Friday, April 25, 2008

Bite Back

I'm all about little ways we can help out -- easy ways to make a difference in other people's lives. My friend BooMama (not her real name clearly) told me about one way Compassion is giving us a chance to give back (because I know all of you have so much -- I mean you're on a computer right now right? that's saying something . . . )

Today, April 25, (well it's today in China, I guess it's still tomorrow at home? I dont know. . . the whole time change thing still confuses me!) is World Malaria Day. And through Compassion's Bite Back campaign, people can give a one-time donation of $10 and provide a mosquito net for a child - or a family, if they’re all sleeping in the same place - who otherwise would have no protection from this completely preventable disease. That $10 will also provide education and treatment for people who are already sick with malaria. Malaria is one of the leading killers in Africa, and your donation can totally help prevent it.
BiteBack
Click here to donate $10 that will provide a mosquito net for a child (you can donate more than that if you feel led). Each net lasts three years, so for $3.33 a year - less than a penny a day - you can save a child’s life! Cool right?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The thing about being pregnant . . .



When you first get pregnant, you hear all these crazy things that are going to happen to your body and to you in general. I mean, we all know pregnant women get weird cravings, have to pee a lot, are emotional and forgetful right? The thing is that I always felt like all those things are probably exaggerated - I figured it was probably more like pms - sort of true, but not always, and really more of an excuse than an actual reason for being cranky and emotional.

But since I’m almost half-way through my pregnancy, I’ve discovered that perhaps there is more truth than I thought to the crazy-pregnant lady symptoms. Allow me to illustrate with some examples from my own pregnancy . . .

Forgetfulness:
Early in my pregnancy, I forgot my purse in the shopping cart after I returned it to the “cart corral” at the grocery store. I got all the way home before realizing I didn’t have my house key (not to mention my passport, green card etc – no big deal). I mean, I've been a little absentminded in the past, but forgetting my purse in the shopping cart? that's extreme

Weird Cravings:
Lets just say I havent been wanting dessert and I HAVE been wanting nothing but fruit and salad . . . if that's not weird (for me), I dont know what is.

Large Appetite:
The other day, I felt a strange sensation in my stomach. Certain that something was deathly wrong (see below for 'emotional'), I panicked for a minute - until I realized the foreign feeling was a hunger pain. Apparently, I normally eat long before I'm actually hungry.

Emotional:
A month or so ago, I saw a cat get hit by a car -- and I cried. I dont even like cats! I was going to say that I cry in literally every movie and tv show -- but that's not too strange for me, so I thought the cat sob-fest was a far better indicator of my emotional state.

Anyways, all that to say that I'm definitely pregnant, as evidenced by my newly large belly and the overwhelming array of hormone-induced symptoms.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Welcome to India


The first thing I noticed about India was the oppressive heat, followed immediately by stifling humidity and perma-cloud of dust/smog hanging over the city of Dehli. Driving through the streets, I enjoyed watching the signs of life outside my window (although I was also somewhat afraid for my own life).

Piles of garbage on the side of the road are playgrounds for children and feeding troughs for roaming cows (who are literally all over the place here). Whereas at home, roads are usually just for cars (and the occasional bike or pedestrian) here, the roads are more like gathering places for street vendors, bikes, cows, dogs. Three lane roads are somehow squished enough to make room for nearly 5 lanes of traffic (I say nearly because the far lane seems to be just bikes and other super-skinny vehicles). All of the trucks and buses have cheerfully and colorfully painted requests for "horns please" on the back. I'm not sure why they want horns, but every single driver seems more than happy to oblige. Literally, I saw some people driving around with whistles in their mouth which they blow because apparently their horn just isn't enough. The buses are so crowded that I shudder a little thinking about the smell - from the outside, it looks as though people are standing and sitting on top of one another, squished tightly against the windows. And when they cannot possibly squeeze another person in - people start climbing up on the roof (seriously).

Honestly, I waited a little too long after our India visit (granted it's only been three days, but in that time we've been in two other countries) so I cant remember that many more details (everything runs together when you're pregnant, tired, confused about what time and day it is and even more confused about which country you're even in . . . ) So I guess all I have to say is that India is an interesting place to visit, but it's hard for me to be here on a business trip when we drive past SO many families living in tents on the roadside, children running dirty and naked through the streets and people begging for food . . . If I come back to India I want it to be on a mission trip so I can hop out of the car and hug the kids and hopefully offer them some of the hope which I've been so freely given!

Friday, April 4, 2008

When Things Make No Sense . . .


Well Charli's sick again . . . Charli is our 5 month old puppy, who got REALLY super-sick about 3 weeks ago. She got so sick we were certain we were going to have to put her down -- we spend $900 at the vet getting her pumped full of fluids (she wouldnt eat or drink) and running a ridiculous amount of tests to try and figure out what was wrong. She was pathetic -- with a runny nose, bad cough, mucous-y eyes, she had uncontrollable diarrhea (gross i know) and couldnt even walk right. She had a fever, her head was sensitive to the touch (she ducked when we tried to pet her) and even began showing some neurological signs like shaking her head a little and not being able to control her back legs. It was, quite literally, heart-wrenching to watch - I mean, I know she's a dog and not a human - but she was so cute and helpless and the vet had NO idea what it was so we couldnt do a single thing to help her.

Monday night, we resigned ourselves to putting her down the next morning if she even made it through the night. But miraculously, when we went in on tuesday (Adam even took the day off work because i was a hot mess - i blame the pregnancy hormones) she was doing a little better. She stayed at the vet two more days and then we took her home. In a matter of days she was completely 100% her old self: roughhousing with Maverick, stealing our food, barking at her toys, jumping on the bed and couch and howling when she didnt get her way. We laughed at her antics and thought everything was all better.

Then two days ago she starting doing her reverse sneeze again (she sounds like she's suffocating) and she wouldnt play or do anything but sleep. Today she stopped wanting to eat, her eyes and nose are runny and her head is sensitive to the touch again . . .I feel completely helpless and discouraged. There's no way we can stomach another $900 vet bill -- and we dont even know what's wrong or if she'll pull through this time.

It's one of those times in my life (i know it's just a dog - but she's adorable and i love her) when I just cannot understand God's ways or plan. I mean, we had resigned ourselves to putting her down last time -- why did she get better only to get sick again? What's with the emotional rollarcoaster (and I'll tell you what -- throw in a few pregnancy hormones and it's one of those super-sonic, twisty, loop-de-loop coasters- which, by the way, I HATE) Anyways, at this point we have no idea what we're going to do, what's wrong with her or if she's going to get better. And at this point, I have no idea what God's big picture is -- so all I can do is trust in His goodness and rest in the knowledge that He is bigger than me and His ways are WAY higher than mine.

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