Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lake Atitlan

I forgot till this very minute that today is Wednesday, poetry day! I've been reading through a book, handwritten it is, called Letters by Beth. She wrote a really sweet poem remembering some special days of her childhood, when we would go to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, stay in a beautiful home owned and enjoyed by CAM missionaries, and spend relaxing days and nights there, just playing games, eating, swimming, eating, enjoying the beautiful gardens, tourist shopping in the fascinating town of Panajachel, eating some more, sometimes making strawberry jam, reading (can't forget that!), swinging, and yes, eating some more!! The lake is a fascinating study. It can be calm and gorgeous one minute and the next... Well, read on...

Lake Atitlan

Across the waters storm clouds mount.
The green-blue rumbles into gray.

A mountain looms above the waves,
Giant dwarfed by billowing dark.

White searing light which burns the eyes
like scathing anger rips the sky.

Rain scatters, trampling down the swells
with stinging, penetrating hoofs.

Deep thunder calls. The voice of God
Declares creation His estate.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tacos for breakfast

This morning Paul and Grace Becker and I headed over to the neighborhood of San Isidro where Paco and Gaby have a taco stand. Barbacoa, it's called. Usually barbacoa is goat meat, but they use beef for their tacos. Two tortillas wrapped around the meat, you add onions, cilantro and all the salsa you desire - yes, it's spicy! Very delicious!

We knew they wouldn't be serving anything except coke with the tacos, so we stopped on the way there for some freshly squeezed orange juice. I think it's safe! It's sure good, so I guess that's what counts!

Paco quit his job as a mechanic, where he worked from 8:30 AM to 7 PM, and where they paid him peanuts. He may not be making a whole lot more now, but he spends his days with his family, which makes Gaby very happy! They work together to clean and cut the onions and cilantro, and are able to spend time doing things they never could do before. And now Paco can come to church, something he couldn't do before, since he had to work! In fact, that's mostly why he quit! God is at work!

If it looks like I'm standing on the street, well, I am! This is a very informal dining room!

And yes, the tacos were delicious! Y'all come on over and I'll treat you!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Speaking of food...

Since my last post was about food, we might as well stay on the same subject.

This morning I made a Sam's run, and stopped on the way for my "wicked green juice." Orange juice, pineapple, celery, cilantro and nopal. Delicious!

I didn't see any tamale sellers until I'd finished purchasing my "stuff" at Sams. But, good! There was one right outside! The rest of my breakfast consisted of a rajas (jalapeƱo chiles) tamale folded into a bolillo, which is like a small French bread.

By the time I got home, my tongue was burning, my eyes were watering, my nose was running. But wow! It was worth it!

Anyone for a tamale??

Good Bye Party

Aren't they sweet?

Chucho and Zaira are moving to Mexico City and we're sorry to see them go! We're glad he has a good job there, but we'd rather there were here! He's teaching Biology and Chemistry in a high school there. We know they won't be gone forever, because her parents and family lives here, and his family lives in Huichapan, so they'll be visiting. Yesterday we had a good by lunch for them - at Pizzeta, a local pizza place. After all, just as in the States, we love to EAT here in Mexico too! Any excuse to get together for some good FOOD!

Even Renata, 5 1/2 months old, joined us!

Grace and I thought the "plates" were very creative!
Not a lot of work for the dishwasher at this restaurant!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Last night we had a QUINCE party to beat all QUINCE parties! Wow! We started out with a very short service of singing, then an excellent evangelistic message by Julio Cesar (above). He's very good, not just at preaching, but teaching, MCing, computer, just being a special friend, etc. We need more like him!

Joel won in the costume contest, hands down! He wasn't sure he even wanted to be in it, but had no choice! He's a cute one, that little guy.

I also won some prizes for my costume - the best part of the costume doesn't show - on the bottom it has more cross stitch and lace, very pretty - it's an authentic huipil from Yucatan that my friend Mundi sent me!

My prizes: You'll never guess what they were, so I'll just have to tell you. First a fly swatter, then a scrub brush, a rag (yep, a rag!!) and an apron! I guess they think I need to be on the clean-up crew!

An of course, what's a QUINCE party without Miguel Hidalgo?? At first I thought he was a puppy, but notice the bald head? Well, Miguel Hidalgo had a bald head with white hair - yep, that's him all right!!

Juego de los Bonbones. Can you say Jarochos (one team) or Tambariches (the other team) with three marshamallows in your mouth? How about 4. The Tambariche team won!

The young people were in charge of games and displayed their wonderful creativity! Wow!
I was very impressed! And of course, everyone had a blast!

The PRIZE TABLE! You can bet all those stuffed animals were gone by the end of the evening! Mexicans of ALL ages, love stuffed animals! There were any number of "valuable" prizes and it made for a lot of excitement!

