Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Above Rubies: Six Months of My Life in a Nutshell

Early November I went to Tennessee to volunteer for Above Rubies for my second time.
I was only planning on staying a month and half, but as life has it, plans changed numerous times so that I ended up staying over six months!

Back with family ....

..and friends.

I just arrived back home about two weeks ago.

In some ways I feel like I'm home... But then 

other times I still find myself thinking of TN and everyone there.

Six months is a long time.

A lot can happen in six months.
One of my friends married. Another had a baby. Another entered a relationship. Friendships went through rough times. Many were strengthened.

I learned a lot about life and people in general during my time there.
I learned life skills, people skills, conversational skills.

I had troubles and trials during my time there. Some involved others, while some did not.
Either way I learned a lot even during those times. In some ways I feel feel like I experience more joy and pain mixed together  ever before. It seems as if I grew more from the pain. Growing pains, I learned to look at it to find joy. I would say, "You can't grow with out pains. And with out growth you can't experience more joy."

I became closer to a couple different people in particular, these few who I hope will always be among my best friends.

Esther married while I was down there, and Rashida had her baby girl!

It's rather funny. Above Rubies - people ask me what I did while there.
I find it always very hard to answer. What did I do?

Office work, 9-5, five days a week? 

Customer service? Staying with the Campbell's? Making shirts?

 Interaction with the countless cousins?

Yes, I did all of these... but what stands out to me... that's the hardest to describe. When describing an Above Ruby Girl experience I've learned it is different yet difficult for each girl. How can I even begin to explain mine?

With countless unending short memories. Good and bad.

With People. With happenings.

Deep talks with Cherish. And horse rides. ;)

Theological conversations with Lisa. Fun crazy adventures, too.

Dressing Esther up in crazy clothes - letting her do the same to me. Our great talks. Fun times. Her wedding - and all the preparations for it.

Laughing with Rashida. Holding her baby. Pacing her kitchen floor whole she let me rant.

Evenings at the Johnson's or Allison's.

Walks with Mrs Campbell.

Washing the miniature horse with Tivy.

Being a goofball with Sahara.
Putting on parties with the girls and Jemima - and dancing, of course.
All the little ones - James (Awesome person ;b), Vision, Havey, Iqara (she has a beautiful smile), Saber, Joycie, Joannie, and too many other ones that just always added their own part in life.

Tuesday night drives with Jeremiah, Shelby, Josiah, and Cherish. A lot of the time was spent arguing and fighting it seemed sometimes... but we all had fun (or at least I did).

Fun conversations with Meadow. And getting to do her hair!

Vange - she's just too awesome to describe. I had so many fun times and talks with her.
Discussing interesting topics and books with Chalice.

And... soooooo much more. Some memories  can't be written down. Most would take too long to put down.

All of the kids... I could list countless memories with many of them. With the girls it seemed to involve more talking and doing fun things, the boys basket ball and food.

My roommate and co-volunteer, Shelby.

All I can say, is if you go to Above Rubies willing to be a part of everything, ready to do your part, you will never lack in having a great experience. It might be hard sometimes, but no-one could ever regret any of it. - And this is just a tiny glimpse into what my life was like as a Ruby girl the last Six months.

Very tiny.

For my part Above Rubies became like another home while down there this last time, and a time of my life that will influence me forever.

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