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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DTS Week 6: Past halfway!

Wow, feels like a long time since my last update. Sunday and Monday there was a lot of cleaning to get ready for our room inspections. We missed a few things though, so we had to get a second inspection the next day. Only one room on our whole floor passed the first day. And they fixed the light in our bathroom! I have never been so grateful to have a bathroom light! Now if we could just get the fridge replaced.

I also decorated my journal for small group. I cut up a bunch of magazine and postcard pictures and decoupaged them onto the cover. It came out so good. It was fun to do a craft. I’m also almost done with the one knitting project I’ve done while I’ve been here. I’ll have pictures up soon. And I got to cook this week! But more on that later.
the front
the back, which I kind of like better

Our lecture this week was really good. It was about worldview and transforming societies. When I was in high school, we did The Truth Project (which is a lot about worldview) at my youth group, and it was my favorite thing I studied. We got to spend most of the week in our small groups and our speaker, Christine Colby, periodically asked us questions and had us read Bible verses and discuss things. I really learn better when I discuss things. On Thursday it was the best lecture ever: we got to go up to the movie theater and watch Amazing Grace with some specific things in mind and then discuss it. I wish that was lecture every day. In the midst of all this worldview and movie talk, (she used a few other examples of movies and how they can effect worldview) I realized that film and changing worldviews are two things that go hand in hand, and two things that I really like…so I’m thinking about pursuing that. There are two film schools: School of Digital Filmmaking and Acting for the Screen that they run here every April that I’m looking into. (Oh, I might get to be an extra in some of their short films depending on the schedule!)

Generally I was pretty worn out this week. Homesickness hit me for the first time. I woke up one morning thinking I had heard Dad calling “Oh, children!” (An Aslan from the Focus on the Family dramatization of Narnia) like he does when we oversleep at home. I got two packages full of treats from home: one from  Mom and one from Aunt Beca. Mom sent me some of my dresses and Beca sent me a lot of local things. There were also some adorable pictures and comics from her kids. Peregrine made me a comic of how much he misses me, and some aliens...and Poppy a picture of some beautiful pink and purple ballerinas. Peregrine also sent me some mail this week containing a dollar bill and a note that said “Happy Hawaii, Jessamyn.” So cute! I’m also missing a lot of big stuff at home in the next few weeks. It’s the first time in 8 years that I haven’t been there for dance recital and the first time in 5 years that I’ll miss a Shakespeare play. My mom has been sending me lots of rehearsal videos and pictures. I’m missing smaller things like midnight movies with friends and shopping days and using the remote too.

I decided that what I thought may have been speaking in tongues was false and felt very relieved after that. We had some good worship and a lot of small group time this week. I’m still feeling pretty impatient in general and working on going with the flow when the schedule changes. I fasted for the first time this week. (I may have cheated a little, because I had a big snack in the morning and a granola bar in the afternoon, but it was my first try.) On Tuesday there was some personal stuff going on with a few of the students and we fasted lunch and prayed for them. We found out today that one of the guys in our school is going home. His family somehow didn’t know that we had an outreach, and he doesn’t have a passport or money to go, so he decided to go home rather than pay the rest of his school fees. It’s sad, especially since he was a new Christian who was learning so much here, but hopefully God has better plans for him. Also a girl tripped on the stairs and sprained her ankle really badly, so pray for a quick recovery!

Schedule-wise, this week wasn’t too full. We started on “Sin City” which is an acting/dancing scene when the Prodigal Son is partying. It’s a pretty fun scene to do. Almost everyone is in it and we all have little stories and characters. I’m a girl getting proposed to, but I turn the guy down, slap him in the face, walk away and start flirting with another guy. Sin City with also involve the “Girl’s Dance.” That’s the only dance yet to be cast and I hope I’m in it because it looks like a jazzy, fun number. We did our first run-through of the whole show. It’s pretty rough; Maria said only 30% finished. I feel pretty good about my pieces. They were all the ones we started really early, so they’re almost ready to go.  I spent some time sorting out and cataloging costumes so they know what to order next year. I’m excited for when we actually get to start doing more production-y stuff like makeup and costumes. I’m so excited to tour!

