Wednesday, June 28, 2006

June 28, day six ....?

Wow I´ve been here for almost a full week. Well, no that´s not true, 5 days actually becuase the 22 was nothing but travles. I didn´t technically get to Ecuador till the 23. Anyway, that´s bseide the point. Life is settling in rather more quickly than one might expect it to in an entirely new and different culture. I would attribute this largely to living with North Americans who I get along with well and also to the large amount of leisure we have had in these last few days. Bethany was right, the weekends are the busiest, full of kids clubs and youth groups, church services and soccer matches. Since the school week has started we have just been working there in the mornings and then have had completely free days and evenings. School here lets out at 12:40 and until today I wasn´t even there that long.
Tuesday was my first day teaching English in the primero clase (kindergarten) which is really more of a joint effort between Bethany and I at this point. I am more grateful for her being there with me than I can express. Then today I started out assisting the english teacher in the 4th, 6th, and 7th grade classes. Actually they´re really 3rd, 5th, and 6th since our kindergarten is first grade but that is of secondary impotance (did you see what I did there? secondary...). The kids are darling - though a little... how shall I put this? unruly at times. Quaterno is more than a LITTLE unruly, but it has some real sweeties in it too. Somehow the worst classes always seem to have the sweetest kids - or so my extended experience in teaching tells me.
For instance, the quaterno class today (4th grade) was totally crazy, all up out of there seats, all yelling my name at once wantnig me to check their work... but also several of the girls presented me with regalos - pictures they had drawn, it was very sweet. And even more one little boy started crying for some reason, I don´t know why, but he had buried his head in his arms in his desk and wouldn´t look up. I sat and patted his back for a while and when I finally got him to look at me I held out my arms for a hug and he just got up and plopped himself right down on my lap and proceeded to continue his silent tears nestled into my shoulder. This tender moment was slightly hindered, but really mostly enhanced once I saw their genuine interest, by many of his class mates coming over to see what was wrong and see if they could help. The two students who sat nearest the crying boy fended off the other students as best they could so that he wouldn´t be embarrased. It was all so very sweet.

Other than school Bethany and I are keeping ourselves relatively entertained. I think we like it at least, though I´m not sure everyone would. We´ve finsihed a couple books each already since I got here. We passed several hours in the last couple days reading The Magician´s Newfew from the Narnia Chronicles outloud to each other - my family may remeber my constant desire to have someone to read Narnia out loud with (yes, I know... Mamma Pam and all that) and now I have found that someone! And how grand it is. Today we read it to each other for over 4 hours I think because we were waiting for our beans to cook - today´s great experiement - which is taking far longer than we were expecting. Yesterday´s experiement was scones, and being that we were using a gas stove with no specific temperatures on it and being that we improvised a good part of the recipie out of our own heads, I´d say they turned out quite well! I was proud of us at least. Yesterdays adventures also included a trip to the mall - with some computer difficulties I won´t discuss here for poor Bethany´s sake, and a sucessful purchase of a pillow - we´d been switching off using one prior to that. The mall is nicer than any I´ve seen in the states with a huge television playing the france vs. italy game and free internet... sort of... I mean the free part is true, the internet part is the sort of... Things are expensive there in comparison to the slums but still quite cheap in comparison to the states. I think that might be a difficult re-adjustment for me when I get back, the cost of living here is very low comparitively.

And now my adoring fans (ha) I must leave you once again to your own pursuits because the beans might be done by now (Bethany´s at home watching their progress) and I promised to buy eggs and milk from the corner store. Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Note to the public

To my regular readers, you know, the capernwray folks and what-not: Just so you know I´m using my blog to keep people posted (ha, no pun intended, seriously) about my goings on here in Ecuador. So if my posts seem a bit longer and a bit more narcissitic than normal, that´s why.
If you´re new here: hope you enjoy. Read only as much as you want, feel no obligation, and comments from anyone and everyone (except sales people) are always welcome.

