7.30.2010

I'm sorry I apologize so much.

I’m a compulsive apologizer.

I’ve known this for a while. Ever since I went to a therapist a few years back (I know. You’re thinking 'You, Jamie? You saw a therapist - whatever for?!') and she mentioned that I apologize a lot - like more than anyone she’d ever counseled. Or met. Or read about in books. And I was like, “I’m sorry for apologizing so much.” And her eyebrows rose in a super judgmental way, “See?” And I was all “Yeahsorry.”

Basically all of my sessions with her went like that. She would point out my less productive behaviors and I would apologize for them and then I would apologize for apologizing, followed by an apology for crying. “I’m sorry, *sniff* can I have a tissue?” Finally she said, “If I had a nickel for every time you say sorry…” And I was like “You’d make a whole lot less than what I’m actually paying you.” And she was all, “You’re right”. So I totally won that conversation.

Shrinks don’t know shianything! (No offense to the many, many shrinks that read my blog.) But, for real, the one I saw had a giant spider web in a stand on her desk, and when she caught me staring at it, she was all, “Oh, that’s a Native American dream catcher.” And I was all, “No. That’s a giant yarn spider web that was made by an infant in China for about 8 cents and which you bought at Cost Plus for 22 dollars.” Then she wrote something in my ‘file’, and I was all, “Please stop writing. You’re making me SUPER uncomfortable.” And she was all “Let’s unpack that.” And I was all, “No that’s okay. Sorry I brought it up.” And then she was all, “You apologized again...”

“Um…sorry?”

Also. She thought Costa Rica was an island. So there you go. But she was right about the crazy, incessant apologies. And, to be totally honest, it hasn’t really gotten any better. I still say “sorry” all the time. It bugs people.

My friend has been staying with us, and I’m getting the sense that she’s done with it - done hearing that I’m sorry it rained, I’m sorry that dogs barked all night, sorry she can’t flush her toilet paper, sorry the coffee maker is so slow, sorry I’ve got a cold, sorry it’s too hot, too cold, too humid. Sorry it’s not perfect, that everything isn’t perfect at all times. I think it was her, shouting, “Would you STOP apologizing all the time?!”, that tipped me off to the fact that I’m doing it an awful lot. And that it’s super irritating.

I think I know why I do it.

It’s because everything in the entire world points toward me. I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure I am the center of the universe, so, naturally, if my friend gets rained on or stubs her big toe on an uneven Costa Rican sidewalk, it will reflect poorly on me. So I apologize to her because I’m obviously doing such a poor job of running the whole world and everything in it. Of course, I realize how ridiculous that is... so I apologize some more.

I need to stop.

I'm going to try exchanging 'I'm sorry' for 'I'm grateful' whenever applicable. And I'm going to quit apologizing for God's creation, altogether. Also? I'm going to work on being more forthcoming with the I'm sorrys that are my responsibility.

So tonight when my friend gets back from her day trip and I might have said this: I'm so sorry about the rain today. It's ridiculous how hard it comes down here. Sorry your stomach is bothering you. I'll say something like this, instead: I'm so grateful for the rain today. Isn't it awesome how hard it comes down here? How's your raging diarrhea? I'm sorry I gave you food poisoning....

I think my friend will really appreciate the change, don't you?

Do you know an unnecessary apologizer? Do the constant mutterings of "I'm sorry" make you want to strangle him or her?

7.26.2010

Stuff Missionaries Like #2: Making you think you're eating a horse's...

....yeah.

We wait patiently until your mouth is good and full, until after you’ve taken that first tentative bite and decided that, yes, you can eat this foreign food. You're really pleased with yourself because you have such a courageous palate.


That’s when we strike, asking with great amusement, “You know what that is, right?”


Then we watch with delight as you stop chewing and your adam’s apple strains, willing the food only half-way swallowed to continue on its intended path toward the stomach. The cook told you it was pork, you say, debating what to do with the contents of your mouth.


