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Sunday, January 21, 2007

A lot on my mind....

Hello friends: Hope you all are enjoying the pictures! They took forever to upload, so I may not do another installment until I am back in the states.

Today was Ingapirca, the Inca ruins in a nearby town. They were really cool, with a lot of history and strategy behind them. Our guide was in Spanish, and though he told me a bit more in English when I asked, I feel like there is more that I didnt learn because I didnt understand. However, I did get most of it, so thats good. We stopped at a market on the way there, and also at this church built into a rock, which was really neat.

The church got me thinking (oh boy, deep stuff) about how easy it is to be superficial in our faith. The way the church was set up: it sits high up on a hill, for everyone to see and think that its nice and pretty, but I dont think very many people visit it. If you do go, its a bit of a climb to get into the main sanctuary, which is dedicated to Mary, or Ave Maria, La Virgen del Rocio. This sanctuary was like something out of Vegas, with a ton of decorations and the name written in neon lights. Like the sanctuary, you can get some of the faith (Mary) with a whole lot of fluff and polish for not a lot of work. Then, 14 stories higher up the hill, there is a summit with a small, humble building dedicated to Jesus, with a crucifix and some flowers inside. Not nearly as showy, but a much harder level to reach. The view from up there was incredible.

So maybe there are 3 basic levels of faith, the view from the road that is nice but not that enticing, the view inside the sanctuary which is all show and very little substance, and the view from the top, where jesus is. Its a LOT harder to reach, but totally worth the climb when you get there! Anyways.....I am going to try even harder to not settle for the bottom two levels.

Another thing today that got me thinking. During our tour of Ingapirca, there were a bazillion plants that had names carved into them. Think a cactus but softer, with peoples names and thoughts carved into the leaves. I started carving my initials in one leaf, and the Prof from the US started chastising me for ´´hurting that poor plant that never did anything to you.´´ I dont know what bothered my more, the fact that she embaressed me, or the fact that she stuck up for a plant when 20 minutes earlier she had been making fun of one of the ladies in our group. It just seems like a twisted set of ideals, if you ask me. I think she is a big hippie though (from other things she has said and done), so it shouldnt surprise me that she got upset about the plant. I am encountering SO many people here with other ideals and faiths, and thats hard. Its hard because the are so blase about it, and seem to not care at all......Most of the time I hear,´I dont believe in God, its just a waste of time´and I want to ask them if that gets exhausting? I would think it would be so tiring thinkin all your world is about you, and that there is nothing bigger than you to fall back on! Anyways....

But speaking of hipocrisy (of the teacher), I want to apologize. I feel like I am doing the very thing here that I have often chastised people about at school, with going to places like clubs and dancing, even fi there is no drinking involved! Im sorry for doing the same thing here, after I told you not to. Forgive me, please!

Anyways. Today has been a weird day mentally. I have had a lot on my mind, and I am feeling fairly melancholy and homesick. I cant wait to get back and see all your faces! Apparently, East TN is gearing up for a winter storm, which means it has hit Jackson, maybe. Hope you all are safe! Love-Lauren


Andy said...

How do I see the pictures?

Lauren Crane said...

Andy right now, they're only on Facebook. So sorry!!