Day 2: June 24 (mostly)

My first day in Ecuador was full of surprises and new experiences – I have a feeling that these will continue to fill my days for the majority of the time I am here. The day started out with a bang, my first “welcome to Ecuador” experience – Bethany’s mom, Lillian was driving us back to Bethany’s apartment when the car stalled in the middle of a crowded intersection. No worries though, Bethany and I simply got out and pushed the car through intersection, amidst many honks and yells, to the side of the road and then proceeded to take a taxi. The thing which struck me most about this experience was how very un-striking it was. Life down here is so laid back, so chill, “We just roll with the punches,” Bethany remarked as we quite literally rolled the car across the busy street, “it’s too hot around here to get worked up about anything.”
Upon sitting myself safely (well relatively speaking… if you’ve ever seen the driving around here…) inside the taxi, I encountered my second welcome to Ecuador experience. I opened up my purse to find that it was completely filled with tiny little biting red ants. It’s hard to believe that such a small creature can deliver such a powerful sting. Luckily it goes away in a matter of seconds since I received many of said stings while trying to rid my purse of ants. The ants are just a part of life around here, little red reminders from God not to leave any perishable food (or water for that matter) out on the counter… or in your purse.
There are so many other things I could describe for you: the little apartment I will be calling home for the next five weeks - which contains everything we need and little more (I have to admit I am thoroughly enjoying the simplicity so far, but it is only my second day I suppose), the experience of crossing the street half way and then waiting in the middle until the other side clears of speeding vehicles (again not so much an experience as a new normal part of everyday life), the bus ride to block 10 and all the sights it includes, the open sewage in Bastion, playing foosball at the “carnival” (two kiddie rides, 3 foosball tables, and some candied apples) with some local boys, the youth group last night for kids ages 12 and up, the kids club this morning for ages 5-12 (and some younger), the thrill and wonder of taking a cold shower at mid-day (there is no hot water, but that is of little consequence since no one would want to use it anyway)… but that is all the detail I will give for now because I am well aware that at least half my readers are lost after the first required scroll. Anyway, I’d better get working on my lesson plan for teaching English in the Kindergarten – I start teaching on Tuesday, I’ll just observe on Monday.
Oh but I must not forget to mention – it is so very wonderful to be with my dearest Bethany again! And tomorrow in block 10 church is cancelled so we can all watch Ecuador play England (sacrilegious? perhaps, mostly practical though, it’s probably hard for you all to fathom what a big deal world cup is down here…).

My verses for this week are about using God’s strength: Colossians 1:28-29
Love you guys!

P.S. I wrote that on Saturday and it is now Sunday. Ecuador lost 1-0 but they played their little hearts out. It was great to watch it in the church with everyone. (We went to church in Block 6 at 8:30 and then went over to Block 10 to watch the game.

P.P.S. Bastion is a district of the very large city of Guyaquil. It started as a squatter community about 20 years ago and is just now getting things like plumbing and meters for electricity (they stole it off other lines before). It consists of 10 large “blocks.” we live across the street from Block 6 where the school and one of the churches are and they also have another church in block 10 which is about a 20 min. walk or a 5 min. bus ride away. The end.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I´m here!

Here is sit in Bethany´s house in ECUADOR all safe and sound. Arrived at about 4am last night after some hours of delays... but that´s really of little importance, the point is... I´M HERE! We just watched the end of spain vs. saudi arabia and are now enjoying tea and hobnobs (thanks again Jonathan! she loved her stuff too!)
I´ll let you all know if something exciting happens. ;-)

Monday, June 19, 2006

for movie nerds only.

Hold the phone. How the HECK did Alias get both Quinten Tarantino and David Carradine to guest star on the show? They used Quinten Tarantino for two shows (the best and most hilarious two shows of Alias I believe I have seen yet). Seriously though, these are two of the busiest guys in the movie biz that I can think of - Quinten Tarantino not only writes, produces, and directs his own scripts, he is also responsible for bringing countless Asian films to the states and into international spotlight. David Carradine has been in 194 movies! What the heck? Not to mention Christian Slater for an extended appearance. I mean it's a cool show and all... but is it really THAT cool? JJ Abrams doesn't seem to be particularly connected with any of these guys... I keep noticing them popping up as I watch through the seasons (almost done with season two) and I keep being increasingly confused by it. I guess TV shows are fun to act in?
The guy at the video store was talking to me about Alias today - I've been renting them from him all week. I asked him if he'd watched them on dvd, "Oh heck yes," he said, "it's like heroine!" I think this is one of the more accurate analogies I've encountered in my life.

Quick update.

