Sunday, December 31, 2006

I'm going out for dinner with my family tonight. We prepare to splinter again. Then, tonight I will burn Pinochet in Bastión, while they burn an Alvaro Noboa here (they bought his paper body, and have since added a paper bible stuffed with monopoly money, and bandages on his knees from all the praying. He was the presidential candidate who lost the elections here in November. We didn't like him much. Pinochet isn't finished, I got lazy with the paint, but he has a head) GUYS! I'm moving continents! I should be more scared, right? It is going to be hard to say bye to some people, but I will do it. It is going to be harder to be away from them, but I will be ok. Classes start on the 4th. I promise to be a better blogger once I feel my mind is more connected to my emotions, and my emotions are more connected to my countenance. I feel like I'm not allowed to say the things I'm feeling right this instant. HAPPY NEW YEARS, ALL. HORNE/BETHANY MS > CO 708Y 02JAN GUAYAQUIL NEWARK 750A 227P > CO2723Y 02JAN NEWARK HALIFAX 555P 856P

Saturday, December 23, 2006

happy xmas


Hey guys. I'll see you all after the craziness, my family is going to the mountains for the first half of the holidays. We always go away for Christmas, the only tradition still standing.
Yeah, the thing about my dad really happened. I wouldn't joke about stuff like that. Half of the people inside the church saw the whole thing. Fortunately, my mom and my uncle Paul didn't see, otherwise it would have been worse. My dad was more shaken than most people think.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Recent

citizen kane. requiem for a dream. amélie. ghostbusters. kiss kiss bang bang. the godfather.

In Block 10, a drunk and drugged guy pointed a revolver at my Dad's head in anger, pulled the trigger three times. No bullets came out. Dad tried to wresle the gun from him. Drunk guys friend pulls out a huge knife. Dad walks away.

Thus stands Pinochet:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The campfire went well. Thank you. NYE old man is coming along nicely, as well.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

W.T.

campfire tonight, with the park guys. galo said he was going to help me build my New Years Eve old man afterwards (I'm going to make Pinochet, I think). No "lame parties" for ecuadorians on NYE...that's not what it is about. It is the biggest night of the year, and it is a community affair. Also, its the real spirit or renewal I like. Its the countdown, the "0"...then, breath again. The "continue!"... Also, some of the guys may come over to play Spoons before-hand. I hope I don't have to sing "Silent night" to the guards again, like yesterday...though it was funny. If you pray, pray for the campfire time...pray that God's purposes are made clear and that a few hearts are softened, that a few minds are made, that the food doesn't run out, and that I don't cry when I read the thing I wrote, or do anything equally dumb as that. The real point of it is to finish of the year with them, this year that has been such a rollercoaster for all of them...get back some contact, get some good fun times together...and it is a goodbye, too...for me, for my dad. closure would be the working title.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

19 days left in 2006. Doesn't that make you tingle? I don't enjoy Christmas, its all too much I think, but New Years is a holiday with a real purpose, with real depth. Christmas is so empty right now, even the "remember the true meaning of it all" whispers are so empty.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

you will thank me in the morning

i should add, i am pleased about the results of the ecuadorian election (as well as the venezuela one...and not the mexican one) If you guys hear that the Ecuadorian president has dissolved the congress, believe me, it is a GOOD thing...though I'm sure the media up there would spin it as an anti-democratic action from an anti-american president. It was his campaign platform (in addition to not signing the Free Trade Agreement with USA)...dissolve the congress and form a Assembly to draft a new constitution. It is his only hope to outrun the corruption. It is the only way, really. I hope he sends those fat asses home. --------------------------------------- And: its getting hotter. So go the seasons here...we warm up as you cool down. Mostly its getting more and more humid. Last night was terrible. My parents house seems to be worse than mine...i want RAIN!

Monday, December 04, 2006

And what when love is the only currency you have to make someone do something you want them to? It doesn’t feel right, thrusting it in people’s faces…the words, I mean: “I really love you, you know” …doesn’t make it ok. Doesn’t make it more palatable to be bossed around. Doesn’t make you owner of anybody. So HOW DO YOU GET THEM TO DO WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO? I mean when it is really important…not just “Katie, get me a cup of water” “No” “I love you, you know?”…I mean like “Please, come on off the train tracks, the 11.15 is just around the corner” Love is not the word to negotiate with. Love is not to be cheapened like that. But what when it is the only thing that motivates you…and you can’t use it to motivate them? What then? it isn’t the only thing that motivates me. selfishness, competitivity (?), cultural blueprints…all these things motivate me. But it seems that the part that loves is the part that hurts and wants answers to this question. The other parts just get angry or confused or whatever it is they do…when things don’t go their way.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

it was 38º C in the shade yesterday...that's between 100 and 104º Fahrenheit for you yanks. I would have gladly drank death if it had come with ice cubes.

Monday, November 27, 2006

New president

Looks like Correa won for president of Ecuador yesterday. Castro and Chavez-lovers, child labourers and idealists, rejoice! Skeptics, stay tuned. Rightie Banana-lords with a surplus of chickens, weep oh do weep... it wont make up for having lost your third election in a row, but it will look great on camera.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gerald and Jennifer

Two people to pray for. Two young souls going through times of change and pressure that could shape them into hard rocks or spakly diamonds. 16 years here and a turning point already. too young to make such decisions. one of them wants to shed a family, the other wants to find a brotherhood in a bad place...desperate. the holidays creep up on us here in Ecuador with preogressively rising temperatures and crazier schedules. Campfires and dinners, weddings and puppets, drama's and special meetings...topped off with a country wide bonfire, trip to the beach and a plane ride. forgive me if writings peter out and become less informative. these is just too much, but i think about you as often as ever.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"When time passes, its the people who know you whom you want to see: they're the ones you can talk to. When enough time passes, what's it matter what they did to you?" -John Irving, The Cider House Rules -------------------------------------- "What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us are wrapped up in parentheses" -ibid -------------------------------------- "It isn't likely I'll do anything very terrible. But I mean to have a little fun" "Fun!" Mrs. Frederic uttered the word as if Valancy had said she was going to have a little tuberculosis" -Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Blue Castle -------------------------------------- hey folks. have you ever had such dreams that scramble daily perceptions of what is important? have you ever lost yourself in the bog, only to grab hold of something completely foreign when you try and pull yourself back out...nevertheless attached to your now-muddy body? i've counted days down before. i count days down now with a mixture of everything you would expect. its a little less each time. a little less emotional, a little less hard, a little less interesting, a little less days and hours and minutes- shit! i wish i knew what you saw when you closed your eyes. what imaginary arms embraced you. what you summon to your mind to help you fall asleep at night. maybe you dont have to summon anyone at all, maybe you just drop into a snooze, like some people i envy. it has been harder and harder to sleep for me, lately. it takes time, it takes effort. it takes mostly imagination.

