Some good things to share in bullet form:
-The other week I mentioned that I was going to venture out, brush up
on some Spanish, and go meet some of my neighbors. It went so well!
People are so patient and understanding with my Spanish and it was such a
great feeling to be so accepted when I was putting myself out there,
unsure of how it was going to go. We have a lovely older couple that
lives behind out house named Teresita and Juan who invited me into their
house and we chatted for a good while. Teresita speaks no English &
Juan speaks only a little, so he was able to help me with some words
when I wasn't sure if I was remembering them correctly. I just loved it.
I really did. I am so eager to continue building my friendships with
them and hopefully being able to get better through practice at my
Spanish so we can speak more deeply.
-Small groups at Wesley are starting this week & I am so
thrilled for this to begin. Part of what I am so excited about with my
position through US-2 & through Wesley is the act of simply helping
to bring about a greater awareness of social justice issues &
striving to learn alongside the students as we become more knowledgeable
about them together. This excitement also stems from the response we
got last year at the Appalachian Wesley Foundation from the start of
'Service Through Awareness'. There was a wonderful support of that
effort, recognizing that these things are important to discuss and that
it is important to try and figure out our place in how to respond,
particularly as people seeking out God. I will never forget having a
freshman coming up to me last year and saying, "What you are trying to
do through 'Service Through Awareness' is one of the main reasons I want
to be a part of this campus ministry. So many churches and people
seeking after God don't see the importance of caring about injustice and
how it affects people's lives, but I just don't understand how that is
possible. We need to care about these things." Gah. It just keeps me
excited & continues to remind me that it is good.
-My car is back, fixed, & taking some time to calm down and realize we're not going to let it be stolen any time soon. I mean, it is flattered really that it is among the other Honda Accords that are number 1 on the 'car stealing Christmas wish list' here in Miami. However, it likes just being safe in the garage for now. The celebrity life really just is too much for this car. It has also been given a new gift...Chad sent a club in the mail last week. Lookin' right, Honda. Lookin' right.
-FIU's Wesley puts on this incredibly brilliant event called The Exchange. It happens every other week and international students (and anyone else, really!) are invited to come enjoy lunch and get to know other students. IT IS AWESOME! I went on Thursday and had the chance to sit and talk with a number students from all over the world. I can't wait for more of these. I just wanted to sit and listen for hours!
-That same day I was walking on campus & had someone call out my name to stop me and say hi. I was called by name! On a campus of 60,000 students! By someone I had only met once! You have to try and sympathize with this excitement because this has not happened yet in Miami. FIU is huge. I am still new and feel like my head is in the clouds sometimes. And I got to say hello to a new friend :) This was a concrete feeling of belonging...a reminder that I am slowly making my place here and building relationships with others outside of my co-workers, housemates, and Wesley leadership. What a fantastic feeling it was.
-I excitedly posted on Facebook about Critical Mass, but goodness, what fun! I went along with some friends, borrowed a bike, and proceeded to experience downtown Miami alongside about twenty five hundred other people biking through the streets. We had families and children coming outside to wave and holler hellos at us, cars honking and smiling, etc. I just pedaled along, smiling and taking it all in. What a fun event. I can't wait to be a part of more. If you live in a big city, you need to check it out! If you don't, (or even if you do!) come to Miami and we'll go together :)
-The beach happened this weekend! Wee! First experience at the beach in Miami was quite pleasant. It is so cool that I live so close. I can't wait to continue going back & hopefully trying some new things...snorkeling? Water sports? Surfing? That thing where you stand up on a board and paddle? PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING?! I just want to try it all.
-Two of my great friends, Garrett & Caitlin, are getting married this weekend & I am just jumping around with excitement to celebrate with them as we all come together to celebrate this beautiful marriage that is about to begin. I am thrown on the ground sometimes just thinking about what great friendships are present in my life--about what incredibly passionate, caring, beautiful people I can call friends, who are constantly showing me love and support and care. I am just so excited for this. We get to celebrate two of our wonderful friends and the beautiful, good, inspirational lives I know they are going to live together!
It is just good stuff. I just love good stuff.