Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New York - last day

Hanging out in the airport - READY to get home!

Madison as Haman in the play.

Well...we had our last day of training in New York. We managed to get our bags (without incident) to the church where we had our last meeting. However, I insisted we take a taxi to the airport so there would be no recurrence of my first day in New York - no falling down stairs! We finished the event off with presentations and a play from the kids. They had been working on it the entire month - Madison played Haman from the book of Ester. She did a great job! Then we took off - the first to leave, but we had our plane to catch! It was bitter sweet farewells! Most of the folks we won't ever see again, and after having spent a stressful month with them, we got to know people so well! We arrived at JFK with just enough time to catch a meal, and load the plane. Headed off to Salt Lake City where we spent our 3-hour layover doing blogs and playing Blokus. So ready to be home -so ready to sleep in my own bed! Welcome home to everyone! So happy to be back. Of course, we are only home for 3 days before we take off to Arizona for 10 days to say farewell to our friends Dannie and Jeff, and visit the churches that are supporting us! No rest for the weary!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

New York - Sabbath

Sundays are always are busy church days. We visited Nueva Vida for the last day, and they brought the entire group up on stage and prayed for us. They also gave us some Spanish praise and worship albums to listen to, and a few sermons on CD. We will miss them dearly, and are thankful for the ministries that they have going for the Latin American community. The time we have in-between Nueva Vida and Redeemer Church is only about an hour, so it is not worth going back to our place. We usually just hang around and grab a bite to eat. During our dinner time, Mike and Madison had a staring contest - not really sure who won, but it was hysterical no less, and worthy of a picture.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New York - last Saturday

Madison under President Madison in the "Americas" collection in the Metropolitan Museum. We spent about 3 hours there today, saw most of what we hadn't seen when we came last December.

This is an area at the Cloisters where we went on Friday. This is the medieval portion of the Metropolitan Museum - it's in an old fort turned church. The Met owns it, and shows all of their medieval things that aren't at the Met.

HOT day today! Had to take a quick ice-cream break!

It's coming to a FAST close! The beginning of the month seemed like we had so much time left to go. Now, we are down to 3 days left! Incredible! We had a day of some relaxation - took some time at the Met, played Frisbee in Central Park and had a dog, walked around Time Square again, went into the HUGE Toys-R-Us there, then home for more homework! Tomorrow is another day of church - it will be our last time at Nueva Vida - last 3 1/2 hour Spanish speaking sermon (at least in New York).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New York - last day of ministry work

Had a total of 12 doors with trim we painted

Today was our last day of ministry work at the church in Queens. We painted the Sunday School doors a dark blue. Not bad for a bunch of somewhat amateurs! We did have an experienced painter on our hands, but the rest of us were just a bunch of rookies. Turned out good though! Then we went back to our other church for classes in Cultural Adaptation. Great class!! Tomorrow is a half day, we are going to go visit a museum in the morning. It's our last day of classes - Monday and Tuesday of next week are wrap-ups, and exit-interviews. So - it's almost done!! See everyone soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New York - Blue paint

Well...who knew that painting would be in my future - but here it is. Blue, and more blue. We painted (or started) painting blue doors in the Sunday School area - some pics tomorrow. It was oil based paint and by the end of the day it looked like I was the tallest Smurf in history! Sigh...and there are still more doors to do! Our last day of ministry work at our church is tomorrow. We will finish what we can. We then went for our classroom training time where we enjoyed a great time of learning and fun! Then out for dinner with our friends from the Spiritual Life department of MTW. Finally, getting home at 11:00pm tonight - with still much to do. Assignments due, papers to start to write (have a 7 page paper due by next Tuesday), a presentation to prepare, and a journal to complete. Yikes! Who would have thunk?! Somehow, Madison and I are still managing to get our Harry Potter reading in. Most of the time it's been on the Subway - hour plus there and hour plus back. Have had a few opportunities for about 30 minutes during lunch. Almost to page 400 - it's great! This has always been a fun thing that the two of us have enjoyed :-) Sorry no pics today - hands were too grimy to grab the camera.

Monday, July 23, 2007

New York - last week

The hallway of endless doors...

