my life songs

today i almost got stuck in the village
August 31, 2009, 8:32 pm
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sometimes i wonder if anyone really finds these little anecdotes interesting.  for now i’ll just keep writing.

it’s pouring down rain outside and has been for the past two hours.  i’m going to curl up and watch some movies soon.  it’s a nice break from the heat.

i went out to the village this afternoon even though the storm clouds were collecting.  i should have asked a dominican if it would rain.  they somehow have a more accurate radar built in their genes than whatever kind professional weather people use.  i went out to the art co-op this afternoon with the intent of tidying up a bit.  all of the women helped out too.  it’s amazing sometimes how i don’t even have to ask them to do things, they just do it.

as soon as i got out there is started pouring down rain.  in order to get the the village you have to cross a river.  the river gets kinda high every time it rains… so i was a bit worried, but i wanted to at least finish what i was doing.  the rain kept coming down, and i was scared to drive.  i just kept saying to the ladies… i hope the river doesn’t get to high.

juana, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite ladies… if i’m aloud, said that if i got stuck in the village that she would let me stay at her house and give me a bed all to myself.  how kind of her!  i’m already starting to feel like the women would do anything for me… within their power.

i didn’t get stuck out there. the river was fine, although the road was really bad.  thank God for 4 wheel drive.  along the way home i came upon two men pushing their truck.  i offered them my services.  so negrita and i gave them a little push.  they were able to get the truck started!

so that’s a day in the life of cara.

still waiting on the eye to get better. pray it does.


the lyrics
August 25, 2009, 5:07 pm
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Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears
Without crying;
Now I want to understand.
I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good
Without hiding;
You must help me if you can . . .

Doctor, my eyes—
Tell me what is wrong!
Was I unwise
To leave them open for so long?

‘Cause I have wandered through this world
And, as each moment has unfurled,
I’ve been waiting
To awaken from these dreams.
People go just where they will;
I never noticed them until
I got this feeling
That it’s later than it seems . . .

Doctor, my eyes—
Tell me what you see.
I hear their cries . . .
Just say if it’s too late for me.

Doctor, my eyes
Cannot see the sky—
Is this the price for having learned how not to cry?

doctor my eyes
August 25, 2009, 3:52 pm
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these are just some random thoughts for the day…

1.  yall know that song by jackson brown, “doctor my eyes?”  it’s a good one.  my dad has always been a musician and amazing song writer… now he mostly writes christian music.  growing up my parents taught me a lot about music.  when i was younger my dad played in a band.  they played some original stuff  and some cover songs.  sometimes i would confuse which songs were written by my dad and which songs he just covered.  “hit the road jack” and “doctor my eyes” were two songs that i used to think my dad wrote, until one day when i was older i heard “hit the road jack” on the radio and for a half second thought, ‘my dad’s song?! on the radio?!’ and then i realized how funny it was that i thought he wrote it.

2.  speaking of doctor my eyes… the pink eye is persisting.  i’ve never had it this bad before.  my eye is swollen and huge.  i’ve been sick a few times here in the DR, and they have ALL been the worst illnesses of my life.  this is the WORST pink eye.

3.  why does mandy moore have to sing in all of her movies?  i find her to be a much better actress than singer.  it just ruins it for me when she starts singing… especially if i’m kind of enjoying a movie that she’s in.

4. lubi (robin) made it back home on sunday.  i call her lubi because that’s how the haitians say her name.  when she first moved down here she would introduce herself as rubi because robin is typically a man’s name.  people didn’t quite understand why she would call herself a man’s name,  so she went by rubi.  and then, because haitians, speaking creole, don’t really pronounce the spanish ‘r’ so well, they say it like an ‘l.’  thus, lubi.

i’m so happy she’s here.  i’ve told her that several times.  it was quite difficult being here by myself without any english speakers.  i’m sure i’ve kind of annoyed her.  i’ve just fallowed her around the house talking.   i was also really hoping that when she came home i could get back to sleeping better… but this pink eye… wheeew… killin’ me.  so still no sleep.

5.  yesterday we went to the grocery store and i bought everything for chips and salsa. growing up my mom always made homemade salsa.  my friend jessica and i would come home after school or church and eat half a bag of chips… mostly because the salsa was so good.  it’s one of the things i miss being here… mama barb’s salsa.  so i attempt to make my own version.  it makes me happy.  i also indulged a little a bought some frozen french fries.  we have a small fridge, so i usually just buy a few things, mostly fresh stuff for cooking.  every once in a while i’ll buy something to pacify my cravings.  so yesterday it was chips and salsa, and french fries.  once i cooked the fries i realized that i didn’t have any ketchup… small fridge.  you can’t eat fries without ketchup!  so i dumped some of the salsa on top of it.  i was so stuff by the time i went to bed.  i can’t remember  the last time i was able to go to the grocery store and buy everything i wanted.  life is just different here.

