Mom's Blog

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Family News

Two blogs in one day? Well, I should be blogging more often, but just don't always get to the computer as much as I should. This entry is mostly about family, an update if youwill.

Wednesday evening Tio Adrian came over. He is now the director of a school, rather than a teacher. He's very proud of what he's doing with his public school and the innovations he is implementing. This year he wants to start a class of carpentry so the students can repair and make their own classroom furntire. His sons: Enrique is the water director of AquaLand, the main water attraction here in SAnta Cruz. Felipe is now doing his medical internship at a small hospital here. Such a young doctor! (21 years old) Kathira is still in Italy.
Claudia (married to Sandro) has two lovely boys. Grandma Lea, Claudia with Oscar (6) and Bruno (8 mos) came over Saturday afternoon. The dip in the pool was so much fun with the two little ones. Oscar has NO fear of the water and is learning to swim.
Friday Loida and Jorge came over for the evening. We always laugh a lot with them, usually over a bit to eat and a bit of wine. Their sons: Ivan is an accountant with a large pharmecutal company. Very active in his church. His two children are Gabriel (10?) and Natalia (7). Oscar and Wilma have little Valeria - almost three. She has fallen in love with her Tio DAnny. Oscar is doing well with his internet business and continue to do kick boxing/karate. In fact he narrates a boxing show on tv. Of course you can imagine how Valerie likes to 'train' with him! Fernando has just opened his own publicity/advertisement company. And I think there is a young lady in the future:)
We see Ruben, Graciela and the two girls quite often. In fact we had dinner at their house today. You know, the Centellas family has to have big steak cookouts! When we visit there Ruben always gets out his Karoke machine and CD/s and we sing our hearts out. Ruben is building the Alligator refuge just outside of SAnta Cruz. Daniel loves to tag along with him when he goes. They are currently harvesting gator eggs. Fascinating. (Dennis you'd love this!) Alligator meat is very marketable in Europe. He took great pictures so I hope he will put some on the web. The girls , Marcia and Myra, (15, 12) are typical teens.
We don't see German very often but not too long ago Eduardo, now an agronomist, and Daniel, studying accounting, were here for lunch. Eduardo is quite the outdoorsman so hopefully we will have a chance to have him teach Daniel where some good fishing sites are. WE see David and Veronica more often. They are pretty faithful in coming over to see Abuelita. Veronica is quiet, finishing her thesis in Psychology.
So we keep pretty busy with such a large family. We don't always all get together, but we often have family in our house several times a week. Abuelita? I didn't mean to leave her out. Living with her has been an interesting challenge for us. She is generally in good health, but thin and has trouble with depression. So we are working with the doctor on that - not always to her delight. But finally we have convinced her she needs to eat and drink more. So we have made a challenge. I am going to try to lose 2 kilos and she is going to try to gain 2. Let's see what happens! She is attending church with us, but still goes to her ladies group at her 'own' church. Seems content with that for now. WEll, this has been a long blog. I wanted to include everyone's email, but not now.


Today, Sunday is called "Domingo de tentacion"- temptation Sunday. It is the Sunday after the three-day holiday of Carnival. A day when you throw that final water balloon - niece Myra hit Daniel squarely in the back with hers - and have that last party with your comparsa - which is something like your club or fraternity of friends for this season.
Carnaval is something we don't celebrate in the US, except of course for Madri Gras in New Orleans, but is celebrated all over Latin America and parts of Europe. Brazil's wild dancing in the streets and parades is what many of you may have heard of. Here in SAnta Cruz the celebration is a imitation of Brazil's fiesta. Last weeked, including MOnday and Tuesday is the time when 'everything goes' - dancing in the streets, throwing water balloons, many filled with paint. Painting each other with shoe polish other gels and in general a lot of drinking and partying. Night clubs are filled with masked dancers of all ages. We went downtown on Wednesday to see the results of the four days of this open revelry. The walls of the main streets were plastered with paint, mud, all kinds of handprints etc. The Cultural Palace on the corner of the plaza was already being repainted. It's hard to understand the spirit of this 'holiday' when so many kinds of wild going -ons are openly accepted. Also, knowing how badly flooded the outskirts of Santa Cruz has left thousands without homes, cattle dying in flooded fields, crops ruined, mosquitos that carry serious diseases, and other problems with the mud and water here.
Most Protestant churches plan some sort of camp during this time. Ours did too. However, many of the out of town camping sites were flooded. Our camp was almost ruined due to the bad roads and difficulties getting in and out. Daneil worked very hard for at least three days helping get things together for camp, but as the rains continued it became more and more improbable that we would attend. Rain came down hard the day we were to leave. Would our car make it in? Our pastor called at the last minute that he had contracted a truck to get people there and understood our situation.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Time to step up to the plate

