Thursday, October 7, 2010

Falling into fall!

These past few weeks I have been missing fall soooo much!  I miss the crispness of the air, the turning leaves, getting to wear cute sweaters, boots, and scarves, changing my nail polish colors from the bright reds, pinks and corals of summer to the browns and deep colors of fall.  I miss Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Sunday football (even though I never watched football, I still miss the atmosphere of it! :)  I miss wearing sweatpants to bed at night, making vegetarian chili, the Farmer’s Market....I just miss it all!!!  In attempt to bring a touch of fall to my world here in Belize, I changed the background on my computer to a picture of some beautiful fall leaves and will most likely slap on a coat of OPI’s Lincoln Park after Dark in the next few days.  I’ve also been considering carving a watermelon jack-o-lantern since I am pretty sure pumpkins don’t grow around here.  Lately it’s been a little cooler than normal (although still in the high 70‘s!) and not so humid, so sometimes I close my eyes and try to pretend like I’m back in the midwest...I’m strolling in Lincoln Park on a cool autumn day, sipping my latte, kicking the leaves at my feet...and then I’m suddenly transported back to reality as a mosquito bites my leg, a bead of sweat drips from my forehead, and the tamale man rings the little bell on his bike as he rides down the beach... my daydreaming comes to an abrupt halt.  I’m not in Chicago anymore...
Even though I miss fall at home, life here in the eternal summer is amazing.  For one, there are 31 wonderful, eager, and fun new students here who are now in their 5th week of their DTS!  The school is going really well and God is moving in huge ways.  I have been powerfully encouraged and blessed by these students and have had the privilege of mentoring some of the girls.  It’s been so awesome to share and participate in this radical time in their lives and see God begin to bring about deep healing, restoration, and revelation.  Today outreach locations were announced and there will be a group going to Honduras and one to the Philippines.  About 20 of the students are going international and the other 11 are staying regional in Honduras.  
Secondly, I am working on getting my SCUBA Open Water diving certification, and am just about there!  Last weekend we had our written test, which I just barely passed, and this weekend we will have our last set of practical skills in the pool, and then I should be all set to explore the great deep in no time!  I’ve recently had a fixation with Miss Frizzle and the Magic School bus (remember that?)  When I’m diving I feel like Miss Frizzle. :) 
Work is moving right along, I finished up the project I was working on with collecting alumni information.  I sent out a newsletter and survey a few weeks ago and am currently working on analyzing survey results.  The marketing plan I’m working on is nearly done, goal is to have it finished this week!  I’ve also been helping with getting our website transitioned over to a new host site, and will be starting a promotional video for DP in the next few weeks!  All that, on top of being involved in girls small group, sitting in on lectures, and general community living, it’s been a busy season but SUCH A GOOD ONE!  
Some very exciting news to report is that I will be getting visitors in the months of November and December! Yessss! My friends Ali and Gretchen are coming from Chicago right around Thanksgiving time, and then my family is coming out for Christmas!  So excited for them to see and experience my life out here.

Last weekend we celebrated September birthdays with a “Book Club” themed birthday party where everyone dressed up as their fave book character.  Here are some pictures.  That’s me dressed up as Cruella Deville (not my fave, but I couldn’t get my original Miss Frizzle costume to work out, so this was a backup). 
Cruella Deville and "Max" from Where the Wild Things Are
Lining up to play musical chairs!

Captain Underpants and a Bible Character
(can't remember which)

As always, many thanks for standing with me and for the blessing you are to me!  I hope you are doing well!  I wanted to share a verse that has been speaking to me a lot lately, and I hope that it’s an encouragement to you too!  
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love.  He will rejoice over you with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17
Abundant Blessings to you!!!

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