Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My last day of PR.

Today is the very last day that I ever have to to anything PR related at the University of Tennessee. We turned in our 70 something page book last week and we have our presentation to the client this afternoon. I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally be done with PR.

Part of me thinks that I should try to stay in PR and get a PR job and be a professional, but the other part of me just wants to change the world.

Good thing about today though is that I feel super grown up and professional in my business skirt and button down shirt. I'll post pictures of my group later so you can see all of us in our business-y attire.

Tonight after our presentation we are going to eat mexican and hang out in a non-school related setting. I'm so excited about that because we haven't been able to hang out with each other except for working on the project.

Other good news: I'm going home TOMORROW morning! I get to leave around 10 am. I am so excited to see my family and hang out with my friends that I don't get to see very often. I'm so stoked about it!

Today is my relaxation day so I'll blog more over Thanksgiving break! Have a safe Thanksgiving everyone!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why, oh why did I decide Public Relations?

Today, our huge project was supposed to be due. Of course, the teacher decided to push back the due date, so now it is due on Thursday. I almost wish it would have been over today. I'm so tired of public relations, and especially this project.

Today we had to go to class to take our senior exit exam. That was a little scary knowing that was the last PR test I will EVER have to take. I'm super excited though because After next Tuesday I will be completely done with public relations FOREVER.

This class is called campaigns (or pr 470). Basically, the teacher picks a client, and a team of six creates an entire campaign. Most of the campaigns are awareness or fundraising campaigns.

Our client is Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic in Blount County. Sounds like a blast, right? When she announced that this would be our client, I freaked out a little bit because I had never even heard of them. Turns out, they are a non-profit organization that records books for children with reading disabilities.

Our campaign focuses on the fact that no one knows about them, and they have no money. As you can imagine, creating a campaign that is cost-effective but tells everyone about them is a little ridiculous and very hard to do. So I've spent this entire semester along with 5 girls trying to figure out how to make this work. It hasn't been easy, but I think we did a pretty good job. We are having it printed tomorrow and we will turn it in on Thursday morning. Our presentation to the client is next Tuesday, then I'm done! Praise the Lord!

I did get a little break from it the other day. I went home to Nashville last weekend to visit my family. I had not seen my dad is around 2 months, so it was really great to be able to hang out with them. We went to the Titans game on Sunday, and it reminded me of when I was a little girl and how I always loved going to the games with him. I got to see Brittany too, my best friend EVER. We went and drank some Starbucks coffee (except she had apple spice and I had hot chocolate hehe) and we sat and talked for a few hours. I am so proud of her because she was telling me how she was struggling, but also how she was facing those struggles. She's such a strong girl, and she definitely helped me with some of the things I was going through. She is so wise to be so young, but she's absolutely amazing and I love her to death. Here's a picture of us in St. Louis spring break.

We were pretending to be bears.

I also started knitting again! This time, I think I'm going to give all my scarves that I knit to homeless people. Good stress reliever and turning it around to do something good.

I hope all of you have a wonderful day, and remember to count your blessings this month (and all the time :)

Peace out!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Sleepy Day!

I am having such a sleepy day! I cannot seem to wake up, even after a whole cup of tea! I did get a nice little surprise this morning though. Lil Wayne totally gave Lane Kiffin, aka lil lane, another shout-out on this video he made.


It's pretty funny. He talks about Lane around the 15 minute mark. Just a little gift to the few of you that read this :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Haitian Paradise!

I cannot even begin to explain how amazing Haiti was. I'm going to try to recall everything that went on because it was such an awesome experience!

