Saturday, October 16, 2010

in, through, You.

The radiant light
Cascades through the foliage
Through the smoke the
Crackling of the flame
Through the woods the
Echos of a mother’s
In the melodic musings of
The birds overhead.
You Echo.
In the quiet, in the cries;
In the silence and the laughter;
You Echo:


A plumb line to follow.
You are in good company.


You are in good company.
A company of the Saints.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The new chapter

God- Odds- Opportunity- Discovery-

I have to say, I’m not a big fan of acronyms or cliches, but honestly, sometimes, it is what it is—cliche or not.

I wish my heart could speak. Truly, beat out at least one measly word for the last 10 years—just one. I have always been one to plan out my words, to follow my heart, yet analyze it first, so that I can tangibly convey my emotions. This, of course, was necessary to explain myself if need be. Perhaps, more accurately, to affirm myself to my self. Because a solid explanation is always needed in life, right?


I have always been told, “Some things are unexplainable.” Some are simply felt—-experienced. Not a picture, not a word, only experience can truly define or capture life when it involves the entire self. A mere word could never suffice. After a decade of childhood school days and/or systematically structured life, I have come to my own conclusion that life is good. Not in the cheap, lackluster sense, but Life is Good when it is real; throughout the duration of the good and the bad, just the reality of each day when I cut it down to the core—Life is g.o.o.d.

I found God ten years ago. I always knew He was around, and the way I figure it, He’s kinda like Santa Claus, “He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake…” Moreover, I actually have come to catch glimpses of this “Being” that a majority of humans recognize in one way or another, and not just on Christmas Eve. In a quite humorous vein, I am at a point that I believe the aforementioned carol isn’t too far off when it comes to God. There spirit in this life that surpasses our own understanding as human beings yet seems to be within, among and around us all. The Spirit was with the generations who have come before, and I venture to say with the many to follow. Ten years ago, I made the decision to make the observation time that God had of me, similar to Santa’s watchful eye, more of a conversation. I dared to attempt the impossible—talk to Him. And like any running conversation, there have been interruptions, dropped calls, intense moments as well as silent ones, even those special encounters when nothing needs to be said at all. And, of course, there have been tears as well as smiles. Some points I want to talk, others, not so much. Our conversation could be a short text or an in-depth call that runs into the wee hours of the night…maybe even a meal shared or a jovial laugh. This I have experienced and somewhere within the depths of me, know I always will.

Sticking with my acronym, In the GOOD, with God, there have also been Odds. Odds have come in life and I expect that only a fool could say they have gone for good. These odds, whether deserved or chosen, forced or anticipated, have hurled me into action. Like when caught in on-coming traffic, decisions needed to be made, consequences were faced, more choices presented themselves and the trip continued. A random saying presented it self to me years ago, and has found residence in my being: “Real shit is better than plastic flowers.” The truth of Life. It may not be pretty, but that truth is truth and truth is real. No faking, just living. It may be hideous, daunting and debilitating at times, but there is no other way to go. Trials reveal truths unseen and told. Odds force change and change is different. We can have a place in change. Life may not be easy, but if it is evolving, it is alive. And if I am part of it, I too will evolve.

When Odds force change, change means different and different means Opportunities arise and choice is present. Are we? The question does not stand if there are choices presenting themselves during change, but moreover if we are present to make a choice. In times of change am I willing to explore my options, no matter how bleak they may seem? Am I willing to be patient, listen to others and seek out others’ advice and counsel when it is answer time? I am willing to accept that God is present in the odds and holds opportunities?

I have found that Discovery will come if I choose to participate. If I choose to have the faith to stand, the courage to get back up, believing in more and putting that belief into action, life will open its doors to me. To discover, I have had to go through it all…I needed to believe in more than just me, because odds came and they were bigger than me. I needed to believe to survive, to listen, to see, to walk and explore—overcome, risk and discover.

