Minutes after arriving at LAX, Lauren (a dear friend from Chicago) and I headed to Santa Monica beach to have a lovely picnic gazing out at the Pacific Ocean. After munching on tuna salad, squishing our toes in the sand, and enjoying the brilliant sun, we headed to my home in Hollywood to show her my neighborhood. After a quick tour of my house, we hopped on the metro and headed to Olvera Street and Chinatown for a tasty dinner and great conversation.
The next day was filled with miles and miles of biking and hiking, exploring different parts of Los Angeles. We started at the Center where Lauren met some of my friends experiencing homelessness, headed up to Runyon Canyon to hike and picnic with Drew (another YAV volunteer), and spent some time observing tourists walking down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. With Trader Joe supplies in hand, we headed over to a neighbor and friend’s apartment for a grill out and relaxing evening.
On our final day we started with a jaunt through the Hollywood farmer’s market before catching the subway to Grand Central Market, Angels Flight, and a lovely Mediterranean lunch. We returned back to Hollywood in time for community hours at La Casa de la Comunidad, service and worship at Reality LA, and pupusas and frozen yogurt with a new friend from church.
Lauren was just the taste of Chicago that I needed! It’s always encouraging and uplifting to talk with her on a regular basis, but even more so to spend quality time with her in person. I was grateful for our meaningful conversation, shared prayer, and fun!
Lauren also came at an important time of discernment during this year. I’m excited to share with you that I have committed to teaching another year in Honduras with BECA! I would greatly appreciate your prayers that I would stay present in this year and present with my community even as I begin to prepare for Honduras.
Want to read more about my previous year in Honduras? Check out last year’s blog: http://karenagoestohonduras.wordpress.com/