My homesickness was eased a little by two visits to real homes! My parents have some friends that are on staff here. They were on staff with my parents when they were first married in LA, before I was even born. Anyway, they have two kids and really nice apartment just off campus and I got to go there for dinner. It was spaghetti, garlic bread and salad, which I helped make and stuffed with all kinds of veggies and fruit that I wouldn’t normally put in a salad, but everything looks so good. And I got to make brownies topped with ice cream. It’s so fun to cook again. I was a really nice evening. They were reminiscing about stuff they did with my parents.

I also got to go to Ashley, my small group leader’s house. She lives on campus with us right now, but she and her mom have a house about 15 minutes up the mountain. It’s about ten degrees colder up there and the view is gorgeous. There are coffee plants growing everywhere.  Their house is cute and quirky. We baked some cookies for a fundraiser and had a lunch of pesto pasta and fruit and just chilled. It was lovely.

It made for a very long weekend though. Friday night was the Island Breeze Luau fundraiser, complete with a feast of real meat, rice, coconut cake, salad and other stuff, hula lessons, a demonstration on how to open a coconut, and then an hour or two of performing. They do about 6 different styles of Polynesian dances: from Hawaii, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti and a few other places. It’s a really good show. My parent’s friend does tech work with them a lot and he can probably swing us some tickets to one of their hotel shows when my family comes in September.

Saturday was kitchen duty in the morning, then we were at Ashley’s all day, and then more dinner kitchen duty and then Open Mic night at the campus café, where we sold the cookies. I was so tired. I only got about 5 hours of sleep that night. Yesterday was the same: kitchen duty most of the day, but I got a bit more of a break and was able to do some laundry, talk to my family, nap, and work on finishing a book that was due at the library. I’ve been rereading a lot of books lately. Things in lecture keep making me think of good books, and fortunately the library is very well stocked with Christian fiction. If you’re looking for good reading I highly recommend the Martyr’s Song series by Ted Dekker, especially Heaven’s Wager. It’s some of his earliest work, and one of the best books I’ve ever read. I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed because I have a long to-do list, dances to practice, a little homework, reading to do, stretching and walking for my back and I need sleep, and I don’t have a day off for a long time. Next weekend we swapped with the other kitchen duty team, so they can cover for us the next weekend, when we got to Hilo, on the other side of the island, to perform at a Korean church.

Last night I watched an episode of Psych with Victoria. We’re determined to spot the pineapple in every episode. Victoria is kind of my doppelganger here. Although our personalities aren’t that similar, we share almost identical upbringings and interests. We were both homeschooled, have great families, (who we Skype with all the time) little brothers, still listen to Adventures in Odyssey, struggle with a lot of the same things, and watch almost the exact same TV shows. Almost every time one of us talks about something, the other goes, “Oh, yeah, me too!”

This week looks like it will be a nice break; we’re having Sin City today and tomorrow and then Bible reading the rest of the week instead of lecture, so at least it will be a mental break. I don’t have the complete rehearsal schedule yet, but hopefully it won’t be too bad. And I just found out that next weekend’s work duty will just be the mornings because it’s a holiday weekend, and everyone will pick up lunch and dinner at breakfast time. Hopefully we can get a group to the movie theater to see Pirates 4. Well, that’s all I have to say for now!
The view from Ashley's house

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week 5

This week I had a much lighter rehearsal schedule. I only had a few dances and one singing class the whole week. It was good to have a break, because my lower back/hips started really bothering me this week. After a lot of prayer, icing, gentle stretching, walking, making myself sit up straight for lecture, and Advil, it’s feeling quite a bit better. I’ve also always slept on my stomach, which I know is bad for it, and I’ve tried for years to sleep on my side. For the last four or five nights I’ve slept on my side. I’m pretty sure it’s a miracle. On a side note, I’m really enjoying the Hansam.

