If you would like to help financially support my work here in Mexico, please contact me, or make a secure donation via paypal! Thanks!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

...Highlights from the last few weeks...

So Christmas at an orphanage is INSANE, let me tell you. Weeks of non stop preparation and decorating and organizing groups and events and numerous Santa Claus visits. (I think we had 4 Santas come down this year).

Various groups will buy gifts for all of our kids and come to down to distribute them. So it's pretty cool that on top of the gifts that come rolling in for Christmas day, our kids get to open presents for weeks before too.

And then there are various church services, school events and what-not. But it was all worth it, and consensus says that our kids had a GREAT Christmas.

On the night before Christmas Eve, everyone at the orphanage gathers for a Christmas service (ie: Talent Competition) here on site. It was so cute! All of the kids dressed up and sang and danced and performed dramas.

This was my favorite. All the littlest boys danced around with antlers and red noses to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - amazing.

After the services, we had a feast of tamales and buñuelos and more amazing things. We had decorated the kitchen beforehand and it was such a fun environment with everyone still dressed up from the service!

Making tamales:

Then for New Years Eve, we took our oldest kids to a service at our church in town, where we all gathered together and prayed in the New Year as a church. After that, we ate food, drank champurrado and had piñatas til 2AM! It was a fun way to celebrate the coming of the New Year! I LOVE celebrating with our kids!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12/17: Tenemos Un Rio Grande

There is a riverbed that runs through the orphanage property and out through the La Mision valley. It is usually full of rocks and trash, but little else, especially not water. Some of the staff here refer to it as "El Rio Grande", which I would laugh at as it seemed impossible for it to ever contain any water, let alone enough to actually flow. I was definitely proved wrong last week as we had three straight days of rain. The rain created problems and became quite annoying, but I must say that a river across the road from my house is pretty nice to have.

What's really cool is that if the river is flowing, it is coming from an awesome waterfall in the back of our valley. Of course, a few of us couldn't resist hiking up to see it, even in the rain. It was BEAUTIFUL up there!

(that little white dot to the left of the waterfall is one of our older boys who hiked all the way up there!!)

Meanwhile, the rain was doing a number on some of the buildings on our property, including the house that Lauren and I live in. We first noticed that one of our walls contained big pockets full of water underneath the paint, which was odd enough. But then we realized that the water was coming from INSIDE of our electrical wall box. Water was leaking and dripping through all of the electric wiring for our house. fortunately someone was able to lay a tarp across our entire roof to stop the leak temporarily before our house caught on fire.

We also have a LARGE sheer cliff rising up about a foot away from the back of our house. Rain + cliffs = no bueno. Lauren and I would not be defeated - we busted out a bottle of sparkling cider and toasted the adventure of living in Mexico, over the uneven rhythm of rocks and mud and dirt falling down against our house.

Supposedly the "biggest storm of the year" is still headed our way. Pray for God's protection over this place, as I'm not sure that we can handle much more water. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

11/25 - 12/1: P-TOWN!!!

So the trip to Portland was AMAZINGly awesome. (Thanks V&R for everything!)
It was coooooold as always, but while it poured here in Mexico, we had clear blue skies in P-town almost the entire time! It was absolutely beautiful up there!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Val's fam, complete with some of the BEST food ever! (Thanks Ken & Karen!!)

We even got to meet up with Lay & Chen for a day and trek around the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen! And you could walk on top, around and in BACK of them! It was such a fun day! (Especially meeting Lay's family - who are perfect and better than I could've ever imagined :))

It was great to see, and just get to hang out with, VAL! I love and miss her MUCHO!

It was a great trip - complete with Powell's, Haunted Pizza, East Portland, Mt. Hood in the distance, Chloe & Mia - and I can't wait for the next one! :)