Friday, July 12, 2013

July 1st-13th

Check out the two week out reach video below!

Friday, June 28, 2013

much belated update

Please forgive me for my lack of updates as I've been here in the Dominican!!

To get you a little updated. This is my job: I get to visit the various ministry sites that Students International offers. I record the activities as well as serve along side the missionaries and interns at each site. Then I edit, a lot! And compose what you are about to watch. This video is given to each outreach student. Here are at least two video's (one still being uploaded)...

May 21st- 31st
June 3rd- 15th        still to come!
June 17th- 29th

Friday, May 17, 2013

un año

One year ago today, I stepped off the plane for the second time in the Dominican Republic; this time traveling alone to spend my summer serving the people God has placed here. I never expected all that would transpire, nor did I expect my heart to be broken, stretched, molded, and grown. It was amazing to me that I could feel and understand the depth of Jesus' love towards me, through the people I encountered and grew to know. My fellow interns, Jess, Chelsie, and the varsity volleyball girls were among the many people God placed around me to teach me about His love. I have been blessed with the opportunity to return for yet another adventurous summer, and to continue to see Jesus' affection and character revealed towards me and His people.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


welp folks, I just finished a month of Spanish class and immersion here in Guatemala! Its been a growing experience in more ways then one, but I am very thankful for the journey. I head to the Dominican Republic Monday morning where I will spend another 3 months learning Spanish, loving on my volleyball girls, taking pictures, and seeing God's unfailing love.
So very thankful for this opportunity!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

party or war zone?

Here in Antigua I haven't quite gotten used to the celebratory atmosphere that parades not only the streets, but sky. I have learned that the people of Antigua have much to be celebratory about, yet I'm not always so sure what it is that they are celebrating. Almost every morning I startle awake by the sound of bombs being shot into the sky, starting as early as 5am; and of course at night many more bombs explode over head. Occasionally, I will even hear them during the day. As in right now. I asked my host family and teacher, "por que los bombos?"and all they say is "San Jaun Pedro", (or someone's name). I'm assuming this guy is an important figure in the Catholic church because all of the bombs are shot from within the church walls. There are about 9 churches in the town, two of which are right around the corner from my house. I'm pretty sure after the bombs erupt, debris falls on the tin roof at my house, which creates another surprising sound.
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow there is a parade that will flood the streets around the down town park. This parade is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a school here in Antigua. It is complete with 5 different bands, important men in the church, important graduates from the school, and the children of all grades who currently attend the school. The parade was neat to watch, here are some pictures:

my teacher's daughter above and bellow:

My teacher's son:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Café Urbano

With an urban twist to a latin city, this café plays well into its name;
Café Urbano is rather small, but they offer much when it comes to service. I would have to say this a favorite café if I'm missing home. Contemporary music accompanied by English speaking owners, and the taste of home as well with B.L.T sandwiches and the best kind of fries. I dig the burlap seat covers and hanging pallets that add to the atmosphere of a café in the states.

Friday, April 19, 2013


So I have told you a little about Francisco, but I want to tell you more.
This man is my professor outside of school. My confidant. My friend away from friends. I cherish my time with him. We have begun to meet in the park at 5pm on occasions; a complete hour of talking about life. Well mostly his 60 years of living. He explained to me today, that this past December marked the 23rd anniversary of being alcohol free. He was alcoholic for 10 or so years of his life until he attended AA. During AA the told him he had to stop smoking too. He smoked for 15 years of his life. I also learned this past week that Francisco is a realtor, has two daughters and a son, a bunch of grandchildren, and is a widower. He is a sweet and kind old man. I'm thankful to of met him.

