Sunday, 8 June 2014

Good-For-Nothing Parrot

The month of May is gone. It is quite June. My readers all over the globe have been constantly asking, “When will you write another blog post.” The answer is today.  

In A Nutshell…

May came in like a lamb and went out like a different sort of lamb. In more understandable words, it didn’t rain a whole lot during the very beginning of the month or the very end, but it sure did in the middle. There is more to be said on that later on.

May was a fairly normal month… as in no one from Canada came to visit me in May. A three-month streak was broken. But it’s all right… I made it through. The month of May being done also means that we are just about halfway through the school year. It is going by very quickly and I’m still enjoying being a teacher. On May 9th we had a Mother’s Day celebration instead of normal classes. The day included a program by the students as well as food and activities for the mothers. I haven’t been to a Mother’s Day celebration at any other school in El Chal, but I hear that the ones that take place at Árbol De Vida School are the best.
A photo of myself, my students, and Profe Erick

One of the classes I teach in grades seven to nine is a drama class. This past month one of their projects was to make a little video. I divided them into groups and each group worked on the plan for their video before filming it. They came up with some pretty interesting plots. Everything from ghosts, to magic tricks, to bicycle accidents, to Kevin being turned into a toad, to bullying, to soccer… they covered every area. They seemed to enjoy it as well. Before the end of the year, I hope to make a large video from a story from the bible with all three grades together.
Movie shoot

On the morning of May 17th, a group of us from El Chal piled into the mission Toyota van and headed to San Bartolomé to attend a baptismal service at one of the MAM churches. I had never been to San Bartolomé before, and since Gabriel, one of my good friends was getting baptized, I decided to go along. The journey was not a short one. In the time it took us to travel approximately 200 km (as the crow flies) we could have been half way to Texas from my house in Canada. That is not even an exaggeration. We arrived at around 8:30 that evening and were served an amazing supper of beef, rice, and beans. The baptismal service the next morning was a good one. Stephan gave the message, Harold Kauffman did the baptizing, and the group from El Chal sang a couple of songs. After a wonderful fellowship meal, we got into the van once again, and headed for home. We got back around 2:00 the next morning.

The next week, the clinic was closed so that the roof could be changed. The leaky, old, flat tin roof was just not getting the job done anymore, so it was decided that a new roof be constructed. At some point, close to the beginning of May, it started to rain. The week before the “roof” week, it rained every single afternoon. As you can well imagine, changing a roof is more than just removing the old one and slapping on the new one. There is going to be an extended period of time where some parts of the clinic have no roof at all. Therefore, rain every afternoon was not the preferred form of weather during that time period. On Sunday (May 25th), Stephan mentioned to the congregation that we didn’t really want it to rain the coming week. He told us that he had been praying that it would not rain, and he invited us to do the same. So we did. Monday… no rain. Tuesday, dark clouds in the afternoon, and it sprinkled a bit, but no rain. Wednesday… it rained. It rained hard, but only kept the guys from working for about an hour. The rest of the week it didn’t really rain much at all. There was a clear contrast in weather patterns between the “roof” week and the previous week. Did God have something to do with it? Of course he did. Towards the end of the week, a few of us guys had the privilege of sleeping in the clinic due to a partially open roof being easy access to thieves. That way, if someone should crawl through the roof into the clinic to steal tools and pills, they would either have to do it very quietly… or shoot us. Having that in mind, combined with the hard clinic floor, made sleeping there very pleasant. I can hardly wait until the roof needs to be changed again! Although there are still a few things to finish up, the clinic has a new roof, and is up and running once again.

The last weekend in May, I took a group of four (myself included) to Santa Rosita to attend the final revival services. Timo Miller was the speaker. While there, I noticed that my foot was swollen, and a bit sore. After driving the 3.5 hour drive home, and shifting for all 100 plus speed bumps, it was worse. The next day, the nurses looked at it, and told me it was an infection. After being on antibiotics for a couple of days, it didn’t seem to be improving, so I went to a doctor in Santa Elena. Doug and I arrived at Hospital Shalom on Tuesday afternoon. When Doug pulled up to the gate, the guard asked him if it was an emergency, because the regular doctor wasn’t around and the emergency room was the only thing open. We decided it was an emergency. The doctor looked at my foot, and prescribed a stronger (more expensive, at least) antibiotic. Since then, my foot has been improving.


>>The synchronized swimming practice. One day, a bunch of boys from school went with Lucio and I to swim in Stephan’s pool. We practiced belly flopping into the pool in the “domino” style, one guy right after the other. It was fun, but I doubt we’ll make the 2016 Olympics.
>>The new addition to the family. Samuel bought a parrot! Its name is Toto. He’s very pretty but he can’t talk or catch food with his mouth. A little disappointing, if you ask me.

Not so Highlights…

>>The infection. I like when my foot is the normal colour and size better.  
Not the most pleasant picture you'll ever see… Don't look at it for too long
>>All the expenses that come along with infections. I miss Canadian healthcare. 

Top Quotes…

...Supper conversation…
Samuel: I’m always the last one to finish eating…
Me: Don’t worry, I used to be that guy, too.
Samuel: What happened?
Me: I started living with you.

...While on the way to Cotusa... (a small river where we swim)
Jerlin: Erwin, why’d you bring shoes? I never bring shoes to Cotusa because my socks get so muddy.
Erwin: I didn’t bring my socks.
Jerlin: fine… then your feet will get muddy.
Erwin: I didn’t bring my… oh yeah, I guess I did.

WOW from Ricky…

>>A banana split is the perfect desert to follow a meal of tacos.

>>Socks make a perfect Father’s Day gift… because really, who doesn’t need more socks?

>>One feels more like a teacher when one owns a desk.

My very own desk! It's exciting...

More to Add…

Let’s see what June brings!