Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bus Singer

People do all sorts of things to beg in Lima. Often, little kids get on the bus and sing for loose change. This was the first time I've heard opera on the bus. This guy was incredible! I gave him 1 sole (about 35 cents) and asked for another song. If riding the bus in the States was this classy, more people would take the bus!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Girlfriend's Guide to Lice Annihilation

Let's just say hypothetically that maybe there was a mom somewhere in the world that woke up to a whole new world of fighting head lice.  She was innocent at first--didn't even recognize it when the first of four started scratching....but then she got wise really quick.  Maybe a majority of the house-dwellers in her house came down with them, ok?  Said mom would within days become something of a specialist in head lice annihilation. She might even feel the urge to start a social action group against head lice and start distributing fliers about head lice annihilation best practice.  These are maybe a few things that she would put on said flier:

1.  Fifty-ish men tend not to get them.  Nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide.
2.  Moms who spend the whole day OCD-ing over finding one more up their odds of one of the little buggers migrating to her own precious locks.
3. The first sighting of a live little squirmy thing weaving through your kids' hair is the hardest.  Make sure that if you find a little colony of them squirming around, that you show your spouse so he may feel the passion of the cause.  After this moment,  it is sheer hatred that drives you to kill them.  Onward Christian soldier.
4. Moms who find out they have "visitors" in their own scalps after fighting it all day on the heads of their little ones can get a bit cranky.  A lot cranky. Pick through her hair super gently and act like you know what you are doing, even if it is just to humor her.
5. Killing the bugs themselves is easy.  Pinch, gently remove from scalp, then smoosh into oblivion.  Or, you can just kill them with your shampoo poison stuff and then pick them out.  They are just the tip of iceberg, Girl.  Hold on to your hoodie, 'cause there's more.
6. The eggs.  At first you are like, "I don't get it.  I am sure there are eggs here somewhere."  You are right.  You have been combing right past them for two days now.  Don't panic.  Just take your time and take it one fine-tooth comb swipe at a time.  That stuff you thought was dandruff?  It wasn't.  Now is a good time to go get another cup of coffee and brace yourself for a long ride.
7.  Check in the morning, every morning, for a long time.  Like two weeks.  The eggs can live 7-10 days, so even if you last saw a live one a week ago, you can still have a fresh one popping.  When you check an area that has had a large cache of eggs, you want to go nice and slow through there, and wait to see if something wiggles.  Ick.  But true.

So there you have it.  There is so much this mom could say about head lice---for example, head lice warfare philosophies, head lice trivia, all sorts of head lice analogies for the spiritual lice that invades our souls....I am sure she has had plenty of time to think about it all as she picks more lice off of her kids than monkeys pick fleas off of each other.  But, there is only so much room on the flier.  So there.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Momma Lena Got Keys...Divine Irony in Motion

This from Lena:

I cried in front of the tester the day I took my driver's license test.  I was 24 years old.  I slept less the night before I took that test than I did the night before I got married, a few months later.  My wise fiance had challenged me  to finally kill the beast and get my license, thus making me a more equal partner in the marriage rather than someone he would have to cater to.  I knew it was the right thing.  I was petrified.

I had never parallel-parked successfully.  Ever.  The evening before I spent crying out to God for help. I went to my prayer closet a desperate woman.  I remember hearing one thing in my heart--that I was to cast out my net one more time, like Peter when he had fished all night and had not caught anything.  One hour before my scheduled test, I went out to the driveway gripping my cones, full of grim determination.  I managed to pull off one successful park, and then it was off to the exam.  I cried so hard in the car when the tester corrected me that he asked my if my boyfriend beat me.  Oh my.  I don't even know why he gave me the license, because he could have flunked me.  But I got it.

I wanted to tell you this story, because I want you to grasp how extremely ridiculous it is that God sent me to a city of 9 million people,  teeming with 20-year-old minivans with doors that don't even close anymore that dodge in and out of traffic, and buses doing the same, not to mention taxis that make it impossible to take a right turn from the right-hand have to see it to believe it.  Or live in Africa or India.  Or Mexico City.  Someplace like that.   There is nothing in the States that comes close.

Divine Irony.  His power made perfect in our weakness.  It has taken me close to three years, but I am no longer paralyzed by the thought of driving in Lima at night.  I drive about an hour in Lima traffic Wednesday nights to our dear church, located in an area where you don't tell taxis you are going, or they won't take you there.  The further out I get, the more mototaxis there are, which I call buzzy bees, because that is the sensation they create as they zip through traffic.  Sometimes something a little scary happens, but mostly I am just so thankful not to be petrified anymore to do it.

I am not telling this story to make you think I am courageous or special.  It is just the opposite.  I am telling you because it knocks my socks off that the Lord has taken me this far.  I still can't parallel park for beans, and I stink at judging whether I can fit in a parking space.  I know I look like a dork at some point most days, wielding my huge minivan through the streets of Lima, and I wonder if my kids' friends are like, "Are you SURE you want to ride with Mrs. SHRADER?"   If the angels get a good laugh watching me run the streets of Lima,  I suppose that is fine with me as long as they keep me out trouble.  And if the Lord gets special delight out of watching his timid little Ohio driver take on traffic so she can be a worthy partner with Him, I am alright with that, too.