Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Santa Dog and Reindeer Games

Last night was my community's weekly "Family Night" when we get together to intentionally spend time with one another, enjoying one another.

After going to the gym, Charlie and I stopped by our elderly neighbor's house to put some Christmas lights on her tree and dress her dog up in a Santa suit (that he did not like).



We then headed home to eat a delicious meal of Shepherd's Pie (vegetarian for three of us) and take silly Christmas photos. 




We settled onto our couches with hot chocolate, blankets, pillows, and a stash of candy and cookies in the middle of the floor, to watch Elf on a computer (since we don't have a tv). 

It was a beautiful, relaxing way to spend our last "Family Night" of 2013. 

Each of us will be heading out this week to go home (or be with friends) for Christmas. Your prayers are appreciated as we travel, as we talk to people and try to explain all the changes that have happened within us, and as we discern our way through God's plans for us during these next two weeks. 

Thanks, friends. And enjoy your Christmas! 


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pedagogy of the Oppressed: A Reflection

…healing begins where the wound was made.
- Alice Walker

“Hey sweet China eyes,” shouts the man on the corner to my roommate. “Them are some sexy China eyes!” We keep walking.

“How much, baby?” The man rolls down the passenger side window and makes an offer to my friend. She keeps walking. 

“I love Mardi Gras! Ya gotta show ‘em,” our neighbor slurs toward my female housemate. “Come on, let me see ‘em! Ya gotta!” Our male housemates laugh nervously. Everyone walks away.

“A man who sits in front of the liquor store was saying really sexually inappropriate things about [female teammate],” reports a male friend. “So, I think you ladies need to be more aware of what you’re wearing. Maybe start dressing more modestly.”

“Do you notice Freire writes ‘women and men’?” My female housemate asked. “He puts women first. Isn’t it jarring?”

Jarring. For women to be first. For women to be considered at all. Jarring.

There is a deep feminine wound that penetrates every culture, every language, and every major religion—a wound so deep, so engrained in the fabric of our collective subconscious skin, that many women don’t even know it is there; others are awakening to discover they’ve been in pain for years, aching from an injury they never knew existed.

I look into the eyes of the women in my Fifth Ward neighborhood, women who have seen the days of cold sidewalks, cold hearts, the back of a palm, the bottom of a bottle. Women who have accepted the image projected upon them: object. I see the hopelessness in their eyes, the glazed stare that looks beyond me to a future covered in darkness. They are addicted. They are ashamed. And the men on the corner yell a little louder, pull them in a little closer, let their hands linger a little longer. I see the women. I see their wound. The same wound within me, within all women.

In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire explains, “Self-depreciation is another characteristic of the oppressed, which derives from their internalization of the opinion the oppressors hold of them. So often do they hear that they are good for nothing, know nothing and are incapable of learning anything…that in the end they become convinced of their own unfitness” (45). To be convinced of their gender’s inadequacy and their second class citizenry, how often do the young girls in my neighborhood need to see their mothers touched and yelled at by strange men; how often do they need to hear their pastors tell the congregation that women should remain silent; how often do they need to see the advertisements and billboards telling them they are a sex symbol, an object of men’s scrutiny; how often do they need to sing the hymns and read the words that pronounce God as male and women as the downfall of all creation, the stain of original sin embedded on their bodies and in their souls, the sex that brought the curse. How young does she have to be to internalize the message that she is worth far less than her male counterparts in our patriarchal society?

The Christian Church of North America has relied largely on the idea of banking education to both implicitly and explicitly assert male dominance. The “knowledgeable” men from the pulpits and from ancient history pour static reality—static religion—into the brains of “ignorant” women, women who have internalized the patriarchal view of womankind and, in the eyes of the “educators,” need to be told how to think and feel. Those who have benefited from patriarchy are quick to distrust those who do not benefit, those who question the system. They have a “lack of confidence in the people’s ability to think, to want, and to know” (42). Even women, “given the circumstances which have produced their duality…distrust themselves,” thus relying on the information fed to them by the beneficiaries of a patriarchal culture and religion (45).  In his weblog “5 Ways to Avoid Undermining Your Theology of Gender, Tim Peck discusses his own interactions with patriarchy benefactors within the Christian church saying, “In my previous ministry experiences, opinionated and assertive women were sometimes labeled by male leaders as “troublemakers” or “busybodies”. Once labeled, men had the social justification to discount anything these women said, in effect silencing their voice.” By silencing women, men effectively close the door to dialogue.

