Where You are

“Please Aslan, before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do, make it soon.”

“Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”

“Oh, Aslan!!” said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.

“You are too old, children,” said Aslan, “and you must begin to come close to your own world now.”

“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”

“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.

“Are — are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.

“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Narina for me is Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. It’s Siem Reap, Cambodia. And Buea, Cameroon. The struggle is to see God in everything and everyone every single day. Especially when my life consists of sitting down or sleeping most of the day. If that’s the life I’m called to live this year, may I look for God’s presence in every single rare deep or superficial small talk that I partake in, in every bit of brown that this side of California offers, and in every way that the human body is so adaptable to disease.
Yet, I mustn’t forget that I am in touch with one of the greatest connections to Christ–the individual. If every individual is created uniquely, and if every individual has their own light, may I not look at the person for their achievements or looks, but pursue to see God in each and every person. And be selfish and experience for myself the light that God has given uniquely to them. In doing this, light will shine brighter, their truths will refine my truths, and like iron sharpens iron, may my love and view of Christ be ever refined with each and every interaction.

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Just a Simple Post

I woke up early this morning due to my unresolved jet lag, and I decided to look over the Sabbath School Quarterly.
I never really ever got into the quarterly…but I remember James and Shelly both telling me how really good it is, and especially Shelly sharing with me how this Quarter’s topic is really good.

and let me tell you, I have a newfound respect for it haha. It’s really nice.

Anyways, I just wanted to share something that I learned, so here are my 2 cents:

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OH….and my African dress…I put it on to take a picture…and I did, but I felt super lame and like a loser taking selfies of myself…so here is the fabric…

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P.S. Anyone know where I can get a hard copy of the quarterly for free???

EBOLA EBOLA EBOLA

(I would just say that I think that my title is super clever, although it has absolutely nothing with this post. I mean hey, it’s a total trending topic right now, so why not milk it? hahah)

I’ve been here for a month and a half now, but it feels like so much has happened. Time has stood still every other second here and I am so grateful to God for it. Maybe it has to do with having more volunteers (there are 5 of us) and that makes for more occasions where people drag you to do something that initially seemed unattractive, but later turns out to be poignant events. Of course I have those moments of nervousness and insecurity where I feel like my “life” is moving on without me, and people are moving on without me, yet, as I look back, God has done it again–He gave me Cameroon to grow and organize things that I could only do when on a break.

So many fun events. From walking down the street and getting responses from a hello, such as “Hey baby girl” or “That’s my girl!”, to the occasional “ni hao”, to which i reply “I’M KOREAN”. To Helen, the receptionist, playing with the needle in front of the girl in the clinic that was shaking with fear. Haggling the prices of produce, and one lady telling me a lime was 50 francs, and I telling her it was too expensive. “Ok Ok, I’ll give you 2 for 100 francs”. I replied, “Hey! You’re making it sound like a deal but it’s not!” I couldn’t say it without laughing and she laughed too. (Let me just say that haggling is ADDICTIVE. I love doing it hahaha. Joon Kim would be so proud of me. I’m becoming a bonefide ajumma). Using idioms and big words that Arnoldo doesn’t know, while he uses the “hip, new” slang that all the young people are using these days. And Megan making fun of all my asian tendencies, whilst trying to lose weight together. Trying to talk to the people in an African accent while I take their histories and ultimately giving up. And finally practicing the 4 years of French that I thought I would never find an occasion for. The babies either loving me because I look weird to them, or crying because I’m pale. Trixy’s (the host doctor’s) random, crude comments about penises during circumcisions. Also, I got pricked with a needle and had an HIV scare (no worries, we rushed the woman and did a HIV test on her and she was negative). I also almost got my face cut with a machete….although, that thankfully did not happen either. OH, not to mention we almost burned the entire hospital down…we left a candle and part of our room caught on fire…we smothered the flames luckily, seeing that a can of bug spray and the curtains were so close to catching on fire.

This trip has most definitely restored everything that I felt that medical school sucked out of me–my extroverted-ness, the chance to serve others, the feeler part of me. It’s so crazy, and I’m even afraid to write in words what I’ve learned here in part because I fear that my words can’t convey what has happened, so I won’t. I’m not sure what this blog post will be about, so I’m just going to write and write and que sera sera.