On Monday morning we got to do Bible reading for three hours instead of lecture. I love when we do it. We get in groups of three and take turns reading chapters out loud. It’s just so much more interesting that way. Maria did our lectures this week, on Spiritual Warfare and discipleship. They were good, but just kind of general overviews that I didn’t get a ton out of.  One of her lectures started some debate about how heaven works. Maria says there’s a sort of waiting place or paradise where everyone who’s died is, and then when Jesus comes back then they will get judged and go to heaven. I’ve never heard it taught like that; I thought you just go straight to heaven, so I’m going to do some research. On Friday we got to share briefly about what we’re learning and then more Bible reading.

I’m really loving my small group. We had one morning this week where we worked on and prayed for fundraising ideas for everyone’s fees. All the groups came up with great ideas. I’m in charge for setting up dance classes for kids on campus. We also did the love languages quiz one day. I had a pretty good idea of what mine were: Quality Time was my highest, Physical Touch lowest, and the other three were pretty much tied in the middle. We have to start journaling for small group now and we all got journals to decorate. On Friday night we got to go to Maria’s house. It was so nice and relaxing to be in a real house. We got pizza 
and we watched TV and played on the Wii.

I had a pretty good week with God. I’m just trying to focus on really getting to know Him. I was a little more disciplined about getting to the prayer room and having serious quiet time. I’m finally reading Loren Cunningham’s book about the beginnings of YWAM, “Is That Really You God?” and enjoying it so far. I’m also rereading an old Ted Dekker book, Heaven’s Wager. If you haven’t read the series, I highly recommend it. It’s one of Ted Dekker’s oldest, but it’s really good.

I’ve been thinking a lot since I’ve been here about the Holy Spirit, miracles, the supernatural. The more mysterious side of God that honestly I wasn’t exposed to much at home. Most of the churches I’ve been in hardly mention the Holy Spirit. There are things that happen here that kind of freak me out, but are also incredible. I haven’t personally witnessed any major miracles, but people talk about them all the time.  One thing especially is speaking in tongues. Almost everyone here does it, and this week I almost thought I could, but I’m not really sure. I think it’s really kind of weird and a little scary. I’d be interested if anyone has input or thoughts on speaking in tongues.

There was actually some good food this week: ham, sirloin, chicken curry, BLTs and they were doing a fundraiser to start a campus bakery, so there were a lot of delicious baked goods.  There were also some really gross things. I feel like I ate a lot though. We had two different birthdays so we had cake and ice cream two days in a row. I’m looking forward to our fridge being fixed so I can keep a few more healthy things like fruit, veggies, cheese and yogurt around.

There was a lot of stomach flu going around this week. Two of my roommates had it and one other girl in my class, but fortunately it didn’t spread too much.

I’ve had a lot of TV/movie discussions this week, which you guys probably know is one of my favorite things to do. There’s one girl who’s totally into movies and we had a couple movie watching and discussion nights this week. (Kaitlyn, there’s also girl who’s totally into USA shows and it makes me miss you.)  

I’m getting quite excited for outreach. They’ve been telling us more about what it will be like. We’ll only be spending three weeks in Japan and they now want us to got to the possibly more dangerous disaster areas. Some families just got back to campus from there, and they said that all the radiation warnings are down, and the people are really hungry for God. No one has really been to Japan, especially since the earthquake, so we don’t have a super good idea of what it will be like there.

