17 September, 2008

"I Saw What I Saw"

I've been drawn to Sara Groves' newest album "Tell Me What You Know" lately. Her heart and desire are visible in her genuine lyrics, and her words resonate in all of my heart. I love the fact that you can see exactly where she is in her life, as if she were your closest friend. She draws you close with her melody. Plus, this song keeps Africa on my heart...

"I Saw What I Saw"

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me
What I am afraid of,
And what I know of love?

07 September, 2008

Cupcakes Galore

On Labor Day, S, E, and I decided that we would take a day and explore. We started with a picnic at the Iwo Jima memorial that none of us had visited before. We then stumbled upon a concert at the Netherlands Bell Tower and were able to watch the carondelier play for a while. We then checked the Old Stone House off our to-do list. It's the oldest building in DC and is still standing in Georgetown. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

But, I think that the best part of the day was something that Washingtonians are fascinated by:


And we're not talking your typical cupcake. We're talking about the richest red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting that you've ever tasted! There are so many cupcakeries around this city that you could spend a day visiting them all. If I did that, I swear I'd gain at least 10 pounds in a week. They are sooooooo good, but the three of us felt soooooooo sick after we indulged.

So, if you're looking for a good cupcake, here are a few places I have tried. You can go with your standard Georgetown Cupcake. I hear they have "bliss baked daily" there, and I would have to agree. On Labor Day, we went to the diamond-in-the-rough Baked and Wired in Georgetown. If you're in the Dupont Circle area, I highly recommend Hello Cupcake. They are brand new, Penny, the owner, is incredibly sweet, and how can you beat a line out the door and around the corner on opening day? Thanks to Daily Candy for pointing out these treasures!

03 September, 2008

Africa on my mind

I got on the Metro today, just like any other day, and grabbed my spot near the door. iPod in my ears, Blackberry in my hand, large purse on my shoulder and the day running around my head. I was spent and tired, fulfilled, yet exhausted. When I ride on the Metro, I usually close my eyes and hold on. I don't know why, but I do. When I opened my eyes, I was reminded by one simple truth...

...I still have Africa on my mind.

It all started in January 2007, for some unknown reason. All I came to see was Africa. Africa on tv. African countries in the (Product) RED campaign that I studied for my Master's thesis. Heck, when Compassion International sent me children to sponsor, they were always from Africa. Everyone seemed to be going to Africa for one reason or another. My friend Mandy has been a few times, my other friend Mandy was leading a team that summer.

And the senitment didn't fade, either. When I couldn't figure out what to do for an internship last summer, I was ready to pack my bags and move to Africa for a short term trip. Where? I didn't know. Why? Because I loved them and wanted to know the people. How? Only God knew... I had no clue.

Of course, that didn't happen. I planned on going to Rwanda and Uganda this summer with friends from church, and that trip fell through as well because of my move to DC. I was really disappointed because it was like I was always saying yes, and God was always saying no. I really had to struggle with that because I've never been so willing and had the doors close.

Well, Africa was buried as I moved to DC...kind of out of sight, out of mind. I hadn't thought about it until the last month. I met some amazing Rwandans in the airport coming back home on Sunday. I work at a center for media professionals around the world and frequently talk about Africa and health alerts. I have friends who work in other non-profits focusing specifically on Africa. But the final kicker today was to watch this mother and her young son on the Metro. They were from Uganda. His head rested upon her shoulder as he slept. My heart melted.

Who knows what this means, but I hope it has something to do with a new passport stamp and an amazing experience.