Friday, September 24, 2010

2 more sleeps ........

.......But before we're ready to leave for New York, we have much to do. It's been a very hectic last 10 days. I tho't Mexican life was suppose to be simpler - mind you I do manage to get my siesta in there tho' it's usually a collapse from heat fatigue. That's right, the heat has only let up a bit being around 27-30 daily, cooling off some in the night, and still quite humid.

So last Friday Paul & I organized as many as we could - about 7 were able to help - and we painted the outside of our Kingdom Hall. Rolling over that deliberately grooved cement takes a lot of effort to get the paint mushed into the creases. This also entailed a lot of preparation such as removal of a big cedar shrub that was always shedding by the front door, and cement damage repair, sweeping, scrubbing the outside tile floor, etc. etc. so thankful we were working on the shady side of the hall. At the end of the day we were all pretty happy with the results, tired, and a little more bonded. We have 2 palm trees that are being donated, one for each side of the entrance. Then, Tuesday, the big day ---- we put up our English sign announcing that this is the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. It is the first sign our hall has had. We also have a smaller one at the front door, giving our meeting times. It looks beautiful! Everyone is so proud.
The next day, Saturday, there was an early ring at the gate and guess what? they were here to install the kitchen cabinets. Yahoo! ..... I think. Well, they removed the portable sink, taps, and bit of cupboard that went with the unit.....and I haven't had a sink nor water in the kitchen since. The granite guys came Monday to measure for the countertops and I was told that the rest of the kitchen cupboards & counters would not be coming 'til Saturday - tomorrow. By Tuesday I put up a real fuss, Paul phoned Pedro who phoned Armando and he and his crew showed up Wednesday & Thursday, working on the cabinets but still not sink. Each day we were left with dust & shavings and everything not dispensible for existance on the kitchen table. Each night we dusted, vacuumed & mopped and next day it would start again. Wednesday night a Sister, her husband & baby came over with mole for us - Chocolate Chicken. Sooooo delicious and kind.
Miriam arrived safely and well with all her goodies during the commotion Monday night. How wonderful to see her. The 3 of us manage to keep each other going in this construction zone and still find time for service, study, meetings, and enjoying some good eating experiences and fun.
Today Miriam had the first of her dental work done. She is having a lot done and the cost is amazingly low and she is very comfortable and confident with the woman dentist's ability. She had a 2 hour appt. today and did fine.
Now it's late & I need some sleep. My little gem of a hairdresser, a sister named Claire whose shop is literally around the corner, is giving me a french manicure tomorrow. She has given me a great haircut, one of the best I've ever had, and the color/tinting is really good. I am so fortunate to meet up with such a great little gal. She even came over and gave me a pedicure the other day, amongst all the mess. She and her husband are being 'courted' by us to come to the English. Her English is quite good, while her husband loves it and wants to learn. They have a 1 yr old baby, too. They have started to come to our Thursday night mtgs. as they want to continue in Spanish for a while - which is recommended when making such a transition. They also are such a willing couple. Today, when Paul couldn't pick Miriam up at the dentist they offered to phone to find out when she'd be ready and bring her home. Such things are so appreciated by us. I am still not driving here in Mexico and Miriam will be the first to tell you why. But I digressed......I haven't packed yet, tho' I've figured out a few outfits. We are travelling with one suitcase only, as all 6 of us [the other 4 are the Hymers] are renting a minivan and have to get all our accumulated luggage in the vehicle along with 6 bodies. Should be cozy!
Started a new Bible study today. Just like that. I find myself asking questions when they agree to a study, like, 'are you sure?' Isn't that stupid? Haven't read that one in the KM. Anyway, 2 blocks away from our house is a neat little house that no one lives in. 2 elderly Spanish sisters - one reminds me of Baba - cook there everyday and their food is wonderful. Took Miriam for lunch there on Wednesday and she couldn't exclaim enough about it. The food that is prepared is usually for take-out and it's surprising to watch the number of women coming into this little house buying their family dinner. It is cheap and the place is clean. A lunch costs 20 - 30 pesos. $1.50-$2.50. Anywaz, while we were eating that day, a young woman came in and I recognized her as the daughter of the family next door who run and live in the little corner store. Her name is Myra, she is 24. I had already learned that as kids, she and her brother [now 18] used to go to mtgs with their grandparents in the Sierra. They have since died. Apparently a lot of the family is in the Truth. But the mother, Naomi who runs the store with her husband is not in the Truth and doesn't speak English tho' the kids do, told me all this thru a translator. She indicated that her daughter would like to go to English meetings. So. When Myra came into the restaurant on Wednesday, I spoke up and I introduced myself as we'd never really met. She knew who I was. She had a wonderfully big warm smile for me. I was encouraged so I said that I'd heard that she'd gone to the KH with her grandparents, and that she'd perhaps like to come to our English mtgs. She said yes she would. I'm thinking I'm leaving for NY in 4 days, therefore I asked if she'd like to come Thursday, I could pick her up and so it was arranged. After we finished eating, I went into the store to introduce Miriam to Naomi and met Myra's brother Carlos. He also spoke English. Both the parents were at the till. I said that I'd just invited his sister to our mtg, would he like to come, too? he said Yes! That's when I said 'Are you sure?' well, they were dressed & waiting for us at 6:30. They enjoyed the mtg it seems, were extended warm welcomes and encouraged to come again. They both looked up all the Scriptures & sang the song, and during the prayer Myra put her hand over her brother's. I was touched. That night Paul & I arranged for each of the kids to come over the next day. That was today. They both have a Bible study set up, Myra with me and Carlos with Paul & Miguel. They each had a specific chapter that interested them and I'll start my study with Myra 2 weeks from today. Then, daring not to go to far, I asked if she tho't she'd like to go to any mtg while we were away. She said yes, her cousin in Spanish Cong in Chihuahua was going to come Sunday morning and take them to our English KH. She'd even made her own arrangements for herself & bro to attend. How thrilled I was to hear this. So Paul printed out 2 copies of the WT for Sunday and I know the congregation will take good care of them while we're away. This is just a typical e.g. of how easy it is to start studies here. Can't wait for you to come down and share these experiences with us.
Hope this narration has been easier to follow than for me to type. I'm reeeeeaaaaaally tired now and must close off. Tomorrow will be a big day and a lot has to be accomplished.
Our greetings, love and prayers continue to you all.

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26 - hello to everyone, and here's an update for you.

The lightning flashed
The thunder roared,
The whole world was shaken.
The little pig curled up his tail
and ran to save his bacon!

.....and that pretty well sums it up for the recent Delicias weather report. Lately in the early evening we'll have the wildest lighning, thunder and rain storms I've ever experienced. Saturday night I went out the front door to have a look and our road was a river with about 3 inches of water rushing by. Good thing our curb is 6 inches high, eh? Paul was still on his way home from giving his talk in Chihuahua and experienced worse flooding than that. [He went with Miguel who gave his talk in another English cong. at the same time and I chose to stay home this time.] We are sure thankful for our truck in so many ways. So earlier in the day, Saturday, it was incredibly hot 'n muggy. Remember, Paula, how damp our clothes were when we stayed in Princeton, Kaui [?] a few years back? Well, that is how damp things are upstairs. I think we're going to have to look into getting a de-humidifier. Anyway, the roof actually sprang a few leaks from the last storm but the good news is that it's cooled off considerably.

Otherwise? How are we doing as some of you are asking us? Yes, I'd say we're coping well, tho' there are days when it really drives me crazy that I still don't have a kitchen other than 2 appliances and a sewing cabinet countertop. All my dishes are still in boxes except for the few that sit precariously on the ledge. Thus I've learned that I can do with a lot less with a lot of things. I need a light over the sink in the kitchen as the room is quite dark at night which Miguel will put in for me sometime. The 2 bathrooms are still waiting for the electrician to come back to install a light fixture above the sinks & the 2nd bathroom needs the ceiling finished and the door frame put on, but otherwise they are lovely bathrooms. We still have not successfully set up the satellite dish to make the connection with the BC satellite. Paul's very frustrated with it as he doesn't know what the source of the problem is. So, no TV, no English mags., no music stations either, tho' Scott gave me an iPod that has 350 songs on it that he downloaded for me. I've listened to it often. Our few DVD's don't work on the Mexican DVD player that we bought as the machine is coded to only play stuff made down here. But thankfully, the Society's DVDs work just fine. It may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not, I'm just stating some facts about our life here. There's other piddley things that I try not to dwell on and, instead, fix what I can. All in all, our place is beginning to feel like our home. Until a week ago, I would still wake up and momentarily wonder if I was really living in Mexico or was I home in White Rock? So I guess this is all quite an adjustment. But I wouldn't change it. We are really happy here. Jehovah blesses us every day.

Paul & I planted 4 palm trees in our back garden on Saturday! Wow! I never tho't I'd have a palm tree in this old world. My back yard which is tiny, has 16' high cement block walls with another 6' of wire fence on top of that. So. The palm trees, which are the kind that have long bowed branches - there's 2 of this kind with about 4 branches on each - sway over like huge ostrich feathers. They come up to the top of the concrete. Paul & I are amazed at the transformation. For the benefit of my siblings, I want to say that I couldn't help but think ahead to a time when Mom & I will plant a palm tree together. I'm sure she never got to do so and, as I often do, my tho'ts when I'm gardening turn to my family. Miss you and love you all. We also have a small lime tree that had some limes on it and since planting it has produced flowers - so it's happy, 3 bougainvilleas - one orange two salmon. Sure hope we don't move anytime soon. Everything seems to grow so easily here, even my 2 little rose bushes in the front are flourishing. So, as you know me, this little bit of garden makes me quite content. There are many nurseries around here, and I don't know if it's a good thing or not as it means I've spent some time at these places, but they all know me now. The last one where we bought the palm trees, remembered that I love scented plants and as we were leaving he gave me a beautiful gardenia plant.