There are lots of plans for Korea. I’m told the food is incredible there, and based on what I’ve tasted so far, it is. They’re trying to get us on as many kinds of transportation there as possible, including highways buses and trains. There’s a lot of really cheap shopping there, so we’ll probably pack really light, especially on clothing, and buy a lot of stuff there. We’re going to do some cool stuff there too, like visit a historical Korean village, maybe a giant waterpark, and go pray at the border of North Korea. We’ll be having our graduation there, since some of the Koreans will probably just stay home instead of coming back to Kona.
The pier

purple rice pudding

So far it’s been a nice weekend. Yesterday I walked down to the pier with some girls and lay in the sand for a couple hours.  Then some of us walked to the farmer’s market and I had some really yummy purple rice pudding (who knew there even was purple rice) and got a birthday gift for one of my classmates, Yuna. I also tried this delicious thing called gelati. It’s shave ice layered with ice cream. It’s from Philadelphia I guess, but they have it here because shave ice is so popular. Anyway, I got pineapple with the creamiest, richest, best coconut ice cream. I ate dinner last night because I didn’t know that I would end up going out for Indian food for Yuna’s birthday. So I was really full already and I just had some samosas and a mango lassi. We all got soaked walking back in the rain. Then I stayed up really late watching the Prestige with Kerry.
everyone's soaked!

Today will probably be a typical chill Sunday, doing laundry, talking to my family, catching up on stuff I don’t have time for during the week, decorating my journal and working on my assignments for it. Some dancers might be doing street performances downtown later. And we have mid-term (can’t believe we’re almost halfway through already) room inspections this week, so we have to do major room cleaning tonight.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Week 4: Boxes, Flying Cars and Torrential Downpours

This week we had three different speakers: David Hamilton, Maria, (our school leader) and Joseph Avakian. Since we are a Performing Arts DTS, the talks were kind of focused on how Arts can spread the gospel and how to use Arts. I especially enjoyed the last three days, when Joseph spoke. He’s a really engaging speaker. I felt like this was the first week where I felt like I was learning new stuff from lecture, like a lot of it has felt sort of like review before this.
Joseph's crazy notes

 My favorite talk was on Thursday, when he talked about the “boxes” we naturally put ourselves in, based on mainly 6 things: Fear, Comparison, Criticism, Egoism, Arrogance, and Control, and how to break those things by coming in the opposite spirits. (that’s kind of a YWAM-y term, which means pretty much what it says, doing the opposite thing)  So Love, Identity, Exhortation, Generosity, Humility and Freedom. His talks were very visual oriented, with a lot of pictures on the whiteboard, so he concluded that one by showing how when you unfold a six-sided box, you get a cross.

My rehearsal schedule was bit lighter this week, which was nice. Unfortunately my lower back/hip is really bothering me. I didn’t make it into the couple’s Ceroc (like swing/salsa) dance or the Tahitian, but I am in one called Hansam. It’s a Korean thing, where you have these long tubes that go over your wrists (with elastic) and then you hold drumsticks underneath. It kind of looks like your dancing with ribbons, but it’s actually more like sleeves. So that was pretty fun. We also had auditions for the Spanish dance and group singing practice. (We’re singing Joyful, Joyful from Sister Act 2.)

I had a little more free time to relax this week, had lots of movie nights, swam in the pool, spent time in the prayer room, read, went and got some shopping done at Target.

Had some tension with one of my roommates on Wednesday so that was kind of stressful.  I didn’t know what was going on with her until she passed me a note during class, and we were busy all day. to make matters worse, my small group leader had to postpone our weekly one-on-one meeting, so I was just kind of upset all day and I didn't get a chance to vent. Once my roommate and I actually had a chance to talk, we got it all worked out easily though.

Our big Thursday night service was nice. They had the kids participate in worship, and then we watched a bunch of videos from this project called Basically the idea that people anywhere in the world can report and upload news videos about what’s actually happening. So they had some earthquake footage from Japan before major news networks did and stuff. Anyway they played some cool stories, like these flying cars that Steve Saint (from the End of the Spear) is inventing for missionaries to use.

It was a pretty rainy and chilly week. We had a huge rain/thunderstorm on Friday. It started DUMPING rain, and a bunch of people had to bail out the guy’s hallway so their dorms didn't flood. 