Friday, November 10, 2006

i burned a book once

I was 9 or 10. I remember it was a solemn ceremony. I believe I was the only one in attendance, my sister will have to confirm if she was or wasn’t there. I felt it was a very dark act, the burning of a book, and it had to be kept secret. My parents couldn’t know about it, they had probably given me the book and would want an explanation. If I had to explain why the book deserved to be destroyed so completely, then destroying it would be pointless. It was a shameful book (in my mind at the time). I can’t remember exactly what made it shameful, probably bad language and perhaps a sexual reference or two. I went to a park far from home, I wanted a place that was anonymous, that I had never been to before and had no reason to go to again. I tested a few matches on it, but got impatient and ripped it apart at the binding a few times, so the pages could burn faster. It was like watching someone be naked, or witnessing a crime. The book was about some girl. All I can remember now is that her being in high school, growing out her armpit hair and wanting to become student council president were major plot elements. I think at first I dealt with the book by blacking out the “bad words”, to protect my little sister from the scandal. I realized, though, that she would read it and know I had indeed read those censored words, and thus sinned. So it had to be burnt. If my sister was indeed present for that book burning, she hadn’t read the offensive material. The experience was thus less charged for her, I guess. I disposed carefully of the ashes afterwards, lest someone should discover my dark deed. I know I read a lot of Nazi books when I was younger, so maybe I connected this in my mind with historical books burnings. I believed in the power of words, and that destroying them was deeply spiritual. Of course, I would give a lot now to re-read that book and find out what so deeply offended me. I have read other books with strong language since, but that is the only book I burnt. I read John Irving and Vonnegut now, so my threshold for sexual references and strong language is pretty high. The only book that has ranked low enough in literary value to deserve a burning, in my opinion, was “The Rising”, but even that one lives on. I believe we donated it to some poor library. Strange that I buried this memory so long. But not strange that burning a book would carry such strong connotations within my book-filled, book-shaped and book-loving childhood.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A memory returned to me this week, somehting i hadn't thought about in a long time. It came back piece by piece, as I sat down to scribble about it, I'll record it here when it has arrived complete. I love the mind and the random gifts it gives us.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Birth of Modernism

Today, when I was waiting for the tea water to boil, I found myself at the living-room bookcase, paging through those big picture books that designers love to publish about each other. After looking at the Tibor Kalman book again and the Alexey Brodovitch book, and after thinking that I should call Sears and ask them if my propane stove should really take this long to boil a damn teapot, I came upon my well-worn copy of the tome of famous graphic designers, one of the big books that tells students in design-history classes about who went before us and about who, therefore, we are. I found myself stuck on the pages that chronicle the work of Walter Gropuis, one of the very first modernists, and that led to my rummaging around for the tome of famous architects, so that I could look at who architects say he was, and meanwhile the tea water boiled, and I absentmindedly turned off the burner. I began to think about Gropuis not as the icon we all studied but about who he actually was before he became an icon. I began to wonder what urged him to design, what drove him to make things. I found myself thinking that since he was in on the beginning of things, since he is such a lauded designer, and since he exerted such an influence on design in its infancy, what urged him to design might well tell us something important about how we design, and how we came to believe what our role should be as designers. If I could figure out the way he looked at the world, I might find a good place to jump into my search for the origins of our design perfectionism. By then, the tea water was stone cold. I had to start all over again, this time holding a tea bag in my teeth so as not to forget my main mission. Here are three important things about Gropuis’ early life. First, he was Peter Behrens’ assistant and shared studio space in that office with Adolf Meyer, Mies van der Rohe, and le Corbusier. Second, he served with distinction as a German cavalry officer during World War I. And third, he founded the Bauhaus, a radical reorganization of the Weimar school of arts and crafts, right after the war. When you read those three facts, you may have skimmed over the second one because it seems to have so little to do with design. But go back: it is the most important fact of the three. The first fact is preamble; the last is response; but the middle one contains Freud’s call to action, the designer’s call to action, the change that insured Gropuis’ everlasting place in the tome. If ever there were an experience that could change a nice, self-satisfied, middle-of-the-road socialist designer into an evangelical utopian idealist, serving at the front in World War I would be that experience. Some people don’t know much about World War I. It seems so long ago, and yet it’s not. My grandfather, the same man who sat and listened to me conjugate Russian verbs when I was thirteen, fought in World War I. But when I look at my students, I know that the war is as far away to them as the Crimean War is to me. It’s history: they recognize the name, it’s dusty and vaguely familiar, but it’s not related to life as we live it now. Yet for designers, that war is very important. It destroyed so much that it created the opening for a basic change in the way life would be lived in the west from then on. Here’s a quick summation: ten million soldiers died and twenty million were wounded in the four years of “the war to end all wars,” which was declared in 1914. The numbers don’t include the civilians who died, the children caught in crossfire. At the Battle of Verdun alone, a “battle” that went on for six months, 350,000 Frenchmen and 330,000 Germans died: 680,000 people. That’s about 3,778 people killed a day – that’s one World Trade Center a day, for six months, in one battle. Verdun – one battle in a long war – killed the equivalent of every single person in Manhattan. Imagine coming back to your nice Victorian home after that. Imagine just having lived through four years of watching your friends die hanging in the tangled barbed wire of no-man’s-land. Imagine yourself, hunkered down in your trench, listening them scream all night until the screaming stopped. Imagine coming home after that, putting on a dinner jacket for mama’s evening musicale, and listening to a matronly soprano singing “the last rose of summer.” how were you supposed to sit on your little gold ballroom chair, wearing your dinner jacket and sipping your digestif, after what you had been through, pretending nothing had changed? The war made Gropuis a reforming zealot. It made his friends reforming zealots. They would do anything not to go through that blood and chaos and futile misery again. And they blamed the Victorians for a lot of what they saw wrong in the world. They hated Victorian sentimentality. They hated the stuffiness and façade of bourgeois society. They hated the falsity of society as they knew it, and they wanted a radical change in the way society worked. They wanted to clear off the table with the sweep of an arm. “Start from zero,” as Gropuis used to say, erase the slate, begin again. Gropuis and his friends fought against anxiety and meaninglessness, fought against the dull, futile ignorance they had seen all around them at the front. But instead of turning to human connection, to love, as a path out of the darkness, they chose to build a new world out of the mud, to build a utopia that did not admit death and disease and rain and trenches and blood, did not admit the primal, brutal, unkempt side of people. They just pretended it wasn’t there. Now, I ask you. This man who started the Bauhaus, this great patriarch, one of the greatest influences on design in our time, did he design from fear or love? Natalia Ilyin is a Washington-based writer, graphic designer and design critic. Her first book, Blonde Like Me: The Roots of Blonde Myth in Our Culture (Simon and Schuster) was published in 2000. This piece is excerpted from her book, Chasing the Perfect (Bellerophon Publications, 2006).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"Godamnit I told you this wasn't a date"

i got invited to a concert tonight, but i think i will stand the guy up, because I'm not sure if it counted as being asked out on a date...if it did, and he meant it as a date, then i'm terrified, and if it doesn't count as a date, then what's the point of going all that way on my night off and getting all nervous for nothing? rock solid logic for you, folks. yes, Katie, the guy is Erick villegas. http://www.explodingdog.com/january2/godamnititoldyouthiswasntad.html