To be honest, I don’t know what to write. Take me out for a meal and let’s talk, that will be better, I think. But let me write this:

I have missed out on so many opportunities to witness that it can be overwhelming. Something that I never really understood that I’m beginning to now, is what it means to be a responsible Christian. In every situation, ESPECIALLY those when I want to pull out my “get out of jail free” card and get a cop out, I’m an ambassador. I think one of the most tragic things that comes with age is that nothing is as it seems. Nothing is as shiny, so beautiful, so attractive as they used to be. You turn it over and there is always some defect, some mess-up. Maybe that’s why everyone has a chance to be saved–because when you realize that the world isn’t as it seems, the cross is so attractive and the call and pull to follow from Christ is made. Salvation is offered in that way, something that is so opposite from this world and everything bad that’s in it.

I hope that I never lose this though. I always want to view the world with wonder and excitement. I never want to so absolutely know everything that nothing is new and exciting to me anymore. Let me revel in my tendency as a feeler, to be totally entranced by God and His workings in the world each and every single day, even when this next year will be in front of pathology & physiology notes. May C.S Lewis’ claim that “[his] image of Christ is shattered every single day” be my own.

Also, I have the best family. I think each mission trip, I realize this. My parents are the most devout Christians that I have ever met, and it’s so crazy to see how they still progress and grow as Christians. I can’t wait until we’re all together again. God really does give you family to feel unconditionally love–a slice of what God feels for us–how fortunate I am to experience that to it’s intended purpose in my life now.

Well, that’s pretty much it for me. Thanks for taking the time to read this 🙂 Next post, I’ll post a picture with my African dress. (It’s being made as I’m writing this)

I hope this post is finding you all well.
Much love from this side of the world everyone ❤

Irony

 

Guess who made her mark here in the Buea Adventist Hospital in Cameroon?

ME!

I am officially in the book of patients with a history of malaria. 

Yes….as I am typing this parasites are running free in my bloodstream, and will be for a long time after.

GREAT. 

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Update

So after I got , after I got back from choir practice, I realised something about blogs. They are bad in the sense that they are like a snapshot of your life, and you don’t let the time post-publish change what you wrote. This update is to serve that purpose. 

Things are SOOOO much better. I got light into my room, and I have finally beat my jet lag. These two things combined have helped my stay here exponentially. Like, seriously. I don’t even care about not having wifi, but light? oh my goodness, please give me light. LOL

Anyways, the hospital is so busy! I stay there the majority of the day and I’m just on my feet 24/7, no time to sit. I’m taking a lot of histories, doing consultations, ordering tests, I clean dressings, and I even gave vaccinations today. Anyone want to entrust their baby to me? >:) hahaha

Anyways, choir practice was SOOOO good. Like, I realised that in African culture there definitely is a line between work and play.  Like, on the way to the church I got to bond with one of the nurses I work with and everyone at the church was so nice. They were so friendly. There was one time when they were talking in French and they said something like “Does she understand French?” And I immediately said “un peu!” Which I was soooo proud of because I got to use the little I remember. Then they asked me a question in French and I didn’t know what they were asking me…..It was “What s your name?” Seriously??? My moment of truth and and then I blow it hahhaa oh well. It’s really fun though, the people are really good, and SERIOUSLY after overcoming jet lag and getting light into my room, I like my experience SO much more. OH, and also, when I put my hair down, people like me SO much more. What I’ve found from mission trips is this: you gotta find out what people want in the country and then have it. Like, in Cambodia people liked me because I was light-skinned, when you add the fact that I was Korean on top of that, GG. Here, that doesn’t work, but when you have long, flawy hair, TKO dude. So today, I opted for a loose side pony-tail instead of my slicked back high pony tail. heh heh…I gotchu 

So I guess I’ll just end with a story that happened today. We got a girl carried into the hospital because she tripped and gashed her knee wide open, it was super intense. When the nurses were trying to stitch it up, they were trying to inject lidocane to numb it, but the injection was SO painful to the girl. She would scream and say that it hurt. And when they tried to put in the needle, she jerked back her knee and bent her leg…right where her open wound was….….I’m cringing just at the thought. Literally, she had 4 women on her, and her mom was so intense. Her mom was screaming at her to stop making noise, and would spank her to stop crying. It was pretty sad. I never heard that much commotion before. The whole time I was to the side watching the whole thing like O _ O 

Then, for the last stitch, the girl wasn’t fully numbed in the knee so the nurse had to put in another injection of lidocane. The girl wanted to scream again, but when she saw her mom and her eyes of fury, she was still held down but kept saying “No Pain No Pain”. It was pretty cute. Well, all is well with her now thankfully. Pretty cool though. 