Recently we even found a man selling hammocks at La Presa, the big water dam here in Delicias, where we went a few Sundays ago for a congregation outing after the C.O.'s visit. When the vendor saw we were interested, he quickly tied a hammock between 2 trees so that this tall brother could try it out making sure it's long enough for Scott, Brad, Bill....then I tried it out, too. Very nice! I think someone took a picture. And I can see one or two spots where we can suspend the hammock in the back forty. It might even hold two, we'll have it ready for your arrival. By the way, it was very, very hot that day at La Presa. Below the dam there's lots of day parking spots under the trees, most of them being taken by the time we all got there. But we found a rough spot, enough to spead a blanket and share our food. There was a stage set up with a band & singers playing some great Mexican music. Enjoyable.

The day after our Circuit Overseer's stay - which was one of the most encouraging weeks of my life - the crew came and installed our bedroom closet. So more dust, dirt and drilling but what a closet! It's more like a wall unit. The organization sections are very efficient, quite beyond expectation and worth waiting for. It's floor to ceiling, stretches the full width of the wall about 14'. The dark chocolate seemed a bit overpowering at first, but with a few exposed shelves without doors, I'm very happy with it. What a relief to be able to hang up our clothes, every woman should go thru this at least once in her life! I had so much stuff hanging on backs of doors, I could not find anything. There were 19 of Paul's shirts that were so wrinkled from the box. Then one day we were driving somewhere in the city, and noticed this open-aired place, with a roof and a wall or 2, that did just ironing. Of course, no English but I manage just fine. So I took the shirts, on hangars, and they did a really nice job for 95 pecos, which is about $7.50.

Bringing you up to yesterday, Sunday, we had a wonderful attendance. Remember the day we started 7 Bible studies in Meoqui? Well, 3 of those studies have started attending the meetings. One of them, Irene, I just finally contacted face to face on Friday. Her brother, Mario started studying with Miguel and attending right away. He's unbaptized, 20ish. Irene, his sister, baptized, knew I was trying to find her but she was finishing up a part-time census job. She left a msg. for me to come to meet her at her work, which I did. So we didn't waste time. I asked what I could do for her [she speaks good English] and we set-up a study program. She came yesterday, too with her 2 little kids. Actually there were 8 that were at the mtg as a result of that one day in service. Heraldo [?] the forklift driver that Paul met that lives in Delicias, has had only one study, I think, and he came yesterday, too. He had trouble figuring out how a songbook worked, so when Paul explained after the mtg, he said he'd know for next time so that he could sing. I can't tell you how amazing these little things are to us.

Meoqui, about 30 minutes away, seems to have a lot of English that we manage to find. Spanish people are very helpful to us and they will even walk us to a business in the street where there is a clerk that speaks Engllish. So I have 3 studies in various stages in Meoqui, and 2 more that I started here in Delicias. Then some of the sisters in the congregation are asking me to take over calls and start studies as they feel their English isn't good enough to conduct a progressive study. 2 of such calls were turned over to me on Thursday, one of which I started the study on the spot. The other wasn't home. So, we've been here barely 2 months and I can see that I cannot handle all of these Bible studies. And, we haven't even barely scratched the surface of the door to door work in the territory.

I'm quite liking this city, tho' Paul finds the driving nerve wracking as they zoom around you, cut you off, and pretty much drive like maniacs. The watermelon, peaches, leechy nuts, cantalope and grapes are at their peak and you can't go far without seeing a pick-up truck parked for the day alongside the road, selling such. There's a fellow that parks at our Park across the street every day but Sunday. I often buy watermelon from him - 10 pecos for a large, delicious sandia which is about 80 cents.

Paul is in Chihuahua, for the next 3 days, leaving here at 6:30 a.m. to be at the Norte KH to work with the other elder to overseer the pioneer school - coffee breaks, lunch, etc. I guess he'll be home around 5 or 6. Apparently there were no other elders to come forward these 3 days to help out. We are certainly being used here. I can hardly wait til he gets home as he'll have lots of English/Spanish lessons to share from the seasoned English brothers!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 5-11: The week of Tony & Flor[esita] Contreras

Well, its Saturday, July 10, and its been a busy week. The CO, Antonio Contreras & his wife Flor, have been staying with us and visiting the cong.

We had a group of 10 out in FS Friday, went to a nearby little (pop. 30,000) very old town named Meoqui,(its just a few minutes up the road.), went door to door, and business to business asking for anyone that speaks English, and our group started 7 English bible studies in two hours. This was an exceptional morning, as we sometimes don't find anyone to talk to, but today it was a highlight in the congregation's short history!

One workplace, the boss said the forklift driver spoke English, so I approached him and of course couldn't take much of his time with the boss watching, but briefly told him about our work, gave him the tract Do You Want to Know the Truth, gave him a handbill inviting him to the meetings, and he said, Yes, I would like to take my family to that! It reinforces to me that Jehovah's spirit is on the work, because why else would he want to come to our meetings when it really doesn't make any sense, as he didn't even really know much of anything about us or our meetings... Really, why would he want to come, I asked myself. Only because Jehovah's spirit was drawing him.
Then a Spanish sister on the street said to us, there's an inactive family that speaks both languages, and she gave us a little handdrawn map to find them. We went, and the guy agreed right away to come to our meeting this weekend in English, and he accepted a bible study, Fridays at 4 pm. Just like that. His name is Mario, and he came to our meeting tonight, the day after meeting him. Then Sandi met a young man in his twentys in a store, who talked with her, accepted the offer of a study, and she arranged for us to meet him, I am not sure when. The the CO went into a corner store, met a lady who lived in the US for 18 years, and she accepted the offer of a study. He gave it over to one of the pioneer sisters. The whole morning was like that.

Here the 10 Witnesses go to the terr. in 3 cars, then get out and gather on the street, talking, arranging, chatting with people, etc. In Canada I would be mortified at the spectacle, but here its normal, and people don't mind. Its just one of the many differences we are adjusting to. A group of 10 publishers walking together thru a territory, standing on a corner, and the CO is in the middle of it all. Not in Canada. In Canada we are discreet! Down here, I somehow enjoy the public show of our arrival. I am sure if it irritated the community the brothers would change the way they do things, so it must just be a normal part of street life in this part of the world, the presence of the Testigos! People are very friendly when we tell them who we are, there's little if any hostility from people in general.

I also got clarification re. territories from the CO. that we go door to door, do not take NH records, except of English calls that are NH. Like if someone says the neighbour is able to speak English, and they are NH, so we take note of the NH. But we are to speed up the terr. coverage. So we don't really need terr. cards of the whole city, only terr. with english calls, so eventually we will have a "book" of maybe 500 English doors, and only work those doors, unless we don't have enough to do with that and studies, and RVs etc, then we could go back to general canvassing for English. I get the picture better now.

Well, its been a great week with the CO and his wife staying with us. They came into town on a bus, and are leaving Monday on a bus for Durango, then the next week a 27 hour bus trip back to Tijuana, where they pioneer when not subbing in the circuit work. They are absolutely great people, and his life story is so amazing I can't put it all here right now. At 16, visited Witness relatives in the US and got the Truth, was baptized, and never looked back. He pioneered many places, found the right wife when in his late twenties, pioneered in Belize for 3 years in Spanish of course, pioneered outside Cancun and elsewhere, but he never spoke English until two years ago. That's right, only two years learning English, and he is subbing as a Circuit overseer again. He has spent well over 2000 hours listening to the recordings of the publications in English over the last couple of years. A very dedicated brother, yet a great sense of balance and humour. His wife grew up as one of 5 daughters of a couple who picked strawberries for a living, that's right, and so the CO and his wife are humble enough to do anything for a living when they are pioneering in Tijuana, like she has some kind of a job, but he goes on Craigslist daily and gets casual work when he needs it, usually averages 2 days work a week doing anything at all. And they are both so young, 36 and around 28, and good-looking, well dressed, sucessful, and focused on the service of Jehovah. His talks are so heartfelt, so warm, it lights your heart, yet he feels he cannot express himself from the heart yet. Maybe another couple of years, he says. But we felt his talks were so encouraging, and we have enjoyed so much having them with us for the week. She cooked a couple of Mexican meals here, and we had all breakfasts and dinners here, and the cong. provided Lunches each day. Its been a great week, we had our Sunday meeting Saturday, today, at 6 pm, as we thought he would be travelling Sunday to the next town. But they leave Monday morning, so Sunday morning after Field Service, the whole cong., and the CO and his wife, and one of the new students we met Friday who came to the meeting tonight, are all going to a picnic at a nearby dam called Lapresa, or something. I haven't seen it, but they all want to go. So we'll go.

As to the house, the second bathroom was finished finally, except for the ceiling, while the CO was here and using it daily. But its done. Now we still don't have closets or kitchen cabinets. We hear they are made, and ready, so the dysfunctional carpenter will someday arrive and finish his work. Then we will be done with tradesmen coming and going. But, it really is a lovely house, we love it, and Trooper loves his park across the street. We are so fortunate to have such a nice place to call home, so far away from home.

Sept. 26 we fly to New York for a week, meeting Hymers there and attending the Annual Meeting Oct. 2. At the end of October is our District Convention, 9 hours away at Monterrey, Mexico. (South East of here)

We intend to return to White Rock in mid December, take care of some business, and stay until maybe Jan. 8 or so.

