Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Back

Yesterday I received notification, via letter, that my Peace Corps medical process is done and I am ready to go. Now, I just have to wait until I get my nomination when I will find out where I am going exactly. That should be some time between now and November.

Every staff meeting on Wednesday night the people who are leaving before the next meeting stand up and we all lay our hands on them and bless they're departure. Last night so many people had to stand up that there were more people leaving that staying. We had to make a circle around them. Sad.

Yesterday morning, however, at the staff meeting, Tom was talking about how hard it can be to watch people you love leave sometimes every day of the week and how emotionally exhausting it is. He said that after four years of watching people leave, he has found that we shouldn't be sad that they're going but be happy that our lives crossed paths in one way or another when it otherwise wouldn't have. We should be thankful for the people we have had the pleasure of spending even five minutes with and call ourselves better people for having done so. Well put Tom. That made me feel better about this whole transition from Summer to fall where people are leaving and not coming back. The village is just shrinking. For now, I'm still a little upset about all of the close friends of mine that have left and I might never see again, but I'm working on being glad that I got to spend the best summer of my life with them working hard...up in the mountains.

This has been a great summer and I'm excited for whatever else is to come from it.

I guess saying goodbye is just a fact of life.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Other Side of Amy

Hello everyone, I am your guest blogger for today. For those of you who don't know me, I am Amy's older sister Diana.

First an update on what Amy has been doing. Amy woke up (late) and sat on a porch. Then she ate some food, then she sat on a porch. Next Amy worked in the snack bar, then she sat on a porch. Then Amy ate some more food, the she sat on a porch. Next Amy worked in the snack bar again, followed by, can you guess, sitting on a porch. All of this was done of while knitting hats for everyone she has ever met.
I also decided that all of you need to know more of the Amy that I know. I will attempt to show you this through a series of pictures, past and present.

This is amy when she was 3 months old, and we went to the beach. This is why Amy no longer likes to be all bundled up.

This is our dad feeding Amy icecream . . . and now she is the ice cream queen!
This is my sister and I, and should be proof that I am older than Amy (5 years)

Ok now I was doing well at keeping these pictures in some sort of order, but as a guest blogger I clearly do not have all of the skills necessary for a really great blog update. So the pictures are now out of order. This is a modern picture of Amy, just before her graduation from PLU, ask her sometime how many times she had to jump before we got a really great jumping picture, where she was in the air, and sill had both a head and arms. It was a lot of work.
Here is another picture of almost the same thing.
This picture was taken last winter. This was the first time that Amy had ever been X-Country skiing. This was the first tiny little hill we came to.
Those of you who know Amy, or know our family know that we are a little clutzy. this is what happens when a clutzy person goes skiing. I LOVE YOU SISTER!

Here is amy the future Ice Cream Queen, being fed by our dad, as I look on. Notice the footie (sorry about the spelling) Pajamas that both my sister and I are sporting. I bet all of you reading this are jeleous right now. That's right we had footie pajamas.
Amy had when she was little, and continues to have her own very interesting style.
Okay well I am getting tired of this, and don't know what to say about this picture, other than Amy was so cute. I have to give Amy props for updating the blog as often as she does. I do not have the patients it takes to put all of these pictues in, and I am not even having to deal with the slow/busy Holden internet. So if I don't say it, Thanks Amy for all the updates, they are great, and I never realized how much work it can be just to stick a couple of pictures up on the internet. I am in the home stretch now.
This is Amy (with the super cool sunglasses), me, and our Aunt Nan. I think that if Amy still had these sunglasses she would be wearing them right now. They were super cool.

Thank you all for letting me be a guest blogger, I had a lot of fun, and a lot of frustration, and now I feel like I understand more of what Amy has to do to update the blog, and I will apreciate it a lot more when she does finally update. I just want Amy to know that we all love and miss her, and can't wait to see you again.
Love ya,
Diana Cross

Monday, August 24, 2009

Long time no post I know.

My out was nice. I got to see a movie, get a few shots, order new glasses, eat food, see my family, normal life things.

Saturday I got back in the village.

Yesterday I had a day off.

Today I worked.

When I was out I broke my vegetarianism. I gave it a year and I'm done...I think. We'll see. I haven't had any meat since I've been here (you know, the last three days) so we'll see what happens with that.

Yesterday at Eucharist was pastor Eric's last sermon. Sad. A bunch of people came up for it from Stehekin. Good times, he did a great job.

