I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…

Well, not quite yet, but soon !! As of this week, my backpack and I have an official departure date. I will be flying out of Boston on October 2nd, with one stop in Miami, and then straight to Montevideo !! For all those wondering: yes, of course I cried when I found out (certainly tears of joy though).

People keep asking how I feel about it, if I am nervous, or excited. I think the proper emotion I am feeling is “ready”…yes I just decided that ready is an emotion now. I am sure once October 2nd nears, I will be overcome with “young-Kirsten-on-Christmas-morning” (okay, I still wake up at 6 am) excitement and “8-year-old-Kirsten-going-to-sleep-away-camp-for-the-first-time” nerves, but for now, I am ready.

It has been a strange summer filled with a lot of goodbyes, goodbye friends, goodbye house, goodbye Pennsylvania, with certainly more to come. But it has also been an incredibly thought provoking and filled with new knowledge. I spent two weeks at Holy Cross Monastery in New York with my fellow YASCers for missionary orientation back in late June. I was filled to the brim with new information, love and support. I am not only excited to see what God has in store for my adventure, but for the adventures of each YASCer.

I cannot thank each one of you enough for you prayers and support throughout this process, it would not be possible without you !!

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(A photo of the Monks at Holy Cross giving us a blessing)

143,
Kirst.

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My Backpack

If you know me, then you most likely also know My Backpack. My backpack has been with me for just over 3 years now. In those three years we have moved in and out of two different apartments, out of my childhood home, and into my current house. In those three years we have seen the mountain tops of West Virginia, the streets of Philadelphia and NYC, the inside of many, many classrooms, the beaches of the Jersey Shore, the lakes of Maine, the woods of the Poconos, the relief work sites in Atlantic City. Through all these adventures My Backpack has carried text books upon textbooks, bandaids, sunscreen, BUG SPRAY, wet towels, my stuffed bunny, granola bars, stinky sneakers, toothbrushes, my laptop, work gloves, and most importantly, and most often, my bible.

Now My Backpack and I are preparing for our next adventure. On Sunday we will be traveling to New York for two weeks of orientation with the other YASC volunteers for the upcoming year. This time, My Backpack will be carrying my newest bible, a Spanish/English bilingual bible (thank you to my wonderful roommate for such an amazing birthday gift !!).

With this beginning comes a lot of endings. Tomorrow will be my last day at work (not my last-but-I’ll-be-back-after-the-summer-day, but my last, last day). I will be saying goodbye to my normal, routine, structured life. This is the beginning of an amazing adventure. Yes, of course I am nervous, scared, worried, but more than anything, hopeful and excited. After a few good laughs with my roommates, I am ready for this. THIS IS REAL.

So prayers for this next leg of the jounrey would be greatly appreciated. It’s going to be a strange couple of days ahead of me !!

And to quote some good 90’s music…“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”

143,
Kirst.

Montevideo

Apparently it’s not Monty-Vid-E-O, as my roommate so politely corrected me. I’ll eventually figure it out just as I figured out how to correctly pronounce my middle name by the time I was in middle school.

This is all so real now. First it was “somewhere”, then it was Uruguay, and now I have a home in Montevideo. A city with 200,000 less people than Philadelphia, I think I can handle it. I will be heading down there sometime after mid-August to begin working on administrative projects for the diocese with a few other opportunities thrown in there as possibilities during my time there as well. <–I'm so good at being vague.

Also, I had my first successful conversation in Spanish this past week since 2009. It wasn't the greatest, but a small step is better than no step at all.

143,
Kirst.

My Way, or Uruguay

You often hear the phrase “taking a leap of faith”, and some may describe what I’m about to do as a leap of faith, but I like to think I’m taking a leap with faith (hence “leaping with faith). I’m packing my bags, grabbing my faith, and going…all the way to Uruguay. I have been accepted into the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) and will be working with the Episcopal diocese of Uruguay for a year. It it still unknown when I am leaving (sometime later this summer), and what kind of work I will be doing while I am there. No matter what work I will be doing, it will be God’s work. Over the past 5 months I have felt called to do something I did not even know was possible. Dreams are coming true that I did not even know existed. It has been God moment after God moment through the entire process.

So here I go, leaping with my faith, because without it wouldn’t be where I am today, and there is no way I could go anywhere tomorrow without it.

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143,

Kirst.