The Weather in Our Neck of the Woods

Thursday, March 31, 2011


The pups are now 3 weeks old and beginning to explore, growl, bark, howl, and be puppies in the full sense. They are great fun to watch!


This is Fernando. He has been a recipient of Riverside scholarships in years past but we did not offer help this year as he had missed 50 days of school last year without being sick at all. He just did not want to go. he is 14 years old and in 6th grade, and that presents him with all kinds of social problems along with responsibilities to his family. This year, however, he has been in attendance all but one day thus far, and that because they lost their calf and had to search for 10 hours before finding it. The entire family looked all day long as the calf will bring a trememndous amount of income for the family in a few more months. The project beside Fernando (above) was for 4 grades in 4 different classes - Science, Agriculture, Art and Social Studies. He got an A for his work, and was extremely proud. That, in itself is new for him. He has never found reward or reason for pride in his work before! We are hopeful that he will continue past graduation this year.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beautiful big babies!!!!

Saly is now skinny, and the puppies are getting fatter and fatter! The smallest pup is a ty baby. it was ythe same size as the others when they were born. Now he looks like a runt!

Mini Vacation with my Man!

Lynn got home safe and sound. When I met him at the airport we took off to Gamboa Rainforest Resort for two days – a little anniversary trip that turned into a great experience!
We visited a zoo that specializes in animals of the rainforest, with all kinds of tropical birds, monkeys, and the national bird, the Harpie Eagle, among other animals. It was very interesting and most enjoyable with my wonderful husband at my side!

We also took a boat ride on the Panama Canal. I did not think we could afford that, but it was not near as expensive as I had thought. We played in the wake of the huge ships headed down to the locks, and felt very tiny when we got close to them! We visited an island that was home to a family of white-faced capuchin monkeys. They were quite accustomed to the boats coming to see them, so jumped right on board at the sight of an apple or grape. We also saw parts of the enlargement project where we learned that the several hundred pvc pipes we saw planted in the ground held dynamite ready to blow away a huge chunk of dirt to widen the lake. A little frightening to me!

We also saw lots of wildlife closer to the hotel - two bats were sleeping above our balcony door, and on a nature walk we actually saw (pictures to prove it) wild toucan in the jungle!
We enjoyed the hotel for two nights, and then as our last activity we visited an Embera village. The Embera generally live in the Darien province, but there are 7 tribes living along the canal. They came there over a hundred years ago to work on the canal as laborers, and brought their families, then stayed. Now these villages are sharing with the world their culture and way of life in an effort to conserve both. Their numbers are small, but they are very diligently trying to keep their ways alive. We spent 3 hours touring the village, with a guided tour of the plant life, a typical meal, traditional dancing, and I even got a tattoo like the women there have. Mine, like theirs, will only last two weeks before it needs to be redone. The ladies tattoo most of their body, but I just went with an armband. Lynn was happy about that!
What a nice way to get reacquainted with my hubby! We enjoyed it thoroughly, and are now back in the house enjoying the last days of summer.
Other notes:
 School is well underway
 Yari is walking normally and will be free to do biking and running in another month!
 Saly had 7 BIG beautiful babies – actually she had to have a C-section because they were so big. All are doing well.
 A young friend of ours lost his girlfriend, and took his life. We are all still reeling from this.
 We have heard that the government will begin bringing food to el Valle School, but we are still awaiting final word before addressing what our role will be if it happens. Like so many things, talk is cheap, but we will wait for action!
 Dear Sister Holly plans to come down in June to help us out, Lord willing and airfare doesn’t skyrocket even higher!
 Another sister, Meredith Woodell, plans to come spend a month or two with us as well.
 We almost have a new kitchen!!!!! We have been in the process of changing the laundry room to an outbuilding and enlarging the kitchen to use that space. It is just about done! I even have a kitchen window!!!!!!

God is so good to us – and to you, just pay attention and don’t take His gifts for granted!!!

posted by Joy in the wrong account!

Monday, March 7, 2011

There is planning, and there is doing, and never the twain shall meet...?

The weekend campaign, while not going as I expected, went very well. There church in Chorerra - just outside of Panama City - brought a group of about 35 folks to canvas the area for two days, and have nightly meetings as well. We are in the midst of the dry season here, which means, of course, it rained, twice. The group was staying in tents, and it was pretty cool with the rains, but they were troopers!
I am still learning that nothing is ever concrete when it comes to planned activities here. The plan was for 4 days of classes in the afternoons, with nightly meetings and visiting in the mornings. The group was providing all the food, materials, everything necessary for the work, and we would hold nightly meetings at 7:00 for the adults and another class for the children. A group from our church that lives in Dolega was to stay at our house for the four nights as it is a full hours travel for them to get here. Yari, Dani and I spent the entire week preparing the house.

So, this is what actually happened: The group arrived from Chorerra at 5 am Saturday instead of Friday night - bus troubles. On Saturday part of the group from Dolega came up, but decided to stay with the campers, then at 5 in the afternoon the other part of that group (4 in all) called to say that they would like to stay here. I said that was fine, we were ready. There were no classes or activities on Saturday, as they spent the day visiting and handing out flyers. Saturday evening no-one had shown up at our house, but our neighbor told us that there would not be an evening service. I called Frank, the preacher, to verify and he said, yes there would be evening service at 6:30. About an our later another member of the church called to say that the service would be at 6:40. I called the neighbor back to tell her, but by then all of our church family in our neighborhood had made other plans. Yari and I went to the building at 6:30 and the service actually started at 7:15. After the service we guided those staying with us to our house and got them settled in. Then it rained.
Sunday morning we got up and visited for awhile before heading off for morning worship. I got there to find they had cancelled my class in order to keep the whole group together. Then about 30 minutes into the class I got sick and had to leave. I was in bed the rest of the day.

The group had lunch together then all went out visitng and handing out flyers through the afternoon. (noteworthy - the food was all provided by our church as the group had not brought food or cooking utensils.)
At 9:30 last night those staying here returned to sleep, then this morning they left at about 9:00 to see the Chorerra group off before heading back to their home in Dolega. The campaign had been cut two days short, not exatly sure why. Though I did not get to participate much, I hear that the campaign was a success, with the building overflowing last night.

Fellowship is always good, and I am certain that the community is more aware of where we are located, and our beliefs due to the visitations. The singing was great! We learned some new songs and the speaker was very charismatic. I think most everyone was uplifted along with the name of the Lord. So, it was different that I expected, but it was good.

Saly is about to pop! Our dalmatian is due. NOW. She spent the night in so much pain that she chewed up part of the wall. Today she is very restless, and absolutely HUGE! As you can see, she just can't wait much longer. I expect tonight I will be a grandma!

Yari continues to recuperate and has been given a clean bill of health! She is almost walking normally, but the doc has cautioned her not to run, bike, or lift heavy thing s for another 6 weeks. No more cane, or crutches!

Lynn comes home next week! I am missing the cute lil' guy! I think he is missing me a little too! I can not help but stop and say "Thank you God!" that we will celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary next week. Many of you know just how close we came to not ever celebrating together again. Praise God for his love, mercy and guidance!

Richest Blessings!