I just finished making my coffee this morning as I sit in my friend's flat. I’m in Hamburg for the second time this year. It’s surreal to think about all that has been provided for me the past few weeks. I had a warm bed to sleep in last night, a nice shower this morning, and breakfast waiting for me when I woke up. International friends are the greatest thing to have when you are travelling around the world. Living as a nomad takes its tole on you after awhile. I've slept in 9 different locations the past two weeks. I'm getting good at this packing light thing. And especially good at packing the essentials: underwear, instant coffee, earplugs and a sleeping mask. It’s pretty much all you need for your next adventure to the unknown. But I'm honestly worn out to the core from this weekend. We hosted the big conference about poverty, human trafficking, and slavery which ended today – leaving my brain in the rafters after non-stop thinking about how I could actively combat these huge issues. The elephant is too big for me to eat, so I'm going to need a little help from my friends.
It's embarrassing to say that in the past 2 years that I've "lived" in Germany, I've not picked up one sentence auf Deutsch. I worked the information booth at the conference this weekend and just smiled nodded each time a new person approached me with their question in their native tongue - each time fighting my way through the words until their next pause to kindly proclaim, "Entschuldigen, kein Deutsch sprechen." Except, on the spot, I forget to speak even the simplest of phrases and seem to mumble "ehhh... English?" like a dummy.
To my relief - and a bit of a surprise - the associate pastor of the Spanish church came to chat. I could not understand any of his German and he spoke very little English, so we decided to have a pleasant conversation in Espanol after discovering our common interest. My new Domincan Republic friend and I discussed the president of DR and how his reign the past 8 years has treated him well. He explained to me the president had recently visited Obama to speak about our countries’ issues like human rights and other social topics. He also told me I must like to work alot. "Te gusta trabajo mucho, no?" I had not stopped making jewelry our entire conversation which I now regret, for I was not engaging entirely into mis nuevo Latino compadre and missed the opportunity to go further into our new found friendship.
More German questions came and he left me to my work.
It was so refreshing to hear a language I could actually understand and he spoke it so beautifully. I've always regretted not being able to take Spanish 3. In high school I ran out of time to take actual classes because I squeezed in so many study halls, yearbook classes, "student teaching", and any other class that would give me relief from writing papers or having actual homework; probably more of those than I legally should have had. But it helps to know all the important people in the school office, or to just have a brother who everyone loved years prior. I think I got away with way too much. Since I can remember I've had a knack for getting out of things I was supposed to have done. Even in 1st grade I can remember "forgetting" to do the back side of my phonics homework - but Mrs. Shelton repeatedly gave me second chances to turn it in for half credit.
But Spanish was different. Ever since I can remember I've had this crazy fascination with travel and an extreme sense of wanderlust. I think my Spanish class fulfilled a bit of that wander. That's why I loved Spanish so much. It was the only subject that really got me outside the realm of my small town. For me, high school was such a struggle because I was so bored and not fulfilled. That fulfillment came from seeing the world - meeting other people. I can't imagine sitting still now and I'm 25. I'm so blessed to be free. To be single. I can do what I want to do. Go where I want to go. Be who I want to be. And best of all, there is no end because God provides for it all. I cannot ever imagine stopping now even as tired as I am. All I can think about are the travel possibilities this winter. Philly in December, California in January, India in Feburary. I'm excited to go home for a few weeks and rest, but after that, I'm free again baby!
Last night was such a blessing. It has been one of the first evenings I could sit alone, check email, send out files, and just plain rest without 100 other people around. Literally. I realized tonight how much being around people just stresses me out. When there is conversation happening I want to be a part of it, so all the talking grabs my attention and then sucks the energy right out of me. And then nothing is accomplished because I've actually not said anything all day. All of my energy left me through my brain. It's sounds weird (and a little gross) but it's the only way I can describe it.
Thank you Jesus for my warm bed
and sleeping in
and loyal friends
and being alone
and collecting my thoughts, a least for a few minutes
Maybe one day I'll stop.
But not now, please.
Elimination Art Collective: coming soon :)