Monday, March 30, 2015


I have always loved a good story.
First, when I was young, it was all about a good book. I could get lost for hours in a good book, and was scolded often for bringing my book to the table during dinner, or staying up late to sneak read.

When I got older I realized that the best stories are the stories in each of us. The ones that are constantly unfolding right before our eyes, the chance encounters that have so much potential because your story can become apart of someone else's story and...possibilities are endless.

I'm not a great storyteller. I talk so fast and get overly excited. Volume control has been a persistent problem throughout my life (eh, Krista?) But I love to write. I have to write. I have to express, some way, externally, and so often it is in writing that I start to make sense of it all, to unpack it, to label and sort it and put it away.

In my work now I do some writing. Sometimes I sit on a story for a few days (or weeks, every so often, like this time around). And because these stories are sacred they aren't things I can talk about. Sometimes after a hard story I come home so sad, and I want to convey to Mark the story. But I really can't, not properly (or legally, actually) because it's so much more than's tears and trembling and heavy silences. A word or two that are so ripe with meaning. I couldn't possibly do the story justice. So sometimes I sit on, sit with, a story for a while, until I've had time to write about it (either for work or in my own journal). Until I write it, until I've framed it exactly perfectly as I can, it will follow me, bounce around in my head, catch me off guard at funny times. I'ts a therapeutic thing for me to write these stories out of my head, to look the words straight on.  I'm thankful that it is a mandatory part of my current position, because I need to do it anyways. (But just so everyone knows...I write the real story-the story as it was told and how it felt to be the hearer, and then I take out about 90% of the emotion, and submit that. =)  )

Words are so powerful. I feel honored to be a story keeper.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Let them Rise

I had about six bags. I had called their friends and sent my texts to my guy on the inside. I had gathered the things they wanted, and about killed myself walking out of one of the neighborhoods I frequent so overloaded. The boys were ashamed to have me walk out on my own, but I wouldn't have dreamt of risking their safety to save myself from a sore back.

I called for a taxi today. I was already completely strung out from the last weeks' worth of drama. I am one big ball of anxiety and stress. I can see other people seeing it in me, but I can't hide it. I got in the taxi and put in my ear buds. My mind wandered and my eyes brimmed with tears. I already knew it was going to be a hard one.

Of course, this being Bangkok, traffic was atrocious. After many long and loud sighs on my part, I finally demanded the cab pull over. I gathered my six bags and pieced myself onto a motor sai. Why are motor sai drivers infinitely more competent than regular cab drivers? They are Bangkok's unsung heroes. for sure.

I arrived and I was all bags and business-meeting "so-and-so" who so graciously volunteered to see one of my kids, so that I could see him too. I arranged and labelled the bags. I practiced my Somali (ever so slightly).

I saw them while we waited to go through security. I saw them see me, and I wondered when it was I became so responsible for so many kids, so counted on.

We (my co-worker and I) went in. They flocked to us-those that we had arranged to see, and then others, who had been visited by someone else but came directly to me. Their eyes searched mine for assurance while my heart just slowly broke into a million pieces. They think I can do everything.

The one I am losing sleep over came. We talked with her a bit. Just for a second the conversation paused, and before I knew it she had fainted. The sound of her body hitting the concrete floor will ring in my ears for a long, long time. I've never felt more powerless. Just watched my kids-all wide eyed and scared- try to care for their friend, while I stood with my fingers laced through the chain fence and watched. After she was carried away their tears came. I saved mine until I had exited the building and rounded the corner. And then I cried for the injustice of it all.

I'm sitting in my big (and empty, accusingly empty) house, with my A/C and my hubby. I just had dinner-Mark got something I didn't like so I just threw away my portion and made myself something else (ya know, because I am completely, horrifically spoiled). I am free and fed and comfortable and loved. And I can't imagine how I would ever not be those things. But all I can think about are those kids-stuffed into those rooms, where freedom and food and comfort and health are not for them.

And I really don't know how to come to terms with it. Shouldn't this break all of us?

 I am much stronger than I ever knew. And I think there's a strength in saying that right now, I am so broken about the realities of my job, of this world we live in. But not so broken that I can't get up tomorrow and be strong for the other 150 kids that need someone to fight for them.

 But tonight I am quiet and introspective. I am angry and sharp-tongued. I am nauseous and flighty. I am trying to settle these things into manageable realities. I am trying to mourn these bad things without letting them ruin me. I am crying my tears tonight because tomorrow I need to be the one who helps others find their joy. 

If you are a prayer-let them rise.