something called "Angel-Mortal" week. This is like a secret santa thing between DTS students and staff. Some people get really creative. My anonymous angel this time is really good. So far I got some fake teeth and a bunch of candy. Today the person really outdid his/her self. At the basketball game, I am running down the court and I hear my name. I turn to see the Bangladesh team holding up individual pieces of paper that spelled out GO_ HIGHTOWER! It was really clever. Everytime I came off the court, one of the Bangladesh guys would wipe my face with a towel like a prize fighter. I also got two ice-cold Gatorades. It was a sweet deal.

So, with my cheering section and an NCAA basketball player on my team, the other team really ad no chance. I only scored two points but I had pretty good defense and actually got a few rebounds. Winning is so fun! I mean playing at all is fun but winning is FUN! We are playing a scrimmage on Friday. It is awesome to play this much basketball.

Today after work, I took Amy around to photograph various sites for a gift she is making for her boyfriend. We took this new staff member, Rachelle with us and it was nice to see some of the island through fresh eyes. It is sad but true that sometimes you can become numb to the natural beauty of this place.

Yesterday was Halloween but it didn't feel that much like it. Halloween is not exactly frowned upon at YWAM Maui but it definitely isn't celebrated too much. If I were in Austin, I would go to 6th street to gawk at the outlandish costumes. Here the same kind of thing happens in Lahaina but everyone here looks down on it so much. Maybe next year I will find someone willing to go. Sherry and I hung out and wanted to eat crepes but the crepe place was closed for Halloween. We ended up going into town to eat crepes at IHOP. Mine was good. After we got home, desperate to celebrate Halloween, I watched two episodes of the Simpson's Halloween specials. It should tide me over till next Halloween.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Just some tourists laying by the pool

I had a pretty good weekend. On Friday night I went to Saver's to get some eighties gear. We are having an eighties dinner and dance on Wednesday. I got some scary jeans that come up past my bellybutton and an ugly flowered shirt which I plan on wearing tucked in and with a belt, naturally. I have been hanging out with my new friend, Amy a lot. She is fast becoming one of my best friends. I am talking bridesmaid material here. This makes life here better. I have other friends here too but it is cool to have someone I have so much fun with and can talk about so much with.

On Friday night Amy and I bulldozed wash cloth town. Wash cloth town is what I refered to one of the bathrooms in our house as. It seemed that the only decorations on the walls were wash cloths. Someone had thought it would be a good idea to hang about 15 hooks on the main walls of the bathroom to hang wash cloths on. It looked terrible. Amy and I unscrewed the hooks and repositioned them so that they were no longer a bathroom centerpiece. Then we put up some posters. It looks so much better.

On Saturday, I took a carload of girls to Kaanapali on the other side of the island. We went pool hopping, which is where you swim in hotel pools without being a guest. It ended up being me, Amy and Kristy going around together. We swam and laid out by two lovely pools without being caught. We hammed it up and pretended we were tourists. We kept making typical tourist comments and saying things like, "I have got to get one of those things that goes around your neck. What are they called? Oh yeah, leis." Or "I must get one of those straw cowboy hats. They are so cute!" Our ruse worked so well that we were approached by an awkward scuba instructor called "Scuba Steve" who propositioned us to take some scuba lessons. I told him I would have to ask the rents when I saw them back in our room.

We also went shopping in the tourist area. Amy is making a scrapbook for her boyfriend so we tried to get some funny pictures of her. She tried to get in a fountain but underestimated the depth and totally fell in. I was in the bathroom when it happened but I did get to see the photograph that Kristy serendipitously took. Good times except that Amy ended up with a big scratch and nasty bruise to show off.

It is strange how different that part of the island seems than where we live. There it is primarily tourists so that is what everything is geared towards. On our side this is not the case. It is nice to go there sometimes and feel like you are on vacation. Many people probably think living in Hawaii is like being on vacation all the time but that is simply not the case. It's great but no perpetual vacation.

Today I took my students to church. We help out with the kids so it was fun. After church I went to Wal-Mart to get some goodies for Angel/Mortal week. This is kind of like secret santa for the DTS. I drew the name of one of the DTS students and I got him a random assortment of goodies. I have already received one present from my angel. It was a set of four false teeth. I wonder if they know about my nubs.

Friday, October 28, 2005

I didn't know that God made women this big

Long time, no blog. I used to be a more dilligent blogger, but I have slacked off a bit. That is probably a good thing, however, because it means I am more busy and less homesick. I will try to catch you guys up on what's been going on.