It's hard to believe that it's already been more than a month! It feels like it's gone so fast, but the days seem so long too. 

By the way, I haven't completely given up on cooking and crafting (that was the original purpose of this blog.) I've been doing a little knitting in lectures and I have a project almost done, and I do get to cook...gross cafeteria food. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meet Sarah!

Hey guys, I just wanted to thank you all again for all the support (financially and otherwise) for my mission trip. (You can read more about it on this here blog) I actually ended up with a little bit of extra money, and I’ll be donating some of it to my classmates. Within my school there are still about 17 people that don’t have enough money to go on the trip, totaling about $88,000.  We’re going to do be doing some (well, a lot) fundraising and we all believe that God will provide.

I just want to specifically highlight one of the girls in my school. Her name is Sarah and she’s one of the sweetest and most beautiful girls I’ve ever met. I’m enjoying getting to know her. She’s from Roseburg, Oregon, so we’re practically neighbors! Sarah’s a gifted and graceful dancer and so far we’re in the same dances and the same small group, so we’re spending lots of time together! She arrived without her complete school fees, but through donations she has paid all of them and part of her outreach fee, leaving her with $5800 to raise. If you feel you can donate so that she can come on the mission tour to Japan and Korea or if you’re just interested in praying for her or getting to know her, you can message her through her Facebook, email her at, or send checks through her mom. (see address below) Please 
pass this on to anyone else you think might be interested!

Shelly Smith
2616 Riverview Dr
Hood River, OR 97031 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

DTS Week 3

I won’t say that I had the best Easter weekend of my life. I missed my family and unfortunately I had to do kitchen duty for the Easter brunch, which meant I couldn’t go to church. At least the brunch was really yummy. And my grandma baked and sent me a loaf of her Easter bread! It got here on like Tuesday, along with some other treats from my Mom. They played The Passion of the Christ on Saturday night and I watched it for the first time. I’ve never cried that much during a movie.

My small group did “secret angels” over the weekend, and I forgot about it until Sunday afternoon, so speed-knitted a white plumeria headband for Ashley, my small group leader.

I’ve realized that I really have a sense of entitlement about having good food. Our fridge broke this week, (right after they finally got our toilet fixed) so I had to throw a bunch of my brunch leftovers and my cheese and Farmer’s Market veggies out. I was really grumpy about that, especially when I didn’t like any of the food they served the next day. Anyway, I’m trying really hard to have a better attitude about the food here, and try to eat fairly healthy.

A group of us went and saw Soul Surfer, the story of Bethany Hamilton that night.  It was a fun movie to watch while we’re here in Hawaii, but I did feel a little more apprehensive swimming in the ocean this week.

Week 3 was “Corporate Week” meaning we were combined with the four other DTS’s for lectures all week. It’s really hard to focus when you’re in that big group for 3+ hours every day.  We started every day with some awesome worship. We had some guys from Haiti’s YWAM this week and they led us in some songs. There was a lot of dancing involved. I love when we get to worship in more than one language. Our speakers were YWAM’s founders: Loren and Darlene Cunningham and another guy who’s been with YWAM for years: David Hamilton. I was initially feeling privileged and excited about having them speak, but the first day was just plain boring. Loren was really hard to follow. When I looked back over my notes, I realized that he was ultimately talking about God’s love and how it can shape a country when they follow God. As the week went on, it got much better. I loved Loren’s last talk was on sacrifice. It was almost straight out of one of his books that I read before I came. It’s so cool to be that he still tells the same stories after 20 years.

One of the things God really revealed to me this week is that I need to let go of time. I realized as we sat through lectures that I’m constantly checking the clock, being impatient, when it makes absolutely no difference. Knowing what time it is and being impatient won’t make anything go faster. So I’m trying to not look at my clock unless it’s to make sure that I’m on time for something. It’s all part of letting go of being a control freak in general I think.

