Friday, November 28, 2008

The votes are in!...

Faithful readers,
After reading many emails and blog comments, a decision has been reached. heehee

Well, right from the start Aaron was suggesting I keep my mac because I would undoubtedly regret the switch back to a regular PC (which I last used about 4 years ago). Many of your emails were educational in the fact that they taught me how to make my mac more compatible with the office system/computers. Other emails encouraged us to BOTH have a mac and sent links to see how eBay and other sites offered much lower prices than any Apple store would. So, here is the decision...

Since I have an almost co-dependent relationship my mac (sarcasm) and since I have found ways to make it more compatible, I am keeping my white beauty. As for Aaron, he is going to keep an eye out for refurbished macs or new macs on eBay that will serve him well in his future endeavors. We aren't a family yet, but when we become one, we will be a Mac Family! heehee Thanks for all your input.

In terms of Thanksgiving, well, it was nice. I worked during the day (its not any kind of holiday here) and then went to my boss' house for a real Thanksgiving dinner. There was turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce etc. I can't say that it was grandma's cookin, but it was a VERY close second and the fellowship was wonderful. No pictures to show, sorry about that, I must be slackin in the photo department. Hope that your Thanksgiving was amazing and that you had a special time with friends and family. Until next time!

QUOTE: Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. ~E.P. Powell

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My MacProblem and your needed MacVote.

Well, I'm in a minor dilemma.
I have the not so easy decision of choosing between a PC or keeping my mac. Why would I get rid of a perfectly good mac laptop? Because my future husband is in great need of a computer and wants a mac. The problem is that macs are twice the price of a quality PC laptop these days. Aaron needs a mac to do some of the creative and artistic things that he is into and wants to further. Whereas I, well, I just like macs. But we don't have the cash to buy a mac for Aaron right now and I have been running into problems lately with compatibility issues between my mac and my office-mates' computers. I often have to work on projects, edit videos, and hook up to systems that are not mac friendly.

Here's where you come in. Do I give Aaron my laptop and have him help me out with buying an HP laptop for half the price, or do I put a white-knuckle grip on my Apple and tell him to fin for himself and we'll get him one when we win the lottery? Mac, or PC?
Please vote soon so I can count the ballots and decide before the end of the year. Every vote counts and please offer your opinion as to why or why not. Thanks!

QUOTE: Never let a computer know you're in a hurry. ~Author Unknown

Friday, November 21, 2008

Culture Take 3

The only thing going on here these days is fervent prep. for a huge expo we have at the University next week. I'm thinking that you don't want to know the details at this point, so I'm giving a lesson in culture for the third time.

What do you think this gesture means???

It means that there were a lot of people. For example, you want to explain to somebody that the bus was SO full that there were people hanging out the doors. THAT is when you would use this.

What about this one???

It means something was delicious. I'm serious! Its actually a two-part deal. You start with your finger under your eye and then move it forward and away from your face. This signifies that the Tamale you had at Liliana's last night was delicious as you describe it to your friend over another eye-to-finger deserving coffee! the States when one walks into a room full of people, you simply give a general "hello everyone" and then begin to mingle with your particular favorites (so to speak). NOT SO in Latin America. Upon entering a room, you MUST greet every person individually with an air-kiss to the left cheek and some time of salutation. Translated, it would go something like this:
"Hi, Angie, what's up? (muah) Hello Oscar, how are ya? (muah) Hey there Eliana. (muah) Hi Andres, how ya been? (muah)..." This would continue until all had been greeted and THEN, only THEN, could I be seated and begin to mingle or eat or whatever.

The not so enjoyable cat-calls. This is one of my least favorite things in this culture. Despite popular belief, you don't have to have a fresh layer of makeup, weigh less than 110 lbs, wear tight clothes, bla bla bla. In fact, the only requirement for a woman to receive cat-calls is to, well, be a woman with legs, arms, hair, a face and the other womanly essentials. Seeing as Bogota is full of people who walk to work, school etc (like me) it is a daily occurance that you pass construction workers, business men, grandpas and adolescent boys. Again, the requirement for the type of man is simply that he has eyes. Click-click go the heels and whistle-whistle come the calls. Sometimes its the simple whistle and stares. Other times, such as this morning, a middle-aged man will approach you and tell you where his apartment is located if you're interested. It is immediately followed by a blank look from the woman that sends the message "over my dead body Mr." followed by a quick turn of the eyes and continuing, at a faster pace, of her journey to work or wherever her day is taking her. In my case, the rest of the walk is comprised of me feeling like I need to take a shower again and dress myself in a parka and mask from now on. EW!

That's all for now! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My 100th post!

Wow, so much has happened since I started this blog nearly two years ago and now we're on blog #100. How exciting!

Well, this week I celebrated my birthday with Aaron and my friends here in Colombia. This will be short and sweet, but basically I had a great time! How weird to think I'm a quarter of a century old. heehee
eating at a Mexican restaurant for my birthday lunch
the girls at bible study wishing me happy birthday
my home-made card and a balloon with my handsome fiance
me laughing cause Aaron smeared icing on my face!

Wednesday night was Bible study as usual and so they got me a cake and Aaron bought my favorite ice cream! They sang and we just hung out a bit after the study was over.

Then last night, my actual birthday, a bunch of people came to the UCU house and we watched a movie on the overhead projector, ate popcorn and brownies, and just had a great time. I feel so very blessed to have people here who love me and come from all over the city to celebrate with me. My 25th year is going to be full of great change, just as this last year has been. I look forward to discovering all that the Lord has in store.

QUOTE: Inside every older person is a younger person -
wondering what on earth happened.
- Cora Harvey Armstrong

Friday, November 07, 2008

The winding road ahead...

