the last two weeks

A week ago, I was lamely wishing for 48 hour days and bodies without need of rest.

Now, I’ve had almost an entire week without school, thank you gripe porcina (swine flu), and more time than I thought possible. Yes, that’s right. Monday was going along like any day, when my principal appeared in my office doorway. In a calmer voice than the situation warranted, he said, “We are not telling students at this point, but we will not be having classes for two weeks starting tomorrow.” He would have walked out, too (in the same unceremonious way) if I had not stopped him and made him listen to my gawking, confusing responses.

“For two whole weeks?” “Just like that?” “The school is closed – like we can’t work?” “What will we do exactly?”

I finally let him leave, but I was almost in tears. I knew almost immediately this was an attack spiritually, because we are really at a tipping point for students. The first spiritual life activities were planned to start this week and they were canceled. It is also just a crucial relationship-building time with students (my first Bible study was to be this week), where we are just getting to the place of trust and confidence and they are making decisions about what this year will look like. Here is a sample of my Bible study poster for 11th grade and the breakfast club Bible study for 10-12th grades.

As always, what Satan intends for evil, God can always turn to blessing. After my initial shock, I ended up joyful to enter into these two weeks where I really felt led to meet with as many students as possible. I posted this on my facebook:

Caroline Nichols
gripe porcina decided it wanted to close our school for two weeks… so I decided to OPEN ‘camp nichols’. Feel free to check in for a free night or a week at my humble abode in la campaña – bring your own food and entertainment. I’m now OPEN for business and ready for visitors 🙂

and about I went. I’ve had girls over, one spend the night, and plans for more this week. I am trying to meet up with them, but also take the time to do some reflecting, planning, visioning, and nesting (no, I’m still not done with that phase!).

Here are some stories that will make you laugh, I hope!

a few funny stories
minor accident – So, last Monday we found out there would be no school for two weeks. How do we celebrate? Well, I picked up Daniella and MariaJose and we went out to coffee. Though I know I depend solely on the Lord to make the car function and bring us safely to our destination, the girls have been pretty impressed with my driving abilities. This night was no different. However, as we pull up to the little coffee house parking lot (no bigger than a bedroom and right off a busy street), the parking attendants couldn’t do enough hand motions to get the lady in front of me to stop backing up. So, she didn’t. She backed right into me!! Boy, was that interesting! I received a crash course (tehe) in fender-bender protocol. Good thing was, this woman was hugely sorry and ended up just giving me cash (that she randomly left at a fabric store for me to pick up!?) to fix the chrome grille molding.

contra via- After meeting with Daniella one night, I was driving her to church and she motioned to take a right on the next street. Before I got to far, the drivers were hanging out their windows yelling, “contravia!” which of course means that I was going the wrong way. Don’t worry, this has only happened on three occasions! 🙂 I corrected myself and playfully yelled at Daniella, who could not stop laughing. “It USED to be two way, Miss, I swear!”

painting at a student’s house- One day this week, I woke up and leisurely went about a lazy morning routine before I headed over to MariaJose’s house to lay in the sun (at 9 am!) on her little back porch and then paint her sister’s bedroom.

home improvement projects
I’m not sure if it is the fabulous apron I made with my grandma, or if it is the new apartment in the city… whatever it is, I just love to make creations in the kitchen. When my students came over last week, we endeavored to make homemade pizza from scratch. Of course it took ENTIRELY too long for them to appreciate and enjoy, I had fun and we had lots of time to hang out in the kitchen 🙂 My favorite and easiest addition to my diet is hummus. I have only had a few varieties that I really like, so what is better than to make it the way I like it right here in my own kitchen?! I use black beans with the garbanzo beans and I use less lemon juice than they suggest. I also add a splash of spice and there’s my snack for the week!

I have also welcomed the re-discovery of decorating this new place. I have painted a few canvases, experimented with lanterns, and really thought about how to use my home as a physical reminder of my spiritual goals.

What else? This is getting too long already. I realize I haven’t written in such a long time. I promise I will make it up soon! A September newsletter is on its way! While you are waiting, check out this video of the crazy macaw birds that live next door. 🙂

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