Monday, March 30, 2009

Love Break Me

----I cannot sense you close, though I know you're always here but the comfort of you near is what i long for----

I've said this many times but I think i need to say it again. I love Peterborough. I love the people I have been introduced to, formed friendships with, the church i attend, the university I go to, the youth center i volunteer at.... everything really. 

Sometimes i feel overwhelmed at how God has so precisely taken care of every need in my life thus far. Its hard for me to feel worthy of that kind of care and I often focus on the lies Satan feeds me through my weaknesses that block the encouragement I so desperately need sometimes. 

I don't hear an audible voice from God. I don't see pictures or words in the clouds with answers to my questions. What I do hear are the words of wise friends that the Lord has strategically led me to. I see the lives of other Christians living out Christ's commands in their own lives and as I admire their commitment, I learn from their example. 

This morning I went to grab a coffee on my way to the library and my roommate Jenn and a youth pastor/awesome guy Jeff were having coffee. I sat down to talk to them and Jeff was telling us about everything he's been learning about prayer and a bunch of other stuff that struck my soul and the waterworks began. I know God is working in my life and i believe it, but these lies that i've believed for my whole life about not being good enough, not pretty enough, not being worthy enough, not being smart enough, just not being enough stick to my spirit and repel the truths of Christ. Jenn, Jeff and I are going to meet and be praying through things in my life and in my past that have lead me to believe in these lies and work through all this junk that I believe as truth.

Jenn and I went to The Bridge to chat with Brenda, the secretary and my 'peterborough mom'. Jenn left and as I was helping Brenda sort out the recycling we started talking about the past week and how it was really hard for me. Rarely have I had Christian friends who would just drop what their doing and suggest we go pray. Rarely have I been the type of Christian friend who would just drop what i'm doing and pray with a friend. Brenda and I prayed in the board room about things going on in my heart and she is just the most wonderful encouragement to me. 

I have always lived with this deep need to be perfect on the outside no matter the cost of the turmoil its caused me on the inside. I put outer beauty before inner beauty and lived for the acceptance and admiration of other people. I still do sometimes, and in a way I always will because i'm human, and i'm faulty and i'm a sinner. 

I see that God is working in me and I see the roadblocks in my life that prevent a full and total transformation. I long to rid myself of those but I don't know how. "Just pray and ask God to take it away". Easy to say but what about the mornings I wake up feeling no different? Talking no different, acting no different? "Just pray, God hears you". What about when I pray and pray and pray and feel like i'm talking to a brick wall? 

--- O love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee. I give thee back the life i owe, that in thine oceans depths its flow may richer fuller be---

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Sometimes I feel totally and completely useless at The Bridge (TB). Last night was one of those nights. I was so excited to go yesterday and even wrote Erin and Leigh just to tell them that. It's getting warmer and that means we have to be aware of what's going down outside TB in the back parking lot. One staff should try to be out there, holding down the fort. I went out for the first half of the night and between the "hey- f bombs don't fly here" and the "see that can strategically placed in your line of sight for cigarette butts? use it", I helped time 100 m dashes, challenged kids to run around the building in less than 20 seconds for a free pop, and chatted with new kids I hadn't seen around in a while or at all. 
Drama seemed to be the theme of the night and with 40 or so teenagers hanging out, stuff was primed to go down.... this is where the 'totally and completely useless' emerges.
Trying to mediate between 2 teenage girls is hard. Trying to be the voice of reason is hard. Trying to get them to see things beyond what their emotions would let them..... beyond difficult. Trying to do this every saturday by myself, trusting in myself to get me through it..... impossible.
During debrief, a supervisor said something that really struck me. While we were praying, he prayed something like "God- I can't wait for the day when I stand before you and we look at what we've done together, knowing I did it with you, as team players." How many times have I looked to my own strength to get me through a situation? too many. How many times have I thought that i didn't need help, I could do it on my own? too many. 
How many times have I been proven wrong when i've thought my own strength was sufficient, no help was needed, that i could do it on my own? um.... let's count...  how about EVERY TIME. And with every failed attempt at going it alone, I'm reminded that this road isn't meant to be walked alone. In those times when I'm trusting in Him, I don't feel like I want to give up. I don't feel like I'm completely and totally useless. 

"Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves." 2 Cor 4:1-2
When I pray that God would use me, I mean it. When I hang out at TB with these kids, I do it because I believe in that place. I believe in everything is represents. I do it because I've grown to love them and appreciate them and want the best for them. And I believe that the best for them involves a relationship with Christ. 
I want them to feel this love. I want them to believe in this hope. I want them to see this grace. 

"So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace." 2 Cor 6:4

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Current Obsessions

Awhile back, Leigh wrote a blog about her current obsessions and challenged her readers to do the same. Leigh- this post is for you! 
Lately I have really enjoyed mowing down a crisp, cold granny smith. Early in the morning or after a good long swim, there is nothing better.
I've never been the most outdoorsy girl but this summer i intend on becoming one. I also want to go camping for real. I've been twice before but they don't count because one time was in grade 6 on a field trip and one time was an hour from my house. While I'm camping, I want to enjoy comfortable footwear which brings me to my next obsession. I love looking for a good deal on Chaco's online and while I have yet to purchase a pair, I will, once i go to a store and try on a pair so I know the exact size.
I love dogs. I especially love boxers. I know that this is a golden retriever but I have to include it because a) he's got the cutest face and b) i MAY chose a GR over a boxer if i were to ever live on a farm, fish a lot, or decide that i don't mind being covered in dog hair. until then......
I will continue being in love with Boxers. Sometimes i think they are actually kind of ugly- like this photo. He doesn't seem as attractive a purchase as Buddy one photo up but I think they're so cool and would be really fun to run with. Plus I'm naming my dog Scout and it suits a boxer better. 
Normally, i love being in bare feet. But lately I've been LOVING my champion socks. I get bulk packs from Costco and they are good quality and oh so comfortable. 

I am currently obsessed with looking at houses online. Recently I found this little gem, here in Peterborough, and I often day dream about organizing and rearranging my non existent house. I flip between wanting to hop a plane to Uganda as soon as I fill in the last letter on the scan tron sheet of my RN exam and settling down here, having a cute house, a cute family, and a cute dog. 
I am currently obsessed with love. Not even me being in love really... lately I just really love love. Maybe it has something to do with all the great love stories I've read/watched/know lately. Either way- I love love and I'm not ashamed to admit it. 

I am currently/continually obsessed with FAIL BLOG. It is a hilarious website and i check it often.  
Another great website is bookmarked on my computer as "Natch News". Now I realize that there are many people out there who are die hard animal lovers and can't stand to watch those world wildlife foundation commercials and stuff but really, unless its a horse or a dog i really like, i could care less about animals. In fact, right next to my bookmarked Natch News, is my bookmarked BBC Africa. I like human news way better than animal news but sometimes you can learn the coolest/dumbest things....take for example THIS little ditty how aphids like to snuggle with their dead friends for protection. Who knew?!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jebale Sseybo

I just had a full on conversation in my head with a fictitious taxi driver outside the Entebbe airport.
My friend April and I had lunch together and a good essay writing session at a cafe downtown and we planned our entire trip to Uganda this Christmas. I can see/hear my mom sighing right now and thinking i'm nuts (in a good way). I get pumped when I talk about Uganda and i LOVE having friends to like to hear about it (or at least pretend to like to hear about it). 
Christmas 09. Uganda. What's better you ask? Nothing in my books. 

Hebrews 6:13-20 "When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said "i promise that i'll bless you with everything i have- bless and bless and bless!" Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to so some authority above them so that if there is any question that they'll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock solid guarantee- God can't break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We, who have run for our very lives to God, have every reason to grab hold the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Colossians 1:17

"He is before all things and in Him all things hold together." 


I finished my Anatomy and Physiology bell ringer. I have one more exam (the giant final) and then i'm done with this course forever!!!! 

