Who Says

I am blessed to have a truck. It’s the best for getting to the office where I work, out to the nearby villages, and just around my city. It’s huge, white, guzzles diesel and roars when it runs. You can hear me coming from a mile away.

The best feature of it, besides that it works, obviously, is that it has a CD player. Every month or so, I burn a new CD with awesomesauce songs that are stuck in my head for the month. I’ve traveled all over my city with the likes of Mat Kearney, Ellie Goulding, OneRepublic, Lights and many more.

There’s one, that I’m almost embarrassed to say comes along – but let me explain why Selena Gomez makes a guest appearance on these cds. Also. If you don’t understand why it’s embarrassing to have Selena Gomez on my mix cds, you are in junior high, or have no musical shame.

First – here’s the song:

After you’ve noted which one it is, please stop reading this, and go tell any female overseas worker that she’s beautiful. And if you feel creepy doing that, or it’d be inappropro, just say “YOU ARE A DAUGHTER OF THE KING AND AS SUCH YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.” Or something lovely like that….I promise, it will get a reaction. Just throw a word that connotes that she is drop dead gorgeous in there. It’s needed.

Here’s why this song ends up on my playlist.

I go out among Thai people, who are approximately the size of a toothpick. I’m certain that’s what their bones are made of – whereas mine are made of industrial steel, like building framework. As such, I am huge in comparison.

Also. I’m not a little girl. I’m not the size of a whale or anything, but I’m not skinny (yet) either. That means, when I walk into a village, all the old ladies pinch my arms. “Oh, look how fat you are!”

Last month, in a minority area, here’s all the comments about my appearance I heard in ONE DAY.

Why are you so fat?
Why are you so skinny?
Why are you so old?
Why are you so young?
Why are you taller than me even though you are younger?
Why are you so pretty?
Why do you look sick today?
Why are you so white?
Why are you so brown?
Wow, you are fat!
Eat more, you need to be fatter.

I walk away from stuff like that, and pound my fist on the table. “I am a daughter of the King, by golly, and as such I am drop-dead gorgeous!”

Here’s a crystal example. I study the Bible with a friend every week, and then go swimming with her afterwards. We met at a different place one week, and there was a scale there. We talked about weight a bit during prayer requests – she told me of a friend who had broken up with his girlfriend, and consequently lost 8 kilos.

“He has a broken heart,” she said. “It made him lose weight.”

Then, she had a “brilliant” idea.

“We should weigh ourselves,” she said.

“I’m going to be huge compared to you,” I replied.

“No, it’ll be fine,” she said.

She stepped on.

Then I stepped on. I weight 30 kilos more than her. For those of you who don’t use the metric system, that’s 66 flipping pounds. That’s more than airline baggage, if you need a comparison. Trust me, that don’t do much for your self esteem!

She just stared. “Hmmm….I think you need a broken heart.” she said.

So yes, I surround myself with songs that remind me that I am beautiful.

And yes. I am a daughter of the king, and as such, I am drop dead gorgeous and hawt.

And like Selena, I ask myself….who says.

Just trippin through

I’m the clumsiest person I know. Now, I’m also the clumsiest American that many minority people know.

Let me backtrack a tiny bit.

For the past 9 days, I’ve been all over the northern parts of a Southeast Asian country, looking for and taking pictures of minority people groups. I’ve got my trusty Nikon D700 beside me, some well charged batteries, and plenty of memory cards to keep me going.

As I take pictures, these precious people are looking at me funny. Babies burst into tears. Old women feebly hold up their hands – “mo-mo” some say – my guess is that they are asking for money, but we can’t fully understand each other.

Let’s get to the clumsy part. Ok, it’s been raining all week. I mean, a typhoon hit Southeast Asia last week, and now the after affects are making themselves known all over the place, leaving behind a drizzling rain and mud puddles galore. Lovely, right?

Side note: I lovelovelove the squish squish sound of the mud beneath my feet. My toes are stained from red clay dirt, even though I borrowed black rubber boots to wear during the worst of the muddy days.

Now, I’m a klutz on a good day. My parents always joked that it was a good thing they didn’t curse me with the middle name “Grace” (that was reserved for my sister, who isn’t as challenged as I am at staying upright).

A lot of time, I take a loose shot of a person first, show it to them, and then take a close, tight shot of them as they smile in delight at seeing themselves (and are more comfortable with me). So this shot was no different.

I’m standing in front of a house where a woman is husking rice, and an older woman walks by with a gorgeous blue umbrella. Nice shot, I think. I take a shot of her.

Then, I step towards her to show her, and BAM, I have hit the ground. My foot just flew out from under me, and I crashed.

I jumped up – nothing hurt but my dignity, and that’s only slightly bruised, and move towards her to show her the pic.

Magic’s lost though. She won’t stop talking, and I assume she’s telling me to be careful walking and not kill myself as I go through the village. She was still talking as she walked away.

Oh well.

But that’s not my only spill.

Man, I wiped out more times than a surfer in Hawaii.

The muddy hill short cut (which did cut out some uphill walking – I hit a knee on that one).

The time when I was just standing still (!!!) and wiped out.

The sidewalk of the big city, walking in the rain.

…. and many, many more. Sadly, I seem to have forgotten a few. They just…spring out of my memory.

It’s been an epic trip, though. There’s some amazing minority people groups here, and I cannot wait to get back to Thailand and shart digging through those pictures to see what I have.

In the meantime, here’s a little song to make you think of me.