We chuckle knowingly, “Yeah, but she told you what it really is, didn’t she?”


And all you can do is think back to that thing you saw her preparing.




Come to think of it...

it didn't really look like pork...

...

did it...?



As the color drains from your face we go in for the kill.

"Um. Yeah...that's a horse wiener you're eating! But it's SO good, right?!"


When you choke out a "For REAL?!" we say "No, it's just a really big sausage." and then we walk away leaving you to wonder about your meal.

Of course, it IS just a really big sausage, but clarifying would be no fun. So we let it linger.

Missionaries do this with all kinds of foods all over the world. We tell you that you're eating cow brains, or monkey arms, or frog spawn. We imply that your morning eggs are those of an unfertilized crocodile and that the crisp bite in your salad is deep fried grasshopper. By the end of your 10 day visit, when we serve you a plate of spaghetti and meat balls, you nearly pass out imagining the possibilities.

You'll have to forgive us. This is how we entertain ourselves on the mission field.

But our constant joking around with your food serves a greater purpose.

The truth is, we do eat weird crap sometimes! We want you to be prepared for the moment when we're all having lunch and the lady of the house serves you a bowl of soup with a giant, rubbery chicken foot sticking up out of the broth, claws and all. We want you to keep eating when you realize that what you're eating is really, truly intestines, or stomach lining, or tongue - even if it's cat tongue. And we want you to understand that there's absolutely no reason to throw away a perfectly good meal made from a dog - even if the dog was super cute.

It's just a fact that in some cultures simmered, coagulated balls of blood are, like, a delicacy that should not be spit into a napkin. So, basically, we're doing you a favor. I mean, what are you gonna do when you come to understand that the cheese you're eating now was made in the bathtub you peed in this morning? I'll tell you what you're gonna do - You're gonna eat it, and you're gonna say "Thank you, that was delicious." And you're gonna do that because your missionary trained you to have an iron stomach!

You're welcome. See? We only have your very best interest at heart. I mean, we are missionaries.

*I almost didn't post this, but then, last night, our team that's here visiting from our home church went to a BBQ. This morning I asked my friend, Mo, what she had been served. She said, "Um. They gave us carne asada with a tortilla....and something else. I think Ernesto said it was... horse penis?"

And I had to laugh because it just never gets old...

So. What's the weirdest thing you've ever had to eat with a smile on your face?

7.21.2010

I don't even know why I'm telling you this.

When my youngest son was 3, someone asked him if he was in preschool. His answer was, "I don't go to school, I go to the gym!"

I guess you could say I was a bit of an exercise nut.

At least 4 days a week I was there, at California Family Fitness, kicking elliptical ass for an hour, then lifting weights, then doing a hundred million crunches on that crunch bench thingy. Always trying to push myslef harder, upping the speed, increasing weights or reps, or both, because I loved the way I felt after a really hard workout. I love that day-three muscle soreness. You know what I'm talking about? The lactic acid build up that makes it hurt so good?!...Yeeeah, you know the feeling. I looove that feeling!

Honestly? Canceling our gym membership before we left was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I put it off as long as I could and when the time came, I ran in, signed the papers as fast as possible, got back in my car and cried. Sobbed is probably a better descriptor . Saying goodbye to my gym was almost as hard as saying goodbye to my parents. Not even kidding. It had been such a huge part of my life, and I was worried about what things would look like without it. But not just that I couldn't keep rocking a chick six-pack and arms that rivaled Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. No, there were other benefits to the gazillion hours I spent in that place that I really didn't want to live without.

The gym enriched my life. No, really, I mean that. It made me a better person.

In case you haven't noticed, I have... issues. I can be a little OCD. I struggle with depression (ok, I think it's depression, it might just be that I'm a huge bitch). Also? I used to fiddle around with eating disorders and by 'fiddle around' I mean starve myself/stuff myself/gag myself with a toothbrush. I'm adorable. I know.

