Saturday, March 31, 2007

Beach afternoon

Candace and I met up with some other Kids Alive-ers today at the beach in Cabarete. Thankfully the sun came out a bit and we got to swim in the ocean and lay in the sun. After awhile the clouds rolled in though and we were thankful for our sheet to wrap up in-somewhat cocoon/womb-like! The beach is always amazing though, hot, warm, or cold!

Kitchen Countertops

Finally some movement on the house! Today the kitchen counters got mounted and it's fantastic. It all happened so quick, the guys came, carried it in, put in some cement, and the next thing you know, we've got counters! Here is a before/after photo to show how quickly the house changes. Hopefully the rain continues to let up and they can finish working on the roof this week, as everything is dependent and waiting to move forward on that.

Friday, March 30, 2007


Then from on high-somewhere in the distance
There's a voice that calls-remember who you are
If you lose yourself-your courage soon will follow
So be strong tonight-remember who you are
(Gavin Greenaway and Trevor Horn, Sound the Bugle)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I like bananas
I like this picture too


So as I've said before, Mercy Ships is here helping us with lots of things at the school. One of the main projects they are putting in place is a hen house, which will provide eggs and someday meat for the kids at school. Well, Monday was a big day out where we went to a few different cities to look at hens and hen house was a good day full of new Spanish words, as I served as translator.

A few fun facts about hens that I've learned:
You don't need a rooster for hens to lay eggs
The thing on top of the head is called a comb
The thing under their chin is called the Waddle
The comb and waddle turn red when they are mature
When they begin laying, hens lay 90% (so if we have 100 hens, we should get 90 eggs/day)

That's it for now, but I'm sure there are more facts ahead as I venture into hen house land.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Check out this water

We're on BBC!

Told you there was a lot of rain lately...check this out

Weekend church

What a weekend! I went to church in the hills...we had to cross 4 rivers to get there! The main problem was that the rain continues, and it started again after we were to the top. We hussled down the mountain through the rivers again and to the bus...really really wet! Another hour ride on the bus and we were done, what a trip to church! (I'm holding Cacao, what they apparently make chocolate's sweet to suck on the seeds, kind of like sweet snot-sorry but that's the only way to describe the texture and taste!)

Sunday, March 25, 2007


This is Frankie, he's amazing. His mom died in the fall from AIDS and TB and he is now living with his grandma and other family in the village. He has a lazy left eye and a crooked smile, but can fill me with love in one little hug. He knows more about life than any 8 year old should, it's been a tough life so far. He is mistreated by family, neglected and underfed, but he keeps going. He is so loveable and likes to sneak up behind and surprise you. He's a little boy, but sometimes it's hard to see past all the hurt that I feel for his life. I want him to be a little boy, I want to give him toys and friends and to take away the beatings and hunger, I want to make it all right.

More rain

The rain continues!!! I stayed in the village this weekend and it was WET! I couldn't believe that much rain could come down in such a short time...everything flooded. We went down to the river to see how high it got and it was incredible. The streets were rivers, everything was completely water-filled. It still is sunny in the mornings and then rain all afternoon and night, but hopefully sometime soon it will be back to sun!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It has been a rainy week all around here. Rain is a problem for many reasons. We have to cross a river to get to the care center in the village, so when it rains, it rises. Today is was so high we couldn't cross, although there were motorcycles (taxis) that made a few trips through it. It's still amusing to watch and is sort of a reminder that we are not in control of what is around us, sometimes we just need to let go and allow things to happen the way they do...with no worries.

Here's Candace crossing the river to get to the village. Awhile back they built a foot bridge, but as you can see, it's fairly useless! Candace had a sweet girl hold her hand across the river as she waded through. Glad she made it without falling in! Gringas!!!
Lots of rain also means all construction on our house has come to a halt. They need to do work on the roof because the concrete is not even and it is causing rain to leak in. Anyhow, they did do the measurements for the kitchen countertops and we bought a sink and so that's pretty exciting. Maybe in the next week-ish it'll get finished, so long as the rain stops at some point. The main problem is that it is dry in the daytime so I get all excited, then it pours and pours at night, ALL night, drenching everything. Oh well, all in good time. I've waited a long time for this place, what's another few weeks?

Health checks

It has been a busy week, but all is going well. Currently Mercy Ships is in the village for a month and they have already been a huge help in their first week. We have done medical things all week which is a nice change! It is a little hard though because I've had to ask tough questions, well, tough because I don't really want to know all the answers. Things like How many meals do you eat a day? How many people live in your house? Can you read and write?. It's been eye-opening and a bit overwhelming to take it all in. It's good to have a base though, as we've done heights and weights on the kids as well as a dental check and eye exam. I look forward to continuing this process, knowing each child more, and doing my best to help in any way I can.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jarabacoa in review

Candace's friend Natasha came to visit last week when we went to Jarabacoa and it was such a fun time. Nice to see some of Candace's life and spend time with Natasha. Candace is such a huge blessing in my life, I want everyone to meet her! I can't wait until we get to live together and play house every night, we have so many plans. Hopefully the house will be finished over the next few weeks and be ready to move in!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Another tour

New house tour

Saturday, March 17, 2007

More of the house

The house is getting closer everyday! We (by we I mean everyone that is working on it apart from me) only have to finish the bathrooms and the kitchen and it'll be ready! It has changed so much in just a few weeks, I am so excited to move in and call it home for awhile! And yes, the spiral staircase is coming along just fine!


I hate cockroaches
I'm not sure if it's their quick movements or long antennaes
The cute little cockroach song "la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar",
they never met MY cockroaches...mine can jump and even fly.
They are not worthy of a cute little song.

I was awoken by four of them in a box next to my bed
I had no idea they could be so noisy as to wake someone up.
Apart from one being in my bed, they have never done anything to me,
I don't know why I despise them so much.
Maybe because these four are so big-the size of a mouse.
Maybe because they can crawl up walls, crawl upside down, have so very many legs.

What eats cockroaches? That's what I want.
I have a hard time killing the big ones,
they crunch and squish-they are juicy.
So as I sit here at 3 am with all my lights on, waiting for them to leave my room...
I hate cockroaches.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jarabacoa Week

We've been having a fun week in Jarabacoa where it's nice and cool and breezy! Good thing we brought long sleeves with us. We've been working with Josie all week with medical charts, organizing and getting things in order after the last weeks of vaccinations and groups. We're back to Caraballo tomorrow (Friday) and are ready to see our kids again...I miss them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More photos

Aunt Cyndi was speedy in getting her photos developed and posted from their trip here. There were so, so many, but here are a few for now!

Sunday, March 11, 2007


1.5 weeks has come and gone so quickly with my aunt and uncle. It was such a fun week, full of hot showers, air conditioned sleeping, endless food, snack time, and lots and lots of good talks. It was so nice to show them around a bit and share in the fun times we got to have.
We went diving again on Saturday (it's great to have a birthday!) and saw so many awesome things. I held a sea urchin, had a fish bite my hand, and held a spiny starfish. The coral and other plant life we saw was was 100% better than the first dive we had, I'm so thankful to have gone again.
They left just a bit ago and I'm really looking forward to the next visit...

Colorful house

Our house is moving forward daily! They started painting the outside on Friday with a really nice blue, and the inside paint is almost done. It's actually lighter than it looks in the photos and it's beautiful! Hopefully the bathroom will go in soon so we can move in and get settled! I'm really looking forward to that part. It's turning into quite a fortress as well as the iron bars have almost all gone in and a brick wall is being built along the side. Alberto is taking care of us and making sure we will be very very safe in there.

Burning Cane

Last week they decided to burn the sugar cane which was quite an event. The cane was not cut this year due to economical situations with the factory, so it's grown so high. There was rumor that it would be cut at the end of this month, but we drove through and saw it on fire...they burned the whole field. Apparently it will nourish the ground for the next crop that will soon follow. It was so eerie driving through the roads while the fire was burning, to hear the sounds of the cane cracking, the smell of burning sugar (burnt carmel was the closest I could come to labeling it) and get lost in the smoke and cane ashes as we were on a motorcycle.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Okay, so ringworm has been fascinating me for a few days now. How cool is this fungus? Really though, that it grows in such an exact circle and stays like that. Wow, what incredible things our bodies can do. So now that I've enjoyed it for a few days, I'm ready for it to go away which is seems to be doing. Kinda cool though, right?


Construction is happening so fast for our amazing house! New doors have been put on and painted a cool color, the backyard is getting sorted, a fence is going up, new brick is being laid, and painting is already happening. There is still a LOT to finish, but it is so exciting how quickly it is happening. Some more photos updates...

school visit

It has been fantastic having family here!!! I spent the night at the hotel which was a huge treat, hot water as much as I could ask for! They went to the school with me on Tuesday and got to see what life is like for me here. It's so special being able to share this part of me with them and have them take it back home with them. More playing with them tomorrow, but it's off to work for today!

PS. Ringworm is clearing up, but not before spreading to a few more places!

Monday, March 05, 2007


What do you get when you hug on little fungus-filled kids everyday??? Ringworm!

House colors

We picked out house paint today! Outside will be Azul Llama (Blue) and inside will be Sol Cielo (yellow-heavenly sunshine literally). I can't wait to see it!

Home sweet home...almost!

(Beautiful staircase to the upstairs room, kitchen/secret garden, upstairs room, entryway)

We have a house! It is so amazing and long-awaited, but it is all coming together so amazingly now. So this is how it has happened: We found a house in Montellano (the city before the village) that was in mid-construction. The guy that was building it died and so construction stopped about 3 years ago. Anyhow, when teams come to work with Kids Alive, they need a team house to stay in. So we originally thought the house would be a team house for the summers...until we looked at it. It has the perfect set-up for teams and for us! There is a lovely big upstairs room that Candace and I can stay in when teams are at the house (four teams this summer will be in and out), then otherwise we will have the house. It is 3 bedrooms: one smaller one and one massive one downstairs, then the big one upstairs. It has a kitchen, dining room (extra bedroom if we need it), and a nice living room. There is a terrace outside the upstairs bedroom that will be great for BBQ's and drying clothes! There are 2 bathrooms downstairs too. It is perfect, more than I ever expected and we cannot wait to be in it!

They signed the contract on Friday afternoon and by Friday evening concrete was delivered. Saturday morning construction started, putting on new doors, iron on the windows, etc. It looks like it will come together quickly, or at least we are hoping so!

Still no news on when my thing will clear customs, but I am so thankful that as of yet it hasn't. Maybe it's time to get in touch with them now that we have a HOUSE!! It'll be a lovely house for so many reasons, we just want to have open doors and welcome anyone that wants to visit and know the village and the incredible kids we love.

Visiting the village

It's been so much fun having my aunt and uncle here. We've gotten to play at the hotel with them, enjoying the beach and pool and hot showers!! We went diving (birthday money treat!) on Friday which was really had been a long time. We didn't see a huge amount of fish, but it was still a fun time to do it again. Hopefully I'll be able to do another one with them on Friday or Saturday. They visited the village yesterday and got to see the church and school and around the's them riding back on the best way to arrive, by motorcycle!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Family in the D.R.!!!

My Aunt Cyndi and Uncle Dan made it in yesterday afternoon for my first family visit here! It was so fun to see them and have a birthday dinner on the beach...including dessert!!! We hung out at their hotel today and had fun swimming in the ocean and just spending time with them. Tomorrow I'm hoping to go diving with them, we'll see how it all comes together. I'm definitely looking forward to showing them this very special part of my life!