Daily Review

I got the Harper's Weekly Review email today, so I'm going to try and write my day out in a similar fashion.

The paper cutter arrived at the stationary store and so Flor and I cut translated verses up and stapled them to letters to children's sponsors. Pablo hasn't shown up to school since telling Hector David on Thursday that he's going to come back. The principal says he's afraid of the strap. Picked up a check and delivered it to the school to pay for 75 sweaters, bank client assistant Alejandra dialed 4 times to get VISA approval for my cash withdrawal and I added 200 minutes to my cell phone. I left $6 at the school to buy a friend's mariachi band's CD, heard to Mexican worship music in the office, and didn't listen to my iPod once. Met Margarita at the appliance store and bought her family 2 beds, 50 lbs of corn, 12 lbs of black beans, 6 lbs of noodles, 2 lbs of salt, 4 lbs of sugar, 5 lbs of potatoes, 10 limes, 4 lbs of coffee, 6 lbs of tomatoes, 4 cucumbers, and a bag of cookies with remaining funds from a donation to the family. Another abandoned mom came asking for her money this morning.

Beerseba School was deworming the elementary this morning, I delivered hemorrhoidal suppositories to a friend who spends his entire working day sitting on a small wooden bench, and Blaise peed 4 times in the potty and still managed to wet his diaper 5 times. Amber made me oats for breakfast, meat sauce pasta for lunch, and pesto pasta with salted sweat peas for supper. Blaise wouldn't go to sleep for his nap, 5 letters to sponsors didn't come in, no one was home at the top of the mountain, I lost $1000 on my iPod Texas Hold 'em game, and the power went out at 2:10 PM for 45 minutes. I talked to Salomé, I got an email from Remy, 7 people added me as a friend in Facebook, and Mike still won't confirm that I am his father.


Face in the Book

Alright. OK. Fine.

I joined Facebook at the behest of numerous friends.

So far I've made 56 old friends.

I can't make friends when the internet is down though.

You too can be my friend - search for me by my full name after you join. And you will join. Even Amber joined.


kicking around the house

Got this monster in the market: 15cm long, 34 cm around it's widest girth and 40 cm around top-bottom. Yum.

Amber got me these. On the packaging it says "for ages 3 and up." This is ridiculous. Blaise loves playing with them and he's not even two yet! Who makes these executive decisions?

This is my 3 times a week morning ritual. Fresh beans ground and then pressed. The smell is often better than the taste; Though with fresh unpasteurized goat's milk and granulated cane sugar, it's pretty hard to beat the flavour.


All The Excitement

I just woke up to Blaise barking at stray dogs and Acadia sneezing repeatedly next to me in bed.

Let me offer you some highlights of yesterday though.

I picked up 4 classes worth of cards for sponsors from one of our schools. The students are writing their favorite Bible verse and either drawing a picture or writing about what the verse means to them. I'm enjoying this because most of the translating I do copy-paste from QuickVerse. I'll post some highlights of these translations another time when I have all of them done.

We get the call that our new personally designed piece of furniture is ready in Cobán and is going to be delivered in 30 minutes. I have all the money with me, so I come home to meet the guys from the carpentry shop. They've done a fine job and I spend the next hour setting it up - surround sound baby.

I call the dentist first to confirm that he'll be at the appointment before I take our sponsor child, Zoila, to her braces adjustment. Along the way, She tells me about an accident she witnessed the night before...
the sun has set. a large truck is parked on the side of the highway, changing a tire of something, and has no lights on. The truck is also taking up half the lane. coming behind it is a pickup truck full of mangoes. coming towards it at the same time is a tractor trailer carrying logs. the pickup doesn't see the parked truck in time and has to choose whether to hit the oncoming logging truck or the parked truck. the parked truck gets hit. mangoes all over the road. two people dead.

While Zoila is at the dentist, I go to the bank to make a withdrawal on my VISA. I'm in Coban, but when I walk into the bank, two of the workers are from my Tactic bank. They ask about my new baby.

The dentist never showed up. He had his secretary inspect the braces and tell him over the phone how they were.

I have the task of purchasing 2 electric keyboards and a guitar for the ministry that were purchased from the gift catalog I made last Christmas. It takes an hour to make the purchases because I have to test each item (store policy), negotiate the price, wait for them to pack everything up and then for them to write out a receipt. Mercy.

As I walk in the back door of my house, Blaise leaps out of my office and scares the tar out of me. Later as I'm in the bathroom, I notice that his diaper pattie has plugged the toilet (a real Robichaud! I'm so proud).

He's pushes Acadia around in the stroller. He says "no tikiktikitkittik" when he wants me to stop tickling him.

He has a new chore of lining up the cans (he came to me this morning wanting me to open a can of olives for him).

