Honduras: Holy Ground

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5 That smell. I will never forget that smell. I anticipated it, but I did not expect it to be so strong, so overwhelming. I thought I would be tough enough to bear…

Honduras: Packing my Bags

I’m leaving for Honduras tomorrow morning — less than 24 hours from now — and I am kind of terrified. My friends tell me there is nothing to be nervous about. They think I should be excited, which I am, but I am also extremely anxious because I am not exactly “in my element,” regardless of…

The Biggest Lesson from 2016

People are not like me. Maybe I am a little late to the game, but the most prominent lesson I learned in 2016 was that people are not like me, and I don’t need to be like them, and that is okay. Let me explain: Going to a private school, I expected for a majority…

Flying High in an Empty Airport

The last time I was in this small Little Rock airport was when I was embarking on a life-changing journey to Rwanda, Africa. This time, I am just taking a weekend voyage home, but sitting here now, alone on the floor sprawled out like a 5-year-old, I can’t shake the feeling that I am going…

Simple Saturdays

Saturdays are my favorite day of the week. There is no limit to how long I sleep. There is no limit to how much time I spend in my morning Jesus-and-coffee ritual. There is no rule for how long I can wear my PJs. Saturdays are simple, and I live for them. In the caffeine-run…

Purpose for Journalism

When people hear that I am a journalism major, they raise their eyebrows and look at me in confusion. “Journalists don’t make enough money,” they say. “The media blows everything out of proportion,” they say. “All they cover is the bad stuff.” Maybe some of that is true, though in school we are taught the…

Thoughts from Rwanda: Genocide

 “Out in the current [of the Kagera river] I suddenly see what looks like a porpoise; shiny, wet and yellow-grey, floating through the flood. Then another, and another, Corpses, hundreds of them, are swirling and bobbing downstream … At the rate I see them – one every three or four minutes – it means that…

Thoughts from Rwanda: Less of a Mzungu

Mzungu: African Great Lakes region term used for person of European decent. Literally translated as, “someone who roams around aimlessly.” Typically thought to be rich. I am a mzungu. The term was the first of few Kinyarwanda words I learned. “Mzungu! Mzungu!” Kids waved vigorously with gaping white eyes as we drove through villages in…

Thoughts from Rwanda: The Experience

Saturday, May 21 I saw a boy going to the well the other day. He was probably about 7, and he was carrying several 4-liter water jugs on a string. I still do not know how he could carry all of that weight (at least 100 lbs. of water), home. I huffed and puffed after…

Thoughts from Rwanda: 10 things to Expect

Friday, May 20 We have been in Rwanda for 10 days now, and I have loved every second of it. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve sung and we’ve screamed. Here are 10 things I have come to expect in Rwanda: 1. Talking with strangers Rwandans love to talk, and they love to talk to visitors….

Thoughts from Rwanda: Praise is Universal

May 15, 2016 The Church was a rectangular concrete  building with a tin roof on top. The inside was filled with nothing but dancing people and plastic lawn chairs, white for adults and blue for children. The only source of light peeked through the opened doors and scattered holes in the grey brick walls. Women…

Thoughts from Rwanda: Day One

May 11, 2016 Teaching Day One We were just able to get wifi here at Domus Pacis, the home of nuns and novices (nuns in training), so these posts are going to be published a few days late, but that’s okay. It’s pretty cool sleeping under a mosquito net. I feel like a child in…