Monday, July 28, 2008

To move or not to move? You got me.

Wisdom from Kelley:

If you watch a pot of water it will never boil.

If you really, really, really want to move into your newly rented house in the town you've been looking forward to settling into for over a year and every day you figure it will be the may take weeks longer than expected.

ok, I'm done with that wisdom stuff...

Thursday was possibly going to be the day, then Friday, then Saturday, then my friends Sunday came and we realized the house had no water (the water it did have was only leftover in the was actually cut off in June!). Today the landlord met us there and then went to go pay the bill. J dropped by later this afternoon and hallelujah, there is water! Of course the new plan is the move in first thing in the morning. I am soooooo excited and if it doesn't happen tomorrow...well, I may have to make a visit to the psychiatrist (my mother-in-law was my psychiatrist today as I had a mini-breakdown...but after some prayer and a ladies night decorating note-books I feel good to go:-) So the house doesn't have a shower-head or a toilet seat but we can work with that. I think I would settle into a shack at this point, just for the sake of settling! Although one positive thing about being stuck in the apartment is that I've had several of those W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L showers. You see, there's always a positive side to things, isn't there? That's me, Mrs. Positive.

Hopefully a few days from now I'll have some glorious pictures to share of our new house freshly filled with older stuff. One nice thing about the house is that there is a lot of sunlight. The downside to that (let me exit the Mrs. Positive roll for a sentence here) is that the stains on our couches and the dings in our furniture are very noticeable. So the good thing about that, ladies(resuming roll of Mrs. Positive) is that I have lots of fun refinishing furniture projects ahead of me and a good excuse to get my couches recovered (I've never cared for the color of our couches but didn't have a good reason to recover them. They look bad enough in the sunlight that I wonder how many would be brave enough to actually sit on them?).

We're off in the morning to head to a huge city about an hour away from here to do a bit of shopping. We still need more transformers and a few odds and ends.

I'll end with a few pictures of the mess on our back porch...

Ok, so perhaps it wasn't the mess itself I was wanting to showoff :-)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Yay for Husbands!

If my husband knew that I'm sitting in the apartment, taking the time to post on my blog he'd probably have a cow (do people still use that expression?). He took Karis to the city an hour away where half of "the crew" moved to for a luncheon get-together. I declined since there is so much to do and I really want to move into the house tonight! But I have to post before I head over to the house (on my new shiny purple bicycle) because there is so much to post about that if I put if off any longer then I'm going to end up having a 10-page post that nobody would take the time to read in it's entirety. I've also noticed that I'm losing much of my readership, probably due to several posts without pictures of the worlds cutest munchkin (which may be the main reason people come to my blog anyway! No prob, Bob, I love for the world to see how unbelievably she gets cuter and cuter as each day goes by. Ha!). Anyway, I am feeling a bit insecure about my readership now that I know I have less than half the people reading my blog as Meg has reading hers. Thanks Meg, for bringing that to my attention:-)

ahuh, anywho, this post is dedicated to my incredibly handy husband who I don't know how I managed to live without for two weeks. Here is just one reason why it's wonderful to have a very capable, detail-oriented man in the house. Hot showers with decent water pressure! Let me explain in PICTURES (I found two batteries that I stole from DH flashlight to give the camera enough juice to take one picture and put it on the computer!)...

This is what most shower-heads look like in this country. They're electric and heat the water up as it runs through the shower-head. They definitely help but usually you don't get much water pressure as they are small units to heat the water up as it's running through. On the days that you do get decent water pressure it is because it is so hot that the water is already 100dg, therefore does not need much to heat it up further. On those days you don't really want hot water and just turn the shower-head off.

This is what our shower-head looks like in our new house (hopefully will be installed today by my handy, detail-oriented husband). No real reason why I included this picture...

And this is what the shower looks like in the apartment where Karis and I have been staying for the past 2 weeks. Look at it closely and then continue reading if you're just dying to know how this works....