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

At least to pray is left, is left O Jesus! in the air I know not which thy chamber is- I’m knocking everywhere Thou stirrest earthquake in the South And maelstrom in the sea Say, Jesus Christ of Nazareth Hast thou no arm for [him]? Dickinson conversation went late last night. i think we were all glad for it, though. sometims conversation just flows so fluidly, and its gets the the places you wanted it to get to without having to rush it. Cesar came overlast night. He lost his mom 3 weeks ago and i haven't really talked to him about it, but last night, around 11, he started to tell of the day that it happened...it was a tragic story. janna's tears flowed before his did, but his did come. The story wasn't over until 12. Before that, we had been listening to the three guys, Pedro, Galo and Cesar, talk about different ways they have seen people die (electrocuted, shot, hit by a truck)...it was mind blowing, for me at least, and i just wish there weren't so much hurt in the world. I mean, i've never seen anyone die, not even in a hospital bed...I've never been used as a human shield during a jail shoot-out, or had to sell everything to bribe a doctor to save my mom, or get arrested for searching for my sister past neighbourhood curfew. I've never had a dead man's blood on my clothes or seen a machete go through a high tension wire. So why do some get picked to suffer more? Bastión is a rough place to grow up. God forbid I ever idealize that fact, or make it sound like paradise. And may I never forget the gift.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

this is new/esto es nuevo

http://alisgravenil.blogspot.com/ (soy yo)

a full week

i think Janna is going to kick me out soon. the guys come over every day, and the drop-in-quality of our home is a bit wearying at times. i get energies for it all from somewhere other. the numerous games of checkers have begun to affect my brain, replaying games in my head, devising strategies. my heart beats in reggaeton rhythms. most treasured to me are the moments of private conversation with individuals, still, though hosting large groups is more common and has its attractiveness. After two bad weeks for Gerald, this one was better, with him talking about his parents desires to get him into a Rehab centre ("Internar" was the verb he used..."commited" into an institution)...after which i told him about the stuff I have been trying to look into over the past weeks, Teen Challenge in Quito and similar Christian centre's in Guayaquil...I was glad I had at least some of that information ready to give to him once the subject came up. And Gabriel has been another encouragement this week. He is different from the other guys.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

While that last comment of yours would make a good title for a blog, Katie, I think it is a bit lengthly. I think my "quiet and contemplation" comes when threading beads onto a nylon string these days. Three times comfortably around the wrist, makes for two times comfortably around the ankle, makes for one time around the neck. 5 green, 5 black, 5 clear, repeat. I have some reflections on Plato to write about soon. It might take me three more bracelets to come to a satisfactory conclusion, and who knows how the frazzling writing process will go.

Monday, October 16, 2006

im going to start a spanish blog, can anyone think of a good name for it?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

i can be geniunely happy for people who i know who are getting married, but at the same time, its like a death in some ways...i say "congratulations" but my heart says "goodbye".

Sunday, October 08, 2006

yeah Pam, i meant she's derechista...i get my directions mixed up sometimes. shoulders a bit sunburnt today. hot season is on its way! mango and ciruela street vendors re-appearing. the return of the orange sunsets and the early rising moon. I love this season! learnt some more about people today. i can't remember what it was. learnt some more about myself, it wasn't flattering so i wont blog it. first sunday in months that i wont see the guys for the meeting. a bit lonely that way.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Politica Ecuatoriana

Si ví el debate, Daniel, así que no me vengas con tus achaques de que no veo televisión. Ecuadorian Presidential Elections: October 15 Candidate summaries: CORREA: Frontrunner clown, loud-mouthed energetic baboon with milions of mystery campaign contributions and grandiose promises. Sounds real smooth, ranting against the traditional parties that hold historical power in the country...I don't trust him! SERÍA UN DESASTRE, POR MÁS BONITAS QUE SUENAN SUS DISCURSOS...verdad es que escuchando sus posturas políticas concuerdo en algunas, pero creo que es un charlatán y no confío en él para nada...NO THANK YOU. NOBOA: Me mato si este pendejo gana. But I don't think he will win. Extreme right wing, said he'd sign the FTA (TLC) with USA without polling...(because it would be voted down)...he's so slimy you could squeeze him though the eye of a needle...and he'd need to get through one anyways, to get into heaven, the camel-headed twit. He LOOKS like a drunk uncle, but is the richest person in the country, own all the bananas. Despite how many votes he's tried to buy with all the campaign hand-outs (a campaign that has lasted 12 years because everytime there is an election he runs, and hasn't won yet), nobody's fooled. VITERI: Me cae mal porque es izquierdista...during the debate today, too much store set by economics, too much selling-out to America. She spent half of her time cutting down Correa...he's trying to look like the extreme left candidate, appealing to the popularity of that position in the continent currently...and the other half tip-toeing around the quesitons. I forget everythig she said, except she liked the TLC and Plan Colombia...ugh. ROLDOS: I like him. He's not an orator, that's for sure, but he has experience and he places importance on education and health-care. He wont sign the FTA (TLC) without many negotiations...and his brother was the best president this past century...though that may mean nothing to many of you. ¿Tu que dices, Daniel? ¿Todavía con Viteri? Yo digo, cualquiera menos NOBOA. Y Correa se larga a Panama después de 6 meses de electo, con 10 millones, vas a ver.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

quote from Rick Mercer's blog

"Conrad Black, a man who once had more than any of us could ever imagine, gladly gives up the one thing we all share and hold dear, a Canadian citizenship. And why? So he could go to England and become Lord Black of Cross dresser. And now after telling the entire country to shove it he wants back in.I have to admit, the idea of Conrad Black down at some god awful immigration office stuck in the back of a line behind some poor Somali dude with a bullet in his leg fills my heart with joy." The thing with Canadian politics and news items, they are much more straightforward than Ecuadorian ones...and its much easier to find the alternative voice.

Monday, October 02, 2006

the guys bible study was cancelled yesterday...its a big deal to me, because they are a big deal to me, and i understand the reason why the group was cancelled, but i am still sad sad sad...i wish no...pray that the boys know in their hearts that we are still committed to seeing them quit drugs, alcohol, violence and other destructive behaviour...that we DO believe they can change...but not as a group...they need to now individually decide to do so. maybe separate. they need to step out alone. i thought it was a good meeting, a good last meeting, except for the looks of defeat i saw on some of their faces, and hearing them afterwards....they have given up on themselves. they need to come around to see we have not given up on them, and they should not give up on themselves. they need to come around to many htings.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

untitled

i dont want to repeat truths to myself like chants, to keep me calm and comfortable in my wrongness...i don't want to find comfort in moral superiority, i want to surpass all that, become small. thats another truth we whisper to ourselves, though. whisper upon whisper will drown out a storm, a banging on a door, an earthquake...but mostly, other whispers...which is how we know our God speaks. we must grow sick of our own voice whispering in our mind...like the bad guys wife who took a power drill to her temple... stop telling yourself you are right. stop telling yourself you are wrong. stop telling yourself anything, start listening for something else. to do that, you have to get really quiet and shoot the voices in your head with imaginary shotguns.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

another quote that spoke to me

Shit I.. parts with nothin, y'all be frontin Me give my heart to a woman? Not for nothin, never happen I'll be forever mackin Heart cold as assassins, I got no passion I got no patience And I hate waitin... Hoe get yo' ass in! -Jay Z

Thursday, September 21, 2006

read

You guys are into that born again thing, which is great. We need to be born again, since Jesus said that to a guy named Nicodemus. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy, too. I guess that's why God invented highlighters, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest. -Rich Mullins, speaking at Wheaton College