I had a rough night. I sound like a broken record but I hate living in a dirty house. I cleaned before i went to bed on sunday night while my roommates and friends had a 10 hour all night study party.... the outcome of which I did not want to deal with. I don't understand why someone won't clean up their mess if coffee is shot across a table and splatters over a giant portion of wall and slides down to a nice puddle under the table. Anyway- I came home after studying in the library for 9 SOLID hours and all i wanted was a glass of water. I go into the kitchen, turn on the light and its like a tornado struck. I sigh and open the cupboard where our cups usually are only to find the entire 3 shelve thing empty. completely empty. not even a coffee mug was clean. f-r-u-s-t-r-a-t-i-n-g.  Adding to the misery of my mind was the fact that i'd booked my plane tickets home for april 3rd but now all i want is for april 3 to get here and some bad news from home.  I woke up this morning worn out and called my friend so we could meet at 9 for breakfast.

She was late and so i just sat and read my bible while i waited and tried to chill. I started reading 1st Samuel and got really into it. I love that Elkannah loved Hannah so much even though she was had an 'empty womb'. I love how it says that Hannah's "face was no longer downcast" when Eli told her that the God of Israel would grant her what she asked of him. I love how it says that the Lord 'remembered' Hannah. What i love most is that Hannah praised God even after she had weaned Samuel and went to give him to the Lord. It seems to me that the natural reaction would be for her to just 'forget' that she'd made the promise in the first place- after all- she'd wanted this child for so long. But later it talks about how Hannah was blessed with more children because she was faithful to her Lord. He blessed her beyond what she prayed for and asked for because of her faith. 

I want to be like that. I want to be like Hannah with tons of faith. I want to be like Abigail who was beautiful AND intelligent. I want to be a great friend like Ruth. 

hmm.....  do you think Hannah would silently scream at her roommates???     shoot.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Jesus Loves the little Choodren

Musa Musana

Loveliest Sound

Yesterday I went to this church to stand in front of a table with a bunch of Youth Unlimited/ Bridge stuff on it and chat with people and tell them about what we do and volunteering.  There wasn't a whole lot of traffic coming by so Carlo and I just talked for a while with the other people presenting their 'services' too. We met this one girl, (lets call her Jane), and she came up and her and I started talking. She is from the Youth Emergency Shelter that is just up the street from The Bridge and was telling me about how impressed she had been with the building when its space was offered for the YES kids to do school in when their roof got blown off in a storm a few years ago. Jane and I get to chatting more and Carlo cuts in and suggests we go to Starbucks during the service when no one is out looking at booths. 

We get to starbucks and Jane starts asking us a bunch of questions. Her parents were never religious but she felt like she was missing out on something. She asked about denominations and what that meant- the difference between them. She asked what church Youth Unlimited was affiliated with (we're not with ONE but with many) and she asked how you can go to church, if you must be a member or if you can just pick one and go to it. 

Carlo laid out the gospel to Jane like I've never seen done and I just sat their and listened as he answered each of her questions with simplicity and truth. It was beautiful to see the change in her face and the wheels in her head turning as she took this all in. She asked what the difference between Carlo's church and my church was and he got to tell her all about pentecost and Christ's death. He took it back to Genesis and explained the 'fall', sin, the need for atonement, the sacrifices the Israelites made to atone for their sins, the need for something to take our place since we deserved death but were not holy- therefore our death would be useless. He told her about Pilate and how he said that the people could have Jesus or Barabas; a murderer and thief.  He also said something that blew my mind! Barabbas means "son of the father". So the Son of the Father, took the place of the son of the father. ummm...HOW COOL! 

It was so awesome to be a part of that. When i got home, I immediately called my mom and told her (she loves hearing this kind of stuff). We get back to the Church to do the last hour a half of booth manning and Jane does 4 tables down to her booth and me and Carlo just look at eachother like WOW! He says "Amy- that's why we are here today. " He invited her to join us at each of our churches and we'd help her get plugged in somewhere because its much less intimidating. 

