Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fly away

When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.  
      ~Leonardo Da Vinci

My younger brother has been interested in flying for quite some time. He had the opportunity to take a basic flying lesson and was allowed one guest. I guess he actually does love me because he asked me to go with him! 
Downtown Grand Rapids (It looks like a little clay model!)

My favorite part of the trip was the fact that we would be flying about 2000ft up over my home town. It was very neat to see everything from up high. We even saw our house!

Holland lighthouse
We dipped down to 200ft over the lake

Going in the afternoon meant that the air near the ground that had been heated up by the sun was rising making it bumpy. There were times it felt like riding a roller coaster my stomach dropped so much!

We also had to wear the huge headphones with the speakers in order to drown out the engine and hear each other. I was waiting to hear Tom Cruise from Top Gun start expressing his love for me over the headset! Alas it did not happen.

The take off and landing were a little frightening in such a small craft. With the breeze coming in from the lake we had to take off and land with the wings at a 39 degree angle from the ground. It looked like we were going to crash and I may have screamed into the microphone on my headset! 

My Brother and I after the flight (isn't he a stud?)

 Despite how fun it was and the wonderful view I think that I am going to stick to bigger planes and enjoying the view out of a nice thick window (when my brother isn't driving!)

Plenty more adventures to come! 

XOXO ~Jackie

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

El Salvador

I guess I started this blog thing at the wrong time. Between dead week (which is a very misleading name, I actually had a lot of projects due this week!), final exams, and my mission trip to El Salvador it has been far too long since I have posted. However it is now summer and I cannot wait to update on a regular basis!

I recently returned from a trip to El Salvador and I cannot express how wonderful it was. The next opportunity that I get I will be returning for sure! There was so much spirit and hope in this small country that has gone through so much turmoil. For those who have not heard of Oscar Romero or the civil war that happened in El Salvador, I suggest looking it up!

Here are a few snapshots from the trip:

Making Concrete

The Construction site

 In El Salvador we worked in a community about 45 minutes out of the capital San Salvador. The community was called Las Delicias. While many of the homes had running water and some had electricity, there were many that looked like the houses in the pictures here.
In the community we helped build the foundation of a health clinic. The community was very remote so we had to do everything by hand, including mixing our own concrete and cutting wire to build concrete support. For three days all we did was dig and move rocks to level out the land and make the trenches!

When we weren't digging, we had the amazing opportunity to play with the kids in the area. What was amazing about this was these children know that in a week or so you will be leaving. Despite this they love you unconditionally.  If everyone was so open to love people that they knew would only be in their lives for a short while, the world would be a different place.

My main squeeze Samual (sorry it is so blurry)
Every day little Samual would be waiting for me to play soccer. He was three and we both spoke about the same amount of Spanish!

We also had the wonderful opportunity to work with some orphans in an orphanage ran by the Carmelites.

City of Las Delecias

Overall it is impossible to express the trip in words. I am sure as the summer goes on I will be throwing in a post or two about El Salvador. It was a wonderful experience and I cannot wait to go back and be able to help the people more.

Faces of El Salvador

Even a smile can make a difference in someones life
XOXO ~Jackie