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 Post Post subject: Marvin's Memoir
Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:48 am 
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Okay so this is a memoir/autobiography of sorts I've written \:D/ This is just some of it. .I'm still working on it :p Various character's names have been changed, obviously ;) Enjoy!

Chapter One
I sigh and tap my feet, slightly nervous for some strange reason. It’s not as if I’ve never talked to Anne before. In person? No. Via Gmail and Internet forums? Yes. Oh, and the occasional voice call. So why is this any different? The pay phone has eaten my quarters and is now calling the Thomsan’s house. Two more rings. Then the voicemail. I listen to it, and then leave a message.
“Hey, Anne. It’s me, Josh. You know, Josh Asmah? The missionary kid who’s in Ghana? Well, we just got here at Kansas City Airport. I’m just calling to confirm if we’re still going to meet tomorrow at Subway at 1:30. This is a pay phone, so you can leave me an email or something. Or I’ll call you later. See you soon, hopefully!”
Once I hang up, I meander back to where our luggage is. There are eight suitcases, two backpacks, a briefcase, and a purse. The parents are frustrated, since our ride still isn’t here. It probably won’t be here for some time. We’ve rented a van from a Baptist transportation ministry, but the guy who runs it was supposed to come pick us up. He forgot, though, and sent his son in his place. Unfortunately, that’s going to take some time.
To pass however long it’s going to take, I sit down and pull out my handy Kindle Fire and log onto the free wifi. It’s a decently sized airport, but near the exit, it’s quiet—just a few people streaming in and out, the occasional voice over the PA, no more. I like it.
Maybe I should explain a little about me. As if what I told Anne isn’t enough. As I said, my name is Joshua Asmah. I was born on Bonaire, a little island just 50 miles north of Venezuela. Ever heard of Aruba? Curacao? We’re part of that island group—the ABC islands. I have one brother, Jake, who’s 12. My parents are John and Marilyn. They met in Argentina at a Bible Institute, and later moved back to Bonaire, but just for a while; they went to the States to raise support to go to Ghana—where my dad was from—to be missionaries. And now, we’re in Kansas City, Missouri, on furlough. If you’re still confused, don’t worry. You’ll understand as we go along.
Anyways. As I surf the Internet, it feels strange to be in the same, or similar time zones as most of my friends. In Ghana, I’m 4 hours ahead of those on the Eastern coast. Now, in Central Time, I’m 5 hours behind Ghana time. Weird.
My mom tells me to go outside and enjoy the fresh air for a bit, which is another way of telling me to get my nose out of the Kindle. I grumble, but since I have no option, do it. I don’t regret it. It’s the first day of May, and the air is cool and crisp. I’m wearing a sweatshirt, which is more than enough, and I breathe deeply. When I exhale, I see my breath, but just barely. The sun isn’t strong enough to warm me up much, but it’s enough. It’s been three years since I was here. Three years of hot Ghana. I might as well enjoy the cold while I can. I look around, trying to take in everything, and somehow, it feels as if it were just yesterday that I was here.
There’s no sign of a van with the missionary transportation logo on it, so after a few minutes, I go back inside. More than an hour passes. I read a little. Then I doze. I haven’t slept since Sunday night. It’s now Tuesday afternoon. It’s really my fault, since I wasn’t able to sleep on the flight. We flew from Ghana to Washington, D.C., got delayed, and then caught a later flight to Chicago, before finally arriving in Kansas City. The jet lag has caught up to me, and now I feel exhausted.
At last, our ride arrives. But it’s not what we expected. It’s the man’s son, who’s come back from a meeting or something. He’s in college over in the next state, but has come over for a short visit. The car is most certainly not a van. Five seats. How are we gonna fit in all our stuff? It takes more shoving, pushing, rearranging, and squeezing than I thought possible, but somehow, we all get in. I have the longest legs, so I get to sit up front, holding one of the smaller suitcases on my lap. It’s well over an hour, and despite my best efforts to stay awake and look out the window, I waver between the land of the awake and asleep.
Suddenly, we’re at IHOP. I blink, confused. Why are we here? The parents explain that the dad has come to pick up here so we can have more room. He’s coming in the van we rented. When we see it, we’re in for a surprise. It’s a large, 12-passenger van. Not only is it large, but it’s wide, and somewhat bulky. My dad looks at it, not sure this is the same van he and my mom saw over the Internet.
