Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Little thoughts, little moments.

I have sat down to write this blog post many times over the past two weeks. I actually wrote an entire blog post that still sits in the draft bin, unpublished. There are so many words I wish would just come pouring out of me in a beautiful poetry sort of way, but alas, words don't tend to be a talent of mine. So here I sit, yet again, hoping desperately that God will grace me with just the right words to relay to you some of the emotions I have felt over the past month I have spent in Davao.

Whenever I talk to someone at home, their first question is alway "how do you like it there?" My reply is alway a chipper "I love it!" I then go on to describe scenes and moments that have brought me much joy here. Soon I say a quick goodbye and suddenly they are gone. I feel like though those times talking are precious, I have yet to accurately display the emotions and feelings of this place to a single person. It's a big task, but one that my heart is desperate to accomplish. I think one of the hardest parts about living in a foreign country is how your heart is split in two. I have two places I love, with two sets of people that I love. I want to share one with the other, and yet it is physically impossible to do so.Words and pictures are the only way I will be able to share this second world with so many of you, so that is my new goal. To not just "make" a blog post, but to write one from the heart, showing you around this new country of mine as if you were walking by my side.

Every time I rack my brain of new and creative ideas to share what it is like to live in a different country the best think I can think of to say is "basically it's not America, and I love that." Don't get me wrong, America -to an extent- is an amazing country and I am thankful for my childhood there; but living in a different country, especially one that is less well off, really expands your view of the world and how things function, how people live and what it really means to "have a lot". I realized quite quickly living here just how ridiculous some things in America are, and how many of the things I lived with on a daily basis, all of a sudden become luxuries and actually quite unneeded in my mind. (Hot water? Air Conditioning? Washing machine? Dryer? Stop signs?)  And how many of the luxuries that I used to dream of having suddenly become obsolete and meaningless. (It's hard to dream of a house with a double oven anymore when 14 girls share a tiny one rack oven and things turn out perfectly fine.) Please don't take this the wrong way; I have no judgements to those of you who live daily with any of the things I just listed, I myself lived with them a mere two months ago. My desire is to simply share with you the things I have been experiencing and learning.

Being the sentimental person that I am, I constantly have moments where I think to myself "take a mental picture Bekah, this moment is priceless".  Today I am excited to share some of these many, many "pictures" I have been storing on my mental hard drive. Like the moment where all 10 girls living in our house are sitting around our dining room table laughing and talking; or the moment where I am sitting on the back of a motorcycle for the first time (one of the easiest forms of transportation here is flagging down a motorcycle driver who will let you climb on the back and take you whereever you want). {Side note- riding on the back of a motorcycle is the bomb.} Or the moment when almost all the girls are gone and so the few left are blasting music while we sit in a circle studying. The moment when I watch a father pray with his daughter while she is in labor. The moment when I spend an afternoon fabric shopping with a friend having deep talks and going to McDonalds for a snack. The moment I find a baby's heartbeat on a Fetoscope by myself. The moment when it pours and a few of my dorm mates and I slide across the porch in the pouring rain. The moment  I feel a little baby kick my hand in response to my palpation of the mother's stomach. The moment when we learn about how to judge Edema pitting by playing with playdough in class. The moment when we talk to our trycie driver and find out all about his life here in the Philippines, and I think "this is what expanding your mind really means".


These are my little thoughts, my little moments, and I am thankful I get to share them with you.

~Rebekah



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Arrived, and home.

The Philippines. Home.
It's strange to say that, but in a way, it almost feels like I've been here forever instead of just one week. I am still making adjustments, but for the most part I am settled. I am fully moved into my dorm, I am starting to know how to get around, and I have met all of my fellow students. The last two weeks have been such a blessed and relaxing time. First I had orientation in Portland, which was mostly getting to know my fellow students, and that was like a beautiful calm before the storm. We had a very long 38 hours of traveling to get here, and once we arrived we met lots of people and were given lots of information. Now that we have been here a week, we will be starting classes tomorrow and some work in the clinic next week! I am SO thankful for the lovely time we had getting to know each other and relax the last few weeks, but I am definitely ready to get to work!


Sometimes it almost feels like a fantasy to actually be here, hanging out with all my new friends, seeing all the sites I have imagined seeing for so long, and starting to do what I have been praying for and dreaming of for years now. There are most assuredly some things that I am going to have to adjust to, but I am really loving life here!

