Saturday, December 19, 2009

Slaughtered Pig Anyone? story by Vicki

So yesterday I went over to a friend's house, her name is Yajaira, because she wanted to give me a pedicure... I know, I know, life is rough sometimes. So we're sitting out on her patio talking, and the next thing I know I hear a pig squealing really loud... and then not squealing... (I know you're wondering what happened right?) About 30 minutes go by and I had completely forgotten about the pig. Then I saw Yajaira's husband, Daniel, throwing a rope over the branch of a tree and then hoisting up what had been the squealing pig. It was HUGE! Daniel looked ever so proud as did the many helpers that he had, children and adults alike. They all stood back and looked at the pig in awe. After they cleaned the outside and inside of the body with water they all headed back to where they had been hiding. About 5 minutes after they left the dangling hog, I heard another squeal... this time I knew... bye-bye pig! Another 30 minutes went by and there, slung over the same branch next to the other hog, was pig number 2. Bad day for pigs! As I learned yesterday, eating pig for Christmas is very traditional here in the D.R.

Shortly after asking Yajaira how many pigs there would be for the feast (held at our church) one of the boys that had been helping Daniel, walked over with a fairly large bucket. He set it down right next to me... and low-and-behold, contained inside this bucket were all the innards from the 2 pigs. Amaody was very happy to show me that he knew what everything was. After the display of pig guts, he took the bucket into the kitchen and left it there. Curiously I asked Yajaira if she would be cooking the bucket full of "goodies". She looked at me and laughed... then responded, no, that she would only be boiling them, (as if that is common knowledge). I must admit, I am grateful to have missed the skinning of pigs.

Up-date on us:
The semester students flew out on Thursday morning and since then we have been on vacation. It feels so weird to have nothing planned that we have to do. We fly back for Christmas holiday on Monday 21st. and stay until Jan. 3rd.

We are getting very excited for another year. We have successfully made it through our first year of work and now have experienced all the aspects that our jobs demands. Now having experienced it all, we feel very prepared, excited, and ready for another full year.

Prayer Requests:
For wisdom as we approach a new year
Health - I am sick right now and therefore dreading the flights back to WA
That our love for God would continue to grow and that our knowledge of Him expand
For patience

Josh and I cannot thank you all enough for your continued support and partnership. We would not be here if it wasn't for you. Thank you for helping in God's plan of making a difference in the lives of people both American and Dominican. You are growing the numbers in the Kingdom of God.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Visit to the Border... - By Josh

Last weekend we took the students on a weekend excursion to a town called Dajabon. It is right on the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. We went to mainly check out the big market that they have every Friday and Monday. My understanding of what happens is that items get donated to Haiti and then the Haitians bring it over to the DR side and sell the items at a low cost. It was a lot of fun to see but it felt so chaotic and crazy for us Americans who are not used to it.

We almost crossed over into Haiti but the guards wanted some money from us in order to enter. A river is what separates the two countries and so we did get to stand on the bridge and see into Haiti. It was very different then the DR side. It appeared more desert like and looked like a garbage dump in some places.

Some other interesting things we saw were people buying big blocks of ice and carting them back over into Haiti on their wheelbarrow. We saw one lady carrying a bunch of paper or styrofoam type products on her head. I have no idea how heavy it was but it was stacked at least 10 feet high. We saw guys pushing 500 lbs of rice in their wheelbarrow. It was 10 bags of rice that weighed 50lbs each and they would load it all in their little wheelbarrow.

(This huge load is on a woman's head!)

(above picture are the ice blocks)

All in all it was a very good experience and we were able to learn what life can be be like for Haitians.