We load all our stuff into it, and then the man drives us to his house, where my parents go in and sign the papers. I stay outside and play with the cat, who goes from house to house at his own will. When the parents are done, we go to the prophet chamber at the church. It’s a decent size, with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a sitting room, and a kitchen. There’s already some food, but not enough for a good dinner. We unload just a few of our suitcases—in two days we’re headed for New York—and then use our GPS to find the nearest KFC. I don’t really like it, but hey, what can I do? The restaurant is virtually empty when we go in. The two waitresses are cleaning up, but are glad for the company. They talk to us as we order the food, and the older lady gives us a cake that comes along with the special, along with a bunch of coupons, even though she doesn’t have to. It’s been a long time since I’ve talked with people who I’ve never met like this. I’ve missed it.
The next morning, it’s time to plan for one of my parent’s favorite things—shopping. Not far from the KFC we went to yesterday, which is close to the Subway where we’ll meet Anne in a few hours, is a shopping center, which also has a Walmart. After breakfast, it’s off for shopping. At first, it’s nice to take a look around and see products that you don’t have at your local shopping center. But after a few hours, I’m bored and go to sit down at one of the benches next to the restroom.
By 1:20, I find my parents and tell them that we really need to get going. They don’t want to be late, so they finalize their purchases, pay, and head to the van. By the time everything is in the car and we arrive at Subway, it’s after 1:30, but there’s no sign of them. The Subway has free wifi, so I log onto it and check my email. There’s an email from Anne, saying they’ll be a little late. It must be sent from her dad’s phone.
About fifteen minutes later, they show up. The mom gets out first, then the kids, and finally the dad. There are four kids in total—one boy, three girls. Anne is the oldest girl, 15. There’s David, who’s 18, and then the two younger girls, Rachel, 12, and Rose, 9. My parents get out of the van, and we lock it up. Then it’s introductions, handshakes, hellos. It’s weird for me; I know all of the kids, but now I’m still meeting them for the first time.
“Hi,” I mange to Anne.
“Hello,” she says back. For some reason, she’s taller than I’ve imagined her. That’s all I say to her for now, since I can’t think of anything else. We go inside, and split up—Jake with Rachel and Rose, the adults together, and David, Anne, and I together at another table. Once everyone decides what they’re going to eat, we all go and order our food, a process which takes almost fifteen minutes, with unsure moments and other people. At last, we have our subs and we all go sit down.
Anne does most of the talking at first, but she manages to get me to respond when she throws a piece of lettuce at me.
“Hey!” I whisper fiercely, and then flick some water through my straw at her. “That wasn’t very ladylike of you.”
“So?” She gives me one of those smiles only women can quite pull off. And then they say we’re the bad ones.
“Are we still gonna record the song?” I ask. “My camera doesn’t have enough battery. I forgot to charge it.” I’m referring to Taylor Swift’s song Safe and Sound, from the recently released movie The Hunger Games. We have a friend, Mercy, who lives in California, who was so jealous about our meeting and that she couldn’t be there. She made us promise to record us singing the song, since all three of us like it.
“Rachel has a camera. She’s the one who takes pictures, so we can use that,” Anne tells me.
Once we’re done eating, I get the key from my parents and go to the van to open it up to give Anne some gifts, along with some she can mail for Mercy. In return, she gives me the Hunger Games movie soundtrack, a signature notebook she’s designed herself, and some things from Mercy—a used iPod classic she bought from eBay, along with green earbuds, a letter, a mockingjay drawing, and a Hunger Games poster. Yes, Suzanne Collins’ book has been getting around today.
While the others go and toss Frisbee in the empty parking lot towards the left of the Subway, Anne and I talk. The topics vary, with seemingly no connection.
“So, were you able to pronounce the name of the Slitheen world from Doctor Who?” I ask.
She shakes her head. “No, I know that it starts ‘Raxa’ something, but that’s all.”
“I can pronounce it,” I say confidently. She gives me a dubious look. “Really. Watch. It’s Raxacoricafallapatorius.”
“That’s just...weird,” Anne finally says.
“Please. As if your wanting to knit me green and fuzzy slippers is normal.”
Thump. We look around. What’s that noise? We hear it again, and then Anne lets out a small scream. It’s Jake, crawling under the car. He just poked his head out. I raise an eyebrow, and then say, “Jake! What are you doing?”
He laughs and shrugs, then wiggles his way back out.
“You both are weird,” Anne informs me. I give her a smile.
The others stop playing Frisbee after one of the employees—who reminds me of one my Internet friends—asks them to stop since she’s afraid they’ll hit her car. As if they’d do that.
The dads go to check out a nearby park to see if we can go there and spend some more time. When they’re back, they tell us that we’re going there.
