Friday, November 26, 2010

Viejo San Juan

Today we were official tourists, finding out a bit more about Puerto Rico. We spent the whole afternoon and evening visiting Castillo San Cristóbal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro "El Morro". These fortresses were built in the 1500's and 1600's to protect the Spanish colony of San Juan from attack.

We started our trip with a visit to the gift shop (I know, you're supposed to do that last, but oh well!). There we saw lots of cool stuff and I took this picture of a postcard of a Coquí frog. These frog are very common here in Puerto Rico and have become quite famous. Last night at our Thanksgiving party we kept hearing them, but couldn't ever find one, so this is how I got a picture.

Gaby found a stuffed Coquí that even made a whistling sound, just like the frog makes.

Marcus decided he wanted to be a pirate!

We happy these cannon balls aren't loaded with powder!

We took tons of pictures way too many to post here, especially since Naty and I are both taking pictures now!

The day was cloudy, but it didn't rain on us when we were outside. In fact, we still haven't had any rain fall on us for the whole trip, a miracle in itself! We have watched it rain when we are inside, but by the time we go out, the skies are clearing! Thank you God!!

Here is the picture from the picture of the picture:

The peep holes inside the watchtowers made nice frames for pictures we took. I loved the combination of skies, green grass, beach and ocean. God's creation and some impressive man-made structures were spectacular.

Wladimir and Rosanna having some fun in the plaza.

Old doors make another interesting frame overlooking the seaport.

Looking out toward "El Morro". You really should click on this picture to get the panoramic view.

And looking back toward "Castillo San Cristóbal."

The huge grassy areas just begged to be walked on.

There were also so many great places for pictures.

We asked Rosanna to take some family pictures for us at a few places around the fortresses.

Since she and Wladimir were taking our picture, I thought it would be fun to take theirs too!

The cemetery between the fortresses: It's quite solemn to think of all the lives lost over this small piece of land thanks to the lustful passions for wealth and power.

On the lighter side, watching all the people flying kites lifted you to look at what our friend Carmen says is the most beautiful thing about Puerto Rico... the skies.

This lighthouse still shines leading ships toward the harbor.

We watched the sunset before heading down through Old San Juan and back home. The beauty of these pictures speaks for itself.

Thanksgiving Day

Our Puerto Rico Thanksgiving day started out at the pool here at Wladimir and Rosanna's apartment complex. We had a little visitor who wanted to read Irresistible Revolution and Mi Experiencia con Dios.

Gaby and Marcus absolutely loved it! They had the pool all to themselves.

They were unusually interested in taking pictures so Naty fired away with the camera as they were posing. Here is the "seal" pose...

And the horsey-back-ride...

In the evening we headed to Wladimir and Rosanna's friends' house for a Thanksgiving meal together.

Gaby got the camera and started taking pictures of everything there, too many pictures to post. She said she needs to learn to be like Mommy and take lots of pictures.

Part of the photo session included pics of Esmeralda her favorite stuffed animal.

Marcus' challenge of the evening was keeping up with José Miguel, Carlos and Dayana's 2 1/2 year old son who is 120% ENERGY!!!!

Finally at about 8:30 the turkey was ready! Our menu included turkey, filling, gravy, corn, baked potatoes, salad, applesauce (made by my mom in Belleville) and pumpkin pie with ice cream!

After that we were stuffed and ready to head home. Gaby and Marcus both fell asleep in the car on the way back. Wladimir and I fell asleep at home watching a Marcos Witt video and Rosanna and Naty fell asleep watching a Mary Kay video. Quite a day!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

day 1 in Puerto Rico

Wednesday morning we left Columbus at 6:00 AM to spend Thanksgiving weekend with Wladimir and Rosanna in Puerto Rico. We watched the sun come up on our flight from Columbus to Dulles, Washington D.C.

I got a new iPod touch that I want to use at school with my students, but it also has a camera which will be nice to use for blogging. Now I get to take pictures of Naty too!

On the plane headed from Dulles to San Juan.

We arrived at about 1:00 in the afternoon.

Then headed off for lunch with Wladimir and Rosanna at La Casita Restaurant. Gaby and Marcus ordered the special of the day: Meatloaf with rice and beans. Us big people had Mofongos, a typical dish made from platanos and your choice of meat or seafood in a tasty sauce.

Then we had to take Wladimir back to work for a few more hours. Here is the office building where he works.

Then we headed back to Carolina to go to the beach. The mix of English and Spanish with the North American and Latin American cultures is very interesting. Sometimes you think you are in Caracas, at other times Columbus, and other times Miami. This bridge is lined with US and Puerto Rican flags.


Natacha and Rosanna or also known as "las mujeres de éxito"!!!

I happened to catch a sand crab by accident when I was digging sand for a sand castle. I love Gaby's reaction in this picture.

The beach we were at is right beside the airport so we kept seeing planes take off all afternoon. Can you find a plane between the trees?

Wednesday night we visited Wladimir and Rosanna's church "Fuente de Agua Viva" it was quite a bit different from a house church, but God was still there!!

After that it was time to go home and go to bed... hasta mañana!

give a listen

I listened to the podcast with Christine Sine a week ago and really liked it give it a listen and let me know what you think.

Find more music like this on Missional Monks

Saturday, November 20, 2010

november happenings

So what have we been up to the past few weeks? Lots of stuff as normal, but there have been a few highlights to share.

We met this beautiful family that is also planting house churches here on the Westside of Columbus. They have been doing a lot of things to embrace our community and we are very excited about working with them in the future.

Two Fridays ago, I gave a presentation at the Ohio TESOL conference and then we invited some friends over who were also at the conference. Suzanne, helped Naty get a job in an after school program soon after we moved here and she worked for her program and then later babysat her son later. Thanks to Suzanne, and her job I was able to get my ESL job later.

Last Sunday, we had some Colombian friends over for lunch and had a great time with wonderful food and great conversation.

Sunday night it was time for church; at our house this week.

The menu for the evening was hot dogs South American style with potato sticks, salsa Mexicana, onions, pink sauce, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise basically anything possible, on the hot dogs!

Alejandro, having some soccer fun with the kids.

For church, we took time to go over the Experiencing God course and then set goals for 2011. We had a great time, sharing and seeking God for what He has for us in the coming year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Marcus is now 7 years old!!!!! He had a birthday arepa for breakfast before school and then we went out for shopping and supper that evening. This year, he wanted an iPod Shuffle instead of a party, so that's what we did. Now he goes around the house singing his heart out.

Today, I spent the entire day cutting mats for some artwork from kids at Stiles that we are entering in the PTA Reflections program for this year. Stiles hasn't participated for about 15 years and now I know why. It took about 7 hours to cut out all that mats!

So, there is a glimpse at what we've been up to... Now, next week we are heading to Puerto Rico to be with Wladimir and Rosanna for Thanksgiving. Should be a great!