A midsummer 2 week's break

It's currently Tuesday of the 2nd week of my midsummer "break" that I kind of wish I didn't have and kind of really like a lot. There were never any servant events scheduled for this week, but there were 3 for last week at one point until they all cancelled. So, it went from being the busiest week of the summer, to hardcore planning time for what are now the busiest two weeks of the summer! It's been an ongoing process, but one day last week Chris and I sat down and figured out exactly what is happening each day from July 10-24: who is going where, when, and in what vehicle(s). Here is a list of everything we had to keep in mind:

1. servant event from 7/10-7/17
2. servant event from 7/17-7/24
3. servant event from 7/14 (Wednesday)-7/21 (Wednesday) (half are staying and working in El Paso; the other half are staying and working in Anapra, 4 people are arriving a day early)
4. San Pablo VBS
5. a lady coming from Seward, NE, to help with San Pablo VBS
6. a pastor from NM coming to do evangelism (he usually goes to Mexico but this year his focus will be Sparks)
7. the mariachi band going on tour, which means I have to rent a van for servant event use
8. my family is coming to visit
9. Chris's parents are coming to visit
10. Panchis's daughter Gaby's quinceanera

I think that's all. For awhile I would try to wrap my head around some aspect of those 14 days, and my mind would just turn to JELL-O. I'm better after our planning session though; I even wrote all the check requests already, sorted by date. I'm just going to take it a day at a time, and I'm sure it will all come together like everything here in North Mexico--at the last minute. It'll be fun though, honestly. I'm about over sitting in the office everyday and I'm ready for some challenge and excitement.

On Saturday after the church Council meeting, I had wanted to go to the pool but the weather didn't cooperate, so I super-deep-cleaned my apartment all afternoon and then went on Sunday. Can I just rant for a second about pools in El Paso? They're lame, at least in my experience! Granted I am a bit spoiled in terms of pools since I grew up down the street from the Kirkwood Recreation Station with its water slides and lazy river and all that jazz, but seriously what do I have to do to get some lounge chairs? The hours are lacking, too: 1-4:30 and 6-9 M-F, 1-5 Sat. and Sun.??? For a city where the temperature has the potential to be in the triple digits for 3 straight months...

OK. This week...has basically been a blur so far. Yesterday 30 youth (aged 16-24) showed up to volunteer. They are part of a program called Workforce Solutions, in which the city pays them minimum wage to earn some money and gain workplace experience, and they essentially volunteer for a variety of businesses across El Paso. Each staff member has a couple that they are supposed to supervise, which is turning out to be a blessing and a curse in my case. They are wonderful, enthusiastic kids who make quick work of whatever we assign them to do, but therein lies the problem: there isn't enough for them to do! It almost kills me to say that, but I am really struggling to keep them busy for 8 hrs./day, and I'm not the only one. It's only going to get worse too because starting next week I'll be out of the office with groups...they can't come b/c they're not allowed to go to Mexico and there's not room in the van. I feel like a terrible supervisor because I know they're bored to death a lot of the time, but I guess in some sense it must be cool getting paid to do nothing. So far they have helped me distribute around 250 hot meal program flyers in the Kennedy's and put together welcome packets of brochures, a schedule, a map, etc. for Language Plus. They're working with Elvira in the warehouses right now, but hopefully they're simultaneously thinking of ideas for a circuit-wide servant event commercial, which is the latest task I gave them. My other projects for this week, which I feel like I have made very little progress on thus far because the office has been buzzing, include working with Chris on the July San Pablo newsletter and opening an IRA.

I should probably get back to work, but here's another quick picture of me from University Lutheran's week, courtesy of the leader, Nancy. It was taken at El Paso Connection, which is a touristy shop that a couple of groups like to visit in lieu of the Mercado Juarez. I had actually never been there before. They have lots of furniture--most of which is adorned with the lone star of Texas--pottery, crosses, Mexican blankets, vanilla, leather goods, etc., and loads of photogenic lawn ornaments that are metal and get REALLY hot!!! Too bad we didn't think of throwing a blanket over it until AFTER this picture was taken!!!

Until next time, blessings!


tchrchill said…
Love your pic on the bull! But seriously, I'm struggling to breathe just thinking about all you're doing and have coming up. Ken and I will try not to be problem children, and to stay out of the way when we're there. Maybe we can do some more stuff around Chris' house. We won't need supervision, I promise.

Word verification word: triest
Sentence: Thou triest thy hardest, and God willst go with thee.
Have a good week, God bless your work, and we'll see you in just two weeks!