Thanks for reading our stories, and may you all stay in Jehovah's love.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday July 5th, starting the C.O.'s visit

"Thank God you called!" those were the first words Ricardo said when Paul phoned him yesterday. Remember Ricardo? He's the one that helped Paul out when ordering at the DQ counter a few weeks back. A conversation was started up that led to talking about the Truth. It turned out Ricardo had studied in the past and attended meetings. He felt his encounter with Paul was no accident and wanted to 'come back to the meetings'. They exchanged phone numbers and I guess Ricardo lost ours. He'd been to the DQ 3 times hoping to find us! Who knew?
On Saturday Paul & Miguel went to see the salesman who sold us our appliances. He spoke good English & Paul had spent quite a bit of time witnessing to him. So they went back to see him and it turns out he's been trying to talk his wife [they have a new baby] into coming to our Kingdom Hall.
Going back a full week, Mary & Arnold, our first Bible Study, came to our meeting on Sunday. You should have seen the happy faces of our little congregation when they walked thru the door! We are growing! They could only stay an hour but enjoyed the meeting so much. They were both looking up scriptures as fast as they could and Mary was writing each one on a scrap of paper to reread. She was even writing all the texts we read in the WT. Finally I just told her I'd give her the magazine [it was our last study article]. They were so excited to be there. They came just before the mtg. started but everyone took a moment and came up and shook hands and greeted these very special new ones from the territory. Just the morning before, Saturday, we'd had our Bible study with them. We'd look up a particular Scripture and Mary would note and say she really like this one, and this one, etc. I've never been to a study where I could say that the students were just 'eating it up'! How thrilling for us.
So this is what we came for, isn't it. And we are receiving many spiritual blessings in so many different ways. For example, around suppertime today the substitute C.O. and his wife arrive, by bus. They are currently living in Tijuana. They fly to Chihuahua and bus the rest of the way. So this is an experience not had by many on the West Coast since the '70s, and our first. I'm quite looking forward to their visitand so glad his wife is coming as we were told she had to work. I'll try to post a summary next Sunday or Monday nite.
In the meantime, to be honest, there are days that Paul & I feel frustrated. I don't have a problem wading into conversation with Spanish vendors 'tho Paul does, and I always manage to get the items I want. e.g. there's a pick-up truck that sits up the street all day with watermelon or canalope. I got 1 of each on Friday for 15 pecos or $1.20. Yesterday I bought fresh peaches and 4 delicious leachy nuts [?]. Then I got a dinner at Super Pollo which is our Sunday treat: 1 1/2 bbq'd chicken, 2homemade salsa, hot tortillas, 2 foil wrapped hot mashed potatoes with melted cheese, 2 bbq'd onions, 1 chili pepper, 1 pkg raw onion, tortilla chips and a coka for $143 pecos, or about $11. I even asked what time they open on Sunday as next week the congregation is planning a picnic to La Pressa - the dam that is supposed to be so sensational. Perhaps the C.O. and his wife will come, tho' they usually travel on Sundays therefore we have our talk/WT on Saturday at 6 this week coming. So we've sort of got a free day as others may work on a Saturday.
Well, I'm going to end this blog in a few minutes. Because I always have so much to say, I keep putting off tackling it.
But concerning the the frustrations, suffice to say that we still don't have any closets, or kitchen cupboards or shelves of any sort. We bought a bit of cheap shelving for the Bathroom and laundry room that Miguel will put up today. Paul mangled several bits trying to drill holes in this concrete. The 2nd bathroom is not finished and our guests come tonight. The sink & flush are working, and a shower can be used with a curtain. The screen/window will be put in tomorrow, which will stop the mosquitoes from sailing in from the park, and the shower doors. I don't know when the electrician will appear to hook up the lights, and when the ceiling guy will finish. But we'll mop it down this morning and hope to make it look presentable. [I even broke down and bought the unforgiveable - a johnny pole!] $27 at Walmart for a decent one. Later today I'll also try to find a few more dinner plates so we can all eat on the same dishes. We also get our entertainment unit today. I settled on something very ordinary as I have little means to hunt for something different. But that won't be tweaked until we get the satellite dish up and the new wires threaded. So there's lots of things that we are still waiting on. But.....we planted quite a bit of stuff including a small leafed, nicely shaped maple tree in the front. So the garden front & back is look fine. Also found a lovely bird bath for cheep [heh heh]. Too bad the birds haven't found it yet! My water feature is set-up and I just love it! It makes such a refreshing sound. It's on all the time. I bought a large stephanossis [?] vine [I had those flowers in my wedding corsage] it is growing up a white trellis meant as a fence, and there's twinkly lites around it, of course, and is very inviting in the evening, esp. We also found a glider bench at Home Depot, room for two so when you come to visit we can drink our coffee on it together [or coronas]. One last thing, did I mention that 2 birds built a nest the week we moved in? It's on the top of the next door wall, and can only be seen from our bedroom window. I think the birds are doves, their call is 'coo coo'. Anyway, we have 3 babies! One of them woke me up around 6 this morning. I'm not sure if he fell out or not, as I can only see 2. They'll be ready to fly away soon. You know how much I've enjoyed watching this little family close-up. It is a gift that I thank Jehovah for.
We shoveled out all the boxes and loose clothes out of the guest room and put it together and I think it looks quite inviting. Today, at 9:30 {?} we get delivery of 2 nite tables, a round table [like in a hotel] and our shaker headboard painted and re-covered posts to make it match the other pieces. A brother has a furniture bldg. business and has this ready for us now. I think it will pull the room together.
Well, it's 8:45 and we expect our entertainment unit delivered at 9. I hope that was a.m. so I better get dressed.
Love to you all, and thank you for your e-mails and messages of missing us. I miss you all very much but I'm not home sick- I'm so thankful. We have a very busy week ahead but will look to see if you have posted any comments. Let us know how you are all doing and pass this on to anyone who is interested. May Jehovah bless you all and keep us all safe in these very last days.

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 19 Update (from Paul)

Our Cir. Assembly was this weekend, in Chihuahua, and our Dist. Conv. is Oct. 29-31

I would have to say the highlight of our cir. assembly was the people! There was quite a number from the famous, or infamous, Juarez, which is across the border from El Paso, and described as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Often 5-10 murders per day. When we crossed the border, the brothers instructed me to not pull my trailer thru town, but to cross at another border crossing 30 min. away.

Anyway, the most spiritual people, the most zealous, at our cir. assembly were from Juarez. Families, whole families, pioneering, even the dad who works fulltime. Girls who have been pioneering from the age of 12. We have a photo of a group of the Juarez friends, very happy bunch, and I will email it to some of you to distribute to the friends there, as they need to see the real face of Juarez, the beautiful face of Juarez, Jehovah's people. There are either 2 or 4 English congs. there,(I'm not sure), in addition to the Spanish congs. Now that I have met those friends, I am determined to go there, with an escort, to give talks. Earlier I did not plan to accept their invitations, but now I will go for sure. If they can trust in Jehovah to go out in the ministry daily there in Juarez, I can surely go there and give talks. (Its 5 hours drive from our place, and they have difficulty getting speakers, the CO told me even the brothers across the bridge in El Paso will not go there to give talks. (A pioneer sister said its not so bad, sometimes they will be told something bad will happen in a certain neighbourhood, and to stay away, so they do, and instead work that territory a few days later after the bodies have been cleaned up. Its always battles between drug cartels, and also the police are in the middle of it of course, but Jehovah's people are neutral in any war, and people know it.

Brother Koch (?) of the Governing Body recently dedicated the new Assembly Hall in Juarez, and he said he has been to many parts of the world where there are wars, and yet Witnesses continue to do our work, and you know, they had planned to put him in a hotel across the bridge in El Paso Texas, and he refused, he insisted in staying the night in Juarez. So if he can do that, and inspire the friends there, then surely I can go give a talk there from time to time and also encourage the brothers and sisters. If they can live there, surely I can visit for a few hours.

Anyway, listening to these Mexican people in the English congs. of our half of the circuit, it was so inspiring. Their language skills are questionable at best for probably 75% of those in attendence, even the speakers, yet they are out looking for people who want to study in English. Amazing, to see what Jehovah is doing down here. It brings tears to your eyes to listen to these Mexican friends, so sincere, so humble, like the single mother whose 13 yr. old son was baptized, and whose 15 yr. old son takes one of the midweek FS groups each week, and she works full time, and auxiliary pioneers to set an example, and yes she lives in Juarez. I approached her to commend her after the program, and she was so shy she could hardly make eye contact with this stranger, this foreigner. And the Filipino girl who came to Mexico alone from her country, to work in a factory, and she doesn`t speak Spanish, and when she told her coworkers she had a ``family` there, they could not believe her, so she brought 9 coworkers to the Memorial, and they saw her family, her English congregation. And yes, she`s in Juarez.

As uncomfortable as I am with the environment, heat as well as communication difficulties, Sandi and I are overwhelmed by the friends. In our cong. in Delicias people come to our door every day, and phone us every day, just to ask if we need help with anything. A sister took Sandi to the local grocery store, to show her how to shop, since products are different, labeling is mostly spanish only, and in the produce dept. we don`t sometimes even recoqnize some things. So this sister with a 7 month little boy, the only child in our cong., took Sandi shopping. As well, when we had to buy a bed, she went with us to help translate, when we bought different items for our new house there was always someone from the cong. with us, just to take care of us. It is so overwhelming that today, Sandi said to me, `Why us... Why are we so special` and of course the answer is we`re not special, it is they who are special.

