Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Yes.. we are still alive!

So I´m not sure how many of you are still checking our blog since we have not updated it in quite a few weeks but we are still here. Some of us have definatly melted some from the hot hot HEAT that we have had this last week, other than that we are ok.
Since our retreat in La Romana, we have all enjoyed getting back to our regular schedules; batayes in the mornings, lunch at the beach house, and afternoon activities.
We have all been keeping VERY busy! The girls have put on two purity convernces for the girls at the bateyes. We are winding things down this week and next. Having our last soccer practices before the big game. Brent and Erica have organized and painted a mural at Don Bosco with the children in 95 degree heat. Kirsten has been working with her dancers so that they can perform at the big game during the halftime show. We are trying to get in as much as we can in our last two weeks here. The calender shows no room for breathing. We are spending as much time at the beach as we can. All of our host families and the interns will be going to San Rafeal this saturday. It is an amazing river that flows down onto the beach where warm meets cold and its well... Glorious!!

We are all doing great and none of us are ready to leave our new families and friends. If you do not hear from us again, due to our busy schedules, we will see you all soon!
with love, your interns.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Hello again to friends and family!

Here we are again, basking in yet another one of the Carribian's favorite past-times...This one, Hurricane Emily passed us yesterday with nothing but high winds and lots of rain, nothing that we can't handle!

This week has been exhilarating, one of our busiest here, and this Saturday finds most of us sleeping in and getting some much needed rest. We have come to the point in our trip where we are past the getting to know you stage, settled into our homes and jobs, and the time is beginning to fly by. It is now less than a month until you see our bright and shiny faces again!

Teaching in the Bateyes is going amazingly well, for most of us English is the favorite, and seeing the kids advance from simple words to phrases has been such a joy. Teaching everything from "Hello how are you?" to our favorite phrases such as "Wassup" and "That's rad" has defiantly been the highlight. The other half of our morning teaching in the bateyes, tutoring has been more of a challenge. Even for those of us that speak Spanish, our attempts to explain math and language skills has put us all to the true test of our patience and abilities. No one can quite remember the last time one of us did long division! Nevertheless, being in the bateyes three days a week getting to know our kids and building relationships has been such a blessing, and it is becoming more difficult every day to think of leaving.

Monday our afternoon plans were changed suddenly by our amazing intern coordinators, Drew and Dana. Instead of our normal afternoon activities in the Bateyes, we were driven (in our favorite COTN vehicle, 'vericose van') into the amazing hills that surround Barahona for a hike that ended at a waterfall/river. We spent the afternoon swimming, floating down the rapids on the single enertube we brought and having time together, without having to think about work. Mondays are our "church days", and this week we were able to sit on the banks of the river and have our time together, with an awesome word from a friend of Drew & Dana, Maile.
That night a few of us were taken by our families to a concert put on by one of the local churches that included everything from mime acts to ribbon dancers, to a group of men who rapped Kirk Franklin in Spanish! Holler back.

Tuesday we began yet another one of our summer projects, updating all of the information in the COTN Child Sponsorship program. With over 500 kids in all three of the Bateyes, it is a huge job that includes interviewing each child, getting their measurements and taking their photo. With all of us working together we were able to get the entire batey of Algodon finished this week, which was a huge blessing. Tuesday night was also the beginning of another Pentecostal revival in Barahona (there have been 2 since our arrival) and the biggest one to come through town in over 5 years. With a large stage and over 1000 people, most of us attended with our families.

Wednesday was spend tutoring and doing our usual activities in the bateyes. The sports and games team now has two solid soccer teams, one in Algodon and one in Los Robles that will hopefully face off against each other at the end of the summer. We also spend the day helping Drew and Ben plan for the first ever Young Life event that will happen tonight (Saturday) in Los Robles.