Have you heard the song "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood? If not, you can click HERE. The song is kind of depressing and I'm not, by any means, depressed. So that isn't the point. The point is that, no matter how "in control" we would like to be and often feel we are, that is a simple lie we tell ourselves. Whether you have tendencies to be a very controlling person, or whether you are more laid back and easy-going, nobody likes to think that their life is out of control. Well, not usually. This blog is a reflection just as much for me as for you. It is me recognizing and reminding myself for the 9,497, 842nd time that I am NOT in control.

Sometimes the road I'm on is gorgeous. Its the road that winds up and over the greenest grass and tallest mountains. Its the road I sense when Aaron asks me to marry him or when I find out that I'm finally at 100% support and can leave for Colombia. Its the road when I often forget to thank God for the green and the mountains because all is well in the world. We like this road. Its easy. Its fun. But it can be dangerous if we forget to recognize who laid the road out before us.

You may then quite suddenly find yourself in a valley. Its damp, its deep, and you are surrounded by seemingly insurmountable difficulties. This is when none of my dreams seem to be coming true, no doors are opening, and God seems to be just standing around on the other side of the mountain, totally out of sight. Its when I can't figure out which fork to take and I wonder what on earth God is trying to teach me. Its when my family is struggling, and I can do nothing to help. Its when I'm homesick and feel that I'v failed, its when the economy drops and my support shrinks a few digits. But this is when, as you have been trying to drive the impossible road, you must stop, pull over, try to see the beauty in the valley, and let Jesus take the wheel.

It is possible that after you finally leave the valley, in full expectation of arriving back on top, you enter the cold. The damp has frozen over, your car is dirty and tired, You have tried to re-take the wheel in thinking that your way will surely be better than the Lord's, and your gas light is warning you that you have almost run out of yourself. Its a lonely road. You have friends all around but you don't feel their holding hands nor can you hear the mute words of comfort they say. You are alone. This is when my friends forget my birthday, when my parents have too much on their plate to add my problems, its when Aaron is in his own world, out of touch with my needs, and when all I have worked for is on the brink of freezing over and cracking. Oh but look around you. Look at the snow-covered mountains that, while they seem out of reach, are still within view. Look at the branches weighted down with fresh snow. Listen to the stillness. The muted voices are only so because the Lord wants you to hear only ONE voice; HIS voice. And so we wait. We listen. We don't like having to rely so heavenly on Him. We want our control back. Just give me back my wheel GOD! If only Zoe would be quiet and listen to the one who knows the road better than any map or guide. Be still and KNOW that He is the only savior.

Then there is the traffic-infested, bright-lights-all-around, can't-get-a-word-in-edgewise, too-much-stuff-to-do road. Its a mouth-full to say cause its a truck-load to do! You don't know where to start and you feel closed in with a schedule that seems impossible. Its when I have nine projects to work on in 2 days when the last month was slow as snails. Its the months of planning my wedding from over-seas and wondering where the busy lights will take my future husband and I. Its wondering if, at any point, I'm going to try and switch lanes but run into the car next to me. Its wondering if the "policeman" will pull me over for reckless driving or speeding. But its a rush. Its fun. It swerves and moves. The river of cars curves and moves at lightening speed and its pure adrenaline that allows you to keep up. You may pull into your driveway worn-out. BUt you won't ever forget that ride you had! I suppose we could say its the road I'm on now. I can hardly catch my breath but am still not ready to get out of the car.

I pray for you my friend. I pray for you, my family. That whichever road you find yourself on today, whether it be one of these described or a different road all together, that you will soon find yourself at one common destination. It is at the foot of the Cross. Whether you see it on the horizon yet or not, you must know that it is there. Perhaps the less you try to search it out the more quickly you will find yourself under its shelter. BUt you will, precious friend, find yourself there. The Lord is faithful. He will lead you there. Just let Him take the wheel. Put away your earthly maps. Look to the Father. You can find my favorite song by Hillsong HERE. Listen, and rest.

QUOTE: “You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it”
A French proverb

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

From orange and black To red and green

Colombia does not celebrate Thanksgiving, as you probably already know. I have, however, been invited to celebrate it with a missionary-friend that lives here in Bogota who works with the Presbyterian missions organization. That will have its own blog later.

What I really want to get into is the fact that Colombia does celebrate Halloween and Christmas. Halloween is a bit different in the fact that the kids don't go trick or treating from home to home. Instead, they go from business to business. If you own a restaurant, shoe store, hair salon, or telephone repair shop, you best be stocked up on candy every October 31st. And what do these dressed-up little munchkins go around chanting? The Spanish version is as follows...
Quiero Paz, Quiero Amor, Quiero Dulce por favor! (Give me peace, give me love, give me candy please...) It sounds better in Spanish. And so, after the night of costumes and candy is over, people retire to their homes to try and calm their children down from bouncing off the walls.

The next day, as you go about your business walking down your normal streets, you notice an unusual hustle a bustle....busier than the regular chaos that is Bogota......Green and Red are going up EVERYWHERE!!! Because we don't have Thanksgiving, they just move right on in to Christmas. The shopping malls of North America are NO MATCH for what this city is transformed into every Christmas. I had heard of its magnificance but had never lived it. The pictures I am showing are the ones I got off the internet but as we continue into the Christmas season, I'll put up some of my own. I can' do it quite yet out of sensitivity to all you North Americans that might stone me if I post a Christmas song or something until after Thanksgiving (Jill, Mom, etc). Though I should mention that I have already bought Faith Hill's new CHristmas CD and listened to it twice in its entirety. Haha...sorry Jill! Well, that's it for now! Enjoy the pics!

p.s. I may not be IN the USA, but please know that I recognize today's significance as you all go to the poles. Please know that I am praying for you and the outcome of this election.

QUOTE “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
John Quincy Adams