On Wednesday, we had solitude day for the staff. They dropped us off at various locations throughout the island at around 9:30am after a time of worship. We got picked up at 4:30. The idea of being alone to think for that long was very daunting. I got dropped off at a park in Wailuku. After spending some time in a softball dugout, I walked to Borders in Kahului, which took about an hour. The time was good. I read and journaled and prayed and thought about some issues that I was using my busyness to ignore. We were also supposed to use the time to pray about the base and see what God wants for us as far as land and property go.

Several people got the verse about abiding in God and him being the vine and us the branches. Several people also got the verses in 1st and 2nd Chronicles that talk about David planning to build a temple but not living to see it finished. It seems that God was telling us that some of us might not be at YWAM Maui when we finally get our own property. I hope I am here.

In basketball, the Born Again Ballers suffered a loss. The other team was big and powerful. At one point I was guarding a girl who was 6'6". I am sure it was a hilarious sight. THis chick had enormous feet. Some of our non-basketball playing friends came to cheer us on. It was really nice of them. I wish we'd put on a better showing.

Some lady who owns an electric company called our base. She wanted someone to help clean her offices. I took my students and we tried to clean this insanely messy warehouse. She told us ahead of time that she would give us a donation. The work was a bit gross but we only worked for an hour and a half. I thought she would give us about $50. Instead, she gave us $200!!!! What a great surprise! I bought my girls some Jamaba Juice and we are going to pray about what God wants us to do with the rest of the money. There is a ton we can do in housing but we want to do what God wants since it is his money, afterall.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Born Again Ballers are no longer Losers!

Blog 10-22

YWAM Maui sports has finally ended its losing streak! We actually won a game. The Born Again Ballers (my women’s basketball team) won in overtime. God sent us two little point guards who made a huge difference. Marci and Mandy apparently played on last year’s championship team and signed up too late this year. So, now they will be on our team. Yay! We needed a point guard more than anything else so it is perfect. We had all our normal players as well, unlike our last game. I was a bit too competitive but I don’t think it was too bad. I did not let some of our weaker players play very much. I really wanted to win one. One of our posts got hurt so a weaker player was going to take her place. I put myself in instead. It would have been really rude if I didn’t play well. I didn’t want to sit on the bench during such a close game. In overtime I scored all our points and we won by five points. I made 3 3-pointers during the game. It was so fun! I enjoy getting to play basketball so much.

Yesterday the DTS students had an all-day prayer time. As a staff, we will be having a “solitude day” on Wednesday. I am not sure how it will work but we will be dropped off at different locations around the island to pray. I’ll let you know how it goes. At night, Gena and I took Leah, one of the students, out to eat. It was fun. I am going to try to take some of the students out to do fun stuff at least once a week. I remember how annoying it can be to have to hitchhike everywhere you go.

My friend, Amy is now the owner of the first season of the OC. There has been a lot of OC watching in our house because of this latest development. I have seen a few. I had never seen any before this current spree. It reminds me of watching Days of Our Lives in High school. The plot is predictable and overdramatic. But I like watching them with a group of friends. I could not watch and still be fine but it is nice to hang out and watch TV like normal people sometimes.

Today we volunteered at the Xterra World Championship. It is an off-road triathlon. Today was a pre-race 5K and 10K. Other than having to wake up in the fives, it wasn’t too bad. All the staff volunteered because they promised to give the base $900 if a lot of us came. Not too bad for only a few hours of work. When we got there, they started asking for various numbers of people to come with them to do some sort of task. I hung back with Sherry and Jono to try to hang out with them. We ended up being the last group to get assigned a task. We finally got chosen and hopped in the back of a pick-up. After a short drive, the driver yells, “Ok, one person get out and stand here to direct the runners.” After all the trouble we went through to stay together, we were immediately separated. Pretty funny. I basically pointed towards the right direction in the 5K race. It was not tough at all. I am seriously considering training for the next X-Terra triathalon. I think it would be a great accomplishment and good way to get in shape. I did 160 miles on my bike for the MS150, so maybe I could pull it off with training.

I did not get to watch the UT game, unfortunately. For some reason, the channels here thought we would be more interested in other games. They were wrong. We did win, so I cannot be too bitter. I really want to see a whole game sometime soon. I am getting to see all Astros games so I can’t complain too much. Go Texas Sports!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Astros win, Wolverines lose

Blog 10-20

Last night we had a co-ed volleyball game. The YWAM Wolverines did not do so hot. Everyone made at least one really dumb play. There were a few shining moments but when the scores of the games are: 25-5 and 25-13, it is obvious that things did not go to well. It did not help that we played a team primarily comprised of people who were gay, lesbian and/or transgender. Several of their players were of undeterminable sex. This made it hard to figure out if they were breaking co-ed rules. It is hard to tell if no girls hit it over if you cannot tell who is a girl. We were also missing one of our good girl players but I don’t know if that would have helped much. Tonight we play basketball and I am excited because I feel more confident in my basketball skills. We will see what I think after tonight’s game.