On Thursday we had the privilege of cooking dinner for the staff of COTN. Well, we helped cook! San Cocho, a favorite Dominican dish (the equivalent of cooking steak for people in the states) was on the menu, along with brownies and lots of fruit and rice. We gathered at Drew and Dana's, ate, talked and danced to the music of the revival that could be heard from across the street. It was awesome to be able to spend time and get to know the people that make this mission run here in the DR, and hopefully we will have an opportunity to be able to do it again soon.

Friday during our afternoon soccer practice in Algodon hurricane Emily unleashed her wrath! No worries, it was nothing unusual, just buckets of rain and wind- which cut our time there a little short, but we are all fine and well.

So there you have it folks! The week in review, brought to you by your loving COTN interns. As mentioned, tonight is the first Young Life event which will bring together the youth of Los Robles and Algodon, and is the first youth ministry project that COTN has taken on. Please pray for wisdom for our speaker, for energy for us interns, and that the youth may see that life with Christ is more than just words on a paper, but that it is real and exciting. Oh yes...and for the weather :)
Tomorrow we leave for our mid-summer retreat, and will be returning on Tuesday night with three weeks left here in the Dominican Republic. Crazy how time flies.

We hope that you all are doing well, we love you all so very much. Thank you again for all your thoughts, prayers and emails! We are now able to use internet, so please drop us a line either personally, or here on our blog (you can leave comments blow!). Hasta luego!

Your Interns,

Tyler (numero uno)
Gib (cejas!)
Brent (machete man)
Carissa (teacher of the ancient guitar)
Brittany (still Missionary Barbie)
Kirsten (sigue la fiesta!)
Laura (has no fear of cockroaches. large or small.)
Kelsey (the laugh factory)
Michelle (brownie maker extrordinare)
Carmen (can someone bring sushi to the airport?)
Emily P. (my name is on the Great Wall of China)
Erica (found the chub!)
Emily F. (mother superior)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Brief News Report

It's about 6pm here on Friday. This is a quick note to say that it is raining hard but no scary hurricane things are happening yet. We are praying that somehow the rain will stop and the roads will be passable for the first-ever Young Life club event in Los Robles tomorrow night! In the meantime, we'll be spending plenty of time indoors. God bless everyone!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

People updates

Carissa She is learning flexibility in ministry, switching every day and responding to the needs in each bateye. At the moment, she is teaching music and bible (with Brittany). Is going to start a bible study with Kristen in Algodon with the older girls on Thursday mornings. Her Dominican mom calls her "hija"(daughter) which makes her happy! Pray for willing and teachable hearts.

Gib He is still assimilating to the culture by eating like a true Dominican. His skin is getting dark so he actually is a Dominican now. He's missing family and friends but enjoying his Dominican family and friends. He's joining a volleyball team. Pray for energy and patience.

Brent Often watches TV with his Dominican son, Freddy, and arguing which is more "lindo" or "feo". He's feeling pretty healthy after being sick last week with an IV. He's enjoying the hurricane and wishing for a carmel apple cider.

Michelle She is teaching English in Los Robles and having a lot of fun because the students are very excited to learn. She got done helping with a short term team that put on Quinceneras. The puppy at her house is going crazy but its way fun. Pray for balance with being short term team coordiantor and intern at the same time.

Dora The Lord has been breaking her heart for the children. First it was anger, then compassion because their situations have been so desolate. She loves teaching in Los Robles and her passion for teaching is reaffirmed so she believes it is what God is calling her to do. She felt the little feet of a rat scamper across her back while laying in bed. She lives with Kristen in a small room with a small bed. Gib and Tyler are her nephews. Her predicted favorite day of the trip will be taking the students out to the beach at the end of the summer.

Tyler He started the nutrition project, interviewing all the families in the bateyes and started soccer teams in the afternoons. He pulled out the "sprinkler"dance move during a recent Christian festival/revival. He is sharing a very small bed with the best bedmate, Gib. He is looking forward to driving a concho.

Brittany She is living with the best family. She enjoys hanging out with the other interns. PJ jams are great. She enjoys going to the bateyes to teach English where she named some of her students: Randy, Goldberg, and Joe. She is glad she got sick because now she can't get sick again! Nothing she has experienced is what she had expected. She loves and misses everyone back home!

