Tuesday, August 30, 2011


okay, so I sit down for comida today at 2:30, and expect it to be a pretty normal meal. We have these super awesome tacos with some kind of deliciousness inside, and then MOLE which I adore with all of my heart. Chicken and rice with mole is possibly one of the greatest combinations of all time. But then, she busted out the strangest thing I have EVER eaten im my life. CHICKEN HANDS (that's what she called it)!!!! I ate a chicken foot :( It was the nastiest thing ever but I tried to have a good attitude about it. She thinks I eat any and everything, which is mostly true. But that is not the case with manitos. BLUHHHH! nasty! I wish I could have taken a picture. So epic.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shout out to the vespers crew!!! They have their first actual vespers tonight at Westmont! Praying for God to move in BIG ways this year! We're doing Vespers Mexico edition here tonight at our director's house. Praise the LORD that we have the ability to worship him freely!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Mondays are my hardest days. I have both of my spanish language classes in the morning, and then history and art in the afternoon for three hours. After history class I wanted to cry. Our teacher speaks super fast and seems to blur all of her words together. That will definitly be the most challenging class here. My ear is going to have to acclamate rather quickly if I expect to do well in that class. Art on the other hand is super fun. Yesterday we drew a sketch of these ancient sculptures of a man and woman. I'll take a picture of them on wednesday and post them. It's rather funny! But art is so beautiful because your brain literally forgets about EVERYTHING else, and purely focuses on the task at hand. It was extremely therapudic which all of us needed! And I have to say, for not taking an art class since 8th grade at MCS, I think mine looked pretty good ;)

Sunday was quite an adventure. It was the 20th anniversary of the death of my senora's husband, and so we had 30 people over at the house to celebrate and have comida together. I have never been quite for so long in my whole life!!! Maybe God is trying to teach me something... haha. One side of the family invited me to sit with them, which was SO awesome! Naturally, I sat next to an 8 year old named Bernardo. He had this magnetic drawing pad, and so we switched off writing spanish words and english words. I would write a spanish word that I knew, and teach him the English. IT WAS SO FUN. I felt so comfortable with him which reaffirmed the fact that I NEED TO TEACH LITTLE PEOPLE! I absolutely adore them. Which brings me to my next exciting God story. Mary Docter was here as  a substitute program director because ours was at Wheaton for meetings (she took a job there, starting in the spring). Mary was my teacher first semester of freshman year and was the person who first introduced me to this Westmont in Mexico semester! She is also extremely involved in a bilingual/dual immersion school near Westmont called Adelante Charter School. So one afternoon I had the opportunity to talk to her about my desires to work at the school. She proceeded to tell me that I could sign up for Spanish 190 (the spanish internship class) and that they would set me up in a classroom with a teacher. I could go in during their morning spanish session from eight to twelve, and help the teacher with whatever she needed and in the mean time PRACTICE/DEVELOP MY SPANISH! Um YES PLEASE! Sign me up for that immediately! I felt so encouraged that God has a perfect plan for me and parts of it are coming to fruition before my eyes! Incase anyone was wondering, Gods plan is 100% of the time more satisfying than anything we could muster up on our own!!! Yay for his provision!

This morning I went for a run with Sarita, one of my close friends on the trip. We talked about how we were feeling with one week down, fifteen to go. Both of us agreed that this is way harder than we expected it to be, but that it is obvious God has a plan for bringing us here. It is already obvious that he is changing my heart to rely on him more!! After we were done running and stretching, we sat on a bench in this park and prayed. Offering up our worries, concerns and frustrations to our loving and caring God together made us feel so cleansed. I feel so blessed to be here with people who are seeking God's plan for them, even when it seems uncomfortable at first. I have to confess, I looked at a friend's Europe semester blog and was overcome with confusion and frustration as to why I wasn't there. It's so much more comfortable to live in a hotel with friends, but I know that God has me here to learn how to love people who are different than me, so different that they don't even speak my language. But I am LEARNING, slowly but surely it is being solidified in my brain.

Please continue to pray that I would rely on God to sustain me and to be my joy. Pray against Satan's desire for me to be intimidated and therefore remain quiet, fearful of making a mistake. Obviously I'm going to make mistakes!!! Anyone learning something new makes mistakes. Pray that God would be my JOY, even when I am feeling frustrated. Pray that I would have a positive attitude, even when situations are challenging. Pray for team unity, that we can encourage each other and come before the Lord together in prayer and in worship of who he is. And pray that I would be present here.

Thank you so much for loving me enough to read my brain explosion on a page. I feel so blessed by your prayers and support!

