So that whole “Something New” series didn’t really pan out the way I had hoped. But something new for me this week is that I have moved to D.C.!  After a whirlwind of graduation ceremonies, a trip home to STL, a weekend wedding trip, and a visit with friends in Indy, I trekked with my brother back east! As all my new roommates are all out on Memorial Day adventures and I am settling in by myself, it is hitting me that I am actually not just here to visit!

My school visit to Anacostia Senior High School this past week left me a little nervous, but more than anything excited and eager to begin my DC Teaching Fellows summer of training. I’ll kick it off this Tuesday with two weeks of math class!!   The rest of my week has been full of running errands getting ready for DCTF,  moving in, oh and a little nostalgic Euchre with my brothers and sisters.  Although we were sin Cafe con Leche,   we had homemade pizza to make up for it topped with cheese and veggies. YUM.

Nothing too blog-worthy has happened yet–although as I sat at the doctor yesterday for a TB test, I thought it would be a good time as any to ask someone why I haven’t been able to breathe for the past couple weeks. Well it seems that not only do I have a sinus infection—but also a crooked nose!  Yes, my doctor who was actually really cool and  wasn’t trying to make me self-conscious at all, let me know that my nose was crooked, my septum is slightly deviated apparently—“not crooked enough to need plastic surgery though!” Thank goodness, I was a little worried there for a second! Although it was not her intent, I found myself continuously playing with my nose throughout the day, trying to push it back the right way.  (at CVS, at the restaurant, while I was driving and walking down the street) It must be pretty crooked though, because as my older sister preciously pointed out,  when I shared the story last night, nobody at the table had to ask me which way it was crooked.  I have no idea how I haven’t noticed this for years!

Well judging by the length of this post, you guys have sufficiently had time to think about the answer to the title of this blog post. This joke is courtesy of Mr. Chris Hoffmeister, one of my supervisors at the Rescue Mission.  What does DC stand for?

Da Capital 🙂

Enjoy the summer weather!



Today I learned…

how cute 3-year old boys named Elijah Emanuel that come into the Rescue Mission Thrifty Shopper store to help me pick up empty hangers off the racks are.

He really brightened my day! Maybe one day I’ll be a carefree and cool as him.  Don’t you just wish you were a kid sometimes?

Something new on Monday

April 20, 2010

As I read Follow Me to Freedom, a conversation between civil rights leader John Perkins (seriously an awesome, humble man doing some pretty awesome and inspirational things) and activist Shane Claiborne that was turned into a book, I learned something I didn’t know about the word “compassion” as used in the bible.

The word compassion comes from the Greek word splagchnizomai and it means to “be moved in the bowel”, literally to be nauseated and sick to our stomach because of the pain and injustice incurred by others.

As I think about this definition, I’m realizing that this is more than a gut-wrenching feeling or a pang in the heart when we see something that disappoints us or angers us, but something much more permanent.  I’ve definitely had that temporary uncomfortableness (Spell check is telling me that is a word!), but this permanent physical uncomfortableness, I imagine,  prompts action.  If you had a stomach-ache or some other physical pain, you would certainly act upon it, right? You would do something to fix it instead of enduring the pain. I can’t help but feel that the things I am compassionate about, things that make me sick to my stomach or lie awake at night, make me feel that way because there is no easy fix or simple solution.  I’m really just thinking out loud here, but I guess that’s not the end of the story, just because its not easy or simple–we do have Hope in humanity and in the God of humanity (who is Compassion and is splagchnizomai ). Pretty crazy cool.

Alright I’m gonna wrap up this up by throwing in this excerpt on compassion that I’m still trying to wrap my head around!

Compassion grows with the recognition that your neighbor shares your humanity with you.  This partnership cuts through all walls which might have kept you separate.  Across all barriers of land and language, wealth and poverty, knowledge and ignorance, we are one, created from the same dust, subject to the same laws, and destined for the same end. With this compassion you can say, “In the face of the oppressed I recognize my own face and in the hands of the oppressor I recognize my own hand.  Their flesh is my flesh, their blood is my blood, their pain is my pain, their smile is my smile. Their ability to torture is in me, too; their capacity to forgive I find also in myself.  There is nothing in me that does not belong to them too; nothing in them that does not belong to me. In my heart I know their yearning for love, and down to their entrails I can feel their cruelty. In another’s eyes I see my plea for forgiveness, and in a hardened frown I see my refusal. When someone murders and, I know that I too could have done that, and when someone gives birth, I know that I am capable of that as well.  In the depths of my being, I meet my fellow humans with whom I share love and have life and death.”

