Showing posts from January, 2011

Outside Day

We only get one or maybe 1 1/2-2 this week since it's gonna get COLD (for El Paso: high of 28 and low of 12 on Wednesday, snow flurries likely). So we rearranged the project schedule for the Bella Vista Lutheran servant event (1 couple, Ron and Kay), and I accompanied Genaro and Ron to Juarez to repair a roof today! We finished quicker than we were expecting to because we didn't have to tear off all of the old stuff--some we could lay new right on top of--and we had bonus help from one of the homeowners. That turned out to be a good thing since it clouded over and got windy. This was the 2nd straight servant event (Mayer Lutheran HS was the 1st) that YLM was working very near a Casas Por Cristo group. My initial reaction is always that they are intruding on our territory, so I always have to remind myself that we are partnering with some of the same people for the glory of the same God. Two of the guys today came over to say hi at about noon. We talked

Widgets and Plugins and Galleries, Oh My!

All of the above are fancy web design terms that I don't really know the meaning of but that I literally dreamt about last night since I spent all day yesterday adding content to our new site, and most of today following the staff meeting. After an unintended hiatus on all of our parts...oops...we've re-launched our campaign that started in September to get the new and improved up and running. It's starting to really come together. Mostly I stopped before because I couldn't format the photo galleries like I wanted them to be, but we downloaded a new plug-in (whatever that is) that allows me to be slightly more creative, so after teaching myself how to use it yesterday I have been going to town! Other highlights of my life since my last post (yeah, this is one of those "I haven't put up a blog in awhile so I will even though I don't have anything in particular to write about" posts!): --DONE with Harry Potter! I have the first movie in my po

Application Time

Well I got my LBT application on Friday. There is a 9 pg. long document that includes demographic info, education & employment history, references, and info on health, financial responsibilities, cross-cultural experience, etc. I also have to write an autobiography--250 words on each of 6 topics--Family Life (birth-high school), College Experience, Employment Experiences, Marriage and Children (???), Christian Experiences, and General Life Attitude. So far all I've done is the easy questions on the 9 pager. I have to think about the answers to the rest, stuff like what I consider to be my greatest strengths and weaknesses. I am giving myself about a year because it's a fairly involved application process, and that way if I'm not accepted or decide LBT isn't for me I have plenty of time to pursue a back-up plan. At this point that would probably be teaching Spanish, who knows where. I've never wanted to teach with my degree but lately I have had a couple of exper

Finishing Touches

Not that anyone ever likes to leave anything unfinished, but two of the guys from the Mayer Lutheran group were hardworking types who were seriously not content to leave with only of the houses at a move-in ready stage. They had both been thinking it, so as soon as one said something about staying 2 extra days to finish things up, the other was immediately in. Shawn and his family had even driven down separately from the charter bus, so his family went back on the bus and Allan, who had come with the group on the bus, drove back with Shawn. I had the pleasure of driving them to Anapra on Monday and Tuesday and pitching in to help however I could. It was a very different dynamic with just the 3 of us versus with 30 some odd others to keep track of: tranquil, although we worked, worked, worked--a full day on Monday and 1/2 day on Tuesday since I had a meeting beginning at 4 pm. All 3 of the casas are ready for their new occupants now! A spilled bucket of various kinds of nails...not a go

My least favorite part

People have asked me before what my favorite and least favorite parts of my job are. Neither one has ever been easy to answer because I love most everything about what I do, but I think after 2 years I have finally settled on my least favorite part. I arrived at the realization when one of the youth from the Mayer group asked me as he was helping me hang soffet, "How can you resist playing with the kids all the time?" I stumbled through some answer about how I know I can come back whenever I want so I don't have to spend every feasible second with them, but the truth hit me. My least favorite part of my job is having to be the responsible one. I know that I am 24 now and on the flip side of servant events, and I get that. I don't mind having to man the cash flow, log mileage in the vans, track volunteer hours, let Rita know about food allergies, and whatever else I had no idea went on behind the scenes of my church group coming down every year. It's more just that

Broken and Beautiful

As soon as I got back from St. Louis, it was time to jump into servant event mode. My flight landed on a Sunday evening; 34 people from Mayer Lutheran High School arrived by bus after driving 26 hours on a Tuesday morning. Like last year, although not weather-related this time--Mother Nature attacked later in the week, we decided to take it easy on day 1, visiting all of last year's families, taking some measurements, and shopping at the market. The rest of their trip was dedicated to building the traditional 3 houses in Anapra. Well, for half the group; the other half just played with kids. At least that's what I thought last year. My typical mindset is to make sure that everyone has a job and feels needed, so seeing approximately half of each crew not even pick up a hammer made me uneasy. This year I realized that giving piggy back rides, coloring, and getting whupped at soccer is a different type of serving, one that is anticipated, planned for, and enjoyed just as much as t