The thing about the gym was that it allowed me to work out alot of that junk in a healthy way. Exercise relieved anxiety which relieved my compulsiveness, it increased all the good chemically junk in my body and decreased the bad, which all but eliminated depression from my life, and it improved my body which improved my body image which certainly helped with eating problems. Working out just made me feel good. But the really huge things was that I used that time to pray. A big block of time to focus on God alone, with headphones in my ears and nothing but my own heart beat to distract me. That's priceless.

I thought that I'd keep up on my good habits when we got settled in to life in Costa Rica. But I confess I haven't. In fact, I don't do a lot of the good things I used to do anymore. I don't drink enough water, and I don't feed myself very well, and I certainly don't get that kind of time in with God. And everyday, I think to myself today is the day I'm going to start working out again. Every. single. day. I say, "You know what? I'm gonna go for a run today!" or "I'm gonna read a book while I ride my stationary bike!" And I hardly ever comply with my own wishes.

Seriously, I suck. What kind of person sucks at doing what they enjoy and want to do?! This is ridiculous.

The worst part is that I KNOW that what's holding me back is the very same depression and ocd that would go away if I would get started on a new healthy routine and stay on it. And I KNOW that if I had a healthier body, I would stop grabbing handfuls of my own rear-end like a cheeseburger to demonstrate what a disgusting wreck I am and barraging myself with insults, which - as you might imagine - I am pretty darn good at.

It's like I know what I should do but I don't do it and what I shouldn't do is exactly what I do do.

Whoa - that sounds familiar!

Anyway. I miss the gym. My mushy butt and soft belly and arms that flap like flamingo wings miss the gym. My heart misses the gym, on so many levels.

I guess I'm telling you all of this because I feel like if I put it out there then I can't keep ignoring it. Ya know? Like, now I basically HAVE to go put on some running shoes and move my hind quarters because if I don't then I'll feel like a real douche. Ah...there's nothing like a little bit of internet accountability to keep a girl on her game. Of course, if you ask me in a month how I'm doing I could totally lie because you're wherever you are and I'm here in paradise/my own personal hell where no one can ever find me. But I won't lie. Unless nothing's changed....then I might....but probably not....

(Dear supporter,
I am not about to throw myself off a bridge. And I'm not engaging in any eating disorder type activities as of late. I'm just thinking about it, and there's a really big difference. As always, thanks for understanding and not freaking out and overreacting and getting me fired when I share stuff like this on my blog. You're rad!
Truly, ~Jamie
p.s. The "personal hell" thing was a joke. My life is awesome! Like, so awesome that if I start talking about how awesome it is, you'll probably start feeling really bad about your own life, and that's not cool. But I wanted you to know that I was just kidding.)






7.19.2010

Tough.

One time, a dude grabbed my butt on the street. It’s true.


A couple of months after we got to Costa Rica, I was walking home after Spanish classes and a guy started following me on his bike. He rode about 20 feet behind me for a block or so, and then he started to get closer. A couple of times, he zipped past way too close, obviously reaching for something, only to turn around and resume his spot just behind me. I thought he was trying to snag my backpack, so I started walking really...really...sloooowwwwly....


I know - counterintuitive. When someone is following you, you’re supposed to get away fast. But, when someone is following you on a bike? Well, sometimes the best thing you can do is mess with their intertia until they fall over.


So that’s what I did. I screwed with his inertia by walking like a had two wooden legs. While I inched along, I planned out how I would ask the guard on my street to save me from this creeper using a vocabulary limited to ‘Things you can buy at the market’ and ‘Things you can find in a house’. I decided on, “Please, sir. The fresh boy on bicycle at my back want consume the wrapped sheet of books I wear.” And I just knew that if I could make it to the drunk, toothless guard in front of my house I would be safe. He would protect me. He would use the broken, empty revolver he kept tucked in his pants pocket to run this turd off.