I am pretty much the head of the housing department now. Kristy has phased out of most of her responsibilities. I hope I am not in the housing department for a really long time. I don’t feel I can adequately use very many of my strengths in this position. I know I just need to be patient. If we do get new property soon, my job will go from one of the smaller jobs on base to one of the biggest.

I got to watch a killer Astros game last night. For those of you out of the loop, the Houston Astros are going to the World Series for the first time ever. So exciting! It is a shame that my sports teams are doing so well when I am so far away. I don’t get to watch as much sports as I would like with the time change and lack of cable. I do get to watch some and the internet and my friends keep me up to date on the rest. These are times when I do miss the mainland.

Right now I am at a doctor’s office with another YWAMer. It took us so long to find the place. In Hawaii no one seems to give directions that include street addresses. You end up with directions like pass the fire station, turn left after the prison and it is the brown building on the right. These kind of directions would be easier if we knew ahead of time where the fire station or the prison is located. It can be very frustrating. I think we asked about five people before getting there thirty minutes late. Ugh!

This week we had a heated house meeting. Every week, the 11 girls who live in my house get together and have a meeting during lunch to discuss house issues. It is normally stuff like who keeps eating my yogurt or wipe off the bathroom mirror when you get it wet. This time we talked about the guy/girl issue. One girl in my house is engaged, two have YWAM boyfriends and two have mainland boyfriends. There have been some problems with couples cuddling on couches or hanging out in rooms past curfew, preventing roommates from going to sleep. The meeting was a bit tense at times but I think it was good to get everything out in the open. Our new revised rules are that guys can’t be over before 9am or after 9pm. And couples can’t lay on a bed together and when they are alone in a room, the door must be left wide open.

Sherry and I went to a Mexican restaurant the other night. People had said it was amazing. Being from Texas, I have high Mexican food standards. I thought the stuff was pretty good but not Pappasitos quality. It was also over-priced. These are the things I miss about Texas.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Magical Suitcase of Canadian Goodies

I forgot to call my pal, Emily Ray on her birthday. This may have been the first time in the history of our friendship that I didn’t call. I called her today when I looked at my watch and realized it was the 16th of October, the day after her birthday. She didn’t seem mad and I had already given her a gift but it still made me sad because I am usually much better about those kinds of things.

Yesterday I relaxed a bit in the morning. Then I had to go make up a bed at our guest housing. That is the one part of my job I never feel I have a handle on. It seems that guests are always coming and going with out my knowledge. We only have one set of sheets for each of the two guest beds so remaking a bed involves waiting for sheets to be washed and dried. We really need a more efficient system, preferably one that involves two sets of sheets.

After this bit of work, I went with a bunch of other people to the other side of the island for a birthday party for Carrie and Julia. We went to a long boarding spot and I got to do some surfing. It was fun but it made me realize that I am not in the best surfing shape. I am sore today for sure. We had fruit and BBQ chicken. A good time was had by all. Then we went back home around sunset. Our living room was filled with DTS girls watching The Wedding Planner. My roomie, Jess, and I started watching “Matchstick Men” in our room on my laptop. She brought out some nice Canadian treats from a magical suitcase that lives under her bed. I did not know the thing even existed. I am amazed at her self-control. I would have eaten all the goodies long ago. We only watched part of the movie due to interruptions by phone calls and fellow roommates. We were both tired anyway and went to bed around 11pm.

This morning there was a bit of confusion about which vans go to which church. My church leaves first so I was not a party to the confusion. I think I took the wrong van so I may have caused it. Our van system perplexes me. I hope I can figure it out better next Sunday. I drove the van for the first time. It seemed scary but I did pretty good and did not maim or injure anyone; passengers or pedestrians. I took a lovely nap in the afternoon and went to Borders with a guy friend. I hope it wasn’t a date. I did not think it was but I have been down that road before and I am not always very discerning in this area. The guy is so great but the more than friends feelings just aren’t there. I wish I could gain and get rid of those types of feelings at will. If so, my life would be much less stressful.

After a slightly revolting dinner of meatball subs, Brittany (one of my Born Again Ballers) and I joined up with the YWAM boys and assorted locals who play basketball on Sunday nights. It was a lot of fun. Brittany and I ended up on the same team and our team won both games. It was so great that our team wasn’t the loser because it had the only girls. It also helped the pride a bit when I won the second game with a three-pointer. Good times! If only I could have that kind of performance in a women’s league game. I can only hope.