Friere writes, “Because dialogue is an encounter among women and men who name the world, it must not be a situation where some name on behalf of others. It is an act of creation; it must not serve as a crafty instrument for the domination of one person by another” (70).  Instead of dialogue within the church and the society it has shaped, men have chosen to name the world on behalf of women, expecting complicit acceptance of this fixed reality.

“The language we use says a lot about what we value,” says Tim Peck. “…I would sometimes speak of ‘men’ or ‘man’ to refer to all people, not realizing that such language eclipses women...” In the Bible, God gives Adam, the first man, the task of naming the animals and his helpmate, thus making meaning of, identifying, and shaping the world and the women in it. It has been passed down from Biblical times that those who “named the world,” who created the language, the vocabulary, and the terminology of our culture, did so on behalf of those who were not, as the story goes, granted that authority.  Women have not had the opportunity or the encouragement to make their own meaning, to name their own world.  The inability to create their own meaning of the world has had rippling effects on women throughout time, converging in examples I see within my own neighborhood. Women in my neighborhood have been submerged in the myth of God-given male dominance. Women respond to this myth in several ways: anger, indifference, submission, or eager assertion (because they do not see how the myth only benefits the oppressors, in this case, the men who have perpetuated the myth). 

In many cases, I have seen women fall prey to fatalism. As Freire explains, fatalism could be misconstrued as docility, but far from being an inherent characteristic trait this fatalism “is the fruit of an historical and sociological situation” which leads to women seeing “their suffering, the fruit of exploitation, as the will of God—as if God were the creator of this “organized disorder.” Submerged in reality, the oppressed cannot perceive clearly the “order” which serves the interests of the oppressors whose image they have internalized” (44).  Fatalism, in turn, leads many women in my neighborhood to drugs or prostitution. The thinking behind these choices may very well be based in the idea that the world has been presented to them as a static, unchanging reality that they can do nothing about; they must accept their domination as submissive receptors. When she does not feel she has the power to change her world, her situation, her place in the “pecking order,” she must find some way of dealing with this system by numbing her pain or giving in to the idea of submission, if only as a fa├žade in order to survive.  Since women have been conditioned to perceive this system of oppressive male dominance as being assigned by God, Freire says, “it is extremely unlikely that [they] will seek their own liberation—an act of rebellion which they may view as a disobedient violation of the will of God, as an unwarranted confrontation with destiny” (145). In Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd explains her own violent awakening to the oppressive system of patriarchy, her first steps toward the “rebellion” of which Freire speaks: “I was in a religion that celebrated fatherhood and sonship. I was in an institution created by men and for men… the church, my church, was not just a part of the male dominant system I was waking up to, but a prime legitimizer of it…religion has given men a God like themselves—a God exclusively male in imagery, which legitimized and sealed their power. How fortunate for men, she said, that their sovereign authority has been vested in them by the Supreme Being…” (50). 

As Freire points out, “as long as the oppressed remain unaware of the causes of their condition, they fatalistically “accept” their exploitation” (46). The first step toward true freedom from oppression is dialogue and problem posing.  This step has been in process for years, but needs to be culturally and historically situated to meet the needs of each generation. While women nowadays are not asking, “Why can’t we vote?” They must become aware of the questions that need to be asked in our cultural context: Why are women not leading the church? Why is pornography the biggest industry in the world? Why are women expected to change their appearance to satiate men’s sexual impulses? Why is it expected for women to marry and have children? Why are most single-parent households female led? Why is rape happening and being used as a weapon in war? Why are women being exploited around the world for sex? Why are women not given the same opportunities as men to lead businesses, households, and congregations?

While working with an after school program at my church, a little girl asked, “Are you married?” “No,” I replied. “Why not?” She asked, obviously confused.  This little girl had already internalized that female identity relies on men. She did not understand how a woman could grow to adulthood without being married, without a man as her distinguishing factor.  She had not yet learned to ask questions about her thought process. She had learned only to accommodate to “this normalized ‘today’” (73).

