"We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity."
I cannot find the words to adequately describe my recent visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. It had such an impact on me that I wanted to share it here. If you ever find yourself in Oklahoma City, you must visit this place....A Memorial Most Honorable!
"The first fence was installed to protect the site of the Murrah Building. Almost immediately, people began to leave tokens of love and hope on the fence. Those items now total more than 60,000 and are collected and preserved in our archives. The Fence was moved to its current site by family members, survivors and rescue workers at the time of the ground breaking for the Memorial. Today, more than 200 feet of the original Fence gives people the opportunity to leave tokens of remembrance and hope."
"The pool occupies what was once N.W. Fifth Street. Here, a shallow depth of gently flowing water is intended to help soothe wounds, with calming sounds providing a peaceful setting for quiet thoughts."
FIELD OF EMPTY CHAIRS
"These 168 chairs stand as a poignant reminder of each life lost, symbolizing the absence felt by family members and friends. The chairs are placed in nine rows, representing the nine floors of the building. The chairs are placed according to the floor on which those killed worked or were visiting. The symbolic chairs are designed in two sizes, the smaller size representing the absence of 19 children. Each chair is crafted of bronze and stone; its glass base is etched with the name of a victim. By day, the chairs seem to float above their translucent bases. By night, the glass bases illuminate as beacons of hope. The field's perimeter matches the footprint of the former Murrah Building. It is lined by a graphite path-granite that was salvaged from the Murrah Plaza."
When did Godzilla start wearing a bra?
I just finished reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. This book inspired me to think about the fact that every life has a story. Here are a couple quotes from her book to ponder:
"Human lives are not pieces of string that can be separated out from a knot of others and laid out straight. Families are webs. Impossible to touch one part of it without setting the rest vibrating. Impossible to understand one part without having a sense of the whole."
"A birth is not really the beginning. Our lives at the start are not really our own but only the continuation of someone else's story."
Happy birthday my dear friend, Ronnie!!!!
“Try to make at least one person happy every day. If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word. If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought. Count up, if you can, the treasure of happiness that you would dispense in a week, in a year, in a lifetime!”
~Lawrence G. Lovasik
"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."
~Marian Wright Edelman
My medical mission trip to El Salvador was my second mission trip. There is something to be said for experience, as I was much more relaxed and a lot less anxious this time around. Knowing what to expect makes all the difference. The group was smaller, which made it possible to get to know everyone on a much more personal level. I met some great folks from the Nashville area and was happy to spend time with friends I made on my first trip to Panama.
I felt blessed to be a part of the work in El Salvador. The people were very gracious and kind. I worked, once again, with the Optometrist and even spent a day and a half working with the Dentist. With chickens and dogs running around and despite the hot, dry heat, dirt and smoke, it was a wonderful experience!
Throughout the week the doctors saw approximately 1,421 patients, the pharmacy gave out 2,701 prescriptions, the optical team saw 841 patients and gave out 531 pairs of glasses and the dental team extracted 218 teeth. In addition, 92 Bible studies were held with 188 people, 9 people were baptized and 4 people were restored. We were even allowed to go into 8 schools where classes were taught to over 294 young people!
"First evening in Santa Elena...after a quick meeting we go to the church building in Santa Elena. The area different than where we were in Pananma. There are mountains in the background and a volcano stands high in view. We had a song service and now we have worship. It is, of course, in Spanish so I don't understand what is being said. I'm trying to be positive, but I can already see that this trip will be harder that the last. It is very hot and it looks like we will be setting up the clinic around the small church building in the area outside. This will make it difficult in the heat of the day. The bugs are bad, espeically as the sun sets. There is no breeze this evening. There are wild chickens and dogs all around. There is one chicken I've knicknamed "Fuzzy Butt." He is pittiful! He has few feathers and looks pretty skinny!
The birds are plentiful here. Their songs are beautiful. I wish I had time to study them. There is a small street where the church is located. There is a small building next to it. This building has a bright green door and the lower half of the front is painted blue. I'm not sure what is across the street. The building is made of concrete block and has razor wire across the top. The children are having class across from us. The kids are very happy here!
The ground is muddy and very rocky. Note to self...take the time during this next year to learn some Spanish so I can understand what is being spoken when I return next year!
It is hard to sit still and listen to this speaker when I can't understand, but this isn't for my benefit. I am thankful for safe travel and pray that the work done this week will be of great benefit to the people in this village.
I am home and finally rested from my trip to El Salvador! I am very behind in my work and other responsibilities as I was under the weather upon my return. I am now playing catch-up! I will have photos and a brief write-up very soon. In this photo I am spending some time with my new friend. Two days prior to this photo I was working with the dentist and we had to pull some of her teeth. She was very sad and looked so pitiful, but despite this she came to see me each time she was at the clinic and we spent some time together. Even though we could not speak to each other, we were able to communicate.
Have a blessed day!
Things will be quiet around here for a week. I leave early tomorrow for El Salvador and my second Medical Mission Trip. It is going to be a great trip and lots of good things are going to be done for the people of that country! I feel blessed to be a part of the work there! I will post photos and stories when I return!
Have a blessed day!
She woke today with such energy! That hasn't happened in a long time! Mmm? She isn't sure why exactly. She hits the road to get some last minute shopping finished before leaving Saturday on her second Medical Mission trip. She finds some good food options at Publix like rice cakes and packaged chicken. She wonders if she should try to "smuggle" some fresh apples and oranges into El Salvador...? She muses that her limit of 50 pounds for her "one" allowable checked bag is half full of food. Okay, maybe not half, but she learned from the last trip that it is necessary to bring an ample amount of snacks to get by. She really does need to find a way to get her travel fan into the suitcase. She is sure she will end up paying Delta Airlines the overload fee. Seems worth it! She is a little nervous about the trip, but excited at the same time!
Have a blessed day!
Not sure why, but I was compelled to hit this grubby little flea market today. It is one that I pass on a regular basis and since I had to schedule an "Artists Date" with myself this week, I thought this might be a good place to go.
Well, I was not expecting to find anything, but on the last aisle there it was...a huge table strewn with junk papers and photos! I had hit pay dirt!
I gathered a box full and left with a big smile on my face. I topped off my morning with a trip to Starbucks and went home and placed all the stuff on the floor to look at it. There is some cool stuff in this lot! I'm feeling inspired! Artist Date one was a success!!!
I decided to make a journal to take with me to El Salvador next week. I pulled together a bunch of scrap papers and used my coil binder to secure the book together. I might take it apart later and add the pages to a larger journal. I thought this format would lend itself well to that possibility.
On Saturday, March 17 I will be flying to El Salvador for my second Medical Mission Trip. The team will meet at the airport in San Salvador and then travel to the capital of Usulután. We will then travel the following day to Santa Elena where we will open the clinic and begin our work. I am nervous, like I was prior to my first trip, but excited. The good thing is that I am no longer a rookie and I feel much more prepared!
El Salvador is a country in Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras with a population of approximately 6.9 million people. El Salvador is the most densely populated nation on the American mainland.
This time I plan to take more pictures and bring my journal. I hope that when I return, I will have lots of stories and pictures to share!
Have a blessed day!