In Memoriam

The past four years have been formed to the rhythm of pounding keyboards, frantic mouse clicks, Thursday night deadlines and Friday after Chapel meetings - all will echo on in my mind for a while. 

Poem No. 1: Death of a Journalist

My most productive thinking usually begins somewhere after 9 p.m., and tonight I had a thought, closer to 1 a.m. of sharing my poetry on the blog – a series of sorts. A project. An incentive to write things that don't involve reporting on what's happening at school. 

SLIGHTLY OPTIMISTIC

This week began my tenure as the editor of a newspaper I've contributed to for three years of my life and let me tell you what it feels like. Put excitement, a dash of dread, a heavy dose of no sleep, an inbox busting at the seems, a couple thousand words from my brain, a bag of single origin coffee beans, computer-screen-strained eyes, and four thousand unread newspapers in a blender, pour it into your favorite mug and drink it with a straw. 

HEAVEN ON THE NILE

We pulled up to the bank of the Nile and tumbled out of the van for our river safari. It wasn’t my first rodeo here. While the rest of my group cooed at the disgusting baboons slinking nearby, I was not impressed. They are not nice monkeys, you know. But I suppose if it was your first time to be 10 feet away from a real live wild primate, it would be sort of a surreal experience of nature, even if the baboons are actually very ugly.

ON GRIEF AND BREATHING

There are moments sometimes in life that knock the breath out of us, moments when you wake up with a Facebook notification that makes you cry. Today, Hudson Wade, 11-year-old son of Kirk and Laura Wade, died after a four-month battle with leukemia.

Hudson was diagnosed with leukemia in September and since that day, family and friends have joined in helping Hudson and his family face the battle against cancer. It’s been a beautifully messy story, a testament to God’s grace amidst utter confusion and pain.

BENT STAPLES AND INSTANT COFFEE

Do you ever have a moment where you look around and think, “This. Is. Crazy."

I found myself thinking that last week as I was driven by Rogers and Geoffrey across the Ugandan countryside to retrieve some prisoners’ files that were left at our hotel (which, might I add, was still under construction while we stayed there.) 

I laughed to myself in the car. 
How did I get here.

BLANK PAGES

I’ve been teaching a class at Op Camp’s Fun Academy, a summer program offering a variety of classes for the campers. Over the last two days I have attempted to work on creative writing skills with my class of around 15 elementary students. We ripped apart old books and I tried so very hard to be creative and fun and inspiring. Yet part of me feels like I failed.

FAREWELL.

I'm not a big fan of calendars these days. Tick, tick, tick, the squares are crossed off, each stroke of the pen reminds me time is almost up here and soon I will go home to a sun that is too hot and people that talk too loud. I can't stop the clock. Oxford seems to be taunting me, as her days grow longer, the blue sky chimes in this little game, saying "Come outside and join the fun and flowers," but meanwhile I fall down, down the rabbit hole with my books and papers and still-packed suitcase of clothes that smell like France, stained with memories that I can hardly bear to leave behind. Just as my roots are finding their place and my heart begins to blossom in spring, I am uprooted, ripped away like a band-aid that won't stick to any place quite as well ever again, yet I am expected to be happy about leaving this blessed piece of British earth.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

On Friday March 6, I made the 3:00 a.m. trek to the bus station, heavy backpack in tow. One bus ride and flight later, I made my grand arrival to Paris fashion week, sleepy-eyed and messy-haired. See here is the thing about traveling. I have all these plans to look like an awesome cool hip European every time I go on a trip. And honestly, I just haven't nailed down this look yet. The first reason for this is that I have been wearing the same clothes for 2 months now. The second reason is this: how good can a girl really look when she got 1 hour of sleep and had to roll up to the airport at like 4:00 a.m.  Answer: not that good. Moving on.

UNDER THE TUSCAN MOON

This is one of those real honest moments where I offer a glimpse into the heart of study abroad. It is such a beautiful and challenging experience. As cool as the pictures may turn out, it's not always the Lizzie McGuire movie over here. You have hard days and homesick moments. I've been traveling for 8 days now and I long for home. Home for now means a place to unpack my overly full backpack and rest my feet for a while. 9 Canterbury Road will be welcomed with open arms late Sunday night. 

NOTHING SHORT OF THANKFUL

It's been almost exactly one month since I arrived here in Oxfordshire. One month of adventures and laughter and tea. More than words I can attempt to write or pictures I can post online or weird videos I make, I simply cannot convey everything it is to be here. 

In other news, I always end up staying up too late but I have now been saying that for about a year now. Alas I find myself awake yet again past midnight, reflecting on all that has happened thus far. 

WATCH AND LEARN

Things are going quite well here, if you were wondering.

I think we are all learning more and more what it means to "live in community". (Seriously if I had a nickel for every time I have heard that phrase since attending ACU, I would have soooooo many nickels). 

SLOW MOTION

"To us remains
A clean, sweet city lulled by ancient streams,
A place of visions and of loosening chains,
A refuge of the elect, a tower of dreams.

She was not builded out of common stone
But out of all men’s yearning and all prayer
That she might live, eternally our own,
The Spirit’s stronghold—barred against despair.”