Wednesday, November 28, 2012

House Guest

Here is a picture of the boy's room and the girl's room.  The nets over the bed are a must for dealing with the unwanted "house guest".  The fans are also a very nice luxury, even though it is the mildest season of the year, it is still quite warm!

The mosquitos are as thick as clouds some evenings.  I suspected the open water reservoir for a while, but didn't know what to do about it.  Our landlord's wife made this device out of a plastic water bottle to float on top the water.  It seems to disturb the mosquitos enough to keep them from laying eggs in the water.  Surprising it has cut down on the mosquitos a lot.

  I tried a homemade mosquito trap I saw on Pinterest.  I really like Pinterest, but this project was a disappointing failure.  I am going to try to redo the yeast/sugar mixture, but on the first try I caught a whopping one fly and one mosquito.  Not a huge help!

So how are we doing without internet?  I guess to say we have no internet is not completely accurate.  We can drive to a town about 10 minutes away and find an internet cafe, which is where I am sitting right now.  So, I just jot down things I want to look up and try to use the internet time wisely.  Generally, I type out any replies to emails or blog post ahead of time to cut down on time, since we pay for internet by the hour.  It's really a minor adjustment.

Our dining room

The outside of the house.

Monday, November 19, 2012


So here is my little kitchen.  As you can see I have the modern conviences of a refrigerator, stove and electricity.  Also I brought along my juicer and blender.  We are using tables provided by the school for both counter tops and storage cabinets.  What a blessing they are!  You’ll notice that the thing missing is the sink.  There is no indoor plumbing in any kitchens here in Cacalote.  Lena was discussing this with our landlord’s wife, they live quite close on the same property as you can see in the picture below.  She was surprised to hear we have a sink in our kitchen where we live in Oaxaca city!

So, I am standing on our landlord's house and the tile house is where we live. We also hang our laundry out to dry up here.

In order to wash your dishes you bring them out to the sink/washboard.  

There is not running water there either, but there is water!  A good sized reservoir that is filled by pumping water (electrical pump, praising God for that also) from the well.  Using a bowl to dip out water you wash and rinse your dishes, then place them in a very diluted bleach solution.  Bring them back inside and place them on your drying rack. 

Although, our landlord’s have a modern oven/stove, she will often use this more traditional outdoor, fire fueled kitchen to make traditional dishes such as tortillas or mole.  Mmmmm...mmmmmm.mmmm....I think I just made myself hungry!  And it just dawned on me I should probably get some lessons from her on how to cook without my modern oven.  More on that later, in the meantime, I’ll be showing you the rest of our little hacienda, school and pueblita.  

Lena learning to make tortillas.

Turing the tortillas by hand.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Luxuries vs Necessities

For the past 4 years since we started talking seriously about becoming missionaries, I have closed my eyes and relished the warm water that flows over me during my morning shower.  I have said, “Thank you God for warm showers, please help me be thankful when I have to give up this incredible luxury.  That day has come, at least for a while. 

We are in a different location for the next several weeks...what’s new!  This time we are in the same state, our home, Oaxaca.  However, we are about 7 hours from the city, down on the Pacific Coast.  We are taking a seven week language course, which for this school amounts to one level out of four.  We have started at level two.  A good bit of the vocabulary we already know or it is at least familiar.  Some of the grammer is review, but much needed.  Some of the grammer has been completely new and I am encouraged at the advance in my language abilities in just the week and a half we have been here.  Sam will be helping to start a Bible Institute at a church in the city and teaching Bible classes when we return, so this is really going to help.  There is homework, quizzes, test and drills, along with the lessons.  All are much needed.

So in the next few post I will try to show you what coastal living outside the shiny, air conditioned tourist spots is like.  A casual, friendly people, who work hard, are resourceful, but don’t take themselves too seriously.

Don’t miss out as I navigate life without internet, warm showers, a washing machine, or indoor plumbing in my kitchen.  That’s right!  No kitchen sink!  As I write this on Nov 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm, temps are in the high 80’s.  Next post I’ll give you a peek in my little kitchen and show you how we wash dishes with no running water.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Son Grandes

Slow blink...soft smile...deep breath...the smells, the sounds, the feel on the carpet under us.  

In the past six months we have had many moments, moments of joy, excitement, weariness, despair and encouragement; just to name a few.  We have clung tight to the calling, the calling of first glorifying God in all we do.  It has been a time of constant change (even in ministry direction), many miles, and many different beds and sometimes floors for our weary heads, but I think we have emerged clearer in our vision and closer in our relationship, both with each other and Jesus Christ.

In the midst of all the chaos, God graciously gave two moments when surrounded by my chattering children, time seemed to stand still, breath was breathed deep.  They are growing, they have interest, school work, friends, but in this moment they were fully engrossed in the togetherness of a family God had put together.  Relishing and enjoying the attentive ear of each other and their parents.  Thank you God for these moments among the chaos of serving on the mission field.

In this time of movement and transition, several have noted that my children "son grandes" - they are big!  And as I took a good look, they were right, these treasures God has entrusted into our hands have grown in stature and maturity.  Thus making those precious moments of togetherness all the more precious.  Recognize...breath deep...slow blink...soft smile...