It’s bigger than I thought it would be. There’s a lake that goes on, a few small buildings, probably bathrooms, a pavilion of sorts, swings, a playground further up, and people. Once we get out, the adults go to sit down at the benches, and we go to the swings. Once we’re tired of that, David suggests we go walk around.
There’s a waterslide, but it’s closed, sadly. As we keep walking in the direction of the playground, I look to my left. The scenery is tranquil, with some people fishing, the birds flying from tree to tree, and the water rippling in small waves. When we reach the playground, there’s a merry-go-around wheel type thing, and we get on. David offers to push us, and he does, then jumps on as well. We go around and around, and the girls look dizzy. Still, we go on until Anne looks ready to throw up. Then we stop.
We’re all dizzy and have trouble walking in a straight line. As we stumble along, David says, “I guess we all are drunks now. Christian drunks.”
“The irony,” I say and nearly fall down. I do fall for real when Anne pushes me as I’m going down a hill.
We cross the street and sit down in a small valley, talking and goofing off. David gets a bottle of water and sprays us with it. Jake goes to return the van key. Rachel takes some pictures.
When Jake starts to come back, he yells something from across the road which we don’t hear. We look at him, and see him come running towards us, without looking before he steps onto the road. There’s a car coming, and he doesn’t see it. The driver isn’t expecting Jake to not stop, and is not prepared.
“Jake!” we all yell.
















Chapter Two
There’s a squeal of brakes, some more shouts, and I exhale. Amazingly, Jake isn’t hit. The driver stops just in the nick of time, and then rolls down his window. My parents come down and apologize, and then give Jake an earful. It’s not the first time he’s nearly been hit because he doesn’t pay attention.
Once he’s back, we decide to go and explore a little. There are several rocks, and stepping stones of sorts. There’s also a manmade concrete path which tilts sharply and leads to more rocks and a small stream. The nature is beautiful, and we spend a long time just talking as we explore.
The hours pass, and before we know it, it’s time to go. Suddenly, I remember.
“Oh my goodness, Anne, we forgot to record the song!”
“Mercy is so going to kill us if we don’t do it,” Anne says, slightly worried.
“Look, we all know it takes adults forever to say goodbye. So what if we ask them for five minutes? That should be long enough to record it really fast.”
“But who’ll video us?”
“Not David. Or Jake. They both think it’s a stupid song.”
“Rose?” Anne asks.
“Possibly. But she might laugh. And then we’ll laugh. I’m thinking Rachel.”
We get her, and go off a little ways to do it. Anne has printed two sheets of paper that has our parts. She’s supposed to start, solo.
Rachel starts filming, and Anne suddenly can’t do it. After a few tries, she begins, but either goes too high, or starts laughing. Then I do. We finally make it all the way to my part, but Rachel involuntarily smiles, which causes Anne to giggle, which causes me to start laughing. It takes forever, and we can’t do more than one verse without some kind of interruption. The adults call us, and we hastily finish it.
“I can edit it together later,” says Anne.
We go back to the benches, where the others try to convince me to play a quick game of ninja. I refuse, but do a half-hearted pose for a picture. David sprays water on the car window. As the parents finish their goodbyes, Rose gives me a package of chocolate fudge PopTarts.
Finally, all the goodbyes are said, and Anne informs me that we may be able to meet again at the end of July, when we’re back here. Only time will tell whether or not that will happen. We get into our separate cars and leave.
“Oh,” my mom says, “we need to stop at Walmart again to get a few stuff.” My parents will never turn down a chance to stop at a Walmart. Or Kohls. Or Target. Or Kmart. Or...any shopping mall, come to think of it.
It’s a surprise when we’re heading in to see Anne, Mr. Thomson, and Rose in the parking lot.
“Mom and David and Rachel went to buy some stuff really quick,” Anne explains. We say hello and goodbye, again, before heading inside.
The next morning, as we’re loading our suitcases to start our trip to New York, I find a note on the windshield. I hadn’t seen it yesterday because it was dark when we left Walmart (since we spent over an hour in there). It said, “Don’t move. Don’t even blink. A.T. ;)” I grin. Weeping Angels. And Anne.
