Showing posts from 2012

A Happy New Year Thank You

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Blog! Update!

Have you been wondering if I have dropped off the planet? Nope!  I'm still here and hoping to get you caught up on my life over the next few days!  My internet has not been totally reliable so my blogging and newsletter writing has taken a serious turn downhill...but stay tuned, I'm playing a bit of catch up!

 An update:  We have received our transient visas AND our identification cards!  Be thankful that you can't see the terrible photo on the card...worse than my last drivers license photo!  Thanks so much for all your prayers as it has been quite the process over the past year.  Please continue to pray as we attempt to get bank accounts (it is turning out to be more complicated than we realized, not that I'm surprised!) and Venezuelan drivers licenses.

Yesterday I went to my first Venezuelan wedding.  It was great fun, and it helps that I love the bride and groom, Oswaldo and Jhoselyn.  I got to get all dressy, although I admit I felt a little under-dressed (and sh…

Election update part deux/dos

Last night around 10pm it was announced that Chavez has been re-elected as president, which will extend his term to 2019 (he has currently been president for 14 years).  I try to stay fairly neutral on the subject, since I have friends on both sides, and I've tried to look at and understand both sides of the debate.  But I will share that many of my friends here expressed their disappointment/disillusion at the results last night.  And some of my friends were very pleased! However, today is a new day, life goes on, and all Venezuelans want the best for their country.  I'm happy to say that there has so far been no violence since last night, and today was a peaceful day. From what I've heard via Twitter, FB etc, it was almost like a ghost town early this morning, the streets were so deserted.  Classes were out today and many people didn't go to work.  I'm reminded how thankful I am to live in this beautiful country, with amazing people who, despite difficult circums…

Battle of the Billboards

The presidential election is upon us here in Venezuela, and Venezuelans will be heading out to vote this Sunday.  Things have been pretty quiet, although earlier this week people on both sides were campaigning like crazy to get those last few votes.   Yesterday in my neighbourhood, there was a group for the opposition out on the main road basically just having a party....Although drivers were not too happy since the traffic lights were out (not sure if that was a coincidence?) and so between that and the party-ers, traffic was at a standstill.  Nevertheless, they were having fun dancing in the street, handing out flyers and posters, and chatting with everyone.  There were even a few enthusiastic people out waving great big flags and I witnessed one woman almost take a police officer out with hers.  Not once, but twice.  The cop was NOT happy, but he didn't stop her either!!!  Right now, it sounds like it's really up in the air  who is going to win this election, but what peopl…

The cutest fruit known to mankind!

I love mini-bananas!  I think they even taste better than regular bananas...but what does that matter when you're just so adorable???

Spanish Milestones and Rubber Stamps

Well, it's the end of August and that means it's time to dust off the ol' blog, write an update, and think about getting another newsletter together.  The newsletter will have to wait for another day, but luckily I'm in the mood to blog.  It has been a great summer (I miss talking in "seasons"!) but a busy one.  I already posted about our field retreat in my last blog, and I will have to post some pictures about my other adventures...namely kids camp and helping the Hieberts host our first short term missions team.  But today I'd like to tell you about just a few of the things that God used to encourage me this summer...

-I have been in Venezuela for one year!  I can't believe a year ago I very nervously, and with many tears, hopped on a plane and headed out from San Jose, Costa Rica.  This also marks that I am 2 years into my 4 year term as an International Worker with the C&MA.  Time flies when you're on a wild missions ride!
-Spanish-wise, …

Tales from the Caribbean Sun Field Forum

Just in case anyone is wondering, I don't spend most of my time tracking wildlife and wrangling snakes.  Cuz I just realized that it looks that way judging by my last few posts.  And I don't spend all my time travelling either...but I do have to exit the country every 90 days to renew my tourist visa until I'm able to secure a visa that will allow me to hang out here a bit longer.  When I do have to leave the country, I'm thankful for some great opportunities that I've had, including a very special week just a few weeks ago.

The C&MA in Canada held a field forum for all their Caribbean Sun international workers (and some of our American colleagues were even able to join us!).  We got to hang out for about 5 days together in Cancun, and I think I can speak for everyone there when I say that it was a sweet time spent together.  Many of us who do missions here in Latin America were able to meet for the very first time face to face!  Here are some of the highlights…

Geckos and Ants and Snakes, Oh My!!!

Today I had one of those "wildlife experience" days.  I am learning to deal with creepy crawlies.  The hard way.  I lifted up a plastic bag today and found a teensy little gecko.  He was so little and cute, but I did kindly ask him to leave.  Geckos eat bugs and stuff, so I don't mind having them around, but when they pop out of nowhere all of a sudden, I have to give a look of consternation.  Then came the ants.  When I was in Costa Rica, I often found trails of ants heading to a miniscule crumb.  If one finds a bit of something to eat, he calls his buddies and it becomes like a frat party gone wild.  Finally, the topping on the cake came tonight when walking around a corner I was surprised/horrified to find a snake in the house.  Ok, it was really small, but still, it was a snake.  I couldn't get ahold of my landlord upstairs.  And I had no idea what to do with it.  I corralled it into the bathroom with a broom, and then began to sweat profusely.  Finally I got aho…

Sloths in a hurry....well, not really.