6.  another way that life is different here in the DR is convenience.  most things that are simple in the states, going to the grocery store, washing clothes, paying your bills, changing your oil, are all things that are quite INconvenient here in the DR. occasionally you find that something is actually simple to do and you are SO surprised…. like… that was so easy!  i went to get the oil changed the other day in negrita.  for starters, you can’t do that here in montellano where i live.  so i drove to puerto plata, not so bad, but also not convenient.  finding the place and actually getting the oil changed was surprisingly simple!  but then they also told me that i needed an air filter… lots of “tierra.”  i said, “great! give me one of those too.”  they didn’t have any, nor could they tell me where to find one, inconvenient.  for now negrita will have to run with a little “tierra” in her filter.

7.  a cute story.  rachel (hopefully you know who i’m talking about by now when i say rachel) is back in canada for month.  she has a couple of kids that she has taken in and now has custody of, although they can’t travel back to canada yet, so they stay here with the family of the haitian pastor while she is gone.  their family lives close to my house, and they go out to village most days, so i’ve seen them a lot in the past few weeks.  rosairi, 13, has spent some time hanging out with me.  yesterday we were riding back to montellano from the village (it’s a long dirt road through the middle of a sugar cane field) and she started asking me some questions… as 13 year olds do.  i will do my best to translate.

rosairi:  is it cold in the airplane?

me: yes.

rosairi: why?

me: well, they have air conditioning.  and also, the air is much colder the higher you go up.  like at the top of a mountain, you know?  you’ve seen pictures of mountains before, right?  there is always snow at the top.  the same thing happens here, when you go to the mountains in jarabacoa it cooler there.  it’s because the air gets cooler the higher you go up.  (me thinking… i’m not going to try to explain the atmosphere in my second language or to a child that has been educated in the dominican republic.)

rosairi:  do you see the clouds in the plane?

me:  yes.

rosairi:  do you see the snow?

me: well, not exactly.

rosairi:  do you see Jesus up the in the sky?

me:  hmmm.  (side note here, the word in spanish for heaven and sky is the same.)  no, you can’t see Jesus in the sky from the airplane.  it’s a spiritual thing.  Jesus is real, and He is in heaven, and He can live inside of us, but you can’t see him.  it’s like your soul.  you know what that is right?

rosairi:  yes.

me:  you know you have one and it’s inside of you, but you can’t see it.  like the wind, you can feel it, and you know it’s there, but you can’t see it.

rosairi:  some people say God doesn’t exist.

me: but you know He does right?  how do you know?

rosairi:  i’ve read the bible. and i’ve heard people talk about it.

me:  that’s what faith is.  believing in something even though you can’t see it.

the conversation kind of went on from there… but isn’t that just too cute?  “can you see Jesus from the airplane?”  sometimes i wonder who left me in charge, and i think how do you answer questions like that?  maybe you know.

the storm
August 23, 2009, 5:19 pm
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i know what you’re thinking… that this post is going to be about the hurricane that’s somewhere out there in the atlantic.  you’re wrong.  although, i will say that we didn’t get too much rain, one days worth, but it has produced some grand waves, the first swell of the year.

i’ve been thinking about a song that my brother wrote, the storm. it says, “go on and change, even though your heart is scared it’s the only outlet.”  one thing i’ve discovered in my relationship with Jesus is that a life with him is not a stagnant one.  once you decide to pick up your cross He begins a force  in your life that cannot be stopped, a movement, a process of sanctification, where change within is the only outlet.  “and i am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ,”  philippians 1:6.  my life, especially as it relates to my moving and living here in the DR, has been a testament to the Lord being faithful to His covenants with His people.  when i was young, 14 maybe, i dedicated my life to ministry, a covenant initiated by the Holy Spirit moving in my life, and as much as i was scared in my heart and resisted change, the Lord has been faithful with His covenant and brought me here to serve.

i moved here when i was 21.  things seem to have moved quickly in my life, somewhat of a storm.  then, i had just graduated from UT and was ready to carry on with my God given purpose.  now, i’m going through a season of change again, somewhat of a storm.  making this transition has been hard.  i’ve spent the last three weeks by myself in the house… lots of time to think and pray.  i’ve realized that i need Jesus more than ever AND community in my life.  spiritually, working and being alone has been draining.

