Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Still discombobulated-is that how you spell it?

I have yet to fully feel at home on base here. It is still weird. I can't seem to figure out the weekly schedule and never know what is going on. The DTS leaves in a week, so things should be less crazy then when I will only live with 30 girls instead of 50.

I started working in the kitchen and I am no Emeril yet. I thought I would get to learn how to cool properly but so far it seems everyone just does what they think is best. I asked how to chop something and was told to just go for it. I know how to chop, but I wanted to learn some cool chef way. Maybe I will have to check the internet. I know how to follow instructions in the kitchen but I am hoping to come away from this experience knowing how to freestyle a bit. No matter what, it seems like I will come away with dishpan hands. The kitchen schedule is pretty laid back and there is lots of opportunity to talk with the other people who work in the kitchen. It's also nice to not have so much responsibility all the time. And it doesn't take much brain power to do the dishes.

I have not been a good communicator lately and I hate that. I have had a hard time returning people's phone calls, which is something I normally pride myself at being good at. The main problem is that my cell phone only works on my bed so I can't bring it anywhere else to talk or even just answer the phone. This won't be the case when I am back in Paia, so I just need to be patient for the next month.

Right now I need to go make the millionth effort to clean my room. It seems I am fighting a never-ending battle.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Sad day for Longhorn fans

So, today I got to watch my first Longhorn football game of the year and it was a sad, sad event. We lost our second game in a row and this was to A&M. How humiliating! Before I came back to the country, we had only lost to Ohio State, who have one of the best teams in the country. Apparently I am bad luck. Oh well, I think I am going to buy the DVD of the Longhorns' championship win last year. I can watch it when I need to relive the glory days.

I am currently on the big island of Hawaii, where I am spending my Thanksgiving break. My cousin and his family moved here a few months ago and generously paid for me to come out here. Unfortunately I am still trying to process the last crazy six months of my life so I haven't been the most enjoyable house guest. Yesterday I pretty much watched tv all day. It was pretty nice. I get my own room here, which is an awesome change from my room on base with eight roommates. That place doesn't feel like home yet, which is hard.

It seems pretty likely that I will move in with a friend in Paia after I come back from my Christmas break. In order to do that, I will need transportation to and from the base. I am considering a scooter for a couple reasons: the comical factor, high gas mileage and no obligation to take others along. I want to be nice but now that our base is isolated, people with cars get exploited. Riding behind me on the scooter is by nature, only for the closest companions. I am talking with a guy about buying one on Sunday when I get back. I will keep you posted. I know you will all be desperate to see pics of me on a scooter. I am sure it will be sweet!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chaos like you couldn't believe

My life is hectic to say the least right now. I am torn between hanging out with my students, my staff friends, and being by myself. And on top of that, two of my favorite people- Sarah and John McGregor are in town. I have not had much time to see them but they seem to be enjoying all Maui has to offer. This week has been filled with meetings, trying to spend as much time as possible with my students and lots of different events. The time is flying by quickly but I have not had enough time to talk to all the people from home that I want to. It will get easier once the students leave. Most of them will be gone by tonight and a few leave tomorrow night. Tomorrow we have a debriefing meeting all day.

Being so busy is annoying but my big problem right now is that my living situation stinks. Our new base is good for students who live here for 3 months but for staff who live here year-round, it is very difficult. Living in a single-family sized home with 40 people means very little privacy. We are also very isolated instead of located in a town. I am sure I will be less frustrated when I find somewhere to put all my stuff.

I am fairly sure that I will move off base to the town we used to live in. An ex-Ywamer needs a roommate and will only charge me a little bit more than I have to pay now. It is an awesome set-up but I will need to get some transportation. I am considering a scooter after my Ford fiasco. We'll see.

Onto better topics, last night was graduation. It was so good! I totally bawled. After all the crazy incidents and hard work, they actually made it. So amazing! I cried the most for Kelli. She is my girl from Louisiana with the crazy testimony. This graduation was the first time she had ever graduated anything in her life. It was so special. After grad, me and Matt and the Nepal leaders-Ashley and Josh hung out on the beach together basking in our lack of responsibility. I am going to miss my students a lot but I won't miss being responsible for them.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Back in the States!

I made it! I am back in the United States. My time in Bangladesh was good, but hard. I learned so much but I am feeling pretty tired and burned out. Our base moved to another town while we were away and Ashley (the leader of the Nepal team) and I are having a pretty hard time adjusting. This change along with the stress of being responsible for others for so long and jet lag has made us pretty weepy today. I have yet to cry but I have come close and the tears probably will fall soon.

The new base is pretty cool but far away from everything. I am contemplating getting a scooter. We'll see. I am a bit wary after my Ford fiasco.

I want to leave you with a funny/scary story-
My Ywam best friend, Amy was with my team for the last two weeks of outreach. It was nice to have her around and she and her team flew to Thailand with us. Amy and I got to hang out the night before we left in Thailand and it was good times with a binging session at Pizza Hut. She gave me a bag of stuff to take back to Maui for her. It was mainly clothes and gifts for her family. I didn't even see what she packed.