On Wednesday morning, very early, we woke up and went to the airport and boarded a plane to Atlanta. We arrived safely in Atlanta, and I even got to fly first class! Lots of pretzels and SunChips! So we land in Atlanta and immediately board the plane to Miami. We spent the night in Miami because we wouldn't have been able to make an earlier flight to Haiti. It was also Michelle's birthday, so we rented a convertible and drove around Miami and went into South Beach and walked up and down the strip. It was really fun, even though I was really tired for some reason.
The next morning we woke up and went to the airport and got on the plane to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As soon as we landed we headed outside and tons of men in red caps came barreling towards us speaking a language that I thoroughly did not understand. We met with pastor Jude, and his wife, pastor Joenemed, and a few other people. We had to rent a car, so we stood outside in the 100 degree weather until we got the car. While we were waiting, I got to play with Pastor Jude's grandson, Isaiah, who is the CUTEST little boy ever! This is him.
When we got the car, we found out that one of the tires was bad so we had to go to the Avis office and get the tire changed. Being the nice woman she is, Pastor Jude's wife, Yanick let me sit in the front seat. Bad idea. They drive like CRAZY in Haiti. There are no traffic rules, you just go and honk your horn and hope you don't anymore. Those of you that know me know that I have a weak stomach, so I was having to keep it all in. Once we got the car fixed, we went to the grocery and it was really exciting. It was just like being back in America. We bought a few things for the hotel, but I of course always pack a ton of food with me because I don't want to starve, being the picky eater that I am! After the grocery, we went to the Karibe, which is this amazing hotel. It's kind of sad because the hotel is so nice, and you step out on the front porch and remember the poverty and destruction of the country. For some reason, I was more tired than I've ever been in my life. We had planned on taking a short nap before getting up for dinner. We checked into the hotel around 3:20, and by 3:30 I was crawled in the bed asleep. Michelle came in around 7:30 and asked me if I wanted to eat some dinner, but I was so tired that I just wanted to stay in bed. I ended up sleeping until 8 o'clock the next morning. Unfortunately, this was a common theme among the week, but I tried to stay strong and remember what I was there to do. We woke up Friday morning and ate breakfast at our wonderful hotel, then headed out for the day. Pastor Jude and Yanick came to our hotel and we went to this place run by American missionaries to see if they were available to house the group that was going down the next week. It was a beautiful place, and it ended up working out great for the group the next week.

After we went to that place we went to a baby orphanage. It was a 5 story building with a playground on the roof. They had so many young children, and we didn't get to stay for long but here a few pictures of some of the kids we saw.

This is the playground on the roof
Sweet child

He cried the whole time

After we left the orphanage we drove around the streets and it really made me realize how much need this country is in. Here a few pictures of what goes on in the streets of Haiti.
This is a dip on the side of the road where water should be flowing through, but it's completely filled with trash.
These trucks are called tap-taps. They are like taxi's but they pile as many people in there as they can to take them where they need to go. They drive like crazy and you have to honk to let them know you are right beside them so they don't run over you! It's so scary!
This is where my days get completely mixed up. I remember everything that happened but I have no idea as to what order they happened in. Haha.

One night we went out to eat in a Haitian restaurant with Greg's friend, Anne McDonald. She's an awesome young lady. She works at Gheskio, which is the first medical center in the world exclusively dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS. She has been all over the world, but has been living in Haiti for a few months. Her story is awesome, and she gives all the glory to God.

One morning we met with Joan, who works with the Restavek Foundation. There are 300,000 children in Haiti living as Restevek, which is a child slave. Joan and her husband talked to us about what they do, and it was very powerful. This quote from the Web site sums up the Restevek Foundation and what they exist to do.

"The Restavek Foundation exists to bring an end to child slavery in Haiti. We're here because we believe that a broken system can be fixed. We believe that education and love will replace the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that comes from ignorance. And we believe that if we give these children a voice, we can give them hope for a better future."

While we were there, we also went to an orphanage that was far away, up a mountain, and down some pretty rough roads. We even saw a pay phone hanging on a tree! I wish I could find the picture of it, but its no where to be found. Bobby runs the orphanage and he houses 15 kids ranging in age. They are so adorable. They loved having their picture taken! Here's a few of those sweet sweet children!

My favorite little girl ever! I want to adopt her SO bad. She is precious.
This is her brother. He's funny too. He was playing with a little truck and he accidently knocked the wheels off of it, and when I put them back on he was so excited. Talk about super cute. I'll adopt him too.
For some reason this little boy loved having this sticker on his head. He was hilarious and was trying to put it on my head! He was super sweet!
This little girl loved having her picture taken too. I would love to adopt her too.

