Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Good Life

When we first got to Tenerife, I think I was under the impression I might have a lot of free time, thus the promise to blog all of the time... however... I was wrong. The cabin I'm sitting in became unbearably hot, so I pretty much avoided it for a while, and neglected the computer for a few days, plus oh man is there so much to do here. Thankfully pretty much all of the 'finds' I've made are surprisingly cheap. I think the US has something to learn from Tenerife...

Exhibit A...
Today, I went to Panaria, where I got a coffee and a pastry ... THEN, I got a sandwich made with facaccia, brie cheese, micro greens, tomato and amazingness along side a MASSIVE orange juice, which was fresh squeezed... it's this giant machine that they throw oranges into whole and it throws them around and juices them.... EPPPIC...  All of this for a whoppingggg... 8 Euro.... aka 10 USD... Um... HELLLOOOO?!?! I could NEVER get any of that for this price let alone together at home... EVER... Wow!! 

I really wish I hadn't let my spanish skills get rusty... they are SOOO rusty.. thankfully the people here are really nice about it and smile when I try... hasn't gotten in my way so far..;)

Anyway... For those wondering, I'm doing really well. I thought this time would be a lot harder on me than it has been. 95% of my friends have left and many for good, so it's a bit of a transition for me. I think part of it is that it just hasn't hit me yet that these people are gone for good... I think it will, and I dread that day, but for now I'm fine. Thankfully a lot of these people are people I see myself meeting again in the future, so that's always comforting.

I was able to switch jobs from June 1 till now, which was amazing. I LOVE working with these kids... it was a great time of getting to know them better, learn more about my leadership style- which things I need to work one, which worked, etc... it was also great to watch these kids really dig in to the discussions we had about the bible and the Psalms... well most of them did at least;) Our group LOVED to tell stories to eachother, so there were days our Devotion time went 30 minutes past what I'd planned because we just were on a roll with the stories:) My only disappointment is that it's over now and reception will have me back as of July 18. Not so excited about that, but I'm praying about that one, and we'll see what God's got up his sleeve. It's not that I hate reception- I just hate the shifts... I am realizing more and more that I just can't handle the switching back and forth with nights as well as I was thinking I could... my sleeping problems have dissolved now that I have a consistent sleep schedule... not to say I don't have an occasional bout of night terrors... I do.. but.. yeah. Anyway. I'll keep you posted on that;)

I am really digging my life right now. Today, I walked out into town ALONE- something I haven't felt comfortable with since I left home. Togo wasn't safe to walk alone- I don't care who you talk to- it's just not... as is the case for most West African countries... so, I strolled out this morning ready to take on the world with a huge smile on my face: ) It was glorious. I realize every time I go to a new city how much I ADORE city life. I've always thought I'd love living in the country, but the more I travel, the more I realize my draw to cities. I love being able to walk virtually anywhere. I can see myself living in a city for sure in the next few years- I'll probably still have a car for practical reasons, but I don't plan on using it when I've got 2 perfectly capable feet and legs that can get me there. Really- they have the system completely right- You walk EVERYWHERE, and eat along the way, but you don't gain anything because 1)the food is 99% better for you than the US, and 2) you burn everything off.... awesome:)

Anyway.. I divert.

Tomorrow I go to Israel. The most common questions are: Are you ready? Are you Excited?

1) I'm not sure I"ll ever be ready. I did most of the work that I was told to do... note the word Most.. but.. yeah.. I feel prepared, but not ready... I mean.. how can you ever be ready to walk in the place where Jesus walked? Really, now.

2) I'M SO EXCITEDDD!! The more I dug into the material we were asked to read and just dove in, the more excited I got.. there's so  much to see and do and I'm going to be exhausted after this trip, but I'm excited to see yet ANOTHER country and explore a new city for sure- especially one that has meaning to me personally. I"m really looking forward to seeing what God has to show me there. I am a huge history buff... well.. let me qualify that... I love GOING to the places where things happened and exploring what it might've been like and learning all about the details. I HATE reading about it and getting facts perfect, but I LOVE BEINNNNG there:) Put me in a museum- ESPECIALLY an art museum, and it's all over... I could spend days there just thinking about what it'd be like to be this person or in this place... this is going to be one of those amazing times where things just bounce off the page of my bible and into real life. I know it's not going to be this perfect amazing experience, but I do look forward to what it will be.