And finally a word about college football and major league baseball; In case you are living under a rock, I will fill you in. The Astros have a 3-1 lead over the Cardinals and are one game away from a World Series( their first ever). The University of Texas Longhorns have finally beat Oklahoma and remain undefeated. They are currently ranked number two with a chance to play for the national championship. My teams are awesome!!!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Throw the ball through the cardboard hole

Blog 10-15

I am always tired on Friday mornings. I think the getting up in the sevens is what gets me. We have worship at 8am. Our worship services are open to the public. This homeless lady came this Friday with her daughter, Violet. Violet really gets me. She lives somewhere along the beach with her mom. I don’t think she goes to school. I think she is seven or eight. One time her mom had me watch her while she went to collect cans. This guy came and tried to talk to her. He seemed sketchy so I kept asking if Violet was okay. I was in the middle of playing basketball so it was a bit difficult to keep an eye on her.

From last afternoon to last night I volunteered at this revival Maui event. We were supposed to run a booth with games for kids. I let the other people choose our game and they decided we would have a game where the kids threw darts at balloons. This is not the type of game I would have chosen but I was too lazy to be more involved. The game was pretty successful but the balloons ran out pretty quickly. I decided to cut a hole in the cardboard dart board and I bought some rubber balls at Foodland. Thus creating the wonderful game, “Throw the balls through the Hole in the Cardboard.” Despite the ghetto-ness of the affair, we were again the most popular booth. The other booths had activities like story time and Bible trivia. We were second in popularity only to the moonwalks.

It was fun but towards the end of the festival I was getting very tired. We saw some bands play: Telecast, Olivia and Kutless. It was fun but tiring. Some people are helping on Saturday too but I thank God that is not me. After the festival, I went home and went to bed right away.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Love is in the air and the living room and in the hallway

Blog 10-13

Love is in the air in my house and causing a bit of discomfort with the community living situation. Sherry and Jonathan have been engaged for a little while and will be getting married in January. Sara and Joe dated and broke up for a month and now they’re back together. Jess and Jeremy used to date, broke up for a year and now are back together. Amy and Alicia have boyfriends on the mainland so their boyfriend time is only on the phone, and therefore not a problem.

Sometimes it can feel like a minefield coming into the house. YWAM’s guy/girl policy is that guys can be in our houses until 10pm and guys can be in our rooms only if the door is open. These rules are good but often don’t curb enough PDA. I walk down the hall and have to avert my eyes as to not view kissing or cuddling. Some people have not been abiding by the 10pm curfew. Luckily my roommate, Sherry does but I can see how other people get frustrated when there is a boy in their room until late into the night. It is hard to relax or go to sleep in the midst of a cuddle-fest. I think we are going to have a house meeting about these co-ed issues to try to resolve some of the awkwardness.

Overall, as much it may have seemed that I am annoyed at the couples. It is really not that bad. I am excited that so many people are getting together. I wonder who will be the next to become smitten with a fellow YWAMer.

Today I tried to go surfing but I have a long way to go before I am good at shortboarding. It’s way harder than longboarding. I got all the way out once and then I got caught in the impact zone and spent about ten minutes futily paddling out before giving up and returning to shore. I got better at duck diving (when you push your board into the water so that you can get under a wave.) I almost have it down. I need to keep practicing even though I am tempted to give up shortboarding. Maybe I should lift weights and get more strength for paddling.

Today I dropped my friend, Amy off at the airport. She is going home to Canada to be in a wedding and see her way-long distance boyfriend, Luke. She will be home an even shorter amount of time than I was for Andrew’s wedding. I cannot imagine being home for only three days and juggling wedding obligations and spending as much time as possible with a boyfriend. It sounds super-hard.

Tomorrow I am going to help out with something called Revival Maui. I think it’s like a big concert thing geared towards teenagers. We will have a YWAM booth there. We are supposed to have a game. I suggested “Baptize the Heathens” where we throw scantily-clad Barbie dolls into a pool of water. Or “Throw Jonah in the whale.” I am not even sure what the group came up with since I missed a few of the meetings. Oh well, I will let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Born Again Ballers Back in Action

Today I got back in the swing of things. We inspected the houses to rank their level of cleanliness. I did not help clean my house very much and we got a few deductions. During our house inspections, we put up some of the fun decorations I had brought from home. My mom gave me some money and I found some really good sales. We gave the boys' staff house a bunch of stuff. We gave them curtains, a couch cover, bath mat and shower curtain. There house is pretty crappy so they were very appreciative. It felt good to make their house nicer for them.

I checked my mail at the base and I had so much! Everyone was so jealous. Thank you so much anyone who wrote me or sent support. Getting mail here sometimes feels like a test of how much people on the mainland miss and remember you. It's a really big deal.

