Pardon me, I have the runner's euphoria going on here, so this already fairly optimistic mind is about to be even more so. Why?
Because she has seen a lot of change this year. A lot of good change. While she desires even more, and knows that there are ways this year could have been utilized even better, she is grateful for this 2011 year.
So, a very necessary High Fidelity moment; Top 5 things that changed Sharayah's life in 2011:
Number 5: Learning a new language proficiently enough to teach. I remember meeting in Berlin with Katie and Bryce, and Bryce talking about his frustration with not being able to communicate well enough when talking is his thing. God has blessed me with some rather deep relationships (Sol, Flor and Noemi) in which we are able to delve into God's Word and discussion all in le Castellano. And, although always willing to utilize Javi's assistance, teaching during Escuelita, or having one-on-one conversations with the boys.
Number 4: Living without a cell phone. Without a lot of things really. Without my computer on various travels throughout the country. Without very many clothes or books to read or television or a dryer or a... you get the point. Living without this stuff reminds one that it is just stuff; life will go on and you'll find a way to make do. Because you don't really need it all.
You figure out other ways of communication, for instance. You end up taking a bus to meet someone and they're not there, but it's not because they don't love you. Something came up. And that's okay. Perhaps God had another plan for you in mind..
Number 3: My visit home. Apart from getting to see my parents and family (NOLAN!!!!), it was so interesting to have conversations with the minister of missions at RockPointe for instance. Or the kids and their parents at the church one evening where I shared what I do here "on the island" of Argentina (hehe). I realized how much the kids in the US already have, but I was missing weeks to be with my boys back on Domingo Zipoli.
How can I just let them go on living without someone to love them like Jesus did? Even if I'm a poor example, and need help and forgiveness all the time, at least I'm there. Right?
It changed my perspective on my work overseas, and I'm much more willing to live like this with that thought alone.
Number 2: Visiting the boys' institute. If you haven't read the stories included in this blog, I assume this is your first visit. I can't stop talking about them usually; my mind wanders into how I can make the next week better. How I can make every moment count.
I didn't think I could like hanging out with little kids as much. God has definitely molded my heart in my time with them.
Number 1: Hands down, Iguazu Falls. I have never, EVER, seen anything that beautiful in my life (and that's counting the herd of fish in the Cayman Islands). I have never been so captivated/felt so small/paid so little for an incredible vacation. It's simple for a number one spot, but you'd just have to see it for yourself.
So I think I'm ready for the new year to start. I have some Chaco planning to do still, but finances are practically all taken care of which is exciting. I've gone on my first run in a VERY long time. I played the sax last night for the first time in ages. And you know, January might throw things all for a loop since I won't be in the comfort of my own bottom bunk of a bed. But bring it on. Change is good. Hard, but good.
And the Muppet Movie comes out in Argentina in a week.
love and chau,
sharayah from 2011