Ephesians 2: 8-10 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no man can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in CHrist Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

I love this change happening. I love that I'm living my faith out, being challenged and encouraged. I love this city and what is happening in it......

But today i'm sad. I really really miss my beautiful wonderful spectacular sister and my awesome parents. I miss my crazy niece and my sweet sweet sweet little nephew. I miss my friends Jac and Curtis and I miss my Africa journals that i read all the time at home. I miss Mollie too. This school thing has really got me down lately. I just want to quit.  I really miss having older friends sometimes too. I want to go to North Carolina and see my sweet FBPC girls, Leigh and Erin. I want to talk Uganda and Ethiopia with them. I watched Invisible Children with myself the other night and it brought back SO many emotions. I miss Uganda. I miss Sophia and lately I purposely try not to think about her because I feel my memories slipping away and that hurts more than not being with her right this second. I'm in a funk and I need to snap out of it. 

So blog stalkers and followers. I need encouragement today. Comment with your fav "crappy day- pick me up verses". 
"Rejoice always. Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ." - Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday, March 20, 2009


I've been re-reading me and Bethany's blog lately and I came across THIS POST

It's from Tuesday, October 23, 2007. I had gotten home 5 days prior to have my surgery.
I noticed people putting up posters downtown today.  On the posters was a notice of a guy in peterborough who was known around town as the window washer guy. Apparently he sang loudly and everyone downtown knew him. He lived in a men's shelter (i think) and yet had such a large impact on the community. 

It makes me wonder what impact I'll have made when I head to heaven. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I love re-reading my journal. I pray in my journal and i write nightly, right before i go to bed to the soothing sounds of Ravi Zacharias. I love seeing how far i've come in a matter of months and I love being excited for how far i have to go. I also love seeing how the Lord has answered certain prayers and has done so exactly when i most needed Him too.

I prayed and prayed and prayed for a great Godly older woman friend and weeks later i met Richelle. We've started running together and I actually look forward to 6:30 am run times where I can unload my week on her and hers on me and we talk through it all and she gives me great insights. 

Then my lovely facebook/blog prayer circle started with Erin and Leigh and it has blessed me SO much. They put up with my giant long winded messages and pray for me and I read their lovely succinct messages and pray for them and its encouraging and exactly what good friendship should be. 

We watched a video in church the other week on what poverty really is and the man in the video suggested that poverty is a lack of friends. I love having a group of friends who cares so deeply about serving people and so so so deeply about serving the poor (in whatever form that poverty may present itself).

I love Brooke Fraser. Her songs are simple but speak to me. One song, Faithful, has this verse in it and i LOVE it.

"When i can't feel you, I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can't hear you, I know you still hear every word i pray
And i want you more than i want to live another day
And as i wait for you, maybe i'm made more faithful"

I love it because I comforts me when i feel like i'm waiting for God to speak to me or reveal something to me and its taking forever in 'amy time'.....but during that wait i'm learnig patience and being made more faithful.

Mollie comes to visit!

Hunter Street!

Overlooking the largest cement bridge in the world....or something like that. 
Mollie has fantastic eyes. 
The Night Kitchen has fantastic pizza
White glue is a much cheaper version os Biore strips!
Mollie and a robot. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Long...but good! I Promise!

