Monday, June 30, 2008

Couch!

My couch arrived this morning!  

Perfect timing as well.  The last few days I wasn't feeling too well, and chalked it up to allergies.

This morning in staff meeting the guys made multiple comments about my needing to leave work and not expose them.  After multiple jokes about snot (boys) and the meetings ending Jonathan pointed at me and said "go home."  so I did what any good employee would do and went to my office.  After about ten minutes I caved and called the Dr.

And I was WRONG!  It wasn't allergies, but some darned bacterial infection that is wanting to reside in my head and my chest.

So, I have a couch, and I get to spend the day on it.  Glad it arrived a few weeks early.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Moving Buildings


Read this article today.  And I have to say, I find it fascinating that the idea was put into action, but even for someone who rarely gets motions sickness the idea of standing in this building, or below it and watching it move made me a little nauseated.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Good Morning Friday

There is something extra restful about waking up in your own apartment.

I have to say, I really like having my own place (remind me of this when I complain about having to clean it!) 

I went to bed early, which means I woke up early, which means that I have already been able to lay around in bed, get a fresh breakfast (thanks again Adrianne) and sit on my patio with a copy of one of my favorite magazines.  It's a good start to a sabbath.

Everyone should have a day off.  I am a firm believer!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quickest move ever!

So yes, I do have a little bit of unpacking to do, but not a whole lot, that is because a huge crew showed up at my apartment this morning!

No joke, it took less than 1/2 an hour to get it all up to the third floor apartment, and then they stuck around!  Ladies unpacked boxes, ran dishes through the dishwasher, hand washed others, put lamps together...it was madness, and beautiful!  A couple of guys made sure my bed was put together, and my dresser (gotta love IKEA!) and a bookshelf!  It was nuts folks.  Absolutely awesome and I am floored.  Seriously, there is very little left to do.  

And yes, I love my new apartment!  I ate dinner here because Adrianne brought me some groceries!  I don't think I have ever eaten dinner at a place the first night because there typically wasn't food in the pantry!   Did I mention she made sure to set me up with gluten-free food? She rocks!

So tomorrow is friday.  And I am taking back my sabbath, I actually don't remember the last time I took one.  Where are all those people who are holding me accountable?

Thanks for the help guys, it would not have been the same without you!  Really, it wouldn't!


MOVING DAY!

Is here.  Yep.  Today.  

I move into a place and am committed to that place for 13 months.  I am excited about having my own space, but I have to admit I am most excited about the sense of permanence, i haven't live in the same place for that many months in over 3 years!

And, it is way too stinkin' expensive to move out early, so you can pretty much rest assured I won't be.  Plus, I am pretty certain that I won't run out of water, or out of space (no future roomies that I know of) nor will I have men jumping over the fence, affecting security and what not. (Some of the many reasons I moved in Tanzania.)

And, FYI, blogging is helpful.  Got some emails yesterday in response to the blog.  Who would have thought that blogging would help you get people to lift boxes up to a third floor apartment.

Yes.  I am excited.  It's here!  Moving day is here!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Moving Day

This is incredibly short notice, but its been a crazy week!

I am moving into my apartment tomorrow.  And although I don't have giant bulky furniture I could use all the help I can get.  I know it is a thursday so many people are working and what-not but any help I can get is appreciated!

So, if you live in Cary, and want to carry a few boxes up some stairs, that would rock.

Why am I moving on a Thursday you might ask?
Cause when I signed my lease it sounded like a good idea.  My "weekend" is Friday and Saturday, and I was thinking that since that is the case then I should start my move on thursday night.  I didn't stop to think that everyone else's weekend is still Saturday and Sunday.

Anyhow.  I am moving.  I will be there a lot of the day, and really I don't anticipate it taking long.  There isn't any large bulky furniture, just a bunch of boxes.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why?

Last week we wept as a staff at the loss of 3 year old Jabez in Haiti.
Last week we also jumped many hurdles I can't even begin to elaborate on in Haiti.
Last week was an emotional roller coaster beyond any that I have ever experienced.
And I am still asking...Why? 
Today I watched a family remember their 6 year old daughter who died suddenly over the weekend.
Today I handed a little girl who was maybe 8 years old a tiara as she was walking into the funeral of her friend from dance class.
As I handed it to her she started to cry.
I put down the programs I was holding and reached out to give her a hug.
She fell into my arms and I held.
And then I started to well up too.
And again I had to ask...Why?

