Monday, February 21, 2005

Gimme a break

Well, it's been a few days now since I left Shadow. I already miss the girls, but I am having a good time being with Marisa and spending time with Daddy, Jami, and Haven. I can't believe I hadn't seen them in 6 months.

We had the most wonderful time at church in San Lucas yesterday. Merari gave a simple, but powerful, message and the worship was uplifting. We couldn't spend the day with them because Lucky's niece was having a birthday party in Escuintla. So, we had lunch and afternoon naps... (in my skirt, which is a beloved tradition of mine) :)

This morning I took Marisa to visit a little girl who she cared for at Casa Aleluya. Her family had been looking for her and she now lives with them in Santiago. She is so sweet and she remembers Marisa still. We had been to visit her back two and a half years ago, but for a three year old that is good.

Then this afternoon we went to Casa Aleluya for Daddy to look at some tile work that needed to be done. It was good to see everyone there again.

Daddy, Jami, and Haven are in their fifth day of studying Spanish and they haven't went mentally insane yet, so I would say they are doing good.

All is well.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Last day

Well, well... like I stated in my 'subject', today is my last day at The Shadow of His Wings. It's a very laid back day. The house parents have the weekend off, starting today, since they will be working (haha) extra hard when I leave. So, I am in charge for the day, but the girls are in school and it's very quiet around here. I am using this time, and yesterday some, to pack. I'm going to try and pack one bag to take home and one to leave here. Since I'm coming back in May, it's pointless to take everything home and then just bring it back. This way, also, I will be able to do one of two things: 1. come back with less luggage... less to carry around in the airport. or 2. (and the more likely choice) bring MORE stuff!!! The only problem I am incountering is that some of the things I don't want to take home, I still need for the last two weeks that I will be here. I was wanting to pack that bag and just leave it here and not think about it again, not carry it around also for the next two weeks. But last night I think I came up with an idea to pack the stuff I will need in these two weeks in my backpack, and then either leave it with another friend, or bring it back here and put it in with my other stuff. So, all that said is useless information for you who are reading this journal.

They are having a going away party for me tonight though. Isn't that sweet? I don't think I'm supposed to know about it. No one has told me, but it is written on the board in the office for the whole world to see, so... yeah. Party!

My family is coming over this afternoon to spend some time with the girls too. Oh! And Tía Elena is so sweet! She thought I wouldn't be here tonight, so she changed the menu for lunch and dinner, so I could have one of my favorite meals on my last day, tostadas, and not eat one of my least favorite... no, it's not even a least favorite because I hate them... chepes. :( So, she switched them, but then found out that I will be here all day, so we decided we will just save some for me and my family to eat tonight. So, I get to eat them TWICE!!!! :) Isn't she the best?

Tomorrow I will work in the morning. I will make breakfast and then hang around until Londy gets here. I'll probably be here until about noon, then I'll head to Antigua with the family. Who, by the way, are renting this beautiful little apartment there. Plus there are single rooms apartments that I want to look into... just in case... for the future. :) They are cheaper than what I am paying monthly here. Even to pay for my food and everything, it would be cheaper... so... we'll see. I'm not jumping into anything.

Anyhoo, got to go set the table for the girls' lunch. ba-bye!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Quincinieras Evelyn y Sandy

Yesterday was a busy, hectic day as our plans for the party finally all wound together to become one huge celebration!! We celebrated the 15 years that Evelyn Susan Alvarez Us and Sandy Lisbeth Jimenez had turned this past year. The 15th year here, would best be compared to the Sweet 16 in the States, although I have NEVER in my life seen a Sweet 16 like this. There is so much preparation, money, time, and sweat that goes into these days. Everything is perfect for the quinciñieras.

Rebeca and I were put in charge of the whole process.

First we created a guest list. Then the girls had to go with Carroll to buy their dresses. All of the decorations depend on the color of the dress. Unlike other typical Guatemalan fiestas, the quince años celebration is mainly one color. Then the food preparation, the decorations, the music, confirming the invited, setting up tables, cleaning, getting ready, cake... the list went on and on.

But in the end, everything came together and was a flying success. I have to say that I am proud of Rebeca and I, but not as much as I am proud of those girls. They were sparkling and radiant. Last night was one of the most special nights that they will have in their lives and it was perfect. I am so happy for them.

Friday, February 11, 2005

just a few more days!

I just talked to my daddy. They didn't cross the border yesterday. He said one thing led to another and it ended up being after lunch, so they decided to wait until early this morning to cross. They got into Tampico, Mexico around 3pm and found a nice hotel by the airport... much better than the one we stayed in last year, I'm sure. So, no problems. Thanks for praying... keep them up!! I will keep you updated. This actually puts them on perfect schedule to cross into Guatemala on Monday. They are meeting Pastor Eleazar there at 11am on Monday.

That will be my happy Valentine!!! :)

I bought a new cell phone today. It will be mine when I come back in May, but Daddy needed one for while he was here... so, we all pitched in and bought it. Well, Daddy hasn't pitched in yet, but I'm sure he will.