Madison's new beautiful smile.

The tooth just came out, but you can see the new tooth coming in already...

Here is our last full week in New York. We are still actively involved at the church we were working with. New area to paint. Will try and complete the doors in the children's ministry wing this week. Still having some lectures in the afternoons. It's good to know that life goes on as normal, even in the middle of all our training. Madison finally managed to lose another tooth, and yes, even in New York the tooth fairy came to visit. Madison wanted to show off her new smile.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

New York - Tale of two churches

Redeemer Church in Manhattan:

Inglesia Nueva Vida in Queens:

Our Sunday's are packed full from beginning to end. Our first church service is at Nueva Vida church. As an example, church service started today at 11:00 and concluded at 2:45. During this service we stay during the initial worship time - lasts until about 1:00, then we leave to help out in the Sunday School classrooms. After church service we have late lunch, and go to the Redeemer Church near Central Park. Starts at 5:00, and ends promptly at 6:15. The second video gives a good example of our experience there. Quite a difference in cultures and experiences, but both filled with people worshiping God. Madison enjoys both services for different reasons. I asked her if she wanted to dance, and she politely declined.

New York - bitter sweet

This is the "line" for TKTS - the place where you buy "that day" tickets for Broadway shows. You can get tickets for 50 - 75% reduced price.

Being in New York has been a great boost for our ministry work that we will be doing in Honduras. We have had some awesome training, have met with some incredible people. We met with some folks from Redeemer who have been on 3 trips to La Ceiba, and are encouraged by having us as contacts for them for future trips. However, we were not able to go to Mike's nephew's wedding. Bitter sweet indeed. He's the first "kid" from the Pettengill's next generation to get married. Awesome young man, and we were indeed sorry to have missed it! My brothers birthday is today as well. Granted, he is in the Philippines, but my phone has stopped working, can't charge it with the wall charger, only car charger, and can't do that here - so unable to call him today. E-mail's had to do. Bummer!

Madison and I are enjoying reading Harry Potter together. We have seen the new movie since we have been here - caught it over in Times Square. Also able to go see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I must say, however, we all enjoyed Phantom in London better than here...hmm...anyway - we are off to church this morning. Another 3 1/2 service. Will give updates and pictures later.

Friday, July 20, 2007

New York - TIRED!

Our language learning group - learning Ashanti.

Oh my - it has been a very long week! Lots of learning, sensory overload! Madison was able to join us again with language learning. We learned a lot of stuff! The ladies went out to dinner last night then to Karaoke. I just couldn't do it! Dinner wasn't until 8:00pm, then karaoke not until 11:00pm. My commute is so much farther then everyone elses, and would have been on the subway by myself, and walk down the 1/4 mile tube by myself - just didn't feel like I wanted to do that. But - I feel so much better this morning, so am very happy with my decision. Saturday will be busy, busy, busy (so what's new?!). Unfortunately, I'm getting tired of our apartment - things are starting to get uncomfortable. Our bed is so tiny, and Madison and I are sharing it. The bathtub/shower is so tiny, the shower curtains touch you on all sides when you shower, etc. The experience has been unbelievable - but I sure will be happy to get back home :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New York - steam pipe explosion

AP Photo
A report from the Associated Press:

"NEW YORK - An underground steam pipe explosion tore through a Manhattan street near Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday during the evening rush hour, sending residents running for cover amid a towering geyser of steam.
A plume of steam, sometimes white and sometimes muddy brown, shot into the air from a gaping hole in the street near the train station and was as high as the nearby Chrysler Building. The air near the site was filled with debris.
Thousands of commuters evacuated the train terminal, some at a run, after workers yelled for people to get out of the building.
That explosion was caused by a condition known as "water hammer," the result of condensation of water inside a steam pipe."

Madison and I just passed Grand Central Station when this occurred. God was caring for us! We are well, we missed it all.

New York - hard at work

Madison's artwork for language acquisition.

