nashville = change.

i'm a california girl, born and bred. and this is the country. 
(omg. this is the country. take deep breaths, deep, deep breaths...)
thought you might like to see. 


moments with the media.

it's awards season in LA...and i've been watching movies non-stop. kind of. isn't it funny how millions of people get excited because of someone's...acting ability? at least for me, i've never seen anyone hold a party for when the winner of the nobel/pulitzer prize is announced. it's as soon as the SAG awards/goldenglobes/oscars roll around that the popcorn gets popped and the dress analysis begins. 

i don't know. 

maybe it's cliche, and maybe it's a little bit silly. but i can't wait to host an oscar party, one day when i finally get the chance to watch it on my own tv. this amazing blogger did it so well, that i think it will be fun to have one of my own. thus, lots of thoughts about movies, and what makes a movie good. is it really the acting? or is it the story? the characters and the setting and the script writing? or, is the value of a movie simply in the eyes of the beholder?

i mean, i have a few favorite movies. it's such a form of excitement to love/learn from/enjoy quite a few that tell stories about: 

and...i can't wait to watch this one. if you have, tell me how it is. because i'm extremely excited. 

do you have any ideas? what are your favorite movies, and have they affected you at all? the way you look at the world, or maybe, the way you don't? 

{{ps. i'm tired of michelle williams being jipped out of an oscar. i mean, seriously!?!? (check her work out here and here and here)}}

hello, from cape town!

there are only a couple days left in this summery/lovely/gorgeous place called, 'africa.' it's been filled with penguins and flamingos and lions and zebras, strange words, unimaginable poverty, the exhumation of my own first world ideologies and the majesty of God's creation. it was a huge step of faith to actually buy my ticket, and take my california-girl self to one of the most exotic places in the world. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful trip, one that i got to share with my best friend from college, a trip that lasted weeks and weeks and made me more aware of the world that exists beyond my own.

well, now.

i'm off to go enjoy my last couple of days of holiday in cape town {in case you're wondering, this is where it is, and i also spent LOTS of time here and here and here}. blogging will resume once i get to my new home in nashville, tennessee, and after i give all my siblings hugs and African candy :)

hands of hope.

the last day that shan and i were in harare, we finally were able to carve out a bit of time to serve at an orphanage. it was something that i had set aside to do, but with christmas and victoria falls and days and days of travel, it just got put off. there are many in the city, and with a couple of inside connections and the kindness of shan's parents, we were able to make an appointment to pop in. that's why, on a humid, rainy afternoon we made our way to the Hands of Hope orphanage, only a couple minutes away from her home. 

all of the children, nine girls and two little boys, were abandoned on the streets of harare, zimbabwe. due to widespread ignorance birth control and the violent oppression of women bred by the shona culture, it has become increasingly difficult for families to support the excessive influx of children. many try to self-abort, which results either in the mother's death or retardation of the child, and babies are abandoned as early as minutes after birth in many different places around the city. as heartbreaking as it is to find a little one, it's just as difficult to think of the painful choices that mother's are forced to make to keep their large families afloat. 

in all honesty? i wish that we had been able to come to this special place much earlier. i would have loved to spend more time with those sweet little baby faces, to make the guarded looks of the older girls melt into smiles and give more than i received. while we were there, the girls put on a barbie cartoon entitled, "Barbie as the Island Princess" {you can see them watching above}. they were so excited. they sang along to the whole of the pirated dvd's soundtrack, lyrics twisting around the theme of a lost home, and a quest for family. the irony of video, and their rapt attention, piqued a sense of understanding and hope that i didn't expect to find. 

these are little girls, little boys, that have big dreams. i asked them each their names, what they wanted to be when they grew up. one, blessing, wanted to be a "big manager". leona dreamt of being a lawyer, another of a teaching profession and one simply desires to be a mom. hands of hope truly does breed home within the hearts of their children, they give each the leg up that they need and attempt to provide them with a home and sense of community that would have otherwise been lacking. God has a plan for this teeny orphanage, and each of the precious lives within.

"Give justice to the weak and fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute"
 Psalm 82:3

africa update.

i can hardly believe it's 2013. the years seem to pass so fast, leaving little trails of broken memories behind. usually, i get all nostalgic and moody around the 31st. but here? there was really no time. i guess africa just wrings that out of you. i was too busy seeing my FIRST wonder of the world {victoria falls}, getting a wicked sunburn, playing with lions, taking pictures of baby monkeys, laughing with my best friend and enjoying the sweet hospitality of her family. i must say, 2012. you sure went out with a bang.
2013 has quite a few promises, as well. living in nashville, leasing yet another apartment {but much cheaper than LA, thank heavens!}, being near my family again, beginning graduate school, applying to MFA programs, maybe seeing my first country music star ;) i can't wait to hang out with my mama, find a new job and write my heart out until my best friend moves to tennessee in may. {i know, i know. i'm pretty lucky.} alright, 2013. last year left some big shoes to fill. you ready? 

{nyasha, two months old and cute as ever!}

{sunset cruise on the great zambezi river}
 {taking pictures. of everything.}
{no guard rails. 354 feet down.}
{where did 2012 take you?}