I feel as though I should post, but I havn't really much to say... which probably means I shouldn't post but, you know, when in Rome...
So this week is the final whirl of craziness before I head South - moving out of the Moody's and back into my parents house for just long enough to pack it all up again and head off to Ecuador! I'm so incredibly excited. That's right suckas, 5 full weeks with our most beloved dearest Bethany Horne! I leave on Thursday. I just found out I'll be teaching English to the Kindergarten class and assisting in the other elementary school grades as well as helping get the sponsored children to be writing letters to their sponsor families back in the states and canada. I am so excited to learn about and from this new culture and to meet so many new people. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store.
It's going to be kind of crazy though - I mean, I don't really speak spanish, I only took it for this last year, and everything will be QUITE different from what I am used to. I am really confident that the Lord will totally provide all that I need and am surprizingly at peace about it all (much more so than when I normally do this kind of thing) but I would also really appreciate any prayers you can spare! I know that the Lord will work through me all the more strongly as people pray - I don't know why he works that way, but I believe that he does.
I love you guys and I appreciate you all more than you could know!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

2 things I am going to miss more than words can express.


And two:I love you Ally. I love being your roomate. I don't say "loved" becuase you're always going to be "my roomate" in my heart. I do love you with my WHOLE heart (even if I love other people and God with all of it too) I really do. I think mostly that means that there is no part of my heart that does not love you.

And I love the rest of you Moodys a whole WHOLE lot too: Lori, Doug, and Tracy. Thank you for opening your wonderful home to me this year. I honestly couldn't have imagened it being any better than it was. Thank you so SO much. I love you guys.

Oh Brent.

I'm so glad you were here this month. I'm going to miss you.

(hope that picture doesn't get you in trouble.) No, it's not a cigarette, it's a small burned out victory-cigar. Love you pumpkin.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Caleb and Hannah are engaged!!

For more details see Caleb's mom Linda's blog.

Allison and Pamela time.

Ever so sophisticated, Allison Joy and Pamela Joy embarked on their final outing as roommates - starting with crepes and hashbrowns (who cares if they're allowed together or not. we're rebels) at a nice lil' American style diner, with conversation revolving mostly around hair styles. Then on to the art museum where many intelligent and informative comments were made about various pieces of art. And finally to a hip-and-trendy west side bakery for delicious chocolate croissants.

Oh yes, ever so sophisticated.

I don't know what I'll do without her.

Friday, June 09, 2006

No, America is not an empire.

America is not currently in direct control of extensive territories, which is the definintion of an empire, so no, America is not an empire. We are not subjugating or colonizing other countries at this time, though we are exerting a high degree of influence over many countries and over the global economy. When examining the motives of early 20th century empires in their imperial conquest one will find many similarities between them and current U.S. foregin policy. However, those motives were only the fuel behind imperialism, not characteristics of imperialism itself. I don't think that saying America is an not an empire really comments in either direction on the right or wrongness of the U.S.'s current international affairs, it is simply saying that "Imperialism" is not a correct term to use when addressing those issues.
That's pretty much a summary of my paper, if you're really interested in the history of this issue you can read the whole 5 pages; But I really doubt anyone wants to do that... except maybe my dad... and I already sent it to him...

P.S. I'm interested to know what you mean exactly Janice. The very definition you used was the main element in convincing me that we are not in fact an empire. What territories are you refering to exactly?

I will now leave you with this rather thought provoking political cartoon. I thought it was clever at least.

Fire and Brimstone Preaching.

So I've never really thought of myself as a fire and brimstone sorta girl, but today I had the opportunity to share the gospel with a few of my classmates because of just that. We were doing a make up small group assignment in my philosophy class, which requires discussion in small groups, and rather randomly the question we were addressing was "Do Ossoma Binladen and Adolf Hitler deserve hell? And if they went to hell who would get out first? (assuming you could get out of hell.)" So at first I was pretty freaked out by having to discuss this with my peers, and a little pissed too becuase it seemed to be treating a serious topic rather lightly. I was freaked becuase I knew I would have to tell them that I believed we all deserved hell and I know that doesn't usually go over all that well. But once again the Holy Spirit intervened. By God's grace I actually ended up sharing the gospel with this group of people. I just started by saying that I believed that, yes, they deserved hell becuase they are sinners just like the rest of us and that that means we have rebelled against God and deserve his punishment. But then I also said that I believed grace was also available to them through repenting of their sin and believing in Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. My words were rather halting and stumbling and I dind't state it so eloquent as that, and hopefully I used a little less Christianeese, I usually try not to use it with non-Christians, but somehow I think I managed to get that much across. The rest of the group then went around and shared what they believed - we had basically someone from every normal college mindset represented in our group - A Catholic girl who pretty much left it at it was God's decision and not her's. A boy who had used to be a Christian but was more concered with partying right now and didn't think they deserved hell becuase we had all done bad things. A girl who "wasn't very religious" but said sure, they were pretty bad people so they should probably go to hell. And a girl who, as the discussion progressed, shared that her main reason for disowning Christianity was her frustration with the link between American culture and Christianity which seemed to have been drawn and also that she hadn't wanted to believe just because her parents believed so she started looking into other religions and didn't feel she could choose one. She also said she thought she was probably going to hell becuase she had rejected Christianity.
And thus a discussion evolved. The party guy started asking me questions. He just brought up every problem he had with Christianity that had led him away from it and I was able to be honest with him and ended by telling him to ask God about his questions and he said he was and he would. He seemed really interested to hear my answers. He also made the rather scary comment however that he figured he could just do whatever he wanted now since he could just pull out his "get out of jail free card" when he was about to die and ask for forgiveness. Ah. So I'll pray for him.
Then this other girl who seemed to really be seeking, I got to talk with her some more and let her know that I shared those same frustrations with the church and that that's really not what Christianity is, it's just a part of the culture we live in. She said she agreed with Christian principles but didn't want to be aligned with modern-day American Christians. I invited her to my church - a group of 2,000 people who often express that same sentiment. She said she might want to come. I think I'm going to give her a copy of Blue Like Jazz too.

