Wednesday, 2 April 2014

"I'm Too Blessed to Be Stressed"

The month of March is all but behind us. We marched forth on march fourth. We sprung ahead on March ninth (Well, I didn’t… but Canada’s time change affects me as well, believe it or not). We chuckled to ourselves on March 20th as we enjoyed the warm spring weather, knowing full well that those Canadians were still shoveling snow off of sidewalks instead of planting flowers. And here we are, at the end of March already, as if it passed us by in no time at all.

In A Nutshell…

I have now been living with my “new family” for a month. I miss Neil’s of course, but I think I will like my new family just as well. Our watchdog Spike, on the other hand, liked it better when Neil’s were here. It’s not the new family’s fault, though. Before, Tricia and Dylan were responsible for feeding and taking care of the dog. Now I am. I like dogs. Dogs are cool. I just wish they wouldn’t eat… or bark. I don’t think Spike gets quite the amount of tender, loving care that he got before. There have been some changes in my life, too. The official language around the house has changed from English to Spanish. I not speak too much the English now. Solo puro Espanish. This is actually good for me, though. I will learn more Spanish this way. And Papa Douglas does a pretty good job of making sure that I don’t make the same mistake twice. I will never say “female truck driver” instead of “projector” again. Douglas speaks English really well and Samuel understands quite a bit, so we have “Only English” Saturdays. However, the “only English” part usually lasts only halfway through breakfast.

On March 9th, my brother Rolin arrived to spend his March break week with me. He had originally been planning to spend the week in the wonderful and exciting city of Seattle, but Stephan and I used logic and reasoning to convince him to come here instead. It was great seeing and spending time with him again. He followed me around on Monday, and watched me teach. On Tuesday, I took the day off and went with him to Santa Elena, where we spent the day playing tennis, swimming, getting lost, and eating. Tuesday was probably my favourite day of the week. Rolin is the best brother I have, and spending a whole day with him doesn’t happen a whole lot anymore. So I’m thankful for every opportunity. He followed me around at school some on Wednesday and Thursday as well, and also hung out with Stephan a little bit. On Friday morning, he had devotions for the grades 7, 8, and 9. The students all loved his devotions, and more than one of my students informed me that my brother beats me when it comes to teaching. The truth hurts. At least I beat him in tennis.
My brother Rolin! 

One of the days that my brother was here, Ferdin from fourth grade was kidnapped on his way home from school. There is a good chance that you’ve heard the story already, so I won’t go into detail. As far as we know, he’s still alive despite taking a bullet to the head. We’ve heard reports that he has been responding and is starting to recover, but it is hard to know for sure how exactly his doing. What we do know is that we should keep praying for him, his family, and the kidnappers.

The following week was the final week before exams. That means that the first quarter of the school year is over. Time seems to be moving right along. I was busy all week trying to get final assignments and grades and making tests. On Saturday (22nd) I went with Douglas early in the morning to a cow milking competition. That was an interesting experience. Local farmers brought their prize cows to see which cow gave the most milk and also which farmer was the fastest at milking. After the competition, they gave away half of the milk to a large crowd of kids with bottles in hand who had come just to get a bit of free milk.
People crowding around for free milk

This past weekend Stephan had meetings at a church in Belize. He invited anyone from the church to come along and be there to support him. Samuel, Lucio, and I decided to take the microbus to Belize on Friday afternoon, be there for the weekend, and then head back on Sunday afternoon. We got to the Belize border at around 6:30 Friday afternoon. Then the memories of my previous experience at the Belize border started to come back. The three of us easily got our passports stamped out of Guatemala on our side, and headed towards the Belize building. Lucio was at the front of the line, and went to the desk first.

“Where are you going?” the lady asked.

“Cayo, Belize,” Lucio answered.

“How long?”

“Three days.”

“What for?”

“We are going to some church services at a church there.”