Last Sunday late afternoon we invited most of the cong. over to our house, and some brought their relatives who are in the Spanish cong. so we had about 25 people here who mostly couldn`t talk with us. But the story is, right outside the house, a drunk driver with no insurance smashed into the wheel of my Explorer, which was not in its place inside our garage, unfortunately. He broke the suspension and steering parts of the front end, but never even scratched the paint, but anyway the police had to come, etc, and it would have been difficult for me to know the process, but I had to even go to the police station, and I had my buddy Miguel who is my constant friend and interpretor, as well an another brother, an elder from spanish, accompany me to the police station, they both know some of the police, they stuck up for my rights, helped me make a written report of what happened, it had to be in Spanish, and what other foreigner would have someone to trust in a situation like that. But all went well, the insurance guy who was at my door the next morning at 7:30 am. was able to squeeze the repair money out of the uninsured driver, and its interesting that that guy was held in jail until I was satisfied, and he would not get his own vehicle back until I was satisfied, and signed a paper saying so. You see, I had a $500 deductible, and the repairs were in that range, so him having no insurance I would have had to pay the deductible, and the insurance company would likely have never collected from him, like getting blood from a stone. But the way they do it, while he is in jail, they had his father, his employer,and police all involved, to pressure him to borrow the money from someone to pay the damages, so that I wouldn`t have to pay the deductible, and they wouldn`t have to try collecting from him later. It worked, and my vehicle was as good as new 5 days later, and the guy got out of jail and got his beatup old car back. So that`s the Mexican way in a car accident when the other guy has no insurance, and without the help and support of the local brothers, I would have been lost in that process. (All those negotiations with the guy took place in the police station, with police in attendence, and brothers speaking in my behalf since the whole thing was in spanish only...........! Never complain about ICBC!)

Well, thank you for reading my rambling, and give our love to our very-much-loved Canadian brothers and sisters, who we think of every day. A move like this just drives home the point of how much we need our diversified world-wide brotherhood, those who are new to us and those with whom we have a solid history of serving together for many years, in White Rock and elsewhere.

Feel free to share any of this that may be remotely interesting to any. We love you all.

Love from Paul and Sandi

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday June 1

Today its June 1, and Sandi has Paul doing the writing today. Our two-year lease on this new house technically begins today, but we have not moved in yet.
Our time with the little English cong is quite enjoyable. We have been in the door-to-door work, always with a Spanish speaking publisher, but we just ask if anyone speaks English, and usually in the course of the morning we will find one or two. Lots of not homes here too. I have been going over baptism questions with a shy 15 yr old girl named Annalouisa, and the Circuit Assembly is in Chihuahua city June 19 and 20. Its only one hour drive to get there. Its in a hotel, and we expect attendance of around 300.
In the cong. They need me on the platform even tho my suits are still in the trailer, so I took the WT last Sunday in shirtsleeves again, I have two or more parts each Thursday, and next Thursday I begin my career as the Coordinator, the TMS Overseer, taking the CBS every couple of weeks, plus BH talks and a SM part every week. It looks like I have to give a public talk every third week. Its hard to get visiting speakers to come here, so if any of you brothers ever come to visit us here in Delicias-Ingles congregation, bring along some talk outlines. We have a wonderful young single elder (38) here named Miguel Garcia, who has been a real workhorse for the past several months, holding everything together. He will now serve as the Secretary and the Service Overseer, and he cares for the maintenence of the Kingdom Hall, and he schedules the public talks, so he is still very busy even with me here. He has also spent many hours taking us around on our shopping errands, and is available any time we need him. Also, there`s a serious and hardworking young ministerial servant named Alexis Soto, who calls me every day asking if there`s anything he can do for us. And the girls in the cong are poised to come and clean our house after the builder does his final cleaning, just to be just we have a spotless house to move into. They treat us so wonderfully its hard to put it into words. The cong plans to have a housewarming party at our house after we are settled, and in the immediate neighbourhood of our new house there`s at least 10 families of Witnesses in the Spanish congregations that plan to have a party to welcome us to the neighbourhood. Its quite overwhelming, we`re the first foreigners to come here, I guess.
Sandi has mentioned that we have several calls to develop already. And when out and about doing errands and buying stuff for the house, we have met some who speak English. Mexicans who lived in the US in the past, mostly. The Faithful Slave has found there's a tendency to take the message more seriously from an English speaking foreigner for some unknown reason, if they understand English, so that is why we're encouraged to be here, I guess.
But at the DQ (yes, we found a DQ!) I met a guy named Ricardo who offered to help me as I struggled at the counter to say milkshake in Spanish, and he had his two beautiful little girls with him. His English was real good, and he's a computer systems designer here. We witnessed to him in the nice airconditioned DQ, and it turns out he studied the Knowledge book in the US, was deported for having 80 kilos of cocaine in his possession (!) he then studied in Tijuana and elsewhere up to 2004, but not since then. He rebuilt his live down here in Delicias as a respectable guy married now with kids, and he said he felt it was not an accident that he met us at the DQ counter. He said Jehovah was telling him it was time to get back to the meetings again! We agreed, and gave him a Bible Teach book and an invitation to the meeting, as well as we exchanged phone numbers. So what do you think............on real hot days in FS I'll just go sit in the DQ and read an English Watchtower and wait for the sheep to come in? Did I mention I've lost weight already down here? Its either the heat or the light Mexican meals we eat, as we don't really eat much before we're full, and for me there's no McDonalds in town.....................
We should be in to the house by Thursday, except that's a meeting day so we'll see if its practical to do it that day. But as you can imagine, watching the expert tile installer do his job is like watching paint dry. It takes all our patience. He was finishing the staircase yesterday, and then its only the second bathroom that still needs tiling, everything else is done. Even the two-car garage has a tiled floor.
When I say everything else is done, I mean the tile. There is lots more to complete, but we will move in anyway. The fridge and stove and washer and dryer were delivered either last night or today. But there's no kitchen cabinets for a couple of weeks! And no clothes-closets yet! (See, the house is made of concrete, and the closets are build of wood later, so there's three closets that aren't made yet, but hopefully they won't make too much of a mess when they build them after we're in the house........... We'll manage. Its my first experience with a clothes dryer that is a combo of gas and electric. They don't use 220V for dryers here, its 120V that runs the electric part, and then propane gas that heats the thing. Apparently it works well. Propane also fuels the stove, and the hot water boiler that is installed. So there's a big propane tank that is mounted in sort of a hidden spot up high on the side of the house, and a guy comes with a truck, and a ladder, to fill it when needed. In cooler months like Jan and Feb the heat system also runs on the propane. So there's no natural gas here, but the propane is quite cheap they say.
We have the phone company installing a line to the house tomorrow, providing high-speed internet as well. This is also almost 50% cheaper than White Rock, and the ADSL highspeed internet is quite a bit faster here. Our new home phone number is 639-470-5657. So from Canada dial 011-52-639-470-5657. If you call us, we can hang up and call you back on our almost free cell phone plan. Then it won't cost you anything. We talked to Paula the other day, and checked how much that call cost, and for 22 minutes it cost us less than 60 cents! And of course our internet email addresses remain the same,, and
We found finally a furniture store that has great Mexican stuff, harder to find that you would think. Most furniture stores look like the Brick, American type furniture, but we found a store in a little town near here called Meoqui. We got a dining room table made of marble, with a chocolate brown base, the marble closely matches the tiles in the dining area. The six chairs are chocolate brown leather with a suede stripe. We also got a master bedroom set of Mexican pine, quite nice. And there were a lot of unique pieces of decorative stuff that was very inexpensive, so we can put together a neat place even though the designer of the house had “modern” in mind, I think. (Like a dropped ceiling in the living room with indirect lighting all around, and a recessed ceiling in the kitchen.) The bed we brought from Canada, and the dresser, will go into the guest bedroom, and we got some pieces for that room that will make the Circuit overseer quite comfortable in July, and all our Canadian visitors will enjoy it too. I also found a nice desk for my office, and the price was the exact amount that Maritza paid me for my big desk back in Canada when we moved. So that was nice, this desk is smaller of course, but its beautiful, from that Mexican furniture store in Meoqui. They are delivering all this Mexican stuff Saturday or Monday. That probably means Tuesday................
There's one A/C system for upstairs, and one for downstairs, and the house is also insulated, and has thermoglass windows. It was quite cool yesterday even without any a/c on. Likely only the upstairs will need to have the a/c on.
Well, so much for my longwinded story, so we'll write again in a few days.

Our love to all
Paul and Sandi Cameron
Delicias-Ingles Congregation
Delicias, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Monday, May 24, 2010

update to Monday morning, May 24th

Cardenas, Chihuahua, Mexico

It's Monday morning and it's another sunny day. The rooster is crowing and every now and then the 2 hens come singing by my back door looking for another scrap, the unfamiliar birds are chirping away, the remains of late last night's wind storm is strewn about in the yard. At 10:30 there's still a cool breeze coming in the screened front door keeping Paul & I quite comfortable in this little oasis from the heat. Trooper is alert for that cat that may come by again any minute. I just hope that the locked screen door holds. On the other hand, he was quite disconcerted when the rooster strutted by and crowed in his face.

Since we last 'blogged' our life has a bit of routine, thanks to the 2 meetings and Saturday/Sunday morning service. Where we would be I don't know if it wasn't for the GPS. Once in the city, there are no visible land marks, except for the sun which tends to keep moving. There are big traffic circles everywhere with 6-8 roads running off it. The circles are so big, we have to count which street to turn down as the GPS usually isn't quite up to speed. And you know Five Corners in White Rock? Well, here it's eight corners! And some have ALTO and some don't! We always feel we're risking our neck when we boot it across an intersection. However, drivers are courteous but don't wait for any Canadian that hesitates, that's for sure. We'll get the hang of it.

Just about every day we go to the house and are happy to see the gradual progress. As of this Wednesday it will be four weeks that we've been 'living out of a suitcase' ~ a little longer than we tho't. Consequently, until we can move in, we are in limbo, out of our comfort zone. Every day sees us running back & forth from Cardenas to Delicias so the mileage is noticeable, plus it's usually the time of day when it's really hot. We're so thankful to retreat into this little air-conditioned house.

Today, we're going to leave shortly and take Trooper tho' it's not always easy because of the heat. However, he likes his park across the street from the house – we'll have to give it a name – and we don't have much else to do except go to Alexis' house to connect with the internet and send this blog and a few e-mails, etc. The Soto's, Alexis family, are terrified of dogs but they are getting very comfortable with him. Marie, the mom, invites him into the shaded carport and gingerly brings him water when we go inside.