But the slowing down thing seemed to work. Creepy dude got sick of having to whip his handlebars back and forth to stay upright, and finally, he rode off, past the turn to my street. I ditched the cement feet act and bolted toward my house, but I hadn’t made it to my block before he reappeared. He came back fast, skipped up onto the sidewalk, right in front of me, and stopped my forward momentum with the front tire of his bike. As I reached back to protect my backpack, he reached forward - to grab my butt.


“Que Rico!” That’s what perverts on bicycles say when they grab your butt on the sidewalk in Costa Rica. Ask anyone.


This is the part in the story where people say things like, “What did you do?! Boy, that guy picked the wrong girl to mess with! Did you slap that little punk? Did you punch him? What did you SAY?!. Their eyes gleam with anticipation, ready to hear how I kicked him in the nuts, or whatever. This is the part where I get called a “tough cookie” and God gets thanked for giving me “thick skin”. The disappointment registers clearly on their faces as they hear the truth. “I cried.”


I stepped over his bike tire, and ran home...crying. That’s what I did.


I get hate mail. To be honest, it’s probably the nicest hate mail you could imagine. It comes from really nice people, nicely telling me that they find the things I write not nice. They say it’s unsavory, or unwholesome, or that it’s “satan-pleasing-evil-from-the-fiery-depths-of-hell” or whatever. And I believe they are well intentioned. I believe they want good things for me and for the world, and I think they’re trying to help me by encouraging me to be more like Jesus them. I read the things they have to say and, if they are well reasoned, I might think on them a bit. Otherwise, I delete them.


I also get love mail; emails from cool people. People that really like The Very Worst Missionary, and seem to understand what it stands for. Sometimes, among the encouragements, I see things like “I wish I could be that honest on my blog.”, or “You have the guts to say what others are thinking.” or “Damn girl, how do you get away with this stuff?!”. Often, people want to know who our sending agency is because of the insane freedom I am allowed on my blog. I read these emails and they make me smile, they make me want to keep writing.


Sometimes I think that the freedom I feel to say the things on my mind is interpreted as some kind of brazen toughness. Which is cool, except that I’m not tough. I mean, I may not be the most sensitive person in the world, I’m not easy to rattle, and I’m certainly not going to fall to pieces when a stranger from the interwebs rebukes me, having never met me. But I am not tough.


I am... You know what I am? I’m safe. There’s a really big difference.


See. I have these amazing people in my life - people who know me, who can hear the actual sound of my voice in the things that I write, people who knew me before I was a missionary, some who knew me before I was a Christian - and these people have given me the freedom to be who I am. EVEN if who I am looks really different from who they are. These people know that I have a longing for God’s heart, and sometime I fail to find it - and they’re ok with that.


THEY are the reason that some might perceive me as tough.


They have given me a soft place to land when I fall flat on my face. They have been Christ to me, and I feel secure in Him. I’m safe because I know that these people will not withhold their love from me, even if I disappoint them. And neither will my God.


When I was molested by that creeper on the bike, I felt alone and afraid. My instinct didn’t tell me to make a fist around my keys and get ready to stab him in the eye - it said get to the guard, he’ll protect you. I didn’t want to be tough, I wanted to be saved.


What I want you to know is that I have a heart. And it’s actually kind of tender.


When you say shitty things to me, it may not rock my world, but it still hurts. And when you say awesome, kind things to me, it totally lifts me up. If I were a tough person, I wouldn’t care at all about emails from strangers, good or bad, I’d just slip into my brass knuckles and start throwing bows.


But I’m not “tough cookie”, remember? I run away crying.


I think that’s why I love what’s happening here, on the VWM, so much. This place has simply become an extension of the freedom I’ve been allowed in my “real” life. Freedom to try and fail. Freedom to do it all wrong. Or how about the freedom to be completely awesome once in a while! I have freedom to be part of a community of people who look around at the church and its place in the world, shrug their shoulders, and say “this can’t be right” and at the same time to pat each other on the back and say “well done” when we do hit the nail on the head. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for the living, breathing body of Christ around me. The church family that says “Go, Jamie, go! We are right behind you!” I live boldly because of the safety they afford me. This is the real deal, the real church.


