A Life Update

Hello Friends!

I greet you from the beautiful, snowy land of Eastern Washington. I am home on Christmas break, and am basking in this chance to breathe, and rest, and be.

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After four months of hearing from me on a weekly basis you’re probably wondering where I’ve disappeared to. The truth is that last semester I had a standing assignment for my Magazine and Feature Writing class to blog once a week, which cleared glorious space in my schedule to write much more frequently. However, much as I would love to see the weekly blogging continue, in this college season of twelve-page research papers I just don’t see it happening. However, I do promise to continue posting at least once a month, and I have an exciting announcement that will hopefully help me blog even more frequently than that.

You see, while I was in Nepal, God spoke very clearly to me about the direction my life is heading. You already know that He has confirmed my calling to Nepal, but what you don’t know is that I went into Nepal wanting to be a teacher, and came out wanting to be a writer. How that directional switch happened is a very neat, yet very long story of God slowly and faithfully speaking new dreams into being in my heart. It’s a story I hope to eventually write down for all of you to read, but I want to do it justice, and I sense that now is not the time for that story. Suffice to say, my new post-college dream is to write for nonprofits. What I will write remains to be seen, but at the heart of my passion is storytelling and giving a voice to the voiceless.

The best part of this new direction is God’s faithfulness in already beginning to bring it to fruition. At the end of my six weeks in Nepal I discovered that one of the nonprofits we worked with was preparing to launch a blog, and needed several writers who could commit to contributing to the blog on a monthly basis. I volunteered to write for them, and was met with overwhelming enthusiasm. And now, five months later, the blog has finally launched!

So without further ado, here is my first blog post as an official Tiny Hands blogger!

Cultivating Creativity

I deeply believe that each and every human being possesses creative potential. This creativity may be buried deep inside of us, but I guarantee it’s there because, in the image of the Creator, we create. And yet, while creativity is an innate human characteristic, it needs to be nourished. Just as discernment must be developed, creativity must be cultivated.

In our American education system, that’s exactly what we do. Think back to your kindergarten days. How many times were you asked to draw, or play with blocks, or use your imagination? If your experience was anything like mine, the answer is nearly every day. That’s creativity being cultivated.

Now imagine an education system where rote memorization is the norm. A system in which a fourth grader can tell you more about the human skeletal system than you’ve learned in your entire fifteen years of school, but will grow up not being taught how to creatively solve problems. The repercussions of this education style are enormous, and unfortunately, this is how the school system works in Nepal.

You can read the rest at http://www.tinyhandsblog.com/?p=126.

Three Little Girls

A few weeks ago, my school’s Latino Heritage Club sent out an email inviting students to perform in the next Spoken Word Night, which would be on the topic of social justice. For the past year I’ve contemplated performing in one, but I’ve never had the courage to actually do it. As I read through the email, however I started to seriously consider performing, and when they said the topic was social justice, it cinched the deal. For better or for worse, I was in! And I immediately knew that I needed to write my piece for the three little girls I met in a village in Nepal. So without further ado, here’s the written version of my spoken word piece.

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Three Little Girls

Houses

made of nothing more than stones and mud

lie flattened

unable to withstand the quaking that occurred.

Young children with ripped pants

climb the trees like mischievous little monkeys

while women work the water spigot.

Most schoolchildren have already marched down the mountain

in their light blue uniforms

but three young girls linger.

They’re 8, 10, 12 at the most.

Slender bodies, undernourished.

Bright undereducated minds.

Underappreciated beautiful souls.

The epitome of vulnerable.

Every year,

10,000 girls are shuffled across the porous border between Nepal and India,

undetected,

unaware.

And you could be 1 in 10,000.

Your parents are desperate.

The vistas may be stunning

but you can’t eat the view.

“See that man over there?

He’s a friend of your uncle, and he says he can give you a job in India.

Be a good girl and go with him.

You may be a bit young to work,

but at least you’ll have food in your belly.”

It’s a way out,

an escape,

no wait, it’s a trap!

10,000 girls per year?

That’s nearly 30 a day!

Numbers don’t have faces.

But girls do.

And I can’t seem to erase your face from my mind.

So little sisters, please listen.

Your body is not a commodity.

That man with the job in India

is a fake.

The stranger who wants to marry you,

he’s a sham.

To the pimp

you’re just property. And if you die,

it’s nothing more than a bad day on the job.

They will measure your value

by what your body can do for a man.

And in selling your body,

they’re stealing your soul.

But you were not made to be bought and sold

used and abused.

And at the end of the day,

money can’t buy happiness,

and it shouldn’t be able to buy you either.