Sunday, June 10, 2012

                                                                    Source: via Kimberley on Pinterest

The desire is fierce. The story replays, then edits itself each time in her mind.

The characters walk about in her head, singing a siren song to lure her to write their words down on paper. But her hands refuse to honor their wishes. Or perhaps, it is the pen that refuses. Its ink, staying wet too long, smudging and reminding her how easy it is to mess up. Certainly her words, the voice inside her head, has no place in the too loud and talkative world. What would their rawness and jagged edges contribute to the polished words already being spoken?

She is a realist. She thrives on black and white. Her water color words would just confused things, colors blurring outside the safe lines of the picture she has drawn of her life. How do these misshapen characters and story lines fit into the square box that keeps her safe?

Maybe people will want to read her words?

Oh, god. What if people want to read her words?

Maybe they will pay no attention. Maybe they will pay too much attention. They will probably hate some of the people that live in her mind. Because she hates some of them, too.

She must let them out. She can’t let them out. Their song has caught in the breeze. Maybe she no longer has a choice. Their words are being pulled out by the changing wind. The wind is moving the pen. It drys the ink and pushes her to write on. The story is leaking onto her clean notebook, smudging her hands.
And she trys not to stop.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I dare you.

I have have started more journals that I can count.

Ones that were supposed be private.
Ones that were supposed to be shared with a friend.
Ones in pretty notebooks with expensive pens.

And I never continue them. I am embarrassed by the transparency that journaling requires. (Because if you aren't real in your journal, what's the point, right?) I am embarrassed by the things I like, that I obsess about. I am embarrassed at the craziness of my dreams. My efforts and thoughts never seem good enough compared to what I think is being written in everyone else's diaries.

Then blogging came along and we all got to read everyone's diaries (although transparency is not as assumed...) I learned that some people DO have amazing dreams. And you know what, it inspired me instead of embarrassed me. I learned that some people are incredible writers and others are less so. I learned that almost all of us have crazy things we like and obsess about. Yes, you can get caught up in what people think of you and how you can compare yourself to others. But, for me, it is very liberating to realize that everyone else's diary is pretty much like mine.

I want to write. And I enjoy doing it among friends. So, on the cusp of a new year of life (33 on the 25th, y'all...) and with so many things going on in my life, I am opening up my journal again.

What are you wanting to do? Big dreams? Just living the little moments in life? Let's share- I dare you!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Since I posted a week ago, the orphanage's list is almost completely taken care of (there are some better-to-be-bought-local needs still to get!) When I wrote the list, I questioned whether I should share the whole list of needs. I questioned a) does anyone even read my blog anymore after taking such a huge time off from posting? and b) even if people read it, it is the holidays...time for Black Friday and too many parties-not time to bother people to help out some kids a continent away. Plus, the list had some pricey/big items and the list was long.

But I typed up the whole list...I was dreaming big.

And, friends, you delivered BIG...

Today, during my visit, I told the head matron of the items coming, she broke her hard shell and gave me a hug. But the hug is not appropriate to just come to me. I must extend that hug of thanks to all of you: my friends (online and otherwise.)

Do you want to see the sweet faces of the babies (up to about 5 years old) that you guys stepped up (so quickly!) for? Look at these big eyes and know that your gifts are going to help these children...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sing it out...

                                             Source: Uploaded by user via Laura on Pinterest

I sang today.

With children at my feet at an orphanage, I wore my voice out singing every song I could think of. Even in the equator heat and humidity, they found their voice in each "If you are happy and you know it." When I went to the baby room, I picked up the little babies (and the bigger kids with severe disabilities that are confined to cribs) and  sang "You are my sunshine" to each set of big eyes that look at me. Sometimes they even sang along with their own squeaky noises because they are all so delayed on their verbal skills.

(Did you know for every 3 months that a child is in an institutional facility, they become essentially become 1 1 month developmentally delayed? So a two year old is atleast 8 months behind even the poorest children that have the benefit of a family.)

I left the orphanage to return home to my large home with too many things to unpack. I left the rows of broken beds and no mosquito netting to return to an air conditioned home that is clean and sanitary. And when I left, this song came on the CD player in my truck. And I realized that I have the most important song to sing. 

A song of awareness.
A song of advocation.
A song of drawing attention to these children. 

Ultimately, these children need families. They need homes with an adult or adults that love them, and hold them and sing them to sleep. And as much as I believe that people should open their hearts and homes to children like this, the reality is that in countries such as this, adoption is difficult.

These children have immediate needs to be filled. And for this holiday, I am going to use my voice to try to get these needs filled for them. If you feel like you want to join in this song, I invite you to email me (

Here is the list of needs that the orphanage gave me today:

  • shoe rack
  • dish drying rack
  • frying pan (large)
  • plastic clothes baskets 
  • Clothes pins
  • blocks set
  • medium size diapers
  • baby wipes
  • bottles
  • bottle brushes
  • measuring cups (really good quality plastic or aluminum)
  • Scale to weigh the babies (they are supposed to measure their growth but haven't been able to. Because of the availability of power here, non-electric is preferred.)
  • 12 sets of pajamas for the girls and 12 sets for the boys (summer weight, 12 months to 4T)
  • 12 swimming trunks for boys and 12 swimming suits for girls (12 months to 4T)
  • Aluminum mugs for the kids to drink (they are wary of plastic here because it is cheap imported stuff that breaks here.)
The orphanage does not care if these things are used or new. If anyone has contacts in the medical field that may know where to find a used baby scale, I would LOVE to be able to get them this big ticket item. 
Email me with questions and/or let me know what you would like to donate. 

