Meet the newest member of my family. Words cannot adequately describe the joy of celebrating new, precious, perfect life. I was lucky enough to meet my youngest nephew less than an hour after we was born, and I’ve seen him a couple of times since. He is so sweet and small (I’m sure he won’t stay that way for long), yet strong. His personality and character already show, through his laid back demeanor and his serious look of intent. This little boy is already so loved.
(These pictures were taken at 9 days old. Thanks to his amazing parents for letting me be the obnoxious aunt who takes way too many pictures.)
I’ve shared plenty on here in the form of words in my last few posts, so enough of my thoughts. Here are some photos to give you a glimpse of my life in Rwanda…more specifically of my first two weeks back here (the first week of school-week 3 will get its own post). Enjoy.
On an early morning run a little ways from my house. I ran a new direction and saw new things right by my home…who knew.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory…
I’ve already shared this one a few times…but being in the rainy season, I’ve only seen these volcano’s one other time since I taking this photo my first day back. This is where I live. It’s not so bad.
Mt. Muhabura at sunrise…as seen from my back door.
Devolta made and frosted cupcakes for the first time. My housemate Julie brought the mix and helped her make them.
After making cupcakes we realized we don’t have any birthday candles…so we made due with this.
One of the girls I live with teaches at a boarding school here in Musanze, and last weekend she invited me to go watch her students play sports. It was the highlight of my week. And yes, they are playing volleyball.
Here’s to crowding under the cover of small dukas with strangers when the Rwandan rains come.
Once the rain finally let up, these kids got right back out there to play their futbol game. Slippery grass, splashing mud puddles and all…Nothing stops them. Especially the kid with the suitcase. He’s ready for anything.
I spent last Sunday morning at church with the sweet children from Sonrise school that I had met the day before.
Kids leading other kids in worship. So much energy. unavoidable blur, unavoidable joy.
As we left the school to go watch a basketball game, a few children followed us out and said they were coming with us…and then they kept coming. All of those children along the road came with us. In Rwanda, we walk.
Some Sunday Basketball
This isn’t a very exciting photo, but it’s an image I see every day. I get to look at that awesome mountain (that i’ve been to the top of) as I walk home from work each day.
So there you have it. A glimpse into my life here and a visual of a few of the highlights from my first couple of weeks. And then there are the moments that can’t be shared through a photo…and just can’t be described in words. At least, not by me. Not right now.
It’s been a while since my last post. I felt that I had nothing “post worthy”. That even after an incredible trip to Honduras and then to Colorado, none of my photos or thoughts seemed adequate for this blog. I have been back in California for just over a week now, yet my mind seems to be staying in “transition mode” longer than normal. Whenever I travel, my mind is overwhelmed. Going from place to place, it’s as though I take a step back from the world and see things from a new perspective. So many things. It can be quite overwhelming, with so many thoughts, ideas, and realities coming into focus at once, it becomes difficult to differentiate one thought from another and the whole thing might as well remain a blur. As I was talking to a friend yesterday I realized that it is not that I have nothing suitable to post, but instead I am still overwhelmed with photos, thoughts and stories which I am in the process of trying to sort out.
This photo is one from my recent trip to Honduras. It was taken during a two hour drive into the mountains on curvy, hilly, bumpy dirt roads along cliffs. It was a beautiful drive. Though not the most comfortable trip, I didn’t mind it at all. For me, going is the easy part. When traveling, whether by car, bus, plane, train, etc….you get to see parts of the world that you otherwise may never see. You get a glance at different scenery and different cultures as if taking a silent tour through a live museum. While you’re traveling, there is a sense of excitement; anticipation of what is to come. But once you arrive…that’s where the transition begins. The excitement is gone, the unknown revealed. Everything stops and you wonder, “what now?”.
While visiting my wonderful home state of Colorado this past week, I went rock climbing for the first time outside of a climbing gym. When you don’t have man-made rocks to grip onto, placed specifically for your climbing use (like in a gym), you have to place a lot of your trust on your climbing gear…and the person at the other end of your rope. This was a bit of a challenge for me, as I’d rather rely solely on my own strength and capability. Though I don’t know much about climbing, and I don’t know what these items in my photo are (other than pretty and colorful), I do know that they have something to do with keeping a higher-level climber than myself attached to the wall when there is nobody holding onto the end of their rope. Talk about trust.
On a recent summer evening, the Moon was rising in the East and the Sun was setting to the West. The sky was still light and had hints of pastel colors spread across, yet the moon was bright and almost full, shining a warm glow as it reflected on the still visible waves. After staring in awe at the beauty of this unusual site and fretting over how I could possibly do the scene any justice in trying to capture it in a photo, I finally went to fetch my camera and came up with this.
(“Texture of Contentment” Carbon Beach, Malibu, CA. June 2011)
This is currently one of my favorite photos because it captures my favorite time of day on the beach where I live. When the sun is just low enough that everything has a magical glow to it, the air is cooling off, the water is still warm, and the waves playing on the piles of rocks sound like a rain stick as I stand in the soft warm sand. I breathe in the salty ocean air and exhale the day’s stresses and worries letting them be pulled out with the tide.