With the amount of intrigue i feel towards the human body, what its made of, how it works, how it fails to work, you'd think i'd have a stellar mark in my anatomy and physiology class. unfortunately for my gpa, i don't. But this insane level of intrigue makes me curious and always wanting to know more. 
I often wonder what my A&P prof believes. It is very clear that she loves biology and she loves to teach it as well. I love biology but i like to learn about it on my own time, in my own way. Like right now for example.  I came to the peterborough library so i wouldn't get distracted at the university library. As i was walking to my favorite spot, my eye caught a glimpse of a magazine and i had to read it. It's an article in the New York Times Magazine about undiagnosed diseases and how this the National Institutes of Health in Oregon have developed an Undiagnosed Diseases Program.
I find it fascinating that these intricate and delicate masses of matter in our skulls can name 6,600 diseases. But what's even more fascinating to me, is the thousands of undiagnosed diseases that our intricate and delicate masses of matter in our skulls just cannot, for the life of us, figure out. 
The woman in the article, Summer, has an odd array of co-morbidity's and has suffered long and hard from strange symptoms such as retinal bleeding, small oddly shaped pointy teeth, severe seizures occurring every few minutes, high blood pressure, edema, intestinal bleeding,  vomiting, diarrhea, venous lakes in her brain as a result of benign tumors that are caused by collapsing capillaries...etc. 
So there is a giant team of specialist working on her and doing every test known to man to figure out what is going on in her body. Every specialist is relating it back to their favorite organ, but this lead doctor, thinks its something else. He wonders if there is a problem with her basement membranes. Specifically, he thinks she could have a problem with one of the 20 or so proteins that express themselves in the basement membrane. More specifically than that, he thinks that she may have a deletion or duplication of SNP's (snips). Each SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) represents a small change in the 3 billion nucleotides in the human genome. BY itself, any SNP is unlikely to have any major effect, but a duplication or deletion; and several in a row, could have significant meaning and could potentially interfere with the functioning of a single gene. Summer's tests came back normal, she had 47 SNP regions and the average is 50. Interesting. Then they test her skin cells and her fibroblasts are barely growing in the dish, while the melanocytes are growing in bizarre shapes. 

Ok, many of you may have found that boring... unless your my mom. But all that to say one important thing. 

I sat here in the library feeling overwhelmed by one small little passage. 
"For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because i am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made; your works are wonderful, i know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when i was made in that secret place. When i was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body." - Psalm 139:13-14

Excuse me, but HOW COOL is that. Really... How insanely sweet is it that my body is so uniquely and specifically made that one tiny defect can alter my body's composition so uniquely and specifically.  Lord thank you for my health!

One more thing. Reading this giant super cool article, thinking about the loads of A&P homework i have to do, and about my pathophysiology tutorial today and all i'll learn in it, makes me feel so desperately heartsick for people just don't feel the same way. 
Ravi Zacharias puts it soooo well when he answers a man who asks him why he doesn't believe in atheistic evolution.... 
"If you're telling me that matter has caused mind, then no i do not believe.... do you believe that time plus matter plus chance has produced your brain? I really don't know what chance means to you. I've read books on the philosophy of chance, but frankly i've come to the conclusion that chance is just a catch word to explain what you don't understand. If i were to ask you to show me chance, we can't stand at the window together and you say "there goes chance". See chance doesn't have a body. If you take a coin and toss it into the air and 9 times in a row it comes down heads, the possibility of it coming down tails the 10th time is 50/50. Chance doesn't have a body, doesn't have power, and frankly i believe that chance is nothing. chance is no  thing. and just in case you don't know what nothing means, Aristotle defined nothing as "that which rocks dream about". You can't conceive of it in your mind. But i'll give it you.. time plus matter plus chance has created your brain. If time plus matter plus chance has created your brain, then truth as an absolute category no longer exists. Because truth but nature is absolute. time is changing, matter is changing, chance- whatever it is- is changing. You never get time, matter and chance remaining the same. if time plus matter plus chance has created your brain, truth as an absolute statement no longer exists because  if it is an absolutely truthful statement with the givens its true on monday, true on tuesday, true on wednesday and so on and so forth but with the fluctuation and flux of time plus matter plus chance, truth as a category no longer exists.  he said "i believe that to be correct" i said "if that is correct, how do you know it is true, that time plus matter plus chance has created your brain?" ...... Somewhere in the foundations of science, somewhere in the foundations of mathematics, somewhere in the foundations of physics and chemistry and geology and theology at the foundation of all  of these systems are some philosophical assumptions which you cannot deny. to deny them is to assert them, when you assert them you prove them  and you cannot deny it without asserting it."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shedding shallow skin

It's been a TOUGH week. I've felt pressed on every side and I've felt my faith being shaken like never before. Its a strange feeling but one i'm grateful for.

