Hola, Néih hóu, Bula, Bonjour, Aloha, Konnichi wa, Mogethin, Kia Ora, Hi

-Hola, Néih hóu, Bula, Bonjour, Aloha, Konnichi wa, Mogethin, Kia Ora, Hi-
No matter what your language, cadence, or creed, I'm glad you're here =)

"She's tired of flat lands and cornfields, Seashells traced in snow. She wants more bugs on her windshield, She don't want to go alone...She talks about her waterfall fountain, And her house out on the bay. She's in love with broken glass mountains, Fireplace cafes."

Translation, please!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"I wanna talk about me, I wanna talk about I"...Well, no, not really.

I realized today that those of you who read this blog may not know very much about me. So this is an 'About Netti' blog. [In retrospect, this probably should have been my first blog, but oh well =P] Today/night/early morning is also a special occasion because it is being brought to you by my new computer =) My old one took a tumble off my bed and a new term starts on the 3rd, so now I truly am a broke college student. But I am a broke college student with a new computer =P This is what it looks like...more or less. I like it =)

Anyhow, my name is Netti, this is what I look like

I am 21 years old, and my favorite color is blue.

I like to write [hence the blog] and I want to somehow incorporate that into what I do for a career one of these days. What I would most like is to somehow become involved with a justice oriented organization where I can use writing as a tool to help out. Whether it be grant writing [which I get to learn this term! So excited!], promotional writing, or whatever really.

I have an amazing family, seriously, they're the best.

I love music, it is actually really uncommon for me to be somewhere where there is no music playing. I love to sing, and I dabble with any instrument you'll let me try =)

Getting flowers is one of the very best things =) I don't care if they're wild or not, I love the thought behind them. Although, my favorite are thistles, but those are a bit hard to find in bouquets =P

I love God, plain and simple. He is the driving force behind my life.

Chess is probably one of the greater games ever created. Then Boggle, and then Scrabble.

The kitchen is one of my favorite places, no matter where I am, you can probably find me working in the kitchen. And it's even better when there's some great people accompanied by some great music.

I am a total night owl - and I blame my mama for it =P

I adore new cultures and languages, I love knowing that the world is bigger than my small vantage point.

Laughing is one of my favorite activities.

I would love to work in a library.

I feel like too many of these statements begin with 'I' but I suppose if this post is meant to be about me it's kind of unavoidable.

I like being serenaded - I love being serenaded in a foreign language.

I hate packing and unpacking, but I don't mind the actual moving.

I really enjoy people watching. Airports support some of the better subjects for this hobby.

Gore doesn't really bother me, I actually find most of that fascinating. However, I loathe puke. I would almost rather see a finger go flying than have to be near someone when they vomit. Yucko.

My birthday is on Halloween. One time the librarian called me a little witch and my mom got mad at her. Really mad. If I had been that librarian and not 8yr old me, I would have been afraid.

I am left handed, another thing passed down from mama,

I hate math, probably mostly because I'm bad at it, but still.

I am about to fall asleep, which is probably a good thing since Katt [who is presently asleep on my couch] asked me to wake her up in the morning =P

So there you have it! A very few amount of facts about me/things I like. Maybe this will make me more to you than words across a screen, or maybe you'll think of it as an egotistical approach to publicity. Either way, I'm thankful for those of you who read my small corner of the cyber world.

Enjoy the rest of your sleep [to those of you who are sleeping]
Better get to bed soon! [to those of you who are like me, doing something totally unnecessary at 2:30am]
And to those of you working a night shift or something on a similar level of torture, I hope the time flies by quickly for you and that you are met with a warm bed and someone who loves you upon your return home.

Thank you <3

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Strange Dream, Glow Worms, and Frightened Children.

I had a dream last night.

I don't generally remember my dreams, but this one is still perfectly clear in my mind - or at least the parts I remember are =P

They found a cave under the YWAM base in Turner...I know I know - welcome to Netti's Subconscious.

Anyhow, they found this underground cave and it was obvious that it had been used at some point in time as what appeared to be a cafe. There was a display case of little cakes and other goodies like that. My lovely friend Melissa [P.] was there. I made a comment on how those were probably still good 'cause of all the preservatives and Melissa replied with, "They are, I tried one" Only Melissa =P

And in good ol' YWAM fashion, they had put a set of instruments down there (although, now that I'm awake I realize that loud noises inside a cave is probably not a good idea...)