Besides lectures, most of the afternoons and some of the evenings were pretty full this week.  We had a lot of dance rehearsals, still working on Mighty Spirit and hula. I was really sore after three days of hula in a row. We also had auditions for the couple’s Ceroc dance. Ceroc is sort of a simplified version of swing and salsa dancing.

I’ve found it’s not necessarily easier to have quiet time with God here than it was at home. I made myself go to the prayer room a couple times this week and it was great. I’m going to try to be more dedicated this week.

Got to go out and have some really delicious sea food at this popular place called Splasher’s.

We got a really cool free book this week. Some people here have been developing this new format of the Bible called Sourceview. It’s basically like reading a script. It’s laid out with narrator, Jesus, and other people’s dialogue so that a few people can read it out loud at once. Anyway, they gave us sample that has about 5 books of the Bible in it and the whole thing comes out in a month or so.

I’ve definitely bonded with my roomies more this week. We’ve had a lot more deep conversations and just hung out more. We got all dolled up for one of their birthdays and went out to Outback for appetizers and then fro-yo.

There have been some disturbing and potentially dangerous stuff going on with some of the DTS students this week. (Fortunately no one from my school.)  Some drug incidents and other stuff you wouldn’t expect on a Christian campus. It’s a good reminder to pray and be careful around here.

We had a meeting for fundraising for our school. Everyone has managed to pay their lecture fees but about $88,000 total needs to be raised for everyone to go on outreach. (Considering there was a night last week when they took an offering and raised $116,000 for some building projects on campus, that number doesn’t seem so big!) I’m so thankful that not only do I have enough for mine, I actually have a bit extra so I can contribute to others and for living on and having fun while and I’m here.

On Friday night it was the big Dodgeball night and for our school it was “mandatory fun night.” While watching sports isn’t my favorite thing, I had a pretty good time. The teams went pretty all out with costumes and stuff.

Yesterday our school had a beach day. It was really fun. I swam for a bit, then sunbathed and read, and hung out. They made us some delicious Korean BBQ chicken and beef, along with rice and kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage, which I actually kind of liked; it’s just spicy) and a ton of other snacks. I’m looking forward to when we’re on outreach and they cook for us all the time.

We went and saw Water for Elephants in the evening and it was really good. The costumes were gorgeous and the elephants were so cute!

Just having a chill Sunday today, chatting my family, doing some laundry and cleaning, probably going to Wal-Mart.

DTS Week 2

On Friday night I walked to Wal-Mart with two of my roommates. On our way back this creepy drunk guy started following us, but one of the other girls turned around pointed and yelled for him to leave, and he did. She said she felt the power of God like she never had. We called some guys to meet us at McDonald’s and walk us home after that.
Saturday was our big beach day. It was really nice, though I ended up with some pretty nasty sunburn on my thighs. As my mom said, they’ve never seen much sun!

Sunday was a nice lazy sort of day: I did my laundry and cleaned up the room, read my Bible, went through my notes from lectures, watched some America’s Best Dance Crew, chilled, and watched High School Musical with some of the girls down the hall.  

On Monday mornings we have worship with everyone and it’s great. After that we dove into a couple of intense days. We had four lectures (meant to be spread out over a whole week, but we had to cram because of scheduling) on sex and relationships: two each day, some going until nine at night. I’m thankful to say that I didn’t learn much: my parents taught me well and I pretty much agreed with all of it.

On Monday afternoon we got to start working on some of the dances. They still haven’t announced many of the parts, but I do know that I’ll be one of the five girls in “Mighty Spirit,” which is a modern/worship dance (and one of the most technically challenging in the show) that’s really pretty.  We also worked on the Tahitian and Hula dances.

On Tuesday we got our small group assignments and had a quick meeting with them. I’m really excited for that. We also get one-on-one meetings with our leader. I really like my leader and my group and I’m super excited about small groups and one-on-ones.  