So I have named my sloths Mabel and Mini.  Mini, obviously is the baby....and I am still having lots of fun watching them. Today they were really active, and I was able to get a video of them.  They basically just passed the day like this, Mini holding on for dear life while Mabel climbed on branches and ate leaves.  That's right folks, if you're in the mood for excitement, come to my house and watch sloths eating leaves!!

Sloth Stalking

It has been a fun weekend for me, since last night I discovered a momma sloth and her baby in a tree right across from my patio!  I wish I had noticed earlier in the day, or been able to watch them climb the tree, but by the time I noticed them it was already starting to get dark.  I first fell in love with sloths when I was in Costa Rica last year.  There is no way that you can resist those sweet faces that look like they are smiling!

Today I stalked the sloths again, complete with my binoculars (thanks Sean!).  However it was a bit of a bust, since they slept curled up around each other in a tree.  All. Day.  Absolutely no action.  But I guess that's what kind of endears them to me also.  All they do is eat, sleep, and it's a pretty laid back life. And I'm not saying I freaked out alot...but I may have jumped a bit, let out a little squeal, and ran to get my camera with heart pounding.  A far cry from the video below, which still makes me laugh...because I …

May Newsletter

Please click below to see my latest newsletter. You can click on each photo to enlarge it, and in the bottom right hand corner there is a pause button. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your interest in my ministry in Caracas!
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Smartie Pants

A simple joy in Caracas: Finding Smarties at the grocery store
(well, a no-name version, but close enough!)


I've had one of THOSE weeks. I seem to be on a streak....last week was locked out of my house. Again. My car was in the shop for over two weeks, and today we finally wrestled it away from them (well, that's what it felt like!). And I had 3 days of my cell phone not picking up a signal inside my house. In fact, it wouldn't work until I walked OUTSIDE the front gate. But my car is back, my phone started working again about an hour ago, and I am generally in a much better mood. Tomorrow I'm finishing up the final preparations for some games we are doing at a children's outreach party on Saturday. The kids from my church will be meeting up with kids from a poorer area of the city and they will get to party the afternoon away together. Lots of food to eat, a bouncy castle, games, prizes for everyone, crafts, treat bags, face painting, balloons, a gospel message and the list goes on. I'm fairly certain there will also be a good dose of chaos as 70 kids run …

Cartanal...and some blog stealing.

About a month ago, the Hiebert family (my teammates) and I visited an Alliance church in Cartanal. They wrote a great blog post about it and posted some pictures, so I thought I'd share it with y'all. And while you're there, poke around and check out their blog!

Click HERE for Hiebert Family adventures!

This is what giving up looks like.

So, this is about as done as this puzzle is going to get. I just can't deal with a couple hundred pieces that are all the same colour. Lord, help me not to live my life like I do my puzzles!!

Why I Speak Portuguese.

Last week, my friend Julie asked me if I ever get comments on my accent. I do, but most people are very encouraging, and my landlady even told me that she loves accents and thinks it's a shame when people try to get rid of theirs. But there's nothing like a child to totally humble you in the language department. I had a conversation (in Spanish) at kids church tonight with a little 4 year-old girl while I was helping her with her craft...and it went something like this:

Girl: Why are you speaking in Portuguese to me?
Me: I'm not speaking Portuguese...
Girl: Then why can't I understand you?
Me: Well, I have an accent. I'm not from Venezuela, I'm Canadian so usually I speak English.
Girl: (pause)....Well, why don't you speak Spanish?
Me: I'm learning how to speak Spanish....

If I don't sound very good speaking Spanish, I'm sure glad that I at least sound like I'm speaking Portuguese!!!!

Be Happy

So, around Christmastime, I bought a new agenda for 2012. Yes, I have a smartphone with a calendar and I know there are all sorts of online programs for keeping your life in order but I still really love having a book where I can write my "to do list" down. It's a cute little red book and on the cover it says "Be Happy/ Sé feliz". Just today I realized that each week there is a suggestion of something to do to, well....have a happier life I guess. So I decided to go through and find all the suggestions (and add a few of my thoughts)...some food for thought.

-Show yourself (ie: don't hide yourself away!)
-Follow your instincts
-Be inspired
-Stop being a victim
-Find out what you can do and do it well
-Love your work (I think attitude has a lot to do with this...)
-Look at everything from a new perspective
-Have curiosity for everything that is around you
-Don't isolate yourself
-Be with the people you want to be with
-Set goals (and have someone keep you accoun…

Video Blog #1!!!

