Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Asbestos 'Arama

Yesterday I got to go to lovely Orange, Texas (yes it is part of Orange County.) This Orange County is a very different OC. I had been back on Maui about one month when Hurricane Katrina hit. I felt torn, wanting to go back and help this area of the country I loved and knowing how far away I was from it. Yesterday, I got the chance to help with some hurricane relief in Orange. I had no idea that so many people's houses were still in shambles after over a year. I think Orange was really impacted by the second hurricane, Rita.

I helped with students from the Wesley Foundation, which I was involved in when I was in college. Rusty, my college pastor, asked me to come speak to the students. So, Katie H and I drove out to Orange. Actually we accidentally ended up in Lousiana. We weren't paying attention to the signs and passed Orange. Luckily we only went about ten miles or so before we figured it out. It was the "Welcome to Louisiana" sign that clued us in that we'd gone too far.

We got to help clean up the pieces of a battered roof. Some of the house had been made with asbestos. We had to collect all the asbestos and set it aside for disposal. No one knew much about asbestos other than that it can cause some crazy health problems. Some people were so paranoid that it seemed they thought they would get cancer after even looking at the asbestos. There were masks for people to wear but not enough to go around. I am not too scared. After Bangladesh, very little scares me. I have had dengue fever, after all.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hot and Cold in Houston

I know I am back in Houston because it is December and in the last week I have worn everything from shorts and a t-shirt to a sweater and wool coat. Almost everyday I use both the heater and the air conditioner in the Saturn. I like the cold weather sometimes but it will be nice to get back to Maui. I saw today that MTV has a new show that comes out on my birthday. It is some sort of Maui reality show. What a perfect birthday gift to me! A reality show about a place I love. Hopefully it will be a Temptation Island 3, but I doubt it.

College football is so much fun! The good bowl games are about to begin and I am excited. My dad has a big tv with cable and HD tv so the set-up is pretty sweet. I have also recently become a Tennessee Titans fan. I have always loved Vince Young and I figure he is a good enough reason to love a whole team. A lot of Houstonians like the Texans but I am not into them. I think their name is stupid and so are they for passing on my man, Vince.

I have decided to train for a triathlon. It is a shortened version- 3 miles running, 15 miles biking, and 1/3 mile swimming. It seems hard but not too hard and I will have 3 months to train. I like to have an athletic goal to work towards. I can practice swimming in the ocean in Maui. Pretty sweet.

I have been able to see a lot of quality people although most visits have been painfully short. I got to see: Sarah Musselman and baby Madeline, Erin and Zach Morrow and baby Joe, Sarah Morgan and Devin O'Bryan, Katie H, Emily and Van HArdin, David and Suzie Ray, Mike and Susie Ray, Jane Kim and James Chastant, Sarah McGregor and more. I still have a lot more people to see. Tomorrow I am going to Orange, TX to help my college pastor, Rusty and his students do hurricane relief. Rusty wants me to speak to his students and get them pumped about missions. It should be cool.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Missing Andrew

I miss my brother. It is very weird not to have him here at X-Mas. I have been visiting some very quality friends but I usually have my brother to hang out with whenever I am not hanging out with other people. I am happy that next year he will be back. It is just not the same without him at all.

He called his wife so we heard a bit of how he's doing. He apparently got 24 packages when he came back. Way more than anyone else. I don't think I have gotten 24 packages in the last year. I guess Iraq seems a bit more package-worthy than Maui. I can't complain. Afterall, they don't have Wal-Mart in Iraq.

Please continue to pray for my brother.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Back in the Lone Star State

I have been on the mainland for almost two days now. Today was cold and there was even hail. I definitely know I am not in Maui anymore. It is nice to rediscover my winter clothes and watch cable television. I am trying to figure out how to schedule my time in such a way that I get to see all my favorite people and get some restful alone time. I thought three weeks would be a long time at home but my schedule is filling up rather quickly. I am excited about all the people who are around at Christmas time. I am going on a bit of a baby-seeing tour. I have already seen Madeline Musselman and I get to see Joe Morrow this weekend. In Maui, I have been spending a lot of time with my friend, Maria and her baby, Kieva so I am more comfortable around the little guys than I used to be. It is really fun to see how God combines my friends' features to make a new person that looks like both of them.

I am officially going to have a different job when I go back to Maui. I am glad. I am sure the other YWAMers will be happy as well since I am really not very gifted in culinary exploits. I have always planned to really get into cooking after I get married. That will be a lot different than working in the kitchen and trying to feed 100 people for $.60. I went to the grocery store and it was amazing! There were so many fun things to choose from and it is all so much less expensive than Maui.

Overall it is really nice to be home, though I do miss some of my Maui friends. If only I were rich and famous and could afford to pay my favorite people to travel around with me as my entourage....Wouldn't that be nice?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Reindeer games

Tomorrow I leave for home. The flight is not too bad since I only have to fly to Honolulu and then straight to Houston. It is an overnight flight so I am praying that I can sleep on the plane. I am also praying for empty seats next to me. We'll see. I am a bit nervous about going home and how I am going to juggle my time. I have been wary of making firm plans but I think that might cause problems. As of now, I have written down all the various windows of hangout opportunities with various friends but I haven't gotten firm dates. I think I want the hanging out to happen naturally, which seems virtually impossible given the time constraints. We'll see. I am sure it will all work out.

Christmas will be strange without my brother around. I have been away from my family at Christmas twice but I have never been with my family minus my brother. I will definitely miss him. My favorite game at Christmas is something we call reindeer games. This game involves repositioning those white, metal, lighted reindeer lawn ornaments into sexual positions. It is not gross just hilarious! There is also the element of suspense as you try not to get caught. My brother, Andrew, has some sort of God-given gift for it. He can look at a lawn and know exactly how to position the deer for maximum laughs. He once made a train with four. It was incredible. So, I don't know if I will play this year. It's just not the same without Andrew. I wonder if they have these fake reindeer in Iraq. I sure hope so.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I get to come back to Texas soon! I am excited but I feel like I have so much to get done before I leave. I only work in the kitchen about four hours a day but I have been trying to make the most of my time in Maui by spending time at the beaches. My YWAM best friend, Amy is in town with the guys she has been traveling the world with. They are from Canada so it is even more important for them to look tan when they go home. I too want to look bronzed to dazzle my friends. Bangladesh made me pretty white so I have some work to do.

Tanning aside, things are going pretty well. Amy is back and I have a car to use. There are not very many people on base so working in the kitchen is not as much work. There are a lot less dishes to do. I finally feel pretty at home being back in Maui. It is comforting to know that I will being living in a fun house in Paia when I get back and not a crowded sunroom in Haiku. I am going to try to be at the base a lot, though so I don't lose that community feel.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Escaping from Haiku

I am sitting on my bed, which is covered in a random assortment of my belongings. I have yet to feel like I am settled in my current living space. The fact is that I have too much stuff for the amount of space I have been allotted. This means I am frequently cleaning and organizing my life and that very often I end up sleeping in a bed with mail, clean laundry, pictures, my computer and anything else I might not have a place for. I know this is all teaching me some sort of valuable life lesson but I am not quite sure what it is.

I relayed my unfortunate scooter misfortune in an earlier post. I felt that the Lord was asking me to wait on getting a vehicle. I tend to be impatient/impulsive but I decided to wait. A girl on base is going home for a few months. She didn't want to sell her car but wanted someone to rent it for a few months. This is perfect for me since I didn't want to have to actually buy something after the Explorer fiasco. So, waiting on the Lord paid off. The girl leaves on Thursday so I will have wheels then. This freedom will be so nice. I am lucky to have several friends with cars as well as several friends that live off base. This means I have not felt too trapped up here in Haiku. But now I can escape this place without having to rely on an accomplice.

I spent this past weekend in Paia. It was lots of fun. My friend, Abbey's boyfriend, Wil, shares a house with my friend, Maria and her husband and baby. Wil was gone for the weekend so Abbey and I slept in his room. Abbey leaves for Nepal in two days so it was good to spend so much time with her. All the students leave at 5am on Wednesday and I am driving them to the airport. Those of you who really know me, know that I am no good early in the morning. I hope they aren't expecting me to talk. Things should become much less crazy when they leave.
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