Wednesday mornings we pray with our small group and then in the Prayer Room. It was a really good time for me this week. I also got to have my one-on-one with my leader, Ashley, and that was great. Wednesday was definitely a spiritual high day for me. I had most of the afternoon off, just a short dance rehearsal, so I finally went and checked out the campus library (not that I have a lot of extra reading tiem) and then went for some frozen yogurt.

A group of us got Sushi for dinner. I wanted to be brave, so I went all out and got one with raw Ahi, cucumber, papaya and pickled cucumber. It was okay, but not super great. I liked the other ones I tried with avocado, smoked salmon, cream cheese and chicken better. The raw fish was super soft, like mush or like fruit; I expected more chew, but it wasn’t bad, just a little weird when you think about it too much. We went for a night swim in the campus pool. That was the first time I made it down there.   

Yesterday I was pretty worn out. I had a hard time focusing on lecture. I’ve been working my knitting a little while I listen, it helps me focus more. We had a singing class in the afternoon. Everyone who isn’t in the acting (which is almost all of us, since there are only four parts) did it. I’m excited to learn a little more about singing. We went to the Farmer’s Market in the afternoon. I’ve been adding herbs and avocado to my salads and that makes them so much better. I also got a steaming bowl for our microwave, so I can steam veggies in it.

We had our big Thursday night gathering and Loren Cunningham spoke about a lot of the expansions to the campus that they’re planning.

We had a Good Friday service this morning, which was good. Kay, our main dance leader/choreographer, did a beautiful dance and there was communion and worship and a little speaking. We had some lecture time and then we read the Bible (we’re going to read through the whole thing by the end of our DTS, and we started today with Matthew) for an hour.

We had our first real small group meeting. We also did this funny exercise where you imagine yourself in a forest, and you have to say like what two different animals you picture, then a cabin and if the door is open or closed, and so on, and then each supposedly thing means something, like how open you are in relationships and stuff.

I got a little care package from my family this afternoon! A bunch of girls got drinks from the café and went swimming in the pool. Then we went for Thai food. It was so good. We split some egg and spring rolls and then I got yellow curry with potatoes, chicken and carrots. I had sweet sticky rice with mangos and coconut milk for dessert. It was so good. I was stuffed.

The film school here is doing a term-long seminar on Culture-Shaping Cinema and anyone can audit it. You can go to the first one free, and then if you want, you can sign up for $15 and come to as many as you want. So tonight I went with another girl and saw The King’s Speech. It was really good.  I didn’t expect it to be so funny. David Cunningham led some discussion afterwards. There are some many opportunities to do things here that I want to take advantage of. Our school is being offered a chance to take nine weeks of free photography classes.

DTS Week 1

So once we actually started, I got really busy and obviously haven't sent as many updates.

Monday morning we had worship with everyone on campus. The worship is one of my favorite things here. Most of the rest of the day was spent with the rest of my DTS (38 people and 12 staff) working on doing introductions. My school is bilingual in English and Korean, so everything takes twice as long because it has to be translated. It's kind of cool though. I wish Korean was easier to learn. I love when we worship in both languages though. So anyway, we didn't get through many introductions. After each person went, we all prayed for them. We have a really interesting mix of people from all kinds of backgrounds, some of them quite sad. There's a guy who didn't really know God, but decided to come because he saw how his older sister was a Christian, and now he's so excited and just reading the Bible and praying and asking questions all the time. It makes me excited!

Monday night after dinner (have I mentioned how gross the food is here? I miss home-cooking so much!) was dance auditions. It felt great to get to dance. I never feel like I do that well on dance auditions for some reason though. We have a big mix of levels and not a lot of experienced people. It was basically just dance class, we warmed up and then did a few short patterns in each style. We did ballet, modern, hula and Tahitian, and hip-hop. It was really fun to try hula and Tahititian, I hope I get to do more of it. I just didn't feel like I got to really show what my technique really is. 
 The break dancers, pointe girls, and our one pop-n-locker, showed off their skills after that. I'm so blown away by the breakers and popper. They could like be on America's Best Dance Crew. 