Today was Joan and Art's last day. We blessed them after the service.

Snack bar went well. There was a fire alarm so I had to delay clean-up a little bit. On the way out one of my scoopers dropped my ipod and itrip. I had to put the itrip back together but they both work. I'm a little bitter though.

Not only is the ice maker broken so I have to carry buckets of ice down to the Snack bar a few times a day but now my dishwasher doesn't clean things so I have to carry loads and loads and loads of dishes between the Snack bar and the dish pit. Needless to say, my arms are tired and I'm sick of malfunctioning machinery.

Last night there was a power outage that lasted over an hour. Evidentlly the fuse box for lodge one melted? No one is really sure why or how. Weird. I think it was the third level slasher.

Porch sitting has sort of been revived after all of the departures. I've found that if I go and sit on a porch, even if I don't live there, people will join and then it's a little porchy party. If you sit there, they will come.

Yesterday during Eucharist I was finishing knitting a red hat for myself. It just so happened that every time it got silent for us to pray I dropped on of my knitting needles and it would sort of bounce around and roll around on the floor so I would have to be causeing a ruccuss trying to find it while everyone was praying. Sheesh. Oh well, the hat is done so now I'm going to start fulfilling some knitting requests from some poeple at home :). If you asked for one, you're getting one. I just need to acquire some yarn. Hmmmmm.

Well, that's enough of an update for now I suppose.

THe next update will be by a guest blogger: Diana, my lovely sister. I'm just warning you what you're in for. Muaha.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer time and the living is easy.

I'm going out today! I'm excited to see my family in 6 hours? Fast boat. I've showered, packed, woken up obnoxiously early and am now waiting until 9:00 because that is when Abby and I are meeting for breakfast. I'm just going out, Abby isn't coming back so I let her choose times. It's been a long summer and most of the people (except for Abby) that I have spent my time with this summer have left (mostly in the last week). The crowd at the porch has dwindled to 4 last night, sometimes 2. There are different groups of porch sitters, maybe it is time to consolidate? Hmmm, something to think about.

Last night was the staff summer slideshow. I couldn't get anyone to work in the Snack Bar during the slide show, and the schedule didn't have us opening until 8:30 so I hung a sign on the door and actually attended a post-Vespers event. It was fantastic! All the pictures of people that I miss made my day. A lot of the pictures I didn't even know they existed! when I went back to work the Snack Bar, there was a line and everyone started clapping when Marta, Abby, and I showed up to work. Oh well.

Yesterday afternoon the staff coordinators came and found me at work and asked me if I had a second because they needed to talk to me. Even though I'm the treasure (haha) I was scared I was in trouble. Then Daniel said, "It's good news." Maggie, the Pool Hall Director, left yesterday morning to go back to school which means that there is no one to run the pool hall. I'm getting anther person of Friday who is full time assigned to me and they are just going to put me in charge of the Pool Hall and the Snack Bar! POWER!! Umm....ok, well anyway, I get to decide whether I want Karen, new girl, to be assigned to the Pool Hall downstairs or if I want to split the two jobs between us, or what. I haven't decided what I'm going to do. I think it would be a nice break from the Snack Bar.....then again, the Pool Hall get's pretty boring. Hmmmm. We'll see what I decide. Karen comes Friday and I come back on Saturday so I'll decide while I"m home.

For those of you who are a Dutcher, the slide show started in Easter and Andrew was all over it, Corn rows and all!

I'm excited to talk to people on the phone.....and eat a burrito.

I'll talk to most of you soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009


The copper piece inside the baptismal font.

The V.C. where we have vespers every night and Eucharist on Sundays.

The soccor players from the annual soccor compitition between guests and staff at the end of Abriendo Caminos.

Abby and Dillon being cheesy hanging out in the Snack Bar.
I work....really.

This is what licorice ice cream does to your mouth.

Pancake Day!!!!

Narnia Parade for Fiesta day at the end of Abriendo Caminos.

Dillon doing Matins.

Norma singing with the mariachi band=amazing!!!
So, it's finally warming up; I hear it is going to get HOT again...there is no in between I guess.

I got my out approved, so I'll be home Wednesday afternoon to Saturday at dawn. :) I'm excited to get to use my phone to call people and hear their voice...even if they are on the other side of the country.

Yesterday was a pretty relaxing day off, I sat around and knitted. After Eucharist I was in a porch then went in the sauna. I slept really well...well enough that I slept through my alarm and until coffee break.