Last night was the icing on the 'tough week' cake. I'd love to tell you all what went down but don't want to blast it all over blog world. (I'm slowly learning mom! :)) Suffice it to say that I felt completely ill equipped and definitely out of my element. I knew these kids had crappy lives and had felt pain i've never had to but what happened last night tipped the already overflowing glass and my emotions went crashing. I didn't know what to do and I went and talked to the director and supervisor that night, Carlo. I had a full-on 'ugly cry' and just broke. right. down. I felt the full weight of these kids misery and desperation and hurt and it was like i could feel my heart breaking apart. I told Carlo I didn't know how he did it. How day after day for the last however many years, he's been there for these kids. Counseling them, pouring love into them, being there for them....he must be so tired. And when i asked how he did it, he gave the best answer. "Amy, I don't do it. God does it through me. And ya- you're right. sometimes its brutal. Sometimes it really sucks. but you and i both know how worth it it is. And you are equipped. This is when the Holy Spirit moves through us and in us. This is when we give up and give in." 
It's hard to put into words the feeling I get with that place. I feel like I went to Uganda to see and taste and feel 'real' poverty- like there wasn't any here. It seems like the Lord led me to Uganda and through that- He's shown me that the same poverty that happens over there, happens right here. On the very same street that I live on. Desperation knows no border, no age, no race, no sex, no tax bracket. But oh the joy to serve the desperate! Oh the joy to see Jesus in these kids faces. These kids in gangs with their 'colors' hanging out, silently yelling other kids that they belong somewhere. with some people. The scars on the arms of kids where the a razor blade is preferable to reality. The tough exterior hiding a crushed spirit inside. This is the lost. This is the poor, the poor in spirit. 
Oh Lord, that you would use me!

I  got home at 2:30am and crashed, totally drained. Then this morning, I got up and picked up a 'bridge kid' and her older sister and brought them to church. And you know what? THAT makes it worth it. 
I never used to be a 'deep feeler'. Sure, i love africa a whole whole lot but something in my heart changed while i was in Uganda and its like God gave me this hypersensitivity to hurt. A blessing and a curse? yes. I LOVE this place. I love this place i'm at. I love that through this crap, through the trials, i'm being transformed. I don't know how that looks yet and i'm not exactly excited about the process but if I'm to serve my Lord, I want to be how he wants me to be. 
We pray every week at The Bridge that the kids will feel like its a safe place and I can't tell you the feeling I got when what happened last night happened, and a youth came and said she needed to talk because she felt safe there. Yes Lord. We are doing something right. 

I've been struggling with big questions this week and like always, my daily dose of Ravi Zacharias speaks to my life. I listen to Ravi before bed and the last 2 nights I've listened to 'Questions of a man in agony' about Job. And i realize i don't NEED these big questions answered, I'm content to serve the one who knows holds the answers. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

This weekend.....

this church is were 2500 (two thousand five hundred) people were hoping to find safety. 5 minutes before the Interwahamwe came to massacre them, the RPF came and shuttled them to safety and 2500 were saved from death. 
My first view of Rwanda. I LOVE this photo. 
Mass graves at Gszozi Memorial Center that are still being dug and still being filled....
Mass graves
Hotel Rwanda! Bethany and I go to stay here!

I have a date with myself and possibly my roommate Jenn to go hear Carl Wilkens and Romeo Dallaire speak at a conference called RWANDA AND BEYOND. How cool! AH. It can only have been divine intervention that i even saw the poster. I needed a coffee this morning and in order for me to get that coffee ihad to go take 20 dollars out and wouldn't you know it but the poster for the event was directly in front of the machine.

If you've never read Shake Hands With The Devil, and you LOVE Rwanda and learning about Africa and genocide, you need to read this book. Its spectacular and heartbreaking but powerful. Its especially meaningful to me since i was able to go to Rwanda and see and feel and smell and taste the incredible beauty that Rwanda is. LOVE it. and because I am now in a nostalgic mood- i will post some photos of my lovely Rwanda.