Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

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 short) because I was wearing flats and not heels like EVERYBODY else! Watching everyone dance, I realized I better get some dancing lessons before my next wedding!  Above is a photo of me with Mackenzie (left) and Lukas, they looked so handsome in their dressy outfits!  Ok....now to learn a little salsa and merengue....

Monday, October 08, 2012

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 circumstances on either side of the debate, choose to continue forward building the best Venezuela...pa'adelante!

Friday, October 05, 2012

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 people do know is that this is a very important time in the history of Venezuela and the outcome could potentially change the course of this country.  Would you please join me in praying for Venezuela, that God's will would be done no matter who wins the election, and that it would all just pass quietly and without incident.  Thank you!  Here are a few pictures I've taken lately around the city....

Chavez, current president of 14 years

Capriles, the opposition
NOT a presidential candidate.






Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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???


Monday, August 27, 2012

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, the past year has been very difficult.  There are days when I literally don't have a clue what people are saying to me.  But scattered in between those days are good days too.  Great days even.  Over the past few months I have been working hard writing a series of 7 children's lessons in Spanish on the fruit of the Spirit.  I am thankful for a tutor who has cheerfully helped me with corrections. And over the past month the children's ministry director of my church, and I,  have been presenting these lessons to a small group of kids who meet for a midweek program during the summer.  Presenting a whole lesson in Spanish has been a daunting task for me, but each week, God has been granting me more confidence to communicate in Spanish.  Hooray!
-Big news in my world here is that I received my temporary/transient visa!!!  I have had a hard time getting super excited, because we still have a ways to go before we can get our cedulas (identification numbers that will allow us to open bank accounts etc) but seriously, this is super amazing!!!  Thanks to everyone for your diligent prayers for this.  It has been a long road this year waiting for the rubber stamp in our passport.  Thanks to Chris and Angela for all the co-ordination with our lawyer.  This stamp gives us the freedom to stay in Venezuela for a year without exiting, and next year we will just have to go to an office and renew it for another year.  Probably not as easy as it sounds, but I'm hopeful!  :D

I cannot say thank you enough for all your prayers.  God is answering!  And thank you to each of you who take the time to encourage me, pray for me, seek me out on Facebook to chat, email me, read my (sporadic) blog, and even just simply think of me from time to time.  It really means so much.  Here's to another year in Caracas!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

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 for me...

-Being ministered to by some of the pastoral staff from Vernon Alliance.  It was great to see the Kinniburghs again and they did an amazing job with the kids and youth.  God used Jon Buller to minister to us through music, and Stuart McKnight spoke in our sessions.  He also threw us a Scottish ceilidh!  I would post videos, but I think you would be struck speechless by my awesome Scottish dancing skills.


-The opportunity to hear about the ministry going on throughout Latin America, including in our Chinese churches (by the way, our Chinese international workers are some of the coolest people I've ever met).  We were also able to pray for each other, and spent time just getting to know each other as the Caribbean Sun team.

-Of course, rest time was great and being able to spend time at the beach a bonus!  Although I live in Venezuela, I do NOT live at the beach.  In fact, since arriving here 10 months ago, I have only taken one beach trip.  Pretty sad.  Maybe once I get my car issues worked out, I'll be able to head out and enjoy some sunshine.

Are these not the most relaxing colours you've ever seen?
Anyway, after our sessions were done, I stayed a few extra days to take advantage of the opportunity.  Time was spent in the spa, at the artisan market, and on the beach (once the tail end of the hurricane passed by!)  I also went to Walmart, to pick up some things that I can't get here in Venezuela.  People thought it was strange that I was so excited to go to Walmart.  But whatev, they don't love Kraft Dinner like I do.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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 ahold of my landlord and he came down and saved the day with a broom and dustpan and a toss off the patio.  The snake lives to see another day.  We sealed up the spot where I think the snake got in and the good thing in all of this is that I think that if it happened again, I would be able to deal with it on my own as long as it's not an anaconda.  Take THAT, snakes!! *Clint Eastwood squint*

Sunday, May 20, 2012

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!!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

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 scratch...so 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 can totally relate.  Happy Mother's Day to my mom, to all the mothers reading this, and to this sloth who I watched sleeping all day with her arms wrapped around her little one.

Friday, May 11, 2012

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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Friday, April 13, 2012

Smartie Pants

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wowzas.

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 around together!! But hopefully new friendships will be made and these kids can do more events together in the future. I will give an update next week! Also, I'm working on my pictures from my trip to Peru....it's just that it's been one of THOSE weeks. Oh wait, did I just say that? But here is one picture at least....
Machu Picchu....what an amazing sight!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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!