I'm attempting to upload photos right now but with my new camera I had to get new software to view the photos and I haven't figured out how to re-size them yet so it's taking forever. Not that you need that much information.

For those of you at Ebenezer, Richard and Emily Edmonds are in the village until tomorrow! Weird. For those of you related to me immediately, Vern and Jean Warmbo are in the village. IT was nice to see Pastor Edmonds in the choir, like some kind of weird flashback.

I've been asked to write about bagel bar. Since last Saturday we were down to 217 people in the village (as opposed to 450-500), we had bagel bar for dinner. It was the most amazing thing I have ever had in my entire life! There were three different types of bagels: plain, cinnamon raison, and parmesian. There were four different types of cream cheese: mint chocolate chip, garlic chipotle, lemon lime, and plain. Then there were toppings like Corn beef (rare here) lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other normal sandwhich items. They were so good! I had a parmesean bagel with garlic chipotle cream cheese, tomatoe, cucumber, lettuce, cheese, on it. Then later I had a toasted plain bagel with cream cheese.

I never though I would be this excited about a bagel. SO GOOD!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


So I brought my camera and my camera cord and fully intended to upload pictures from Abriendo Caminos but I forgot to install the software onto my computer that has the program for me to see the pictures.

Yesterday morning I got up for breakfast because my friend Dillon was doing Matins. He did a great job. After breakfast we all sort of sat around and talked about how early we got up and how much day we had in front of us. Time passed somehow and I went to work. The afternoon was slow. After dinner a bunch of kids broke open pinatas. A group of 8 of us just sat in a line on the ground inbetween the arc and the giant picnic table watching. After the pinatas were done we still sat there but the line grew and morphed into a circle. We hung out there until it was time for vespers. We had an unexpected sharing of the peace, which was exciting because we all look forward to eucharist all day long because of how wonderful the sharing of the peace is at Holden, everyone hugs everyone, so you can imagine how long it lasts with 450 people in the village. Good peacing. Snack bar was busy because there was a fiesta going on in the village center for the end of Abriendo Caminos. People came in every few seconds to get ice water...they got annoyed when we ran out of ice and I told them my ice maker doesn't work and I carry buckets of ice down every day. I closed 2 minutes early and was at the fiesta at 10:02. :). Hot tub. Then a bunch of us sat on the hamoch roap thing that is tied to the corner of the lodge 6 upper porch. Warm at last. I fell asleep there. Went to bed.

I woke up this morning because we had cinimon rolls today for breakfast. :) Soo good. Now I was just checking my e-mail to find out about my roommates from college because today is moving day for them (they're both moving to the other side of the country, Virginia and Georgia. I wanted to see what kind of hang ups are happening....hang-ups galore. Good luck to them.

That's all for now, I'll work harder at putting up pictures.

Tons of people leave today....5 buses came in on Sunday and 5 buses leave today. Sheesh. I will document the buses, if I can get out of dish team a little early.

That's all for now.


Friday, August 14, 2009


So it seems that we've traded our hot weather for cold cold rain. Instead of lounging on porches trying to stay away because it was so warm, my days are now consumed by sitting as close to people as possible while knitting hats for various cold heads. I finally made another hat for myself.

Last night I watched Mulan with Hannah and Ben in chalet 1. It was nice to kind of hang out where I live with the people I live with (plus some others) for a while. I found out that Ben has the entire movie memorized. After the movie I went to bed, where my roommate had just gotten into bed. We stayed up talking until 2:30 in the morning when we cut ourselves off. We talked about how we liked living with each other in when September (and the housing shuffle) come, neither of us intends to move because we like how things are and we like each other. Nice. No one will ever be as cool, however, as my roommates from college (what's up fearsome foursome?!). I've been thinking about my roommates a lot, they're mostly moving tomorrow to the other side of the country :(.

This morning, I got up really early because one of my best friends here at Holden, Dillon, did matins on the summer theme "We Have This Treasure". This is a theme that we've made fun of the entire summer, because it is ridiculous, but have only recently begun to appreciate. He did really well. Now we have all of this time on our hands because it isn't even 9am and we're awake! When all of us walked into the dining hall everyone looked at us and asked, "Why are you guys awake?" Haha.

Today is the last programmed day of Abriendo Caminos. This week has been wonderful! There is a soccor game today, and a fiesta before and after vespers....awesome!