Ok, I've figured this new webcam out and I have finally recorded myself for this first video blog. Last week I posted a question on Facebook: If you could ask me one question about life and ministry in Caracas, what would it be? Here are the answers to the questions I got! Let me know what you think, and maybe I will try it again...

Oh what a week!

As I have reflected on the past week, I have come to 2 conclusions: 1. Some days my life is what great comedies are made of. 2. God has given me a message through the adventures.

It all started last Wednesday, I was on my way to move the last of my stuff, and myself into my new home. But shortly after I got onto the freeway, I realized my car was losing power and then had no power at all. I had to stop right where I was. Thankfully the Hieberts were right behind me and stopped too, and eventually a traffic officer came by, stopped all the traffic and helped push my car from the left lane over to the right shoulder. Loooong story short, we stayed safe, had good police officers stop to talk to us, I waited three hours for a tow truck (although thankfully roadside assistance is included in my insurance), found out my timing belt went, and got the car taken to the mechanic where it has been ever since. We are praying that tomorrow it will be ready!

Monday, Tuesday and yesterday went…

February Newsletter

Click on the link below to read my latest newsletter and listen to a song I love, "A Ti" by Danilo Montero. You can pause each page to read and click on the pictures to enlarge them. Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to read about life and ministry in Caracas!

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Junto A Ti

Just a song I came across today (with English subtitles) :D

La Playa, Primaries, Playing, Parts...and Packing.

My blog has been quite neglected the past few weeks, only because I don't have an internet connection at home right now. I have a mobile internet stick, but this month I used the time up too quickly and it doesn't recharge until the 15th....and so I am left with my Blackberry, which allows me to keep up on Facebook and Twitter, but it's just too difficult to type out a whole blog post on it! By the way, you can follow me on Twitter @sleeplesskelly and keep up with me there if you like. After having a twitter account for the past 2 years, I am finally starting to figure it out and have some fun with it. And still trying to figure out the purpose of a hashtag.

Here's what's going on in my life at the moment...
-La Playa! Went with the Hieberts and some of our Venezuelan friends to the beach on Saturday...We drove an hour and a half to the coast, stopped and ate some sort of fried tamale-type delight filled with shark meat (so delicious!). Then we got on a boat ta…

Day that never ends....take 2!

Inspection: accomplished! Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers over a few frustrating days.

This is the day that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends.....

**Warning: this blog post may contain traces of griping and sarcasm. However, please be assured that I am writing this to process a long and tiring day....this is not a typical day for me, and I still love Caracas and I especially love my teammates. Also, no insurance brokers were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

9:45 am. As I said to Angela this morning, "Do you ever have one of those days when you wake up and you already wish the day was over?" It has just been a long and tiring day...It started this morning when we drove to another part of the city to get an insurance inspection done on my car. Angela came over and we headed out to pick Chris up (who had already been out with one of the pastors from church). Traffic, of course was ridiculous, and it took us about an hour and a half to get to the destination. I need to add here that my GPS states it is a 7 km trip that we took. I didn't quite understand where my insurance broker was telling me to g…

Apartment Update and Coffee Woes

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me to find a new apartment! There is a possibility through my tutor, a member of her family has a small house for rent, 2 bedrooms. I am hoping that this weekend I'll be able to go see it, apparently it is only a 5 minute drive from where I live now, which is great since I would kind of like to stay in this area of the city because I'm just getting to know it. If I can see it soon, I will be able to decide if it is what I need in regards to space, budget and security. Please pray also as I will be meeting with my current landlady (Miriam) sometime next week so we can finalize everything for moving out, return of the deposit etc. In the past she has asked me to pray for her, so I also definitely want to follow up and invite her to church (again)....she has yet to come, but says she wants to.

In other news, I am learning how to make coffee. Well, I mean GOOD coffee. I have always preferred tea to coffee, but enjoy a good coffee on…

Return of the Blogger!

You can run but you can't hide! It's the return of....THE BLOGGER!!!!

Well, I suppose this picture isn't my most flattering, OR scary..... but it makes me laugh every time I see it. This is me and my awesome new friend Kendal, she rocks my socks off (which is obvious, looking at the pic of us). We finally got to meet (albeit much too briefly) while I was in Canada over the Christmas holidays. I had an awesome time making my way from Sylvan Lake and Red Deer, to Edmonton, to St. Paul (where I made some more new friends!), to Cold Lake, to North Battleford via Lloydminster, a brief stop in Maidstone, and a final stop in Leduc before flying back to Venezuela. It was quite the whirlwind trip but it really did fill my heart. Highlights included visiting with friends new and old, watching some epic lightsabre battles/dancing at the Haazen household, Christmas with extended family, two turkey dinners, and skating! Some things I found strange about being back at Christmas wer…