This is a safe place.


This is what I want for you.



7.17.2010

If you can't spank 'em, join 'em.

Ok, ladies... I have a question.


Why are we still using our butts as billboards? Seriously. I want to know.


I’ve brought this up before. Remember?...when I became BFF’s with a stripper from Reno on an airplane to San Francisco? Her butt said “Juicy”.


Honestly, I never intended to rehash this subject. I’m not exactly qualified at this point in my life to be handing out fashion advice since my clothing allowance is zero dollars per month and my wardrobe consists of no more than every color of $4 Old Navy tank top ever made by a Taiwanese 7 year old. But last week, on the bus ride home from Panama City, this lady climbed on board wearing pink sweats with a word emblazoned on her backside in sparkling, eye-catching sliver.


“Provocative”


That’s what her butt said.


And I'm just gonna say this - Um. That’s a long word. If I’m gonna wear a word on my butt, it’s NOT gonna have 4 syllables.


Then I sat on the bus for 16 hours pondering the whole mess we’ve created by literating our lady lumps. Even if we can completely rid ourselves of this awful, awful attempt at cuteness in the U.S., all of those naughty velour pants purged from GoodWill warehouses in the states would ultimately end up in the tiny “Ropa Americana” outlets throughout Latin America and for the next 20 years I’ll be running into chubby 60 year old ladies from El Salvador with words like “superfly” and “hot couture” slapped across their old-lady asses.


It did occur to me that not all of these sweats are trying too hard to be overtly sexual. Sometimes girls wear these stupid pants to simply show their school spirit. To say, “Look! I go to USC!” or “Look! My boyfriend goes to USC!” or “Look! I bought these sweats at the USC bookstore when my brother was looking at colleges but he signed up for the Navy, instead!”


The thing is, I thought it was, like, an insult to sit on something. In my head, if you hate someone, you put your butt on their pillow. Growing up, if my brother wanted to torture me, he would threaten my favorite My Little Pony with an exposed butt cheek. That’s just how it is. You should only be sitting on the initials of schools that you think suck. And if you happen to like your alma mater, buy a hat for God’s sake.


So I came up with a solution. Two, actually.


The first is obvious. We need to round up all of these ridiculous pants and burn them. That’s the only solution with any kind of finality. Otherwise, like I said, they’ll all eventually end up here. And that’s just not fair, you know....for me. Although, it’s not likely that we could get everyone to give up their butt-vertisements willingly, and the last thing we should be doing, as Christians, is creating some kind of horrid sweatpants Gestapo.


So the only other reasonable thing to do is fight fire with fire. I mean, we are talking about prime marketing real-estate, here. We, as the church, should take advantage of it. So, I think we can take this travesty and turn it around. That's why I've come up with a line of Faith based butt-sayings.


Think about it - Instead of this walking disaster,...

...you could be wearing one of these, and actually doing some good in the world!


I know. I'm like a genius or something. Why are Christian book stores not already filled with stretchy pants sporting rear-end crosses, and cheeky angel wings, and favorite all-time verses? This idea is nothing less than...provocative. You just watch, in six months Beth Moore will turn around while teaching at a conference packed with home school Moms and Women's ministries devotees, and her rump, glittering with rhinestones, will shout "Righteous" to the masses.

An hour later, I'll be rich. You'll see.

Sorry. This is what happens when you tie me to a chair for 16 hours.

Oh, and leave a suggestion for a Christian Butt Slogan in the comments and when this baby takes off I'll totally give you a cut of the profits, you know, split the booty with you. (Get it?) Anyway. This is gonna be huge...

7.16.2010

Junk about Panama City.