We’re going to Schroon Lake, New York, for the World Leadership Conference. It’s going to take us some time to get there, so we’re going to stop somewhere along the way tonight, and then the next day in Akron, Ohio. I have a friend, Christian, who I met back in 2009 on an Adventures in Odyssey, the radio drama, website. We talked via the comments there, and then later both started blogs. Eventually, he joined the same Internet forum on which I’d met Amy, and we talked daily. When he found out we were coming, and that we practically would be driving right by him, it was just too good of a situation to pass up. His parents said we’d be more than welcome to come, and my parents said we could spend the weekend there.
All day is spent driving. It’s endless monotony, with only bathroom, food, and fuel stops. I read on my Kindle, since it’s impossible for me to sleep. We finally arrive in Cloverdale, Indiana, and find a decent hotel to spend the night. We need to find something to eat, and since there aren’t many choices, we end up at Subway. While my parents and Jake aren’t so happy about it, I am. Hey, who can’t like Subway?
The next day is just like the last. I wonder if I’ll always be this bored. I decide to download some more books and games when I get wifi. Sometimes I just stare out the window, and other times I do nothing. Eventually I listen to music on my iPod. Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” quickly gets stuck in my head. At last, I see the sign that welcomes us to Ohio. We’re almost there!
So I think. We drive for nearly an hour, then take a quick stop at the rest area. We drive on until we’re in Canton. My parents stop at a local shopping mall to buy some stuff and use the restroom. It takes 15 minutes. 20. A half hour. I’m annoyed, since I’m dying to reach Christian’s house. When they get out, I drum my fingers nervously and wiggle my toes.
When we pull up in front of the Alexander’s home, I don’t even have to worry about trying to find out which house is his. Christian is sitting outside with the newest addition to their family, Jude. We pull up, and I jump out, feeling just as awkward, if not worse, as when I met Anne. It’s not until we get inside that I actually talk. Mrs. Alexander is cooking dinner, with Rosie, the 12-year old girl helping. She’s the only girl out of eight kids. Nicolas, who’s 13, is in the living room. It doesn’t take long for the others to come. Royal, 10; Titus, 8; and Ethan, 6 come downstairs and start playing rough. There’s also Peter, who’s 2. But he’s taking a nap.
Christian whispers, “They’re just showing off. It’s always like this. They’ll calm down soon enough.” The yelling goes on, until Royal gets hurt. He sits down, puts his head between his lap, and stays there. I wonder if he’s okay, but Christian says he’ll be fine.
We go and take some of our stuff downstairs into the basement, which is no ordinary basement. There’s a game room, a TV in the next room, and a bedroom, bathroom, and small kitchen. Plus there’s all the electrical stuff, too.
I decide to sleep upstairs with Christian and Nicolas. We go and play on the Wii until dinner. I don’t do that well, but then again, I haven’t played for a long time. Unless watching other people play Just Dance 2 counts.
Dinner is my favorite: hamburgers. It’s interesting to see fourteen people eat—and just two families. I’m used to four, or six if we have a friend or two over. The adults sit and talk for a long time, and we kids do the chores. But with so many kids, and a dishwasher, we’re done soon. Then we go play Apples to Apples until around 9:30. Lights go out eventually and people retire to their rooms, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to sleep. Christian, Nicolas, and I talk until after 11. Jake falls asleep quickly. We would’ve talked till later, but we’re tired.
The next morning is soccer Saturday. It’s a homeschoolers league, held near a Catholic church. I go to the window seat to do my devotion. It’s quiet, and I can see their backyard, and further. There’s also a secret room behind a bookshelf, which is cool, but I prefer the window seat.
Breakfast is more interesting than dinner. Mr. Alexander is making English muffin sandwiches. First, he whisks two eggs, seasons them, and then pops them into the microwave oven. While that’s going, he works on the one that’s done, putting ham and cheese. And so forth. While eating breakfast, the new Adventures in Odyssey (AIO) episode comes on. They have a speaker system that lets you listen wherever there are speakers (which is virtually everywhere), so I shower and listen, then get ready and listen, and then eat. However, we aren’t able to listen to it before we have to leave.
At the park, the kids go to their different teams. All of them except Peter and Jude are playing. Ethan and Christian played first, and their fields were next to each other, so I alternated between watching them. Mr. Alexander was a substitute coach, so I didn’t see him. Mrs. Alexander and my parents talked and watched, and for some reason, I ended up taking care of Peter, who didn’t want to stay in his stroller.
“Do you wanna go somewhere?” I ask him.
“Carry me,” he says, and puts up his hands. I oblige him, and walk around and ask him to point out Ethan and Christian.
“Christian!” he says over and over whenever he sees him.
I go and buy some snacks—a brownie and mini chocolate chip cookies, and share with Peter, who suddenly wants to see Momma. Christian’s game is about over, and sadly, they lose, 2-1.
