Saturday

Saturday is usually my day off. Well, off from my work at Holly’s. But there is always more than enough to be done at my house.

On Friday night, while working on some verse posters I suddenly decided to make yogurt. At 8:00 p.m. Maybe not the wisest decision ever. It ended up being a bit interesting as I couldn’t find the thermometer, realized I had forgotten to put in the sugar, and when I did add the sugar my pan almost overflowed because it was too full. I wasn’t sure how the yogurt would turn out, but it seems to be fine. No yogurt is as good as homemade!

So Saturday morning I started laundry and got my yogurt put away. After devotions and breakfast I continued with laundry. But, after the second load, something went wrong with the latch. I ended up taking it apart so I could get it un-stuck. Please remind me next time to take a picture first so I know how to put it back together!! Because I wasted an hour trying to put the crazy thing back to together and still couldn’t do it. But I discovered if I put the one piece in just right, I could still use the washer. So I left it at that.

In the midst of all this I was making some granola. That wasn’t in my plans, but we were about out. And, as I hadn’t planned for it, I only had enough oatmeal for half a batch.

And of course there are always dishes to do!

And I had found a recipe for mango gelatin so decided to make that. It seemed to turn out well, but I totally forgot to serve it at Sunday lunch!

I didn’t do a whole lot this Saturday. I decided not to push myself like I normally do. I accomplished a few things but didn’t get any cleaning done.

We we blessed by a beautiful evening!

I spent my evening drawing a “payaso” like this for Iza’s homework.

And then I worked on some more Bible verse posters, like the one below.

Maybe one of these days I will get caught up a bit on my posts! In about 2 weeks I will be flying to the states for a visit! I am hoping to get my computer fixed while I am there!! And hopefully catch up with some of y’all!

Until next time,

Raquel

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Unplanned

One never knows what a day will hold! There are always small twists and turns in each day, but somedays throw in an extra crazy loop.

This morning Holly wanted me to run into town to buy some eggs and onions. So after Ben J was done with his chores, we took off on my moto. It was acting a bit strange, like it wasn’t getting fuel properly, but I prayed all would be well and I wouldn’t run out of fuel.

We didn’t get very far before the moto stopped. I tried to start it. Nothing. I kept trying, but although it started to catch twice, I was unable to get it going.

Ben was getting impatient while I tried to get it going a again. I was hopeful because I’ve had issues with it before because of the carburator/fuel line; and usually with some patience I can get it going. But not this time. I tried calling Holly. We started pushing the moto, deciding to take it at least to the bodega. Holly returned my call. She said, yes, keep going. She would call for help.

We made it to the intersection before hearing from her again. She had found someone to help. So we sat and waited for Weslyn to arrive. He was soon there, wondering what had happened. All I could tell him was that my moto had just quit. After looking to see that it had fuel and attempting to start it, Weslyn said he would go get his friend who is a mechanic to look at it.

Ben and I moved to some shade and waited. Waiting and patience are not akin to Ben’s nature and he was BORED….that is until I mentioned schoolwork. Suddenly, he was bored no longer. 😂

Once the Mechanic got there with his tools, he took off the seat and said, “¡Tanto polvo!” (A lot of dust!) Everything was covered in dust, but there was nothing to do for that. So he started pulling off hoses, disconnecting things, etc. They decided to add some more fuel as the fuel didn’t seem to be coming through the line. So they drained fuel out of the bike Weslyn had and put it in mine. Although we got fuel going through the line, the moto still wouldn’t start. Next he changed out the spark plug. Ah! It started! Weslyn went to buy a new one. Once he returned, the mechanic put in the new sparkplug and put the moto back together. Yay! We could finally head to the store!

I was very grateful to Weslyn and his mechanic friend! It’s a blessing to have friends!

It seemed to be the day for adventure! After buying our things at the store, we circled around the block to get back to our street. When I went to pull into the street, I saw a big truck coming. I slammed on the back brake…but we weren’t slowing down! I grabbed the front brake, still we weren’t stopping! 😱 The truck also slammed on their brakes. I got my moto turned and stopped at the same time as the truck stopped. The driver yelled at me, and I very contritely said, “¡Perdón!” But thankfully he wasn’t super mad, and we both went on our way again. I am going to have to watch out for that! I was super thankful for the protecting hand of God!!

I am so thankful that in all the twists and turns of each day, God has it all in control! Even if things don’t go as we plan, we can know there is a bigger plan, a bigger picture that we can’t see.

I am sure some of y’all thought I had fallen off of the edge of the earth(especially if you believe the flat-earth theory😜), because I haven’t written for so long! In January I retyped my November post on Holly’s computer…and there it is still. And now it’s March! Sadly my computer is still not fixed. But thought I would share today’s story with my phone, and let you know I am still in the land of the living!

Wishing everyone a good weekend! -Rachel

PS. 1 I also discovered that my oil in my moto is low. The mechanic said I need to change it. So now I need to get that taken care of! I don’t want to lock up the engine next!

PS. 2 I fueled up this afternoon. That should help things as well. 😊 (My fuel gauge doesn’t work. 😏)

Hello again!