In my blog written near the end of November after three months here in Santa Cruz, I mentioned that we had not as of then decided on a church to not only attend but to get involved with. Well, we have decided that we will be attending a Nazarene church not far from the house. It is a very small church with a relatively young pastor, newly married. He is studying for his degree in theology so is pastoring while also going to school. Daniel has been involved with some of administration and organization of the Nazarene family camp that will begin this Saturday night and last through Tuesday afternoon. This is a distrcit-wide camp for all of the Nazarene churches in the area. Our church in Saginaw has also helped to sponsor this camp. It's a very 'rustic' camp site, yet they are planning for about 250 to attend, mostly young people.
I have been asked by the pastor to work with his wife in organizing a ladies ministry at church. There are more women than men in the church and the pastor feels the need for getting this started. Please pray with us as we step into some of these responsabilities. We don't want to be busy with busyiness, and yet we both want to use are talents in serving God. I'm trying to be very careful with my health, working at remembering to take my medicine and keeping my stomach in line and getting enough rest for my legs. Working on the computer at night on a translation project for World Concern, a Christian Veterinary MIssion has helped me continue to work on my Spanish writing skills. By the way, nephew David Centellas, a veterinary, is working with that mission. So it is special to be able to help him in some small way, as well. David has become such a strong Christian young man; it is great to see him in this ministry.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

just send me some cheese to go with the wine.

I'll tell you now that this post is one big whine! So yes I need lots of cheese, but I can't eat much because of the stomach problems I am having and I can't drink wine either so.... just bear with me.....
I have been sitting here at the computer for 40 minutes and can't get into my email. I wait and wait and wait. I want to search out a couple of things, but at this rate I'll fall asleep waiting. There are messages I want to answer and friends I want to chat with online.
I am sweating...... it has been over 90% humidity, some days 98% which I thought was impossible. If it isn't raining, I am sweating so much I feel like I just came out of a sauna. Thanks to the effects of El Nino, Bolivia is suffering a horrible rainy season.
But I should be thankful, I have been able to talk to several family members by phone recently.
Even got to talk to Kelly after about 4 attempts that kept getting cut off. We finally got a clear connection and enjoyed Valerie singing the ABC song. It is so good to be in contact with friends and family and I guess I miss that a lot.
I am also thankful that we have not had to evacuate our home as sooo many in Santa Cruz have had to do due to rivers overflowing and whole areas flooding.
WE are just fighting the damp, the mold and contstant humidity. Things just get moldy here becasue of the high humidity. It's unbelievable. I am thankful that Daniel bought me a clothes dryer for my birthday. And I am having some lightweight cotten tops made to replace the thick tshirts I broght for daily wear.
The ants.....they have no place to go in this rainy season. So we are also fighting them constantly. They are so persistent. They don't give up! We rid them of one shelter and they tunnel into something else.
Yet, I know that each person who reads this, if anyone does, has problems of his/her own and that in many parts of the world people have greater problems than mine. Why my home hasn't blown away in a tornado or been totally flooded out , I don't know. But God is sovereign and He has a plan for this world. With all of the turmoil and distress worldwide we can hope in Jesus's words: Come unto me all who are burdened and heavyladed and I will give you rest."
So, goodnight. Thanks for listening.