Anyways that’s it. I’m STARVING, so I need to go to the market to get something. Oh, update on that, I thought of a system to protect my food. I started storing my food in a big pot, and I keep all the utensils and plates I use in a plastic box, so nothing crawls on it during the night. OMG, just the thought of it…….T-T

The biggest blessing though has been the spiritual growth though. Mos def. I have fully gone over the initial hump of anxiety over the fact that I have no internet/connection to the outside world, to it being one of the most freeing things ever. You don’t realise how constricting it is until it’s not there. Anyways, hope all is well on that side of the world. I just wanted to make sure I made this clarification to my past post because I wouldn’t be doing Africa the justice it deserves if I didn’t. Who knows when I’ll make another post, so until next time!

 

Also, just a note, I can’t write e-mails, so if you’re reading this and you sent me one, it’s not because I don’t care about you, it’s because I can’t! lol 

Bienvenue

Hello, just wanted to write a quick update on my time here.

Africa is definitely different from what I was expecting. I don’t have much time so here’s a run down on what I’ve found:

The weather is like the Pacific NW…or what I assume the PNW to be…it’s foggy here since it’s rainy season

I guess I can’t help but compare Cambodia to Africa, culture is super different. I was talking to someone about their interactions with foreigners. It’s a bit cold. They are very exclusive, and they are very direct. They said that it may be due to their history and how they were very oppressed by the colonies. Very understandable I gues. But as a feeler, it’s hard to not take it personally sometimes. Their coldness, their directness, I wonder why they can’t be a bit more emotional and jsut crack me a smile. SOMETHING! And at times I want to be cold to them back, but then I have to rememeber that they don’t this on purpose and that’s just how the culture is.

The worst part is at night. I can’t fall asleep because of jet lag, so I’m just up, in my bed. And the lightbulb to my room popped 2 days ago, so I can’t even turn on the light and read. I and just there….wide awake….scared because I found cockroaches in the kitchen, and there was something growling at me when I went in at night (found out rats live there during the night)…hahah yes…..this is Africa I suppose. But that’s the worst. Although, the past two night, I’ve gotten some journaling done and some reading done as well.

My mac charger broke the day I got here, so I dno’t even have a computer. I’m currently on Nadia’s right now, so if you guys don’t get updates from me you know why…Yes…who knew that not having internet makes you feel so deprived and…out of tuoch with the world? But at least I have my phone, which I need to reconnect to the internet every 30 seconds…lol Is it worth is…..I don’t even know.

Anyways, that’s been my life so far. It’s been very difficult with what I just said. Oh, also because my host family is leaving soon and so they don’t really take care of me. I don’t mind too much, but with all the disconnect that I’ve experienced with the internet, and the lights, and the people, it would be nice to have company. Oh well….I don’t know what it is that I keep putting myself into situations like this–first Cambodia then Cameroon…..why do I like to make it hard on myself?

Anyways, reading DoA’s chapter on Jesus’ childhood on diligence and effort (pg 72) really helped. I try and repeat it before each day to try and smile, even though I know that all I will get are people who will roll their eyes at me.

I changed a dressing for a lady at the hospital, and I thought how this was the best thing ever. Even though I spend the rest of the day taking histories or pressing the “on” button on a BP machine, those moments are where I’m reminded that medicine is worth it–when I’m on my knees, cleaning out the granulomatous tissue from her wound and putting iodine on it. Holding her hand and blowing on the wound when I put alcohol on it, then carefully wrapping it up. It’s a good feeling, to know that you’ve helped someone like, and they are beyond grateful. The lady kept repeating my name while I was doing it, and kept saying thank you after it was all done. All I cuold do was blush hahaha. ew, so girly…

Anyways, prayers please. I want to make the most of my trip here. It’s the hardest late at night though when it’s hard to keep reign on your thoughts.

Oh! And also, guess who’s the newest member of the Buea SDA Church choir? YEEEEE….this girl