Kelsey She is bonding with her family over dancing to Britney Spears songs and visits to ALL the family's houses. Going house to house for the nutrition survey in the bateyes has opened her eyes to the health problems here. She has also been overcome with the grace and hospitality shown by the families. Soccer teams will be ready for the MLS soon. She recently got peed on to remedy her jellyfish sting. And she is getting good at taking bucket showers in the pitch black.

Erica She got bit by a kid. Work has been interesting in Don Bosco. Concho rides are another highlight- one of the drivers sat on her lap, one driver had a plumbers crack, and they have had to help push the concho up hills. Her family still gives her huge portions at mealtime. She ate a PB&J sandwich with pineapple jelly. She's really enjoying her time in Don Bosco. They gave the Spanish kids English names including: McGiver, Frank, and George. Pray for continued boldness and to know what it means to wait on the Lord.

Emily P She went to a campana (revival) and the beach is beautiful. Her family asked her to preach at church. She loves teaching English in Los Robles. They have 10 boys and 2 girls in class. Her familly loves playing spoons and Uno. She went to the market for the first time and it was cool but overwhelming. Pray for boldness and to hear the voice of the Lord.

Carmen She still hates lizzards, there was a very large one in the bathroom that tried to "fly" at her. She has had world record breaking diahreah... goin on a week and a half. She has surved the hurricane and has enjoyed the wind and rain. It has been challanging for her to have a roommate, the one small bed that she shares with Em seems to be shrinking each day. She is not a fan of the guard dogs at her house, since they have now bitten her 3 times. She loves to teach english in the Bateyes and is finding the food quite interesting, she ate a fish head for dinner the other night. She still is having a hard time getting used to the cold showers. The one thing that she has really been stugging with is the cultural diffrences between men and women here, she misses her independance. Pray for good rest, health, and endurance.

Emily F Things are going well for her, teaching has been challanging but affirms the fact that God wants her home. It has been great getting to know the other interns, riding in the Dihatsu and laughing my pants off.


BRITTANY sends her vibes to her brothers Graydon & Marshall "I am NOT bringing you machettes"

KELSEY beggs for Ana "send me your spanish vibes!"

ERICA wants mom & sisters to know "I haven't found anyone named Juan Miguel yet"

LAURA throws it back to Taylor "Em & I miss our 3rd counterpart" and also to Moto whom she wants to know "I've been reading about the Philistines"

GIB says "Mad love for family, friends & Ael"

EMILY P. has 1000 things to tell alicia, loves Justin & cant wait to see everyone!

TYLER give "Love to Sophia, I miss you & cant wait to see you"

MICHELLE says "I miss you all and I wish that you were here with me!"

CARMEN says "I miss everyone @ the BERGE CASA and I hope that Ray is taking good care of MR. TURTLE, Running hugs to the girls for me!!"

Concho Sightings

*Concho: a cross bread between a dirt bike, a moped and your friendly DR taxi driver. Also known as the favorite Dominican mode of transportation.

All of the following sightings include a driver and a concho plus the following sightings;

-man holding his own IV
-20ft PVC pipe/ rod iron poles dragging along the road behind the concho
-man carring his own concho...(yes, while riding on another concho plus the driver)
-Family of five (and were not talking all babies)
-roller skaters being PULLED by a choncho inthe rain
-propane tank (oh... yes, thats safe)
-whole animals: pigs, fish the size of a small child, several chickens tied by their feet hanging off the handle bars
-police men (as passengers)

Adventures in Hurricane Season.....

Hello again friends and family. This week has been the test of our true Dominican nature as we face the torment of the Caribbean: Hurricane Season!

With rain being poured like buckets and wind that knocked over a few of our precious palm trees, hurricane Dennis swept through Barahona Wednesday afternoon, and suspended our activities until Friday. But no fear mom, we are all safe, healthy and being well taken care of by our families.