Once his game is over, we watch Rosie and Nicolas play, and then go to watch one of his best friends play.
“So you really don’t like sports?” Christian shakes his head.
I grin. “No, not really. Except dodgeball. That’s fun. And swimming, to some degree. But if it’s competitive...”
“You remind me of a girl at our church. She also doesn’t like sports.”
“Really? Then she and I have some common interests—or lack of it.”
Eventually, every game is over, and the Alexanders buy some pizza for us to eat at home. Just as we’re finishing, the Millers, who are neighbors, come to see Jude. They also invite everyone—including us—to come over to their house to go swimming later.
We have time to kill, so Christian invites us to the little Christian science museum he works at. He walks us through the exhibits, giving us the basic rundown of the place. Outside, there’s a playground with a helicopter swing. Christian’s told me about it before, and I’ve been looking forward to it. There’s room for 3 people, and it swings outward, and as you go around, you keep going higher and higher. Jake and I get on, and he pushes us until he gets dizzy. It’s a wonderful view, seeing the world around you get smaller and smaller, and I have to hang on tight until we slow down.
I push him and Jake, and then we keep looking around. There’s a zipline which he says I have to try.
“I’m not scared of heights, but that moment...right before letting go, that’s what’s scary,” I say. “I don’t think I can do it.”
“Oh, you’re gonna do it,” Christian tells me. “Even if I have to push you.”
We climb up the stairs to the top. There are trees all around. The zipline goes on for a few hundred feet. Jake goes first. He puts on the gear, and then Christian opens the gate. A man named Josh is at the bottom with a stepladder, ready to help Jake when he’s done. He goes down, and I watch him. All too soon, it’s my turn.
“So, are you going to put the stuff on, or will I have to do it for you?” Christian smiles. I sigh and get ready. I wonder if the helmet will fit me. It does.
The gate is opened. I’m all hooked up and ready to swing. I look over the edge and see the dirt and leaves. “I don’t think I can do this,” I announce.
“I’ll push you if I have to.”
There’s no way out, so I take a deep breath, and then step off. The first second or two is dizzying. The ground rushes toward me and I pump my feet, trying to catch myself. Wind blows in my face, tears at my eyes. I nearly scream, but I catch myself just in time. Suddenly, there’s a jerk, and I start moving forward rapidly, whizzing by family and Josh. As I reach the end and the rope goes back up, I start going backwards, then forward, until I finally come to a stop. Josh helps me get off. I’m glad I did it.
My mom and Christian go as well, and then we go back to looking around until we head home. Some of the kids are sleeping, so the house is quieter. Mrs. Alexander is getting some stuff ready for the cookout at the Miller’s. Christian asks if I want to go on a walk. I agree, and we take Jude, who I carry.

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"I still see Marvin as a newbie that is just as cool as an oldie." --snubs

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 Post Post subject: Re: Marvin's Memoir
Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:21 am 
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That was really good! I enjoyed reading it for sure. Post more when you have it :)

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 Post Post subject: Re: Marvin's Memoir
Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:54 am 
i haz xpirenancee!!1
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LWYMMD

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I already have some more ;) I just didn't post it since I didn't know if I could \:D/

After a little bit of rest, it’s time to go to the Millers. All the kids change into their swim gear, and Rosie takes the picnic basket across the road.
It’s not that big of a swimming pool, but there’s a slide, so I’m happy. We meet the grandmother, and later the mom. Once Christian’s parents and my parents arrive, the kids go swimming. Peter stays at the edge, not wanting to get too wet. One time he does, which leads to a great deal of screaming.
There’s plenty of noise now—nearly ten kids swimming and playing, Jude intermittently crying, and adults talking. When Mr. Miller finds out my mom is from Bonaire, he puts on Caribbean music. Soon it’s time to eat, so we get out. As we snack on some of the chips and veggies, Christian and I argue about movies. I think some movies are overly cliché with stereotypical endings, while he doesn’t agree. It’s not like we haven’t discussed it before. But it’s always faster and more fun in person. The same goes to our differing views on salvation.
We eat, and then swim some more. When I get out for good, I notice something in my left eye. At first I think it’s a speck of dust or something, but it doesn’t leave, despite the fact that I wash it out with some pool water. The sun is gone and the weather is chilly, so eventually we head home.
That night, we’re up talking, just like yesterday. At some point, the conversation turns to my dislike of rap music and Justin Bieber.
“Baby’s already a bad enough song, but the rap makes it even worse,” I say while holding some tissues to my left eye.