Life isn’t good because nothing is wrong—life is good when it is being lived—when we are being, “…good for goodness sake.” We have to choose.

God is here, odds will come, and opportunities will present themselves because there are discoveries to be made. All compose Life. And Life is to be lived.

So I begin a new chapter, one in Pasadena, in seminary, pursuing this God who has so intimately and consistently pursued me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What VOOY Means to Me

Every morning I wake up and realize I’m lucky. Lucky to have a house, a bed, food, games, and a family who cares for me. When I saw all the faces of the children in the orphanage, who lived in such bad conditions, I realized how fortunate I truly am. Fifteen children had only one mamita who took care of them and gave them love. Although these children had only a few things, they were smiling and playful. Their happiness does not require the superficial things that our society depends upon. The children of Virgen de Fatima have learned that all a person needs is love. They have been abandoned by their parents and have been left behind. They are always hoping for people with good hearts to adopt them and welcome them into a family.

When I work for Voices of Our Youth, I feel like a hero. I know I’m contributing to this world. I’m granting children an opportunity to have a brighter future and improve the quality of their childhood. VOOY is an evening when we, the youth, are able to share our feelings and thoughts; when we can say what we need to say, and be ourselves. We are able to express our thoughts any way we want. Voices Of Our Youth is the biggest event the middle school organizes and it’s one of the biggest fund-raising events in the whole school.

VOOY is basically a wonderful evening in which we can express our views in many different ways (poems, songs, letters, essays, etc…). This is a unique opportunity when people are all the same; it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you have. What matters the most is that we are all just normal people saying what we need to say.

After VOOY last year, I completely felt like a hero. I knew what we did made the world a better place for those children. When we went to the orphanage, we could play with the children and be with them for an hour or two. When I was playing with them, I could see how happy they were with only the few things they had and a little love. These children definitely deserve something better. We have to help them so that their quality of life can improve. These children deserve to have a caring family who will make them happy. So let’s get to work and all be little heroes.

If you would like to help us make a difference in the lives of the orphans and people of La Paz and Haiti, you can purchase a ticket or make a donation by contacting us at 2792302 or 2794750 ext 203.

Or check our website and donate online at

Voices Of Our Youth
“Our Voice is Hope. Our Hope is Change.”
March 25, 2010

-Grade Eight student

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Think, I Dream, I Believe, I Speak.

So many people tell me to be quiet, tell me that I'm too young to understand or that I shouldn’t be giving my opinion. As they tell me all these things I become shyer and shyer until I obey and stop speaking. Now I see that I am a real coward. How can I think in such way, how can I let people engrave such nuisance into my head. I respect my father, my mother and my elders, but that doesn’t mean that children think differently or that we as children don’t have the right to speak. I am free to believe whatever I want, it doesn’t matter what’s in my head, and no soul can stop me from doing so. There must be a reason why God gave us the gift of talking from such a young age. For I believe that as we become older, we learn about life and about people. And as we mature, our thoughts have more meaning. Our thoughts have always had a meaning and an importance, but as we mature and grow they develop into strong statements. Grown-ups wait until children are a certain age and then they actually pay attention to these concerns in life. But what adults don’t understand is if they would truly listen, one day these thoughts may be global issues. And parents can be proud because they were supportive, supportive of a person’s thoughts, even if it was just a child’s. This is what Voices of Our Youth means to me; it is a place made by us and directed by us, the children, where you are entertained and enlightened by our speeches.

Do you want to change the world? It isn’t hard; you just need hope, determination and courage. Just open your mind and speak up, ensure that all can listen.