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

my school duties

-cutting up felt thingies (7th day adventist master production, hundreds of pleasant faced, biblical looking holy abrahams, white sheep, mean snakes, bushels and bronze talents and fiery bushes, mysterious manna and pearly gates, all printed on semi-staticly energized material for visual aid, as well as comedic relief, when two dimensional Mother Mary slips of the donkey onto the floor and Teacher has to bend down and pick her up...again) -writing sponsorship letters with high school kids (out of the six that were supposed to show up today, I got two...i don't remember becoming instantly rebellious and lazy when i made the switch from public school to high school...and there is no way i can punish them anymore, they have graduated from my dominion!) -teaching Sex-Ed to 7th graders (yes, aided by my extensive experience and facility with words, i am helping Maria Eugenia and Rolando with this weekly class...last friday, i got to do the Condom lesson, because the adults had never SEEN one. Maria Eugenia! She has been married 15 years, has a daughter, has had a television for her whole life, and has only ever heard of them mentioned, but never known what they look like or how they are used or anything! So to my eternal amusement, I got the floor for that one. Oh, we all learnt alot that day)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

TRIP OPTION # DOS

tickets practically bought now. much more civilized times.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Trip option number Uno

i don't know if you can read all that...basically, the important bit is the overnight layover in Atlanta. Yellow dots in approximate locations. After arriving in Halifax, I can expect a two and a half hour drive to the University town...for classes ,which commence on the 4th (a day after i get into the counry! fun!)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jennifer's quinceañera

Everybody likes to feel that someone believes in them, in their potential to become better people, and their inbuilt goodness. But for those of us who do the believing, at what point does our faith become naïve, deserving of ridicule? How many steps backward does a person have to take for it to be foolish to keep cheering for them to win the race? To even make it to the finish line? It was quite the experience last night: a quinceañera party consists of the parents pushing their a 15 year old chick out of the nest for the sharks to devour (pardon the mixing of the metaphors). Jennifer is a girl I have known since she was a little 5 year old kindergartener in our school. Welcome to the world of adults, Jenny, and what a world it is. The party crashers that come upstairs when the booze does. The many-membered dysfunctional extended family lurking around every corner. The brothers: Jonatan (sells drugs) making some business acress the street, Julían taking the beers across to enjoy with his friends(then his face when he turned to see me watching him). Dad says to me "Is it worth it?". I think of Jesus, how long would he still believe in those boys? All of them, Jonatan, Julian, and Gerald, Gabriel, Roca, Javico, Chamo and Junior that were across the road from us. How long would he believe in the beauty of their futures, in the purity of their souls? To the point of naivety? To the point of deserving ridicule? Rebecca, who I'm sitting with, sees them out on the street and says"Oh, there go those gang-members again"…I protest and and she realizes I'm listening…"Oh, sorry, I forgot they are your little friends"…disdain. But look at her forearms, thin scab lines up and down, evidence of shallow surface cuts with a razor blade, almost beautifully arranged in patterns, displayed as grotesque flags to lure in concerned attention. Or pitiful attention. Or any attention. Anything!! We are all messes. We are all broken, stumbling, looking for missing parts of ourselves, so desperate we will never find anything, so scared nothing more exists. We are all so weak, so easily influenced by false leads, easily manipulated by hints of false affection. Looking forward to the weekend high, the anticipation of that moment of rebellion makes the parents crap easier to bear during the week. The safety of that group that sells their conscience for selfishness: drugs can own a lonely person. Surface cuts in a visible location, suicide jokes and a sleeveless dress tells me "Somebody be with me, my own company is driving me mad, please just talk to me for a bit and fill my mind". We have no damn clue what Jesus would do. Are they ever going to change? Are they ever going to overcome their own selves and become givers to the well-being of humanity, instead of always takers? Are they going to survive? We love them. I want to answer YES to all those questions, but I don't know the future. I want to be there for those guys, no matter how many times they break my heart, no matter how far they descend into their negative habits, their self-destruction. They are not proud of this. They do not love themselves. They are not happy. But they are getting worse. They are not getting better. They are lost in a maze and making all the wrong turns. I feel ridiculous. I feel naïve. But I don't think there is any other path for me, any other burden to bear. I can not give up on them. I have to believe in them, beyond logic, beyond what people in Bastión consider rational. "Gang-members, drug addicts, street dwellers, thiefs, good for nothing" But what about "gossip, prideful, fibber". What about "Glutton, selfish, corrupt"… "Hateful, jealous, short-tempered"… "Flirty, violent, crazed"…What about this: I am flawed, I am lost. I am scared, just as scared as they are that nothing more exists, but I've had more reassurances along the way. I've had more positive voices, telling me yes, there is hope, there is more. I've been so lucky. It's unfair, but that is a dead-end to wonder about. I have to follow this path. I have to believe they are worth believing in, because I have to believe Jesus still believes in me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

spring is a pretty time to be in canada.

Monday, September 04, 2006

mom is flying in tonight...

...and she is bringing me a new Journal (www.paperblanks.com), so I will be able to spare you all, to stop writing random thoughts here and return to the paper medium.

further

Isaiah 1:15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate!Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow i dont think that God appreciates hands full of blood. even if it is our own. i agree with grace that our lives seem to involve too much indulgence, too mush self-pleasing, and that that is not positive, that is not God's will, but i don't FEEL like the burnt offerings of self are getting me any closer. i've been thinking about isaac. i bet his relationship with his dad kinda went downhill after the whole "i am willing to sacrifice you to my god" deal. but i don't know. isaac seems torn up after his mom dies, but there isn'treally any recorded words between him and his father after "so, dad, we have wood and matches, but where is the lamb?"...but this is all old testament. i know people who don't want to sacrifice, their friendships, their habits, their securities, and they stagnate. i know that selfishness rots the inside. but what about those burnt out...who give too much, who are too available to others, they suffer their dwindling resources in the name of something higher...but they burn out. maybe i am asking the wrong quesitons.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

sacrifice

What sacrifices do we make to our God, and what good do we think they do? Some sacrifice our families, or time, our well-being. We do things we don't want to, we compromise, we keep driving when our tank is way past empty, we keep giving when our pockets are dwindling low, and it is because somewhere at the root of our conciousness is the idea that that is what we must do, that God is pleased with burnt offerings. Sometimes, we feel so BURNT. Too many meetings, too many bible studies, too many people, but its doing the right thing, is it not, to continue. Do we slaughter our families on this altar, when we press forward with the altruistic notions of "ministry first". do we offer ourselves up, chunk by bloody chunk, and is that what makes our God happy? it seems grotesque sometimes, but at other times, its beauty. i'm not sure mostly.