“There’s a rap?” Christian asks.
“I don’t think there’s one...” says Nicolas.
“There is too! There’s this black guy who sings it and everything. It’s so annoying. I can even prove it.” I grab my Kindle and go to YouTube, then look up Baby. As Justin’s voice comes out through the speakers, Jake moans and covers his ears.
“And why do people like this song?” I wonder out loud during the chorus. After the second verse, the rap comes on. I smile smugly, although Christian probably can’t see me. Whatever.
“Okay, okay. You’re right. Now you can turn it off. But while we’re on Baby, you should look up a cover some Christian artists did. Tenth Avenue North is in it, and Lecrae does the rap.”
Nicolas nods in consent. “Yeah, it’s awesome.”
I oblige and search it up. We watch some more videos, then talk until 12:30. Jake and Nicolas fall asleep quickly, and eventually I’m too tired to stay up.
Unfortunately, my eye gets worse through the night. I’m woken up several times, and, at one point, go downstairs to get some toilet paper. It’s so uncomfortable and painful sleep is virtually impossible. But finally, I fall into a fitful sleep.
The next morning I get up late, and by the time I’m ready for church, some people are already eating breakfast.
“I made an oatmeal casserole yesterday, and I have brown sugar and cinnamon PopTarts for you,” Mrs. Alexander tells me. Those are my favorites. Christian must have told her.
Once everyone is all dressed up and fed, it’s off to church. It’s a Reformed Baptist church, and not very big. But it’s full. Everyone is dressed quite formally—dress shirts and pants all around, even for the little kids. There’s no Sunday school, so everyone gets together for the “group Sunday school.”
The pastor preaches about the end times and their position on it. I don’t agree with any of it, but what can I do? Besides, I already knew what he’d be preaching about, since Christian told me. And I have trouble concentrating since my eye is driving me crazy. I can barely keep it open anymore. There’s a kid sitting in front of me who keeps turning and looking at me.
Eventually, I have to go out because I can’t take it anymore. I go to the car and lie down until Sunday school is over. Christian gives me some medicine, which I’m grateful for. Then Mr. Alexander takes me to the pharmacy to get some eyedrops. The pharmacist tells me that it’s a scratch, no doubt from the chlorine water. One of the drops is to help soothe my eye, the other to reduce the reddening. As soon as we get back to church, my mom puts the first one in.
“Oh my goodness,” I say.
“Is it helping?”
“Almost instantly! The feeling that something’s in my eye is gone!” I’m excited, since the pain is mostly gone. After a little bit of time, I put the one to reduce the redness, and rest a little. I’m not 100% better, but compared to yesterday, this is much, much better.
I grin to myself, feeling proud for some strange reason. “Well, that’s taken care of.”













Chapter Three
I sneak back into church for the remainder of the service. It’s nearly over, and when it’s done, I help fix up the place for the potluck. There’s plenty of food and people, so we stay for over an hour.
Back at the Alexander’s, it becomes quiet soon. Some people take a nap, others retire to their rooms. My parents go to Walmart to buy a cellphone, but I decide to stay. It’ll probably take a long time.
Later, Rosie, Christian, Nicolas, Jake, Royal, and I go to the basement to play Apples to Apples. Ethan watches since he can’t read well. We spend a few hours on that, until Mrs. Alexander asks us if we’re ready to eat. Dinner is leftovers from the last few days. Then we go upstairs to play Clue. Mr. Alexander says we’re gonna watch Courageous, the latest Sherwood Pictures movie, but since my parents still aren’t back, we have to wait. They’ve been gone since 5, and Mr. Alexander says if they aren’t back by 9 o’clock we can’t watch, since it’ll be too late by the time it’s done.
We’re all a little worried and anxious. Someone suggests going to Walmart to see if they’re okay. But at 8:55, the green van pulls up, and there’s a cheer. We’ll get to watch it after all!
The movie gets set up, and we all watch, except Peter and Ethan. Mr. Alexander leaves soon since he has to work tomorrow. It’s a really great movie, and it’s a pleasant surprise when they give us the DVD to keep.
By the time the movie’s over, it’s nearly 11:30, and we all go up to bed. Jake falls asleep almost immediately, and Christian follows soon. Nicolas and I talk till midnight, until he also falls asleep.
The next morning is depressing. It’s time to leave for New York. I feel down, and end up staying that way all day. After breakfast, we put everything in the car and say our goodbyes, not sure when or if we’ll see each other again.