In the afternoon Gena and I put more of the new stuff in houses. It was cool. Then we went to the mall so Gena could get make-up. After that we had a basketball game. One of our players was sick, another was at evangelism training and another had a friend in the hospital. This meant we were severely short handed. Gena generously agreed to play even though she hadn't played since sixth grade. She did decent. We still only had four players so we ended up borrowing three from the team that played in the game before ours. Our new players were Aloha, Colleen and Nikki. We didn't win although Brittany played really well. We did decent and made three new friends in the process. Hopefully we will see them again. Nikki works as a guide for the bike riding company that takes tourists down the volcano by our house. I am going to look for her next time. My goal with the basketball team was to make friends outside of the YWAM bubble so this game was very successful.

On a really sad note, I found out that while I was gone Sarah, the DTS student's mom died. Sarah was the girl I wrote about earlier who went home to Canada after her mom's heart surgery took a turn for the worst. After Sarah got home, her mom died. So sad. Please pray for Sarah and her family. I hate this kind of stuff.

A Big Change of Plans

I was supposed to return to Maui on Sunday. After spending the night with my fun friends, I spent about an hour packing. Sarah Sto-Gregor came and drove me to the airport. I got to the airport about 50 minutes before my flight was scheduled to take off. For domestic flights you must be there at least 30 minutes before. Despite being the fact that Hawaii is in the U.S, it inexplicably counts as an international flight. This means that you have to be there an hour early. I did not know this and arrived only 50 minutes early. I was told that I could not board. I started crying. I had had an emotionally charged weekend and very little sleep. This did not put me in the best position to receive this sort of news. The lady at the counter made some phone calls and told me she could get me on the same flight but the next day. She also said she got the okay to waive the 1200 dollar flight change fee. I guess the crying paid off. I don't see why they would have made me pay double what I paid for the original flight. That is just ridiculous.

At the point that all this went down, I thought my parents were still in Brenham, an hour and a half away. It turns out that they were back in Houston so I gave them a call. They were cool about it. My dad came and picked me up and the experience was a hundred times better than when he had picked me up at the beginning of the weekend. He was nice and not acusatory about me missing my flight. It was the perfect reaction since I was already upset.

I called people in Maui to get everything squared away for my job and the volleyball game we were supposed to have Monday. I got a fellow-YWAMer, Calla to be in charge of picking me up from the airport and wrangling the players. She is a quality, reliable-type person so I felt confident she could do it.

I drove my aunt Nancy to the airport later and she did not miss her flight. The Astros game was on TV that day and it was so good. They went way into extra innings and won the first playoff series with a walk-off homerun. I would not have been able to see it if I hadn't missed my flight. I also ended up getting an external hard drive and video editing software so I can edit Andrew's wedding video and make other fun videos.

In the morning, my grandparents drove me to the airport very early so I did not get stuck missing my plane again. I sat next to a very talkative lady named Barbara who had Parkinson's disease. I am not that familiar with Parkinson's but in Barbara's case, it meant her arms and legs would flail about without warning or control. I got hit a few times but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she was not trying to hurt me.

When I arrived in Maui, my bags were not there. Apparently none of the bags on my plane to Honolulu had made it on the connecting flight to Maui. Yay! Calla and the volleyball team picked me up minus my luggage. We drove to the gym and played some volleyball. We didn't do too bad since we had never played together and did not know the bizarre co-ed rules. In addition to the rules I remember from intramurals in college, guys must serve underhand and cannot jump from in front of the ten-foot line. We won game one, lost game two and barely lost game three. The other team was super nice and made up of middle-aged locals. One of the guys had this really intriguing hairstyle. It was like a grey grown out mullet. The short part hung below his ears and the rest was tied back in a ponytail. He ended up being really nice and invited us to play with his team at another gym sometimes.

My team had to referee the second game. I took that time to try to get my luggage back. Luckily it was there. Then Calla and I bought gatorade and fruit snacks for our players like soccer moms do. It was pretty funny. Go YWAM wolverines!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Big Day

I slept like a rock the night before the wedding. Shella said she tossed and turned but I did not wake up once. We stumbled sleepily into breakfast. I had hot rollers in my hair so I was looking really hot. The food was pretty good. I made a plate for Andrew since he wasn't supposed to see Shella and he was a bit groggy from the night before. I made sure to include a lot of ham. Andrew sure does like ham.

I was the first one to get my hair done since I was going to be in pictures with Andrew first thing. Shella had a real hairdresser do our hair. This was a first in my wedding experience. It was nice. She put my hair half up and stuck flowers in it. I liked it a lot except that she kind of straightened the rest of my hair and then artificially curled it. I like my hair naturally curly. I put water in it and let nature do the rest.