Bendiciones y Dios le bendiga!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

First week... check

Well, this was the fastest/slowest/craziest week of my entire life! I have officially been here for 8 days, and every day seems to have its own unique twist. We had all of our first classes at the university this week and I am OBSESSED with my professores! I have two classes at the Universidad de Autonoma de Queretaro (commonly referred to as the UAQ, 'wok'). It took me a week to figure out that the residents were just making the abreviation into a word. Both of my professores are amazing. They are so passionate about their subject and their country that it just makes you even more excited to learn about the culture. Veronica is my Spanish 100 teacher. She's a little latina fireball who knows everything there is to know about US pop culture. SO random! And our Language in Context professor is extremely knowledgable about the political aspects and historical aspects of Mexico, which will be so interesting to talk about.  Because the UAQ is far from my house, the 7 of us in class take the bus(camion, either 83 or 72 to be exact). Never have I ridden in a public transportation automobile, and let me tell you it's quite an experience. On Thursday after class we walked to the parada (bus stop), and got completely ignored by the driver of bus 83. We cracked up laughing. I guess that's what happens when you're 7 white kids standing on the corner in Mexico. It was great. Then we finally got on 72, but little did we know we had just signed up for the craziest ride of our lives. Homeboy would fit right in India. Give that man an autoricshaw and he's golden. He was HAULING down the street where construction was going on, and turned full speed ahead into the bus stop to pick up some others. Needless to say we have a fun time on those. It's like the Westmont shuttle crazy lady times 100,000,000.

We also went to our afternoon classes at this little cultural center run by the sweetest lady in the world! These classes I might add, are going to be a doozy. Civilizacion Mexicana is going to be quite a challenging course. We have to do all of our assingments in Spanish, obviously, but it is super overwhelming to think about tests on history in a language that I am still learning! But, it will be good for me. Then our art class is going to be awesome! The professora is an art renovator, who has worked on some neat ruins and stuff here in Mexico. Once we get to actually make art it will be AWESOME! A few of us worked on history homework in the park yesterday which was a brilliant idea. Doing it together made it much more understandable!

Then after homework time, we decided we'd embrace the culture and go to a dance festival. This ended up being a recital for a bunch of girls, that focused on belly dancing. Wow. I thought the dancing at West Coast was scandy? WRONG! It ended up being QUITE the cultural experience, although all the music seemed to be indian :), which of course I loved.  Then we walked around the centro and met up with the rest of the group, returned to our respective houses and hit the hay.

This morning we had an excursion to the third largest Monolith in the world, Bernal. It took an hour to drive there in our sweet yellow bus! The hike was so sweet! We found a place to climb up and take some amazing pictures!! It was definitely an adventure! Then afterwards, we ate at this local restaurant in the pueblo. And you will NEVER guess what we had?! GRASSHOPPERS! Yep, I kid you not. I have pictures to prove it. It was the weirdest thing I have ever eaten in my life, but it was such a funny experience! We also had Child en Nogada, which is a traditional dish that was super random and good. It is one of the girl's birthday today so we are all going over to our directors house to make her a cake, hang out together and look at pictures of today. I can't get over how amazing our group is. I am in love with how well we all get along and how we balance each other out! God completely put each one of us here for a reason and it is SO special to explore this new place together.

Continue to pray for my transition into living in another COMPLETELY different culture. Staying in someone's house who you don't know well and can't speak their language fluently is rather difficult. I'd venture to say it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Last night we weren't sure what time we'd be back because the dance festival started late (of course :), and so I had to text my senora and let her know this. It was like talking to your parents about extending your curfew, but not knowing the language well enough to get your point across without being too upfront. DIFICIL!! But I love my Senora, and she is so incredibly gracious with me that it makes it much easier!
Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers :)
Dios le bendiga

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


You know you're doing an excellent job immersing yourself in the culture when you can't write a paper in English because your brain is preoccupied with everything spanish.  I kid you not, my brain will not let me write a well formulated paper in English right now! I keep wanting to use Spanish words to explain what I'm trying to say! YAY! It's happening!! Goodbye english. It's been real.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dia de exploracion

Today was quite an adventure! This morning I woke up and ate the most delicious huevos rancheros of my life! Then we had some down time so I did yoga outside on the patio and then we got ready for la misa (mass). I was extremely thankful that I went to Catholic high school today. Let me tell you, it is quite difficult to track a priest who is speaking spanish!! But it was a beautiful church and an amazing experience. God's familia is so big and it is so neat to be invited into that here in Queretaro. After la misa, we had the welcome lunch (comida) with all of the senoras and students from Westmont. The food was delicious (I'm sensing a trend... which is perfectly alright with me!). I had chile relleno for lunch and all I could think about was how happy my dad would be to live here and eat Mexican food for the rest of his life! He raised me well to love spicy things, it is serving me well! Yesterday I suprised all of my senora's familia when I put chile de habenero on a torta with lime! It was muy sabroso!
After la comida en the afternoon, all of us students decided that we wanted to explore the centro. I am continually blown away by the beauty in this city! The buildings are so amazingly colorful and grand. There is literally a church on every street that is muy antigua (antique/old). We wandered around and tried not to stick out like a sore thumb. That went really well for about two minutes, until this clown guy performing in the streets looked directly at us as we walked by and said "HELLO" in the most americanized acent he could muster up. That blew our cover because everyone around looked at us and started laughing. It was quite a scene haha. But we are doing our best to speak spanish when we are all together, because it's respectful of us and it is necessary to practice with people who you know are learning too. We wound up at a little coffe shop and sat listening to the drums playing in the plaza and jumping because of the fireworks that kept going off every five minutes! Then, I almost died laughing when we saw this little boy in a remote control fararri, that his dad was driving from the steps not to far away. Needless to say, I shed a few tears of joy watching him.
After we finished our coffee, we decided we'd attempt to get home. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, thanks to Justin's pro-navigation skills. We all live semi close to eachother, which is awesome for walking home. I arrived safely at my house, where my senora greeted me.
Continue to pray for my comprehension of the language, but more so that I will learn vocabulary quickly so I can express the things that I want to say. Here are some fun pictures from our adventure hoy!
 Las chicas del grupo :)

