Airplane Squish 

  
Four days of travel

Then back to reality 

Hello again, bed. 

~Natalia 

The Eighth Birthday

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The youngest sister turns eight years old on December 20th, and amidst wrapping presents, creating the traditional Birthday Treasure Hunt, and the hours I spent hunched over a craft table with Glendy, meticulously gluing blue jewels to a pair of high heeled “Elsa shoes,” I leave you with a conversation from the kitchen, circa Wednesday night.

Mother: Natalie, put a plate under you, I just cleaned the counter.
Me: Come on, I’m just peeling a clementine.
Mother: Just grab a plate, Nat.
Larissa (yelling from living room): Rub some bacon on it!

Happy birthday to the little Larissa- I don’t know where we’d be without you!

~Natalia

August: 2014

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A sight you might not have seen before;

three sibling lined up there on the hard sand

of Lake Superior

while the waves of Lake Superior

roll over one another,

and recede again,

only to come pounding against the shore once more.

~Natalia

A Whole Lot of WordPress

I found myself this evening completely immersed in WordPress. Not only do I spend time perusing WordPress pages when I write for you here, but I also have been sporadically completing my required responses on my professor’s blog, where I give my word that all of my responses are thoughtful, intentional, and five days late. In addition to these two, I began a new blog just hours ago, which page was born to fulfill a homework requirement, but which I may choose to continue, should I see it is beneficial to my future career as a teacher.

But as I click through WordPress tabs and Google search my own posts to find just what I’m looking for, it occurred to me that there are many, many photos from the days I spent in Guatemala in July that have not appeared here. This is mostly because of the thousands of pictures that were taken, I took very few, and therefore have none of them on my computer. But, a couple moments navigating through Facebook resulted in a few wonderful shots of the our Guatemala days.

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Visiting the first grade at Escuela El Esfuerzo

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In Kindergarten at Escuela El Calvario. There were no teachers in this particular classroom throughout our three-hour visit, so we played and we read and we sang and we laughed, and I could have stayed in that miniature wooden chair for hours, reading whatever scrappy picture book those boys brought me.

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A large focus of the trip was constructing houses for two widows living in the town with their children. My role in the construction process consisted mainly of using a machete to peel the bark off of the wooden slats (seen above) that would become the walls of each home. The father participated at a slightly more intellectual level- measuring and cutting the slats to fit the exact space between wall pillars. However, when it came time to transport said slats between sites, everyone chipped in. 
guate5Our team, hailing from three different states, and most of whom met one another for the first time upon arriving in Guatemala. This early morning photo was taken along the trail that we walked every day from our house to the house of our host, which was also, conveniently, where we ate all our meals. There is a mountain hidden somewhere in the clouds behind us.

There are many more photos, of course, capturing scenes and memories from our week that even I have yet to revisit. But it’s past midnight, and I suppose I should be onto another WordPress post. But I’ll be back. Later, soon, eventually.

~Natalia

 

Back and Coming Again

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Elementary Education and Bible Secondary Education class of 2015. Photo taken in Hampshire, Illinois, where, unlike the city, the leaves change color in the fall, and it is gorgeous.

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Snapped a selfie in the choir room in the moments before our walks down the aisle.

It’s been a handful of days since I was here, I know.

Moody’s Missions Conference began last Tuesday night, kicking off with an evening of multi-cultural and multi-lingual preaching and worship. The night ended with a praise-dance-party, to the soundtrack of cheering, and the organized chaos of hundreds of students moving, worshipping, celebrating.

Wednesday meant saying goodbye to my last Missions Conference as an undergrad student and joining my fellow future teachers for a two-day education conference in the far suburbs. We dressed as teachers, relished time spent together, and learned from teachers, leaders, and professionals whose careers are years beyond our own, and whose wisdom we note on scrap paper, in notebooks, store away in mental notes and memories.

Friday brought a wedding on the horizon, as Kat prepared to so “I Do
with Fred. There was rehearsal, dinner, preparations, conversations, planning, organizing, decorating, and a heavy dose of conversation and catching up with old friends in between.

Saturday, wedding day, brought all the excitement and action you might imagine, and a wonderful reception to boot.

And now it’s Sunday night, nearly 1am, and I’m nodding, fighting sleep, even as I write.

So I will leave for now, but I’m back and I’m here and you’ll hear from me in the coming days, I bet.

~Natalia

Dock Start

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There was a time,

August morning,

Parents away.

We crossed the winding asphalt road,

Descended miniature switchbacks

In the dirt,

To the dock.

And they wore pink swimsuits,

Grabbed their life jackets,

Tossed haphazardly on the hot wood.

And I said yes to their bold request,

Then sat in the bow of the docked boat,

Watching them jump,

Swim,

Climb,

Repeat.

~Natalia

Little Wonders

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The summer went so fast

and the classes started so soon,

and I know I’ve

shown you very little,

told you very little,

and my time in Guatemala.

So here’s a picture

taken outside the little town of Xenacoj,

in a little class

of very little students,

all of whom I found to be

very fun,

sweet,

engaging,

little wonders.

~Natalia

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