On Tuesday we had three people with birthdays, so we had cake and ice cream during our morning lecture. Then Kenny, our school leader's husband, gave us our first lecture: on the character and identity of God.  He had a lot of good stuff to say. The schedule kept changing and I got kind of stressed out. I guess God is teaching me to let go of having a plan all the time.  We had to go to orientation for work duty, which I had already done, so it was a fairly pointless meeting for me, then we did more introductions, had dinner and went back for more lecture, which was mostly watching a video. I had seen it before, it's from when Chris Tomlin did his Indescribable tour and it's about outer space. 

Yesterday we had prayer and worship time, followed by a lecture on Hawaiian culture and history. After lunch we had singing and music auditions. I wasn't go to do it, mostly because I think my schedule will be really full without adding singing to it, but after everyone serious went ( and there are some really talented people) other people started doing it and I ended up joining in. I couldn't think of any songs, so I asked once I got up there, and one of the leaders said, "Sing a Disney song." So I did Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid. It was so fun! The other highlight was when one of the guys sang the entire "Elephant Love Medley" from Moulin Rouge (which I just watched recently so I actually recognized) he even did the talking and girl's part. It was pretty funny. 

We got a few hours off in the afternoon and I walked to the farmer's market with some other girls. I got the hugest avocados you've ever seen in your life and some mangos! They have a ton of gorgeous produce and I'm going to see if I can get something to steam vegetables in the microwave. 

We had acting auditions in the evening, which was basically like improv class and a lot of fun. 

Today was pretty relaxed, we just did more introductions and then some reading and discussion. I spent the afternoon relaxing and then we had a church service after dinner. 

DTS Weekend 1

spent most of the day in the kitchen cooking oatmeal, hot dogs and doing dishes. It was pretty fun though. They have all the dancers doing every other weekend kitchen duty. Spent the afternoon at Walmart and Target and getting my stuff more organized. There's a family on staff here who know my parents from when they were in YWAM, and she offered to drive me. They're so nice! Then I Skyped my family for a while and rested. It was so nice to see them! After dinner, a bunch of girls went to this really cool frozen yogurt place. Right next door they have one of those Zorb things. I think we're going to go do it tomorrow. There were a bunch of people hanging out at the campus cafe when we got back, have a "Brazilian Night" and dancing and we all joined in. Different people showed taught some of their moves: Brazilian, Nigerian, Bollywood, and B-girl! Heading to bed now because I have kitchen duty at 6 tomorrow!

DTS Day 1

Just to let everyone know what I've been up to...

Had to get up at about 3:45am to get to the airport. From there I flew to Portland, and then Seattle, and finally Kona! The flight was pretty much fine. It was pretty bumpy, but otherwise.  I got some really gross food, watched Black Swan (which was edited and really good!) and part of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. 

I got in to Kona at about 11:30, Hawaii time (three hours earlier than Oregon.) It's a little more dry and rocky here than I expected, but still so beautiful. Yesterday it was pretty cloudy and rainy, which they said is unusal. Oh well, it was nice to not have a super hot first day. I spent a couple hours doing registration and getting my ID and stuff. Then I hung out and wandered the base with various people. I've already made a lot of friends, mostly in my DTS, but some from other schools too. There's one other girl from my DTS in my room, as well as six other girls. (2 from Canada and the rest from the States.) There are tons of people from Oregon and Washington here. One of my roommates is from Portland.  

After dinner, (the food here isn't very good, kind of cheap seeming, but there's at least nice salad) I pretty much spent the night unpacking. My room is disgustingly filthy and pretty crowded, so we're going to do some cleaning and get some storage containers and organize over the weekend. I got a decent sleep.

Today's been pretty busy. We had breakfast, then a big Hawaiian welcoming ceremony and a speech from Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM) and then three hours of orientation. We have a little break and then some more orientation, a big luau (yes, they're roasting a pig!) and hula performances and stuff tonight.