A lot has happened since the last time I updated my blog. I am going to attempt to tell some of it with pictures...
Every other Friday at Doulos, the school has an event called Revolution. The students get out of class 40 minutes early and get to attend a fun assembly full of games, contests, music, dancing, and sometimes a Biblical life lesson. As you can see, the staff get involved with Revolution just as much as the students do!
Every time it rains moderately or more, we lose water at our house. The water is turned off by the city to keep the debris from the river from clogging the water filtration system. When the water comes on, depending on how long it was off, our water can often be various colors of yellow or brown with a sometimes nasty smell. This was our water one day- yellow brown and smelling like rotten eggs! No, we do not drink this, but we do pour this into our water filter to drink. We also have to wash our dishes, do laundry, and shower in this water. Yuck!!
Our neighbor had gotten a new little puppy that quickly became a good friend of Petra's. His name was Rocky. While he doesn't look it in the picture, he was much smaller than Petra. Unfortunately, he got out of his front gate and was hit by a car and died. Even though Petra only knew him for about 3 weeks, I think she misses him.
Here in Jarabacoa, the cemetery does not bury people; they have above ground vault tombs that are stacked on top of each other. When a person dies, the family "rents" the tomb for a certain period of time. When that time is over, the dead person is removed or "evicted" and a new dead person is put there. This coffin looks old, like the person died a long time ago. However, they were still evicted from their "final" resting place and their coffin placed in the trash (the body was removed... I think!)
One of the major recent changes in my life here was the purchase of a vehicle- a 1999 Chevy Blazer. This was a gift from God. I had been needing a vehicle in order to do some of the ministry work I have been trying to do, and God provided this for me. What a blessing it is to be able to get to places that I have not been able to get to independently. I am now a part time taxi driver (pro bono) for various missionaries and have also put the vehicle to work in the various ministries I am working in. God is Good!
Packages from home are always a welcome treat, especially when it includes homemade cookies from Mom! Mail comes every other Wednesday for us. It is always a lot of fun to get letters, cards, and packages. As you can see, cookies can travel amazingly well!
Since I now have my car, I have begun working at Centro Especial Genesis. This is the only Special Education school in this area. While it is a special education school, they unfortunately do not have anyone working there who has actually been trained in special ed. I will be working with some of the teachers, helping train them in how to best teach children with special needs. I am also evaluating some of the students so that the teachers can know their strengths and weaknesses and know how best to teach them.
A part of WyldLife is a small group Bible study called Campaigners that meets every 2 weeks to dive deeper into the Bible and learn more about Jesus and how God wants us to live. Rachel, my co-leader and I decided to have a fun get-together with our Campaigners group for dinner and tie dying in preparation for one of our WyldLife Club meetings. The kids had a blast- most of them had never tie dyed before! Even petra had a blast having new people around and amazingly she did not get tie dyed!!
This past week was a milestone in Petra's life. She lost her first baby tooth. Her new tooth is already starting to come in, but here is Petra showing off her new hole where a tooth used to be!
Every now and then, a group of people like to get out of town and head into the city for a little taste of home. This past weekend, a group of 11 of us drove into Santiago to go to T.G.I.Fridays. It was wonderful having a little American food from a real American restaurant. The food titles on the menu were even in English!
After dinner at Friday's, we headed over to the bowling alley for a game of bowling. Bowling is the same here as it is in the States, except for the occasional 3rd turn in a frame that you get when the lane doesn't reset!
This is about all for right now. I will try to post more, but I cannot make any promises. If you want weekly updates, sign up for the weekly "Picture of the Week" email. You will not be disappointed!