Mike at work preparing his "homework" for the next day

This was our third day of language acquisition. I was in a group that was working with a man from Gauna who spoke Shanti. We worked with him as he gave us names of places, rooms in a house, pronouns and modes of transportation. We then had to duplicate back to him what we learned. Madison was able to work with a group as well. She was frustrated, but enjoyed the time. At the end of the day we were given "homework" to do to prepare us for the next days work.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New york - OOOOOOO

Mike doing the "ohhh ohhh ohhh"
Sean, our future Honduras team mate doing the "ohhh ohhh ohhh"
This is Cam from our mother church - Valley Springs joining the "fun"

Language acquisition day two. Let me just say - it was a very funny day! Madison has been able to join us in our classes - she is learning to say sounds and make faces that she has never done before in English. It is quite humerus all around! Many times we are prevented from putting our mouths in the position we are supposed to because we are laughing so hard at each other - AND at ourselves! It's been very fun. Can't wait to see what tomorrow may bring.

Monday, July 16, 2007

New York - "gibberish"

Today was a VERY interesting day indeed. Did you know that 98% of you out there, if you are not a native speaker, say the word "peso" (as in money from Mexico) incorrectly? I couldn't believe what we were learning, and the nuances of different languages. There are certain sounds that are indigenous to each language, and if you grow up learning only one language, those are the sounds you "hear". Other languages have sounds that are indigenous to them, that we don't say. Therefore, that is why we say so many words incorrectly when learning another language, and vice-versa. Did you know that someone from Thailand wouldn't be able to "hear" the difference between "sheep" and "ship"? Interesting - anyway - those are the types of things we are learning this week. Here is a video that demonstrates some of what we are learning. I guarantee what you hear in the video is actually not what they are saying. They are verbalizing (or not verbalizing) sounds in a different indigenous language. So - how do YOU say peso?!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New York - Nueva Vida

Nueva Vida worship service

Emmanuel, Isaac and Valentina

Choro with the microphone!

Today we were at Nueva Vida, the church we have been working with. They are a very energetic bunch of folks! Madison said, "mom - it's like a concert!" Our job on Sundays is to be in worship until the children are dismissed. Typically, church starts at 11:00, and children are dismissed by 1:00pm. The 2 hours are for about 1 1/2 hours of worship, then 30 minutes of prayer time, etc. I am working in the 3/4 year old classroom - if you had a chance to read my earlier blog about the time - let's just say I have to be able to be creative on the spot. At least this time I came mentally prepared that I was going to have to entertain 15 or so 3/4 year olds for that length of time. Also, many of the same children were there from last week, and they had already warmed up to me. Here are some pictures of some of the kids in my classroom. I think I'm going to make them some chocolate chip cookies for next week - kind of excited about that - I've warmed up to them too - already love many of them :-) Madison is in her own classroom, but in her room they use both English and Spanish. In my classroom it's strictly Spanish - so I'm learning - and the kids love to teach me :-) After that we went out to lunch with some folks in our group going to Peru. Then we went to Redeemer church, then went to dinner with some other folks who are going to Honduras with us - Sean and Lindsey McCann. Finally managed to roll into our apartment at about 9:40pm. Long day!!!! Tomorrow - up at 6:00, out the door by 7:00! Night night!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New York - Coney Island

In front of the Cyclone after our wrenching ride!
A good ol' Nathan's Hot dog!
An incredible time in the Ocean!

Well, today was our one day off the entire time here in New York so we decided to have fun, fun, fun! We started out day with some friends, and had some fresh blueberry pancakes! Nice! Then we caught the LONG train down to Coney Island. It just seems impossible to come to New York for any length of time and not get down there. We rode the Cyclone - I think probably one of the most harshest rides I have every been on! After just the first drop, I felt like my spine was coming out through my skull! It was built in 1927, and most boardwalk wooden roller coasters are mimicked after the Cyclone. Madison and I went down to the ocean and jumped in! It was incredible! There were tons of people there, but the beach was so big that everyone was able to spread out. Fun time, back at home resting for another busy day at church tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New York - close to the end of the second week

This is close to the end of our second week. We are still busy, busy, busy! Madison has been an incredible trooper. She has a great time each day with the ministry work we have been doing - painting the nursery - and she has been having as much fun spending time with the other children that are here. She has made so many new friends that she will know for a long time. The mission world is actually fairly small, and many of these MK's (Missionary Kids) meet up over and over throughout their lives. I have yet to have heard a single complaint from my girl - but that doesn't mean she isn't tired. This was an unposed shot on the subway coming home.