My brother was also with me, and a girl I worked at the Oktoberfest with...I think her name is Carly...And her boyfriend, which was a different boy than she was dating when I met her in September - weird.

We had set up some sort of pins and were bowling, or at least Carly and The Unnamed Manboy were playing, and had my brother resetting the pins. I went to sit with Melissa at the 'cafe'

And then Unnamed Manboy was playing one of the guitars and I told him to stop because we weren't supposed to mess with them, etc etc.

And then Bruce and Rachel Jeffers showed up and were talking about all of the things that probably lived down here [cue bats: no literally, a couple of bats flew out right then]. And it was that comment that stopped me from using the bathroom down there because I was scared that there might be scorpions...in Turner, Oregon...yeeaahhh.

So then I really had to pee and I couldn't leave everyone down there [on a side note, I believe Unnamed Manboy suggested that they use the place for combat training or something like that.] So we all leave and my brother asks, "Is she down there?" and I knew who he meant because you know these things in dreams. He meant our little sister who I wasn't even aware had been down there with us. So then the whole tone of the dream shifted as I began to fear that my little sister was locked down there in the dark all alone with scorpions.

And that's when I woke up [I distinctly remember thinking "Well that's enough, I don't want this to turn into a nightmare."]

After I had woken up a little I started thinking about how I would react to being in a dark cave. I think I would always want to be able to feel that someone was there. The actual physical contact would probably help keep me sane [to those of you who know me, this should be amusing =P]

And then I remembered that I have been in a dark cave. I was on the New Zealand part of my outreach, we were staffing a holiday camp [or VBS] and at the end we went to the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves I did not want to go. My sense of adventure does not generally extend a welcome arm to underground places.

But we went. We all piled on a bus with the kids and rode to our graves, err, lovely outing.

I was beside myself the whole ride, trying to distract myself with the kids, telling myself to breath, just breath. "There won't be a cave in and you won't be crushed under earth and humans and glow worms. It's gonna be fine, breath - while you can..." My pep talks didn't do me much good.

The Caves are a legitimate tourist attraction, it's kind of like going to the zoo. Go inside, look around, no harm no foul. It really is a safe endeavor, I don't think that the parents of those kids would have allowed us to take their children there if it wasn't. But that didn't stop my pulse from racing.

So we go inside and start the tour. We had a guide, although I can't remember anything about them =/ I don't even remember if they were a man or woman. I'm inclined to say woman because the voice I remember is more feminine.

In my defense, I was really having a hard time being under there. And then, as we went deeper and the light disappeared, I had four little kids sobbing into my thighs because they were scared of the dark. That forced me out of myself some, I had to be upbeat and safe for them, I couldn't lose it. I wanted to run outside screaming and rock back and forth with my head in my hands until I couldn't feel my heart pounding anymore. But having the responsibility of those kids allowed me to see something really very incredible.

We keep moving deeper [and surprisingly the air stayed nice. It didn't get suffocating, and it didn't start to smell horrible like I thought it might.] and it keeps getting darker, and slowly, we begin to see stars.

And then I remember that we are underground [cue anxiety] but a few deep breaths and "look up there!" to the kids and I was under control again. Soon the surface of the ceiling is covered in these stars. They were kind of the color of those LED Christmas lights, you know, that kind of blue-white color?

They were beautiful.

The guide told us they were the glow worms. I know she [I've decided it was a woman =P] said that they could be used for something other than staring at, but I don't remember what. I suppose I could google it, but so can you if you really care that much =P

They were so far above our heads [the cave was more like a cavern, it was huge in most parts...I am well aware how silly it is for me to be so freaked out by that kind of thing, but I am set in my ways =P] and still so bright, it was amazing!

So we're walking along and all of the sudden it gets a lot colder. We have been moving downward for some time now and we approach a dock. No one told me anything about this. Apparently we are meant to get inside the little boats and go through a little opening in the cave out to the river that runs alongside the cave site.This did not bode well with me, or many of the children.