Monday, April 09, 2012

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!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

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!!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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 accountable to them!)
-Finish what you started
-Help others
-Forget about watching the news for a day
-Dance
-Pamper yourself a little
-Confront your fears
-Visit a museum
-A decision is better than no decision (This was good for me to hear...I'm the worse decision maker. Ever.)
-Exercise
-Unplug your TV (my tv is being repaired right now, and it's amazing how much more I'm getting done, and I love having the extra time to read)
-Listen to music
-Spend time in nature
-Be encouraged, you can do it
-Find a balance (I'm learning that a balanced life is a healthy life)
-Get good sleep
-Read
-Buy flowers
-Try to arrive (That's the best I can translate it from the Spanish...the picture is of a little knight arriving at a castle and his princess waving hello to him. Take what you want from this....)
-Make realistic plans (although I think it is important to dream BIG!)
-Don't compare yourself with others
-Live in the moment
-Don't be hard on yourself
-Accept that life has good moments and bad moments
-Every night think about the good things that happened that day
-Welcome new ideas
-Believe in yourself
-Be kind
-Let people know how special you are (I have a mental picture of myself going up to a stranger and saying "Hiya, I'm special!" yaaa..... I think when you are yourself and living life to it's fullest, it will shine through that your are special!)
-Be honest with yourself
-Stop obsessing about negative thoughts
-Focus on creating whatever you dream of creating
-Dedicate time to simply having fun
-Thank the people who teach you, help you, encourage you and invite them for coffee
-Don't forget that money cannot buy happiness
-Offer what you no longer need to those who who do need it.
-Value who you are in this moment
-Be part of a group
-Find common ground
-Take care of the love in your life
-Make a list of things you are thankful for
-Take care of the earth
-Never stop learning
-Believe in something bigger than yourself (Of course, I would change this to someONE!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

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 something like this: Monday A.M. water heater stops working. I brave a cold shower. Tuesday I subject myself to another cold shower. The repair guys come to fix the heater. But what's this? The front door won't unlock? I am locked in my house! The guys have to come in through the house upstairs onto my patio, and between them, the housekeeper from upstairs, and myself we can't get the door unlocked. After everyone has left, I walk over to the door, grab the key...and the door unlocks. Later that night, I'm hanging a shoe rack up on my bedroom door and decide to shut the door to make it easier. When I go to leave the room...what's this? The door won't open? Somehow, I got locked in my bedroom! I twist and turn the door handle, I grab a coathanger and try to somehow move the lock....and I am just getting ready to panic attack/break the doorknob off (somehow) when i grab the knob one last time and the door unlocks! Finally, yesterday I came home from an afternoon at the Hieberts to find the power out and therefore the gate to the house wouldn't open. This time, locked OUT! I had to holler for the housekeeper to come let me in, and thankfully, eventually she heard me!

Although the past week has played out something like a Mr. Bean sketch, I have been reminded of something very serious....that the enemy wants me locked in/locked out instead of being able to freely share the Gospel here in Caracas. But that also, God does NOT want me locked in/out and that in His perfect timing, the doors...and hearts will open.

Friday, February 24, 2012

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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Friday, February 17, 2012

Junto A Ti

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

Monday, February 13, 2012

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 taxi and were driven about 40 minutes away to a beach. The only way to get to the beach is by boat, but there were lots of people there, a couple of restaurants and plenty of reggaeton music! It was a beautiful sunshiny day, hot and although I tried to stay in the shade, I managed to get a bizarre burn on my back (no lectures please!).
-Primaries....Yesterday Venezuelans went out and voted in the primary elections for the person who will run against Chavez in the presidential elections in October. A man by the name of Henrique Capriles has won, and the rest of the candidates who were running against him will now be backing him, so the next 8 or so months should be interesting!
-Playing! I am thankful to be making a few little friends among the kids at the church. There are some real precious little people and although it is difficult for them to understand my accent at times (and vice versa!), playing is a universal language. When I arrived at the church yesterday, a tiny little girl by the name of Teriany came over to give me a hug, grabbed both my hands and started getting me to swing her around and pull her up high when she jumped off a stair. The only speaking we really did was some counting in Spanish, yet we were both laughing and having fun. Kids are awesome!
-Parts. As in toilet parts. Yes folks, the toilet saga continues. Today I am going to replace what will hopefully be the last toilet part I ever replace. I never want to have to stick my arm in a toilet tank again. But let's face it, it's not likely. When I went to the store to pick up the new float, they didn't have any that would fit what was in my tank, so I had to buy the whole kit. So at least I have a small arsenal of parts for my next adventures in my new home.

And speaking of new home, I will be moving at the end of the month to a new place. It's a walk-out basement suite, not too far from where I live now and the owners of the house upstairs seem very nice. I will try to post some photos in a few weeks once I'm all moved in. So now I'm trying to get organized and pack a bit and buy a few new things that I will need in the new place (ie: dishes and a new bed....so long my king-sized friend!). I should be used to packing my life up and moving it by now....but to be honest, it just never gets easier!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day that never ends....take 2!

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

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.