My final task for the day is to attend a dehydrated soup (donated by the Okanagan Gleaners) giveaway at a Nazarene church in Pansalche. The service started at 6, but the giveaway is scheduled for 8 pm so I leave home at 7:30 with my camera.

Pansalche is on the side of a mountain. At night it looks like a ski run the way the path is lit. I walk straight up for 12 minutes and arrive at the church, welcomed by my favorite student's father. They sit me down in the pastor's adjoining house and visit with me while the service rages on. I'm given a cup of coffee and a quarter of a cake. After a while, I suggest we go inside (it's 8:20 and I don't want to miss the soup giveaway).

The pastor is preaching in Poqomchí and I enjoy catching the occasional "Ruth" and "Noemí" and some Spanish words mixed in. After seeing me sit down though, he switches to Spanish, though only for 10 minutes, then back to Poqom. I'm asked to share a few words. I apparently am the one who has blessed them with all this soup - so I give credit to the Gleaners and say how it's a pleasure to be with them and see God's work done. I completely miss my opportunity to share the similarity of the gleaners and Ruth's story and to explain how this soup is brimming with vitamins.

Three people explain how this vegetable soup is prepared that the people are going to be given.

Next comes the Mother's Day service.

The band is loud. As in LOUD. Amazingly, the mixing on this occasion is quite good. There is a drummer, a scraper, 2 keyboardists (who also sing), and a bass guitarist. There is nothing like hearing a bass driven "How Great Thou Art." I was standing at the back of the church and I can see my clothing move to the beat. I also watch as an esperanza flies into the church and lands in a girl's hair. Honestly, it takes about 30 seconds to pry this insect away from her head. Very funny.

At 9:45, they are serving Kak'ic to everyone in the church - including tamalitos to use as spoons. I am not served though and I wonder whether it's because I didn't eat the cake served to me (it was a tenth of all the cake they had there).

Finally at 10:10, the soup is distributed at lightning speed. I have to pull the "after I take your picture you can see yourself in my camera" trick in order to get any photos. The people are shy, but desperate to see themselves in this magical device, so I get some nice photos.

This is Oliverio's family.

Believe me, she asked me for this photo.

I am then ushered back to the pastor's house and seated with the band and pastor to eat a heaping bowl of kak'ic and a tall mug of coffee (my second of the evening). They get me a spoon, bless them.

I visit with the pastor, Apolonario. He works full time at our building project in Purulhá as a mason's assistant. In the evenings he studies and has 3 services a week. On Saturdays, he works until noon then takes a bus to the capital where he takes seminary courses from 5-11 pm. Then he gets on a bus and comes back home (3 1/2 hours). On Sunday he preaches again.

It's 10:50 and I'm sent off with a topped up mini-pot of kak'ic (oh, it's a smoky, spicy, thick soup with a chunk of chicken in it - very tasty). I walk gingerly straight down the mountain without meeting a single soul. I drive the 4 minutes home. Lock the gate. Fall fast asleep until...

"A-Choo!" and "Woof woof woof woof woof."



You can't have a moustache for just a day. Apparently.

Moustache Men seem to be required to wear a moustache for years in order to be accepted. I remember seeing a band of misfits at a music festival in Stony Plain, all 20-somethings, all with moustaches. It really seemed out of place.

My papa had a moustache for years (after he cut his beard off). I never really felt like he looked like papa unless he had a moustache. Now he has a goatee and it's just not the same.

So, I guess that's my reason for not keeping a moustache: I haven't had one for years. It certainly has nothing to do with Amber telling me that I am not allowed to have a moustache.

I wonder if things would be different if I could wax the tips and twirl.



The Season is Mango

From March to May, we enjoy mangoes. As many as we can eat. They usually cost between 15-23¢ each. The eat them green here too, which isn't bad with some salt and seasoning. We whip them up with milk. We cook them up in crisps. We stir them into pudding. We dice them into waldorf salad. We bake them on top of chicken.

But mostly we just slice, dice, invert, and chomp.

Then we wash our faces.


The sheer size of Acadia overwhelms me. And she's strong too! All 8 lbs of her.

This picture reminds me of those tiny monkeys that clutch to a pinky finger that makes into nearly every edition of those hologram Guiness Book of World Records.


Growing Fast

Two things this morning blew me away.

First, at breakfast, Blaise was saying thank you to Mamá for something she put in his dish, but he began saying it in a deeper and deeper voice, over and over. Amber would respond "You're welcome" in just as deep a voice. Blaise continued to push his chin into his chest and get as low as he possibly could, until it was just a whisper. We couldn't contain ourselves. He wasn't copying anything he had seen before.

Second, he took 5 colourful plastic cups from the cupboard and began playing with them on the kitchen floor. I was on the computer and Amber was in the shower, so he just played by himself, quietly. What intrigued me was that he began spinning them and attempting to keep as many spinning at the same time as possible - exactly how I used to do with coins when I was a boy. Genius!