this is the time I had lice.

*Disclaimer, it was a less than seven hour ordeal from the encounter of the little devil in my hair to my first treatment, but it’s an entire trip worth noting thoroughly. The lice was just a tangent point. A few weeks ago I got invited to the finca [home in the mountains used for relaxing] with the staff who are learning English, aka “the English class”. They’re taught by Amanda, you’d know who she was if I had been blogging better- but she’s awesome and is teaching the English class currently. Her is is so huge and she’s super rad. Back to the point, I said yes. Friday we piled into cars with a whole bunch of food, including fifteen avocados and a lifetime supply of twizzlers [one family sized bag], and drove the forty five minutes up through the mountains to Omar’s Finca [guy from church who rents out his finca]. We started by making some guacamole, say hello to the guacamole queen [me]. And from there we just spent good time together. Braiding hair and laughing and cooking and eating and playing cards, talking and going deep. I never quite remember what happens when I’m there, but it’s always good. Amanda’s husband, Johnathan was our DJ pretty much the entire time and was killing the worship! Here’s a little insert from my notes that I feel is relevant, and I was writing it while at the finca: I haven’t figured out how I’m going to live in this country again, but I know deep inside myself that that part is coming. The amount of time that comes to mind is six years; Six years of being drenched in this culture I call home, this culture I mostly fit into. While parts of it still seem daunting, I feel my heart being prepared for it. I feel my roots in America being trimmed, growing healthfully, going deep, but not widely expansive. But in this land, they spread deep and wide regularly, as if each day my underground system is pressing itself further into this land. Week two here, I was feeling that heart call to call Colombia Home for a big chunk again and I felt threatened by it. Like it was robbing me of some unknown safety, some unpaved path. While it stuck my curiosity, it also brought me to tears, overwhelmed and unexplained. I was feeling so alone and couldn’t fathom a heap of time here again, being so solo. And still, at only two weeks left, it still seems daunting, but less so. It feels right to just say that I’ll be back to live here. It’s lost whatever felt threatening. There’s still the “scary” of the unknown, but the welcome to this home isn’t leaving, it is just regularly increasing. I’m laying on the ceramic tile floor of a finca, watching the city blink against the dark covered mountains, slipping in and out of the conversations behind me. I’m wrapped up in what I’d consider my prayer blanket and I couldn’t imagine anything else. The Spanish behind me is the lullaby of my life, still something unconquered, but comforting. There’s worship playing, which called me to sit apart from the silly behind me. I’ve been reflecting on all I am, and all I want in this walk of life. And I have it, and I am gaining it. My tribe, my people in America go deep. I may have just about the sum of my fingers and toes, but they are real and true and they are mine. And that is beginning here in Medellín, too, I am growing it. I sat and recounted the story of how I got here [realizing I’d never shared it in Spanish, meaning the people I work with don’t fully know that piece]. It was a lovely example of who these people are. Silly and light and finding places to joke, but also gentle and kind, correcting my words and grammar. Someone is braiding my hair and the others are curled up in the tiny finca house beds, all giggling and sharing and existing together. More than a team they are the biggest part of my tribe here. I’ve since moved from the floral ceramic floor to the covered patio, where we’ve begun worship. I have a throw sized blanket, made of a material called kantha that somehow became my prayer and worship shall. I was already wrapped in it like a scarf, but as we started worship I slipped it over my head. Angela [staff at the foundation, Colombian] also had a scarf over her head. For whatever reason covering my hair and draping the scarf over my shoulders makes for a reverent time. We sang and prayed and spontaneously washed feet and cried. We looked in eyeballs and heard one another. Tonight felt like Jesus. I’m not sure how you explain that to someone who’s never experienced it. We came to the finca just to be with one another, just to breathe the air that’s a little bit cooler and be away from the wild of our normals. We ate and played and laughed and somehow ended singing ourselves into the next day and it was lovely.Cue lice: the next morning I laid in bed [mattress I’m convinced is made of rocks] for a few hours, drifting in and out of sleep, waiting for the quiet finca to waken more than just the tweety birds outside. When several of us had finally rolled out of bed and taken enough to to pull the sleep out of us, I asked someone to take down my cornrows so I could shower. In the midst of taking down the braids, a lice egg was found. And then my head was swarmed by Colombian women pulling and picking through my curls to murder the little devils occupying my head. After the cleaned out as much as they could and killed the evil creature that laid eggs in my head, I showered and washed my hair as best I could. Then somehow we started baptizing people, which was so gorgeous. There’s a very tiny natural pool there, and several of the girls wanted to be baptized, and while Amanda and I had zero plan of entering the murky water, once we heard this we were in. We baptized three of the women and it was awesome. Then Talie showed up with lice shampoo and a comb and the treatments began! After several bombings of chemicals to my head, they straightened my hair, we ate more food, took photos, laughed, and now hopefully I’m cured of lice. This feels like quite a babble of a jumble of things and I hope you can understand everything I’m spewing out.

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