How you know you are a New Yorker (or a wanna-be like us)

10. There is no such thing as personal space

9. You don't own a car

8. You walk everywhere you go

7. You eat a hot dog at least twice a week

6. dogs aren't pets, they are something you eat

5. Pies aren't apple or cherry, they are cheese or pepperoni

4. You live in a place that's no bigger than your garage back home

3. There is only one speed in your vocabulary - fast!

2. The theater isn't from 2 dimensional people, but from 3 dimensional.

1. And the number one reason you know you are a New Yorker is if the grease on your pizza is just another topping.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New York - Painting!

Because of the humidity and heat of New York - Madion's hair is taking on a life of it's own! Her hair in a ponytail still doesn't tame the beast. Here is a tame example of her Medusa hair! Gotta love the curls - but the Einstein frizz is something else.

Well - we cleaned toys, taped the room, and now we primed it for paint. Madison had a blast! She had white primer paint splattered on her - she called it her snow freckles. She really had a good time! Tomorrow we actually get to paint it blue! Woohoo! I'm excited to see the final results - although they are going to paint a mural on the wall, don't know if it will be completed before we leave NY, but I'll keep you all posted. And...we are hoping to steal some time away on Friday to go see Harry Potter. Friday morning we have a half-day off, and may be able to go see a medieval museum not far from where we are staying.

New York - a day of hunting :-)

Pond where our second cache was located
Madison on the carousel in Central Park (location of our first cache)
Madison with the cache in hand!

A day of geocaching (okay - only an hour), and a day of scavenger hunting - what more could a girl want?! :-) Madison and I went out geocaching in Central Park in an hour break we had - only managed to find 1 of the 2 we were looking for. The first one was a "mystery" cache, and I think we figured out the clues wrong, so were looking in the wrong place. However, I almost gave up on the second one, but my girl found it!!! Don't know what geocaching is? More info can be found at geocaching.com

The second half of the day was a city-wide scavenger hunt that led us all around Manhattan from Brooklyn, Harlem, Manhattan proper, Sunnyside, etc. The big task for the day was a team building exercise. Our 30 missionaries were broken up into four teams. We were given five hours to devise a plan to find 51 different ethnic items throughout New York City. It was somewhat of an ethnic scavenger hunt. Our team first gathered for a strategy meeting then formulated our plan of attack.

We then divided and scattered throughout New York. Here are a couple of examples of our tasks: find samples of three ethnic foods found outside of the Western Hemisphere, bring back a Korean language newspaper, bring back a card from the Kine Africa restaurant, and what is not allowed in the post office in Chinatown.

Very fun!!! Got to eat Naan (Indian bread), Bunelo (Colombian pastry), and get lost - all in one day! Woohoo! It was 90+ degrees, with dripping wet humidity (don't know the percentage - but dripping wet gives you a good visual).

Monday, July 9, 2007

New York - work day

All work and no play makes Johnny a sad boy...but not in this case. It was actually fun cleaning up and throwing away other peoples "stuff". We worked at Nueva Vida cleaning out their nursery, cleaning the toys of stuff I don't even know what it was - wiping down their walls, and prepping it to paint on Wednesday. Believe it or not - it was fun! :-) Madison spent tons of time cleaning toys, cleaning toys, cleaning toys. Almost used the whole bottle of cleaning liquid. Felt good being able to help out - it is such a HUGE church, there is much work that can be done. And now the fun...Mike was able to jump down to TXTS (a discount Broadway ticket center), and get us Les Miserables for tonight. We ate at a Cuban restaurant - INCREDIBLE food! We have a half day off tomorrow and we have stuff we are going to be doing around town tomorrow - all hush, hush - they haven't told us yet. It's going to be met with mixed results as it is HOT!!!! There have been power outages around the city because of the heat. Riding the subway has been an adventure (more so than other times) because of the bodies and the extra heat - gotta love that smell! :-)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

New York - Sunday - day of rest?

