Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New City Year

HAPPY New Year!!!!

Greetings from Seattle, where there is no sun a lot.

This was probably the coolest gift that I got for Christmas given to me by a really cool girl named Elyse.

I love Christmas and it actually snowed on Christmas day in Baltimore!
I was definitely spoiled with sunshine for the first two months I was here but no more. Its been crazy busy and I have been slacking writing on here. So, its one of those holidays and I miss Maryland and the people I know there already; AND I just got back! I think this is the first New Years I celebrated on the west coast which was really cool. They decked out the Space Needle with fireworks, but unfortunately, I was sick, so I didn't think it to be wise to go out, so I just stayed in. Sad, I know, but i have to get up ridiculously early on monday, and I gotta be fresh. (Side note: watched Troll 2, which is the best WORST movie of all time; thanks to my roommate Chris, i felt I wasted my life, but see it.)
Going home was pretty exhausting trying to see everyone, and sorry if I didn't see you. But i loved hanging out with friends and the family but I didn't think to even eat crab chips and I miss those...ALOT!!

City Year Part 2 is about to start and I am pretty siked.
Working with the kids has been great and I have really enjoyed getting to know them and helping them with their work. Don't get me wrong, the kids are tough to work with, as middle school aged students are. But its been cool playing soccer with them during lunch, actually seeing them willingly ask ME for help and just communicating about what they are going through. Some of the stories that these kids have are crazy and heartbreaking. It's been encouraging to be there with them and present in their lives when not a lot of people are. I am beginning to see that it is so important to be there for them not just in school but for other stuff too. I just love it when the kids in my class say " are you coming to the game tomorrow Roberto?" And I am like "o yeah, I will be there." I have been to go to a couple of basketball games already at the school and a tournament and just cheer them on. In one of my classes that I work in, the teacher had planned a coffee house for the kids in order for them to read some of the stories they wrote. They share some of their deepest heartfelt stories of their lives and struggles in front of parents, teachers and friends. It was so sweet to be there for them...and I even played tag with them in the parking lot, which was kinda fun. (Free pizza too.) Working with kids in schools is so much more about developing a consistency of presence where they feel loved and secure, rather than a increase in performance. For me, I believe that a servant's heart is needed; supplemented with patience, kindness, humor, and just a willingness to keep going, even when your tired. Thats why there are weekends and sunday as the day of REST..i love it! I can't wait to get back there at the school. I am going to be extremely busy as we start to develop and run after school programs and start creating initiatives that will help students throughout the remainder of the year. CY tells us that this will be the hardest part, o my.

Hopefully I will be able to keep up with this blog and share whats going on here.
Thoughts and prays I would like to throw out there:

Time set apart for scripture reading and other stuff.
Get to a guys small group at the church I have been going to.
Continue praying for the kids I am serving

Talk to ya soon,

- Roberto

O and here are some pictures from some hikes that I did during the fall.