As women and men begin to ask questions about “the way it’s always been,” they will begin to enter into dialogue, together. “Founding itself upon love, humility, and faith, dialogue becomes a horizontal relationship of which mutual trust between the dialoguers is the logical consequence,” says Friere (72). This mutual trust among women and men opens both genders’ eyes to the disservice being done to both of them through this system of male dominance, which has made women into objects and men into object owners.   Both genders need to be liberated from the oppressive unjust system of domination, freeing both women and men to embrace their full humanity and become creators of their world, a world in which equality is for everyone.

As my neighbor Juanita told me, “Oh, you gotta be a woman. You be a woman. Everywhere you go, you be a woman.” Advocating one another’s full humanity, women and men can liberate themselves from our patriarchal culture.



References

Freire, P. (1993). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum International
Publishing Group, Inc.
Kidd, S. M. (2002). Dance of the Dissident Daughter. New York: Harper Collins
Publishing.
Peck, T. (2013, Nov. 20). 5 Ways to Avoid Undermining Your Theology of Gender.
[Weblog]. Retrieved from www.juniaproject.com


Monday, December 2, 2013

Oh! Give Thanks...


"Because Love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is commitment to others."
- Paulo Friere in Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Thanksgiving day turned into Thanksgiving weekend at our humble Fifth Ward apartment. 

On Thursday we spent the morning at our church, Pleasant Hill, singing songs of gratitude in English and Spanish, mixing our two services. I watched the singers on stage dance while a woman in the front row banged on a tambourine and everyone in the pews belted out their thankfulness in song. 

After church, our Pastor invited us to eat a Thanksgiving meal with his family. We ate delicious food, played Bingo and Dutch Blitz, and taught Pastor how to dance. He wouldn't Wobble, but we got him to do the Cupid Shuffle! Priceless. 

That night we had a friend over. We ate a small meal of side dishes and watched Source Code. 

Saturday was the day.


My housemate Heather got up at the crack of dawn to begin cooking our turkey. She spent most of the day in the kitchen preparing our Thanksgiving feast while the rest of us either went to hang out with our neighbors, read, or nap. 


Charlie and I went around right before dinner asking friends and neighbors if they'd like to come over for some post Thanksgiving festivities. We had several neighbors that were up for it, and we ended up having a pretty full house! 

I met Celeste a few weeks ago, so Charlie and I headed to her place to invite her over. She said she was about to go to bed, but instead she grabbed her coat and shuffled out the door with us to our apartment. 

This was the first time we had our immediate neighbors over for a meal at our house. We had some great conversation, ate delicious food together, and played with the kids. 

Having a full house is a joy, but for me it was also draining. As soon as the conversation died down, the guests left, and the kitchen got cleaned up, I was ready for bed. 

I'm learning so much about myself within community. I am discovering, or re-discovering, that I enjoy small groups of  people, preferably one or two people, whom I can get to know really well, rather than a large group where I can flutter around getting to know a little bit about a lot of people. I am most refreshed when I can spend time by myself, away from my community, allowing myself to be filled up in order to give fully to my community.  I love parties...on occasion. I love walking really slowly with Miss Celeste and Miss Addison, asking them questions, content with the silence. I like silence. A lot. I also really like old people. 

The neighbors that I have enjoyed the most since being in Fifth Ward have been the elderly folks I've met. I sit next to Miss Addison every Sunday, and pass Miss Celeste's house every day on my way to and from work, sometimes stopping for conversation on her porch. I think I like them so much because they remind me to slow down, that life is not in a hurry, that I have no need to be in a hurry, that I can enjoy a slower pace with them. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Blessed are the Consumers

I was hungry and you went shopping on "Black Friday" for plasma tvs and video games.

I was thirsty and you bought yourself another holiday latte from Starbucks.

I was naked and you found a nice holiday outfit on sale to wear to the Christmas Party.

I was in prison and you voted to execute me.