So, I was going through the security checkpoint at the Japan airport and I got stopped. This was nothing new especially since I was more than frisked by a female security guard in Dhaka. The security guard in Japan, opened my bag and took out some spoons that he thought were setting off the detector. He sent it back through and it still went off. He dug further into the bag and pulled out something wrapped in newspaper. It looked like a knife and when he pulled off the paper, I saw that it was some dagger-type device from Nepal. My face turned bright red and I started freaking out internally. Then five security guards appeared and all spoke in Japanese. They measured the knife as I feared the worst. I had no idea if you can be punished for such things as this in Japan. In Tapei, there is a big sign that says Drug Traffickers will be punished by death. So, these Japanese security guards continue to gather info on me. They got my passport, boarding pass and pertinent info. The whole process was an excruciating 30 minutes of uncertainty. It ended with them checking the knife so I could pick it up in Honolulu. So crazy. I was willing to leave the knife. It is funny now but it would not have been if I had missed my plane.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's not over yet

Tomorrow we are going back to Gazipur but this time it is to meet with the students of the Windows DTS. This is a DTS being held here in Bangladesh. About half the students are Bangladeshi and half from places like Fiji and Papua New Guinea. We spent some time with them before they left for outreach. My friend, Lindsay led the team that went to Sri Lanka but unfortunately she has had to stay in Sri Lanka to help her student who lost his passport. I am bummed that I will not get to see her.

Anyway, we will be staying at some sort of compound and have prayer and fellowship with these Windows DTS students. It should be good. Some of my students are whining about having to go. I think they would be happiest if they were allowed to sit and watch movies at our house until it was time to leave. I pray that they will realize how little time we have left and how they can watch movies at home.

Unfortunately Kera is still in the hospital. We are hoping she will get out tomorrow but we have no guarantees. Luckily the nice New Zealand couple we are staying with is going to stay with her and nurse her back to health so that the whole team can go to Gazipur. Please pray for her to get better. She was looking forward to Maui so much and I would hate for her to still be sick when she is back there for a week.

I still can't believe how soon I will be on the mainland. I have much to look forward to. Sarah and John McG come and visit soon after I get back. Then, I get to go spend Thanksgiving with my cousin and his family on the Big Island. Then I will be in Texas for three weeks at Christmas. I am so excited about all of this but I am trying hard to be "all here" as I spend my last few days in Bangladesh.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Short Update

I don't have much time to write but I wanted to give a brief update. Everyone on the team is well except for Kera, who had to spend the night in the hospital. She has good ole' Dengue fever. Everyone's symptoms have been different in severity. Kera has had a lot of vomitting, which has made her feel terrible. Rachel has been with her at the hospital, which is a role reversal after Kera helped Rachel in the hospital. Please pray that Kera will get better and be able to enjoy her last days in Bangladesh.

We finished our ministry with Prodip, the pastor we've been helping. WE were treated to a great dinner by a family from the church. It was good but they kinda shoved the food in our faces. I don't like noodles so Kelli ate my third and fourth helpings and I ate her share of these flaky white sugar block things. My stomach did not appreciate it much. They also gave us bracelets that were far too small for our fat American hands. They had to cram them on and I fear mine may never come off.

We don't know exactly what we'll do for the rest of the week. We are supposed to meet up with the DTS going on here and maybe go to the amusement park. We'll see. I will be back in Maui in a week! YAY!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I am alive

I can't believe how long it has been since I wrote in my blog. I am slipping technologically. So sad. I cannot believe I only have a little over a week until I get back to the United States. Technically we leave the Bang (Bangladesh) on November 10th and stay in the Bang (Bangkok, Thailand) overnight and then arrive in Maui on November 11th. I am hoping this will be in time for me to watch some college football. However, I might be too busy relishing in my reunion with all my long-lost belongings, wardrobe and friends. I can't wait to wear regular clothes and to go to the beach and get rid of my Bangladesh paleness.

The last couple weeks have been intense as both Matt and I were struck down with Dengue Fever. Most of our students got it as well and it is no fun at all. The main symptoms include: a rash, itchiness, high fevers, headache, nausea, vomiting, diareah (no one really knows how to spell that), muscle pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and probably some I cannot remember. Now I am well but still feeling weak. We only have two more official ministry days left so I am just going to push through my fatigue.

You may heard about all the political unrest here. I watched it on the news and it seemed far worse than what we actually experienced. We basically restricted ourselves to a safe part of the city and rode it out. Now, things are more stable and the rioting seems to have stopped. I know some people were worried but we were never in danger.

I want to publically apologize for being a slack friend while in Bangladesh. Several quality people had birthdays that I did not even acknowledge remembering. Know that I prayed for all of you on your big days. Here are those I remembered: In August- John McG and David Ray, September- Lindsay Ray and Thama McG, October- Erin Morrow, Emily Ray and Sarah McG. So, know that you are loved and remembered.

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