Monday, August 21, 2006

the word caffe latte dates back to 1847

“He doesn’t need a job, he needs an identity” (old family friend in Canada’s comment about my dad, as my parents think about taking a break from missionary-ing in January) See, my dad: here, he’s friends with a lawyer, with a doctor, he has been to the jails and all the hospitals and knows how to get in where at what times and how much you have to slip the guard to let you through. He doesn’t get lost driving around the city and can spot a bribe-fisher or a swindler within 10 seconds. He knows when wearing a fancy shirt with dress pants will further his cause, and when to rely more heavily on his striking blue eyes. That is here in Ecuador. But up there? He’s nobody. He loses that which makes him secure, like our friend said, his identity. I do, too. Even if I don’t HAVE a job here, i have an identity. I know what the slang and the looks mean. I can feel my way through social situations. I know what bus i need to take where, and if I don’t i know who to ask. I know the fair prices for things, and the weather. I know who I am, and who I come across as. I know what people see when they look at me. I know where I am limited and where I have advantages. I know. But up there? I am nobody. I not only lose that which makes me secure: I lose myself. But I am still willing to go. I will go be un-extraordinary for a while, see if I miss the stares following me on the streets and the confidence the eternal height advantage provides. It will be more than that which is lost, it will be the sense of purpose, the "mission" life...i don't like the title missionary, but the strong sense of purpose, the vision in you head, I'm all for that. I will leave, I will go, but send me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

$$$

mail today: -a scholarship cheque for $1000 (American) , from a Brethren ministry in Illinois, payable to the Universidad Espiritu Santo, which I dropped out of two months ago -a $3250 (Canadian) entrance scholarship offer from Mount Allison University, which I deffered acceptance to -a piece of cardboard from Heidi...more precious to me than the other two, combined.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

hammock time

today...probably about 6 hours. but very productive, in its own way. i thought about EVERYTHING

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

kaleidoscope eyes

i cannot see clearly all the time...what with the love, the past, the visions, the fear, the black holes, the question marks, the passion, the doubt, the dangers that all clamor for attention... but whatever i see through these eyes, the mess of it, the confusion, its beautiful when you hold it up to the light and turn he tube a bit...just a bit. Sometimes its jumbled and sometimes its a stunning pattern, but you can stare at it for a long time and it will still be beautiful. sometimes, when i dont know what to do, i just like looking. i like holding things up to the Light and turning the tube slowly, slowly... the bits of glass and coloured plastic are still there. enjoy, and then do something. let the Light get to your eye.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

i when one is in the throes of indecision, it doesn't take much to upset ones stomach to the point of vomiting

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pam and I just got back from two half weeks of camp...we agree, a good conclusion. I liked the first camp, the kids camp...I love the kids from our school, specially that grade, and its great to see how they love each other, and how united they are, and secure, and to think we have been with them for 7 or 8 years, watching them and helping them grow into this stage of their life...hoping to prepare them for the next. I know that after they go on to high school next year, many things will change, they will remain "our kids", but some will get lost and we will inevitably end up knowing more about their past than about their current situations, whatever that may be. We watch them go through the toughest years of their lives and can only stand at the sidelines, with hearts full of love and tears when they fall or move away from us. Then the second camp, with the park boys, was alot of fun for me, mostly because I love time spent with them. I love it when they have a good time or get a good meal or seem happy just to be a togetherness, because I know these are rare events for them. They got the Bible before every meal, and listened respectfully. It was a good three days for a few or them, and I saw things in some of them that I hadn't before (and my dad saw things in some of them that I still haven't, so thats also good)...I got to have a really good talk with Alexis, not because I said a whole bunch of smart stuff that in my opinion would make his life better, but because I got to sit with him on that hammock while he cried and love him. It was a very laid back camp, with alot less running around planning games and alot more just hanging out, so though we were tired at the end of it, i remember what March was like and I know it could have been worse. And it was worth it, it all was. Pam, I'm sure, will post photos. We are in my parents house, alternating between napping and computer time and getting into the mindset for another parting...I hate this as much as the next guy...saying bye to Pamela at the same time as getting the idea into my said of saying bye to everyone myself shortly...i can't focus on either pain enough for them to really sink in and i don't know if that is a good thing.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

i think it is so easy to find that place inside ourselves where we are focused on ourselves, and so hard to leave it. life is not goal oriented, you don't have to save every breath, every jot of energy for the never ending hike, you can play around a bit more. other people come into focus when survival isn't on the line. and then things crash.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

hey guys. volcano hasn't killed us yet. were going to the jungle tomorrow, so hopefully the poisonous spider will. or the bats. or the canyoning (look it up). best things today: hot showers (in our future) sunny mountains (in our past) alcohol (in our systems) and... my brain is tired and altitude affected, so thats the extent of the list for now.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

i can't wait 'til we are older and free of our immaturities, but i guess i will never be rid of my delusions and paranoias it was my dad's birthday this weekend, which meant eating out (twice) so i am probably more well fed right now that i have been in a while...more vitamins and stuff. it really helps the thinking process...when people ask me what i do these days, i say "i think alot...and then i do stuff and talk to people to give me more material to think about"...i also get dreams, apparently, because last night i dreamt pam wouldn't let me go to the bathroom in the swiss chalet and so i grabbed her hair and wouldn't let go. i should stop thinking and start writing things more significant than blogs.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

the dark side

are we to live for others? how much? not all, certainly, i'm sure we are entitled to at least a couple hours a day to ourselves...a nap or reading a book or spacing out in the hammock. living for others...it's too draining, too extreme, god save us from extreme. even small choices tell us how sinful we are. the smallest thing...just like stars are tiny twinkling windows in the sky into an eternity of light, every second of our thoughts are tiny dark holes in our veneers of righteousness, tiny dark peepholes into the rotten core.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

the end and the beginning

So, i finished the courses I was taking at "university". i mostly didn't tell anyone about them because they did not engage a large amount of my life...two month i will happily put behind me. Don't ask out of politeness, its ok you don't know anything about them. They bored me. I connected with one person (maybe two) who is (are) worthwhile staying connected with, and that's that. And now...a whole new thing starts. I'm ok with that. Pam and Nikki (my cuz) and me...a new rhythm of life, a new path. New eyes for old experiences, new friends from old relationships. Its all getting me accustomed to thinking of new experiences that I know are going to come...I haven't had many for too long. Too long.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pam is here (-: and Galo is out of jail (-: and I am through with university for now (-: (she got in at 4:30ish am...still slumbers in my sisters bed...i can't sleep once the sun rises, even if i got no sleep at all in a night)

Monday, June 19, 2006

powerless

this weekend…well, it was kinda rough, but through all that, good, in a way. a good friend of mine, Galo, was arrested…there was a “batida” on Friday night in Bastion, which means the cops come round in a big bus, SUV’s and pick-up trucks and terrorize the neighbourhood. They bully all the guys around, and if you are male, 18 (or look 18) and don’t have any ID on you, or look suspicious, or give them a little lip, they pile you into the bus along with all the other miscreants and take you off to jail. Galo is in jail. Jail is a horrible place. We didn’t know where he was for the first day, we knew nothing, but his nephew Pedro found the holding cell they have him in, and today William and Alex Pilataxi went to visit him, and take him food (because they don’t give you food in jail here) (on your way in, they take all your clothes and money away, they never give it back, everything you have on you, they take, and then once you are in, you have to pay for food)… ...let me tell you, i am worried sick for Galo, I don’t even want to imagine it in there, they say it is horrible, you can’t sleep, you cant let your guard down…it smells, its crowded, its dangerous, really dangerous. Galo! If I could, I SO would go visit him, but folks say it would be a bad idea because i’m white and if they knew Galo had gringo friends then it would become more expensive to bail him out…i don’t know. i still feel useless and like a bad friend for not doing anything. My dad is going to lend the family money for bail, and Galo will have to work of his debt to my dad somehow…that is good. If the “justice” process goes smoothly, bail should get posted this afternoon and he might even get out today, tomorrow at the latest. If it doesn’t go smoothly…I don’t even want to think about it. i haven’t been sleeping very well, because i feel guilty sleeping in a bed when i knew he is on a cement floor that smells of piss, laying awake with an empty stomach. “Ecuadorian justice” is such an oxymoron. and what about this made it a good weekend? well, i feel so powerless, i’m tempted to pray and “leave it in God’s hands” as the lingo goes…but my motivation would probably be to feel better about my innability to act or my cowardice, so that isn’t a good enough excuse to start praying again. though i really do want to do something. i have felt very powerless this weekend...and in a way, it drew me away from myself, my selfishness. God is all i have to offer some guys, who are searching for something unknown so desperately... i think of my friend Junior, trying to get off drugs, my friend Pedro (Galo's cousin) and all the temptations that come, he is barely strong enough to stand up under, he's 15 for goodness sakes... oh i dont know. i keep learning. i keep living. i've learnt that doing selfish things doesn't make you feel better about who you are, it just makes you feel selfish.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