No cool pics today, weren't able to get any pictures in the morning church today, will try next Sunday. It certainly was different church than any we were used to. Church started at 11:00, complete with interpretive dancing on stage, tall flag waving, dancing in the aisles and in front. By 12:30, announcements were started. By 1:00 the message started, and the children were dismissed. It was at this time that we all left to go to help out with children's ministries. Madison went to a class her age, and English was not spoken. For that matter, there was no English during the entire time. I was helping out in the 3-4 year old class. We had story time, craft time, all that lasted about 20 minutes. And...the teacher didn't have anything else planned, just play time. So - for an hour and a half I had to entertain 3-4 year olds until service "ended". I finally left my classroom at 2:30. I went out to the main sanctuary, and there was still music and people up at the front of the church. So - after 3 1/2 hours, stuff was still going on, but the main church was over. There were about 400 or so people still hanging out. We left, went to Columbus Circle, and the Borders and I found a new book to read. We ate a dog, then caught a subway train up to Redeemer church. We enjoyed the service, and after (only) an hour and fifteen minutes, we were done. Caught the subway back "home", had to grab some stuff at the mini-mart, and made some dinner. Came home, ate, and now it's 8;30 at night. I still have an assignment to do for tomorrow, and type up the words for tomorrows worship time...sigh... I did manage to reserve my Harry Potter book and CD! I just couldn't believe it if I wasn't able to get it - so had to do it when I could. We are going to try and catch the movie on opening night - just don't know what it will be like in Manhattan. Anyway - all for now - more pics tomorrow.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

New York - Saturday, day off

Today we spent some time in Central Park with some folks from churches around the city. We prayed for New York for a revival, and for people to come to Christ. Afterwards, we scouted around for the "perfect NY pie" and found a great pizza place. I'll tell you one thing New York can really do right and that's make some great pizza for a great price! Afterwards we caught the subway up a few stops and got off at the Museum of Natural History (think "Night in the Museum" movie). It was awesome! It has the largest collection of fossils in the world! Remember Rexy from the movie? He was there in his glory - of course in the real museum he's up on the 4th floor, not out in the front lobby. And...no statue of Teddy in the front either - he's out in all his bronze prominence in the front of the building (see picture). Well...we walked our buns off, spent hours there, saw tons (and still didn't see it all). We also managed to get up to see the artwork and artifacts of Central America. Saw some stuff from the area of Central America where we will be. Kind of cool. Left, walked a bunch more, found our way home via the subway. We then went to go pick up our laundry we had dropped off at the cleaners - and Mike was in heaven :-) Everything was folded - even our undies! I think the only time in my life I have every folded my undies was when I was in the Army. Very cool! Didn't do anything but put our laundry away! Well worth the money! Will be busy tomorrow - going to go worship at Inglesia Nueva Vida (Spanish speaking only), probably eat while we are out - then go to a Redeemer church. I look forward to sleeping in (I know - I'm a wimp), and Madison is looking forward to that as well. This is the first time since we have been here that we have been at home before 5:30! Nice!
Most difficult thing so far - adjusting to life in NY to include our tiny apartment; a bath tub/shower that's so tiny if I had to sit down in it I probably would barely fit; shopping EVERY day; no washer/dryer; tons of people; busy, busy, busy; tiny double bed for two people; not seeing my friends and family :-(

Friday, July 6, 2007

New York day six

So, you always wondered what it's like to be a New Yorker in New York? Very different then coming here on vacation. Here is what we get to experience everyday!

This is the subway entrance we go into everyday to get to the number "1" subway we take to get to Time Square. It's about 1/4 mile long. Dirty, smelly, long, busy, graffiti, messy...

This is a picture of the outside of our apartment. We are in Washington Heights. It's an old area of Manhattan - but a lot of historical events took place in this area. We live in an apartment that is the farthest away from everyones apartment on our team. In other words, we have the farthest to travel every day. It's always an adventure.
This is the local laundry we take our clothes to. There are no washer/dryers in our apartment. Many apartments have a general use washer/dryer in the basement, but just as many do not, so many utilize the local laundry. They have two services - you can stay and wash/dry your own clothes, or they have a drop-off service. Drop your clothes, and return in 3 hours to pick them up. We are going to have to drop them off as we have almost no spare time to be able to stay and wash them ourselves. Almost every minute of every day is taken up in ministry work!
This is a very typical mini-mart. They can be found on almost every corner in the borough's in Manhattan. We are right outside of Harlem. Fitz has already become our friend - they recognize us as we are there almost every day. As no one has cars, you just can't buy lots of food at any given time. You only buy what you can carry, or carry in small wire carts. So - fruits, veggies, bread, milk, etc. we go often to purchase these things. The water from the tap has an interesting taste, so we prefer bottled water - heavy - so only 1 or 2 large containers at a time. As it is very humid here (although nothing like the South), we are drinking up a lot of Gatorade.

I'll be honest - we are all pretty tired. We are so busy learning, participating, up at -630 everyday, and in bed by 11:30 or later. August 1st we will come home and sleep for 3 days straight! With almost no time off, it's going to be a challenge getting to see some of New York as a tourist! Tomorrow morning we have a prayer meeting in Central Park from 0900 - 1100, then we will actually have some time off. We are hoping to get out to the Museum of Natural History. We shall see what comes of it.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

New York - Day four and five

This first picture is our walk back after seeing the fireworks. You just can't get a grasp of the multitude of people.

This is a blog entry for the 4th of July and for today. Yesterday was quite busy, so didn't have time. We went on a 4 hour bus tour of Manhattan, learned some interesting facts, and saw some areas we hadn't been to before. Much of it we had already seen the last time we were here. We wanted to see the fireworks, and beat feet to the East River to try and catch them. But - we should have known. In typical New York fashion - the entire state also wanted to see them, so we ended up seeing most of them through heads of other people. It was a smash of humanity. After sweating, running, not seeing much - at least I had a laugh at the end. It almost seemed more appropriate given the circumstances, it was New York at its finest. It was celebrating our Independence in its own unique way, and I enjoyed it for that. We were with friends from our group, and we all enjoyed the experience. Madison was pretty bugged that it wasn't the spectacular event she was expecting, but in the end, she did see it for what it was - Independence Day in New York.

This picture is taken from the Manhattan bridge looking back at the Brooklyn bridge with New York in the background.
Today I really feel like we are getting into a routine of things. Showers for Madison in the evening - hair up in braids. Preparing lunch, Gatorade, and coffee the night before. Up around 6:30 - out the door by 7:30 - subway ride to our destination - ministry work - subway to our host church - class time and lecture (led worship again today) - hour subway ride home - stop by the local street side mini-mart - home for dinner - post on the blog - bed!! I'm exhausted just reading it. I have really wanted to write a blog about "living in New York". I think I'll do that tomorrow that will give you a really good picture of what its like living here - not just visiting on vacation. What does it take for the average New Yorker to live in this crazy/amazing city. I'll include lots of pics of our neighborhood, and routes - so be sure to check back tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New York - Day three

Subways and Worship...

Already, the incredible subway system of New York has become part of our daily routine. Starts with a block walk to the closest subway entrance. We walk down a long (1/4 mile) tunnel under a park to get to the actual subway stop; go through the turnstile; wait maybe 2 whole minutes, and get on the train. In the mornings, it's standing room only - bummer as the trip takes over an hour! So - from beginning to end, our trip each morning and coming home each evening is an hour and fifteen minutes! Yikes! However, if/when we do manage to get a seat, it's a great opportunity for reading. I have found this an ideal time to do my morning devotional. That may seem strange, not really a quiet environment for that kind of thing - but the way I look at it - in the midst of all the craziness of humanity, I can find peace in God by reading His word, and doing a study as the screeching train, mass of humanity, graffiti drenched buildings, and world goes by. I find it quite peaceful.