So the box that you see to the right of the shower is the contraption that heats the water up. It is hooked up to a gas bottle outside the house. You choose either warm or hot, turn the water on, wait for a clicking sound (the water comes on for a second, then goes off, and then returns) and watch as blue flames ignite in the box. Yes, it's a bit disconcerting to see flames in a box next to you while you're taking a shower. I had never seen one of these before so this was all new to me. If you turned it on hot you got a boiling-hot trickle and if you turned it on warm you get a lukewarm trickle. Hence, for two weeks I've been taking lukewarm, trickle showers. And if you remember how cold it is here then you feel my pain when you try to imagine taking a lukewarm, trickle shower on the cold tile (do you feel sorry for me yet? just wait!). This is where the handy, detail-oriented husband comes into play! As he takes note that I am forcing our 2-year old to take a lukewarm, trickle shower he says "turn the temperature knob on hot, then turn the cold water on too to get some water pressure". What? Cold water? Where? Oh, you mean that second faucet/knob thingy next to the hot-water faucet thingy? That's more water? I noticed it before but it looked like something that would turn the gas on/off...and it appeared a little scary. Ok, let's go for it. Let me tell you that Karis had a very enjoyable shower with water-pressure like she has never known in this country. I then got to experience a glorious shower myself. It was hot and there was great water-pressure. How can I tell you how depressing it is to realize I've been taking luke-warm, trickle showers for two weeks for NOTHING?! And here I thought I was being a good missionary by enduring without asking/commenting to anybody:-) It sure is handy to have a detail-oriented, handy husband around. Too bad we're heading to a shower-headless house today (actually I'm very excited!).

For the sake of trying to boost up my readership, I'm going to include a recent picture of the munchkin...

I thought I had a few years 'til I had to worry about being a worry-free mom as I watch my child climb high trees and come close to falling out, breaking limbs or having serious head injuries. I thought wrong. My days of worrying about being a worry-free mom are over...I hafta learn to be a worry-free mom NOW. This child climbed up this tree like a monkey to where she was a good 12-14 feet off the ground. Hold on, let me take a deep breath as I reflect on that moment watching her. Alright, I'll be ok (knowing we don't have trees in our yard helps).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And it's color shall be purple...

I am now officially the proud owner of a new, shiny, purple bicycle! Wish I could take a picture to show it off. It's one of the simple, kinda geeky type of bikes that is way more comfortable than the mountain bikes (I can sit up half-way and the seat doesn't leave me bruised like so many other bikes. Who designs those seats anyway?). Unfortunately on the ride to town (heading towards our new house to clean it) the steering had issues which I'm sure has affected the brakes as well, which are now not working. As annoying as it was to walk the bike there and back with Karis in the Ergo carrier, I'm sure it's something simple. Perhaps I'll con one of the men around here to look at it today. Either way, it's a very pretty bicycle, working or not!

Unless something unexpected happens our "stuff" is on it's way here and should arrive in the morning! yahoo! Have I mentioned how anxious I am to get settled? I think I'll feel like a new person. Yet at the same time being unsettled for so long has been a great lesson in taking life one day at a time. Although I have a long way to go it's also been a growing experience not having my sweet, wonderful, amazingly-handy and convenient hubby around! Without him I've had to go out of my comfort zone and actually ask others for favors (I'm so prideful, I hate the thought of being an inconvenience to others and therefore will do everything I can to avoid asking somebody for something!). When others aren't able to help me out my initial thought is "whoa is me" yet this past week it has become more natural to just take my thoughts/feelings to the Lord. He is my Rock...

Last night was the first night I got to try out the new, shiny, purple bicycle with Karis on my back (she goes in an Ergo baby carrier). On the way home (it was already dark) she said all in one breath "I don't have a bike. I don't have a dog. I just have an apartment. Do you see the stars? God made the stars".

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cavalos no lixo.

Still here at Kim's house, folks. I had planned to go back today for various reasons but things usually don't go as planned. No prob, Bob. All is good here...Kim just made one of my all-time favorite meals (Chicken parmasean)so you won't hear me complaining:-)

Yesterday Kim's dog Mel started barking and barking at something outside the gate. Kim could hear that something was messing with the garbage so she went to check it out. The neighborhood dogs have taken the blame the past few weeks for making the mess but lo and behold two horses stood there unbothered by our presence, ripping bags of garbage apart! They had chewed through two bags and were somehow managing to get scraps of food out of smaller plastic bags. The batteries in my camera died and because I'm such a miser at times I refuse to pay for new batteries when I can recharge these later. Therefore I'm missing out on some great photo ops! (and my blog will be without new photos 'til my charger makes it here! Perhaps I'll scrounge up some old ones that come with some good stories).

Well that's it for today. I had to write SOMETHING so that my blog wouldn't drop down too low on Meg's blog-roll...

Friday, July 18, 2008

A post for the grandmas.

Yesterday Karis asked me for an orange (tangerine) but I wouldn't let her have one because her face is so chapped from the dry air and the acid really aggravates her skin (perhaps there was a bit of laziness involves as I could have fed individual pieces to her and wiped her mouth as she ate). Anyway, I told her "no, because oranges make your face break-out". I'm in a bad habit of giving her explanations without stopping to think about whether she can understand them or not, although she seemed satisfied with this answer. So this afternoon she came running up to me in the kitchen and asked "mommy, can I have an orange? It won't break my face! It won't break it!".

Have I mentioned that the weather is beautiful here? The sun is going down now and it's in the 70's...we're just hanging out on the porch with our lap-tops (I'm still wondering if I should admit that fact or not), watching the munchkins do silly things. We have a nice breeze which is bringing lots of ashes over the wall from somebody burning (I love the smell of the fires!). Kim and I are wondering how we ever managed to live in the heat in Cuiaba for that amount of time.

Here are a few pictures back from Cuiaba. This was about a week before Karis and I headed over this way. One of J's Brazilian friends wanted to make lunch for us. This is one of many aspects of this culture that I love. They are so people-oriented and love to cook-out while sitting around the fire and visiting, etc. I can't wait to have friends over to our new house and cook-out on the back porch/cement yard:-)

You can tell that men prepared this meal as it consisted of fish, chicken, sausage and garlic bread (a little on the heavy side but very tasty!). Have I mentioned that Karis and I miss our man?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Left-big-toe improvement, shopping and hubby exhaustion.

Good news folks, I think the infection in my left big toe is getting better! (for those of you who lost sleep over my "self-inflicted" wound).

Karis and I are staying at Kim's house for a few days. We spent the morning shopping for transformers and a bicycle. Shopping can be a different kind of experience here...not so enjoyable, therefore, I don't waste as much money on non-necessities (because I don't go shopping for pleasure...that's a good thing!). However, when I am forced to shop because I am in need I brace myself for the ride. At times like these I miss my country and the super wal-mart down the road in an amazing way! I am learning more about how things work yet am still eons of years behind in experience compared to the other women here since riding around in a car is one of my least favorite things to do (how many people do you know get motion sick while driving? It's sickening, I know.). Anywho, I really don't want to sound like I'm complaining because shopping here is a form of art (I am clearly not gifted in this area). You have to pay attention to detail (I'm about as non-detail-oriented as you can get) or you'll waste precious time. And the stores that you would expect to sell certain things probably don't have what you think they have. For instance, what item besides material can you buy at a fabric store? Any guesses? How about a horse saddle? Yes, many different ones to choose from, folks. Wanna know where my mother-in-law used to buy her honey? The salon down the street. The cell phone stores are normally out of credit (most phones here are pre-paid) so your best bet is to hit a few gas or bus-stations. Wanna grab a snack? Spot a nearby car-wash and chances are they'll have a snack-shop (you can even get your car washed while you eat. How about that?). So our morning of shopping wasn't very successful. The electrical store was out of most of the size transformers that I need and we only managed to find one bicycle shop while driving around. But hey, you live and you learn. It was partly successful since I did find (rather Kim saw and brought to my attention) a seat to fit on the back of a bike for Karis to sit on. So once we find the bike itself we'll be good to go!

For those of you who read this to keep up to date and pray for us, please remember Jonathan these days. The poor guy is swamped with so many things to do! He is the last one there to tie up loose ends on the base and every day something else comes along (yesterday it was mechanical problems with the mission's truck). He also has to worry about getting our house packed up. Even though at this point the moving company will pack it up he still has to be around to supervise, etc. Karis and I are ready for the wonderful man in our lives to join us, so we're praying that he can get a lot done these next few days and join us soon! Hopefully he will get to start heading this way by the end of next week.

Ok, last little entry for today. Karis is having so much fun with so many little girls nearby to play with! There are two little girls who live in an apartment close to ours who wander over almost everyday. A few days ago Karis saw one of them coming out of her apartment. She stopped, looked at me and said "oh mommy, I need to talk to Sarah" and then ran that way. She's so grown up (sniff sniff).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

House-hunting complete.

We have a house! I just got off of the phone with the landlord to give him our decision! What a blessing that Jonathan and I both have a peace (and are relieved, actually) to rent a house for now and the one we looked at yesterday will be good for us. We would have preferred a house with 2 bathrooms but after growing up with 11 people in one household & only one bathroom for many years I know that three can survive just fine with only one! (even if it does come without a shower head or a toilet seat).

Here is a picture of the front of the house.

Right off the back porch is this big cemented in area, which will be great for Karis when we get her a bicycle or when other kiddos come over to play.

And the side yard even has grass. This is a huge bonus and a not-so-common thing to find in a rental house here (out of the 6 families who just moved here I think we're the only ones with a decent yard like this).

Ok, one more benefit that I am so excited about....are you ready? drum roll please....(you're probably already looking at the picture so that there's no suspense here, oh well).

Kitchen cabinets! Wahoo!!

Not enough cabinets to fit our food and dishes but this definitely helps. If we had rented a house without any cabinets I think we would have been using cardboard boxes for a while. I am so thankful about this!!!

Tomorrow Karis and I will head over to the other city about an hour away from here where the other families moved. We need to buy transformers for the house since everything we own is 110 volts and everything here is 220! I am also going to try and find a bicycle with a seat on the back so that Karis and I can do whatever we need to in town. We can walk for now but a bicycle will save so much time (and energy...ha!).

I am just a tad concerned about my big left toe (no, I'm not kidding!). First I need to explain that here in Brazil it is very important to have clean and tidy toes (maybe because we always wear sandals here?). It is rather repulsive to Brazilians when we Americans show up with our haggly ol' toe-nails. So even though I don't like to spend the time nor the money (it's really cheap, actually) I decided I better get a pedicure before traveling by plane and bus. I always wondered why some other ladies were so fussy and voiced concern about getting an infection. Well, yeah...I think my big left toe is infected! The girl who did my pedicure was pretty young and honestly it was a tad painful when she was cutting/digging around my nails. However I didn't think much of it 'til a few days ago when I realize how sore they still were. My right toe is getting better but my left one is continuing grow more red and swollen. It really isn't that bad now but I am really praying that it gets better! I do NOT want to have to go to the Dr. and have my toe cut open and cleaned out. eh, no thank you. And if you happen to be thinking "She deserves it!" please know that it was in respect to the culture that I decided to have a pedicure. Really:-)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


We’re here, folks! Karis and I began our travels early Wednesday morning. The alarm went off at 3:30am so that we could board the plane at 5:50am! Karis loved the airplane ride. She talked the whole time, taking in everything. I was happy she didn't sleep on the flight thinking that she’d sleep for most of the 3 hours we would spend on the bus (oops, that was a dumb expectation:-). A friend was very kind to pick us up at the airport in Brasilia (so that we didn't have to take a taxi) and take us to the bus station. A bus leaves every hour for our destination and we arrived at the bus station 5 ‘til 10am! Thankfully we didn’t have to wait around for another hour. Anyway, this is way too detailed. The bus ride was OK. Karis wasn’t thrilled with it (she kept saying “shall we go home now, mommy?”) and would have preferred another plane ride. The bathroom in the back bore the smell of someone with an upset tummy and then a little boy (I prayed for his poor mom) must not have been feeling well so another odor was added to the mixture as he tossed his cookies. No, it did not smell good at all but at least the seats reclined and the a/c was cold!

We’re here now in the small town where we’ll live for at least the next few years. It is COLD here! (by cold I mean in the high 50’s at night and then it warms up to the high 70’s during the day. I won’t complain about not having a/c anymore, Meg!). It is BEAUTIFUL although Karis and I were not prepared for this cold of weather. I might have to break down and buy a sweat-shirt for her in town next week.

We spent a good part of Friday looking for/at houses for sale in the area. There isn’t much available and what is available isn’t so...well, appealing. After examining the house we originally wanted to buy we are now feeling much more inclined to rent for the time-being. Tomorrow morning Karis and I will walk about a mile to a house that’s available to rent...I think this house will be our home for the next 6 months or so! I am feeling SO anxious to get a house and settle down. We’ve been in temporary housing situations for more than a year now and although that is NOTHING compared to the amount of time some people have to go without permanent housing, it sure does a draining on me (that sounds like something we’d say in TN...I’m sure it is not grammatically correct but since I have no internet and can’t check it, it will just have to remain in “Tennessean”).

The wireless internet is down now so I haven’t been able to check email or get on the internet and read blogs (my therapy!). I’m waiting for a phone call so I can walk over to the school and check email there (where I plan to copy and paste this post onto my blog!). Hopefully the wireless will be up soon so that I can again have contact with the outside world. For now it’s been somewhat beneficial since I had to learn how to send a text message over our cell phone (the only way for me to get in touch with Jonathan unless I want to pay $2 a minute to call him on the cell phone). I’ve now sent my first 15 text messages. I’m sure Jonathan is thrilled to get the “you have a message” beep on his phone every few hours. Hee hee...I think he turned his phone off as he hasn’t replied to the 4 messages I sent this morning! (if you’re reading this, babe, check your new online email address...and feel sorry for me and text me every 3 hours or so, if you don’t mind).

Not a great picture but the only one I took of our trip over here. This is on the not-so-exciting bus-ride. The last 30 minutes were peaceful as Karis finally fell asleep!

NOTE: We now have internet access in the apartment! Wahoo! I can now reconnect with the outside world and not feel thousands and thousands....and thousands of miles away from home.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Time for Everything...

"A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted...a time to tear down and a time to build up...a time to tear apart and a time to sew together.." These words are ringing in my head today and I didn't realize how bitter-sweet my last day on the base would be. Honestly, the first 4 years we spent here were some of the more difficult years of my life and when we left on furlough in August I felt rather determined not to come back. After spending 7 months in the States and now returning I am so grateful for the trials I went through. Many would look at what I considered to be trials and think "what a wimp" (yes, I am!) but to me there were times that the hurt was so intense I really didn't think I could endure. Now looking back I see what an incredible blessing these trials were as I was in desperate need of growth in certain areas (areas that I probably wouldn't have grown in had we stayed "home"). Would I do it again? Hmmm...don't know, but I'm glad we lived those 4 years here and I'm also glad that it is over with! Anyway, I'm getting a bit off track. I say all of that because I didn't expect to have a strong attachment to this base. It was a difficult stage in my life and I've been slightly excited to move on. Even though I'm looking forward to living in a Brazilian community it's sobering to look around here and be reminded of all the ways the Lord has used this base. Also, even though the base will cease to exist the 25th of this month, the materials from many of the buildings will continue to be used in other ministries. Here is a glimpse of what it looks like around here...

The study Center (Jonathan's dad actually drew up the plans for this building eons ago!)
This is where the translators had cubicles to work on translation, etc. Many would have one of the Indians come out for portions of time to work with them on certain portions of Scripture, and have that portion checked by a third party.

Just last week this was a house!

Jonathan's child-hood home
(that his dad built out of solid mahogany).

A view through a window of what used to be the school
(where Jonathan attended as a child and his sister taught for many years!).

Monday, July 7, 2008

Plane tickets and a Karis Moment

Well, we just purchased our plane tickets so Karis and I will head out early Wednesday morning. We still don't know where we'll stay for the time being, or how we'll look for a house, or whether we'll try to buy or rent a house...but hey, now is a good time to claim Romans 8:28, right? We will fly from here to Brasilia where a friend will pick us up and take us to the bus station. From there we'll catch a bus to a city where half of the gang here moved (3-4 hour ride). We'll spend the night with Kim and then on Thursday catch a ride with another friend headed towards the small town we plan to live in.

I just had a fun conversation with Karis. She was playing in her "house" made out of cardboard boxes (her dad is the creative one who made it for her). I went to the window and knocked...