I apologise for the long silence!

But I do have a “good” excuse! Lol

Sadly my computer has not been working since the end of November. 😔 I had a post almost ready, but the day I was going to post it I tried to turn on my computer and it wouldn’t work properly. 😓 I have tried getting a couple people to help me but so far my computer still is not working.

I am very grateful for my smartphone these days so that I can keep up with my email and some of my other things. And now I have downloaded the WordPress App so I can now update you from my phone when needed. Yay! Not quite as handy as the computer, but better than nothing! 😊

A lot has happened in the past months. I can hardly believe it is already partway through January! I am enjoying my life here and ever so slowly learning to communicate in Spanish. Sometimes it is fun and sometimes it is frustrating, but I am thankful for all the patient people around me.

I will leave my update at that for now. Hopefully next time I can tell you a bit more of interest.

Prayer Request:

*That I would be able to get my computer working.

Thanks to all my faithful supporters!

RM

The Adventure Begins

My flights in wing pictures. Winking smile

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Greetings from Guatemala!

Well, so much happened in the first few days of my time in Guatemala that this may be quite an epistle! 😉

My parents took me to the airport early Thursday morning, September 7. I met Benj and Holly’s family there. All our flights went well and I always had someone to hold my hand while we were in the airport. 😉

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We arrived in Guatemala City at 11:30 AM. (Currently the same as Mountain Time)* From the airport we PILED into two taxis and went to the Mission (Mennonite Air Mission’s headquarters).

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Stuffing the luggage in. (clip_image003[1]: Holly)

We were at the Mission the rest of that day. Friday morning we grabbed cornbread muffins for breakfast and left about 6:30 and headed to Immigration to get Guatemalan Passports for the children and renew Benj’s. That involved a lot of standing in line and keeping the children entertained. But by 11:30 we were leaving with passports in hand.

We went to Burger King for lunch. After that we headed to the Toyota dealership and got the truck serviced. They had a very nice waiting area so we just made ourselves at home. We put the children down for naps and I even had a nap myself. Here’s a couple pictures from that afternoon:

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We were happy with some complimentary beverages and snacks. 🙂 I thought Jun made a cute little slug with a curl on the top while she was taking her nap. (Right)

Saturday we got up even earlier and headed to a friend’s place for the day. That was a much more relaxing day than Friday. She lives near the coast so we went to la playa (the beach) for part of the day. I really enjoyed that.

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We had a picnic lunch under the thatch before swimming.

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We left that evening after supper and headed to El Chal, arriving around 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning. After church we went to Stephen and Brenda’s for lunch. Then Benj’s dropped me off at the girls’ house where I am living. I had a nap and started unpacking before church in the evening.

Monday I was at home all day just unpacking, doing laundry, and settling in. Here is my first meal I cooked myself in Guatemala:

clip_image023Beans and eggs

Beans, rice, and (corn) tortillas are definitely staple foods here. I love the food, but am still adjusting from a high protein, low carb diet to a low protein, high carb diet. Have to figure out how much to eat to keep me going, but hopefully not make me too wide. 😉 I’ve been walking home from Benj’s which is about a 40 minute walk, so that is helpful.

Things are kinda getting into a pattern here with my work schedule but it’s still flexible. We have revivals this week starting Wednesday evening which will make for a busy week. You can pray for the speaker Ernest and for the town of El Chal. Pray that evil would be driven back and God’s light will shine forth!

Life is going pretty well here. I still have a lot to learn as far as Spanish is concerned but I am adjusting to the culture pretty well otherwise. I once in awhile forget to throw my toilet paper in the trash can rather than flush it (they don’t have good sewage systems so flushing it would plug things up), and I sometimes long for hot water, but these are just small bumps in the road.

God has been good. I have been amazed time and again how he has worked out small details to be just right.  What an amazing God we serve!

On a lighter note: The other day Lanet looks at my feet and says, “You have pudgy feet.” Me: “Yep.” Lanet: “That’s because they have lots of blood in them!” That is very good to know! Winking smile

Thanks for your prayers! -Rachel

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View from Benj and Holly’s house

 

*Guatemala does not do Daylight Savings, so currently we are the same as Mountain Time. After time change in the States we will be the same as Central Time.

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Catch Up—Part 4

And here we are in Virginia!

So after traveling all night to Pennsylvania and spending some time there, I arrived in Virginia Thursday night, June 8. The next day was Mother’s birthday. To celebrate, we girls went with her for lunch. I don’t think I have any pictures of that, but we had a good time.

The next day was my cousin Josh’s wedding near Chambersburg, PA. So we drove up there for the day. I was a server and did not bother to take time to take pictures. :/ They had a very nice wedding and reception and we are happy to have them living in Virginia. Smile

I began the next week trying to recover from the busy weekend. I worked at unpacking and cleaning the house. We were hostess that weekend so Darla and I had to clean the house and prepare food for that.

Homemade Bread

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The next week we began working at the flowerbeds around the house. Mom and Darla had got them planted, but they still needed some more work. I love doing outside work. Here are some pictures of what we’ve done.