I went over with the boys. It was fun to hang out and I go to watch the OU game. Whoohoo! UT finally won! We took lots of pre-wedding photos. Right before the ceremony, I found out that this lady was going to be cutting meat in the area where we wanted to do the slideshow. She basically threw a fit and said we couldn't do the slideshow there because the lights would give her a headache. I asked if she could move to the other end of the table and she acted like it was the most ridiculous idea ever. It seems to me that if you are serving in a wedding, you should do what ever you can to make people happy instead of being stiff and unyielding. Because of this cleaver carrying curmudgeon, not very many people got to see my slide show of Andrew and Shella.

The ceremony was pretty good. They always feel long when you are up there. Andrew cried again so of course I could not hold it in. I wasn't loud or blubbery, though. I have seen those bridesmaids and I don't want to be one. It was also so sunny at first that I began crying by default. The preacher was really funny. He kept muttering all this random stuff. I guess he did not know that everyone could hear him due to the microphone. There was a lot of giggling. Shella's nephews did not make noise but they did fidget and play with the pillow and flower bucket they were holding. I watched them to entertain myself.

There was also a bee buzzing around. It was giant and it landed in the hair of the bridesmaid in front of me. It was into the flowers in her hair. I didn't know what to do. Thankfully it flew away. Unfortunately towards the bride and groom. They remained unscathed but the congregation got a laugh.

After the ceremony, we took pictures till I wanted to hang myself. It was at least an hour of artificial posing and I got antsy. We were all antsy. Our feet hurt, we were sweaty, and hungry. This resulted in some grumpy people. All the other guests got to eat. This was the only time I was not happy to be in the wedding party.

We did this thing called the grand march. It is a big German choreographed dance. I was super-skeptical but it ended up being fun. I started with Robert Tyler/my groomsmen as my partner but he was soon stolen by Shella's aunt and I ended up next to her cute second cousin and my parents' friend, Dale. It was fun. Then we danced and we danced. Not me and Dale. Everyone.

I made a speech and didn't really cry. I was quite impressed with myself. I had thought about leaving early but I was having so much fun I didn't notice when it got late and it was time for them to go. When Shella and Andrew got in the car her nephew, Michael, started bawling. He loves them so much.

Then Thama, Emily, Jocelyn, Neha and I drove back to my house in Houston. It was really fun. I am glad we got that time together. I was a bit disappointed that they had to leave pretty early in the morning.

Andrew's Last single Day

So, I went home to Houston to be in my brother's wedding. On Friday, he and I hung out. We mainly ran errands and went to Target, IKEA and Kroger. It was so good to spend time with him. I just love him so much. We got all of our stuff together and headed out to Brenham, where the wedding was held. It was nice to drive fast for a while since in Hawaii I can only go around 60 miles round trip and the maximum speed limit is 55mph.

On Friday we hung out for a while. My aunts, parents, cousin David, groomsmen and bridesmaids were all around. We all stayed in different little houses on the property. The groom/groomsmen cabin was cute in a rustic way. Unfortunately it only had enough beds for four people. I think my brother spent the night before his wedding sharing a bed with Robert Tyler. I guess this was good practice for sleeping with Shella.

Shella arrived after taking a test. Not the most fun thing to do on the day before your wedding. We did all the rehearsal bisnass and then had a rehearsal dinner at one of the houses. This was my mom's part of the festivities. She was very anxious for it to go well. The food was good and people seemed to be having fun. A success!

The groomsmen had a wild night of drinking games and poker. Apparently my brother was wearing a lace teddy at one point. I don't know why. They stayed up until past 3am. Some of the guys slept in their cars. Ho slept in his and did not even wake up when his car alarm went off. That's some deep sleep.

The girls were not near as rowdy. I wished I could have hung out with the boys instead because I actually know a lot of them. I did not try to intrude on their guy time. The bridesmaids were nice but I had never met a few of them before that day. We kinda sat around as Shella and Andrew delivered gifts to wedding participants and tied up loose ends. Shella and I slept in the same room and talked for about an hour before falling asleep. It was a sweet time. I am glad I have her as my sister-in-law now. Yay!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Freezing with Football Players

I’m back in Houston. It feels pretty surreal. I have only been here less than one day but it feels longer. I think that is because I took a three hour nap in the middle of the day. I got on the plane yesterday afternoon and got here at 7am this morning. The entire University of Hawaii football team was on my plane. They were pretty hard to miss. They got to board the plane first. At first, I thought it was unfair until I realized that their size meant they might need a little extra time to get settled in. One of them sat next to me on the plane. I think he is the field goal kicker. I was impressed at the manners of the guys. They gave up seats for ladies, helped people with their bags and were all-around good guys. They were on their way to play Louisiana Tech. I have been to a Louisiana Tech football game and it was very similar to a high school game. I am not sure how good University of Hawaii is but LA Tech shouldn’t be too tough.