Found a great place to buy delicious BBQ'd chicken after the meeting yesterday. It also came with separate side orders of yummy mashed potatoes, and a few other choices. We entered it in the GPS so that we will find it again.

As to the main reason we're here, we have three potential Bible studies! The first is an older couple that we called on back in January. They welcomed us with open arms Sunday morning, and are very pleased that we will come back later this week to start our discussions about what the Bible really teaches. The second is a 18 yr old boy, (who is 6'5” and has a pretty good beard) his name is Julio and he came to the meeting Thursday with his Mom, who is inactive. The other elder noticed that he seemed to take to Paul, and he usually goes outside right away but this time he kept hanging around to talk to Paul. They talked about his family, even music, and the kinds of governments in Canada and the US, and then Paul told him he really needs to have his own Bible study. At first he hesitated, but then seemed more open to the idea. Paul invited to come over to our new house when its ready. Paul plans to take Julio along as a guide and interpreter when he has to go to other towns to give talks in the future. We'll see how that one goes. And as for me, Saturday Miguel the other elder was doing approach work somewhere, and he talked to a man who said he had a friend who really needs to talk to Jehovah's Witnesses. She is a 38 yr old American from Florida and he gave Miguel her address. Sounds a little strange, but we follow up on everyone. So calling at her house, there was no one home, and we left a note with Miguel's phone number. She soon phoned, and agreed for us to go call on her. She even asked about the meetings. So I will try to develop this call.
Miguel feels that in just the one week that we 'foreigners' have been here, there are signs things are starting to move forward. A couple in Spanish who speak English quite well heard we have arrived and they are going to think about coming into English now. But most important is the folks in the territory who we are looking for. Miguel says they are impressed with Canadians who would move down here just to help them learn the Truth in English.
We have enjoyed the meeting Thursday and Sunday. Paul has his suits and jackets somewhere in the trailer still, so he is in shirtsleeves, but they still need him on the platform.
The local Spanish congs. Had their circuit assembly Sat. And Sunday, and they used an open-air baseball stadium. They get it free in exchange for cleaning the place up. There is a roof over most of the seating, and that's good because it has been 38 degrees celsius.

Well, I'll try to blog a little more often as these are becoming increasingly lengthy. Until we get the internet set up, I type it up in a document first, then paste. Kinda not the same.

Hope to see some e-mails from you when I get to Soto's house. May Jehovah keep you safe and bless you all as He is us.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Well girls, here it is Tuesday evening, May 18, and Sandi is far behind in her Blog, so she has asked Paul to do an update for you.
Sandi's last blog took you to our departure from Bennie and Sharon Jones' home in Los Lunas, south of Albuquerque. It took us just a few hours to haul this heavy trailer down to Las Cruces, only 45 min. North of El Paso, and we spent the night there before crossing the Mexican border Sunday morning.
We met Brother Jesus Esparza and his wife Elena at El Paso, at an intersection, and they led us to the border crossing at Santa Theresa, 30 min down the road, so that we would not have to haul our trailer thru Juarez Mexico. They felt we would be a target going thru town. So we followed them, and we arrived at a nice quiet border crossing about 9:30 am.
(Brother and Sister Esparza are the couple about our age who lived in Delicias and have a house outside of town at Lazaro Cardenas, but they had to move back to El Paso. We met them in January at the English District Convention at Monterrey, Mx. They left town right after the convention, so they had given us the keys to their house, still furnished, and said we could stay there while we checked out Delicias, and we did so. We sure appreciated their hospitality, and now they are again helping us to cross the border, and giving us their house again to use until our own house in Delicias is ready. It looks like another two weeks, by the way, as the builder still has lots to do, tiling, cabinets, inside doors, etc. But I will tell you more about the house shortly.).

At the border crossing: We learned that there are several departments to deal with crossing into Mexico, unlike the Canadians and US folks who are on top of everything. One wicket sold us our 6 month permits to be tourists, another sold us a 6 month permit for our Explorer and trailer, then a third dept looked at my list of contents of my trailer. It was all itemized carefully, and Brother Esparza had it translated for me, but forgot to bring along the translation! He didn`t seem too worried, so I didn`t worry either. He helped me each step of the way as my spokesman and translator, and it seemed to make such a difference. The guys at this third department were so easy-going, he looked at my English-only list of contents, decided to charge me $128 US duty, and that was that! No search, no questions, and no one cared about our dog Trooper either.
Then we drove thru a green-light red-light lane, and got a green light. Perhaps a red light would have resulted in a big search, I don`t know. But we drove on. Some soldiers were there with their big guns, and sandbagged positions too, but we drove on. Down the road a few miles we met a checkpoint of the military again, they pulled us over, we had to get out, and one guy searched under the seats, in the glovebox, in the back while petting Trooper, and then he wanted to see inside the trailer. Whoa! I indicated to him, as I unlocked the padlock, that it was full to the top, and he just had a look, rummaged a little bit as I guess they are supposed to look for weapons being smuggled, and that was that! Meanwhile, We now had a different brother with us, as Esparzas left us at the border, and Miguel Garcia met us and took over as our guide and translator. We sure were cared for well this day! Anyway, while the soldiers were searching the truck and trailer briefly, and us standing around, Miguel chats with one soldier, tells him who we are, gives him the magazines I had on the dash, one English and one Spanish, as the soldier said he had a buddy who reads English. So we left with waves from all the soldiers, and drove on.

If this soldier-talk is upsetting to you, remember we are in a war zone now, the war is between the government of Mexico and the Drug Cartels. If Americans and Canadians stopped using drugs, Mexico would not have this war going on, so no one should look down on Mexico. Mexico has the courage to declare war on the Cartels, and the Cartels are fighting with guns imported from the US. So its an international problem, and frankly only Jehovah`s government, His Kingdom, can solve this mess. People in Vancouver, in Surrey, in White Rock are not safe, its just a lot more open down here. But there go Jehovah`s people preaching about the Kingdom, walking among all these crazy violent people, and until Jehovah`s organization tells us to back off, we will continue to go out among them and do our job. We can`t hide from this crazy world, we keep going until our Governing Body tells us to change what we do. And so far they are saying to exercise caution, but proceed with vigor.

Before we go down the road, may I take you back to the border again. As you can see, we now have been transferred from the care of the Esparzas to the care of Miguel Garcia from Delicias. Miguel gave a public talk at one of the 4 English congregations in Juarez on Saturday evening, stayed over night, and planned to ride back to Delicias with us. (He had taken a bus up to Juarez so he could ride with us to go home). So when Miguel meets us at the border, a nice English-speaking Mexican family of 5 came to the border too, to meet us and to wish us well. So we had a big gaggle of brothers and sisters around us as we dealt with all the border authorities. They must have surely wondered about us. What a beautiful worldwide brotherhood we have as Witnesses, the only organization in the world like this. We are so blessed. Remember Malachi 3:10, which says if we test Jehovah out by obeying his directions even tho we are full of fear and apprehension, He will pour out a blessing on us even now, and much more in the future. Sandi and I were in awe this day, as we felt we were taken by the hand thru a foreign language bureaucracy, led thru rather intimidating military checks that again would have had a communication problem if we had been alone, and then sent off by a nice family of Witnesses we had never met before this day, as they came to the border to meet us. We are so blessed.
There was another checkpoint about 40 miles into Mexico, it was actually called Customs, and the guy just checked the permit and sticker we now had on the windshield of the Explorer. That was it, and we headed into the 5 hour trip to Delicias. It took us more than 5 hours, stopping for two meals, letting Trooper have a walk or two along the way, and the trailer is very heavy. When we got to a tollbooth with about 50 miles to go, I paid the toll, then pulled over toward a rest area and bathrooms, and found I had a flat tire on the trailer. Oh man, this was not easy to change, as the trailer was overheavy, and the problem was a jack that could not do the job. But this happened in a good spot, and Sandi could get out of the sun with Trooper while Miguel found a guy with a bigger jack, and we got the tire changed.
We made it into our temporary home, in Lazaro Cardenas, near dusk, and the neighbours were waiting for us as we pulled in to the fenced yard of the little duplex. Remember Esparzas had lent us their place, and the neighbours were Witnesses too, and we had met them back in January, so it was another reunion, and they had the AC running in the house for us, and Miguel got a ride on to Delicias with someone else, and we were home for the night, safely, after a long and tiring day.

Monday, May 17

Well, Monday morning we were eager to see the new house, and get oriented, so we dropped the trailer in the fenced backyard of the house in Cardenas and headed for Delicias, 30 min down the road. Within 5 minutes we met the usual roadblock checkpoint of the Federales, the Federal Police, heavily armed with machine guns and ready for anything. It can be intimidating for sure for us Canadians, but I find the most intimidating is the language issues. I know how to deal with authorities respectfully, but I can`t do it when I can`t speak their language. I`ve got to get this language thing fixed within the next year, I feel like such a baby. Anyway, the roadblock. A large officer, one of the leaders I think, stopped us, and asked where we were going, where we were from, and I told him in mixed English and Spanish that we were staying in the home of Jesus Esparza in Cardenas, and going to see our new house in Delicias. I showed him the printed address of the new house I carried with me. He shoved out his right hand, palm up, and I asked, Passport, no, oh maybe he wants cash, no, he wanted to shake my hand! We laughed, we shook, he asked if I was a Pastor in our Church and pointed to the Watchtower I keep on the dash, I said I was an elder, a minister, and he nodded. He asked if I like Tequila, he told us to buy the white Tequila, not the yellow Tequila, and add lime, and salt, etc. Can you believe this, a heavily armed man stopping us on the road telling us in broken English how to mix a Tequila drink, and then apologizing for his poor English. This place has a way of picking you up just when you start to get stressed and or discouraged. That made our morning.
Then we arrived at the house. A little disappointing, as there is still much work to be done, and it will take a couple of weeks I am sure. But, there were positives too, as the house has electric garage doors, remote controlled from the car, just like Canada, and the washer, dryer, and Air Conditioner are being installed, we just need to buy the fridge and stove, and of course another bedroom set, another couch, and other stuff that we had planned on buying. The floor in the huge garage is tiled too, and very nice. Sandi and the builder, Pedro, were discussing the colours for the house interior, and I took Trooper for a nice grassy walk in his new park, right across the street. The park has a central monument or something, with paths all over, and it covers a city block or more. There are about 10 Witness families very close around the park, and there`s also a doctor and a lawyer who are neighbours, according to Pedro the builder. Pedro`s parents live down the street, he lives a couple of doors away, and many others who he says will get together to welcome us after we are finally moved in in a couple of weeks. So a nice feeling of community right on the street, and we went to Pedro`s house for refreshments before we left. Miguel Garcia our friend and translator was with us through this whole day, as he had taken the day off work as an electrician to spend the time helping us. We did a couple of errands and headed back to Cardenas outside of town.
To our surprise there was a carload of girls in their 20s who had heard we had arrived and who could not wait to come see Sandi, so they had driven out to Cardenas to see us and were waiting when we arrived at the little dusty place.