The 16 hour bus ride wasn't ideal. The five of us were spread out from the front of the bus to the back, shivering in the arctic cold, and as if we weren't miserable enough, they showed dubbed movies featuring Wesley Snipes. After a four hour stop at the border, and a short prayer to die quickly of heat stroke, we re-boarded our wintery coach to find we had each been gifted a paper wrapped sandwich. Ham and cheese with pink saucy stuff and little bits of pickles. Mine was missing the ham part.

We could not wait to get off that bus and checked in to our hotel. (Which had been chosen based on affordability and the fact the they allowed me to book a room for 5 people - not a room with room for 5, mind you).

Imagine how pleased we were when the pulling back of those awesome hotel black out curtains revealed that our room had a view of THE Panama Canal beneath the Bridge of the Americas.

Try and tell me that's not AMAZING!











Panama City is a thriving metropolis....










....and a colonial relic.

It just depends on which direction you're looking.









Ok. I just have to show this because I fell in love with this old mosaic floor.

The building to which it once belonged has long since fallen away to rubble, but these tiny tiles remain in the entry. As welcoming as ever.

I know, I'm corny, but I really, really, really like it.











Most of the trip, we looked happy, like this:


This pic was taken juuuust before we accidentally walked 8 miles back to our hotel to save the $2 cab fare. In defense of our stupidness, we were told it was only 4 kilometers.

We made it back in the pitch black with bats swooping around our heads because of a big fat power outage that cut out all the lights along the path. Creepy.

Then, no one was smiling.

But, man, I LOVE this picture!







Now, I give you this shot to serve as proof of two important facts:
1. I was there.
2. Long bangs are super cute, unless it's totally hot and humid. Then they just make you look like a greasy dirt-bag.


This was BY FAR the biggest disappointment of the trip:
Yeah, someone decided that closing Dunkin' Donuts for the day was acceptable. Which obviously ruined my plans to carry a million dozen back into Costa Rica with me. Jerks.

My favorite quote:
"Mom. I checked. They don't add the junk 'til they add the giant chicken." - Jamison


"I prefer my shrimp not in the form of popcorn." - Jamison, again

"Panama City is the Miami of the south, except more English is spoken."
- Hotel guide book

"I'm a gordita, but I need to be comfortable." - the lady in the bus seat next to mine, while unbuttoning and unzipping her pants. In my face.

And then there was this whole episode where, as a family, we invented an entirely new super hero who goes by the name of Captain Sturdy Turd and can build a hardy, life-saving dam faster than you can say 'who's yer daddy'. I'd tell you more, but it seems to teeter on the edge of not-safe-for-work... especially if you work in a church. So nevermind. Forget I ever brought it up.

Anyway....

I feel weird about saying this because I'm really bad at talking about money, but I'm gonna do it anyway because this needs to be said. While we were there, and even before we left, people started clicking on that little Paypal button over there --------> and giving us money to help with the unexpected expense of this trip. I cannot even begin to say how incredibly grateful we are for each of those gifts. And we want to offer a heartfelt thank you to each of you that gave simply because you saw a need that you could help meet. That kind of selflessness truly does inspire me. Sooooo....Thanks!! both for the gift and for the inspiration!

So now we're back. And we're no longer illegal aliens. Whew - that's a relief! And we had an insanely fun, crazy, relaxing, adventurous time in Panama City, reconnecting as a family. So, in addition to the whole renewed Visa thing, we had this whole renewed relationships thing going on.

It was cool.

It is cool. And it's good to be home...

(Oh, and I promise to write a real post soon. Promise!)

7.10.2010

Because freaking out is what I DO.

Sort of like a last minute forced vacation because Costa Rica is cracking down on illegal immigration, and we...are...illegal immigrants.


Yeah, I said it. We’re illegal. OK?


How embarrassing.


