*update: THE HAMSTER HAD HER BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAY!!!!! i can't wait till they're cute enough for the camera. right now, they're pink, ugly, and scrawny... lol. but soon enough
there's six of them*
i'm back, oh my gosh!!!! now on to the everlasting list of deviations and messages and notes. ugh, that'll take awhile. oh well, i'm only complaining cuz i like it.
ok, as to where i was... in kentucky, on a trip with my church to the appalachians, the poorest area of the U.S., last time i checked. the group of people from my church in town loads up on a big bus and does the two-day drive up there, stays at a university with a bunch of other church groups doing the same thing, and then travels into the heart of the mountains (a 2-3 hour round trip every day) to put on a program for kids in the morning. this is the second summer i've gone on the trip.
although waking up at 6:45 is not exactly the most fun way to spend the summer, i always leave a chunk of my heart back there with those kids. it seriously is like going to a different world. the people are dirt poor; most of them live in the crappiest trailers you can imagine, with broken-in windows and pealing sides. every family has a story, from the children with the drunken, deadbeat dads to the girl my age raising her sister to the dirt-poor kid who eats one meal a day. the kids grow up, graduate high school, get married, and work in the coal mines or as truckers, pretty much the only jobs out there. the mines themselves are miserable 4-ft high structures that travel miles, i think, into the mountains to get the coal... think of collapsing mines, blacklung, yadayada. what a life to look forward to, ehh? it's like the inner city: once you're in, you don't really get out.
the tough part is that i can't remember the last time i met such a sweet bunch of kids. the people on the trip, including me, turn, for a short time, into the loving family that so many of them lack, especially the men who become father figures for the boys. leaving to come home is really tough, since the kids don't want you to leave, and hang on you... *sniff sniff* anyways, not the easiest way to spend a week or two of summer, but definitely one of the most meaningful things i've done for awhile. i love helping kids out, as anyone who knows me knows!!!
and there's definitely a few pics of them to follow.
My favorite artist, hands down:
his photos are incredible
A sampling of some other artists I really enjoy:
And some groups I submit my stuff to or just watch: