Showing posts from September, 2022

I’m blue / Da ba dee da ba di

Or, the cabinets in the group home are.  I stayed far away from "Caribbean Sky" and let four willing servants who came all the way from Garden City, KS, do the dirty work - and work they did. Local leaders had helped me identify a few honey-do type projects that I thought might occupy one or two team members during isolated blocks of free time, but when the dregs of a hurricane put the kibosh on multiple other planned outings, group home improvements and time spent with new friends emerged as a unifying thread of the Hageman team's - surprisingly varied, all things considered - time in Santiago.  Ramona (above, right), Estefaní (below, left), Junior, Randy, Frances, and Moisés are proud of their home and love pitching in to help care for it.  Team #4 of 4 will finish the job by adding a coat of clear varnish in mid-October.  Estefaní and Melanie Michael and Francis Shanna and Ramona Moisés and Kyle Before any  work could happen, a hardware store run was in order! It raine

The Sixth Team Member

After a 2022 hurricane season that had thus far been silent, of course the first major storm coincided with #1 of 4 back-to-back-to-back-to-back short-term teams as  Fiona joined five individuals from Trinity Lutheran Church in Garden City, KS.  I got up to pee at 4:30 am on Saturday, arrival day. It was pouring rain, and I steeled myself for a harrowing drive to Santo Domingo, where my meticulous schedule had us until Monday, and a miserably soggy early part of the week. The day dawned bright and sunny, though, and despite one misplaced passport en route, I picked up all five team members right on schedule at 6:04 pm.   L to R: Kyle, Melanie, Kallie, me, Shanna, and Rev. Michael.  The rain started Sunday in spurts that were sometimes strong, sometimes drizzly. It was enough to keep church attendance to a minimum but didn't dampen the familial spirit I love about Iglesia Luterana Pan de Vida.  Introductions while we waited to see if anyone else would show up...  After worship, Pa

Book It

I can think of two specific instances recently in which I thoroughly confused someone by bringing up something happening more than a month away. Unless it's for Christmas (c.f. the below photo), Dominicans don't, as a general rule, plan that far in advance.  As a Volunteer Coordinator, though, I live in the future. Even as I put the finishing touches on things for the week I just spent with these lovely humans (more on the Hageman team soon), I continued to plan for future teams and even life after the last "back" in my current back-to-back-to-back-to-back marathon.  By way of life update, and to give you an idea of the never-ending variety that is my life, I share with you... Things I've Booked in the Past 2(ish) Weeks 1. Tickets (x10)  to Huaca Pucllana [October 15], an Incan ruins site located in the city of Lima. I've been someplace similar on the outskirts of town a couple times now, so I'm using an upcoming short-term team of nine as guinea pigs to

It’s all Chinese to Me

Many Spanish-speaking countries replace the "Greek" in "It's all Greek to me" with "Chinese" when referencing something incomprehensible. Starting today, though, my Wednesday mornings really ARE going to be all Greek to me: I'm auditing  Griego I  at Concordia the Reformer Seminary! My class consists of 1st year seminarians Martín (2nd from right), Oscar (on Zoom), Daniel, and Kairo (far right), plus fellow missionary Clarion (2nd from left).  Rewinding to my college days, I took a semester each of Biblical Greek and Biblical Hebrew,  for fun  because I'm that kind of nerd. I don't remember much besides the Hebrew alphabet to the tune of "Yankee Doodle," but I've always had in my head that maybe one day I'd further my studies and at least have a foundation. Rev. Joel Fritsche, the seminary's director and professor of biblical languages, and I have joked about me taking his classes before, so when he texted me this summ