He told me I need to give him a copy of this picture and write on the back, "Francisco's friend Corny" :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

mi casa

I cannot believe I have yet to post about my house here in Antigua!
Well, mi casa is very cute. And the family that resides within the structure is extremely nice and have welcomed me with open arms! I don't live there alone. There are two other students attending my school who are renting rooms. Tim, from Pennsylvania on the journey of a lifetime with his motorcycle. He has traveled from Alaska and will continue on to the tip of central America. My other house mate is Kaiko, a girl from Japan who has come to learn Spanish and live here for two years working with an organization. Two people who have stepped out to explore the world. It amazes me.
Here are some pictures. I'll hopefully post more pictures with my host family.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

La Casaca

Heard about this café from some of the D.R. staff on their journey to study Spanish a year ago.
Located across from the central park, squeezed next to a bakery and restaurant, this skinny café makes up for the width, with hight. Towering over its competitors with a third story over looking the park, this rustic café has crepes that are told to be heavenly. I of course went for the chai. :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Café Barista

today I wanted to visit a café that I had been hearing about amongst the students at school. Located on the corner of the square at the central park, layered in brick and inviting open windows; the place draws many tourists as well as locals. 
I was drawn to the word CHAI on their menu.
Chai Frap it was. And I must say it is one of the best I have had. 
I will gladly spend the Q.25 for a taste of deliciousness!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Café Tú Piña

I admire the quaint town of Antigua. The rich culture and worn streets. Buildings that have endured much longer than those that accompany them. How family and friends greet with a holy kiss. And of course the restaurants and cafés that beckon one to relax and savor not only food, but an atmosphere of laugher and love.

As this month transpires, my desire is to visit the various cafés, post a picture or two and tell a few words about what I tasted during my time spent within the walls.
I hope you enjoy reading as much as my taste buds will enjoy the adventure.

Here is a café not too far from home:
Café tú Piña. I am a frequent visitor and enjoy the friendly service. A woman from Norway works alongside a few younger Guatemalans. Their salads and sandwiches are a delight!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

una semana

Its been one week since I've arrived and tomorrow will mark one week of school completed! That's about 25 hours of school thus far. 75 more hours to go.
This week has gone by fairly fast and I feel like it will only go by faster. I am very much enjoying my time here in Antigua. The city is beautiful and I have been fascinated by the doors as well as all the cafes. Pictures soon to follow.

My professor's name is Maria, and she is the sweetest most talkative lady! I enjoy the hours spent with her. We talk about everything. Well she does most of the talking while I add a sentence or two here and there. I'm getting very good at understanding and translating what she says... my speaking however, still needs work. I'm excited to see my progress at the end of the month because I can already see the progress and knowledge I've gained in this month alone.

Well pictures of my adventures to come this weekend!

Monday, April 8, 2013

three cultures. one table

who would have thought I would be in Guatemala with 6 Americans and one Japanese student, sitting down for a Japanese dinner in a Spanish school. well not me of course because I am still baffled that it occurred last night.
The conversation held its weight in Spanish as well as English, and few spoken words in Japanese. It was incredible. As I sat in awe of what was taking place I was reminded of my time in the D.R., and the boundaries that were broken. How the same boundaries are being broken here. I'm not only speaking about the language barrier, but my walls. I'm forced out of my comfort zone. It's refreshing.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

mi amigo

well I met my first friend. Francisco. An older man, possibly in his 50's or 60's today at the park.

I searched for an empty spot on a bench at the park; which is rare during the afternoon, but there is was, occupied by the sun. A completely empty bench. Knowing how Dominicans feel about the sun, I figured it was probably safe to say Guatemalans feel the same. Stay away. Light skin is something to be adored, so the less exposure to the sun, the better. I on the other hand, desire to be dark, so the bench beckoned me closer. I sat alone for a few minutes, thinking no one would sit next to me in the sun. But I was wrong. An older gentleman approached the bench and asked if he could sit next to me, I happily obliged. He asked me my name, and responded with his. Francisco. He asked where I am from, what I am doing there, if I like Antigua. All of which I know how to respond. Telling from his body language I gathered that he wanted to speak more. So I quickly told him, I understand a lot more Spanish then I can speak. He smiled and told me that I can practice with him anytime. The sweetest gesture. He then proceeded to tell me about the history of Antigua, the churches built, and the buildings that fell during an earth quake (I think). He asked a few more questions, of which I was able to answer briefly. I explained that I was a teacher back in the states, and he told me about the school system in Antigua. He then told me he had to go and that it was nice to of met me, I said the same. He said that I was his new friend Corney, (they cannot pronounce the T, which reminds me of my nephew and being in the D.R.). He told me to call him my friend Francisco. Through a hand shake he gave me kiss on each cheek and went on his way.

