Angry Cocain de-mothered kids stealer

As if proud, she loudly addressed one person sitting amid the thick bus crowd: “My grandmother had a 9 and a half year sentence in prison for robbing a bank, and she got all the money back right out of prison cause she shipped it off to her uncle in California. Then she squandered it all away on drugs and lost her brain…” She went on to basically explain how the tradition of robbery and drugs and little education cussing boyfriend video game terribleness was been passed down throughout 4 generations.

At 6,
She shoplifted her first time.
Father and young daughter, burned down a school, and went to jail.
She was told the best way to make money was to steal.

She stole cigarettes,
she made $500 a day,
she sold them to the wrong person,
“#$%^ I got caught!”

She robbed a store for three years.
Soon she was placed in probation and labeled criminally insane.

She stopped the “hard core drugs”
when she birthed her 3 kids.
They watch her, for many a reason, pushed to the ground, cussing at the police man, once again, once again, many times over. And the kids learned. They learned fast, to hate authority. When her 2 year old and 5 year old children see the police, the call them pigs, and spit on them. “I’ve raised my kids to hate everybody.” She said, with a warped bragging tone.
I’m actually a good person,
I just do bad stuff on accident sometimes”
Suddenly, I recognized a land mark outside the bus when the bus was stopped. I jumped off, thinking I had missed my stop by a long ways. The moon, circled by a yellow ring, shone down on me, a confused Christian student from a liberal community college. As the bus pulled away, I realized I got off too early, so I called for a ride. Fortunately, I had pajamas and layers of coats and hats and gloves that I had worn in the morning to keep out the bitter frost. I pondered what my shocked ears had heard. Under the moonlight, drifting my eyes up and down River Road, I quietly pondering the day. For a moment, all was still, no bickering over evolution, friends, or humanism and Buddhism. Just the moon and I, admiring each other.
At home, my pillow embraced my ears, and warmed them through the night. Tomorrow, I will wake up and rejoice, for tomorrow is the day the Lord has made.
How can someone wander so far from the truth?
I think the answer is simple:
they forget Jesus.

Romans 1:21 …For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened…


Posted in Spiritual | 1 Comment

SSSSSCCCCHHHOOL rocks (and uuuggghhs too)

Like dragon’s breath, my smoky exhalation floats up into the pale white sky. The crispy morning and the frost on the grass reminds me it’s almost winter. Sulfege rises into the morning as a tap my foot and conduct at the bus stop. I feel alone, ready to get on the bus, without my brother or sister with me. This term at LCC I’m taking all my classes as a loney. And a lot.
General Chemestry.
Music Theory.
Sight reading and ear training.
The funny thing is, I’m 16 and taking 16 credits. Until last week when suddenly it wasn’t. My birthday forced me into 17. Oh well.
Today I took a 20 minute timed key signature mastery quiz, and a 50 question economics test, and I did a butt load of calculations for the titrations lab (where we get to turn things pink) we did on Tuesday. Now I have to do 6 sections of music theory homework due tomorow morning. My eyes are red, and I haven’t been getting enough sleep (for me, not enough means like 8 hours).
Tonight I could be at the choir, but instead I’m (or should be) doing music theory homework. I want to go to Daniel airs house when I have time. Which probably means never. Maybe it’s me, but every time I finish something my homework, somebody turns around and gives me more.
The end.

Plus one:
I’m lonely.

Plus two:
That’s bad

Drum role please….
Jesus! And some fellow”s in a “ship

Posted in Schooling | 4 Comments

The Sun

Dear you,
I forgot to tell you something,
about the island.
There was a ball of yellow fire above our strip of green in the big blue.
That beat down on me and someones back (usually family, sometimes my friend Andrew), as we snorkled above the lion fish and vibrant coral.
We lived on a dirt road, 3 minutes from the dock. The dock had large poles that we could jump off.
My family and I watched a baptism, many a sunset, and jumped in and out of the warm ocean soup, drying under the sun on the dock.
I snorkled above coral mixed with patches of sand pits far far from the dock. Suddenly, a green eel as tall as me lashed out from under a rock and confronted a lobster. Scared, the eel swam off, and I floated- awed, shocked, more aware of the mystery of the deeps.
So I wanted to tell you,
that the island changed me.

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Last Day at Clinica Esperanza (Aug 29)

The End.
Laura, my supervisor, filled out paperwork for the cooperative education I’m signing up for at LCC, which will give 4 credits for working at the clinic for a month. She said I am:

inquisitive, engaged, a active learner, willing to do all tasks, works well with others, connects well with children.


Justin was a pleasure to have at the clinic. His energy and enthusiasm to learn did not go unnoticed. The Staff and patients a like enjoyed his juggling and singing entertainment at various points through the day.

according to Laura, these are the skills I practiced at the clinic:

gathers vital signs- takes a manual blood pressure, appropriately takes temp and chief complaints; helps nursing staff adequately prioritize patients based on severity of symptoms, increased knowledge of medical problems and usage and dosing of medications, increased Spanish language.

