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2011 does rule, though.

January 2, 2011

NEW YEAR! I’m pretty excited to be quite honest. The past two years have been pretty epic for me. In 2009 I graduated from college and started the World Race, and in 2010 I finished the World Race and did a whole bunch of other stuff. A lot of big life changes have happened in the past two years, and I’m jazzed to see what this year will bring.

Here’s a little bit of my year in review:

I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya on December 30th late at night. I celebrated New Year’s Eve with my squad mates worshipping and lighting off sparklers and sharing what the Lord had done in the last 5 months of the World Race. I spent New Year’s day walking around Nairobi with April and Halley. We stumbled upon a celebration in a park and were greeted by many Kenyans with an enthusiastic, “Happy New Yeah!”

In January I lived in Gulu, Kenya with Peter and Naomi and their baby Phil. I learned about the history of Northern Uganda and the conflict with the LRA, as every person in that village had been touched in some way by the violence. I learned how to effectively evangelize to Africans through the example of Pastor Stephen. I preached in my first open air crusade and danced a bunch with the worship team.

In February I lived in Mpeketoni, Kenya. I led worship a lot with my friend Adam (and we became semi-famous in the Christian music scene there). I learned so much about complete obedience to the Lord. I heard stories about Bishop Maurice killing cobras. I slept with chickens and saw real life hippos and giraffes in the wild. I swam in the Indian Ocean.  I discovered the joy of chapatti and nice cookies (but I have yet to do chapatti in the USA…need to work on that).

In March I lived in Moshi, Tanzania. I discovered a beautiful community of American missionaries there. I helped baby Sharon learn how to walk. I was served spaghetti and chocolate syrup for breakfast and became obsessed with the best juice ever. I got malaria. I visited the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I turned 23 and cried over cake and ice cream.

In April I lived in Vietnam. I fell back in love with that part of the world. I held countless babies and prayed over many elderly people. I swam in the South China Sea and went to a wedding where I sat next to a Vietnamese Gideon. I taught English and rode motor scooters all over town. I ate at Hard Rock Cafe.

In May I lived in Touch Village, Cambodia. I fell in love with the most beautiful children in the world. I learned about the Khmer Rouge and how the country is slowly recovering from that devastation. I shared the gospel over and over again. I taught English to tiny children and laughed a lot as I tried to learn some Khmer. I experienced the worst food poisoning of my life and went to a dermatologist to cure me. I rode 20 minutes to get to the internet. I became super obsessed with sour mango and sugar.

In June I lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I spent a lot of time in a coffee shop and a college campus. I ate a Big Mac and got a Thai massage. I helped one woman get a lifestyle change. I ate ice cream at a bar, had a conversation in Spanish, and went to a crazy dance party all in one night. I hung out with some incredible women, and we got to ride elephants. I hid under my bed and got a new pair of Toms shoes. I ate a bunch of cheesecake and Pad Thai.

In July I was in California for the first time ever and started dating my World Race teammate. I went on a road trip with my family to Denver to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. I lived with my sister and loved life. I spent so much money on Chipotle and didn’t regret a single cent. I spent a lot of alone time processing what had just happened in my life and helped my sister cut out countless lovebirds for her wedding decorations.

In August I celebrated the marriage of my sister and mourned the death of my grandfather. I spent a lot of time with my little sisters and my grandparents. I took Kayleigh back to school in Chicago and got to visit with many friends along the way. I cried a lot and missed many of the people I met on the World Race.

In September I visited my bff married couple in Indiana. I enjoyed spending so much time with April. I spent Labor Day in Southern California and celebrated the engagement of Laura and Dan. I saw Ray Lamontagne and David Gray in concert. I discovered and became obsessed with Oregon Chai. I ate chocolate chip pancakes with my grandpa. I taught myself to make a killer omelette.

In October I helped out at a World Race training camp. I bought Taylor Swift’s new cd and couldn’t listen to anything else for about 3 weeks straight. I went trick or treating with my little sisters and best friend. I relived the glory days of freshman year of college by seeing Mae on their farewell tour. I intentionally enjoyed Ohio’s beautiful autumn season.

In November I celebrated Thanksgiving at home with my family. I made all the “kids” do a craft with me before dinner. I started full-time subbing (high school Spanish). I celebrated April and Grant’s engagement. I continued to experience culture shock and got a great hair cut. I saw Harry Potter 7. I read a new book by my favorite author.

In December I was really busy with teaching. I celebrated Christmas at Lake Arrowhead and at home in Ohio with my whole family. I visited for a weekend with some of my best friends from college. I watched my favorite Christmas movies and baked Christmas cookies. I played in the snow with Kira and enjoyed 3 snow days. I went sledding with all of my sisters and my brother-in-law and our dad. I spent New Year’s Eve with friends in Columbus.

My life is so full. Thanks for being a part of it. Here’s to 2011 being the best year yet!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2011 7:57 pm

    hey chelsea, it’s amanda from high school :) i’ve been reading your blog lately. i love hearing your stories and seeing what you’re up to. your life really is so full! i’m so happy for you and wish you the best year ever! :) xoxo

  2. January 2, 2011 9:16 pm

    wow, i really like this mini recap. i like that i was a part of a lot of it. i like you (…what’s new?)

  3. beks permalink
    January 2, 2011 9:19 pm

    awww..this is totes presh =]

  4. Anna Notario permalink
    January 2, 2011 10:04 pm

    I love this year recap… it made my heart happy and my eyes tear up. :-)

  5. Halley permalink
    January 11, 2011 3:57 pm

    I loooovveee this blog so much. Especially when you recapped hiding under the bed.

  6. meg permalink
    January 25, 2011 11:35 pm

    hey chelsea. love your writing style and great overview of your year. fun to read! see you soon, i think. :)

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