i am skipping a class...i forgot how delicious it was
i'm looking into transfering credits from here to Mount Allison University, NB, Canada.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I hope you all saw the game

because Ecuador flippin' ROCKED. I saw the game on the main road of bastión sitting outside the Morocho joint with the creepy owner who stares at me, watching his tiny TV with a bunch of guys who jumped and threw stuff when we scored, which was awesome. Almost got killed on the way home by this guy who shot his pistol into the air (at a pretty perilous angle, I thought) at the end of the game, and felt the joy for a couple hours. But football high's don't last forever, and now, I find myself as low as I have been over the past week. I skipped youth group, dissapointed myself (but if I had gone I would have felt like a hypocrite) (maybe i just skipped because I wanted to feel worse about myself, because i know i deserve it)...failed as a friend...lied, bitched, and whined. I lay in my hammock outside in the back yard for 10 minutes and it made me feel everything more intensely, then I got angry at someone and went even lower...i don't feel like i deserve some of the nice things that happen to me, like Jonny Wilson, and good quotes from Heidi, emails from Janna, rain for 10 minutes, and cousins. I feel like a lousy person and i hope you all think i'm lousy, too, because otherwise, you're just deluded. If I had the energy to write more and convince you, i would, but I just want to go home, so bye.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us -don't tell! They'd banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog!
Tomorrow is 6/6/6... the guys in the park say that means the antichrist will either be born tomorrow, or will take charge of the world. so that makes today the Last Good Day. What are you going to do today? Make sure you're not on autopilot.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

the notes i sent myself today

christian platitudes only make it so far. christ was a highly personable person: he related to broken people, people who were sick of the world and its fake solutions, people who just wanted to give up. but jesus is gone and nobody is here right now that i want to spend any time with whatsoever. i dont want to talk to anybody but him, and he doesnt want to talk to me, so that's where we stand i guess. how convenient most truths spouted by the church become...convenient, like a horoscope's vague language is applicable to so many situations at once...convenient in that same way...but my life is not the same as what you imagine it to be. no horoscope makes sense of my future. everybody thinks i'm ok, it's laughable that felipe thought i read consistently...i've never read consistently. ENOUGH with the platitudes...god isn't in my bible, god isn't in my prayer, god just isn't for me right now, so give it up. if he weren't in yours, would you notice? would you be too busy checking him off you list of things to do before breakfast?...self-satisfaction. discipline, is that the supreme christian virtue? so it appears. discipline. an athlete, a soldier. Jesus? no, those aren't the first things that come to mind. Not supremely. Though you can't supremely define him in any word of metaphor anyways. why do folk try? but why is popular christian culture so enamoured with the virtue of discipline? The answer to that would mostly reveal stuff about me, my perceptions, but also the church...the church is different from popular christian culture. ...yes, i want to be more spiritual...only as an extension of living more truthfully in accordance with my inner struggle. if i had release through art, there'd be canvas after canvas covering my walls. but i have release through writing...watch the pages fly. and what would i tell Him, if He were listening?

Friday, June 02, 2006

i think i just need to get out and see where that leads me. i just finished "the world according to garp"...i've read it before, of course (i never have any new books these days), but man...its such a good book. its all about death, and that always gets me into this mood...everything i notice is a death omen, and something in my life has to change, soon.

Monday, May 29, 2006

is anybody out there?

why do i just feel entitled to god making my life decisions for me? i think i have too many of them. i think i used up the stock that he would supernaturally intervene in to provide guidance, too early in life. and now i'm just out, swinging over empty space on a jungle vine, taking indiana jones leap of faith... chelsey and clayton invited me to live with them in new brunswick (yes, thats in canada) in SEPTEMBER and go to school at their university (smallish)...straighforward? well, no, because see, its too late to apply for scholarships, so all that hard work i did in high school to get good grades, down the drain...and also, i would have to leave ecuador NOW, when i feel so useful with the guys in the park right now, and its such a crucial year for the youth group...(but when will that NOT be an excuse?)...i could wait a year and get scholarship (but who knows how much, even, would it be worth waiting for $1000?), but then chels and clayt will have graduated from Mount A and I wouldn't have anywhere to live. I could go, then, to Dalhousie, in Halifax, but thats such a larger university. anyways, do I really want to go to University? I would do one year of a B of A, and then apply to a social work program at Dalhousie...thats where my sister is going to be going to school in september, too. But its friggin WINTER in canada...i HATE winter...have no money...and want to STAY HERE. oh phooey

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

reflections

i like travelling, but not while it is happening. i like the photos more. i like the passport stamps. i like the stories, but i wish for the people. there are places i want to go (not russia), but i realize they wouldn't really be worth it unless i went with someone worthwhile. those solo travellers confuse me...i've met a few. who are they?

back to water

Monday, May 22, 2006

Another monday at school...another compromise. time vs. duty. machismo has many incarnations. love vs. possesion. maybe love is a myth. what do you let guide your life? what are you chasing after? success...no more loneliness...youth. running for the sake of not standing still

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Does anyone have any plausible ideas for what i should do with my life, come september? i'm taking suggestions.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My sister is in Japan...she likes it, but not the fish eggs. i have started university...let me just say this and get it out of the way: its dreadful. i'll survive the two months that these courses last, and maybe take some courses in september in spanish, that would last 4 months, but i can't see myself spending any more time here than that. it kills the soul, i tell you. its made me realize how desperately i want to NEVER BE RICH (everybody else here is). Oh, the contrast! For example: ...in the afternoon, i travel here on a city bus, surrounded by fat sweaty women with hairy armpits, sacks of sweet smelling oranges, wide eyed children on laps, sullen wrinkled working men, reggeaeton music blaring from the speakers, animated spanish conversation in the quick, consonant-sparse language of the lower classes...in the evenings, i travel home on one of the universities private buses, surrounded by a world that is opposite from my afternoon world in every concievable way. Glowing iPod and cellphone screens. Whispers. Empty looks. Fruity perfume smells. Radio Disney on the sound system. i can't...stomach it. i hate myself for living it. Higher education is not worth this way i feel, like a traitor to...to who? i think its ironic who i identify as my "people"...ironic because of how oddly i fit into that group, but I feel more at home with them than with this crowd. i realize what this comes across as...complaining. i know i have the opportunity to study, the opportunity that many of my friends in Bastión would appreciate dearly. It sounds shallow, to them, for me to explain why i don't like university. i know what this would sound like to their ears, so i don't say it. i guess that why i blog in ENGLISH...it's someone i'm not allowed to be all the time.