First project was to cut down these peony plants and weed and mulch the bed. We got it finished just before it started raining.

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I always forget to wear gloves when I mulch so my hands end up looking like this when using black mulch.

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I dug out at the end of this flowerbed to make a spot for the birdbath. I should have dug out a little farther, but I think I’ll leave it for the time being.

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This flowerbed ended up being more work than I thought. It was edged in river rocks. We took those all out and put in new edging. Hopefully this will make for easier upkeep.

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That weekend was youth conference so we once again cleaned our house for company. We had a fun weekend with our friends and learning about our relationship with God and with our parents.

Since then I have continued to stay busy with housekeeping, cooking, flowerbeds, gardening, photo editing, and studying.

Cooking and baking are pretty high on the list of things I enjoy doing. Whether it is cooking up something for myself or feeding my whole family, I love trying new recipes. Here are a few food pictures from the summer.

Black Raspberry Delight made with raspberries Darla and I picked on the farm where we live

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If you are looking for a delicious healthy casserole for your family, look no further. This Spaghetti Squash Casserole is a keeper.

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And I always love a good salad. The perfect complement to almost any meal.

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Some trim healthy pancakes with berries and Greek yogurt. A delicious healthy breakfast.

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Two more flowerbeds done.

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So, you may wonder, has the transition back to Virginia from Colorado been hard? Since I have always spent the summer at home with my family, it doesn’t seem too different. And the transition back into church and youth life here has not been as hard as I thought it would be. That is not to say it is not without glitches. There are many little things that come up that remind me how much I’ve changed in the last 5 years and how much of a Colorado girl I have become. But I am enjoying my time with my family and having some time to recoup from the stress of school life. And I also know that God has a purpose for me here and I want to be willing to be used of Him to fulfill that purpose.

You may also be wondering, “What’s next? You aren’t teaching school in Colorado next year and surely you aren’t just going to live at home with no job for the next year.”

So in my next blog post I will address the question, “What next?”

Also I hope to do a blog post on our youth canoe trip and a visit from our cousins from North Carolina.

See you next time! Au revoir!

Poetry

So, I thought in the two weeks that I had between school ending and leaving Colorado I would have time to write a couple blog posts, but so far that has not happened. Sad smile

Today while sorting through things I came across my notebook of poems. I haven’t written in it for years. Hopefully in the future I’ll have time to do some more writing and drawing again. It makes me sad when I realize how busy my life has become and how many things I’ve pushed aside. Any, in looking through my poems I decided I should share some on my blog. I wish I would have dates of when I wrote them, but I didn’t think that far when I was writing them. They are far from perfect, but are written from the heart and may give you a window into my soul; or at least into some of the things that formed me into who I am today, considering they are several years old.

I thought I would start by sharing the most recent one in my notebook. I don’t have a title so I thought maybe y’all would like to give me some ideas. Smile

So often I am afraid

Of what the future holds

I’m not sure who I am,

Or what I want to be.

You may think

I’m confident,

But deep inside

I’m quaking.

Sometimes it seems

No one understands me–

So I keep it,

Bottled up inside.

On reading over it today it brought tears to my eyes. I feel like I have grown since I wrote this poem, but the feelings still aren’t real far away. I have definitely come to know more about who I am and what I want to be. I feel like over the past few months I have come to see myself in a new light. (Hopefully a blog post coming on that later.) And I have been working at not just bottling everything up inside. My blog has been a definite help in this line. Thanks to all of my faithful supporters! Thanks for your prayers and for encouraging me to share in person as well as through my blog.

I thought maybe “Bottled Up” for a title? What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

"If We’re Honest"

After my last blog post I wondered if I really should have written it. In my weak humanness I was afraid of what people would think. I mean so many people are going through so much tougher stuff than me. They probably think my problems are quite pale in comparison with theirs. I wanted people to read it and at the same time I didn’t want them to read it. A selfish part of me wanted them to read it and have sympathy for me. Another part of me didn’t want people reading it, because I didn’t want them to treat me differently. And so the argument went back and forth in my head. Another part of me knew that it was something I needed to do so I can move forward with life.

Some of you may wonder how in the world can I “spill my guts” on the internet. Other’s may think I enjoy doing so. For years I have used writing as an emotional outlet. Writing things down and getting my thoughts organized always helps me put my problems into perspective. In the last year I’ve decided to move beyond my journal and share my thoughts on my blog. I’ve been very encouraged by reading others’ blogs and decided that possibly sharing my story could be an encouragement to others. And I have found that it encourages growth in my life.

One of my favorite songs is “If We’re Honest” by Francesca Battistelli. It talks about how we need to admit our brokenness before we can find healing. This is so true! The part about building walls also speaks to me, because I have been there building those walls.  I love the thought of being honest not only with God, but also with each other.

“If We’re Honest”

Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I’m a mess and so are you
We’ve built walls nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do
Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re honest
Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not
Living life afraid of getting caught
There is freedom found when we lay
Our secrets down at the cross, at the cross
So bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re honest
It would change our lives
It would set us free
It’s what we need to be
So bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re honest
If we’re honest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDcTvtuuVU8

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