So, through the topic of Hell I was able to share the LOVE of Christ with my classmates today. Can I get a GO GOD on that one?!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Is America an Empire?

What do you think? I'd like to hear some opinions, cuz I think a few of you probably have them, but only if you can give your opinions valid support. No hard presuppositions please. Those annoy me.
And for those of you who would like to pull out your handy-dandy "I don't care" card on this one - More power to you! Unfortunately I've got to keep caring at least a little bit until I finish this paper.
I won't tell you my opinion (if I do in fact have one) until I finish this paper either. You will just have to wait in suspense for a while longer. I hope the suspense doesn't kill you.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Praise the Lord!

Can I just tell you that the Lord is good? The Lord is good! I want to share why real quick. My brother graduated from high school yesterday - Go Brother! (sorry Ally, CHARLES, not Samuel... she always bugs me for just saying "brother" and not clarifying which one). And not only he graduated but also of my youth group girls that I used to lead a bible study for and who I love so very much in my heart - and when they walked at graduation almost ALL of them had written in their "future plans statement" that they read while you walk something about following and loving their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like 5 of them in a row. It made me cry. I NEVER cry at graduations or weddings or whatever. But it was so beautiful.
So that night I was a chaperone at their senior all night party, so I got to see all of them flitting around the party and having a good time and it was great to get to congradulate all of them and hug on them and everything - but that's all I was really expecting. Towards the end of the night I was off chaperoning duty but was still hanging around with the "kids" for a bit and two of these darling girls sat me down and started seriously asking advice and sharing about their fears and sharing about what they'd been learning and what they'd been struggling with. And it was like, I was there, but almost not really. It was like I got to just step back and WATCH the Holy Spirit pour his love out of me. I felt for those girls in a way that only happens when I'm in ministry and I know is a love only the Lord can provide - it's very different than a normal human affection. And I could express it and share with them in ways I know I'm not capable of. The Holy Spirit is SO beautiful to see close up. To see from the inside out.
As I listed to their fears and their struggles I realized that that was the EXACT same place I had been in 2 or 3 years ago, everything they were saying were words that had come out of my mouth at some point. But I also realized that the Lord has changed me since then and he has made me new and that I have moved on from those struggles (and into new ones of course) but that he has overcome them in me! So as I shared I could be actaully be honest. I could understand them and I could offer them hope. REAL hope, not some wish washy typical Christian advice, but drawing from actual experience.
And all I can say is Praise the Lord! He is so good! His blessings really are new every moring (even at 3:00 in the morning). He wants to bless all of us like that and to pour his love through us into the world. Praise the Lord!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Wow, it's been a while since I've been back here. I forget things. My favorite thing about Philomath? You literally cannot go to the grocery store - or anywhere in town really - without seeing at least ONE person you know. Today I saw 3. Within 20 min of arriving in town. And there's a lot to be said for small town traffic vs. city traffic. A LOOOOOOT.
Tonight is the grad party for my liddle brudder. Tomorrow he recieves his diploma. That's right, Charles is graduating from high school! What?! How did that happen? No idea. Freakin' valdictorian too!! In the very accurate words of Karen, "But he's just a baby! Babies aren't supposed to gradute."
It's so true. So true.
Well I'd better get back to hanging crepe paper or me mum will have me 'ead!