This was a loaded post, but alas... that's what you get when I write;) Always loaded.

I won't be using my computer much while in Israel, except to upload pictures to it, which MAY mean you'll get some facebook picture updates(since it's much faster to do that there than on board), but  no promises.

I'll catch you all on the flip side.

<3 Your excited explorer

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I have every intention of finishing the series of blogs I started... eventually... well... I'll finish by Sunday when I fly to ISRAEL!! I am so blown away by my life at the moment... the 11 days of sailing are CERTAINLY worth the reward... Tenerife is incredible. My only woe at the moment is I'm not sure if my wallet can handle all of the great things this place has to offer. Praying that'll take care of itself somehow, but we shall see...

Anyway... Some of my favorite pictures to hold you over until a real post comes;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Renewed Passion

Wow! I don't think I realized how fast time has flown... sorry to my readers out there... it's been a wild few weeks;) There's a lot going on around here.

First order of business... how COOOOOOL is it that I'm posting this blog from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?!?! Isn't technology INCREDIBLE?!?!?!?!:) Sailing has been good- calmer today, which I'm thankful for... but that's for another post;)

The last few weeks have included a temporary job change, much debate about my future, growing closer with some friends, drifting apart from some, re-connecting with one of my passions which has been on the backburner, saying goodbye to Togo- to the people, to the country, to all of the amazing experiences that were had, moved into a family cabin.. tons has happened... This could get quite long, so I"m going to make it a series of posts... starting with...

Something that has taken me by surprise is my sudden kindling of a flame that's been gone for a while. Since I moved into a family cabin, by default I inherited a guitar. Now, let me rewind a moment... I was extremely blessed to be given the opportunity to cabin sit for a family I'm close with. This means I went from having a small bunk to myself to having a living room, kitchenette, 2 bedrooms, a massive bed, a TV, a refrigerator, and the works... I feel like I"m home... it's INCREDIBLE.. Hoping I won't be miserable when I go back to the cave, but I SO needed this!!  THANK YOU BERGMAN FAMILY!!:)

 Anyway... yes- the guitar.... man... A few weeks before I moved into the cabin, I started fiddling with a guitar that was in the International Lounge, but really wanted something to use often. Since I moved in, I think there was only 1 day where I wasn't playing guitar, and I'm up to about 2 hours daily of guitar... I'm to the point where I have to start disciplining myself to get other work done before I can touch the guitar... never works.. but I try;) I just love it... there's something so much more powerful to me when I"m playing guitar... Piano and I are buddies, but I feel like I can REALLLLY dig deep when I"m playing guitar- and I LOVE singing while playing... on piano I have a hard time multi-tasking, unless it's a song I wrote.. then it's fine:)

I've been given a few opportnities to flex my guitar muscles and was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to play this morning for the community meeting- I played 2 songs with this awesome woman Amy, who was on keys and vocals with me:) It was fierce and just felt so great to use my talents for more than just my sanity. One day, I told my kids I needed a nap really bad... later I saw one of my girls, and she said 'Miss Michelle... did you get a nap?' and I said... "nope... played guitar and I feel GREAT!!' :)

 I'm in love... truly... I'm seriously contemplating buying a guitar while we're in Tenerife, but... not sure if my pocket can handle that right now... we'll see what happens I suppose. It's be great if I could have one of my own:) I miss my little harmony I left at home... though here I"m in need of something that I can plug in... *sigh*... I'll have this one until August 3rd at least:)

So, stay tuned for posts throughout the week.. I'm trying to post something new every few days until I catch you all up;)