Monday, August 25, 2008

T Minus 1 Day

Today is basically my last day at home since I'm flying out at 7:00 am tomorrow for Louisville. So, I don't really count tomorrow as being home seeing as I'll be barely coherent at such an early hour.

I'm am still absolutely thrilled, but I have been experiencing a healthy amount of sadness/pre-nastalogia over the last couple days. When cleaning my room on Saturday, I felt the first pang of sadness at the fact that I'm leaving. In the past, when I've been moving, I would wash all my clothes and then pack them. This time, I washed them and put them away in my closet.

I'm definitely leaving a lot more, material and immaterial, behind this time. It finally hit me that, no, this isn't going to be like another year at Schreiner. I will miss my family, friends, and comforts of home more, but the reward will also be greater. The final goodbyes have been good and not too depressing. I think most people understand that this is something I'm really looking forward to. (Although I have had to remind a few people I'm not on my death bed!)

It still hasn't "hit" me that I'm moving to India because, frankly, I can't really picture myself there yet. The idea of India, after all my reading, still seems so distant. A past volunteer assured me that this is normal, so I'm not concerned, I just hope that when it sets in, it's overwhelming in a positive way.

Speaking of overwhelming, this Sunday, my last day at Bethel Presbyterian for a while, was perfect. Even if there was a random barn dance song during the offering, it only made it more "Bethel." Jim, my pastor, did a very casual (much to my appreciation) commisioning of sorts. I keep telling people, but it really does mean so much to me to feel as supported as I do.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Of Special Note

My mouth is unbelievably numb right now.

I just had a pseudocavity filled. I am glad to report that it was technically a defect in my enamel and something I had little to do with. After the first round of anesthetic, my nerves were still very much awake! I informed my dentist of this and she graciously shot my gums up with some more juice. The downside is the fact that my mouth feels like it's about 12.7 lbs. (and I hear the human head is only 8).

Other than this slight uncomfortableness, my life is moving along quite well. I just bought some thank you notes so that I can knock all of them out this afternoon. I ordered a new Bible for India, The Discipleship Study Bible, which is not only an NRSV translation, but also has "a concentration on social justice - acts of Christian care and concern for all God’s people and God’s entire world." How perfect is that? I also got my absentee registration form to vote today. Haven't exactly filled it out, but it's a start.

To backtrack a bit, sushi on Friday night went quite well. Except for the fact that I'm disturbed by the size of each piece that is required to go into my mouth. My brother, his wife, and I went to Kubo's in Houston and I ate quite the assortment. Of special note was tuna, salmon, yellowtail, masago, and whitefish (all raw) as well as eel and softshell crab (cooked). I'm not a sushi fan by any means yet, but I did enjoy the experience and would love to have more as an appetizer or something. But eating is as an entire meal may have been a little intense for the first experience.

Saturday was equally as exciting. About thirty relatives (mostly my mom's side) came for a kind of good bye party. I got to see one of my favorite cousins, Nikki, which is always exciting and got to see quite of few others that I don't routinely see. And yesterday, church was amazingly refreshing. For the last few Sunday's I've been gone to either Dallas, Junction, or Louisiana and missed my Bethel quite a bit. Every time I go back to Bethel I am reminded of what a special place it is.

Well, I'm off to attempt to eat some soup (as I haven't eaten all day) and get back to preparing for a little place called India.

Friday, August 15, 2008


With only 11 days to go and (simultaneously) not nearly enough and plenty to do, I find myself feeling mixed emotions. I've reached a point of "antsiness" because half of me is ready to board a Kochi-bound plane tomorrow, while the other half feels overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done.

Most of my goodbyes have been said (other than close family) and the majority of my shopping is done. However, I seem to remember new things that need to be done everyday. None of them too big to tackle, but not small enough to ignore. Of particular note is the amount of reading I still need to complete and the unwritten thank you notes haunting me.

So, what am I doing tonight? Going to a sushi bar for the first time. And I'm pretty excited about it. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why I Opted Out

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Summer of Goodbyes

Well, it seems I am nearing the end of my Summer of Goodbyes. At times it felt as if this point would never come. And at others, I wished I could have slowed its approach. Overall, I feel I struck a good balance between preparing for India, just relaxing, and visiting people to say goodbye. Remarkably, I never felt bored, which is a definite sign of growth for me. There were times when I felt a little too unproductive and uninspired, but in the end, the Summer was what it was and now that I find myself here, I'm ready for my next journey: possibly my greatest to date.

Here are a few visual highlights of my last few months...