It’s not quite as far from Christian’s to Perth, New York. Perth is part of the town of Amsterdam, which is about 90 minutes from Schroon Lake. The conference doesn’t start until tomorrow afternoon, so we’ll spend the night at Perth. We’ll be there for three weeks after the conference, staying at a church that has an apartment for missionaries.
We arrive at Perth Bible Church at around 4, and meet Rachel, a lady in her early 20s with a hoarse voice and red splotches on her face.
“It’s my allergies,” she informs us.
She shows us to our rooms—Jake and I have one, my parents another, since the family apartment is taken—and gives us some basic information. There’s a string of shopping malls and restaurants just a mile down the next road, so we’re good to go.
Once Rachel’s gone, we lug the suitcases which we’ll be needing upstairs, and then re-pack them, so that we each have one small suitcase for the week at the missions conference. It’s from Tuesday evening to Tuesday afternoon/evening, which is different, since normally it runs from Sunday evening to Friday morning. Anyways, we go to Walmart and get some chicken for dinner, and then come back. We also meet Martin, who’s the Mr. Fixit of the apartment. He mows the grass, fixes any problems with the apartments, and does practically everything—while juggling taking care of his kids (he’s a divorcee) and working.
The next day, we leave for Schroon Lake at around 3. It’s only 90 minutes away, tucked in the middle of the Adirondacks, so it won’t take long. Yet, surprisingly, I end up falling asleep for some of the trip. I wake up again when we’re on Route 9, which is a long road which runs straight through the small town and leads to I-85. As I look the window, I see all the familiar sights—the church Jake got lost at when he was little, the Word of Life Ranch, the actual lake, and finally, the Word of Life Inn. It’s drizzling when the car stops, but I don’t care. I jump out of the car and take a deep breath.
And suddenly, nostalgia hits me, hard and fast. So many different memories come from being here. I stand still for a second in the rain, letting the drops spatter against my forehead, and I breathe in, remembering.
Then, I make a dash for the front door, knowing I’ll feel the same thing when I enter. As I close the door, the bell above me rings. I stand on the carpet and look around. There’s a crackling fire and couches, and to my right, the sign-in/information desk. I walk into the next room, which is something of a lobby. There’s a chalkboard which states today’s meal, and I go inside, grab a plate, and fill it up with food.
The nostalgic feeling doesn’t leave me as I walk through the Inn, past all the people hunched over their tables, eating and talking. I recognize many of them, as they’re from all over the world—Australia, Ukraine, Kenya, Argentina, and more. Most of the tables are packed, but I’m able to find a place with some adults. Don Lough, who’s the director of Word of Life, is there, along with one of his kids, Jon. We talk a little and catch up over what’s happened in the last several years.
I’m almost done with my plate when a kid who’s about as old comes over and extends his hand. He’s gelled his hair a little, so some of it is sticking up a little. I have no idea who it is.
“Hey, Josh, it’s good to see you again,” he says as I shake his hand.
“Yeah, you too,” I respond, unsure what else to say.
“My sister’s over there, but I’ll talk to you later,” the mystery boy says and goes to say hi to someone else.
“Some people don’t change much over the years, but man, CJ has, hasn’t he?” Jon whispers to me.
I turn to Jon. “That’s CJ? CJ Page? From South Africa?” He nods. “He looks...different.”
“You’re telling me.”
Since I’m done, I get up and go over to CJ. There’s his sister, Chae, who’s almost 13. She looks at least two years older. We say hi, and then decide to go to the lounge, which is in another building. We have to walk past the water fountain, through the parking lot, past the bookstore, and onto a small road which goes in front of the conference center before we reach the lounge. It has a bookshelf, plenty of couches, and a swimming pool and small café in another room. It also leads to the rooms where we’ll be staying in.
“It’s still raining,” I say to CJ and Chae as I stand at the door. “Do you wanna make a run for it?” Chae grins. “I guess that’s a yes.” I pull up my hood, then open the door and make a mad dash, going as fast I can without slipping. I take a glance down the hill and through the pine trees, and see the lake down below us. By the time I arrive at the door of the lobby, I’m out of breath. But we made it. I hold the door open for my friends, and then walk through the hall down to the lobby. There’s a folding table which has been put up that has mail for all the missionaries. I check the one labeled “Asmahs” and see some stuff. There are two letters addressed to me, a big envelope with my parents’ name on it, and a box also addressed to me. CJ helps me hold them.
