Saturday, October 27, 2007

Enjoying the kids, missing Dave

Wow - what an interesting week. Dave left Monday to attend a conference in León, Mexico - a 26 hour bus ride away from Mérida. That same day I learned how to make (more or less) 2 new dishes from friends who are from Mexico City. One dish is very economical yet full of flavor and is made with chicken, eggs, rice and green sauce. The other is a little pricier but elegant in how it is made and served. It is called "cuete mechado." You need a pressure cooker, but maybe I can make it using some other means. You stuff a roast with carrots and raisins and almonds and cook it in a tomato based sauce with bacon. I know, your mouth is watering already. Anyway, when it is done, you slice it so that you can see the different things you've stuffed it with, pour some of the sauce over top and it looks very fancy and is delicious :-P

The next day I took Joseph to his sports class at a stadium and I walked for about an hour myself - felt very good. That afternoon the kids had homework and made flags from 3 different coutries because they're learning about the United Nations Organization. - Egypt, Portugal, and New Zealand.

Wednesday I was invited to watch the kids present their countries and the school had a moment of silence for peace in the world. I thought about missionaries being in all of those countries . . . Then everyone released a white balloon into the air. (There are no laws regarding this practice here in Mexico.) I hope no birds or airplanes were affected . . .
The day continued normally until I went to pick up Jonathan (1:30 pm)- I backed out of the driveway and realized that a tire was flat. After stopping the car 2 houses down, I got out to inspect the tires and noticed that, not one, but two tires were flat! One was down to the rim, so I thought I might put on the spare and drive to get the other pumped up at a gas station - easier said than done. We have a Speed The Light (STL) vehicle which is a Ford Expedition - in other words, a big truck! Come to find out there are special mechanisms underneath plugs just to let down the spare underneath the vehicle. Needless to say, I had NO idea! So, I decided that first of all, my kids needed picked up - so I called my trusted friend and missionary Sandy and she came to my rescue in not only picking up my kids from school, but also letting them hang out with her until I could get things under control. Thank you, Sandy! Then, I called my friend Liz to see what she would do in this situation. She also came to my rescue in knowing someone who works at a Firestone here in the city. Not only did she know someone, but she went and picked up an employee from the place, and took him to my house to fix my flat. Wow - and during her lunch break - thank, Liz! I'd love to make a long story short but there is more. Once he got the spare on, he tried to inflate the other one, but found a hole in the other one as well! What to do? I only had one spare . . . Ok, my dear friend takes the guy and the tire to the shop to repair it then her sister (also my friend) picks the guy up later and brings him again to my house to put the fixed tire on so that I can go this time to get everything looked over and fixed. So, we get to the shop, he fixes the 2nd tire, puts the spare back under the truck - whew! Then I get the bill . . . $148.72 mexican pesos, which is, roughly, at the current exchange rate, $13.72 American dollars! Does that even sound possible? Well, I was one very thankful individual and you know where I'm going for any more tire troubles!

This brings us to Thursday, when I had another opportunity to walk at the stadium while Bekah had her sports class. The kids were getting out early from school so I thought we'd do a picnic at the park and let them ride bikes. When I got home, I realized that one bike needed new pedals put on, another needed brakes fixed, and the 3rd needed a chain guard because it was getting grease on Jonathan's clothes when he rode it. (No, we hadn't had the bikes out for a little while.) Oh, and they all needed air in the tires. Hey, let's go the bike shop today! So, we hauled the 3 bikes to the shop and after purchasing the chain guard and getting the needed repairs, I spent another $5 - not bad. Off to the park! It was a beautiful day, sunny with a cool breeze, which is a welcome change around here. The kids enjoyed being outside. I did, too. We ate PB&J and baby carrots, drank sports' drink, and finished things off with a piece of candy. We looked up at the clouds and decided what they all looked like - horses and planes, dinosaurs and eagles. Bekah thought the sky was trying to celebrate Independence Day by making a Mexican flag but couldn't get the eagle holding the snake just right! I love the imagination of my kids! I was pretty tired by the end of the day, so we hit the sack early.
Oh, one of Jonathan's quotes this week was about pancakes that the kids had at school Thursday. They were trying to tell me that the pancakes were the kind you buy and not homemade. He said, "she got them at the 'already-made' store!" - I guess we have quite a few of those "already-made" stores these days, don't we?

I decided to make some "real" pancakes Friday morning for my kids - we tried some with local honey and others with real maple syrup - yum! Friday was a free day for us - no school! We had made plans to go to the zoo with another family, but it ended up just being us. We still had a super nice time :-) We saw a baby deer who looked like it had just been born that day. We ate corn dogs for under $1, rode the zoo train for a peso a piece (that's about $0.10), and 3 cotton candies for $1.50. The neat thing about the Mérida zoo and park is that you can also get things like mangos, other fresh fruits and Dominoe's pizza - quite a variety! That afternoon the kids watched School House Rock - America while I tried to sleep off a migraine headache. This long without Dave's yummy coffee can do weird things to one's body ;-) Well, the nap didn't do it, but I prayed and asked a friend to pray and by Saturday morning it was gone - yeah! Thank you, Lord!

So, Satuday morning we head out to the Mérida English Library to return our books and get some new ones. They're remodeling right now, so the kids' area was closed off. That just meant we didn't stay quite as long. No problem. We got a few books that were near the front desk and bought some Neem tree honey that they sell there as well. Next we headed to a local shop to buy some guayaberas for our boys. On Wednesday they are supposed to go to school dressed in mestizo/mestiza and we haven't really bought any typical clothing for the kids, except for Rebekah having a dress or huipil that is white with purple embroidery. We then went to Wal-mart to pick up some food before heading home, trying to get ready for Dave's return. I did a little house cleaning, the kids watched Peter Pan, then we headed to their Saturday class at church. While they were having their lesson I slipped out to a coffee shop to get myself a cappuccino so as not to have a replay of the night before . . ..
Here we are now, watching Game 3 of the World Series(Boston is crushing Colorado), waiting for a call that says that Dave is 1/2 hour away. Will he catch the end of the game?