There were many tears, many pleas, many 'no thanks, I choose life' s. Oh and the kids were upset too.

We all get in, having to hoist many of the kids inside, and then we were off! This is when I was most happy to have the kids with me. It was by far the darkest part of the journey and scariest, so I was glad for the little barnacles, er, kids, at my sides.

On our way to our little exit, the ceiling was once again covered in the little guys. They moved and pulsed and really were beautiful. I couldn't help but think about God creating these little guys. They are such a neat little animal. They don't rely on light to make them glow. there is some chemical or something in their bodies that a
allows them to shine even without having ever seen light. I think the guide told us that they are the larva of NZ's version of crane flies. I'm not sure what they're called there, but they're kind of similar to what some call 'skeeter eaters' here. Only lighter, more flimsy kind of. Us Americans mostly called them flying spiders because they look like daddy long legs with wings.

We get to where we are supposed to jet through out into fresh air and open skies. I was near the front of the boat, and could see the opening our boat was meant to fit through. I had a moment of panic when I realized that the captain must want us to all lay down so he could squeeze us through. I think I muttered something like "crazy Kiwis", and held my breath.

And then we were turning around. Since it had been raining so much, the river had risen too much for us to get through. So we all went back to the dock and trekked up countless stairs back to daylight.

The kids were much more calm on our return trip, I was too actually.

All in all I am glad I went [ not that I really had a choice, but still]. I think that I would have regretted not taking that chance, and missing out on seeing something really awe inspiring. It just goes to show that sometimes our worst fears are nothing but that, fears. They don't always amount to something horrible and scarring. I am finding that facing them can often be an amazing experience. Actually, I recommend it.

I think that wraps it up for this blog, thank you for reading <3

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sleepless nights and Human Nature

My sleep schedule has gone to the birds. (that is an expression isn't it? well it is now regardless...=P)

So I am writing as opposed to sleeping, which i should have started doing...31 minutes ago, if I want the full 8 hours.

Who am I kidding though really, I very rarely sleep that long in a night. I am not inclined towards an early bed time, so I suppose it is a good thing that I can function on smaller amounts of sleep than some.

I am thinking about human nature tonight. If every person is different, then what is human nature? Maybe we're not all as different as we think, maybe that's some sort of fairytale that we've woven for so many years to console our fears of conformity. Of being the same.

Maybe that's a Western thing. In the other cultures I've been in, that hasn't really been the case.

Maybe it's a balance between the two, human nature is at our base and sits at our core waiting to be evoked. But the outward layers of our selves are composed of things that are more individualized.

Maybe it has more to do with personal preference. For example, I love to write, it's fun for me, its therapeutic. For my dear brother, it is the last thing on earth he would choose to do. (this is an overstatement, obviously. I'm sure there are other things [dishes, sweeping, murder] that he would choose writing over)

But at the same time, we are human (or at least nothing has otherwise been proven thus far...), therefore we must both have some sort of human nature within us. Or is that the Fallen side of people? Is human nature all about selfishness, and dispute, and jealousy?

Or is human nature the predictability of a person, with humanity being subject to the individual? Like how I would react to a situation differently than some others might. Is my reaction a reflex of my human nature?

I'm rambling, I know. I'm just curious (I'm always curious, I can't help it), I want to know the answer. Is there an answer?

Maybe the answer lies in more sleep and less thinking.

Then again, "She that fails to command her thoughts will soon lose command of her actions"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Fight Is...

I have always had a strong reaction to injustice. There is something in me that rears up and I have to fight with myself to make sure I don't act rashly and do more harm than good.

I get angry, I get fearless, I get mean.
I hate things that are unjust, unfair, or just plain not right.

It comes from a desire to protect others and to make things right. There are things in this world that are hideous on the outside alone. And at the center, anyone with a shred of conscience left can see that pure evil resides at its core.

I am working to learn knowledge and gain wisdom, I want to be an asset in this field, not a hindrance, not an 'oops'.
 I want to make a difference, I want to Fight.