Tuesday, May 18

Today is Tuesday, and we both felt a little out of sorts as we got up, feeling overwhelmed and a little frustrated that we can`t even unpack our clothes that are in the trailer, until the new house is ready. We are just killing time in a way. I have two parts on the meeting program Thursday night, and I don`t even have a suit or sportsjacket, they are packed in the trailer somewhere. So I will be giving my Bible Highlights talk and the Service Meeting part in a shirt and tie, and pants too I guess, and mogasins instead of dress shoes, but that`s OK with this little congregation that has been waiting a long few months for the new couple to arrive. Our arrival has legitimized the cong., they say, as some didn`t take it seriously until now that a Canadian English couple has arrived permanently. One brother we met at the new house contruction site said his wife speaks good English and they had thought about going into the English cong., but now that we arrived, they were going to talk about it again.

So back to this morning, we drove into Delicias again, the 30 minute drive, and met the Federal Police roadblock again, the machinegun brigade, and I thought that we would have to go thru the whole interrogation again with a different officer, but I guess the big guy yesterday had told the others about the Canadians in town, as we slowed down, a different guy looked at the plates and at us, smiled broadly and waved us on, and the guy from yesterday was busy across the road checking a truck, he spots us, and waves vigorously, with a big smile. So that picked us up a little, as really the communication issues are what bother me the most. That, and the problem we have caring for Trooper while in this little town of Cardenas.
I am not sugarcoating this blog, and am telling it like it is. It is a rough place, dangerous in some ways, and the Police guy told us to use extreme caution. So we can`t walk Trooper after dark, I take him out for a walk before dusk, all the loose dogs everywhere come after us barking and growling, its like walking a gauntlet, but Trooper handles it calmly, and I just keep sauntering down the middle of the road until we get past the crazy packs of dogs, They come within 4 to 6 feet sometimes, and they have not attacked, and the last thing we want is for Trooper to get bit by one of these dogs and get infected. I am prepared to kick any of them that get too close, but so far a sharp word or two, and a threatening move by me, and they shy away. But I have to walk him, Monday we took him in the Explorer all day, and looked for grassy places for him, and it was hard to find. So today we left him in the airconditioned house after walking him around Cardenas, but it will be so much better for him when we are in the new house and he has the park. (I tried taking him in the Explorer and looking for vacant lots for him to explore, but they are full of sharp things, even little burrs that hurt his feet, and he is such a spoiled city slicker dog that he needs nice grass to walk on. I can`t wait to get into the new house with the park across the street.)
We looked at furniture stores, shopped at Sorianas, a competitor of Walmart which is here too, and then we returned to Cardenas, had a rest, its 36 degrees celcius, and then walked Trooper again, had a meal with the neighours, spoke broken English and Spanish around the table, learned the little 10 yr old boy is getting baptized this coming weekend, and we had a nice day overall.
Actually, we now have an arrangement with the sister next door in our little temporary duplex home in Cardenas, she makes us one nice meal each day, sometimes we will eat with them, sometimes she will bring it over to us, but its just whatever they are having that day, and we are able to help them financially so that its not a burden for them. They are very poor, but tried to refuse any payment for the meals. Of course, we insisted, and its a fine arrangement for all of us. It takes the pressure off Sandi, as this house was empty and we didn't want to stock the place with all the things it takes to prepare full meals. We make ourselves a little breakfast, we usually are out at lunchtime, and then come home to the neighbours nice meal for us. We even get in a siesta nap from 4 til 5:30 maybe, so life is not too tough.

Conclusion for today:

We know there will be problems, maybe some serious ones, but life is like that anywhere. We are out of our comfort zone, for sure, but we pray every day that we can survive this huge change for us and show others back home that it is possible to make a big change like this and still live to talk about it.

Sandi will no doubt write again soon, but we don`t have an internet connection in Cardenas, so we wrote this in a document and will try to cut and paste it into the blog tomorrow morning when we go to a brother`s house in Delicias. (He has wireless internet, so we can connect there with our laptop.) If this method works, Sandi will keep up her comments for a while, until we are settled and life becomes routine. By then you`ll be tired of reading this anyway.

We don`t have our house phone and high-speed internet installed yet of course, but our Mexican cell phone is, from Canada, 011-52-1-639-109-6389. Our email will continue as before,, and

No one should worry about us, we are just fine. Jehovah and his people are taking care of us, and we are never alone, not even for a minute. Jehovah is here, we can feel it.

Dan and Katina, if you are reading this, we love you dearly. Maritza and Santiago, we love you and think about you every day. Bill and Carol, we`ll see you late in June. Miriam, Trooper misses you, and we do too. Dale, come down and see us when you can. Randy and Frances, we hope you keep in touch too.

Good night to our wonderful family, Mom and Dale and her family, Paula and Brad, Savannah and Bronson, and to Scott who has been so generous and supportive. Hi to Kayla, and to all our dear beloved brothers and sisters in the faith. We love you all and think about you constantly.

Written by Paul

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Los Lunas to Las Cruces, NM

We reluctantly hit the road again this Saturday morning. The trip to Las Cruces was uneventful, a good thing I guess, and now we are just 45 minutes from El Paso. Tomorrow morning, around 9:30 a.m. - 12 hours from now - we will be crossing the border into Mexico with Brother Esparsa. We talked to him earlier tonight and everything is on schedule.

We really enjoyed our stay with Bennie and Sharon: found a TJ Max store which had lots of interesting stuff. Paul is obviously still feeling insecure as he's still buying underwear! Ate lunch at a Red Lobster which was a treat for us all. The next day, we had a slower pace and we're able to have some quiet time do our mtg. preparations. With the weekly Bible reading assignment, we took turns reading and used the reference Bible at the same time which was nice to do together. Then later went to their Thursday night meeting enjoying it very much. The friends we met were as warm and friendly as the ones back home. I am always so appreciative of our amazing brotherhood. After the meeting, Bennie & Sharon had invited a few couples over so we had wine and snacks and they were enthused and excited about our move. It was late when we got to bed but we managed to get up and go out in the field ministry Friday morning. And, just like at home, we all stopped for coffee at Starbucks. [Interestingly about 10 sisters work at this Starbucks, because while they only get about $10 hr., they get health benefits!] Just as the morning was coming to an end on one of the backroads, just as Bennie promised, we spotted a real Roadrunner. Funny little thing and unmistakable likeness to the cartoon character which is all most of us have ever seen.

You know Jones' are such dog people and really fussed over Trooper, not even hardly minding when he drooled on the floor. Sharon was forever giving him treats. I think Trooper tho't he was at last 'home' because he sure didn't want to get in the truck to leave. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to hear that they get themselves a pup soon. You could tell they'd really missed having a dog around.

So we spent our last evening together savoring Bennie's fabulous Jumbolia [mispelled] and later while hoping for a pretty sunset, sat out on their patio warmed by the fire built in their fire box. So relaxing. We said goodnight to Bennie early as he had to leave around 4 a.m. to go to Aztec and work on an RBC roofing project. In the morning we phoned Olga & Percy and co-ordinated our plans to attend the Annual General Meeting in Jersey City as they, too, have rec'd their invitations in the mail. After some last minute laundry, we collected all our stuff - I hope - left around 11:00 but not before some sisters working the territory walked by and introduced themselves. We were saddened to say goodbye, but at the same time, we're excited and a little bits nervous to get across the border.

So its off to bed now. Paul's already packed it in he's pretty tired. Tomorrow we get up really early as we have to figure out how to repack the back of the truck so that I can sit in the back, with Miguel riding up front. Trooper's gonna be squished. Don't know when we'll next have a wireless connection as we won't be staying in any hotels from now on. But we'll call Paula & Scott as soon as we're safely across and heading for Delicias. Good nite Y'all. Good nite, Miriam.

