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And to follow my last's a post I wrote over five years ago (on FB) while we were still in Morocco.  It's from September 22, 2006.  It's just craziness how time flies.  p.s.  I miss those taxi drivers and those 30 cent croissants.  I also miss my team.  So, read below:

I'm listening to James Taylor and Joni Mitchell and Coldplay and that always makes me nostalgic and dreamy. And then I feel like writing. So, here goes... I've been here for almost a month. Crazy. That means I live here for ten more months. Even crazier. And I'm enjoying it mucho. It's so different from being here a few weeks. Soooo different. And it's a learning experience for sure. I've been reading John 15:5 a lot recently, where Jesus says, "...apart from me you can do nothing." Nothing! And I think, "You've gotta be kidding me Lord. Obviously I've done a lot myself...aren't you proud of me?" But as I look back on all that's happened, you life...I realize how intricately he weaves. It's beautiful, really. The fact that each minute affects the next. And each year builds upon the last. And how much this God that loves us so desperately desires us to notice how beautifully he's put it all together. It makes me stand in complete awe. And trusting on the past, I can stand in awe of all that's to come.
This is called grass. It doesn't exist here.
I'm learning what it means to let go of my rights, too...the rights I think I have as an American versus what God promises. We sit in our apartment every night without much to do, without the ability to leave. And it makes me remember why I'm here. I was just able to speak to my parents on the phone for the first time today. That's hard. And the other day I was talking to Jordan and discussing the immense loss I feel without nature and grass and trees and crickets and animals and clean air. I sound like Pocahontas. But I'm serious. I love it here, yet I feel like I can't breathe at times. I can't see the colors of the wind. Like I'd pay a thousand dollars for a midnight swim in my pool and a walk around the field with the moon. And I'd pay a two thousand if someone would let me roll around in a patch of grass and crisp leaves. Honestly, it's painful. I try not to think about it. Lord help me. Just to know that there's more out there than all these buildings. And then, maybe this isn't about me, huh? Aw, snap. I love that line in the old hymn "Take my Life," where it says, "Take my heart, it is thine own. It shall be thy royal throne." Make it thine. My desires, my hopes, my wants...making them His. Man it's such an adventure...

I feel the incredible gain of hilarious stories here, though. Taxi rides, for example. All taxis are driven by old men. And I love old men. They laugh in jolly ways; they mumble great wisdom. Sometimes they smoke cigars. So, a good goal for each day is to make an old taxi driver laugh. And it's easier than one might think. Usually it requires me saying one word in Arabic. I.e. Me: "Shokran" (thanks). Old man: "ahhaaahahaha...shokran! hahhaahha" And that's it. Job well done. The laughter can be increased by butchering more Arabic words if I so choose. It's amazing, really. Yesterday I kept asking the man what each letter on a sign sounded like. He taught me. I repeated. And by the end he was quizzing me on words. You can get a lot for your taxi money if you make an effort. Sometimes it's a little rougher. A few days ago, the three of us girls were riding along and the song "Amazed" by Lonestar came on. It was beautiful...English is so sweet to my ears here. So, Bethany and I began singing. Old taxi man, he loves this. He turns it up, starts laughing a deep belly laugh and we sing louder. And he says, "Dance! Dance!" That's only somewhat creepy. It was hilarious. One of my top moments here, I'd say. Oh, the joys... And I love certain little things here. That I can get a chocolate croissant for 30 cents, that I could never be lost because my neighbors keep track of me, that my vegetable man greets me with a smile each day, that I'm a ten minute ride from feeling sand on my feet, that I'm fed the best food in the world here, that my team is amazing, that mel and al let me sleep on their couch and watch 24, that the people are so kind... Really, this is only the beginning, but I should stop and sleep for my run tomorrow. I love you all and miss you. :)
For my housemates. So that we can all laugh together, even though we're not together. And for Liz, cause I miss you. And I miss your football and your terrible towel and wings. And maybe even colossal chicken. Maybe.


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