This is why I appreciate organizations like My Fight who are taking it upon themselves to stand against poverty by providing a useful service called 'Micro Loans'. Micro Loans are small loans (micro = small...go figure =P) to help people in need. Like one woman they spoke about at a benefit concert I was lucky enough to attend last night. I forget her name, or even where she was from (actually, I'm not entirely sure I knew it to begin with, I couldn't really hear at the beginning) but I remember her story. Sarah (I'm giving her a name because that's easier to read than a whole heap of 'she's and 'her's) makes tortillas for 12hours a day, then sells out of them in 30minutes. So a micro loan of $50 would provide Sarah with a tortilla press, which can double her daily product, which would double her daily income, which doubles her yearly income. Now they didn't say that the micro loan would help Sarah with the extra ingredient costs, but I can only assume that it would - I can't imagine that they wouldn't have thought of that. So this small(micro, hehe =P)loan provides a whole new way of life for Sarah and her family. Just imagine how Sarah could use that to help better the lives of others! Maybe she hires another woman to help her with productivity, and bam! That woman is provided with the means to provide for her family. And so on and so forth.

At this particular benefit concert, I happened to know many of the musicians, as it took place at a local venue. But that doesn't change the message of My Fight. The fact that things like poverty, starvation, human trafficking, slavery (YES these things exist! I cannot stress enough how crucial it is that awareness is raised. Portland, Oregon - a mere hour North of the city I call home - is second only to Seattle, for human trafficking in the US. There is an estimated 14,500 - 17,500 people trafficked into America each year. That is people from foreign soil that are brought to our country, imagine how much the number would jump if our own citizens were counted in it.

These are people. Humans, just like you and just like me. With families and hopes and dreams and souls and spirits and
basic. human. rights. They live and breath. They speak, they fight, they pray, they swear. They are slaves. They are women and children, and even some men, that are captured, and forced into an enterprise that thrives on the backs of pollution. Of greed, and malice. And of Evil.

Doesn't that make your stomach turn?
Good. Mine too.

Please, please please. If you feel like you can't do anything about social issues like the ones I've been describing tonight. Pray.
That is more powerful than I give it credit for some days. Pray.
If you are like me and feel bound by the life you're in now, whether it be school, or finances, or family, or whatever else. Pray. If God means for you to act in the physical sense of the word, He will make an opening for us to dive through. And I think that is a hope we can all hold on to.

My own fight is against injustice and anything else that gets my blood boiling. What's Yours?

P.S. I know this ran kind of long, thank you for reading <3

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Stomp of Shame

Today I would like to discuss something I think everyone struggles with. It is not only awkward, but embarrassing. It strikes when you least expect it. No one is immune. Ravaging grocery stores and other cart using enterprises across the world, ladies and gentlemen, The Stomp of Shame.

The Stomp of Shame is an event that tortures man, woman, and child alike. It has become a commonplace among busy shoppers, and even those with the luxury of meandering through the isles. Allow me to set the stage for you,

The store is brightly lit, as are most. There are shoppers, both slow and hurried, populating the isles, as there often are. Nothing is out of the ordinary on this day in Winco (Yes, Winco. Because I find this is where the Stomp of Shame tends to show its ugly face in my own life).

You yourself, are minding your own business, perusing the selection of tortillas or apples or eggnog (if we're being festive). You lean your elbows on the cart handle, placing your chin in your hand.

You lift your leg, bending at the knee (cue dramatic slow motion) to place your foot comfortably on the bar of the bottom layer of the cart.

This is when it strikes, when you least expect it. Whether you are viewing the milky delight that is eggnog, or perhaps you have paused your shopping experience for some friendly texting (or maybe "I forgot the list, do we need anything?" texting).

Your foot moves downward, searching for its resting place, and BAM! Hits the floor with a slap/thud (yes, it is a combination of the two sounds). People turn, searching for the child about to throw a tantrum and the parent they give sympathetic smiles to. But there is no such character in sight. Just the one loner and their cart, enveloped in the embarrassment that is the Stomp of Shame.

And everyone tries to pretend like it wasn't them. We avoid eye contact with the onlookers and pretend like there was no sound, and that we are simply overheated and THAT is why our faces have gone red.

There are always the few people who try to explain, and the people around them smile small, condescending, smiles and return to their shopping.

And the Stomper is left to the shame induced by their seemingly attempt at a hissy fit.

This has been -The Stomp of Shame-