My friend, Marisa, comes on Tuesday!! YAYAYAY!!! I am so so so so excited about that!! That will be my other happy Valentine. We are going to have so much fun! She will work here with me until my last day, Saturday, and then I will take her to places she hasn't been before and to visit old friends. She will be here for two weeks.

This week has been crazy between the fire, taking care of Ana, Bárbara went to San Juan today (the hospital), it seems like everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off. On top of all that, the quince años party is this Sunday. 15 years here is like sweet 16 in the States, only multiplied by 10. It's a huge affair. I can't wait to show pictures. Rebeca and I are in charge of the whole thing, from decorating to the program, to the guests, to the food, everything. We have about 75 guests comfirmed!! This is my biggest project so far! I want it to be perfect for these girls. Sandy Lisbeth Jimenez and Evelyn Susana Alvarez Us. Evelyn actually turned 15 this past August, but she wasn't here. Plus they always wait until there are two. I am excited. I had wished Daddy and them would have been here for it, but the next day is close enough.

This weekend I feel is going to fly by. Londy is coming to help me out until Sunday. Her birthday is Sunday as well. Another girl that's a missionary for Engineering Missions International, is bringing a cake tomorrow afternoon for Londy, and we'll have a party with the girls. It should be fun! Something different is always fun! Actually this whole week is going to fly by. I can't believe it.

Aw. My sister just sent me basketball pictues of my oldest two nephews. They are so cute!! Tanner has his tongue stuck out in every picture! Just like me, his mom, my dad, my brother... it runs in the family.

Well, that's about it for now. I'm sure I'll have lots to write about after this weekend, and next week.

Que Dios les bendiga

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Did I mention that one of the volcanos that we can see from our balcony is erupting? It has been now for a few days. It's really cool to see at sunrise, when it's light, but the sun still isn't so strong. You can see it really well then. At night, it's just a tiny orange light in, what seems to be, the middle of the sky, because you can't see the volcano at all. Agua is the biggest volcano in our view. Pacaya and one I can't pronounce are smaller, to the left, and right beside each other. There's another nearby, that you can't see from here called Fuego. It too is active, but not at the moment. During the day, you can see Pacaya puffing smoke out the top of her, like a chiminey.

It's unreal to me sometimes that I am looking out of the back of my house, looking at a volcano. Who'd a thunk it?

You know what else has changed about me? I will eat, or at least try once, any type of food. Especially typical Guatemalan food. I used to not like boiled or fried eggs, now I'll eat 'em like I get 'em. What else? ... oatmeal and cream of wheat... never would even try them until I came here and now I like them both; cream of wheat a little more... well, I've tried every food they have served me here at least once and liked most of it. I've never been too picky of an eater, but I like what I like, you know? I've learned how to tortillar, which is a Spanish verb meaning, 'to make tortillas'. Can you believe there's a verb just for that?

But believe it or not, the first thing I want to eat when I get home is Mexican food. I want an enchilada. I've only had Mexican food once while here and that has been awhile. Since Jill left even. You'd be surprised at how non-Mexican the food here is. People assume that all Central American countries eat the same things, which is true to some extent, like with tortillas, beans, and rice being a main source of food. But your typical runofthemill Mexican food, is only found in Mexican restaurants.. even here.

Contrary to popular belief, not all people who speak Spanish are Mexican, and those who aren't don't appreciate being called that way. That's just a pet peave of mine. (how do you spell 'peave' anyway?)

So, now I'm sitting here talking about food and eating pizza that Rebeca and I ordered. Domino's has a 'new' double decker that is thinner that most thin crusts I've ever seen. Funny. It's good though. It has cream cheese in the middle. We ordered the one called 'Margarita', that has mushrooms, sliced tomatos, and... cheese. It's good. I love tomatos.

So, we're all still alive and un-burnt. Today has been a much calmer day.

I told my sister that I wished that her and my brother-in-law and their friends would have been here last night. Even if they had come from the States, they would have been here before the bombaros. (they are all volunteer firemen in Toney, AL) Darrell also would have been helpful last night when we had a leak somewhere in the garden, turned off all the water, only to discover that there was a turn off switch on the wall.... :/ heh.

Other than that, everything is back to *ahem* "normal".

I will go get a cell phone for Daddy tomorrow and pick up some pictures I developed last week. :)

This weekend will be my last one here. :( I am going to miss these girls so much. But I sure can't wait to see my family.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005


Even as I type, the fire is burning strong next door.

