Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Despite wedding plans and excitement, I do actually continue to work, believe it or not! In these last weeks, we were able to start something I have wanted to do for so long...vaccines! We now have great contacts here in Montellano where we will be able to get our vaccines and continue the process of getting our kids up-to-date with their shots. We're assuming the kids haven't had any shots, or at least very few, so this is a long road ahead, but it is exciting to see things I've hope and prayed for coming together. We gave all our little guys Polio, Diptheria, and Tetanus shots and our bigger kids Tetanus. We hope to work on all the rest in the months ahead, all of us except the kids that is!

Another happy customer. These are the smiles that make me continue doing this, he's like a little teddy bear, right??

Friday, October 24, 2008

No doubts

So my mom thought I should just let everyone know that not only do I like Ariel a lot, I love him a lot. I thought that would have been obvious and it was kind of just funny to say I liked him a lot, but now it's all clear so no one has to wonder...

And besides, I do like him a lot. I can like him and love him, right?

Wedding plans thus far

So onto the wedding plans, as everyone is asking for all the details.
We'll be getting married February 14th. I know it's a little corny to get married on Valentine's Day, but it is a Saturday and after all, why not?
We'll be getting married here in the Dominican Republic on the north coast at a place called Sea Horse Ranch. It is where Ariel used to work but more importantly, it is a special place for us. We went there on our first official date and many dates to follow. My parents got to go there, and then that is where we got engaged. It is absolutely beautiful and will make for an amazing backdrop. We'll get married in the grassy spot with the trees and have the reception in the restaurant (bottom and top right photos) overlooking the ocean.
My colors are kelly green and pink.
My bridesmaids are Candace (friend/roommate from here), Julie (Phoenix roommate, friend), and Lucy (friend from DR).
We'll have our pastor from our church do the ceremony, but have it translated into English too.
Yes, we'll go on a honeymoon here in the DR.
We're planning on staying here afterwards and yes, I'll continue working with Kids Alive.
So I think I've answered most of the questions I've been sent, but if you have more, let me know!! I'll keep the details coming as things come together, but mostly we're just happy to know that we will soon be married. All the details are just for one day, so we're trying to plan more for the days and years to follow.

Who's Ariel???

So here's some more details and updates about Ariel and me. Maybe I should introduce Ariel first...he is Dominican, 29, accountant, and I like him a lot. He has lived in Montellano all his life and has 3 brothers (he's #3 of 4). He's really good at making juice and keeps us in full stock of passion fruit, pineapple, or whatever kind of juice we want. His heart is made of gold and his biggest desire is to make others happy. His sincerity and honesty have been the foundation of the the huge trust that I have in him.
We met through our church, Templo Biblico, here in Montellano. I remember meeting him at a church retreat a year ago and then we kept talking after that. We started hanging out more and moving onto dating February-ish. Since we began dating, we made the goal of our dating relationship to continue onto marriage. Why else date, right? I'm also a bit more complicated because of being with Kids Alive, being an American, etc. There were lots of "rules" to follow and we were happy to do what was right and walk correctly in both cultures. In May, we were presented at church as an official couple. This came after meetings with the pastors, seeking counsel from others, and lots of time between the two of us. Getting presented was much like getting engaged or even married!! It has been nice though, during these months of dating, to have our relationship supported by the church and those around us. We have many people to love us and check in with us which has been great.
So after having the approval of my parents on their recent visit, Ariel went forward with asking me to marry him. We went to Sea Horse Ranch, a beautiful place on the ocean where he used to work, on Sunday afternoon. We were talking about futures and families and then...he asked me to marry him and gave me my beautiful ring. Was I surprised?? Yes, only because I had been expecting it all the other days and had given up that it would happen on the weekend. So now we're into planning and working out the details for our lives together and our wedding. That's for the next post though...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

We're engaged!!!

Ariel and I are both Dominican AND American engaged! It's officially official now and we are so, so excited. Dominican-engaged is having a dinner with both families and talking about it with each side. American engaged is asking the dad and giving the girl the ring and all, and now we've done both! We know this is just the start to lots of adventures in joining cultures and languages and happy days!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


So I was thinking last night that also in the van was the New Kids cassette single "This One's for the Children". Hmm. If the thieves only knew now far that rang true.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hangin' Tough

The saddest part about the van getting stolen (apart from the fact that THE VAN was stolen) is that I had my New Kids On The Block tapes inside. Yes, I still had them, and yes, the van had a tape deck.

Monday, October 13, 2008

On vacation??

Missing: One blue van (also called gua-gua)

Used for: Teams, getting to school, air conditioning relief

Last seen: At the team house the night before

So our gua gua got stolen this morning. Candace and I often joke about it because it is a 16+ passenger van, but it has REALLY happened...they stole it. Alberto and Ariel spent a lot of the day at the police station today, so tomorrow there should be checks along the road of anyone driving a van to see their papers. Hopefully it comes back home soon, we already miss it!

Ups and downs

Sometimes I get disappointed easily. I try not to, but it happens. Sometimes being here, it happens more. It's easy to get a little discouraged when all around you lies needs and needs and you feel helpless to them all. But these last few weeks, I have been encouraged greatly. When my mom was here, we weighed and measured all of our kids. This now makes the second or third time for the kids, so we've been able to track their growth and development. The encouraging part comes when I charted them all and now see that they are truly growing...and well! Kids that were once under the chart are now certainly on it, kids once with red-yellow hair from malnourishment have brown-black hair as it should be due to regular meals and nutrition. I had planned a malnourished kids program where I would be giving the underweight kids extra fat/calories daily, as I thought that was one of our biggest needs. As it turns out, there are only going to be a few in that club. It's nice having the little ups every now and then!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Candace's turn

Candace's parents came on the tail-end of my parents being the name of being fair and all. It was so nice to finally meet them, although I felt like we were already old friends from how Candace and I talk about our families.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

More and more photos

These are a few of the thousand photos Ariel took. This was our night in Cabarete...walking along the beach and then holding random lobsters.
Our trip to Rio San Juan, going through the lagoon and caves and all of us together.
Our big dinner together in Cabarete at night and lots of talking!

Santo Domingo

More from our Santo Domingo trip...there were just SO MANY photos!!