Showing posts from November, 2022

Last Woman Standing

Turns out that in 36 years I've perfected the art of staying dry while near water, if Saturday's "birthday hike" is any indication. I like getting wet if I'm showering or at the beach/pool (IF conditions are favorable), but I despise walking with squishy socks or unnecessarily toting a towel and dry clothes. You also get cold - the literal worst -  if it's shady and/or there's the tiniest semblance of a breeze. OK, rant over.   We went to a standby spot ~15 minutes from our neighborhood: El Saltadero de Jacagua.  We stopped for cake at this swimming hole before turning around. Yes, you read that right: cake. Who carries a chocolate chip panettone and a plastic knife into the woods? Becca Krey, that's who! Becca, me, and Johanna. I've hiked El Saltadero before when it's been bone dry. As you can see, this time it was not. By the time we'd reached this point, Johanna and the kids had all "accidentally" gotten their feet wet in the c

Meet the Mango Jammers

Let the 3rd annual Volunteer Coordinators' Conference begin!  I love this group so much. We laugh lots, but we also make stuff happen, oftentimes engaging missionaries from each of our respective regions or even other Synodical departments. Belize 2022 was no different; the ideas started flowing at breakfast on Wednesday, our first full day together, before we'd even held our first official business session.  Our goal in meeting together - annually in person and 2x/month on Zoom - is to analyze and improve upon the OIM volunteer experience through streamlined processes, innovative new ideas, and industry best practices. A sampling of our agenda:  My session on High School Student Mobilization, including an interactive exercise. You've heard of brainstorming, but have you heard of question storming?  Matt's session on The 3D Gospel  (which has been duly added to my reading list). We started by analyzing our host cultures using The Culture Test . Chelsea's session on

Under the Shade, I Flourish

Sub umbra, floreo. I encountered this motto multiple times over nine days in Belize, eventually learning that it's probably referring to the metaphoric protective "shade" of the British Crown. It works when taken literally, too, though! It's not an island, but Belize is considered Caribbean. It's lush, tropical, and HOT, much like the DR, but I managed to keep cool and thoroughly enjoy all that the FORO had to offer.  The post I fired off our first morning in-country explained how the entire Belize team, really, rallied to pull off what could just as easily have been cancelled.  The wheels in my head were spinning after a Saturday full of presentations and dialogue with representatives from the Belize Mission Society (BMS) that would continue over the next few days. I truly feel as though I understand not only the organization but also Cathy, its one-woman powerhouse of a director, on a different level than before. (Also yes, Ice Cream Corner IS walkable from the

Branching Out

You better Belize there are two posts coming up about my recent trip that almost wasn't, but hermana  from another señor (Deac. Sandra Rhein)   came back to visit! OK, actually to physically hand Rev. Sergio Fritzler three USB thumb drives containing recordings of all but 80 of the hymns in Himnario Luterano, listen to and critique a sampling of them, and make a plan for a) recording the missing ones; and b) adding lyrics.  It was a short, sweet visit: just two full days on the ground. From the get-go, I was in charge of airport transfers and a 1/2 day cultural outing. I found out the day before she arrived that I'd also be interpreting and had to quickly get over the loss of what I thought would be a catch-up day, but in the end it was a joy to spend my Thursday listening to snippets of soothing, soul-nourishing music. Then right on schedule Friday afternoon... Sandra's one request was to visit Franklin's souvenir shop en el centro .  With a larimar pendant