My neurons shoot fire through my brain as I read a mesh of thoughts from Paulo Freire, Rob Bell, John Perkins, Jean Vanier, and a translated version of Jesus’ own words.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed challenges me in more ways than one. With my handy dictionary nearby, I walk through each sentence gradually, intentionally, pulling out each word, turning it over slowly in my mind, and linking it to the next, trying to find meaning.  At the end of the paragraph, I sit back, processing.  What did he just tell me? Freire explains that the oppressors do not realize they are oppressors; they are simply people benefiting from an unjust system of advantage, maintaining the status quo. The oppressed are the only ones capable of liberating themselves from this system, because obviously the oppressors aren’t going to do that (they’re the ones benefiting from this whole oppressive deal), and even if some sympathizer from the powerful party came along to join them in their efforts, the once-oppressor would be so influenced by her history as an oppressor that her immediate reaction would be, “These people are incapable of helping themselves. I must help them.” Thus perpetuating the mindset of oppressor-oppressed and never being able to liberate the oppressed because she is not able to liberate herself from oppressive thinking.

This thought from Freire was complemented by an excerpt from Love Wins by Rob Bell in which Bell discusses the biblical story of Lazarus and the rich man, a story told by Jesus in Luke 16. Bell points out that the rich man, when he is in Hades, asks for Lazarus, a poor beggar who is with Abraham in heaven, to bring him some water to quench his thirst:

“…note what it is the man wants in hell: he wants Lazarus to get him water. When you get someone water, you’re serving them.

The rich man wants Lazarus to serve him.

In their previous life, the rich man saw himself as better than Lazarus, and now, in hell, the rich man still sees himself as above Lazarus. It’s no wonder Abraham says there’s a chasm that can’t be crossed. The chasm is the rich man’s heart! It hasn’t changed, even in death and torment and agony. He’s still clinging to the old hierarchy. He still thinks he’s better.”

Jean Vanier in Community and Growth explains that when people get in groups oriented toward issues or causes there is a tendency to divide the world into the oppressors and the oppressed, the good and bad. He says, “There seems to be a need in human beings to see evil and combat it outside oneself, in order not to see it inside oneself.” 

Seeing the enemy as outside myself is easy. Focusing on some obscure idea of who the oppressor is and what the oppressor does is easy.

Seeing myself as the oppressor is much more difficult. Acknowledging the darkness, fear, hatred, bigotry, vanity, and envy within myself is much more difficult. Nearly impossible. Who wants to be aware of their own capacity to inflict pain, the benefits they’ve received from racial and gender inequality, the systems of injustice they perpetuate by buying luxury items made in sweatshops? Yeah, being aware of those things isn’t high on my bucket list. But it’s the only way to become aware of the Kingdom.

Vanier goes on to say, “The members of a community know that the struggle is inside of each person and inside the community; it is against all the powers of pride, elitism, hate and depression that are there and which hurt and crush others, and which cause division and war of all sorts. The enemy is inside, not outside.

Here is how we fight darkness: Be honest with ourselves. Become aware of ourselves as we are, what we have done, what we are capable of doing. Get really pissed at the system, at ourselves, and at the mess we’ve made. Mourn. Start being mindful of our thoughts--where they come from, what they are, and what they lead to. Then gather strength to fight, on a daily basis, in word and deed through big and small acts of real, vulnerable love. 

“To grow in love is to try each day to welcome, and be attentive and caring for those with whom we have the greatest difficulty; with our ‘enemies’; those who are the poorest, the oldest, the weakest, the most demanding, the most ailing; those who are the most marginal in the community, who have the most difficulty conforming to the rules; and finally those who are the youngest. If people are faithful to these four priorities of love then the community as a whole will be an oasis of love.”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.”


- Jesus 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's Gonna Be Ok

Sometimes things are just too heavy. 

I felt the weight of trying to love everyone in ways I didn't know how, in a capacity I couldn't handle. The curriculum readings, the graduate class work, the trainings, the expectation of intentionally building relationships with my neighbors, my church, and my housemates. Suddenly, or maybe not so suddenly, it was too much. I just couldn't do it all. Something had to give. So my mind and body gave out. Physical and mental exhaustion took over, and for a week I trudged through, sleeping as often as possible.

I guess I'm not made for this. I would think.

How can I live in intentional community always angry, frustrated, upset with the people I live with, the people I'm supposed to be loving? How do I love them when I feel so tired and overwhelmed? What about all the things that seem like they will never change? What if I never change?

And, of course, as a last desperate plea: God, help. 

I can't describe anything miraculous, but after a dream Monday night in which God rescued me again, I woke up Tuesday morning with a peace and joy I hadn't known since moving to Houston.