Me: Hello? Anybody there? Oh, hi. I'm hungry, will you fix me some food?
Karis: Yep. psss...pss...(her hands twisting imaginary knobs, etc). Here ya go!
Me: oh, what's this?
Karis: Rice and beans.
Me: oh yummy, that was the best rice and beans I've ever had. Can you fix me some dessert?
Karis: Oh yeah...pss...pss....Here ya go!
Me: Oh, what kind of dessert is this?
Karis: Fambulous dessert! (in non-Karis language that would be "fabulous" dessert).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Another change...

Ok, 2 posts in one day. The template that I changed to was driving me nuts since the pictures ended up being such poor quality with the background showing through. This one isn't as exciting but the pictures are a lot clearer...therefore this one won out. So for those of you who don't check my blog every hour of ever'll just have to be curious as to what the other one looked like:-) (I noticed that Meg already left a comment but I also know that she has more of a life than checking my blog all day...she just has the cool blog-roll thingy that keeps her informed!)

Meg-n-Tally Wannabe, Sparklers & Monkeys

Of course it will come as no surprise (to those who read Meg's blog as well as mine) that once she does something to her blog I am quick to follow (don't let her fool you, she knows what she's doing!). She changed her template which inspired me as well. Actually, after she changed hers and as I began to peruse other blogs (Meg's suggestion as well) I realized how many thousands of people had made the same choice as me for Thisaway Rose...perhaps it has something to do with only having 10 template choices when you sign on with Blogger. And I'm all about establishing my own bloggy-identity. Thankfully I am the one who gets to follow and learn from other's mistakes...I copied and pasted all of my widget codes before changing templates:-) Thanks Meg! BUT I am a bit disappointed because the pictures I post are somewhat transparent, which makes them more difficult to see with the background showing through. Does anybody know of a way to alter that? Or am I just stuck with everything that comes with this template? Please send any suggestions this way. Or if you know of another site with different template options. I really like how this one portrays a sunny day, yet I'm not completely attached to it yet. Ok, too many details.

The 4 of us left here on the base (the three of us and Kim's hubby) had a celebration of our own last night. We built a big fire, roasted hot-dogs and lit off lots of cheesy fireworks (1/4 of which were duds). Although she didn't know the of the many joys of having a 2-year old.

Perhaps Brazilian sparklers are a bit more smoky than normal
(can you see her foot peeking out beneath the cloud of smoke?).

We also partook in our last (most likely last) feeding of the monkeys in our backyard this morning. For me the excitement of feeding them wore off after 6 months of living here so I forget how fun it is for Karis.

She's becoming an ol' pro now and isn't afraid to go right up to them with the banana. And because it's dry season they are very short on food and extremely thankful for the freeby! They like to grab onto your hand as they eat the banana but it's amazing how gentle they are while eating.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Green House, More Dust and July 4th.

Did anybody else notice (besides my hubby) that instead of using the word "billboards" I used the word "bulletin boards" in my post yesterday??? As insignificant as this sounds I feel like I'm one step closer to adjusting to life overseas. Before I had a hard time understanding how Jonathan or other missionaries could forget a certain word in English and now I've joined the ranks! Yahoo.

As we were helping C & E (sister-in-law and bro-in-law) get set up on Tuesday I kept thinking how easy moving is in the States compared to moving here (and I'm not even talking about the hours and hours of driving on dusty/bumpy roads!). For the most part when you purchase or rent a house here it basically comes with...well, the structure of the house itself. Most of the time there are in the kitchen and one in the bathroom (JUST the type of cabinets). More often than not there are no light-bulbs (perhaps no light fixtures), no shower head, no closets and no cabinets of any kind. C & E were grateful to find that the owner left the shower head in the shower! And even though a few were missing there were some light fixtures left as well as 2 light-bulbs. Hallelujah! The bummer was that out of the 10 total electrical outlets in the house only 8 worked. And if the shower was running the voltage went down to 100 volts. We spent a good time brainstorming on the possibility of having the frig, stove and microwave plugged into the kitchen area. I'm still not sure if that will work out or not.