Monday, May 08, 2006

in a library

why do we do this to ourselves? feelings are so uncontrolable, so mysterious, where do they come from? chemicals. god. subconscious. whatever. thoughts, also, trip over each other. if we knew exactly what went on inside of each other, we'd believe everyone to be crazy. so much contradiction, it doesn't make sense.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I'm out of peru. i'll have some nice pictures for you guys, this week.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Huanchaco- Perú

Small beach town. I am amazed at how different the climate is here, only 15 hours south of Guayaquil. Its so much COLDER! Today is uncertain, however, yesterday we found a camping hotel in this little town with great restaurants, and slept in a tent with nothing but some reeds and a sheet protecting us from the ground below. I liked it better than the sleep before, though; the birds and rain and the sound of the waves made it worth it. We were the only english speaking guests on the campsite, though, everyone else spoke FRENCH. Tomorrow, I hope to be across the border again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Trujillo- Perú

It took us 18 hours to get here, but it really didn't seem that long, having slept for most of it (i brought a pillow instead of a towel...thusfar, a trade I consider worthwhile, having got a good 12 hours of usage out of the pillow, and not having needed the towel in my present, unbathed state) The town reminds me of Ecuador mountain cities like Cuenca, except without the altitude headaches and the cold, so thats nice. We walked around a fair bit this morning trying to find an open place to eat, and again this afternoon, because the bus dropped us off a fair distance from the town centre, but we got to see some impressive ruins this morning, the Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (I like d the drive there: through the dusty countryside, low adobe houses and walls, the river winding through a desert, sights i haven't seen in Ecuador) Our hotel is a bit of a dump, no toilet seat or showerhead, no sheets yet, and some suspect foreign hairs and foodstuffs on the carpets, but for $3 a night, we can't complain. Tomorrow I think we will switch cities, to the smaller beach town, 20 minutes away. I feel like such a tourist, gosh, but i guess its fun if you are so painfully aware of how ridiculous you look, wandering around with a map, white skin, and a dazed look on your face, counting unfamiliar change and getting ripped off by every other transaction you make (so far, twice by the same taxi driver, twice at the border by men who sold my travelmates the forms they could get for free at the window, and other instances that have slipped my mind...we've only been here a day! Perú seems less friendly than Ecuador)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My friend Chelsey andher boyfriend from Nova Scotia flew in last night and so I'm going to Macchu Picchu this week, apparently. I've never been to Perú.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I'm sorry, I was at the beach.

Then, I was at university. I sorted out some stuff. I'm now a "student" again, instead of "undecided" (though my visa says missionary)...up until June 28th (I'm quitting school again as soon as Pamela gets here...love the short term commitments)

pardon all the parenthesis.

I have to tell you guys something, but now is not the time. Back to your regular scheduled lives.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

As if thinking in front of a computer screen wasn't hard enough, the cyber cafe where i connect has decided to hire a PENTECOSTAL employee...and he plays this music (i use the word "music" for lack of a better one, and because i assume that is what he considers it to be)...with the same WAILING, SCREAMING, CHANTING woman singing lead vocals on every song, and he plays this CD constantly, and he seems to always be on shift... i already feel like he looks down on me (one day, i was distracted and i gave him way too much money to pay for my bill, and he looked at me like "poor stupid foreigner, hasn't learnt how to count change yet")...if i ever asked him to turn of that infernal (blasphemy?) racket i think he would further look down on me for having no spiritual dimension. So i am forced to put up with this, indefinitely, in hopes that they fire his ass and/or he has a crisis of faith. Let us pray.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

i have reconciled with the fact that i must give up my dream of being a graphic designer

Monday, April 10, 2006

katie (my sister) at 8 am. karen protects herself from the sun my brother, in the airport, drinking his vainilla cappuchino oh so cool.
these are my kids, at camp...according to my parents i am "getting a heart" for them. los chicos del parque: Cruz, Titi, Junior, Alexis and Julian (clockwise from top left). incidentally, the double exposure is the back end of my mom's car.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

i will cry when i have time to think

the beat goes on "best of the beat" list

late groundhog day present? ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS I AM A BIRD NOW ARCADE FIRE FUNERAL ARCTIC MONKEYS WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM BELL ORCHESTRE RECORDING A TAPE THE COLOUR... BELLE & SEBASTIAN LIFE PURSUIT CASE, NEKO FOX CONFESSOR BRINGS THE... CAT POWER GREATEST HITS DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE PLANS ELLIOT BROOD AMBASSADOR FALL OUT BOY FROM UNDER THE CORK TREE FRANZ FERDINAND YOU COULD HAVE IT SO MUCH... GO! TEAM THUNDER, LIGHTNING STRIKE HARMER, SARAH I'M A MOUNTAIN HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS IF ONLY YOU WERE LONELY LEWIS, JENNY RABBIT FUR COAT MAGNETA LANE DANCING WITH DAGGERS METRIC LIVE IT OUT ORTON, BETH COMFORT OF STRANGERS POSTAL SERVICE GIVE UP SIGUR ROS TAKK STARS SET YOURSELF ON FIRE STEVENS, SUFJAN ILLINOISE STROKES FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF EARTH WE ARE SCIENTISTS WITH LOVE & SQUALOR WOLF PARADE APOLOGIES TO THE QUEEN MARY

Sunday, March 26, 2006

i am on the other side of camp, and things look much emptier. the second week was the best for me, at church this morning i saw the gang guys who recieved Christ were there again. it makes me grin every time i see them, all cleaned up, in their best clothes, trying to find Romans in their little New Testaments they are only just getting the hang of. the third week i got to talk to some of the older gang or ex-gang members, the more respected hoods of bastion...it was a worthwhile week for me because of that. i got to know them better. none of them made radical promises to change their lives, like the guys in the first group, but i see small things in them that make me love them, and encourage me. i also acquired an obsessive admirer. he wrote a song about me and everything. he's really self-absorbed and i think is surprised by the fact that i don't want anything to do with him. i think its weird...love at first sight i don't believe in, but for someone to like ME at first sight is just bizarre, because it was at camp, where i use the same clothing pretty much everyday and play rough games and don't brush my hair and all sorts of stuff. my dad has hepatitis A. it means alot of rest. it means alot of slow down. it's scary, to see my dad, THE MAN, so helpless and out of things, by doctors orders...but God knows. maybe it will help him switch focus in his life...ministry wise. the internet says you need 4 weeks of bedrest and then 4 months of taking it easy.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Can i just say i just got back from the best week of camp... not because of the games, the sports, the ocean, the fun...though there was that...more because i talked to someone about God and they understood love...more because i witnessed one of those desperate hugs...mostly because God is alive and among us and can make guys who yesterday would have beat each other up for the simple act of flashing a handsign, today sing worship songs in front of 100 peers together.i love this life we're living.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

its not a quote, its from my journal. i am home for two days, back to camp on monday. you know those moments when you know there is something bigger present? the beach at night is conducive to those moments. i feel dumb about being nervous about the kids lessons, they went fine, more than fine.