I loved the candidness of our conversation. The way he allowed me to speak the little Spanish I know. How he corrected me with gentleness. And how he greeted and left the conversation with kindness.
So thankful for my small interaction with Francisco. I hope to see him again.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Antigua, Guatemala

Decided to adventure a little off of the known path this morning. Here is want caught my eye. The doors on every building are beautiful. Intrigued to explore what might be behind the beauty.

Friday, April 5, 2013

small world

I walked out of the airport and some guy was holding a piece of paper with my name on it. He grabbed one of my bags and we got in his beat up car. (right out of a scary movie and what you should not do in a foreign country) but I trusted that God had me in his hands. we drove an hour and talked to one another occasionally through my poor spanish and his broken English. I arrived at my house at about 8pm. The lady of the house, man and daughter greeted me and showed me my room and the bathroom. The lady asked if I was hungry, and then told me what time breakfast, lunch and dinner was the next day. the house is super cute. kinda like a villa of sorts with a small open court yard in the middle. when I woke up I met Kiko, the other girl staying and going to school, she is from Japan. how crazy! we ate breakfast and then walked to the school. I met a team from Bethel studying abroad and working with Students International here in Antigua. I paid for my first week of classes today and checked out the school. Went home and had lunch. took a nap during siesta of course. then decided to adventure out by myself. The only place I now the route to is the school, so thats where I ended up.
I'm happy here. I find myself smiling, just because. 
So thankful for this adventure.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

going back

Some of you may know about my recent trip to the Dominican Republic. My heart is still very full from my experiences last summer in the D.R. but I hope at some point to be able to convey what I saw, learned, and felt during my time there. It was a blessing to see God work in the months leading up to the trip, throughout my time there, and even after. 
My time there was one that I will always remember. I was one of 8 interns working with Students International (, fortunate enough to be working at the women’s sports site along with the missionary, my friend Jess; who had been planning for the past year and a half to take her Dominican varsity volleyball team on an outreach trip to the States. I wish that I could talk about all the particulars that had happen while I was in the D.R. Playing volleyball from 9am-5pm, meeting people from all over the U.S., going to Genesis (Special Education Site), leading prayer walks through a desolate town, worshiping at cross night, hiking the tallest mountain in Jarabacoa and almost falling off, seeing the clearest water, eating so much arroz con pollo (rice and chicken), and coming back to the states with the varsity volleyball team. You can see and read my blog on how the whole trip went at 
With all that, what I want to talk about the most is how I fell in love. I know you’re thinking: “What?! She met a Dominican man?!” No, I did not meet and fall in love with a Dominican man to save you all from your thoughts. I fell in love with the culture, the kids I met at Genesis, and the varsity volleyball team. Most importantly, I fell more in love with Jesus. His character and pursuit often times overwhelmed me. I was discouraged to say the least in the first few weeks of my arrival. My Spanish was not where I hoped it would be. I had a hard time understanding the girls, and felt as though I could not truly get to know them and they couldn’t truly get to know me within this language barrier, and with that I could not share the gospel like I had thought. I obviously underestimate the power of God. As the weeks went by I was able to understand a little more, here and there. I couldn’t speak as well as I could listen and comprehend, but there was one thing that could always break the barrier, love. It was translated without the use of words. It was felt, in the deepest part of my soul. Without words, these people knew I loved them, without words I felt their love, and without words it was Jesus' love that ultimately transcended every obstacle.   
I want to ask for your support in sending me back to a place where I felt God’s love breaking all barriers. This time I will have a slightly different role at Students International. I will be living in a house with full responsibilities (rent and electricity). I will also need to find transportation (car or moto) because I will be traveling to each S.I. site. My job title will be the Media Site Leader; in which I will be computing and developing a CD of the outreach students’ time in the D.R. This summer will allow me to further my passion of missions and sharing the gospel through different avenues in which I believe God has blessed me. I will arrive in the D.R. on May 6th and return August 8th. The total trip will cost me $3,000 which will cover air fair, rent, power, water, food, and gas. My hope is that you will join with me in the efforts to raise the funds necessary. I want to truly thank you in advance for your time, prayer, and donation to making this possible. You can send a check in the enclosed envelop made out to Students International, or easily donate online, directly to my account through the link below:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

a gift

Jess put together a video for me from my friends in the DR.

Couldn't be more thankful for this gift. And their friendships. I truly miss them all!