See, the deal is that Costa Rica only allows a 90 day stay on a tourist Visa. You’re supposed to leave before that 3 month period is up. Aaaand you have to provide proof, like an airline ticket or a bus ticket, showing that you will, indeed, be leaving within that timeframe. When we arrived, this wasn’t really a big deal. Gringos, *ahem* like us, overstayed their Visas all the time, for years and years consecutively, and never had any trouble getting back in to the country if they left. Until recently, we had never been asked to show proof we would be leaving again within 90 days. But, the thing about living in a developing nation is that, well, it’s developing. Things are changing, improving (mostly), and the government is becoming more present through revisions in infrastructure, public safety, and law.


It’s the “law” part that’s coming in to play here.


woah! I think I just heard my kid puke! I’m sitting in the waiting room at the orthodontist where he just got his braces off - they’re doing impressions for retainers...Oh, yeah - that’s definite pukage. *gag*


So....anyway....


...Costa Rica changed some laws in January, increasing penalties for illegal immigrants. Like me. And they’ve really gotten serious about that whole “proof of exit” thing. They made El Chupacabra buy a roundtrip airline ticket last time he returned to Costa Rica. (You should totally know that Spirit Air is a dirty liar, and when they say “fully refundable” they mean “fully creditable” that doesn’t seem like a real word, but spellcheck says it is and now we have, like, $800 dollars in credit for the worlds most useless airline!) So, since we think being denied reentry to the country that we’ve come to call home would be an absolute nightmare, we’ve decided to go ahead apply for residency. The problem is that we don’t have all the documents we need to start the process, and we won’t have them until we come back from California in January. That means two trips out of the country between now and then to renew our Visas and stay legal, which totally sucks.


Don’t get me wrong, we like to travel, and we can really use this little break. BUT. We have this pesky little thing called a “budget” - I know, I know, how very 1950’s - and we haven’t “budgeted” for these two trips. So while it’s will be fun to get away, we really, really, really, can’t afford it. Like in any way.


And if you’re thinking that I’m crazy because traveling in Central America is super cheap and anyone can afford it, then I’m thinking that you’re, like, 22 years old and have the freedom to sleep in a freaking hammock for $1 a night. Good for you.


Yes, a round trip ticket to Panama City is $94. Yes, that’s totally cheap. Multiply it by 5 - now it’s NOT cheap. Now do the same thing for all your travel needs. $4 meals? Awesome, SO cheap - Times 5 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner over 4 days - yeah, now you’re screwed. See how it adds up?


Oh, and I haven’t even gotten to the part where I whine about the SIXTEEN hour bus ride to get there. 16 HOURS! On a bus. each. way.


So here we go. Smack in the middle of our busiest time at work, we’re hopping on a bus to fulfill our obligation of 72 hours outside of the country, and we’re just praying they’ll let us back in. And I almost forgot to mention that I think El Chupacabra is limping around on a broken foot that he injured at football practice on Wednesday, which he refuses to have looked at - you’ll love this - because the hotel has a pool.


This is just one example of the how badly he needs this down time - Obviously not thinking clearly!


Ok. I’m done. Thanks for letting me vent.

I’m not going to complain about this anymore. This is gonna be fun. It’s an adventure. 32 hours of round trip bussing will give me a lot of time to pray, right? And even though it’s not in the budget, I can rest assured that we will NEVER starve to death.... and if we do, I’ve heard that’s a pretty good way to go, so that’s encouraging.


No. Really? I need to stop freaking out! I am thankful for this trip, even if it wasn’t my idea. I’m excited for some uninterrupted time as a family. And I’m looking forward to relaxing with a book or seven on the long quiet drive. So that will be cool. And I think I’m gonna let God handle the rest; the money, the Visa issues, the me being a giant whiny baby all the time. He’s proven Himself trustworthy with all that junk in the past, soooo.... Sheesh, I don’t even know why I worry in the first place...


Alrighty then. I'm going to Panama City because this is my life. Kinda cool, huh.


Buh-bye.