Besides Mr. Dennis, who tired to get us down, things have been going well, as we have finally settled into our lives here as interns for Children of the Nations.

Tyler and Kelsey, our future medics of America have dedicated themselves to the COTN clinic and been given the opportunity to head up a nutrition study in the bateyes. Going house to house in each village has opened their eyes to the vast health problems faced by many families, yet they have also been overcome by the grace and hospitality shown by each family.

Work in the bateyes has also been going well, our schedule is busy, but we are loving it. Monday Wednesday, and Friday mornings are spent teaching English and tutoring kids in all 3 of the bateyes that COTN works with here, Don Bosco (Emily F & Erica), Los Robles (Laura, Emily P., Brent and Carrissa), Algadon (Brittany, Kristen, Carmen and Gib). The kids range in ages from 5-22 years old and we have found challenges and joys that range from difficulties explaining the concept of multiplication in Spanish to being able to have short exchanges in English with kids who are utilizing the skills we teach.

Everyday is a new horizon that we lift up to the Lord. Our afternoons are spent at specific bateyes, teaching art, music, drama & sports. Our days are long but very fulfilling.

Last Thursday evening was spent with worship on the beach & a time of quiet & prayer. It was a perfect evening in the Caribbean, meaning of course that the water begged for swimmers. A few of us got in and then out again after Kelsey was promptly stung by a jellyfish. Although no one was exactly sure what to do, Dana, with her fabulous life guarding skills yelled, "Quick! Someone pee on it!" We all looked around in astonishment. She was joking right? But jokes were not the order of the evening, and being the tight knit team that we are, a hero stepped up. "I'll do it." we all turned and Emily said "You'll do what?" "I have to pee." It was Kristen who responded to the call. Everything after that was nothing but chaos. Before we knew it, Kristen has relieved herself into the water bottle of yet another servant, Erica. The water bottle made its way to Kelsey who was ready, Kristen poured it on the sting, and as expected the pain lessoned.

We all stared, amazed and trying to hold back the tears that were streaming from laughter, yet another DR memory.

The moral of the story: If you get stung by a jellyfish. Find a noble friend with a full bladder.

We love you all, thanks for your prayers and support, lost of love, your interns!

Tyler (Numero Uno) aka Tylon)
Gib (the man with 3 lunches)
Brent (Captivated)
Erica (still lookn’ for the CHUBB)
Carissa (Does anyone have a safety pin?)
Kristen (Peed on Kelsey)
Brittany (Missionary Barbie)
Laura (A rats best friend)
Emily P. (DRs newest preacher)
Kelsey (I got peed on)
Michelle (lets run home)
Carmen (Squrits)
Emily F. (Concho Caboose)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

In the Beginning...

You know your in the DR when your skin is eternally sticky, you can't stop the sweat bullets from running down your face, and everyone around you is yelling in Spanish.

And don't forget all the guys who drive their motorcycles (or as we locals like to call em conchos) with one hand on the handle, and the other holding up their IV, which oh yes, is attached to their arm.

Welcome to the country that is to be our humble abode for the next two months. The country of sweltering heat, crazy drivers, and people who enjoy stuffing American interns with thousands of pounds of food.

We are here by Gods graces, and about to experience the crazy, the interesting, and the amazing love that has been bestowed on this place.

Aqui está nuestro BLOG. Check back for stories, pictures and random thoughts from your loving interns. Leave us messages! We love people.

Con Dios,

Tyler (aka- Numero Uno),
Gib (The true Dominican)
Laura (Dora, Dora don't sit on the flor-a)
Kelsey (la estrella de la clinica)
Carmen (ifthere'ss a hurricane, do we still go to the bateyes?)
Brittany (I think I look like superwoman)
Kirsten (Kira! me gusta bailar!)
Brent (sureI'lll play with the cat)
Carissa (guittaristaextraordinaree)
Emily P (lioness.)
Erika (wow. I think I need some more food.)
Michelle (what? She's not MY sister)
Emily F (are you Mexican?)