Monday, May 18, 2009

Another new beginning

Today we welcomed our first summer team. So here forth begins 12 weeks of non-stop teams and team activities. Josh and I are very excited... as this has been what we were brought here for. Unfortunately today I woke up at about 2am to find that I am sick. Bhooo! So today I stayed home almost all day and just laid in bed, and eventually moved to the couch. During this time a very thing happened :) A thunder storm loomed about for about an hour or so today and Snickers is terrified of thunder. So as I was laying in bed he came over and put his head right next to me and I pet him to try and calm him while the storm persisted. But it kept getting louder and louder and suddenly there was a huge KA-BOOM! With that huge ka-boom, Snickers jumped right on the bed with me! NEVER before has he ever been allowed on the bed because he is so big! So when he jumped on there, he dropped on all fours and gave me this look like, "is this okay? what are you going to do?" I pondered for a moment what I wanted to do about this situation and decided that for the present this was okay. However, when I decided that it was time for him to return to his own bed on the floor, he flat out refused to get off. It was actually quite humorous... but I have learned my lesson that if he's allowed on once, he thinks it's his territory now.

This weekend we have been busy with our new summer interns who arrived here on Thursday. We did orientation type activities with them Friday and Saturday and a little on Sunday. They are a great group with lots of energy. They were a huge help to Josh today in my absence.

Other news...

We have been loving our new lives here. Each day gets easier as we get more involved in our hobbies, work, and making new friends. I had been telling Josh about 2-3 weeks ago that for about a week straight I thought about Poulsbo constantly: the downtown area, the cafes, the water front, family, games, etc. I was beginning to really feel home sick and long for the things that we can't get here. A great idea happened upon me one day as I was working, and that was that I needed to get into my hobbies more. So I told Josh that I really wanted to get into cooking, piano playing, and exercising regularly. He happily agreed that that was a good idea, so we took a trip down to Santiago to do a little grocery shopping where I found many needed and hard to get items. Since then I have hosted 3 parties (and made food and or desert for all of them), played the piano nearly everyday (I brought the base's keyboard home), and I have exercised very consistently. It's amazing how just doing those few things have really made me feel at home here.

There are still many days when I wake up and look outside, and say to God, "I can't believe you called us here". We are so happy with our co-workers, with our jobs, with how our lives are adapting, that it still shocks me when I think this is where I call home now.

Prayer requests:
  • for energy for the summer
  • for wisdom
  • for guidance
  • for flexibility
  • for health - more immediately, that I would get better. If I still have Diarrhea tomorrow then I have to go to the doctor so they can find out what I have and treat it. But if I have something, then that means it could still be a few days until I am better.
  • Raul's wife moves back to the D.R. on Wednesday and moves in with us on Thursday. Please pray that this living arrangement will continue to be a blessing to all 4 of us, and that as little kinks come up that we will be able to handle everything with peace and grace.

Praises:

  • That in my absence today, Josh and the interns were able to get all of the last minute prep done and still get to their own tasks
  • Our safety
  • that we are working with a great team who loves God
  • that one of our summer volunteers was able to fix a broken button on my laptop!!! Praise God because otherwise I would have had to mail it into dell and paid probably a lot of money
  • that (for the most part) we have been very healthy
  • Lastly - for all of the continued prays and financial support from all of you! Thank you all for being so faithful!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Finished Kitchen

I posted pictures some time ago of the new house we moved into. The kitchen was very unimpressive but the land lord said she would fix it up with no cost to us!!! So here are the before and after pictures.

Before...



After...






We are so happy with the new kitchen... it is so beautiful!

More of life

─░Hola familia y amigos! (Hello family and friends!)

I type to you today from my laptop which happens to be crawling with teeny-tiny ants and spiders. I guess they thought it was a great place to lay eggs… and now call their home as thousands (I’m not even exaggerating) have recently hatched. It’s quite gross really and I’m using it now because I think I killed about a couple thousand of them… finally. So as I sit here and type, every minute or so I grab the napkin sitting next to me and squish a few more ants or spiders that spastically crawl about.

So far in our time here “routine” has not been a word we could use to describe our lives. Developing a schedule is pointless as we rarely ever accomplish even half of what we were expecting to get finished. If someone planned to live here my word of advice would be “flexibility”. If you can’t be flexible you would never survive. We thought we were flexible until we moved here, only to find we still have a lot to learn. The culture is so laid back. The Dominican number one priority are relationships. When I drop off a vehicle at the mechanics, I don’t just explain the problem, hand the guy the keys and walk off. I sit down, chat for about 30-45minutes (usually this time is me getting a language lesson).

Another change for us is that we must always have cash on hand. We never know what the day-to-day is going to bring and we must have cash. Debit card, credit card… yeah right! No one has the machine to run cards.

Last Thursday Josh and I needed some groceries and needed to pay rent but someone was at the house working on it. So I offered to go so Josh could stay home with the worker. It was the first time it really struck me that one-stop-shopping is not available to us up here in Jarabacoa. So, I first had to go to one supermarket which didn’t have what I needed. So I walked around the corner to the other supermarket where I did find my needed items. Then I walked the few blocks to go to the fruit market. From there I made my final stop at the meat market to buy the meat I needed for the next few days. Another reality I have learned (thanks to disgusting smells) is that food does not last long here… even in the fridge. So frequent shopping has also become a regular part of our lives.

We just wrapped up several weeks of Spanish lessons, and now have to rely on our own determination and motivation to continue learning. We do really enjoy the language and like learning about it however, so that is a great start. We just recently purchased a bi-lingual Bible, and a children’s Bible… which had been suggested as a great way to learn Spanish. I have been reading it, and really enjoying it to!

Okay, well off to work again… this is just the beginning of several more longish blogs to come!