BUT, i have been quite successful on the work side of things… or so i have felt that way.  rachel had about a week to teach me all things la tienda.  and i finished my third week of working with the ladies in the art co-op by sending a huge package back to the states to be sold.  sending the work and materials out to be completed is kind of abstract.  you don’t quite know how things will turn out when they come back.  then at the end of the day when they’ve completed their work, and everything has been tagged, and it’s all spread out over the floor, and i inventory the items, it becomes much more concrete.  on top of all of that, i LOVE the women.  i’ve gotten to spend a bit of time talking with them about how their work has changed their lives… so much i want to tell you, but we’ll leave that for a later date.

for now, i’m taking the only outlet, change.  i can see the blue sky ahead, but i still feel as though i’m in the storm.  i’m worrying about how i will get there.  i’ve got three months before i can go back home and raise some more support… but i’ve got about a months worth of money left in my checking account.  let’s watch God make a miracle.  on that note, if you have any support checks REMEMBER, please make them out to me to be sent to 2002 aster way, round rock, tx, 78664.

we’ll be filling the paperwork to get the nonprofit set up this week.  SPERO.  hope.  opportunity.  change.  be praying for these beginnings, that it would be rooted in Christ.

p.s. i have pink eye and i’m not very happy about that.

i like this one too
August 16, 2009, 3:31 am
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learning the ropes
August 13, 2009, 4:37 pm
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one thing about being here by myself is that i have much more time to blog.  (i’m here by myself in the country because all of the makarios folk went to colorado for a training, and rachel is back in canada for a visit, hopefully making some dough for the la tienda ladies.)  so i was getting a bit board, so board that i made a list of things i could do.  blogging was one of those things.

this is all beside the point of this blog though.

so now i begin…

i have worked in the art co-op for two weeks now.  the first of that was spent following rachel around and trying to figure things out.  and then she left!  so my second week of work has been spent trying to remember everything she told me and getting work to the ladies.  i have learned little, well… that’s not true… i’ve learned a lot, but i still don’t presume to know anything.  one thing is sure.  from the outside it may appear that rachel just randomly throws work and the women, randomly comes up with ideas, and arbitrarily decides an amount of things that will be made… this is not true.  she actually anticipates who will need work at what time, how long the need to finish their work, what things they will need, and how much of it.  one can only learn this from trying to fill in for what rachel does when she is not here.

yesterday i went into the art co-op at 1:00 to open up for a group.  easy.  i can do this.  sell stuff.  then tati, the art co-op manager, came to me and said, “cara, did you bring the work for the ladies?”  it was amazing she spoke english!!!  just kidding, she said that to me but in spanish.  so i said, “of course tati. here is string for raquel, and bottle tops for livi.”  tati naturally responded, “what about the wire for jela… y keketa, y alisia, y pintura, y cosa, y mas cosas.”  so i left with a list of things that i needed to get, a list so long and disjointed that i had to come home a rewrite the list.

i got up early this morning with a plan of action, but thinking… how am i ever going to get all of this.  guess what?

i did it!  i actually got everything on my list.  i felt like i owned this country this morning.  i know i just got lucky, because one day i know i’m not going to have any of it together.  but today i was a champ.  i bought copper wire, i put together earrings and counted beads, i found beads and string for hemp necklaces, i got the stapler and the scale, i went to puerto plata to buy zippers, and i bought paint.  i get to go out to village today to please everyone that i have their work.  BUT, i’m sure only to be receive with more questions.  for now anyway i feel like i have accomplished something.

over and out.


car boiled eggs
August 12, 2009, 4:36 pm
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i think it’s funny whenever anyone complains about how hot it is in austin.  i mean, i know what the temperature is, but i know a lot more what it feels like outside and INSIDE here.  when you live a life that you sweet every second of your day except for when you are in the cold water of a shower… and sometimes you sweet then too, then you can complain.

so i thought i would give an example of the extreme dominican summer heat.  yesterday i went to the grocery store…. one of the only places here with air conditioning.  it’s like stepping into north america.  afterwards i went to the makarios house to pick up my laundry that was drying on the line.  i took a bunch of the food inside because i knew it was too hot to leave it in the car… all of the refrigerated stuff.  typically eggs in this country don’t have to be refrigerated… so logically i left them in the car while i got my stuff.  this morning i went to cook myself some scrambled eggs.  i was confused as to why the egg whites were so white.  as i continued to crack the eggs open i realized that they were cooked… like boiled by the heat of the car.  an entire caja of eggs wasted.

top that.