So many things have happened I just got way to tangled up in the emotional roller coaster and wasn't able to breath enough to write on here.
I'm going to sum this blog up in facts:
1) We flew over the nazcan lines. Very incredible but definitely a bit over emphasized. Don't get me wrong, the ancient marks in the ground were very fantastic just a bit smaller than I thought and a bit harder to get to as well.
Let's just say of the 5 of us who went, 1 fainted (nina), 2 threw up, and the other two were dizzy. I was fortunately one of the calmer reactioning victims.
2) We had our district goodbye meeting where the exchange students we all did a skit acting out all the things we had learned in Peru (I was a "cholo" whistling at a gringa), we sang a song which I wrote the lyrics to, and we all gave our goodbye addresses (very sad moment). In the end it all culminated to a stand ovation (which apparently NEVER happens in Peru). Our president Henry was so incredibly proud of us. He came up and thank us each individually for the work we had done. (and henry never thanks anyone... ever.)
Back in Lima
So it's been a rough few days...
1) We had our club goodbye dinner. It basically consisted of about the same thing we did in nazca only this time including goodbye addresses very personal to each of our families and friends and me singing a song i wrote on the guitar. It was the first song I had ever written in Spanish. It all turned out very amazing, and depressing at the same time. How do you say goodbye to a life that you KNOW will never be the same again. I can come back, but none of the exchange students will be here. I can come back, but I will never be an exchange student again. I can come back, but I will never be part of rotary again.
2) Further along, besides all the goodbyes I was giving here... I had to say goodbye to a friend back in Quincy as well. Or at least if it wasn't a goodbye it was a prayer. Ben Horning, one of my friends back in Quincy passed aways this last week. He had been a teammate of mine since 7th grade basketball. I was surprised to find myself crying in front of my host family that night about it. I hadn't realized how much Ben had affected me throughout my life. I might not have been in his "group of friends" but he never made me feel like I was any less of a friend to him then anyone else. He was always there to talk, always there to give a smile, or a pat on the back. I think he was just an incredible constant in many peoples lives. And not only that, but an inspiration. To get up and do what it is you want in life. I still feel very strange about it all. It made me extremely homesick this last week. I will definitely miss Ben Horning. And I pray that God would give strength to his family.
3) And finally, my incredible friend Carter came to the end of her exchange tonight. Carter arrived the same day as me here. I remember seeing her for the first time as she arrived. Speaking the little spanish she knew and thinking "wow, she know's way more than I do;-)." What was laughs and gift exchanging, picture taking and eating quickly turned into a cry festival. I can't tell you the strength there is in between exchange students. They are the only ones who understand what you have gone through. All though you didn't know them, they came alone to a foreign country as well. They took the giant leap away from their old lives as well. They took a risk to find out how to live life. And that binds people together very tight. So when carter left tonight it was as if a part of me was seriously ripped away. I hated it. I hated it so much. I wouldn't have done this exchange if I would have known it would've hurt so bad;-( And on top of it all, there we about 10 other people hurting just a badly if not worse. 10 months ago I didn't even know the girl and now she knows me better than almost anyone else I know.
This week has been very depressing and hard. It makes me look straight to my date when I leave and start to cry. Thinking about the pain and sadness that is to come from such a great year wrapping up in a flash. I try to hold onto the days but it is hard. How do you let go of a life... forever. This thing that I have been put in down here, this dream, will never be the same again. And that hurts. But like all things in life the clock keeps moving, and I must as well.
That is why God keeps reminding me to stop worrying about my talents, my future, my job, my sadness, my circumstance, my.... etc. And START LOOKING AT WHO HE IS. I have to focus on the good in Him and the things that that can bring about it my life. It is like this, when we die it isn't the muscle we gained or the hair we had or even the wisdom we gained that will matter. For everything will turned to dust. Even someone who knew the whole Bible would have been worth nothing if he didn't know to share it. Our legacy, or better yet, His legacy is carried on by those we tell. Stop worrying about if where you are at right now is the right place to be. Because that won't EVER MATTER. Worry about things like "is your heart right" where you are at. "What is God asking of me." "Who can I help today." Focus on the good things. On helping. On changing. Forget your mirrors, your sports, your television, your addiction. And start focusing on the only thing that will last. You may have a job, you may have a house, you may have great children... but if you don't have Christ. If you don't have a relationship with God... YOU ARE NOTHING. I am nothing. It will all be turned to dust. Make you life active. Make love real. And make God your priority.
Putting an air freshener over a bunch of trash does not make the situation better... You must take out the trash!!! Don't let God be a side note. Even if that means giving up your dreams to "Go and follow him."