First, I want to share a little bit about the past few weeks here at STN. We already had the chance to be part of different outreaches. On the 18. of January, our LTP class went to Kalihi to serve at our food distribution program called “Feeding the Hungry” (FTH). We have different volunteers from all over the island that are helping out every week. Teamwork is so important on days like these. It makes the whole process faster. Because of that, we built chains to place all the food on the right spot. Kat, me and some other volunteers did the registration for over 500 people that came that day. Connecting with the locals was such a blessing. I had a lot of fun that day while handing out food.
Two days later, half of our LTP joined our kids program “Ulu Pono”. We prepared lunch and picked up the kids to go to the beach. It was a bit hectic. You definitely need to be flexible here at STN. The weather could change every moment, a car could break down or it might take you one hour to ask the parents of the kids if we can take them somewhere. Finally at the beach, I sprained my two fingers while playing rugby. At least I have a new nickname now: “Fat Finger” (A kid named Charlotte gave it to me, pretty funny actually :D). Hanging out with the kids was a blast and it is amazing to see how open and loving they are. Once they know your name, they always call your name and run up to you to hug you.
Weeekend and that means: a lot of homework *yey*! After working pretty much the whole Sunday on essays, we did our first hike on Monday morning. Leaving the house at 5am was so worth it to see this magical sunrise (picture down below). Junia, Isak, Debora and me did the Lanikai Pillbox hike. Also, I feel local now: I got an American phone number and we bought a car!!!! WHAT?! I am so glad that I can check that off from my to-do list.
In our LTP class we finally started planning our OSP (Ohana Service Project). This is an event that we get to organize the next two months. We came up with the name and idea of a WAHIAWA COMMUNITY FESTIVAL. Right now, we are in the process of figuring out our goals and making to-do lists. I am in charge of communication/marketing. It is really exciting to plan a big event and at the same time we are really challenged since nobody from our team ever did something like this before. I will keep you all updated about this :)
Wow, I could go on and on. Our days are full, thrilling and inspiring as you might be able to tell. Sometimes, I really don’t know where my head is. There is so much information that I need to process and so little time. I love people and I love building relationships. This is inevitable especially living in community. I see when people are not feeling well and I try to offer a helping hand wherever I go. But I also learnt, that it is really important for me to take time for myself and for God. I need to have this quiet time to recharge and be able to give back to others. Never give more to people than you have.
The new month started kind of rough for me. The 1. of February was totally not my day. It started while surfing, where I was trying to push my limits. What is a good thing, but I wanted more than my body and mostly my back could handle. I pressured myself, because I want to become better at surfing. However, my back isn’t really participating in this. I need to take baby steps. Sometimes you have to go a step back in order to be able to go even further. The whole day was messy and having my laptop breaking down in this season of organizing a big event didn’t really help (LOL). I think, these things just added to the fact that I couldn’t really process my thoughts and my brain was operating the whole time. Being open and honest about how I am feeling is something that I am learning right now. At home, I don’t really like to talk about feelings and what I am struggling with. It is easy to hide it there and I like to fix most things by myself. Living in community and being constantly surrounded by people makes it harder to hide. Luckily, I have awesome people around me that listen and support me. I feel so blessed to have them here.
I just wanted to share this to remind you: Having a bad day every once in a while is totally okay. It is okay to cry your eyes out - It is better than trying to keep it all together and then burst when everything becomes too much. The important thing is to see an end to it. Tomorrow is a new day and this day gives you a lot of new opportunities. Get yourself back up and make the best out of every situation. You just see the situation you are in right now, but Jesus sees the big picture. And I promise that better times are coming. You just have to be open to it and willing to let change happen in your life.
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