I think they liked me. Tomorow we leave on a ferry back to mainland Honduras. From there, we’ll catch a bus to Guatemala. Hopefully we’ll see some Mayan ruins at Tical, some crocodiles in the rio Dulce, and some smiles while Nathans up where he usually is, on my shoulders juggling. With my kind of dad everybody is planning on having our normal bizarre adventures.

I started practicing the guitar a lot this week, and now know the entire fretboard, how to play the chords E, A, B, F, how to finger through the G scale, and how to bar a E and A chord. Unfortunately, today my brother must return the guitar he borrowed from the church, so maybe I’ll learn the mandolin Nathan brought instead. I’m very excited to start a year of music theory, piano, ear training, and sight reading at Lane Community College.
Lydia is skyping Renae.
Nathan is skyping Ria.
Dad is snoring.
and Mom is on a plane, to be with Michelle tomorrow.


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Aug 25 at Clinica Esperanza

The baby peed on me today. Her mother had appendicitis, so as she was rushed to the hospital, the baby was left in my hands. It made me think about being a dad. I don’t think anybody ever really ‘likes’ changing diapers, they just get accustomed to it, and it becomes less and less gross. When I’m a dad, I will make sure to change diapers just as much as my spouse. We went up and down the halls, me singing, she looking up at me with big brown eyes. I’ll never get used to that deep curious stare. Sometimes she smiled, sometimes she cried. “Tengo un bebe!” I told Angela, who had done the same thing with a baby a few days ago. Carla changed her diaper.
With four days left at the clinic, things are wrapping up now, and I’ve sucked up most of what I will learn in my months stay here. I know all the phrases people use in the triage room, and can most of the time understand the Spanish vocabulary people use to describe their maladies. Taking blood pressure with the blood pressure hand cuff was frustrating today. Half of the pulses where so faint I couldn’t hear them, and for one person I got it right but then reported the numbers wrong. Luckily we’ve got a handy automatic cuff to double check on.
“This is the only place you’ll get to hear 50 different heart beats a day” Ms. Peggy says. I’ll start listing to a few tomorrow, and count pulse rate. Maybe in my last few days I’ll hear some strange beats, and learn something.
Well that was today,
Asta la Vista Babe!

Posted in Volunteering at Roatan clinic | 1 Comment

Steel Pan Drum concert

Steel Pan Drum concert on Roatan where Nathan teaches kids to play the drum set. Although the audio and lighting are poor on this video (filmed August 20, 2011), it does give the viewer a good sample of over a dozen steel pan drum songs. The Juggling Brothers entertained during intermission. Thanks to Deb at for letting us film and publish this video.

Posted in Honduras, Nathan, We be Musicians | Leave a comment

Aug 19 at clinica esperanza

Two volunteers and one doctor left today. Things will be a lot busier around here, or else new volunteers will roll in soon. Tropical storm Harvey is whisking dead on toward the tiny island Roatan, so today only 15 people came to the clinic and we finished at noon.
Today I
did triage,
juggled and sang for the children,
watched Angela sign people in at the front,
took someone’s blood pressure who had arms twice the width of my thighs,
listened to Becca’s grand rounds about pin worms,
dosed out drugs from the pharmacy,
shadowed several doctors,
looked inside a patients ear who had a hole in their tympanic membrane,
helped to fit someone with the proper glasses,
watched the urine dipstick test,
and shadowed RN Lora change bandages on a man with hands swollen as big as cantaloupes.
Then I ran home, put on my swimsuit, and played with the fishes in the big blue sea.

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Aug 8 at clinica esperanza

Aug 8
PHARMACY FRIES MY BRAINS. After hours finding everybody’s drugs, Becca told me “if there isn’t a folder for the patient, write their name on the bag”
“huh? Say that again?”
“I know…” she was referring to the current state of my brain: fried in long drug names, kicked around the pharmacy looking for them, parched in the constant difficulties, and then wrung of all the we had to store in short term memory. “Write the name on the bag” she repeated.
“Write the name on the bag” I repeated. The words came out, but they remained unregistered for 5 more seconds. “Ohhhhh… write their name on their drug baggy. OK. I can do that.”
She laughed.
Pharmacy is slow, technical, and boring- at least right now when I don’t know where most of the drugs are. Triage is a lot more interesting. My experience with one little 3 year old boy left me very happy. Bawling, the 3 year old pushed away from Josue, who was trying to measure his height. Weighing him was hard enough. So I pulled out my cry-baby weapons: the juggling balls. The wining and tears immediately stopped as he was raptured into watching the juggling balls fly through space to “la Arania Pecenita”, the itsy bitsy spider in Spanish. We then gave the 3 year old a stuffed animal. Another toddler let me check her temperature and wrap the pulsox band around her toe as I sang “Silent Night”. Seeing scared crying kids revert to smiles because of me is exhilarating.
Pharmacy, triage, and shadowing doctors are the only things I’ve been doing right now. I’m hoping to diversify my work more when the entire upstairs floor opens up. Maybe even help birth a baby!

Posted in Volunteering at Roatan clinic | 1 Comment