My favorite things so far have been:

  • Riding on a Trycie. These are one of the main modes of transportation around here, and they are so much fun! They are just like little golf carts pulled alongside a motorcycle. (if you google search the word trycie with Phillipines you can find a lot of pictures of them!) I love how open air most things are around here; it makes you feel a little more "connected" with your environment.
  • Spending an evening playing cards in our "yard" with some of my fellow dorm-mates. (I say "yard because we live in a second story apartment so our yard is just actually a porch where we hang our clothes.) 
  • Going to a new island for orientation the past few days. We stayed on the island for one night, and had an amazing time! We got to swim at the beach, watch fires shows, try lots of new (and yummy!) food, and get lots of information in our orientation sessions. 

The heat here is definitely one of the hardest adjustments for me. As someone who strongly dislikes humidity -and really any temperature over 75 degrees - this first week I has involved a lot of acclimation. Even with the heat, I still love it here. I just look at it as a challenge to overcome (or at least learn to accept!)

And now, what I know many of you have been waiting for. Pictures!



All of my Classmates!





Having fun and staying cool in Portland.


The view from our "porch"



our porch! Laundry is quite different here, as the washing is about a 4 step process and then we hang everything to dry!



My room :)


Our living room



The "common area" with our dining table, and everyones' desks. 


The kitchen


The Island we stayed at the past few days :)







The rest of these photos were taken with my under-water camera so I do apologize for the quality :)









Feeding the fish bread with my toes :)





~Rebekah









Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Headed Out!




Friday, of this week, my great adventure will begin! In a sense, it has already begun since I am currently packing all of my possessions into two suitcases - definitely and adventure in and of it's self. Everytime I share my new and exciting adventure with people, the first question out of their mouths is: "Are you scared?" To be honest, the first time I got this question it kind of caught me off guard. I had never really thought about my new adventure as something to be scared about. All I keep thinking is how exciting and thrilling it will be! That sweet innocent question though has given me many moments of thinking and now I reply with a confident "no". Not that I don't think I will be challenged over the next two years; because I will be, and probably more than I can even fathom. But that is exactly the reason I picked this school in the first place. I want to be challenged, I want to be put outside of my comfort zone, and most of all, I want to be brought to a place where I have no choice but to fully rely on God.


Thank you all for your many generous gifts contributed to help me become a missionary midwife. I have been completely floored by all the ways God has provided for this first semester! He has been showing me just how much He provides for me - and I am not even in the Philippines yet! Incase you missed the link, you can read more about my mission to the Philippines here.

My prayer requests as I head out into a whole new world in a few days:

  • That I won't forget my quiet time with God. I know my life will be going through a lot of crazy changes, but I have found that if my time with God is constant, all the rest of life comes into perspective.
  • That I will form deep bonds with my fellow classmates, and we will all encourage and love on one another as we all begin the same journey together!
  • Orientation over the next week will go smoothly, and will be the time of adjustment I may need.
  • I will let myself feel the emotions. Sometimes when overwhelming things happen to me I tend to go into "robot" mode. Even if it's hard sometimes, I want to let myself feel all of the emotions that come with moving away from home, and moving to a different country. 
  • That I will be a blessing to all of my new friends, co-workers, and anyone else whom I may meet along the way!


I do not know when  I will be able to update you next. It may be from the Philippines! If that is the case, then see you on the other side of world!

Love,

Rebekah

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How you can help... Beginning of adventure in Midwifery

Hello dear friends, family and followers. I know I said a while ago I would post how you can help me with my new adventures in the Philippines, and I am finally posting how you can help :)