Let's sing LOUD on this one!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Americana with a side of local cheese...

I am sitting in a coffee shop here that could pass for any indie coffee shop in America.

and I must say, this is the best Cafe Mocha I have ever tasted.

We also hit up the local Pizza joint for dinner last night (after 3.5 weeks of eating off the same limited hotel menu, we needed something different.) While I hesitated at getting the "Veggie Max" special (Soya crumbles, pineapple, mushroom and "local cheese"), it certainly was one of the best pizzas I have had in a long time. (And whatever the difference is between local and improved cheese, I could tell no difference.)

While I have thoroughly been enjoying the local cuisine (I could live on curry and copious amounts of pineapple alone), it is nice (comforting?) to have a taste of America every once in a while.

If you live or have lived abroad, what do/did you miss the most? What is your can't-live-without piece of Americana?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The low-down on the shopping scene...

It is really what y'all have been wanting to learn about, right? 

Each foreign country is different on what resources it has (both natural/local and imported) and Guyana has been both a surprise and expected on what we have found. {Full disclosure: we certainly haven't found everything there is to find yet!} We knew that imported goods could be found but at a premium. And that has certainly been found to be true: everything has about a 25% mark-up then the regular price at a good ole' Walmart. And you have to check the expiration dates to make sure things are still good. (Well, I think alot of expiration dates are partly used as marketing tools to get you to buy more sooner than you need but that is another story.) Often when you find something, you should go for the gusto and buy multiples because you may not find that goodie again for a while. 

All of that was expected. As was the lack of regular dairy milk in the grocery stores. (You either do powdered milk, UHT or get crazy and pasteurize your own.) I wasn't expecting there to be a nation-wide shortage of chicken. But overall, I have been pleasantly surprised at the fact that you can find almost anything you want.

Case in point:

We hit up the local "mall" and I found the "O Navy" Store. Full of, you guessed it, Old Navy (Outlet) clothes. I bought a basic polo off the clearance rack for about $7.00 US, just because I could. (But it will be great for work!) 

Alot of my upcoming posts will be resource round-ups of all the cheats and do-it-yourself projects that I will be utilizing to substitute for stuff I have been missing or to help curb paying inflated prices. While it is nice to know that I can buy familiar products, I welcome the chance to try to get creative and provide some of these things myself. 

I can't wait to share and experiment and I hope you join in on the fun!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Real Deal

{at the seawall in Georgetown}

Okay...remember how I wrote about how I wasn't saying much because I had so many things that needed to be said? Well, it is true: my brain is slightly on overload (in a good way!) and there are so many things rattling around in my head.

{Such as: when will we get to move into our house or when will I start work?}

But I must also say that there are also issues that come with having a public blog that are unique to our situation. As a military wife, I am bound by rules that forbid me from talking about certain things (homecoming dates, location of troops on deployment, etc.) You know, the whole "loose lips sinks ships" thing. I am also going to work at the embassy for the State Department. The State Department "blogger world" is in the middle of upheaval of sorts, where even stay-at-home-mom bloggers are getting their blogs shut down because of things that they say. (You can read about this whole thing here and here.)

As both an involuntarily rule-bound military wife and a voluntary employee of the State Department, I worry about saying the wrong thing on this blog. I am a rule-follower by nature especially when it comes to official stuff like not offending the people that write your and your husband's paycheck. But after a serious talk with my husband and still feeling a big draw to share on this outlet, I have decided to continue blogging about our experience here.

So. Just so we are upfront: my blog is a lifestyle blog.

It is NOT a military wife blog and certainly not a blog about my work. I will be sharing stuff that I wish I could find about living in a place with limited resources and totally new experiences. You will not see the outside of my house {'cause I can't share that publicly} but I will share what DIY projects happen inside when you don't have a Micheal's or a Joann's near-by. I have a whole series in the works about ways to make some of the little stuff that we are lacking at the local grocery store (like flavored coffee creamer, please!) I will talk about my driving experiences. I will share my favorite online entertainment sources {I am currently loving podcasts and online magazines!}

I will keep it real about some of the problems and headaches we face here but I find that life is much better when you are hitting those issues head-on with solutions. I might talk about poverty and shine a light on issues that I care about and come in contact with here in Guyana (orphans, the HIV epidemic, etc.) but I will keeping it politics-free.  There are people much more talented than I with their words (and who have a bigger audience to listen). I will leave the punditry to them.

So, 2011 was the year I worked on finding my voice. As we move into this new season, my voice is finding its place again among the changes.