 I thought this was a FIAT, which reminded me of mi novio por supuesto :)

 Best thing ever
 Me and Shannon at the cafe
Gracias por sus oraciones y Dios le bendiga!
Thank you for your prayers and God bless you :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fact... Hillsong en Espanol es el mejor musica en todo el mundo. It brings me so much joy to listen to people worshipping our Lord in SPANISH! Just incase any of us forgot, our God is enormous. I feel so blessed to be chosen by him and loved as his daughter!

Con Todo 
Déjanos ver
Lo que entristece tu corazón
La iglesia que deseas tener
Refleja tu luz

Rompe Señor
Orgullo y muros en mi interior
Mis sueños y coronas te doy
Me rindo a tus pies

Tu luz da
Esperanza en la oscuridad
Que todos puedan ver
Cristo mi Dios
Grande y digno de alabar

Eterno Dios
Glorioso en todo eres Señor
La majestad, la gracia y poder
En la luz de tu ser

Tu luz da
Esperanza en la oscuridad
Que todos puedan ver
Cristo mi Dios
Grande y digno de alabar

//Con todo Dios
Con todo Dios
Cantaré de tu gloria
Con todo Dios
Con todo Dios
MI alabanza daré//

Mi corazón
Te adora Dios
Por siempre te exaltaré
A ti mi Rey
Con todo Dios
MI alabanza daré

Con todo Dios
Con todo Dios
Cantaré de tu gloria
Con todo Dios
Con todo Dios
MI alabanza daré

Con todo Dios
Con todo Dios
Mi alabanza dare

Friday, August 12, 2011


WOW. I cannot believe that I am here. This day was quite an adventure! We met at LAX at 9 and proceeded through security as a group. After our three hour flight to Houston we met up with the rest of our group and boarded the smallest plane I have ever been in (except for the 210, shout out to the Mammoth crew). I sat next to Megan Pratt, one of the awesome girls on this crazy adventure and we had the most amazing conversation! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such neat people! When we got to the Aeropuerto International de Queretaro and walked down the steps off  the plane, it hit me. This is my home for the next four months! What in the world Lord?
Going through immigration was quite possibly the most indimidating thing I've ever had to do in my life. I was the first one on our team to go up to the counter of course, and proceeded to lie to the scary man speaking 1,000 words a second that I was not studying but I was traveling and living with a familia. Apparently if you tell them you are a student they make you apply for a student visa, so we wanted to avoid that if possible!
Then we hopped on a bus and Fernando drove us to the centro, where we were met by our amazing host mothers. And let me just tell you, I have the most energetic Senora of the whole group! Hmm, I wonder why. God knows exactly what I need. She shouted, "Mi HIJA!!!" and hugged me like I was her prodigal daughter who had just come home. What an amazing way to be welcomed into the country! I almost cried because she was so warm and loving. We drove to the house and she showed me around. It is SO incredibly chic! I am quite impressed by Rosa's interior design skills.

I would be lying if I didn't tell you that this is the biggest emotional rollercoaster of a day that I have ever lived, so I'll be honest. When we first got on the plane I felt so incredibly elated and joyful to be embarking on such a life changing adventure. But then about half way into the flight I was overcome with tears. Listening to Songbird and Hosea by Jillian Edwards caused me to reflect on the fact that it truely is me and God for these next four months. I read Hosea on the plane and the passage spoke directly to my heart. It read, "Therefore, I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. . . I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness and you will acknowledge the LORD" Hosea 2:14,19. Over these next four months God is taking me on a journey, to write my love story with Him. I am confident that he has prepared a way for me here in this beautiful city and is beginning to reveal to me exactly what that looks like.
Continue to pray that I would acclimate to the language. I feel extremely rusty in my Spanish and I don't want that to prohibit me from interacting with the amazing people who live here.
 Sarah Barr and I on the plane :)

 More plane, this time with Megan
 My sweet senora! She is amazing!
Thank you for loving me and for your prayers!