Showing posts from May, 2011

Gettin' Sauced!

Quick update, since I haven't posted in a few days, and I did something of cultural noteworthiness yesterday: learned how to make enchiladas the authentic way! The Women of San Pablo held their 2nd of 3 fundraisers, an enchilada sale. For $5, people could get dine-in or carry-out plates of 3 enchiladas, rice, and beans. After much debate at our last meeting, we decided to make the enchiladas the messier and more time-consuming, but more authentic (and tastier) way. Instead of rolling shredded cheese up in corn tortillas, lining them up on a sheet tray, ladling sauce over the top, sprinkling them with more cheese, and baking them, we first dipped each tortilla in the sauce, then fried them, THEN rolled them, topped them with more cheese, and popped them in the oven to keep warm. After helping peel garlic--the homemade sauce consisted of red chiles, water, garlic, and salt--my job was to roll the enchiladas. I had lots of fun learning a new technique and chit-chatting with the ladies

You HAVE to read this story!

Speaking of Mesa (and mesas!) de Reyes, people often ask me why I like my job, and stories like this are a big reason why. I can never think of specific examples on the spot, but here is a perfect one! Miracle ramen! I couldn't get him to smile, but his funny faces made me smile! This stuff is hard to eat! Until next time, blessings!

Mesas de Reyes

Chris and I crashed this past Wednesday's hot meal program at Iglesia Luterana Sin Paredes to deliver a special surprise--new folding tables donated by a March 2011 servant event participant! We were able to purchase 5 6-ft. ones, for a total of 30 ft. The program, Mesa de Reyes (King's Table) operates weekly and features Christian education for all ages along with a meal, usually ramen noodles mixed with canned veggies. The old tables weren't very kingly, but the new ones look pretty regal if you ask me! Javier and Rosy setting up one of the new tables... ...and taking down an old one! More volunteers helping. Kings' tables! Trying them out with coloring sheets and lunch...

The Safest City in the United States!

I was pretty irked when I thought up the idea about writing this blog, but it's not meant to be angry, just informative. El Paso, TX, is the safest city in the United States (with a population between 500,000 and 1 million). It was formerly the 2nd safest after Honolulu, HI, and has been either #2 or #3 since 1997, but it claimed the title for the first time in late fall of 2010. The list is compiled each year by CQ press, and you can take a look at it for yourself here . Yes, I know it's ironic that the safest city in the United States happens to be situated very near the murder capital of the world (outside of war zones), but it's the truth. The two cities are really and truly one giant metroplex with a heavily guarded international border running through them, but although hundreds of thousands of individuals cross that border everyday, Juarez's cartel violence hasn't, isn't, and won't! El Paso is at the center of a giant misconception, and it's hurti

Mondays ≠ Good for Sightseeing in El Paso

After learning that Mondays are not good for tourism in El Paso, we had a pretty fun day anyhow. We stayed in town, which saved us a van rental and several hours' driving that no one was really excited about. Our day started off with Slurpees from the 7-11 with a gigantic mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe: Even though there were no guided tours, Hueco Tanks was our 2nd stop. I had been told that the self-guided tour (aka free reign of about 1/3 of the park) was kind of lame, but it totally wasn't: Lizard! The desert in bloom... Sunbathing! We were high enough up on North Mountain to clearly see the other 2: East Mountain and West Mountain. Ian and I "climbing." Squeezing out of a pretty tight crawl space! At the summit of North Mountain! Graffito from 1853! Straight out of a western movie! Stop #3: Lunch at Smokey's BBQ. For future reference--do NOT order the buffet. Stop #4: The Texas Store. I like it when groups elect to go places that I myself have never been! I

Water fight!

The best part of Friday was most definitely our post-house blessing water fight! We promised the kids water balloons on Thursday. So, of course they wanted to break them out as soon as we showed up on Friday morning, but we made them wait. There weren't as many balloons as intended because the faucet attachment that came with them didn't work very well, so we planned a water game involving sponges also. It all started off so organized...then it turned into a free-for-all of throwing buckets of water/wet sponges/water balloons at anyone you could outrun! It actually felt pretty good! Handing out balloons from the back of the van. We quickly realized the game where everyone pairs off and throws the balloon back and forth at an ever-increasing distance until it breaks wasn't going to work, so assignment #1 was to throw them at Cody! Game #2: The first person in line wets the sponge in the water cooler, then everyone passes it back over their heads until the last person

Our one-eyed one-horned flying PURPLE house!

I am taking advantage of some time between church and lunch to share about my week. Right now there is a group here from Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Chris and I had the pleasure of visiting there when we were in Edmonton a few weeks ago, so we had already met all but one of the group members. They arrived on Monday and we had the house done and painted--3 shades of purple--by Friday, so they are currently enjoying a couple free days to take in some area sights. Yesterday we parked in downtown El Paso and walked across the border to the Mercado Juarez, where we wound up spending all afternoon! Then we went to Cattleman's for dinner--hopefully I won't have to hear anymore talk about 2 lb. steaks! Today is a day of 3 church services (English and Spanish at San Pablo and then Santisima this afternoon), but tomorrow is up in the air still. We were planning on Carlsbad Caverns, although we were looking forward to staying for the bat flight which doesn


Every now and then I like to blog about my current emotion. If I could pick one word to describe my Lutheran Bible Translators interviews on Monday, it would be "disheartening." Maybe I was holding out too much false hope, but I asked each of the 4 people I interviewed with about the chances that I could go to Latin America, only to be repeatedly shot down. I know there are still languages in Spanish-speaking regions that have no portion of Scripture, but from what I understand all those where a translation project is realistic are either done or nearing completion. Some of my interviewers suggested other ideas--proposing my own translation project someplace in Latin America, a theoretical position trying to involve Hispanic Lutherans in the U.S. in missions, learning French and hooking up with a project in Cameroon, learning Portuguese and hooking up with a project in Mozambique--but none of them appealed much to me. Each of the 4 interviews I mentioned above lasted about an