-Henri Nouwen,  With Open Hands


As someone always said “You learn something new every day!” and in my attempt to blog seven consecutive days in a row with some sort of purpose, this week I will be sharing with you something I learn each day.  I’m contributing to my post-undergraduate education by opening my eyes to the world around me and being a self-learner!

I’ll leave you with something I learned today, as I studied for my Praxis II exam for elementary education content. I’m sharing this not because it will be super useful, but mostly because the example my studybook used was way too exciting to let pass by without sharing with someone. I really already knew this–but Hey! its good to remember something new every day as well…and technically I’m starting my “series” until tomorrow.

An action verb is word that shows action or state of being where a linking verb links the subject to the words that describe it.


Action verb: Mabel chases the squirrel.

Linking verb: Mabel is happy.

Mah alter ego, Miss Mabel,  made it there into this here study book of mine! What a fine and excitin’ surprise for me when I was puttin my brain to work!

❤ Dulcinea

(Also known as Miss Mabel in some parts!)

Due to this little thing I think may be some sort of head cold, I’ve had the fortunate ability to spend the last 4 days in my bed. After making a short appearance (really because of mere boredom) at work on Wednesday morning, my supervisors told me to go home and not come back the entire week.  I’m sure they really did want me to feel better, really–but I am always amused at the look on people’s faces/voice intonation when they really don’t want your germs around them.  (I washed my hands like 85 times that day–I’ll have you know–so they really didn’t have anything to worry about!)

I’m not going to lie to you guys, I spent most of my time unproductively watching TV on my computer, but thought I might make a list of HIGHLIGHTS from my week.

1. Due to my accessibility to my phone and computer (even MORE so than normal) I got to catch up with some friends that is has seriously been too long:)  Even though, I hate technology sometimes–without it I would not be able to sustain such great relationships with many of my closest friends who live hundreds of miles away!

2.  I watched this super interesting and more than slightly-infuriating documentary called FLOW about the issues that access to water brings about in the world today. If you’re skimming my blog, make sure to read this:

The UN estimates that it would require an additional $30 billion a year to provide clean drinking water for the entire planet.  Last year worldwide we spent $100 billion a year on bottled water (10.8 billion in the US) .

That’s more than 3 times the amount. And bottled water isn’t even cleaner than tap water. I know, crazy, right? Check out the documentary (I found it here on youtube) and the Take Back the Tap website if you’re interested!

3. Yesterday, I OFFICIALLY accepted my position with DC Teaching Fellows, where I will be teaching in a high needs school in DC for at least two years.  Pending my passage of testing next weekend, I am moving to DC at the end of next month for a summer-full of much needed training! I am humbled and excited for this opportunity to not only be a part of fighting the injustice that has been in the fore-front of my mind over the past 3 years, but also to be living in DC with my two sisters and many friends! Not only have I been a DC wannabe  for quite some time now, I am known to my older sister’s circle of friends as the “other sister” and very excited to be denouncing that nickname! More on this later…

4. I also got to listen to some sweet tunes (Songs of the week: Only a Man by Jonny Lang and Train Song by Josh Garrels) and catch up on some reading both on google reader and good old fashioned hard copies. I read 2 chapters in Harry Potter y La Piedra Filisofal (this is a big accomplishment for me—as I have “been reading this” for a while) and The God of Small Things (a book about TWINS and India that Aida and I both coincidentally bought not knowing it was about twins and so decided to start reading together! I am super excited about our mini-book club!)  and also this book on Prayer by Richard Foster–which I HIGHLY recommend because its totally sweet and changing the way I think about talking to God! Well, I HIGHLY recommend them all.

