Saturday, July 4, 2009


So Mexico was incredible this summer. It was hard that Audge and Deci were not with me. I miss them a lot and I begin to see Deci in all the little kids in the canal. The highlights are as follows. We built a house in two days for a family that were new Christians. They were incredibly happy and thankful for everything we were doing. Francisco (the father of the family) helped us every step of the way and is continuing to help other people receive houses as well. We played soccer after the tournament that a couple of people in our group put on. Believe it are not us gringos actually won the game. We cooked up 80 pounds of chicken for everyone in the village and they really enjoyed that.
I guess the favorite part of the trip this time was going back to Sister Elma's orphanage. It had been a couple of trips since I had gone to the orphanage and to be honest was not over excited about going back. When we got there all the kids lined up and started singing us songs. It was really sweet. I noticed that there was a girl who was sitting in the back and not singing. It really looked like she just didn't want to sing. To be honest, she just looked sad. I got busy talking to Sister Elma and when I came back into the courtyard everyone in our group was playing with the kids from the orphanage. I noticed that the same girl whom I had noticed was sitting at a table by herself. I went and sat down across from her and began just to talk. Soon a translator joined me and I came to learn that she had just arrived at the orphanage a few days earlier. She went on to say that some bad things had happened at her home and she really just wanted her mom back. I found out her name was Norma. She wants to be a rockstar when she gets older and play the bass(ironically the instrument of my choosing). She likes to write. She wants to be with her family for Christmas. She's never known her dad. She loves music and got to listen to it through my ipod. She brought very few things with her. As me and Norma sat there and talked I told her I was going to bring a bass guitar with me this Christmas for her. I was flipping through my poetry journal when I found a sticker I had stuck in there. I gave it to Norma and told her to hold onto it and she could put it on her bass when she got it. The sticker said "Innerlight". That is what Norma had. She was so hopeful and so open. She was full of trust and compassion, even without knowing what the future held. It was most inspiring. As she was hanging me back my ipod she took out some stickers she had and placed a large heart on the back of the ipod. That sticker is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given. That night I when we got back to our camp I wrote a Mexico inspired poem. It had been a while. I hope you enjoy it.

I've been looking for a journey to
travel most my life.
Something with sustenance. Like a sandwich
with so much mustard that when you bite
down it squeezes out the side. Runs down your
chin. Leaves a taste in your mouth.
Too often I feel like I'm chewin on
stale bread. With crumbs fallin south
all over me. Leavin traces of a journey
but one that didn't really taste that good.
I ate it because eatin is what you do.
I walked the journey cause I should,
not because my heart bled out for it.
Not because my soul screamed for it.
I don't want to walk just to walk anymore.
Life's journey is not a school track.
It's an adventure. It's dirt roads in Mexico.
It's a poor man's smile. It's not turning back.
It's pizza with a single mom and her daughter.
It's a widow's orphanage.
It's Africa and India and Ireland and Alder Springs.
It's giving thanks for a bowl of grits.
It's walking in the way and finding the narrow path.
It's going where our strength would fail
and leaning on His. It's about finally grasping
life and following a man down a shepherd's trail.


Ladners'Latest said...

Q, remember the baby girl that I wanted to bring home with me? (that I quite honestly thought her mother would let me) Her name was Norma.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful poem. Made me think how stale life sometimes gets if you let it.