Tomorrow, we're down to 200 people in the village and there will be bagel bar!! Woohoo! I have never had bagel bar, I only know it by reputation.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to get a new staff member, we'll see.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So, according to Diana, I haven't updated in a while. It's not my fault! The internet has constantly been down for the last week. Everyone else could get on but the second I went to, it went down. Oh well, I'm here now, that's all that matters, right??

Can you believe I only have a month and a half here? I've been here for two and a half months already. I can't imagine what kind of crazy shenanigans and wacky hijinks are going to happen next. I feel like everything that could happen has. The majority of the people I hang out with (sit on the porches with) have gone or are leaving in the next week. I need to talk to Marta, my staff member to see when her family is going out because I need to go on an out next week to get my Polio booster and I found a Wenatchee at least. We'll see if I take the bus or if I can con someone from my family to come and pick me up. :) :) :)

This week is Abriendo Caminos (roughly translates to open path)! Spanish week. The food has been amazing! THe people have been wonderful and extremely willing to help and the music has been great! Every Vespers everyone ends up dancing and clapping and the village, especially for being at capacity, feels really relaxed. This is a nice change of pace from the craziness of the Johnson family reunion and the Luther College reunion (2 massive groups of over 50 here last week).

There was a meteor shower last night, but since we're on our 4th straight day of rain, it was too clowdy to see so a bunch of us watched Shrek 2 in Creekside.

Last Sunday, I went to Matins (my favorite service) and after ended up hanging out with my friend Andrew and Tom (one of the directors). When I told Tom that I was here for 2 more months he got really excited and told me that it made his day that I was staying for a while made my day that it made his day. He's the director that told me I was the treasure.

There are some pretty cool decorations for Abriendo this week, I'll try to take some pictures now that I carry my camera with me everywhere. Also, there is a Mariachi band here...they're fantastic!

I just tried to upload some photos but this new memory card that I got (more than 32 Mb) doesn't read on my computer so I need to go and grab my camera cord.

I'll put pictures up soon.

Other than that, I've just been sitting on porches and knitting. Finally I made a few hats that dont have holes in them and fit heads (after making one outrageouly large and then making a little red had called tiny hat that people keep passing around). I like knitting! I never thought I would.

I know this was kind of a lame update but think of all the pictures you'll get to see! I've been pretty good about taking them lately.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Kaija and Dillon the night before Kaija left (last night).
Me playing with the action option on my camera, caught Hanna mid-sentence.

<3 Cute! It tried to steal my dinner!

Katy Feidler, Narnia area head....."working" in the Snack Bar.

Stealing Joe's funfetti frosting.

Christopher (9 years-old) trying to hold a stick-up for ice cream and pop.
Diana, I figured out how to change the color it focuses on!
The first picture taken with my camera, Ben.
Yesterday night I had 8 people volunteering for me. It was mayhem! After snack bar I went to the lodge 6 porch to hang out with my friends, especially Kaija because she left about 10 minutes ago.

So, here are the pictures from yesterday. These pictures aren't really anything special, these things happen every day, but now I have documentation!!

Yesterday I got a 1 hour massage from someone who gave me one because I'm always giving them to other people. It was fantastic!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Today was an eventful day

My camera came already!!! Yes, the one I ordered 2 days ago! Weird. My memory card has yet to come but this one will hold about 10 pictures so I'm ok for now.

This morning I got up early because I volunteered for Narnia ( a bunch of their staff left and they needed help). I told Katy (the area head) that I would help out if I didn't have to wipe a butt or change a diaper, and if someone licked me I would slap them and run away and never help again. She put me with the 7-10 year-olds. I got there and we hung out on the play ground, I make a fort with some boys. After that, we went up to the dining hall to make cookies for coffee break, then we played freeze tag. After freeze tag we went to play some game called German capture the flag. I was chasing a small child when I tripped over another small child, fell, and skinned my knee; it stings a little. Oh well...I also ripped another hole in my jeans when I tripped. After that we played on the playground again, then watched a puppet show, then went to lunch. After lunch I hauled my ice cream shipment with Julie and Reid. Snack bar went well. Here I am.

I documented these things because my camera came but it won't let me upload pictures right now. I'll try later. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Canon Powershot

Also, I just bought a new camera. I got a really good deal on Amazon. :)

New Orleans

I just applied to do disaster relief down in New Orleans through LDR (Lutheran Disaster Relief). It was easier to post it here rather than e-mailing everyone.