.......and Good nite all you Clarkes, Camerons, and Prossers. Our love to you each and every one of you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sharon & Bennie's in Los Lunas

If feels so good to be off the road for a few days. Actually have unpack our suitcases, which is the first since we left home 2 weeks ago today.
We had a very windy & dusty drive from Gallup. Before we left, Trooper had another go at those gophers - visual confirmed - but he came up 'empty'. Hit the road around 10:30 and some of the red dust storms we went thru were pretty daunting. The sand was drifting across the road just like a white-out in a snow storm. Finished the last of the 2010 Yearbook just as we got into town. When we arrived here, Bennie met us at Greenwals, and we followed him a few short miles to their home. What a lovely area. Their subdivision is quite new, Santa Fe style. Crazy about all the soft sandstone shades of the houses. Paul loves it. All the fronts are landscaped with fine red pebbles - that sometimes blow away - curvey sidewalks and appropriate spikey plants, roses, lilac, etc. Bennie is faithfully watering some newly seeded grass out back and had a nice choice of interesting bushes. Very nice. It was windy when we got here, but after supper we all went for a walk [to find a suitable bush for Trooper] and the air was calm and cooling. Miriam, you`ll be interested to know that there is a tree here that is a cross between a desert willow and a catalpa tree, called a Chatalpa tree. It`s not flowering yet, but even so the hummingbirds were all over them. I`ll try to find one. This morning we awoke to beautiful sunshine and the bluest sky I've seen in a long time. Sharon says that just as someone had reassured her, she actually enjoys a cloudy day! Can this be true? So we sat outside a bit, relaxed and read, while Bennie & Paul are trying to track down, with success, a place that will tomorrow be able to install air suspension balloons on our leaf springs [I probably don't have that right]. That way if there's a lot of shooting going on in Juarez, we'll just inflate the things and sail over the border. James Bond, eat your heart out!
So now Sharon & I have plans to S H O P towing 2 men.

Oh!! Oh!! Oh!! I forgot to mention. BIG NEWS. We`ve been accepted to attend the Annual Meeting in New Jersey, Oct 2. We`re hooking up with Hymers so they are booking our accommations, and most are confirmed. Yahoo! What a privilege. Can`t believe it.

Take care, everyone.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gallup, New Mexico

We made it safely to Gallup today. Our Best Western is actually on the quiet outskirts of town which I think is good. This dusty town is very poor, lots of pawn shops, Navajo smoke shops, and a general feeling of.....'glad we'll be in Los Lunas tomorrow'.
Paul was able to park at the back of the spacious lot outside our window. The window comes right down to the floor so we put Trooper's bed in front of it and he watches - just like at 'home'. At first we had the curtains open and some guy tho't he'd peek inside until Trooper almost hit the glass barking at him. Good dog, Trooper.
I hardly slept at all last night and not feeling well today. It's just not as easy to be on the road day after day as it may have been in the past. We're only 1 1/2 hrs. from Jones but needed to rest up a bit and wash all the bugs off the truck, thus the stop.
Right out back of the parking lot is an open deserted area with weeds and a few large mounds of dumped dirt. So I tho't first thing after we arrived I'd let Trooper out and he could check it out. Well, he was over there in a shot as he must have seen whatever critters have this incredible maze of burrows inside the mounds of dirt and everywhere in between. He was frantically digging and I could hear them signalling a warning to their clan. I think Trooper tho't he was really going to catch 'a squirrel' this time, but of course he didn't. [We'll check it out again in the morning.] The holes were as big as the ones we saw on the side of the road a few days back, so I think they're marmotts.
Watched tv tonight. Had room service for dinner from nice adjoining restaurant. Lotsa salsa on the menu lately.
Have any of you, who are reading this, have a short explanation of how to make a comment on this blog? as a few are still asking. Do you have to have a gmail account? where it asks for your Profile?

Goodnight, Savannah


Can you believe it? we woke up to rain? But that was an hour and a half ago, and it is now a beautiful sunny morning with perfects temperatures. About to go and test the continental breakfast. Truck/trailer all set and ready to go. Have a good day everyone.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Provo to Monticello

This is our 2nd night in Utah. We took Hwy 191 and reached Monticello around 4 pm - that's with a few stops and a missed turn that took us 10 miles further. I think we missed the turn because Paul had let me out of the car to check out some orange spikey flowers which I took pictures of. Betcha I don't get to do that again. Later we passed an earlier consideration, Moab, for a place to stay. It had 47,000 people and a KHall, and lots of interesting shopping, river rafting & other touristy stuff. A very pretty city. However, we continued on over dale, and desert, thru dust and dirt. Alas we arrived in this very windy, almost dead town of 1700. Spring has just come to this little place, so we must be quite high. The 'Best' Western is now relegated to a Wayward Inn Motel but Rich promised no bed bugs as some of the 'other' hotels boast, and a continental breakfast which we have yet to experience. The dinner we had at the diner, which opened up for us patrons at 5pm, made Shari's of the other night resemble Martha Stewart's. If anyone asks, stop in Moab!

Today, we decided no more Country Music and, thanks to the combined efforts of Scott and Savannah, we listened to 2 1/2 hours of the Yearbook downloaded into my iPod, which we hooked into the 7" flat-screen stereo system. It was easy to absorb the events related about Unganda while passing thru scenery composed of endless sage brush and red earth. While we travelled along countless long stretches of highway, there were miles and miles of towering rims and gorges, similar in all the magnificent colors of the Grand Canyon. And to my delight, in amongst it all, were acres of big splashes of a bright yellow ground cover. So much beauty in even this uninhabited wilderness to Jehovah's glory.

Tonight our 'rig' is parked right outside our door and we feel safe. Trooper continues to be vigilante to any activity outside.

Tomorrow we will slip thru the bottom south-east corner of Colorado and run down to Gallup, NMex. From there it is just a short 1 1/2 hours to Benni & Sharon's who are waiting for us, so if all goes as scheduled, arrive there around noon on Tuesday. Every night & every morning we are so thankful to Jehovah that all has gone well, and that, as Paul says, "there's nothing to blog about because nothing has happened." [Hope you are finding this somewhat interesting just the same.] Love to you all.

Good night, Scott.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Provo, Utah

Wow! are we road weary. We got up and left what we tho't would be really early, but the old grey mare ain't what she used to be. So left around 9 again. The Hwy north of Salt Lake City is pretty ugly and a steady climb for miles & miles. So, around 10:30 I had my first nap of the day. Once in Utah we watched for a Travel Info Ctr as we weren't sure about Hwy 191 going south past SLC - if it would be too mountainous for our 'rig'. The fellow assured us that it was excellent roads and much shorter, as the way we'd picked out went south, then southwest to Las Vegas and then east to NMex. We've cut off a lot of miles as a result. Cancelled our previous reservations and found ourselves in Provo around 3:00. Had a quick bite to eat, and we all 3 crashed for naps. Trooper's woofing woke us up again as new people w/dog settled in across the hall. They were sniffing their identifies to each other under our door. [The dogs, that is.]

As we got closer to SLC, we headed for downtown where I had GPS'd the first Coldwater Creek I could find since Seattle. I'd seen a tan knee-length linen skirt on-line that I tho't would be good for service and hoped to get. The outdoor mall where I found the store was absolutely lovely. Reminded me of a much better version of the new mall in our area that has Winners, except that it was on 2 levels. Very appealing. Also was at a similar mall with Ed'n Lou years ago in San Fransisco. Can't remember the name but it was down near the Pier, began with G. Chocolates of the same name. Quite famous.

Anwaz, downtown SLC was very pretty but quiet for a Saturday afternoon. We found a 30 min., long. parking spot a few blocks away from The Gateway Mall and so with instructions not to take an hour, I headed for the store! Well! I hit pay-dirt!!!! The store was having it's one-day-a-year 35% off everything sale, plus 50% off all accessories and another 35% off that. So what's a gal gonna do? I shopped and tried on [no limit to how many items you could take into the changing room - woohooo!] as fast as I could and it only took me an hour and a half - well, so, it wasn't an hour [she said defensively]. In the meantime, Paul & Trooper were still resting in the shady 30 min. spot. All was well and I'd had a blast. The cashier line-ups were really long and I got chatting with the lady behind me, told her where we were going and why. [She was probably Morman, ya think?] Anywaz, as I was heading for the door she called out 'Goodbye, Miss Canada, and good luck.'

Just finished a rather late night dinner at Ruby River Steakhouse attached to our La Quintas Hotel. Had one of the best steak dinners ever. It's one of those restaurants where you have galvanized pails of peanuts on high top tables. Shells are dropped on the floor and cheer loudly for their basketball team on the sports tv - the team was just playing down the road - nothing tooooo national.

Well, it was good to get off the road early, tho it's 10:25 MST. Hope to get to Monticello, Utah on 191 tomorrow.

Goodnite, Bronson.

PS: didn't get the tan skirt, but, not to worry, I did alright.

A wake-up in Twin Falls, Ida

Day 3: a beautiful sunny morning and our truck & trailer are waiting outside for us. We`ll be leaving in a bit.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Dalles to Twin Falls

"Two wheels on our wagon, and we're still rollin' along.
The Cherokees are after me......"

Remember that song? I think it was written while they crossed the bottom half of Oregon like we did today - honestly I don't know how those old wagon trains followed that Oregon Trail that we criss-crossed. Didn't see any Cherokees but saw lots of prairie dogs and those big ones that looked like a third of the size of Trooper. What were they? There was one bunch of about 7 that were all sunning themselves around this very large hole right on the side of the Hwy.
Anywaz you can tell I've got a lot of time to look out the window! We also listened to a lot of old cowboy songs from the 50's & 60's so I'm feeling kinda bunchy? thus the wagon song.

It was a long day today and we tho't of stopping earlier but decided to keep on driving to our reservation here at the Best Western. It's a nice city and hotel. Rooms that allow dogs are also just as clean as any other - glad to say. The truck is running just fine & the trailer just tags along. Each night we've parked the truck/trailer near our bottom floor room, putting on the alarm, wheel lock, & club. Yes, we were relieved to see it still parked there this morning when Paul did a check at 4:30 a.m. with the remote. So we will trust it's safe tonight, too. We walked up the street to Maxie's Tomato for a nice glass of wine and seafood pasta & salad. MUCH better than last night.

That's it. Oh, and we heard the Canucks/Chicago score. Just as well we couldn't find it, nor hear it. As Scott says: Pathetic.

