Cultivate, Haiti Now, & Bryce Harper

CULTIVATE GATHERING

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Lead us to the end of us versus them.

I spent the past weekend at #cultivategathering getting to hear from a wide range of folks who have been helpful voices in helping me turn my faith into action over the years... plus a few new friends.

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“If the place where you’ve been placed in doesn’t prosper, you don’t prosper.”
— Leroy Barber
“The more we break bread together, the harder it is for us to see things as us versus them.”
— Jonathan Brooks
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Challenged to lament over the things that harm them, since lament isn’t exactly an easy practice for me. Reenergized to keep trying to build proximity to our neighbors, especially the ones who are hurting.

HAITI NOW

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Haiti is not an easy place to live. And it’s had a pretty rough 2019 thus far.

Tumultuous demonstrations have put the country on lockdown, after a few people were killed. Prices of food took a huge spike. A portion of rice for two went from 35 gourdes to 60. And that doesn’t include veggies, protein, or cooking oil. It’s common for Haitians to earn 200 gourdes a day. If you’re not one of the 40% who are underemployed/unemployed.

I’ve heard most rhythms of life have gone back to normalcy now but the underlying issues haven’t been addressed.

I’m all about stories of hope- especially from places like Haiti. But the Haitian people I met last year really helped me learn that hope isn’t about feeling good. It’s about owning the difficulty around you and persisting anyways.

What is there to do? Believe in the Haitian people, believe they deserve better, and listen to their voices.

Here’s a schoolgirl named Shara:

“I am angry because I can’t go to school. The situation in the country makes me afraid and sometimes I cry. The protests make it impossible for my mom or us to go anywhere. The situation is very bad for us. And we can’t find money.”

As a resource I highly recommend checking out Nadia Todres’ twitter account. Especially from about a week ago. The quote and info above just scratch the surface of her girl-centered portraiture and human-centered reporting.

SPILLER PARK

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The design lover and baseball fan in me loves the way Spiller Park in Atlanta commits to their hardballin’ with some golden era baseball cards for their team members.

Speaking of, I’m getting restless for MLB games to start. Spring Training is nice and all, but I’m also really ready for Bryce Harper to land somewhere so I can figure out how I feel about this whole season.

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PSA: You’re doing a great job.

We don’t say this to each other nearly enough, and I’ve become more aware of that lately. Trying to get better at saying it too.

At any given moment, the person next to you is rising up to meet all kinds of challenges, doing difficult things for the people they love. Or hey, maybe that’s you.

It feeds back so much strength when our challenges are seen and our response is recognized. If we all knew the challenges each other were taking on, there would be much more high fiving going around.

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FEBRUARY’S OVER!

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February 2019 is officially over and it’s hard for me to overstate how good it feels to be DONE with that month.

Two weeks ago, we had no idea where we’d be living by today. Our lease ended yesterday, and after Plan A-F fell apart, it was crunch time to figure that out. Oh, and we’d also have to orchestrate a move with Deanna on crutches and me being the only driver for a while.

There were some other bits of chaos too, but now I can say, it was rough, we figured it out, and it’s all over. I won’t miss it that much.

bryce harper

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WAIT IS OVER.

Yesterday was a long one. It was the only day of overlap between our old apartment and our new spot, meaning I had about eight hours to clean up and move.

So, in the middle of all that, imagine how much of a thrill it was to get this update on my phone.

For you baseball fans, that’s a starting lineup that now reads McCutchen, Segura, Harper, Hoskins, Realmuto, Odubel, etc. Being a Phillies fan hasn’t been the easiest thing over the past six seasons, but things are looking way up.

(Here’s hoping this patience testing but ultimately rewarding saga is a metaphor for how my life turns out after last month.)

MARINER’S COVE

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And we’ve officially moved out of our first apartment that we lived in after moving to San Diego. To be honest, the past six months or so haven’t really been my fave and I think some change in scenery will be really, really good. But this was a great spot for us to live the past two years, and the fact that we found it so quickly was a sign that moving to town was the right call, even if it wasn’t an easy one.

Some stuff I’ll miss about this place:

• The parrots that lived in our trees. I loved watching their red heads and green bodies, even though most neighbors found them a nuisance.

• The truly diverse mix of neighbors we had. Military members, East African mothers, high schoolers on skateboards, surfers, OB hippies, retired couples, etc.

• My extremely easy commute to work and church driving along the coast.

• Being 10 min from Dog Beach. Not that we’ll be going any less. • How easy it was to pick out where we lived from an airplane window when flying out of town.

Philippe Lazaro