I planned to sleep most of the plane ride but my flight did not go quite as I planned. Despite popping several Benydryls, I could not fall asleep. The fact that it was only 8pm Hawaii time, may have been a factor. It was also like a freezer in the plane. I am surprised I couldn’t see my breath. I used two airplane blankets but never really felt comfortable. Next time I fly, I will remember to bring a parka. I did sleep a few hours but not enough to feel good.

When my dad picked me up, it soon became apparent that neither of us were in the best mood. Our discussion soon became a verbal war with my dad turning the conversation into an R-rated one with some choice words. We are both stubborn to a fault so our arguments never feel productive just painful. The rest of the ride was in tearful silence. If I wasn’t here for my brother’s wedding, I think I would have seriously considered going back to Maui right then. Not fun at all.

It is so strange to be home. It doesn’t even really feel like home. This is the first time I have felt like that about being home. Right now Maui seems like home. This is strange to me but it is how I feel. I guess that is just more proof that Maui is where I am supposed to be.

After my lovely three hour nap, I went to hang out with Will and Katherine, the kids I babysat this summer. They really wanted me to hang out with them. We went to Jamba Juice and then played Life the board game. Then I went to a couple stores to look for stuff for our houses in Maui. We have such a small selection of places to find bedding and stuff in Maui- the Big K, Wal-Mart and a few other ones. My mom gave me a little money towards getting some stuff. It went a long way because I found a lot of great sales. I got several curtains, rugs, shower curtains and all on sale. I am going to hit up IKEA tomorrow. I am so excited about putting all this stuff in our houses. This is the part of my job I like best, though the budget doesn’t always allow.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Back in the Blog of things

Blog 10-5

I have been slacking off on my blog lately. I apologize to my blog-reading public. I have been working to try to finish my book proposal and so I don’t always feel like doing more writing after that. But now the proposal is done and I am going to print it and send it off when I am home. I have no idea what sort of response I will get but it would be amazing if this whole writing thing works out. Writing as a career has become increasingly more appealing to me. We’ll see.

On Sunday I went to church with my church group. My friend Gena attends there too. She has been going there for a while so she knows a lot of the people. The pastor was not there and the second service only had about 20 people, 1/3 of who were YWAMers. The church is thinking about going back to one service. The youth pastor preached for what seemed like an eternity. The sermon was over an hour and a bit rambling. Near the end, I looked at my students and none of them were looking at the pastor and they were all squirming in their seats. I could see that they felt the same as me.

On Sunday night, I was going to go play basketball but instead I went to dinner with friends. Corey and Carrie (former YWAMers) were house-sitting and invited me, Sherry and Gena for dinner. It was a lot of fun. The house they were at was really sweet. It was a duplex-type place and their part was the top floor. It had high ceilings, wood floors and several porches. The decorations were nice as well. It was a big contrast between our ghetto YWAM housing.

On Monday we had our staff fellowship. This is just a fancy phrase to describe a staff meeting with snacks at the end. This meeting was different because our base director and his wife came to share why they were stepping down from leadership. Vince was very vulnerable and honest in telling us that his pride had gotten out of hand. After 18 years of ministry and trying to please everyone, he came to the realization that he had been severely neglecting his family, especially his wife. He is going to counseling and will be trying to get a regular job on the island to support his family. It is sad to see Vince go because he is a great leader but I am glad he is doing what he has to do. I read a book by a guy named Vince McClung and he talked about how in full-time ministry he found that his priorities had to be as follows: God, then family, then ministry. You are not supposed to forsake your family for the good of your ministry. I think this is definitely true.

On Tuesday we inspected houses for cleanliness. The DTS boys had the cleanest house, which is very impressive. My friend, Wayne made a vast improvement from the week before. Last week he had drawers opened with clothes falling out, an unmade bed and a plate with the remnants of last night’s dinner on his fan. This week there was no old food, clothes were folded and his bed was made. It was a nice surprise.

Last night Brittany and I went down to the beach to play basketball. As usual, we ended up playing with some of the random guys down there. The games were fun until we played HORSE. This old guy, Moses, likes to do stupid trick shots all the time where you have to bounce the ball off your head or hook it in mid-air. I think this stuff is dumb since you can’t really do it in a game. I had to go after him and of course, I got out quickly because I can’t put my toes on the baseline, jump backwards and shoot the ball all while in mid-air. He got to follow some crazy guy we saw snort cocaine before he asked to join. This does not seem very fair to me. I try to have a good attitude with sports but this was very frustrating.

On a sad note, Sarah, one of our DTS students, went home. Her mom had open heart surgery and they found calcium deposits in her heart. Then she had a reaction to the medication and her lungs filled with fluid. She is in very critical condition and Sarah flew home to be with her. Pray for the family.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Gump like you wouldn't believe

Blog 10-1

Wow, I can’t believe it is October. Time is really flying by. I guess that is a good thing since life seemed to be almost at a standstill when I was working at Soundwaves. This morning I slept in a bit and then went tanning at the beach. I need to look brown for when I come home for Andrew’s wedding. I don’t want to let people down. I know people expect someone who lives in Hawaii to be tan.

