Saturday, January 23, 2010

Guatemala Week 1

What a crazy week! It´s been awesome, though. I feel like I´m being bombarded every day by intensity. I feel like, before coming here, I knew that poverty was an acute problem in Guatemala, but I didn´t know to what degree this was the case until this week. Any nurse could have an absolute hay-day in this country! Babies have coffee or coke in their bottles because their moms can´t afford milk for them, just for a very meager start. Thursday we visited zona tres, the cemetary, and the dump. First, zona tres: people moved into the city from the country hoping to build new, better lives and find good jobs. This didn´t happen for them, and now they´re stuck in the crevices of this huge ravine living in tin shacks. There is a path worn into the mountain leading from zona tres to the dump where people pay for the ¨privilege¨of digging through the trash to find things to sell for their living. There are women and children in there all the time; some women even give birth in there. Right beside the dump is the cemetary in which the wealthiest family in Guatemala owns a tomb that cost enough to more than support all of the people living in zona tres. So now my struggle is to figure out with this means for me. After discovering the existence of the clinic in the States, I really felt like my mission field changed; I´m not doubting that this clinic is where God wants me. So what am I doing here? Just learning Spanish? Soul-searching? Figuring out who I am and what the world is and Who God is on a different level? I still have a lot to figure out, but I´m okay with that. I came with so many questions and with the expectation to leave at the end of the semester changed; a lot of my questions have been answered already, but, for every answer I´ve gotten, at least 25 more questions have come up. But, I´m okay with that, too. I´ll never have all the answers, so I´ll just keep asking questions and learning as much as I can and figuring things out to the best of my ability. It´s good. :)

Hope all is well at home.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just One Quick Thing

Something happened this weekend that made me really excited and showed me all over again just how involved in our lives Christ really is. Before going into what happened this weekend, though, I should mention that I heard from the clinic where I really want to work: they said that they only hire RNs who have at least a year of hospital experience. Bummer. I was pretty discouraged after hearing this news because I was just so sure that this was where God wants me. I didn't quite understand what He was doing, and I was trying to figure out if I'd misinterpreted this calling. Now, on to what happened this weekend: I spent this weekend at the summer camp staff reunion, and Saturday night we had a special supper and worship time where we all had the chance to meet the new Camp Executive, Kent. After the worship time I was talking to Kent and his wife a bit (they were at college the same time one of my sisters was, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to play The Mennonite Game), and they asked me about my post-graduation plans. I told them about my goal to work in this clinic in this city. Being familiar with the city, they asked me which clinic; as it turns out, they have friends working at this clinic! They were so excited about it and wonderfully encouraging. They asked permission to e-mail these friends of theirs about me (not in relation to getting a job, mind you) because several of their friends are really passionate about welcoming people and mentoring girls my age! This conversation lifted my spirit so much and reassured me that this is where God does want me. I feel as though I already have solid connections, and I haven't even moved yet! What a perfectly-timed blessing. Don't ya just love how God works. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

On Growing Up

I was thinking last night about growing up and this whole staying where you’re safe and comfortable versus going out into the unknown, and I realized all over again how easy it would be to just stay. I’ll even admit that, for a moment at least, I wished I could, not only stay, but also go back to when things were easy—to when leaving was just a dream, and it felt like I’d be “stuck” here forever. I’m not saying that I was wishing for the chance to go back to when I was so little that my Daddy’s vests dragged the ground when I put them on; I was only wanting to go back to when I knew, more or less, what the day would bring. Back to when I knew that, if my alarm didn’t go off in the morning, Mum would come to the bottom of the stairs and wake me up. And when I could count on my windshield being clear of ice because Daddy is just thoughtful like that (this is a big deal! Do you have any idea how many times I’ve flirted with being late for clinicals because I almost forgot about the whole windshield-clearing step?). When Sunday mornings would find me and many of my favorite people in the whole world in a small country church’s sanctuary filled with folks who have long been more like family than anything else. I wouldn’t even have minded going back less far than that—back to a dorm-full of friends and Sunday game nights followed by Celebration when my big stressors were NPAs and Adult Health exams.

And, now, here I am staring nearly 4 months in Central America right in the face. And, after that, the uncertainty of being a newly graduated nurse whom no one wants to hire because I don't have a year of experience yet. I made a decision, though: I decided to look at this as an adventure because that's what life is supposed to be. I'm glad I don't know what's coming; I'm glad it's a mystery, and I'm not going to be scared--at least, not toooo scared. No, I'm going to be excited and go at every day with enthusiasm, chasing the dreams God has put into my heart because I know that, no matter how far away from Daddy, Mum, brothers, and sisters all of this may take me, the Lord is already there. He's gone before me making a path; He's walking beside me showing me the way; when I fall down, He'll be right there to help me up, dust me off, and put a band-aid on my scraped knees.