Aracely (who I study the Bible with) came with her family! I was pleasantly surprised! And they totally had a blast! Even Ricardo didn't miss his tequila! When I invited them, he said, "Will there be tequila?" Sorry, I said, but lots of good food and fun! They really got into the games and won a number of fun prizes. Karen and Karol were happy!

Yogurt anyone?

Julio Cesar's birthday is the 15th, so his family brought two cakes. His loving, sweet, tender sister stuffed his face into the cake when he did the "mordida." He tried to get out of this horrid Mexican custom (my opinion!!), but couldn't. But he's a good sport!!

Here's what I made. Banana oatmeal cookies - they were yummy!

So were these!

So was this! Although I ate mine with just lemon, salt and chile.
This one has mayo and cheese on it.

Tostadas de pata (pig's feet tostadas).

No, I didn't try them.

Jicama with chile and salt. Enjoyed by Adriana and Adaida, two of Miguel and Minera's adorable girls.


Julio Cesar talked the entire time - well, OK, yelled - while everyone was going from booth to booth, playing and winning FANTASTIC prizes! I didn't realize he was so talented this way! Grace said, "He'd make a great auctioneer!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Unexpected Guest

I've been reading some books published by Lamplighter Publishing. They're very old, rare, character-building books. They're of course written from a little different perspective than we "modern" Christians have, but are at the same time, very interesting, inspiring books. Right now I'm reading The Unexpected Guest. Yes, Kris, I finished Ellen Foster last night and even read another one - Jackie Robinson, Bravest Man in Baseball. What a fascinating story - both of them!

Anyway, back to the guest! There is a sweet poem in the first chapter that I thought I'd share today. I had another poem in mind, but feel this one might be needed by someone out there - maybe even me!

It doesn't have a title, but goes like this:

I've courage still
Through every ill;
For God is love
Who reigns above.

Let lightning flash
And thunder crash,
God's creatures, they
Must him obey.

Thus in the end
Each foe must bend,
And I'll not fear
With God so near.

Who looks on high
With steadfast eye
From faith's firm rock,
Need fear no shock.

Our God is true,
And faithful tool
Then come what will
I'll trust him still.

Probably not Keats or Browning caliber, but something we all need to remember, come what will.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Karla's having a baby - soon!

Last night we had a baby shower for Karla. She looks ready to pop - yesterday! But apparently, it may be a couple weeks yet! She's excited, nervous, happy, and of course, beautiful! Here she is with her mom, Yolanda.

We did all the silly stuff you do at baby showers: baby bingo, feeding each other yummy baby food, "baby" names (you DON'T want to know what my name was!), and of course lovely gifts! Isela gave a beautiful talk that she took out of Obrerofiel - and she messed me up! That was EXACTLY the talk I was going to give at our next baby shower for Gaby! So, now what do I do??? Guess I'll figure it out - fortunately there's still time!

And can't forget the eats! Several of us brought along goodies to be shared. I made brownies and my signature veggie plate, others brought molletes, cut up hot dogs in a sauce, lots of chips, even more soda pop, and we all chowed!

Here, unless someone wants to make or buy a cake, we don't "do" a baby shower cake! In past baby showers, Bethie has made beautiful cakes, but since she's not here.....! We just all enjoy whatever goodies everyone is willing to bring!

Here's what Rocio wore to the baby shower - well, that is, besides her clothes!

I'd say some people really get carried away with this Mexican Independence celebration. Don't you think??

I'm in SCHOOL now!

This young man stopped by our office one afternoon on his way home from school. In case you don't recognize him, his name is Justin Olvera and he's proudly showing off his school uniform and of course, his BACKPACK! He's Jason and Kristin's little guy and sure is cute, huh?

First thing he saw me, he said to his mama, "I want to go to Beth's house!" I'm sure he just misses Peanut, not all the goodies someone at that house offers him!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Annie's People

I just finished reading the trilogy, Annie's People. Three amazing books that literally brought to life the Amish characters, not just what they DO, but how they feel, what they see in life, how they adjust to "Englishers."

I think of the three, The Englisher was probably my favorite, although it was hard to choose! And this one didn't turn out just how I'd thought it would! Beverly Lewis surprised me!

This one definitely didn't turn out how I'd thought it would! Wow! Beverly Lewis is full of surprises! Good ones! reviewed these books as follows: "Amish cultural details, interesting characters, faith dilemmas, romance and intrigue....The multiple story lines and points of view are smooth, evidence of Lewis's mastery of the genre."

I highly recommend that you run right out - right now!! and find these books - you'll spend hours with them in another country (almost another century!) and love them!

Now I've promised myself (sort of) not to find any more books to read - at least not long ones - until I get some other projects accomplished - like some memory books, my monthly update, packing for a trip north, maybe even some lunch!