If you would like to help us make a difference in the lives of the orphans and people of La Paz and Haiti, you can purchase a ticket or make a donation by contacting us at 2792302 or 2794750 ext 203.
Or check our website and donate online at

Voices Of Our Youth
“Our Voice is Hope. Our Hope is Change.”
March 25, 2010

-Grade Eight student

Thursday, March 4, 2010

VOOY is Back

What has now come to be an annual event, Voices Of Our Youth, is back this March 25, 2010!
The students of ACS have been working diligently to have their voices be heard, and not only here in La Paz, but worldwide. This year you can check out what is happening with VOOY online and even join us in helping the orphans of La Paz, the displaced of Bella Vista and the multitudes who still are suffering from the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. We are also raising awareness for the those who have been affected by the earthquakes in Chile. After much deliberation, the middle school students came to a consensus that the proceeds of their efforts would be best used in these places.

In early Feb. a neighborhood only miles from our school was destroyed by landslides. Today, hundreds are still living under tents, banning together and hoping for help. This is Bella Vista. We continue to aid Para Los NiƱos, a local nonprofit organization that is reaching out to orphanages throughout La Paz. Last year, our slogan was "I am the one whose voice can change the world." This year the students wanted to honor that sentiment and help the people of Haiti as well as those here in Bolivia.

So another year has come and our voice still speaks. Join us this year as our slogan is, "Our Voice is Hope. Our Hope is Change."
Check out our new website, and join our Facebook group, Voices Of Our Youth, Bolivia, and receive updates on what is happening with VOOY 2010!
Thanks for all of your support!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

today and every day...

Sometimes I feel as though if I am writing here, it has to have some weight, some bearing. I don't like wasting people's time to read something that doesn't say something "important" or thoughtful. Sometimes I wonder what really meets those requirements. Truly, if you are reading this you are probably close enough to me that you are just checking to make sure that I am still alive and Bolivia hasn't imploded yet. Well, it hasn't, if you are wondering.

The presidential elections have come and gone and the incumbent government continues to gain strength. The country is evolving and as it is everywhere else in the world, only time will tell where we will be in the future.

And with that, time will tell where we all will be in the and obey...
So I am well and the year is off and running. There is much in store and I look forward to experiencing each moment. My goal is to live in the moment this year, as I am more aware of my blessings and treasures in life today, as my time in Bolivia is waning. If you haven't officially heard, I have been accepted and will be attending Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, next year. I look to the future with joy and anticipation, yet live for today, with hope to not miss a thing!

Voices of our Youth is up and running for its 3rd year and the high schoolers are spear-heading the movement! The middle school students have voted that 70% of the proceeds will go to Bolivia: the orphanage we have been supporting as well as a local community that has been wiped out due to rains and landslides. More houses are lost each day as the rain is relentless right now. The other 30% of the funds raised are going to Haiti. The kids have spoken and their voices will be heard on Thursday, March 25. In the last two years we have raised close to $5,000 and this year we are able to accept international donations through our newly created PayPal account and web page, thanks to our students and administration! The students are in the process of finalizing the web page and it will be up and running quite soon. I am proud of their hearts and their efforts. They are passionate and are ready to change the world, here and abroad. I hope and pray that their passion never dies. They motivate me to keep mine burning!
I hope too that you are alive, well and passionate, wherever you may find yourself in life.
Grace and blessings to you this day and every day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a note of thanks to you all, for all. On this Thanksgiving, I hope we can stop and smile and feel. Feel the love of our families, our communities and our God. I hope we can feel this so that we in turn can share this very precious love with the world around us in all that we do. I feel blessed to be a part of a community that does just that with each action of their day.
So absorb the love and gratitude that we are so blessed to feel and be aware of. The simple love of a friend, a parent, a sibling, a spouse. For this simple love is the core of who we are, yet sadly is so simply overlooked and falls to the wayside. For this simple love can not be lost; for if we feel it slipping, look to the greater source, in his majestic mountains, bright blue skies, and the warm, soft breeze--allow it to capture you. For we have a God who loves us oh so much to surround us with beauty so that we may never lose sight, never let go.
Thank you for sharing His beauty with me each day, showing me the truth of life is more than a dollar sign, or an A+ in the situations of our lives. It is relationship; this is the thing to truly be thankful for, and for this I truly am.

Grace, peace and blessings upon you all.