My mom comes in and gives me a key to our room, which is close to the one we stayed in last time. Once in the room, I open up the box. It’s from CreateSpace, a self-publishing company. Back in November last year, I did a contest called NaNoWriMo, which is a contest in which one has to write 50,000 words in one month. I’d finished it, so I got a code for five free copies of my book. I’m excited, and flip through the book. On a whim, I decide to give one to CJ and Chae. One of the letters is from Anne, which includes some green yarn and a tissue. It’s an inside joke. There’s also a letter from another person I know from the same Internet forum.
Once I’m done, I go to CJ and give him the book. He asks me to sign it, so I do. I see a kiwi in his room, and I ask him if I can have it. Kiwi’s my favorite fruit, but we don’t get any in Ghana. It’s too expensive.
Back in the lobby, I see some of the other teens who were here last time, along with some new faces. I see Jack Williamson, a smallish kid who hung out with me the last time we were here and say hi. There’s the other kids who’re from Schroon Lake, and the missionary kids. There’s a lot to catch up on, and before we know it, it’s time to head down for the program kick-off.
I go down the stairs and through the various halls to the meeting room. There’s lots of music coming from Meeting Room 3, which is where we’ll be meeting. When I enter, I’m surprised. There’s a band up front with various instruments—drums, guitars, basses, the works. There are multicolored strobe lights placed strategically around the room, along with different kinds of couches and easy chairs, which lends a coffee shop atmosphere. I work my way to the back with CJ and find a seat. The music makes it harder for us to hear each other, but there’s an energy radiating that I’m loving.
We meet some of the leaders. There’s Blaise (who pronounces it Blaze), who likes to talk in a loud voice and wears hoodies all the time. Then there’s Jake Sells, a thin guy in a red and white checkered shirt. There’s Christopher Hamilton, who says to call him Hammy. He has this olive complexion skin that looks oily, and likes to wear plaid dress shirts. There’s also Michael Killbride, who sent the teens an email last week welcoming us. There’s Brendan, who plays guitar and has a “My Chains are Gone” tattoo across his chest. Of course, the only way I can read it is because he has three buttons open.
The leader is JonathanKuduro, which is a surprise for me. Three years ago when I was here, I’d sat with him for the program kick-off, and later on the last day when we had a pool party. He didn’t remember me, but I did, and was pleasantly surprised.
To start the program, we sing some songs, including “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “Our God.” After that, it’s time for a ice breaker, and Jonathanasks for some volunteers.
“I hate not knowing what game we’re gonna play,” I whisper to CJ. “That’s why I don’t like to volunteer.”
“Really?” he says and raises my hand for me.
“No!” I whisper fiercely and try to put it down. However, Jonathansees the movement and calls me up. “I’m gonna kill you!” I hiss at CJ, who simply smiles at me. And once I find out what we’re going to play, I’m all the madder.
There are two other people with me. We’re each given an Alka-Seltzer tablet and a rubber band. We put on the rubber band around our heads, and then stick the Alka-Seltzer tablet on the front. Then, we get a water gun. The goal of the game is to shoot our opponents until our tablet has dissolved. Problem. Alka-Seltzer burns. When the signal is given, we begin squirting. I try to keep my eyes closed as much as possible, but I have to look to aim. I hear a squeal from the girl, and suddenly, the tablet hits my eyes as it bubbles and foams. It burns. It’s hard to see, and I’m trying to aim and keep the foam out of my eye, but it’s impossible. Finally, the game’s over and we’re allowed to wash out our eyes. I fume inwardly, but secretly, am proud I finished second.
Once I’m back, I take my seat next to CJ, who grins at me. Jake Sells is about to start the message. We’re going to be in 1 Peter for the week, and today’s an overview. He talks about the grace of God and how God is always there in our suffering. The lesson drives a point, and when we break up into smaller groups, we end up talking for nearly twenty minutes.
After the lesson, there’s soda and candy in the next room, and we all help ourselves to as much of the sugar junk food that we can. Then we head upstairs to the Garden Café, which has more desserts every night. Some of the kids go swimming, but I don’t and go to greet some of the other adults, and then hang out with some teenagers until after 10. Soon, the first day comes to an end.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Marvin's Memoir
Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:35 pm 
Country Girl
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Passed her drivers test! Whoop!

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I enjoyed reading that :) I like how it's written in the first person, it makes it more personal I guess.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Marvin's Memoir
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:34 am 
i haz xpirenancee!!1
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Yeah, I wanted to try writing it in first person present. .since i've never done that before and it sounds cool =P I have a little more, I think. Then it's mostly on hold ;)

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