My heart hurts for people who hurt, especially when you can't answer that looming question. 

Friday, June 20, 2008

Update from Haiti

I caught Jonathan on ichat this morning. Here's the quick run-down.

Several hours after they arrived yesterday their bags made it. They are thankful for this small victory.

Today is a hard and challenging day. And of course, there are little glitches already occurring. Pray for power, for the technology to work, and for computers to charge. Pray for the family and friends as they prepare.

Today is a visit to the morgue, the funeral and the burial. Jonathan asks that we pray as they can feel the battle they are in today. Pray for strength and energy for everyone.

I will keep you updated as I hear more, but you can also be watching the Pye family blog, the Mangine family blog and Jonathan's blog.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bow and Mangine Update Number 2 and 3

I failed to get this out earlier.

The Bow's and Mangine's arrived in Port Au Prince safely.  When they called to let me know they made it they let me know their bags had not arrived.   This is a bummer for many reasons, one of which was that they were carrying some special items for Jabez' funeral on Friday.

They then called a few hours later to let me know they had been informed that 3 out of 4 of the bags had arrived.  I am not sure which bag did had not yet been found.

Pray for these guys.  The next few days will be tough.  

Bow and Mangine Update

The Bow's and the Mangine's had an eventful day yesterday.  The short story is they ended up spending the night in Miami, with a new flight to Haiti scheduled for this morning.  

While I was talking to them this morning they got news of flight delay.  Of course, as with any other time flights are delayed and cancelled, words are not forthcoming from the airlines.

  Also on this flight is Leann's mom and Danny's dad, Jabez' grandparents who of course, like the Bow's and Mangine's just want to get to Haiti to be of support.  Pray folks.  
AMERICAN AIRLINES - Flight #377
FLIGHT STATUS - DELAYED
Detailed Flight Information
CarrierCityDateTimeTerminalGateBaggage
Claim
Flight Status
Notification
ScheduledEstimatedActual

AMERICAN AIRLINES
Departing
Create Flight Status Notification
MIA Miami,06/19/20086:50 AM7:25 AMD43 
Arriving
PAP Port Au Prince,06/19/20087:55 AM8:20 AM

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Week in Review

Yes. It is only Wednesday morning. But so much has happened in the last three days, it was time for a week in review.

Sunday was an awesome day at Crosspointe! Together we did what seemed to be impossible, and as a church community (almost every family participated) we raised over $400,000 for Haitian Children's Home to buy land and pursue their dream to change the lives of many.

Monday I woke up and followed my usual Monday morning routine of checking my bank account online to find that someone had gotten my bank card numbers and somehow managed to spend $1200 over the weekend. After I caught my breath and wiped away a few tears I called the bank. They stopped the card and said that in order for me to get the money back I would need to file a police report. I went to staff meeting and after staff meeting made a trip to the Cary Police Department. But, technically I live in Raleigh for 1 more week. So they sent me to Raleigh. I called the fine servants at Raleigh Police Department and they wouldn't do a police report because the charges appear to have occurred in Southern California, so instead they said I needed to call the respective police departments where the charges occurred. I called the San Diego Police Department and they said I needed to call Raleigh again. Yep. I got a run-around. So my boss put a call into a federal prosecutor who happens to attend our church. He is trying to help me out.

Tuesday morning I was in another meeting when we got a phone call that the Pye family was rushing Jabez to the hospital in Haiti. We stopped everything, gathered everyone and prayed. A short while later we got a call letting us know that Jabez did not make it. Although we are staff, we are friends, and things got in motion to be the best support to the Pye family we could be. Tickets were purchased for the Mangines, and for the Jonathan and Adrianne to fly out this morning.

Tuesday afternoon I went to the gastrointestinal doctor to take steps to figure out my issues. I spent about 5 minutes with a doctor who I won't ever recommend for his bedside manner, but would recommend because he was smart and obviously knew what he was doing. 15 minutes later I was scheduled for an upper digestive tract endoscopy. I was then told that for at least three weeks before my scope I need to resume a regular American diet, with gluten. So, for three weeks I have Doctors orders to eat that stuff that isn't necessarily good for you, but they taste oh so good, and then get sick. Yes, this is bittersweet news, I get to eat chocolate cake, pizza, pasta and sandwiches with real bread for three weeks, but I also get to suffer the consequences. Since this could come with a diagnosis to avoid all wheat for life, I plan on savoring each bite and having some of my favorites.