Then she promptly sent us to the office. It must say in their book, “Be suspicious of people going to church services.” We walked in and were met by a tall black man. He asked us the same questions, but in English, so I answered with the same answers. Then he asked, “What’s the name of the church?” That’s when I realized that we were going to Belize for weekend meetings and we didn’t even know the name of the church. I thought about making something up, but decided to just tell him that we weren’t sure exactly. To the border official, this made no sense. Obviously we were up to no good. He asked us if we had a letter from the church inviting us to come. We had no letter. He then asked us if we know anyone in Belize. We said yes. He told us to call them and tell them to come to the border… he wanted to talk to them. That wasn’t asking too much, was it? Belize is pretty small. Thankfully, a ride for us from the border to Cayo had been prearranged. Kendal was waiting outside for us. Long story short, he came in and was able to convince the border official to let us through. They do everything they can to not let you in, and then they make you pay twenty bucks to leave. Why would anyone go to Belize? It was all worth it in the end, though, because God blessed us with a spiritually building, wonderful weekend.
Belize… the perfect place to… jump off swings!


>>Subtle Hacker. One of the highlights of the week was the game we invented called “Subtle Hacker.” You can read all about it if you’re friends with me on Facebook. If you’re not, friend me! I just might accept. If you don’t have Facebook, you can create an account It’s free and always will be.
>>Seeing my buddy Ricky. When I went to SMBI in 2011, I met a nice fellow from Belize named Ricky. And I saw him this past weekend! It was great.
>>The cow contest. The winning cow gave 24 liters of milk. 24 liters. That is one impressive cow.
The winning cow being milked. 
>>Desperation to play volleyball. One of the light bulbs that shines on the cancha was burned out. The large ladder wasn’t in its usual place, but the boys were pretty desperate to play volleyball. They rigged up a pretty impressive system and sent Marvin up to change the bulb. He wasn’t able to get it, so they sent me. I wasn’t either. I actually ended up breaking the bulb. So we just played with one light.
Oh yeah. 

Not so Highlights…

>>Taking the wrong road. On my day off with Rolin, we got on the wrong road and drove for about 10 km the wrong way. This was costly since we were “renting” the truck and paying by the km. The good thing was that we met a very nice fireman who got us going in the right direction.
>>My lysdexic moment. For Lucio’s birthday, I ordered a frame for the puzzle that he had bought and put together. I simply measured the puzzle and took the dimensions to the local carpenter. There is a significant difference between 96 cm and 69 cm. Lesson learned.
>>Awkward supper. One evening, a bunch of visitors were eating supper at the mission house. It was a group of young guys and girls. The guys were sitting at the table when I arrived but the girls had not arrived yet. I took my seat beside the guy at the end of the row of guys. Silence for about a minute. Then he informed me that his wife would probably want to sit beside him. Awkward supper.

Top 5 Quotes…

“Perfect pitch? …no. I used to have ballpark pitch but since I’ve come down here I think I’ve lost even that.” – Galen Miller

“Do you have money much?” – Jonathan (my student in English class)

“I’m to blessed to be stressed.” – T-shirt of a hotdog vendor in Belize

“The swings seem to make noise when they’re in use… So please keep your children off the swings during the service.” – Ben Stoltzfuz

“That’s my people.” – Douglas (as we watched the happy kids walking home with their full bottles of milk after the cow contest)

WOW from Ricky…

>>Do not go to Belize unless you find it absolutely necessary.

>>Fun size snickers bars are not fun at all. They’re tiny.
It's so tiny i'm gonna die!!

>>Barbecuing chicken outside your bedroom window will cause your room to smell like barbecued chicken for a few days.

>>If the butter knife starts to fall off the table… just let it go. Do not try to catch it between your legs.
It's not me… I learned the lesson the easy way. 

More to Add…

The month of April is upon us. Some exciting things are going to happen this month. My cousins are coming to visit me! Also, I turn a whole year older on the 26th! It should be a good month.

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