Monday, November 23, 2015


Received my third summons in five years today.  One of the perks of the job?  Being called into court isn't my favorite part...more like sacrifice methinks.  Oh well, glad I'm not being sued!  Though that is always a possibility...the thought makes me smile...I guess my response would be: let's see, I resigned from my job, took a position where I make fifty dollars a month, and my only income pays my debt (mortgage)...I don't think it is worth it.  But whatever makes you happy.  :o)

And now to be a little more serious...SO SAD for Paris and all those suffering at the hands of IS.  I wish I had something savvy and wise to say.  Honestly, I don't have much to say...except God wins, in the end.  Waiting and trusting....for someday to come.

I spent the past weekend in my old hometown...where I grew up almost twenty years ago.  It was a reunion trip, brought on by my Godmother's invitation last Christmas.  I had a lovely time reminiscing, re-visiting and remembering wonderful experiences from my childhood with those I knew and continue to love.  God is a such a God of surprises....he has fingerprinted my life with his goodness.  I hope I can remember this when the splinters come!

I HAVE SO LITTLE TIME before I leave for Guatemala!!!  And between Thanksgiving and Christmas and a trip to Europe and then Mexico...well actually I have NO TIME.  Ayayay!  One foot in front of the other...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Intercultural Effectiveness

In preparation for Guatemala I have been given a laundry list of things to do by the mission group.  Some things, like health insurance and vaccination updates, were a given.  One thing I didn't expect was this Intercultural Effectiveness Scale report.  

When I first logged into the required module, I felt like I was in college again: just trying to get through all the required coursework with enough understanding to get a passing grade.  Half way through the program (it took several hours to complete) I realized I was getting a lot more from the presentation than I thought I would. It also helped me to know what the organization's expectations are for me.  

Not to go into too much detail, but they highlighted the importance of approaching this mission as a partnership and not a charity.  Too many people go into a poorer environment with the idea that they have the answer and can fix everything, everything being what they perceive as the problem. The module makes it clear that while we may have things to offer, this is only helpful if it meets the needs within the culture.  Without an understanding of those we are going to serve, we can't best know their needs or help them in a way that is effective and long-lasting.  On the flip side, these same people we serve also give to us.  It's a mutual sharing.

After the module I figured I had taken from the program what I needed and was done.  A week later a test was emailed to me and I spent another half hour or so filling out questions that felt more like a psychology professor's thesis research project than anything else.  I rushed through it, reading the questions but not wanting to spend much time or energy on it.  Within a day, results were emailed to me and I glanced through a 24 page packet with a lot of verbiage and not much meaning.  Putting it aside, I didn't look at it again until last night when I listened in on a group discussion with other missionaries also scheduled to start in January.

Surprisingly, I scored high in all areas: those related to my ability to continuously learn about myself and others; those related to my ability to roll with the punches, accept change and overcome hardship...I even scored high in "Global Mindset" meaning I am open and interested in how others live in their cultures.  

The only area I scored low in (and I mean pretty low: 2/6) was Relationship Interest.  This area is tied into not only seeking but also maintaining friendships.  It focuses on learning a new language in order to connect with new cultures.  

Honestly, at first I was surprised because I am excited to make new friends and I have lots of friends (praise God!)...but I think my low score comes more from my lacsidaisical attitude toward maintaining friendships and also my very real fear that I won't be able to speak Spanish.  

The report told me my tendencies typically are: 
1. To spend time learning about other countries.
2. To develop relationships out of necessity beyond those offered by chance, and to maintain a core set of close friends.
3. To often think about going to places outside their own country.

Instead, someone who has a high relationship interest's goal should be:
1. To want to travel and meet local people when in foreign places.
2. To make an effort to learn a foreign language.
3. To be influenced by people more than things.

Guess I'll have to work on the shyness factor this year.  And the whole fear of rejection thing that goes hand in hand with that.  I know these are overcome-able and that I have overcome them on occasion in the past.  Just the beginning of some self-growth I guess.  Not that this trip is in anyway meant for that purpose but I doubt God would allow me such an amazing life-experience without a little bit, right?  Only two months left to go!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Christmas Presents

Yes I know it isn't Thanksgiving yet...but I just finished making a bunch of Christmas presents and I So WANT TO TALK ABOUT THEM!!!  But this isn't a private blog any more...and heaven forbid one person read this and find out what I'm making for them so BLAH I won't say a word.  But let it be known: I am VERY excited about these unsayable things!!

Survived three night shifts, in a row, twelve hour night shifts...the kind that last twelve hours but feel like thirty.  And I'm signed up up for three more next week.  I have no idea how regular people do this on a regular basis!

I have my plane ticket for Guatemala.  And today I registered for a Spanish language school near the mission site.  I'm going to attend a week of classes before starting a two week orientation.  Exciting, but what the heck?!  I don't speak Spanish!

Fell hiking and then fell again running this past week.  Bruises everywhere.  

There are falling leaves are everywhere!  And they are slippery.  

Last week I when I was in Mondadnock everything was brown and burnt all the leaves were dead but just hadn't fallen off the trees yet.  Today as I was driving I noticed how bare the trees by the highway looked...once again: winter is upon us.  Seasons fly by, especially as I age. I wonder what season of life I'm in right now?  If this is summer...I kinda don't want it to end...but I also know that fall is beautiful and so is winter...albeit painful and cold...but really the snow is lovely (trying to convince myself).

Feeling awkward.  Seriously kinda hoping no one really reads this.  Until I get to Guatemala...of course...okay.  Coming off zombie nigh shift brain.  Maybe my next blog will be a bit more connected and sensible.  Or funny?  Funny would be good.