Tuesday evening I drove with Gwenn Mangine as she took her adorable kiddos to her mom who plans to take care of her kid while they are in Haiti. It was an honor to spend 4 hours in the car with her. It was hard to talk about all that was happening, and I fought my "let me fix it" personality. We had some laughs about life, and around 9:30 got back to Raleigh.

I obviously forgot about my bank account issues.

Then I went to the Bow house. Since the flight to Haiti leaves at 6:50am I agreed to stay with their awesome boys until grandma and grandpa make it down to Cary later this afternoon. As we were all heading to bed their oldest came downstairs with a fever and sore throat. The Tylenol Adrianne had given him earlier had worn off. More Tylenol and eventually his dad put him to bed. He has been up since around 4 when the Tylenol wore off again.

So, it is a PJ morning until we get a hold of the Doctors office to get this little guy in. At 5 this morning we said goodbye to mom and dad when the Mangines picked them up to go to the airport. We have taken full advantage of DVR since then.

So yeah. It is Wednesday morning. But a LOT has happened in the last 3 days.
Pray for the Bows and the Mangines, that they would bring comfort to the Pye family. Pray also as they left their own kiddos here in the USA with family.

Pray for the Pyes. Losing a child is hard. I can't imagine the loss of the child, but at the same time, I do get that doing everything in a foreign country is more difficult than doing it here. Being in Haiti adds a whole different dimension. Planning a funeral, deciding about burial vs cremation, trying to take care of family but respect the culture...its tough. Add to it that youare far from your family and close friends. Losing a child is tough, but I have to say that losing one in a foreign country with different hurdles and cultural values is tougher.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Haitian Children's Home

One of the reasons I love my new job is because I get to be a part of moments like this. Where a group of people come together to make a dream happen. Danny and Leann have a dream to expand the Haitian Children's Home to be a community where 160 street kids would be raised in family environments. You can read more about it here, and listen here.

This past sunday, we celebrated the fact that when people come together, we are able to help them take steps forward, and get to help them purchase the land needed to help this dream become a reality.

The hard part of my job is moments like this. When just two days after celebrating, we mourn with the same family at the sudden loss of their precious little boy. Pray for the Pye family. Pray for us. Pray for the Mangines, and pray for Haitian Children's home and the kids who have lost their little brother.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This Just In

Lisa left a comment on my ipod post. The comment requires it's own post.

Gas is up to $7 per gallon in Tanzania.

And the gas there isn't clean, special fancy gas we have here.

I think it is time we stop complaining about it being $4 here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

FOUND!!!

I could do a dance.  I know I know, it is a physical object.

I am finding that I am eating my words.  Just tonight I was at the Mangines and they told me they were feeling my pain over my missing ipod.  They also asked if it was an excuse to get an iphone, to which I said no, I can't change from Verizon because of my family...and Lisa.  They were thinking it might show up, I told them I thought it was a goner.

I emailed my stepmom about 20 minutes ago telling her that it was still missing.

About five minutes ago I found it in a place that I have easily looked 10 times.  How did I miss it the first ten?  I haven't a clue.

Needless to say, I know EXACTLY where it is now, attached to my computer charging.  And I will probably be a little obsessive over its where-abouts in the near future.  And yes, I will dance, and you might catch me singing out-loud on occasion too.

THank you God for helping me to find my ipod.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Missing.

We have been together for about 2 and 1/2 years.  We hung out daily.  Walking.  Driving.  Occasional running (yes I know after my last post that seems unbelievable...but it is TRUE!).  Road Trips.  Plane Trips.  We start the day and end the day together.  We have travelled many lands.  Sat through many podcasts and many a song.  

This music lover is sad that her ipod has been missing for the last week.  Can't be found anywhere.  I know where I last saw it, but it isn't there.

I really hope it turns up soon.  

Plyo-what?

My oh my.

Words.

Cannot.

Describe.

How out of shape I am.

I live in the basement of a wonderful family. Keith and Patti have an incredible basement and are awesomely letting me crash in the guest room until I move into my apartment. "Basement" is really not what you should call it...but I digress.

In addition to my living area, there is a workout room, and Patti works out everyday and has told me I am free to use that room anytime or join her if I want. I say thanks and laugh on the inside knowing there is no way I could ever keep up with her. She is a machine!

Somehow it came up last night, and I succumbed to peer pressure and agreed to join her this morning.

Ouch.

Have you ever done plyometrics? I hung in there for 1 hour of the most intense, difficult workout of my life. And yes, I did feel like I would throw up at some point, and yes I fear I won't be able to walk tomorrow.

