Showing posts from October, 2019

A Well-Beaten Path

The 2 1/2 hour drive to Santo Domingo is becoming a well-beaten path for my little white Cantus. Last week, I did it twice in a 7-day span, escorting new missionaries as they checked off a critical step in obtaining temporary Dominican residency. Both road trips were filled with things to be thankful for: Safe travel Minimal delays/waiting at the lawyer's office & clinic Good conversation with friends that made time in the car go by quickly On the way back from trip #2, I finally  made a pit-stop I've heard much about and even tried to stop at before only to be deterred by rain: Los Tres Ojos. Each "Ojo" is an underground lake, and the name of the park is a misnomer as there are actually cuatro.  I was looking around for the entrance without even realizing it was THIS! Lakes aside, the most impressive part in my opinion was trees with roots like these.  Courtney, me, and Kate.  At Kate's urging, we took this boat, maneuvered

So, How'd You Do?

So, how did I do? You tell me. Key: 🙂 = non-work block  X = work block Once again, I made it. I'm not surprised, though; my nature is such that I'm going to redouble my efforts when faced with "failure." Two differences that visually stand out between last time and this time: 0 days with all 🙂 More late-night working (4 🙂 vs. 1) To dig a bit deeper, here's the behind-the-scenes: Sunday, October 6 6:00 am : Turned my phone alarm off and mindlessly opened my unread email. When the preview revealed a work-related one, I closed the Mail app like a hot potato! 8:37 am (getting ready for church): If it's possible to sin in "thought, word, and deed," does thinking  about work during a non-work block make it, for all intents and purposes, a work block? 3:47 pm : New rule: answering questions from my direct report is not going to count as work, this week or ever. 8:01 pm : I started blogging as soon as NLDS game 3 ended (

Keeping up with the RodrĂ­guezes

Why is it October 13 and my halls have been decked for a few days now? Of course the retail world is in full-on Christmas mode, but Dominicans aren't far behind. Fellow missionary Cindy has a neighbor whose apartment, inside and out, looks like the North Pole, and the nearest branch of the bank chain that sells car registration stickers had its tree up already. Lights keep appearing on more and more houses. Gotta keep up with the RodrĂ­guezes*! Also, my travel schedule between now and Christmas is such that if I wanted to enjoy my decorations at all, I needed to put them up! My NON-FAKE TREE solution for displaying the few ornaments I've acquired here. I'm holding out! *RodrĂ­guez is the most common surname in the Dominican, according to Wikipedia . Fascinatingly, it was also the 9th most common in the United States as of the 2010 census . GarcĂ­a was 6th! Until next time, blessings!

Round 2

It dawned on me a few days ago that it's been a YEAR since my block scheduling experiment ; round 1 of attempting to preserve eight non-work blocks of four waking hours each in a week was conducted during the first full week of October 2018.  Aside from the fact that I have 365 more days on the mission field under my belt, at least three new factors are at play: Although I still work from home at times, I have an office .  There was a lengthy discussion about respecting "working hours" and days off at the August regional team meeting. I have a direct report, meaning I need to be all the more cognizant of setting a healthy work/life balance example.  As I did last time, I'll use a spreadsheet on my refrigerator to track my progress: And, also as I did last time, I'll keep a " diary ." Check back in a week to see if I met my goal, what triumphs and failures I experienced, and what was going through my head through it all.  Sneak


Most of my travels require little explanation. Supporting church plants in the 11 countries with an LAC missionary presence by facilitating the sending of short-term teams and volunteers makes me a bit of a globetrotter. But Omaha, NE?  Last Wednesday, I flew to Omaha for the September 2019 Friends of Jamaica partnership meeting (read: FORO ). While it's admittedly difficult to get a flair for what's happening in Jamaica in the Cornhusker State, it's equally difficult for many members of the circle to swing a trip to Kingston. So, given that a significant number of them are scattered throughout Iowa and Nebraska, we came to them. (It's not altogether unheard of for FOROs to alternate between stateside and in-country; the Puerto Rico FORO is meeting at the FL-GA District office next week.) The saints at Zion Lutheran Church were our gracious hosts.  Thanks be to God that Abas Ite's health is on the upswing, such that Rev. Obot Ite was able to make the tri