Okay, so that is all for now. Thanks for reading and caring about my week.  I’m venturing out of the house this afternoon to my favorite coffee shop near Wescott, Recess, to study for them tests! I know, Recess to study…how ironic. I’ll make sure to cough in my elbow and wash my hands a lot!!



ramblings of Peru

February 16, 2010

I am back from Peru, and as I try to wrestle with a little culture shock (the toilet at the airport had an LCD screen that rotated a piece of plastic around the toilet seat to prevent the sharing of germs, to think: after all the bathrooms I’ve used in the past months, my butt cheeks might have touched something that someone else’s butt cheeks touched, phew!) I am also trying to sort out all I learned there and how to remember it and integrate it into my life.

As hard as I tried to fit in, my broken Spanish, 3 siblings that look eerily similar to me, my giant mochila, and my white  (and sometimes embarrassingly sunburned skin) gave me away.   I was a foreigner.    I was humbled by my vulnerability, my continual necessity to ask for directions,  and my inability to communicate. I had to depend on the the grace of many as I broke many cultural norms. I needed to be welcomed and for the most part, I was.   I could see the love of God through  love of many as they welcomed me into their homes, their bathrooms, their kitchens.  I could see His providence through directions, smiles, hugs, and spanglish conversations.   Whether it was deliberate or not, I could see the people of Peru answering God’s call to welcome the foreigner. I feel the verses of Exodus  23 come alive to me as God instructs his people, “Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.”  I think I definitely understand a little more how foreigners in our country may feel.  I feel a little shame for the times in my life I have not answered God’s call to defend the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and love the alien by giving him food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:18)

Working and traveling through areas of poverty and simplicity, I was struck many times by the clutter in my life.  As I survived for 6 weeks with only the stuff in my backpack and the generosity of strangers,  I thought about all the stuff sitting in my house in Syracuse and longed for a more simple lifestyle. ( I would like to note that this does not mean I am not ecstatic to have the opportunity to choose what pair of pants I get to wear–one pair of pants for 40 days! Even for me, thats nasty!  ) Yet the priorities of many of the people I met were simple: farming their land, working hard to get  by and devoting the rest of their time with the people in their lives.   We get so caught up in doing doing doing, and getting more and more and more that I can’t help but feel like we miss the importance of living life and enjoying people. I am so thankful for all I have, but cant help to wonder if I’m missing an opportunity to depend on others and depend on  the providence of God by having so much of my own to depend on.

In all these things, I am as guilty as the rest– but there is no condemnation, only Grace to help us move toward living a life more similar to that of the Kingdom and redemption God yearns for His people. The stories and adventures and experiences could go on forever, and probably will to those around me as I try to process through it all. Thanks for listening:)

Trying out this blog thing.

September 25, 2009

I have decided to jump on the blog-wagon.  So, please enjoy and read at your risk.  I tend to be the kind of person to get really passionate about things, get very preachy about world issues, and make absolutely no sense to anyone but myself. I also feel it is my duty to mention that if you have not discovered the magical google reader, to discover it, and then add me or something.

I guess I’ll start with my picture up above–a picture I took that encapsulates a very great day. On my birthday two years ago I was in Yellowstone National Park, got the day off work from cleaning rooms, and decided to take a 24 mile adventure through Hayden Valley with two friends.   The picture is of a sunrise I saw across from the trailhead above a lake, with smoke from a nearby forest fire—which also enticed my friend Shane to leave me and my friend behind  to chase this fire with the hopes of capturing a great shot. You should actually check his work out, its pretty sweet.  (He took the same picture as me, but his was way better and he won an award for it!)  The story of that day really is more exciting than that–I got lost in the valley for hours, there were firefighters in helicopters, a grizzly bear, fields of growling bison, walking through geyser basins, hitchhiking and literally losing a friend in the woods.  However, my main point is that this was an extremely happy day in my life,  spending hours wandering through the beauty of  a place very close to my heart.

Also, I chose the title of my blog from one of my favorite Mother Theresa quotes:

“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”

My prayer is that I am, in fact that pencil, loving the world until they cannot see anything but the grace and love of God.

I hope you enjoy the stories, adventures, and my perspective of the world around me.