Be careful what you pray for - God will answer! I pray to rely upon God for all things - and He often reminds me of it in the oddest ways. My flight down the stairs was a reminder - His angels were on duty to prevent me from serious injury, and today...I am part of the worship team. I am not playing as we have two worship leaders in our midst, a beautiful piano player, and 3 guitar players. So - I volunteered to put the words to Power Point for slides each morning. However, when worship time came today, our primary worship leader was not around - he had gotten lost in Central Park, and wasn't going to make it back in time to lead worship - so here I was, the go-to person to lead worship. Have I done it before?! No. But - reliance upon God led me to lead worship. And, as God provides for His Saints, I stepped up and went for it! And things went fine. Thank you God! My only concern - what else does He have in store for me? I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, July 2, 2007

New York - Day two

Today was a much better day. Went to bed last night about 10:30, and woke up at 10:00 in the morning. Probably could have slept another hour or two, but we needed to get some stuff done before we met for our orientation. Still had some groceries to buy, and figure out where we were going. Scrubbed our apartment - floors (you don't even want to know) - refrigerator - hmm...well, let's just say it got a good scrubbing also, and let's just give a big ol' THANKS to the creator of Febreeze (too late to own stock?!). Met up with all the folks we will be spending the next month with, and had a full run-down of what we are going to be doing. Tomorrow we meet at the church we will be ministering to. Already sounds like it is going to be very fun, and lots of Spanish! No mishaps today - no falling down stairs, no hauling bags (just the grocery kind). The picture is at the end of the day when we were all gathering around getting ready to head back on the subway. There 30 adult missionaries, and more than 20 kids! More tomorrow...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

New York - Day one

Well...we arrived. And it wasn't without some mishap. We arrived into JFK without a problem. We decided to save some money and catch the subway out to our apartment. It's much longer, but it's a straight shot - the "A" train, right to our block. Or so we thought. We started out no problem, but they announced that we had to get off and take another train as there was construction, and the train didn't continue on this route. So - off we went - all 6 of our bags. We measured - to be sure - each were 48 - 50 pounds. However, getting up a full 2 flight of stairs with all that stuff turned out to be a challenge. Mike and I each had on a 50 pound duffel bag, and another 50 pound bag we were pulling; and Madison was towing her 50 pound bag on wheels. But, we couldn't expect Madison to pull her bag up the stairs - so here I go, with my 50 pound bag on my back, and a 50 pound bag on each arm, hauling them up the stairs - that is until my foot caught. And down I went. The bags flew out of my hands, I landed on my back (I guess let's hear it for the duffel bag), and fell backwards down a half flight of stairs. Mike had already gone ahead, and didn't realize my predicament. Looking back on it I can see the humor - Mike peeking down the stairs, and there I am like a turtle on my back, arms and legs flailing in the air. I did manage to smash my hand, smack my leg, get some whip lash, and tweaked my back. It could have been SO MUCH WORSE. But, by God's grace, I was spared worse injury. But, not to be out done, I managed to make it back up. What else could we do?! We made it to the next train, only to go part way, and they told us that it too was closed and we had to get off and take a bus to our final destination. However, we didn't manage to get the right bus. Still had to walk about 6 blocks to get to our apartment. What normally takes about 1 1/2 hours by subway took about 3 1/2 hours. We arrived, got some food, went to the grocery story (more on that later), and fell down in utter exhaustion! And this is only day one!!!

Here we go a traveling...

Well, I knew that support raising was going to be full of traveling, but let me tell you - it has proven to be quite a challenge. This week as we are preparing to leave to New York for the month we have had 3 house parties. On Wednesday we went down to a beautiful house not far from San Luis Obispo - about a 4 hour drive. We stayed for about 3 1/2 hours then started the trip home at 9:30pm. However, it wasn't the 4 hour drive - it turned into a 6 hour drive because of road construction. Rolled into bed at 0315 just to get up at 0715 to help with the fireworks stand. Thursday, another house party (this one in town), and Friday we went down to Fresno for a house party. We stayed the night, took off at 0830 for the drive home - frantic last minute stuff, packed, and headed to the airport. Left friends behind - it was the first time this whole process has seemed real to me. I'm no longer an official employee of both Kaiser and Sutter; a month away from home; saying goodbye to friends...wow! The beginning of the rest of our adventure.
Another fun thing I've done is sell...sell...sell...most of our stuff on e-bay and Craigs List. Our house now echos with empty rooms, walls, and cupboards. We still have a bed and Madison's mattress is on the floor, but not much else.
Next post will be from New York!