Thursday, January 7, 2010

saving a baby lamb

So Gustavo and Osiris have a cluster of sheep that wander all over their farm. They started with only two and as God created things, they have now reproduced to a nice little herd. Several days ago (See previous post) two baby lambs were born to make the herd just a bit bigger.

Unfortunately one afternoon we heard the mother sheep bawling and bawling and we knew something wasn't right. We went down to the pasture to investigate and found that one of the baby lambs was stuck in a puddle of tar in the tool shed!

This had happened several weeks earlier with another sheep. Although they did their best to save him, just when they though he was better, he died. I really didn't want that to happen again, so I worked as hard as I could to cut the asphalt out of his coat.

Needless to say, he cleaned up pretty well, although he still has a quite a bit of tar stuck to him. He's now running around with his sister and mother and gets around just fine. Marcus has been praying for him and the lamb seems to be OK now!

hasta luego Venezuela

Tomorrow is our last day in this wonderful country. We'll be waking up early to make the trip from Barquisimeto to Caracas and then at 4:00 PM we'll be flying to Miami. This has been a most amazing trip full of lots of memories. We're going to miss Venezuela, there is no doubt, but we are also looking forward to getting back to normal in Ohio.
We're only saying "hasta luego/see you later" because in March we'll be coming back for Naty's sister Rosanna's wedding.

Gustavo took some time to take some of our last pictures at the farm.

Naty made arepas the other night and we all loved them. It's been great to eat Grandma's arepas, but there is nothing quite like Mommy's arepas.

Gaby loved it!!!!!!

Naty laughed her heart out visiting with Prisco's daughters.

And Gaby and Marcus enjoyed playing with Angel for just a little bit longer.

Marcus and Gaby both loved being able to drive on the farm. I don't think they'll be doing that in Columbus!

One last "Cafe con Leche" with goat milk.

One last ride on the motorcycle with Armenio.

Whoo hoo!!! We love VENEZUELA!!!!

I enjoyed watching and drawing several of the birds around the farm. Gustavo was trying out his camera's potential taking these shots. This is a Mocking Bird.

Four teenagers, not sure what, but they look like Tropical Kingbirds.

A Tropical Kingbird.

Tuesday night we went up to Armenio's new house and had a good time telling stories and getting cold. Nothing compared to the cold we'll feel when we get back to Ohio!!!

Marcus was trying out his photography skills.

At the beginning of the new year it is very common for people to go visiting their friends to wish them "Happy New Year". On January 2 the Elio Fernandez family came to visit us and we went to look for the Caiman in the pond.

Needless to say, we found him!
This cow enjoyed watching us.

After the caiman, we went to visit the goats again.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Feliz Año Nuevo!!!

New Year's Eve is a much bigger celebration in Venezuela than it is in the US. There are lots of traditions to make the new year better than the one that just went by. One tradition is the "estreno" wearing all new clothes to welcome in New Year. We took advantage of looking sharp (it doesn't happen very often!) to take some pictures.

Here are Gustavo and Osiris, Naty's parents.

Elena (Naty's god-cousin) and her family Luis, Genesis, Adriana and Luisana.

Fireworks are another tradition. We didn't set any off this time, but enjoyed the show with the great view of Bocono.

If you hope to travel in the new year you are supposed to take a suitcase outside and walk around the block. We didn't have any block, so Naty and her mom just walked around the house. I guess Gustavo and I are going to be wifeless in these trips because we didn't take any suitcases outside.
At midnight we ate 12 grapes (supposedly with each chime of the clock) to make 12 wishes for the new year. Then after giving everyone hugs and wishing "Feliz año!" to everyone we sat down to a delicious meal at about a quarter past midnight.

Today, New Year's Day, we are just hanging out here at home and Gaby and Marcus are having fun playing Nintendo Wii with Papapa. Later we're going to watch some of the Penn State and Ohio State bowl games thanks to Direct TV.

Yesterday Mamama pulled out Marcus' first tooth. Last night "Ratoncito Perez" brought him a surprise in dollars and Bolivares.

around the farm

On Wednesday I went with Gustavo and some of the guys that help him out on the farm to put up some signs advertising his hotel. Business as been incredibly slow and he is hoping that these signs, one on either side of town, will draw in more guests for the hotel.

Marcus went along to help put up the second sign.

He learned how to mix concrete South American style. His favorite part was riding back to town on back of Gustavo's pickup truck. It was pretty cold since we were on top of a mountain and the sun went down. He still loved it anyway.

Here Gaby and Marcus were having fun in the sun watching the cows

Hammocks are wonderful things.

Marcus loves going with Papapa early in the morning to take care of the animals.

He can pick up the baby goats now.

These sheep were just born three days ago.

Here he's learning how to milk the cow with Prisko.

This has been my favorite thing to do. I finished the book Organic Leadership by Neil Cole and am working on an ESL book now called Balancing Reading and Language Learning.

Gaby loves the water!

She also likes going around the backyard and picking up lemons, oranges and grapefruits for all of us to enjoy.