Just heard from Migel that the house is ready to be painted. Yikes, but they're going to wait. How do you say soft buttery yellow leaning toward brown sorta?

We hope to get to Cedar City, Utah tomorrow. May cut it a little shorter if necessary.

Goodnight John Boy.....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

White Rock to The Dalles, Oregon

Well, we arrived safely, without incident, in The Dalles, Oregon as scheduled! Thank you for your prayers.

This morning we saw Savannah off to school. She got up before I had a chance to sing the "Red Red Robin" song to her. A family treat! Then Scott & Kayla came over to Paula's at 8 a.m. to see us. Suzy also phoned one last time and with a few extra people around it made it a bit easier to leave, tho' for a long time I will have this haunting picture in my mind of Paula holding Daisy tight and crying as we drove away.

We decided to take the Nexus lane going thru the border and the guy in the booth was a little flustered and pulled us over to be checked out. While we went inside with Trooper, who found a pole at the entrance to relieve himself!!!, we joined a bunch of other people waiting in line to be processed. Finally it was our turn. They didn't care a hooch about Trooper, but they x-rayed our truck & trailer, wanted to know what kind of dog food we had. Thankfully we knew it was made in the U.S. Anywaz, after 1/2 hour we were on our way, which is about how long the line-up was to go thru the regular lanes. By then it was 10:00 a.m. and while we tho't it was a late-ish start to get on the I-5, we arrived here around 5:45. We stopped a couple of times for washroom breaks and Trooper had a good time checking out all the doggy news in the unfamiliar rest stops. He's a good passenger.

We followed the Columbia River upstream along from Portland to this destination. It was sunny, quite a beautiful day, with interesting scenery. Tomorrow we expect to reach Twin Falls, Idaho which is north of Salt Lake City. That'll be interesting as we've never been to Utah.

Haven't had any fine dining experiences, as I know some of you are wondering. However, there were a few special occasions just before we left that I mustn't leave out. When we went to Merritt earlier this week, Brenda Grenon - my dear little Ukrainian buddy - made a delicious lunch of fresh homemade pyroghies smothered in extra onions and bacon with sour creme [and a salad on the side]. With all that butter that they were later sauteed in, we were thankful that she'd made them with whole wheat flour! [you couldn't tell as they were every bit as good.] And then....when Suzy came over she'd managed to sneak a few of our family favourite cookies, Gingersnaps, out of her house as well as a few morsels of her cinnamon buns that Justin had left behind. We brought these goodies with us. So, let's see, tonight we ate at Shari's........not to be recommended. Should I go into the details of the menu? Bill? I really should have arm wrestled that big pizza delivery guy I passed in the hallway on our way out for supper. Whatever he had in the bag smelled so delicias!

Well, tomorrow's another day. We thank you all again for your support and well wishes. May Jehovah bless every one of you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Time is flying by much too quickly. MONDAY morning we left Sechelt after a terrifically high wind storm that left fresh snow on the surrounding mountains at Gibsons. It was a beautiful sight but really cold. We arrived at the kids house around noon and Paul went and got the trailer hitch reinforced. TUESDAY we got up early and headed for Merritt to get Trooper. The Coquihalla had just had over a foot of snow and we drover thru hard rain, a lot of hail, sleet, and sometimes sunshine! Crazy weather, eh? Sort of a BC send off. Said our goodbyes to Miriam, tho' we're being optimistic and hope she makes it down to Delicias early October. On the way home we stopped in Abbotsford to see Jill & Cec. Finished the day with Chinese food at Paula's and Scott & Kayla joined us. Brad & Bronson are going on a school camping trip to Elphinston Mtn, Gibsons, [that's where we saw the fresh snow on the mtns. yesterday] early tomorrow a.m. so we said our goodbyes with hugs & kisses & hoping to seem them late summer and we were all off to bed.
WEDNESDAY, today, we had a lot of last minute things to do, but slept in and relaxed. Savannah didn't have school 'til after lunch so we sat around, us 3 generations of 'Cameron/Clarke' women and had a really nice morning together. Took Trooper to the vet for his International letter required for Mexico - he was terrified as usual. Then, we visited Grammy and, after a bunch of little errands, Paul helped Paula deliver Bronsons papers - he's on the camping trip remember - and Savannah & I went to Clancy's Tea Cozy for high tea, a favourite spot of ours. We each took some crazy pictures of each other, that I'd put on the blog if I knew how, and I really appreciated this special time with her. By the time we got home, Paula had gone to work at the golf club, so we had left-overs and ice cream as no one felt hungry. We're now packing up, trying to find any convenient hidey-hole in the Explorer to stuff some of the items we have in the back of the truck. I don't know how we ended up with so much in there with us: One very large suit case, 1 small carpet bag, 2 service cases, 1 lap-top & case, sm wicker basket of dog food/dish/lease, etc, lg beach basket with 2 purses & newly acquired photo album tucked inside, 2 person emergency kit, shoes, 6 oyster shells, atlas book, 5 BCAA state travel guides, one dog bed with 2 blankets, one medium sized dog, and a pillow & blankey for me. Sheesh! Oh! I almost forgot, a 3-tiered cement water feature layered between a carpet runner and a fluffy shower mat.
I'm so not looking forward to tomorrow morning. It's going to be awful. But I'm not going to think about it right now and instead, go downstairs and watch the taped American Idol with Savannah ..............goodnight everyone.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday afternoon in Sechelt and it's a cozy rainy day inside with Douglas'. Maybe we'll get a game of hearts going.

We're calling Douglas' The Mexico Halfway House. We went to their meeting this morning and realized that the last time we'd been to this KHall was the visit with Douglas' which started us on this great adventure. Couldn't help but feel strengthened by the decisions we've made when discussing par.9 in the Watchtower. We really feel Jehovah has blessed us so much already. Their were a lot of visitors this morning and they sent their love along with us to our respective congregations ~ that's a 4,000 mile haul for us!

Tonight, our last night in Sechelt, we're going out for dinner to Rockwater Resort - a posh little place nestled in a smuggler's cove, a popular wedding reception place. So it's kind of a dressy-up place [too bad I have to take Paul] with a great menu ~ sure to be a fine dining experience. We'll catch the 10:20 ferry tomorrow morning and head for Paula's.

Did you hear who came for dinner last night? Thomas Zeeman [we knew him in Montreal when he was a teenager] & his wife Colleen. They live in Powell River now, which is just another ferry ride further from Sechelt. Douglas's met them a month ago and realized we were their common friends, so they just had to have us all over together. It was a nice surprise. Colleen was Colleen Moody in Vernon about 8 years ago when she met Thomas. She knows/remembers Miriam. They married about 7 years ago and lived in Prince Rupert for a while so they know Fred & Elaine Johnson & Elsie as well. Colleen is the mother of Sarah Ryter [who became a BeautiControl Consultant under me and got her red mustang convertible last March]. Small world!

So, as is probably going to be the case, I skip a day or two and have to relay events backwards. But not much happened on Friday except that Paul discovered I hadn't packed him a stitch of underwear, while someone picked up all my make-up that was in a clear zippered bag and put it in a box with my bathroom stuff - I'm hoping. I don't know which was worse, to discover Paul had to go commando or I had to go face-naked! Anywaz, we went shopping and remedied all that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's 10:56 and we're ready for bed. What a difference today was from yesterday!
Yesterday, we were up before 6 and never stopped till we arrived here in Sechelt at Bill&Carol's. After a day of cramming our 12'x6'x6' trailer with just about everything we wanted to take, we were ready for that glass of wine that was handed to us as soon as we got in the door.
The weather was really on our side, as first Brad, then Jerry Richter helped Paul load the trailer. Stuff kept going out the door and every once in a while I'd go and check what was happening, expecting to see it still on the sidewalk, but it just steadily kept going inside. In the meantime, tho', I was still packing up loose ends. Kim & Porche brought us lunch and we said our goodbyes to them and a few others that dropped over. Finally at 4:00 Paul closed the trailer doors and we were ready. In the last minutes, my corner iron plant shelf wouldn't fit so I sold it to the new tenants who just happened by. Then I had a last blue ceramic pot that I sold to Mark, next door, and we were good to go! By the way, weeks earlier Miriam had given me a 3-tiered water sculpture that was safetly set away on the patio and we almost forgot it, so right now it is layered between an outdoor mat and a plush green bathroom mat in the back of the truck. [For those of you who aren't up to date, the police found our Explorer - not too badly damaged a week later and we got it back a week after that. All worked out well in the end.] We crammed our suitcase and jackets, pillow, blanket, dog basket holding his food/dishes, and a few other pieces of stuff that literally got thrown into the back as we were too tired to think. And here we'd been sorting, selling, shredding, discarding, giving away for weeks previously and we still had too much stuff. So it's no wonder that as we drove away the trailer hitch was dipped so that the truck was just a leetle bit higher in the front. Paul will address that next week. We took the trailer and parked in a secured yard at Santiage & Maritza's house in Langley, and left for Sechelt. It is only a 1 hour ferry ride up the coast, and what a beautiful evening to end an eventful day.
So this morning was wonderful to wake up to see the ocean right outside our bedroom window and feel the cool fresh breeze. Carol loves to cook and both she & Bill make us feel so welcome, we feel like we are at a Spa resort with an amazing ocean view. During breakfast, a very large bald eagle flew into the fir tree a stone's throw away watching for his next meal. The sun sparkled all day on the water, we sat in the warm sunshine talking and enjoyed a must needed relaxing time with dear friends. After supper Carol & I went for a short walk along the beach front and collected some lovely white clam shells that the seagulls had cleaned out at low tide. This day finished with another gorgeous sunset.
So now that I've finished my first entry I hope I don't lose it all but can successfully post it. Someone may want to confirm that you got it? I will try to do an entry every day. Not so long next time. By the way, we are here until Monday morning when we return to White Rock and stay with the kids for a couple of days.