As many of you know, I am about to embark on a new and exciting adventure - one that may very well change the course of my entire life! In just under two months, I will be moving across the ocean to the Philippines, to live on the island of Mindanao in a city called Davao. While living there I will be attending an American missionary school, one that will train and equip me to graduate with a degree in midwifery. 
 The school I will be attending is called Newlife International Midwifery School, and trains women to be midwives while serving in the mission field. The school is very unique - actually one of a kind - in that all of your clinical work is done as a service to local Filipino women who can not afford health care.  The place where we will be volunteering delivers almost 2,000 babies annually.
 As you can tell, my time in Davao will be anything but boring. I know this opportunity is going to stretch me in more ways then I can imagine. I would like to ask you to partner with me in prayer. Your prayers will mean more to me then anything as I take this step of faith. My biggest prayer request is that I will be a light to all I come in contact with, having a heart like Jesus as I am interacting with women, babies, their partners, and my fellow students. I would also like to ask for prayer for the clinic, that all of the women that walk through the doors will be helped not only on a physical level but that they will spiritually be filled during their time spent with us. 
 I hope to be updating my blog on a regular basis, and will continue to ask for more specific prayer requests as they arise. You can find my blog at: www.myjoysoflife.blogspot.com
If you would prefer I send e-mail updates to you, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail at:Rebekahthemidwife@gmail.com, and I will add you to my e-mail list.
 I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I have one final request. Would you consider partnering with me as a financial supporter? The tuition I pay for school goes to paying the Filipino midwifes who work at the clinic, as well as to pay for medical supplies, equipment and general running of the clinic. Even the smallest gift can help me to be trained as a missionary midwife, serving the Filipino women all the while. If you feel led to help support me, you can mail a check to the address below, or simply donate on my Youcaring page: https://www.youcaring.com/RebekahtheMidwife
 Because the Portland office is so small, the school requests that each family gather all donations and send them in one lump sum. Therefore, if you're able to give, please make checks out to Rebekah Kimminau-Midwife and send to:
Rebekah Kimminau
{For secutiry reasons, please leave a comment if you would like my address and I will send it to you! Thanks}
Please also let me know if there is anyway in which I can be praying for you!
Sincerely in Christ,

Rebekah Jean Kimminau

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hello there, San Fran.

If, after reading the tittle of this post you are assuming that I am currently in San Francisco, California, you would be correct.

I got here yesterday morning and my day and a half here has been a whirlwind, but wonderful. The Couchsurfing host I (and my sister) are staying with recommended quite a few places to go that were "cool" and for the locals. They have all been wonderful, and I can proclaim once again that I adore Couchsurfing. It has so many benefits and is not only a cost-effective way to travel, but a beautiful one. I learn about new people, new cultures, new experiences, and share all of those with the people I am staying with. If you have not Couchsurfed, try it once. You will NOT regret it!

Just to give you a fare warning: My sister and I like food. A lot. San Francisco has more amazing food then NYC. You will therefore see a lot of pictures of all our wonderful food below. If you have not eaten in a while, continue with caution. 



Below: Dandilon Chcolate. One of those places where you just want to sample one of everything. And in fact, you can! They have bowls out for you to sample all of the chocolates they make. They know how to make friends, quickly :)


Also, they sell the most amazing chocolate peanut butter cookies in the world. 


After walking about 3 miles inbetween the above cookie, I enjoyed the below dinner.





I have fallen in love with San Fran's hills. I thought I would hate them; and tonight when I had to walk 8 blocks home in the wind, I thought I might start hating on them. But really, I still love them. They add something so... different then most other cities. Which pretty much explains all of San Francisco. Different.



The view from the house I am staying in. Yes.



Erin's first San Fran food. Sushi. Amazing Sushi at that.


We did ride the trolley. And it happened to be the highlight of my day. Hanging on to the outside of a trolley as it rolls through the streets of San Fran is quite an experience. 


We went to Chinatown. We walked through a chinese store, looked at Chinese candy, and then had 2 Chinese drinks and pastries  I forgot to take a picture of all of the above, so I snapped this one to prove that we really did go there!


Fisherman's Warf: I.e. Beautiful part of town that is over run by tourists who don't know how to follow the basic laws of life. 





I love this picture. I love the ocean. I love boats. I love water. I love San Fran.



There was this "arcade" filled with ancient games that still worked (and each only cost a quarter!) that was right on the warf. We had a blast playing a few of them, even though we still don't understand why kids in the 1920's would want to pay to make an ugly clown dance for 5 minutes. 


This "piano" was the bomb. It played songs with basically a full orchestra inside of it's self. Like the music from your record player comes to life right before your eyes. I told Erin I wanted one for my room. 





The famous sourdough bread. It was just as good as it's supposed to be. 


Ghirardelli Square: i.e. tourist trap that's only goal is to fatten people up. 



Proof that I was actually on this trip with Erin today :)


AND Dolores park. Probably my favorite spot in all of San Francisco. I just wanted to lay in the grass and relax all day. 


An amazing restruant run by deaf owners, who employ all deaf waiters. We had a blast practicing our sign language with them. (Or rather, Erin signed while I sat and smiled and nodded.)


Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, peas, truffle honey and red lettuce. It was to die for. 








Bookstore followed by after dinner coffee was the perfect ending to a wonderful day!