ACT 1
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 go, so we got to the general area, parked at a pharmacy and let the guy know where we were. Of course, it turns out we were just around the corner from where we were supposed to be so after meeting up with him and figuring that out, we pulled into the shop only to be told that they couldn't inspect the car because it had not been washed. Say what. I wouldn't say it was dirty, just dusty but it had to be clean. I don't remember him saying it had to be washed...but maybe he DID say it and I just didn't understand. That's usually how I roll. So we left with the resolution to return again tomorrow with a clean car.

ACT2
Coming back from the inspection, the car began to overheat while we were on the highway. Thankfully, Chris was driving and right away slowed down, pulled over and turned on the heat to get it away from the engine. So that was us, driving on a perfectly balmy day in Caracas with the heat on full blast. At least I know now that if a freak blizzard ever blows through Caracas, I can live in my car as needed and it will be much warmer than my house. It turns out that there is a problem with the coolant level (as in the level consistently goes down as it leaks out...hmmm). So I will keep it topped up with water, so I can get to my inspection tomorrow and then try to get it into the mechanic asap.

Intermission: Insert various emails, phone calls, and conversations that I won't get into but really didn't do much to alleviate the stress of the day!

ACT3
We all picked up the kids from school in my car and went to the car wash to do our solemn duty of washing the car. We went to a car wash in the parking garage of a mall. Which to me, always seems like a strange, but genius place to put a car wash. They have quite the set-up as a line of men take their turns pre-treating, power spraying, and sudsing the car (by hand!) before sending you through the automatic bay with the spinning scrubbers and a rinse. The kids were so excited and decided that the spinning things were made of feathers. Peacock feathers I think it was. Then you get out of the car so they can dry it off, vacuum it and detail the inside. I wonder what the guy thought about my cushion on the drivers seat. Hey, short people need to see out the windshield too. The funny thing is that Chris was driving, so maybe they just though he likes to be comfy.... Thankfully, there was a little shop to buy treats etc while we waited and it was good to relax for a minute. I bought a bubble gum scented air freshener. Lukas and Mackenzie got "nerds" candy and a serious discussion about Willy Wonka ensued. Chris got me outfitted with new windshield wipers. And off we went!!

**I must say that I am not used to having a car this clean. In Canada I usually just washed it myself which meant I usually only went to the car wash 2 times a year: once in the summer and once in the winter. And I always did a terrible job because my glasses would get all misty, the soap brush was twice my height and my arm got tired of waving that power rinser for what seemed like an eternity.

ACT4
4:00 pm. We arrive at my place, empty the trunk and realize that in the hustle of getting in and out of the car and removing valuables while they vacuumed the car, some important papers got left at the car wash. Without them, I couldn't go back for the inspection tomorrow. So Chris and Angela graciously went back to the car wash on their way home, and just as I'm writing this and was praying about it, I received word that they got the papers. So we are now set for tomorrow!

ACT 5....?
I am thankful that I am home safe, enjoying the quiet. Thankful that we can laugh about this now. Thankful that I can trust that God is in control even when I feel like banging my head against my freshly washed car. And thank you Chris, for your kind reminder that although it has been a crazy day, it's not over yet! We'll see.....we'll see...

Friday, January 20, 2012

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 occasion. I love going over to the Hieberts and drinking their coffee b/c it's always good. Seriously. And in Costa Rica I drank some really amazing coffee. But I have always fallen short in the coffee-making process (even with a coffee machine in Canada....how can you go wrong with that?) and so after receiving a coffee press from the Hieberts and various coffees while in Canada (ie: Starbucks and Timmies) I am DETERMINED to master the art of coffee making with a french press. After a few days of mediocre coffee, I desperately consulted the Google and some Youtube videos (I learned how to cut my own hair thanks to Youtube, after all) but they were less than helpful. So please. If you can help an aspiring coffee addict, I would love to hear your suggestions.

And in case you were wondering, my last week in Costa Rica (ironically) I had the best cup of coffee I have ever had in my life, made with with a type of coffee bean called "peaberry". And if you are ever downtown in San Jose, I might just be able to direct you to the coffee shop where I had it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

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 were my trips to Walmart, the traffic, fashion (amazing how quickly it can change!), and how easy it was to converse with people (which resulted in me talking alot, and super fast my first few days back!) Thanks to everyone who made my trip a great one! I made it back to Caracas safe and sound on Jan 2 and things seem to be getting busy again. All of a sudden I seem to have all sorts of little projects to work on....and being someone who is not a great multi-tasker, I'm hoping that I'll be able to spread myself out as needed! This next month will also bring apartment hunting, as I have to move out of mine (boohoo!). Finding a rental in Caracas is not easy and despite everybody else's pessimism about it I am going to choose to stay positive and trust that God will lead me to just the right place within my budget. I would appreciate your prayers!

I hope to get out a newsletter in the next couple weeks as well, so stay tuned later this month. And one thing I want to try is some video blogging this year. Some churches have asked me to send them videos once in a while, so I thought this could be useful in a number of ways, and of course help my friends and family to remember what I actually look like. So that will be coming in February. Anyhoo, I guess that's all for the moment. I'll leave you with another picture of my happy moment skating...maple leaves and all.