"Sometimes you just have to know...everything is gonna be ok," my roommate Taylor said.

That day I laughed with my housemates at work, met an elderly neighbor who introduced herself as Celeste, and had a beautiful conversation about racial reconciliation while eating cake-in-a-cup with my team.

Everything is gonna be ok. 

There was an exceptional bright spot over the weekend. 

My parents were able to stop by Houston for a day, spending our Friday together visiting Project Row Houses in Third Ward, walking through the Menil Collection, eating the most delicious pizza at Star Pizza, and searching the city for a Family Thrift store that has $1.50 Fridays.



It was a wonderful way to say, "See ya later" as they head back to Kenya in a few weeks. 

Then there was Pinot's Pallete...

Monday night in our house is team night/"date night" when we intentionally spend time together as a whole team or as groups within our team, doing fun things and getting to know one another better.

This week we went out with my housemate Rediet's coworkers to a paint party.

As all the women sat on their stools in front of their canvases, paintbrush in hand, surrounded by pallets of color, Etta James' voice drifted into the room and all 30 women of different ages and races sand together, "Aaaaaat laaaaaaasssssssttttttt, my love has come along..." Beautiful. 



Creating a Farmers Market...

Another beautiful part of Mission Year life is working as an intern at the Fifth Ward CRC (Community Redevelopment Corporation). At the moment, I am working on creating a local Farmers Market to make healthy local food more accessible to my neighbors. 

I LOVE the work that goes into this! It seems mundane and boring, sitting at a computer researching bylaws, State regulations, permits, licenses, certifications, and requirements for creating a Farmers Market, but the behind-the-scenes work is definitely what I'm made for. In this process I am also searching for grants to fund the project which then requires that I learn how to create a Market budget, find a governing board, and seek out people who will run manage and run this project. I'm leaving in July and want to make sure this thing is sustainable and completely owned by my Fifth Ward neighbors. 

My Mission Year Newsletter will be going out this week! 
If you'd like to receive monthly updates on what is going on in my Mission Year life in Houston's Fifth Ward, please sign up below! 



Subscribe to Tarrin's Mission Year Newsletter

* indicates required
Email Format

Monday, November 11, 2013

Five For the Fifth!

Hey friends! 

Check out the blurb below and the video to see what my teammates and I are up to in Houston with Mission Year, and how you can be a part of it! 



We are the Fifth Ward Pleasant Hill team, and we are committed to living simply, growing in love for one another and for our neighborhood through intentional relationships, and learning what it means to truly follow Jesus. We volunteer over 30 hours a week with community organizations, visit neighbors, share meals and devotion times: pray, play, and love together.

We are not paid for anything we do here in the Fifth Ward and we rely solely on donations from people like you! Your financial support covers our cost of living so we can commit full time to our neighborhood. We have created our Five for the Fifth Campaign: each team member has five days to find five people willing to commit to donating $5 or more a week ($20/month) to our Fifth Ward Pleasant Hill Team! We have five days to meet this goal! The campaign ends it this Friday, November 15!


Will you be one of my five? 

If you are one of the people willing to financially partner with us in our efforts to love our neighbors, you can donate to our team by clicking on any of the Fifth Ward team faces below!


Please let me know when you donate because it does not show up on our donation site for a while! 


 




     

If you want to write a check, you can make it out to Mission Year, writing my ID number #13-9010 in the memo line: PO Box 17628 Atlanta, GA 30316.

 Thank you for your love and support on this new journey!

Love, 


Tarrin, Kira, Rediet, Heather, Taylor, Charlie, Caleb 

The Fifth Ward Pleasant Hill Team 



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Digging In The Dirt

There is something beautifully simple about sitting in a garden planting seeds, digging in the dirt, and transplanting new growth in the ground.

Yesterday as I walked around the neighborhood, I wandered over to The Last Organic Outpost to do some volunteer farming.  Linda handed me a bucket of soil, some small pots, and a bag of cabbage seeds.  I set up under a ramada as it began sprinkling, digging into the bucket of dirt with both hands, patting it into the tiny pots, and setting a few seeds under the surface.

I was soon joined by the farm cat who tried to take a nap on my back as I hunched over the buckets.