But, it was AWESOME! I couldn't do these sort of things in Tanzania so I have just continued to fall out of shape and become lethargic and lifeless...it was awesome to throw my drenched self in the shower to get ready for work...even though I did have to sit down a bit and let my body catch up with itself.

Possibly more boot camp with Patti tomorrow. We will see.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Old ways, new ways...and I hate to lose...

It amazes me that still, after 6 months back in the country I naturally revert back to things I did in Tanzania.  

Driving.  Yes, I still drive like I am in Africa...some call it agressive, I call it being defensive...or a step ahead of the other guy. :)  Also, one thing I do very often is instead of hitting the wand for the turn signal I quite often hit the wand for the washers. Not only do they move the stearing wheel and the driver, but they also reverse those little wands!  I find myself often thinking quite intently before I make a selection, and still quite regularly make the wrong one.

But, in my 6 months I have also found myself picking up new habits.  Since the thermometer has started tipping the 90 degree mark...and the last few days passing the 100 degree mark, I have become a fan of the Strawberries n creme frappuccino from this place.  That is until I learned that one of these suckers has more calories than I should consume in a meal...might kick that habit quicker than I thought!

And, one habit that is really hard to break, is my distaste for losing.  I played marbles tonight, and I lost.  I was creamed, left in the dust, bowled over by the smack down of Caden as he beat me by 57 marbles.  Pam has lost her game folks.  And yes, it hurt on the inside.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Some Issues

Read this article today.

I decided this year I wanted to know more about the candidates than what the commercials tell you, and what the office rumors will say.  

I don't think I realized what I was getting into.  How do you filter what is said and written?

Anyhow, for those of you who are wondering where McCain and Obama stand on some issues. 

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

An American

Today I went to Nick and Gwenn's house with Stephen to shoot some video for church on sunday.

My job didn't involve acting, producing, or really anything to do with shooting the video, aside from calling the Mangines and asking if they were available.

My job, was taking their three lovely, yet very lively and active kiddos outside and on a walk so they wouldn't show up in the background.  

After they were finished they called me, and I returned to their apartment.  We all walked in, and I sat down, with a glistening forehead and said, "It's HOT out there!"

To which Nick (aka Elder Mangine) responded, "Pam, it's happening, you are becoming an American!"

We laughed, and I admitted that yes, I was acclimating to the USA, at least as far as temperatures are concerned.

Then there were comments about my aggressive driving, which really is another post altogether.  I will say my aggressive driving is actually evidence of my NOT acclimating.  In short, my driving is still quite Tanzanian, but my temperature of comfort is becoming more American with each passing day.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Creating Noise.

Several months back I was listening to a podcast from Crosspointe church.  Steve was talking about noise, and hearing God and well sadly, I only remember one line...but it was a line that has challenged me, moved me and kept me thinking, so much so that it has earned its own sticky note on my mac.

"how does my pace, my busyness, my being consumed etc. drown out the whisper of God yet I am wondering when is God gonna show up?"

I have slowly come to realize that I create a lot of noise, mostly because in my soul I am becoming increasingly more uncomfortable with silence.  It reminds me of the children's book, "When you give a mouse a cookie."

I am tired.  So I ask for some peace and quiet.
I get time for peace and quiet.
I sit there for five minutes and it becomes too much.
I turn on the music to drown it out.
About 2 minutes into it, my email chimes in because my source of music also happens to be my mac.
I then read the email.
I respond to the email.
I then get distracted and think of another email I should have responded to earlier in the week. Oh wait, someone posted a blog post on leadership, I should read it. 
Soon my peace and quiet time is over.
And I am tired.  And I find myself asking for peace and quiet.

The problem isn't that there isn't enough time in the day for peace and quiet.  The problem is that I don't like the discomfort that is currently found in the peace and quiet.  There are still some very unsettled parts of my soul as I embark on life in the USA.  There are still some sore places left from the last year.  There are some trust issues that are screaming and some hurts that are gaping, and some joys that still need celebrated.  And I won't bother elaborating on the anger. But I know enough to know that unless I sit in that quiet place, and turn off the noise I create, that I won't ever be able to see God in the situation and hear His words of direction in healing and reconciling.

So those quiet places aren't inviting, but they are necessary.  I really must figure out how to settle into them.  I need to settle into them so I am not writing a blog post at 11pm to avoid the quiet place between awake and asleep.