More porch time

Today Julie was back from the there day weekend I gave her (I felt bad about taking so much time off for Stehekin and dock day and the lift and stuff). She enjoyed her time and came back feeling refreshed. Yesterday afternoon was the busiest day I have ever had in the Snack Bar. There is a massive family reunion (they all have matching T-shirts too) in the village right now and their matching T-shirts say, "We're only here for the ice cream. Johnson family reunion" You can imagine how busy that was. About 30 minutes into the shift, right after I started the dishwasher mind you, the power went out. The dishwasher takes 45 minutes so when the power didn't come back on until a half hour before the shift ended, you can imagine how many dishes I had piled up from the rest of the shift. I ran out of cups and large dishes. I also ran out of every kind of pop and a few ice creams but I couldn't replenish them because the power was out and I couldn't see in the basement...also, my flashlight doesn't work. It was fun though, despite the craziness. There was nothing to do so I hung around and talked to some lady from Lake Stevens (I had an aquafest shirt on and she recognizes it). She goes to Holy Cross, we know a lot of the same people.

I've decided that there are too many things to finish on my medical testing for the Peace Corps, so I'll be coming home. I think if I wait the few weeks that it is going to take for me to be able to leave, I'll only have another month and a little before I leave for good so it won't be sooo bad using all my outs in one more go. I only have 3 out days left. I know some people who are going through Lake Stevens, and staying with people there so I'm toying with the idea of hitching a ride with him. On the other hand, that would make me miss some of my really close friends' last day. Hmmm. I'll figure it out. Stupid Polio booster.

This morning I got up (Pancake day!!!) with plenty of time to get to breakfast because I only get up on Tuesdays for pancakes. Then I went back to sleep. I woke up at 8:25, got dressed, and ran to the dining hall for pancakes. I got there 2 minutes afterthe time. They were still putting out pancakes late, so I got one, despite the harassement from a good friend of mine on waitri about what time breakfast ends.

At breakfast I sat with a father and daughter, the daughter had just come back from the national youth gathering in New Orleans. We talked about New Orleans for a while and the state it's in and what kinds of things they did for service projects. I'm interested in knowing more about New Orleans before I attempt to make my trek down there.

Maybe I'll spend this extra time I have (from waking up so early) looking for some kind of program. If you know of any, please let me know emediatly. I want some program that is doing disaster releif down in New Orleans, where I wouldn't have to pay for housing, I could just live there and work. I have some leads but I'm still looking.

Ok, busy day today, it's supposed to be hot again, and every day until Thursday. I'm hoping by some freak occurance people don't want ice cream today, I literally went though half of my shipment yesterday afternoon alone.....we'll see if I run out or if I have to ration again.



Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day off.

The longer I'm here, the more time I spend on porches. It's morphed into this. In the morning, afternoon, and around meal times, we're sitting on the upper floor porch of Lodge 1. At night, we change to The upper porch of Lodge 6 because it's farther away (so we can be lowder) and there is a hamoch and more seating. Last week a group of guests (the village is at capacity so they've been putting guests in the staff lodges) took over the upper Lodge 1 porch. We took drastic measures to re-claim it (including taking shifts sitting on the porches so they wouldn't take it. yesterday Matt wanted to take a nap so we had him sleep there. We all got him blankets and stuff so he would have incentive to stay there. It worked like a charm, the porch is ours again! We are the porch sitters!! We've decided to call it Central Porch, like in Friends, because that's where we all hang out when we're not sleeping or at work. After the last of my clost friends leave in the next two weeks I'm going to have to hang out on my own porch (Chalet 1). I knitted there today for a little bit while my roommate was playing the harp but it wasn't the same.

It is soo hot and we're understaffed so much that it seems like everyone is kind of on edge. The village is at capactiy and nobody has enough help. Everyone is working over 40 hours. I'm excited for cooler weather, less guests, and less work. That's ok though, I think everyone is kind of embracing the whole "work hard, play hard" modo.

I ran out of allergy medication.

I have to get a polio booster to finish my medical stuff for Peace Corps so I might be home before long. Then again, maybe I'll get it in Wenatchee and save my out days. I only have 3 out days left between now and September.

I woke up today to my alarm clock beeping and people standing outside my door talking about how loud my alarm clock in. I went outside and told them all that I'm a hard sleeper and it takes a lot to wake me up. They were like, "I guess!"

I guess that's all for now.....

I hope you enjoyed the random collection of thoughts in my head!

<3 Amy