After planting some cabbage and greens, Linda handed me some broccoli plants that had sprouted in pots and needed to be transplanted to a larger plot of land to thrive.  I broke up the ground, reached into the broccoli pots, gently removed them from their tiny homes, being careful of the roots, and set them in the holes I had made in the ground.

As I reflect on my time at the garden, and on the struggles I have been wrestling with over the past few weeks, God revealed some beautiful gems.

I cannot put new growth into the ground without tilling the soil, breaking up the hard ground that has been built up over time through storms and heat waves.  I cannot plant seeds without getting dirty.  I cannot make space for new growth without pulling up the weeds that have overrun the garden.

Gardening my heart is hard work.

It turns out that ground I thought was soft and ready for new seeds, new growth, is actually still littered with weeds, hard in some places, rough in others, unprepared.  I thought I was coming to Mission Year to get some pointers, some direction on how to do intentional community. I did not realize I was coming to Mission Year to re evaluate who I am and where I find my value. I did not realize living with six other people would be so difficult. I did not realize how hardened I can be when I clash with others' lifestyles and expectations. I did not realize how important a clean house and clean dishes are to me (ok, maybe I knew this one, but I didn't know how difficult it would be to live with others who have different expectations).

It turns out, there is a lot of ground that needs to be plowed and prepared for the growth that is to come. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Love And Do What You Will

Prayer of Saint Augustine

Therefore once for all this short command is given to you:
"Love and do what you will."
If you keep silent, keep silent by love;
if you speak, speak by love; 
if you correct, correct by love;
if you pardon, pardon by love;
let love be rooted in you,
and from the root nothing but good can grow.


Last weekend, my team and the two other Houston Mission Year teams headed out to the woods for a three day solitude retreat to reflect, pray, meditate, and culminate the end of our six week technology fast. 

We prayed together and on our own, read our team covenants out loud to one another to symbolize our commitment to one another and to the ideals we've set out to live by, and sat at the feet of our elders listening to their wisdom. 

We also took some time to enjoy one another. 








 
We are continuing to learn to love, really love. To love when the dishes in the sink pile up, to love when our work styles collide, to love when it's too cold or too hot in the house, to love when we've had a bad day, to love when someone is sick in bed with the flu, to love when the house is completely full of noise, to love when the house is completely silent, to love when we think everyone else around us has gone crazy and we're the only sane ones left...

Love. Still trying to figure out how to do it right. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Life is a Prayer

Our faith must be alive. It cannot be just a set of rigid beliefs and notions. Our faith must evolve every day and bring us joy, peace, freedom, and love. Faith implies practice, living our daily life in mindfulness. Some people think that prayer or meditation involves only our minds or our hearts. But we also have to pray with our bodies, with our actions in the world. And our actions must be modeled after those of the living Buddha or the living Christ. If we live as they did, we will have deep understanding and pure actions, and we will do our share to help create a more peaceful world for our children and all of the children of God. 

-Thich Nhat Hanh


Faith in action.

I wake up at 7am Monday through Thursday to have devotionals with all my sleepy housemates. At 8:45am, Charlie, Taylor, and I head off to work at the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Center where we sometimes do simple office work like data entry and filing. Other times, like today, we work on projects, brainstorming with friends on how to grow aeroponic crops and temperature controlled mushrooms, build shipping container cafes, and create local farmer's markets.

This is faith in action. Every day.

Do everything as a prayer. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Short Glimpse of Many Things

While I have internet on my Sabbath, I wanted to share a bunch of photos that reveal glimpses of my life here in Houston.

My roommate Taylor and I have beautified our room, making it into a sanctuary for late afternoon naps, craft sessions on the floor, late night bunk bed conversations, and a hub for incense and fresh scents of lavender and earth.






Our balcony garden grows and thrives, teaching us to be patient with growth, to tend and care for the little that we see. The balcony garden looks much better than this now, but I haven't had the chance to take a picture since we've been on our tech fast. Hopefully when this fast is over in a week, I'll be able to post some better pictures.




This is the awesome Last Organic Outpost Garden that we'd love to imitate in small scale form ;)


Riding the bus is a regular part of my week. I'm learning to cherish my time on the bus as moments of solitude, reflection, and sometimes, conversation with folks who sit next to me. 





And today, I get to rest at Agora, a sweet cafe that brings me life in the form of tea and internet...



Fridays are refreshing. 

Stay tuned!