After tanning, I took a bunch of people across the island to Lahaina. I wanted to look for a wedding gift for Andrew and Shella. I invited a few people, which as usual, grew to more than I had anticipated. I ended up taking nine other people to town, dropped off two, and ended up taking seven people to Lahaina. I invited six of those people but one guy really just invited himself. It was a bit rude since he pretty much just jumped in the car. He is going through a hard time right now and being very unresponsive and disgruntled at almost all times. This doesn’t mean he can act like a jerk to me and expect me to do him favors. I told him that he should ask first and definitely showed my displeasure at his thoughtlessness. I don’t know what to do about the guy.

We split up when we got to Lahaina and Gena and I walked around together. I found a gift for the happy couple. After shopping, we all met back up at Bubba Gump’s. I had never been to the restaurant before. The creator definitely had an unnatural love for the movie, Forest Gump. All the menu items made reference to little parts of the film. Each table has signs that say, "Run Forrest Run" and "Stop Forrest Stop." This lets the waiter know when he is needed. We participated in some Forrest Gump trivia. We did pretty well until the question of what Forrest's dog was named. We made up some answers but apparently we could not remember the right answer because he did not have a dog. There is even a little fake bench scene set up so you can pretend to be Forrest. It’s a bit much but the food was decent and the place had quite the ocean view.

Fluffy shoots, she scores!

Blog 9-29

My friend, Gena, is back on base from Bangladesh. Her girls have been staying in our living room. I forgot this fact the other night. I thought it seemed strange that there were no lights on in our living room when I was coming home. I flipped the light on and realized about one second later that there were girls asleep on our couches. I turned the light off right away before any real damage was done.

I took most of my day to pick-up Gena at the airport. There was a bit of miscommunication. Gena and her girls got stuck in Taiwan for five hours. We picked them up around noon and kidnapped Gena. We went and ate at Quizno’s. Then I worked with my Housing students. I let them deliver the TP and it went off without a hitch, I think. A couple of them cleaned the bathroom and office. I love having students. It is nice to not have to clean the bathroom as much. Then we had a brainstorming session about redoing the bathroom. The room is a lot like a narrow Hell so we have nowhere to go but up. We are considering bright neutrals to widen the room and a terra cotta colored floor to camouflage the excessive amounts of red Maui mud. I don’t know how our budget will hold out but the girls are excited and so am I.

My basketball team and I worked on creating our uniforms. We want them to look professional so naturally we used puff paint and $4 red tank tops from Wal-Mart. We put nicknames on the backs of each one. There are five official members of the team and we purchased three extra jerseys for the other random people we will be cajoling to play so that we don’t forfeit. We put nicknames on the unassigned jerseys as well. So far we have, me-Hot Stuff, Brittany- Big Mack, Brenna- Snow White, Calla- Go-gurt, and Sarah- Princess. The anonymous jerseys: Coco, Fluffy and Apollo (Apollo’s number is 13, naturally.) The funniest part of this scenario is the latest team roster development. A girl named Christy called and said she was interested in joining our team. Apparently the recreation center people had given her my number. I talked to her on the phone. She is from Oregon and six feet tall. Other than that, I know absolutely nothing about her. I tried to warn her about how several of our players are borderline terrible. The funniest part is wondering what she will think when she is given a jersey to wear with the name, “Fluffy” printed on the back. It is a shame I will be unable to attend the first game, I am afraid that may be the only game Christy attends after she sees our skills.

On Friday, we drove to the other side of the island to pick up a donation. It was me, Kristy, Jonathan, Wayne and Dave- the housing department plus the maintenance guys. We drove there in the rain and with no A.C. that means windows down. When we got to the hotel where the donation was, it turns out they had about 100 lounge chairs, 5 glass top tables and about 20 patio chairs. This stuff is not exactly the bookcases and dressers we are really in need of. The place had hoped we would take all of the stuff. We definitely don’t need a lounge chair for every man, woman and child on base. Our van could only hold three lounge chairs and four patio chairs. So, we drove pretty far for a very small pay-off. Oh well. I enjoy checking out other parts of the island.

After work, Gena wanted to get some stuff she needed from town. Sherry and I took her to Wal-Mart (of course) and the mall. We picked up some hitchhiking DTS boys along the way. At night I went to church. I liked the worship but again I was not to into the pastor’s message. After church, I hung out with some of the DTS girls at their house. I really enjoy getting to know them better. There are several that I have a connection with. I am going to try to be purposeful in reaching out to those few especially.
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