Friday, March 03, 2006

notice of absence

Hello, my dear friends. I have found a spare moment to post! Last weekend was carnaval long weekend...it was over by ash wednesday, but anyone who left their home was in danger of being soaked by water, pelted with eggs, covered in flour, painted with soy sauce and achiote mixtures or more kinder, chemical versions....among other tortures. Who am I kidding, carnaval is the funnest time of the year. I escaped the city craziness by being at the beach construction site, but since a few of my friends were there, too, the spirit of carnaval definitely wasn't lost on us. Many soakings and dirt slingings and paint surprises... On Monday I'm going back to the beach, for camp this time...something i have been looking forward to since last March, however my anticipation is soiled by the fact that I will be teaching three childrens classes...so, pretty much the same ill feeling i had leading up to 10 day outreach last year, and at pretty much the same time of the year. I'm nervous. Don't expect to hear much from me. I'll be needing your emails and thoughts and prayers, though, by the end of the next three weeks i hope to be dead tired. ------------------------ my life will not go to waste as long as i manage to love somebody unconditionally, write something coherent and honest, create something pure, and through all this, get closer to a God who lives. ------------------------

Friday, February 24, 2006

This is for you, Leslie. i'm saving up, we shall toss together again someday.

frolic

i will never get over the fact that i can watch the life of a bird family if i sit on my bed and leave the curtains open.

one day as i watched the mom and her two full grown babes frolicking on the bars of my window, i thought about how much time i spend watching them, i check on them almost every day. then i wondered..."do they enjoy watching me as much as i enjoy watching them? am i as much a wonder to them as they are to me?"

funny thought.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

i just had to say, i am sitting in the food court mall del sol, having found a wireless connection for my lap top to hook up to, for the first time since Houston airport, on my way down here, back in May. Hello, internet... and no, i'm not going to buy anything to eat or drink, thats just exactly what they WANT you to do.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

One thing I hate is stress. I do my best to avoir it, but when i sit down to write a blog, itsa all I can think about. But I WONT WRITE ABOUT IT, it will only make it worse. I AM NOT stressed. (it happens so rarely to me, i dont know what to do with it) My dad asked me today if I felt fulfilled, doing what I am doing. or, actually, i htink he just asked if i felt fulfilled in general. I was talking to Raul yesterday and said to him something i really missed was fellowship...i said "at bible school, god always seemed like he was around the corner". i think part of what i feel is missing in my life, is missing because there isn't a group that i regularily share myself with...as a group. i mean, i have a group of friends, and i have someone to talk to usually, whenever i need to, if daniel or raul or janna aren't around, i can talk to armando, to alex maybe sometime, or my dad or mom...its not that i feel i have no one to talk to. its different when you talk in a group setting, though. truth be told, right now, i DONT feel fulfilled. i feel BUSY, but its not the same. when camp rolls around in march, i will feel BUSY. i'm praying for... ah. i dont know. something. i'm thrilled right now, the local drunk just walked into the cyber cafe and shook my hand, squeezed my shoulder and patted my side. It's a definite improvement on his usual calling of "alright!" and "i love you" (his only english phrases) ,sprawled on the pavement of the sidewalk. i think he likes me.

Monday, February 13, 2006

In news you don't care about: Emelec beat Barcelona 3- 0 yesterday!!! Go team. Something you might care about: I watched Coffee and Cigarettes, its not THAT amazing. worth a watch, if only for the hilarious Bill Murray clip and Cate Blanchett's stellar double performance...i liked it. i'll lend you all my copy.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

i keep my money in my “All you need is love” tin canister i got my mom to buy me an ashtray i love you more the farther away you go from me i’ll love you longer the closer you are to me i listen to chopin when i’m home alone i used to drink water straight from the jug in the fridge when i was a kid the side, not the spout i am capable of feeling lonelier than i ever let on i like it when kids play with my hair i’m sorry for the times i’ve hurt you because i seem not to care i have to be strong. i have to seem brave. you’ve learnt by now that i always play with something in my hands when i talk, or listen. i get disappointed with people and never ever tell them sometimes when you look at me my brain does summersaults i never eat the last corner of a slice of bread i don’t make promises because i can’t keep them

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

not converse, leslie. cheap ecuadorian knockoffs. very different.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

we picked up three hitchhikers on our way out of the Cajas national park. an image i think that will never leave my head: the province that Cuenca is in, Azuay, is where most of the illegal immigrants that go to Spain and Italy and the States to find work come from. So, these young adults go get jobs in Europe, and begin sending money home to their families, to build houses. the end result is you get these HUGE houses, scattering the countryside, with elevators and sattelite dishes and all these extravagances, but the people who inhabit them are still country bumpkins, Inca descendants, growing corn in their huge front yards and herding chickens out of their elevators. truly a land of contrasts.
we went to baños de cuenca to bathe in the thermal pools. mom lost her "love and respect" book with the $20 bill bookmark. next day, we got it back.

trip to cuenca

farewell to family unit (sans katie) as jono heads off to his summer job as translator at the building site, and uncle paul heads off to england. The ANDES

Friday, January 20, 2006

i got locked out of my house yesterday, i left the keys inside and closed one of those self-locking doors and then slapped my forehead because of the stupidity. i had to kill 8 hours before my roommate came home from the beach. at first that sounded like alot, but a friend appeared and i went on an errand with him, and we just ended up hanging out downtown all afternoon. i wanted to go to the rep cinema to pick up a schedule for the month, they didn't have any left, but the girl told us "Last Tango in Paris" was about to start, and it was a free show, hosted by some local film club. I didn't even know there was a local film club!! It was great. I love coincidences. I got home half an hour before Janna, got soaked in the warm rain, but I like rain. A neighbour lady took pity on me and invited me in to her house to wait. i might lose my keys more often.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I said goodbye to the school today...to teaching anyways. At the end of the year, the teachers are as burnt out as the students, except we have all the marking and averages to take home and work on, and the tedious meeting to look forward to. I walked into my (old) office today and was greeted by quite the sight: the schools newest students, women in their 30s and 40s, who will be coming to school three days a week during the summer holidays, to learn to read and write. It was so cute to see these women who have never read a newspaper, their own kids report card, a single bible verse, or a street sign, sitting at a table, with the strange feel of a pencil between their fingers, writing " 0 1 2 3 ..." on foolscap. It was...inspiring. As hard as it is for me to imagine the life of a person who can't read or write, it is so much harder to think of what goes through their heads when they decide, after 30 or 40 years of this life, to try and learn these skills. The courage! These women are mothers of students, or members of the church. Its amazing to me. They are amazing to me. I just want to hug them...Freddy's mom, Linder's mom, Stalin and Jorge's mom...amazing.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Contractual obligation post

So, I got an email, so I'm supposed to post something i guess. i'm still a little bitter over people who owe me emails, though. i know i owe people, too, so my bitterness is self-conscious. I was happy because Stephen Morris called me yesterday, it was a sucky connection so i called him today, but the surprise of being called was what made me happy, as much as catching up with him was good too. ALSO; HEIDI, I FRIKKIN GOT YOUR LETTER IS WAS THE BEST LETTER IVE EVER RECIEVED. i'll write back on paper. i will. and, as far as updates on my life go....oh, too much. I'll save it for the emails :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

im not writing any more blogs until people answer emails

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Theres a little black spot on the sun today... Hi guys Yesterday was the 50 year anniversary of the massacre of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian in the Ecuadorian Jungle at the hands of some members of the Huaorani tribe. It also marked 13 years exactly since my family landed in this country as missionaries. 13 years....wow.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

the grillos are coming, the grillos are coming! and exams. i love exams. exams are great. if you are a TEACHER. (i am)