Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's because the photo gods smile on me.

Dear Patrick,
I made it to Colombia. I flew in yesterday from Atlanta and happened to sit next to a Colombian currently living in Lehi, Utah. He read the Liahona the whole way. Funny. After a billion year wait to get through immigration, we finally reached the outside. And bah bah da bah, it's chillsville outside. If you're wondering, I brought one jacket and one pair of pants to wear on the plane. I thought it was going to be a million degrees down here. False.
So... most of today was nothing. We walked to the 4Life office here and I nearly peed my pants when I saw that one of my photos from my first DR trip was blown up to like 6 feet by 4 feet and hanging in their window. I'm still so excited about that. And then we did very little of interest to anyone in the world. Except I saw this:
What could that possibly mean? This is where you should smash your car into another car? Real-life bumper cars ahead? If two cars face each other here, magical rays shoot out of the front? I even asked a couple of Colombians. They don't know either.At 4:30 was when the real day started. We got to drive out to I don't know where with the La Fundación Niños de los Andes on a rescue mission. That group is pretty great. They do so much good. Tonight what they were doing was visiting a super super poor area (which they do every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights), and playing with the kids, doing some educational activities and providing some nutrition. We didn't witness this tonight, but they also provide them with more stuff like dental work and psychological help and educational stuff, so that their parents don't abandon them and they're more likely to grow up and do more. It's one step towards cutting off the vicious cycle of poverty.
I loved being there. Seeing the kids, seeing the way they're so happy and totally love each other. My initial reaction is always to find a way to "save" them from where they are, which is scary and terrible, but I can't. Then my next thought is just how grateful I am that there are good people like this in the world that want to help them so much that they devote their whole lives to it. The people I watched tonight with the kids were incredible. I also always like being the one with the camera. I'm instantly every kid's best friend. They were so cute. BUT, this one was easily my favorite tonight:He couldn't have been more than two and at first he was pretty skeptical of me and my camera flash. But once the other kids showed him the picture I took of him on the screen he just screamed and screamed because he was so excited. He LOVED it. And I loved him. It was so cute every single time.One of the moms let us go over to her house and see it. It was pretty jaw-dropping. There are twelve of them living in the dirtiest little place. And I complain because I don't have a place for myself in our spacious apartment with only three. I just couldn't believe it. This is her in the bedroom:
I love doing this. I love helping other people get people to help people. Here are some more pictures from the night.More tomorrow,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's because the library used to call for Rosemary Paige Smart

Dear Patrick,
My role in the family is to make sure my 16 year old brother is sufficiently made fun of for everything he does, says, and wears. I thrive on coming up with the most ridiculous accusations and also consequences for his actions. A few months ago, Colton hadn't gotten his hair cut in a while and it was getting to that awkward length between short and cool-shaggy. I came home for the weekend and accused him of blow drying it. The sentence that then came out of my mouth was, "Colton, if you don't stop blow drying your hair, I'm going to hit you with the car." It was at this point that my mother chimes in with, "You can hit your brother with the car this year because he's already reached his deductible." And this, my friends, is one reason why I'm convinced that my mom is better than yours. Need more reasons? How about a bulleted list.

Some Reasons Why My Mom is Better Than Yours

  • When I was in high school, she and I decided that my calling in life was to become a notary.
  • She cuts out the Sudoku puzzles every day from both Utah newspapers and at the end of the week, she copies them and mails them to me.
  • She believes that Walgreens has everything she could ever need.
  • "Let's just have chocolate chip cookies for dinner" comes out of her mouth at least once a week. I think we did have chocolate chip cookies sometimes.
  • Her favorite movie is Dave. Dave. That one about the guy who looks like the president.
  • We once went to visit my older brother, Aaron, at the grocery store where he works in produce. Aaron tried to escape for a really long time and he finally thought he had succeeded because we started shopping. We spotted him from the other side of the produce department and immediately my mom starts RUNNING at him with the cart and smiling really big. Of course I did the same and Aaron did his best not to look at us. When we reached him he said, "Can't you guys leave already! I'm sick of you."
  • She claims to hate the dog but I suspect she "pats" him when no one is around.
  • She's just so smitten by my father.
Yes. My mother is great. I hope one day I can be half as clever as she is. I just adore her.