So the main thing that C and I worked on was unpacking and organizing kitchen items. It gave me a great heads-up on how it will be for us to move and scared me a bit! Since we've been living in an American-made home that came with cabinets we have never purchased anything of the sort. If we end up buying or renting a house without cabinets (most likely the case unless we're able to buy a house we looked at a few months ago!) then we'll be putting our cardboard boxes to good use for a while:-)

Here is a picture of THE sink that came with the kitchen
(the small cabinet you see to the left is one that we brought on the trailer).

We were so glad we were able to bring a few shelving units the guys could put together. This one was used in the pantry for pots, pans, etc.

A picture of the front of the house

C would probably want me to inform everyone that she had no choice when it came to the color of the house:-) I'm including it even though it's out of focus because of the dust particles (which are probably the reason it didn't focus). Their house is at an intersection of 4 different dirt roads. You really can't imagine how fine the dust is there, since it's dry season. You can feel as the dust descends down into your lungs as you breath in. C is already looking forward to rainy season. Mud is better than dust!

A few more random thoughts for today...

Happy 4th of July! We wish there were some Americans around to celebrate with us. I think J will go into town and get some fireworks for tonight. There are always fireworks going off in town so nobody will know that anything special is going on, but it will be fun to see what Karis thinks.

Karis' new phrase is "I can do it by me-self". My little Irish girl.

We are working on getting things packed up here at the house. The plan is for Karis and I to fly out on Tuesday (maybe Wednesday) and begin the house-hunting ordeal. I'm actually looking forward to seeing what our options are!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Driving, Dirt and Dust.

We are still alive, people. After 2 days of pulling truck-loads and trailers full of stuff we arrived at our destination (the small town where my brother's sis & her fam will live). We spent all day Tuesday unpacking and helping them get set up and then awoke to our alarm clock at 4am yesterday morning to make the trip back in one day! Are we crazy? Yes, but at this point the craziness isn't self-inflicted...J had to be back to take care of business on the base which is now completely empty except for us and Kim's hubby (he does have a name but since I've mentioned Kim in previous posts we'll just keep him as her hubby for now). As tiring as it is to make another short trip it was well worth it to spend as much time with family as possible and also get to see where they will be living! Once we've moved it will be a 3 day's drive to see them so visits will be few and far between, unfortunately.

Traveling in this country is quite different compared to traveling in the States. It definitely isn't as comfortable as it is in the States, floating on the smooth highways, etc. But on a positive note it is a lot more interesting here! Instead of seeing endless bulletin boards advertising fast-food, etc, we get to see nature firsthand and get to experience different kinds of roads (doesn't that sound optimistic? I think it does and I'm rather proud of how cheerful I can make those "different" kinds of roads sound! If you really want to understand what in the world I'm talking about you'll have to come down, visit us and travel around a bit! Just don't come before August:-)

Ok, here's our trip in pictures...

Sunday morning, about to hit the road. Notice the big smiles that take place before the 2 days of driving?

Here are some of the interesting things we get to see while on the road in the Land of Sunny Days...

Brush fires
(only during the dry season).

Field snow
(also known as cotton but I prefer to imagine that it's snow. If I point both vents on me with the a/c going full-blast I can almost convince myself.)

Acres and acres of sugar-cane
(used for many things, including fuel).


*Isn't this an amazing picture I took? It's kind of out of focus but we saw this guy on the side of the road going through the more jungle-like area. I rolled my window down for about 3 seconds to zoom in.

(some a little scarier than others).

Cattle Drive

More Bridges
(why is it underlined?)

This is what the road looked like for 100 kilometers there and 100 kilometers back...

This is what everything within 100 yards of the dirt road looked like.

This is what the stuff traveling by trailer looked like after the 100 kilometers of dirt.

This is what had to be done before things were taken inside the house. We had to get almost everything inside the same night we arrived to make sure nothing disappeared while we slept.

Filth has never looked so cute!

*Ok, so I stole that picture of the jaguar off of the internet. I've always wanted to see one in person (besides at the zoo) and I always look hard when we're driving close to the jungle. But since it hasn't happened and probably never will happen I thought I'd enjoy making people believe that it did happen. I'm afraid I'm not enjoying that as much as I thought. Did anybody fall for it?