Showing posts from May, 2010

Happy birthday ahijada!

My goddaughter is 1 today! She actually got to open her present from Chris and I (her godparents) yesterday afternoon, since we weren't sure Elvira was coming to the office today and didn't want her to have to wait until Sunday, or even Tuesday because of the Memorial Day holiday. We gave her two stuffed animals, a koala and a pig. "What am I supposed to do with this?" "It's bigger than me!" Isn't she adorable??? Quick update on my life and then I'm going to go relax before dinner (pollo con crema tonight)...building a house in J-town this week with a group from West Bend, WI. We discovered one day at breakfast that it's actually my youth pastor's dad's old church...small world, especially when it involves LCMS Lutherans. If anyone from Mayer Lutheran is reading this, our site is right next to Casa Dos. Today we tarred the roof, finished hanging the drywall and got one coat of mud on, installed the windows, hung soffet, and filled in

Sounds like a good time for a blog

This sounds like a good time for a blog! Sometimes I feel like all I write about is servant events, not the normal ho-hum part of my life. It's Friday around 2 and I'm just chilling in the office. My life has been kind of slow lately, the calm before the storm. Starting on Tuesday at 2:10 pm when the first group of summer gets here, I know my life isn't going to slow down, except for maybe a week or 2 here and there, until August. I am not complaining one bit though, I am actually really excited for the fast-paced insanity that will constitute the next three months of my life. I leave for my LBT conference in Chicago in less than 2 weeks, the day before the first group leaves. I got an e-mail with some more details today which is another reason I am writing--to share my excitement! I was envisioning a much larger group but apparently there are only going to be 18 of us! I know I personally will get so much more out of it with a small group like that. The e-mail also asked w

A tooth for a tooth

Harold Schmidt and Dr. Gary Kanemura, from St. Peter Lutheran Church in Lodi, CA, were going to come do their 2nd dental clinic at San Lucas in Anapra LAST May, until along came the swine flu. Then they were going to come in October 2009, but Harold lost his passport ;) So, I was super-excited when I got an e-mail saying they were coming THIS May...and the third time was indeed the charm. The two of them got into El Paso on Tuesday night after a 12 1/2 hour drive, and the clinic ran Wednesday through Friday. Dental clinics require A LOT of equipment. We pretty much had the green van packed full, but Someone was watching over us and we had no trouble getting it all across the border--or back into the U.S. for that matter. It took over an hour for the Dr. to set everything up, but it was seriously like being at Vista Hills Family Dental or something, only we were in the kitchen at San Lucas. Dental work also takes a long time; I guess I didn't realize how few patients we would see (2

Homemade tortillas

On Thursday night, Chris and I were treated to a private cooking lesson. The subject matter: flour tortillas. The instructor: Blanca Tovar, the wife of the pastor from all the Chihuahua City area mission sites and an AMAZING cook. Sometimes I feel like all Mexican women are born knowing how to make everything from scratch. The whole idea stemmed from our last trip to the Mercado Juarez. I was absently playing with the tortilla making contraptions that our friend Arturo sells at his stall (see the 1st photo below), and after awhile he told me to pick out what color I wanted and take one. Of course Chris got one too. Armed with the tools, I almost had to learn the secrets of the trade. All day long I kept telling everyone I talked to that I was going to learn to make tortillas, and when 7:00 finally rolled around I apparently did not stop smiling the whole time we were in the kitchen. There's nothing like a fresh, soft, still too hot to touch because it just came out of a lightly bu

Language Plus

From August 8-13, 2010, YLM will be hosting its inaugural intensive Spanish class. I am excited to be on the planning committee, and now that we are really in the swing of things as far as publicizing the event, I thought I'd give a little plug of my own. So far, there are 6 people from all over the place signed up for sure, but I've been getting a ton of e-mails this week from potential participants. Feel free to pass the word along if you know of anyone who may want to come. The program will include 25 hours of in-classroom and in-community instruction provided by Language Plus, Inc., a language institute based out of El Paso. Each day will be divided into a three-hour morning session, which is designed to be interactive vs. straight-up lecturing, and a two-hour afternoone excursion. We have asked Language Plus to center the vocab, verbs, etc. around Hispanic ministry. Students will be divided by ability; upon registration, Language Plus will conduct an over-the-phone placeme

You can't go to Asia, but you can lay tile!

Last week I got to work with a group of six from Hanover College. Hanover operates on a trimester system, which is how a college group was able to be here at the end of April in case you were wondering. The group was headed up by one of YLM's 2008 summer volunteers, Jason Taber. They were willing to work on the mission's campus but also wanted to spend some time in Mexico, so Chris and I custom designed an itinerary that would really give them a flavor of all it is that the mission does on both sides of the border. Monday was spent tearing the roof off of Vicky (the director of the hot meal program) 's house, and prepping it for shingling on Wednesday. We allowed for a day in between because we thought it had to be inspected, although we later learned it really did not because it isn't big enough. Tuesday we headed across the border to Santisima to paint the youth/music room that a group from Lincoln, NE, built a few weeks ago. Pepe picked the colors almost immediately