The last place we went was in the middle of the dessert. For real... We went up a mountain on these bumpy roads, then drove on sandy gravel for about 20 minutes before we reached this village. We pulled up and there were only a few people out. All of the sudden, a ton of people came running out. We were SURROUNDED by tons of little children. They live amongst cactus and things that can rip your skin apart. I got scraped by a couple of these things, but they are so accustomed to it that they have no idea that they are living in these conditions. No one ever visits them, they have no running water, barely any food, and struggle to stay alive. Most of them were naked and without shoes. It was probably the most powerful thing I've ever seen in my life. I literally wanted to pitch a tent and stay right there and tell them of the Savior's love and everything that He is and that if they drink of His living water they will never thirst again. But sadly, we had to leave. My heart is still in that village, and one day, I will be there. I was flipping through my pictures and you can just see the sorrow on their faces. I wish I was there right now. My friend just came in and was talking to me and I couldn't help but smile while I was talking because I'm writing this blog and remembering all the awesome times I had there. Hopefully he doesn't think I'm too weird. Haha. I just know that my heart is with them, and one day I will be with them too. Here's a bunch of pictures from that village that warm my heart every time I see them.
They have no shoes, so their feet are often dirty and scarred.
These three faces tell so many stories of what these girls have gone through.
This little boy is SO cute! He was standing on the side and was never noticed, but he caught my eye. What I wouldn't give to take him home!
I love this because it really shows the sadness this little girl has.

I love this picture. This little girl just wants attention and to be loved.
The girl in the red LOVED having her picture taken. Model in training?
We were walking down this rocky and cactus-y path with all the kids.
This is no where near the whole group, but it was impossible to get all of them in one shot.

Sunday morning we went to an English speaking church, and let me tell you, it was some awesome worship. The Haitian girls sitting behind us were singing their hearts out to the Lord, and His presence was definitely among us. It was actually Anne's church, who I talked about earlier. It was really really great. We then went to Pastor Jude and Yanick's house to eat a traditional Haitian meal, and for those of you who know me, know that it was a bit of a struggle. We had goat, 3 types of fried vegetables, rice, salad, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, and some other Haitian coleslaw type dish. Sooooo it was definitely a struggle. I didn't want to be rude so I had lots of rice, some macaroni and cheese, and pasta salad. The rice and macaroni and cheese were extremely spicy! I ate as much as I could, but it was definitely hard to keep eating. I don't normally eat any types of pasta salad, so that was a little nerve racking to eat, but I got it all down. Sunday night we just stayed and relaxed down at the hotel bar and learned some Creole from some of the waiter's. I'm pretty much a pro now. Ha! I did pick up the language pretty quickly, so I think I could definitely adjust to a longer stay there.

I'm sure I've left out so much of our stay in Haiti. I learned so much about my self, and I've never questioned myself so much in my life. Those kids that I met and played with broke my heart. I want them to feel LOVE, real love. I can't help but be sad to think about how they live, and how I live my life. I don't always do the things I need to do. But, I'm living my life for the Lord, and following where he leads me.

So where do I go now?

I've been praying and meditating and be still and quiet, and honestly, I can't say that I know. What I would love to do is this: In May, when I graduate from the University of Tennessee, I would love to spend some time in the States in cities like Seattle, Chicago, Portland, and a few others doing ministry work and preparing myself for what could come next. I would then like to spend some time out of the states, not permanently though. I want to go to the Philippines for sure, Uganda, Chile, Belize, and China. Who knows though. I just want to follow wherever the Lord leads me.

I'm definitely having to learn about obedience right now. It's a hard lesson to learn, but I'm doing everything I can to listen to the Lord and do His work. I know He has big plans for me. I'm going to leave this blog with some awesome pictures of Haiti. I'll write again soon!
This is the road to the dessert village.
I love the mountains in the background. God is so good.
This is the beach. They have the beach, dessert, and mountains in Haiti.
This is on the plane to Haiti. Me, Michelle, Greg
Precious Moses!