I was online about a half hour ago, when I heard the girls yelling and screaming... more than usual. I went to go see what was going on and I see the older girls carrying five gallon buckets down to the garden filled with water. OUR GARDEN WAS ON FIRE!! Our house sits on the side of a baranco... a cliff?, that would be the best way to describe it. A huge ditch/valley, who knows what that word means in English? Anyway, there is all kinds of trash and trees and foliage, 'monte' as we call it in Spanish, and somehow it caught fire. The other day I saw a fire on the other side of the baranco, but I didn't think twice about it. Also, last week there was a huge fire in the city dump, where hundreds of people actually live, and they all had to be evacuated. This is the dry season. We haven't seen a drop of rain since October, so that doesn't help at all. Anyway, back to the story. As I ran down the stairs to the garden, a huge pine tree caught fire and it shot up all the way to the top in a matter of seconds. The five gallon buckets were pointless at this time. We evacuated the girls to the street out front and even had to carry little Ana, body cast and all, outside in a chair. The girls were so shaken and some were even crying. Can you imagine thinking about maybe losing everything? Where would these girls go? God protected His children, just like he promised. The fire passed by our house in about 10 minutes and only burnt trees and dry foliage along the wall of our garden. Our next problem was that next door there is not a house, but only an empty lot also full of foliage. (by the way, I hate that word 'foliage', but I can't think of another better one) So, we knew that next the fire would come up along side of the house and burn that lot. Melvin had a tiny hose that barely had any kind of pressure at all, but did manage to put out the fire on one tiny tree right next to our house. We had called the bombaros (firemen) only to get no answer, then to be told that there are other fires in the area, and that it would be awhile. This is the problem in Guatemala, maybe in many third world countries. But Guatemala city is huge and I would expect them to have an ample amount of volunteers. (another word I hate 'ample')

So, here we are almost an hour later and they are still not here. But the fire has passed on down, fortunately for us, unfortunately for our neighbors, who aren't as lucky as we are to have a high wall surrounding our house. I am worried about the neighbors on the other side of the empty lot next door. I think it may have entered their house. I pray I am wrong.

I praise God for His protection for us. It could've been so bad. We just have to deal with burnt trees and lots of smoke, instead of burnt buildings are injured girls.

What a night! Never a dull moment here. Zaidy said that this was just another memory for me to take with me. They wanted to make sure I don't forget them. Yeah, whatever.

Well, Guatemala is playing Panama and it's a huge game, World Cup... I think that's it. There's so many cups, but I'm pretty sure that's it. So, anyway, I'm going to watch with the girls downstairs. I'm trying to listen to it online at but they talk to fast sometimes and all I get is GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL, GUATEMALA!!!!!!!!!!! To watch is so much better. So, bye.

Monday, February 7, 2005

on the road again...

My dad called me Saturday afternoon to let me know that the title had just come in and after lunch they were going to throw bags in the truck and hit the road on Sunday morning. I recieved an e-mail around 9AM on Sunday that said they would leave within the hour. I'm sure I will hear from them soon. I talked to Stephanie and she said they got on the road about lunch time. They stayed at the Burchell's house last night in... Pensacola?, and will head out some time today. I am so excited to see part of my family. I hope I get to go to the border to meet them, but I doubt I will be able to. There's no telling what day or what time they'll get here, and Pastor Eleazar or his brother will be meeting them there, so no one from here is even going. :( But I will be patient.

Please, please, please pray for their safety, for favor at the borders, and for help with the language barrier. I was the unofficial translator on our last trip through Mexico, but I know they'll do fine without me. But I, and I know they would too, covet your prayers for them. Please remember them everyday.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Congratulations Miriam!

I realized today that I am behind on posting some important events.

Miriam graduated from basico, which is equivalent to our 6th to 9th grade. She was the first to graduate at this home. So now she is going to 'carerra', which is a school for each specific career. She wil be a teacher. Can you imagine choosing your career in 10th grade? Most people don't even choose until 2 years into college.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

its been awhile, right? or has it?

Please continue to pray for little Ana, She is ok, but she itches and gets uncomfortable, and the cast is in such a strange position that it hurts her little bottom sometimes. She also is very impatient and throws tantrums which makes it hard for her roommate (me) to sleep. She woke me up this morning at 6:30AM and asked if I could get up and turn on the TV! So, she was punished this morning from watching TV. She is very used to the fact that people wait on her hand and foot. Carroll had to explain to her today how it was; that we are not her slaves and she needs to respect others. God is teaching me something, right? I barely slept last night, but was able to take an hour and a half nap this afternoon and then I got out in San Cristobàl for awhile. I went to the super-market hungry and bought a few snacks... :/ I was able to buy a phone card and get part of my rent for the month out at the ATM, so it was productive as well.

I had two nice days off. I went to the beach yesterday. It was so much fun. I am planning on taking my friend, Marisa there when she comes too. I am very excited about her coming and about my dad and Jami and Haven coming. They should be here, hopefully, by next week. They are still waiting on the title for the truck, but are already packed and have everything ready to go.

My last day here is Feb. 19th, and then I will have one week with Marisa and one week with my family here in Guatemala. I am sad. But at the same time, I feel the need for a nice rest. (like Will is going to let me rest!) ;) I am SO looking forward to spending lote if time with my nephews, my sisters, my family, my friends... everyone. I can't wait to go to Planet Rock. I just hate that I'm coming in on a Tuesday and I have to wait almost a whole week to go!

Please be in prayer for the home. There are so many things going on right now. Building in Monjas, Gib getting over Dangey (?) fever, Ana's broken leg, Joanne's hurt shoulder, poor Carroll is the site manager and they have no extra help after I leave until April. They will be spread thin, but I know God will be in control.