Thursday, January 27, 2011
Thursday, February 18, 2010
bon dia! los siento para la tarde blog (i'm sorry it's taken me so long to blog) our internet hasn't been working at the house.
so a month has passed and gone, and the second is almost gone as well. and bonaire just keeps amazing us...
carnival (kind of a mixture of mardi gras and halloween, with parades like thanksgiving and the fourth of july) is now over and lent began with a huge gathering at the catholic church right next to dev's school; everyone left the church with ash on their forehead in symbolism of ash wednesday. i've never seen such a catholic-rich culture.
dev and i are both doing well in school. i have two more weeks left for this first class, and have kept an A, despite the internet problems. it's fun delving into the art of teaching, and honing better practices. dev's one of the top students in his classes; he made A's and B's on all of his exams last block, and he is currently studying a lot for the block exams at the end of this month. i asked him if he hates it, because i hear a lot of his fellow classmates complain, especially about one class (histology), but he says he loves it. he's happy to finally enjoy and take interest in the material he spends so much time working at.
i gave a talk on sunday, all in spanish. well - spanish and english. the power was out, so the translator machines weren't working, so i translated myself. it was nerve-racking, and i'm afraid i did much more reading than i usually do (in english talks), but i was told afterward that i did a good job, and it was kinda fun! i'm learning a lot. we have a new missionary in the ward - he's from utah. it's funny because they teach an english class that i go to on wednesday nights, and the other missionary is from australia, and so he'll be teaching and then he'll pronounce a word the australian way, and it'll sound funny, of course, so i explain to the class the difference, and tell them the american way, which of course confuses the heck out of them! it's so funny to hear them struggle to pronounce seemingly easy words (like daughter!), but i guess the same thing goes for me in spanish. i struggle with pronunciation as well!
bronson got two more teeth - that's four total. but the new ones are not directly above the two middle lower ones. no - he's got fangs. it's his kanines that are coming in now - we're beginning to worry whether he's a vampire or not! esp with how frequently he bites us now! haha! i built him a high chair with one of those baby plastic deck looking chairs, a platter, and three tie-downs. it works pretty well, and has been helping me re-acquaint bronson with the idea of food and feeding himself (as he has all but forgotten since we haven't had a high chair since we moved here). he's been biting me a lot recently, and even though i flick him when he does it, he hasn't stopped, and it's started to draw blood, so i'm planning on getting him back into the swing of really eating well, and then wean him in the next couple of months. i can't handle the chiquita dientes.
in spanish to "crawl" is referred to as "catting", and that is exactly what describes bronson right now. he's either rubbing up against your leg, finding mischief to get into, or attacking moving objects, or sleeping. he's a cat!
anywho, we still love it here. we make sure we take time for each other, as well as time away from the books: we enjoy our quick 2-hour dinner and snorkel dates at least once a week, and plan one evening away from bronson every other month. this month we enjoyed a dress-up valentines day date sponsered by dev's school (our land-lady watched bronson). this time is crucial for us as a couple, and we're so grateful to have such a gracious landlady helping us out in all the ways she does! dominicans are incredible!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
today dev and i woke up and got ready for our first day at church in the island. bas and eli, the nice dutch couple we've been staying with, took us to church, and we arrived around 8:55 (church begins at 9)...however church is a bit more...relaxed on the island. most members (including the president) didn't show for another 15 minutes, so it didn't start till about 9:30. it was terrific though - there are only 20-30 members, so they just rent out a house for church, and everyone is so pleasant and welcoming. it's the first time i've ever had to wear a headset in church before. i plan on learning spanish really fast, so i won't make a habit of the headset wearing. though it is a dutch colony, the majority of the members on the island are actually from the dominican republic, so most of church was in spanish. great for dev, interesting for me. course, i haven't goten much out of church anyway since bronson came...anywho besides not knowing what was going on, the biggest thing hit me while at church - despite size, language, and even location, the church is the same. same manuals, same hymns, same lessons, same scriptures. no matter where i go in the world, i will always have that common thread in my life. another thing that struck me was how i have family everywhere i go - as soon as people arrived to church they introduced themselves, then grabbed bronson - fussed at me to feed him, changed his diaper, and put him to sleep. bronson just gained about 6 wonderful grandmas in one day. it truly is incredible the love that brings people together through the gospel.
Friday, January 1, 2010
We made it to Bonaire - medical school for Devon will start soon. My how things have changed over the past two or three days...all I can say is the Lord has his hand in everything. We have been so blessed since we arrived. Devon wrote an email to his family that I think I will just cut and paste in here, just to let everyone have a little taste of our Caribbean adventure:
We are staying with the most generous couple from Holland. I may have mentioned before, but they are expecting a child very soon. His name is Bas, pronounced Boss, and she is Eli. They have a huge home with a pool and a two bedroom mother-in-law apartment which they rent out to Elderly LDS Missionary Couples. A new couple arrives on Tuesday so we were told we had the place for only a few days. Wednesday evening (the day we arrived on the island) before we retired for bed, for dinner, we split a pack of swedish fish and pop rocks and a meal bar. Thursday, we set out to find an apartment and some food. Everyone told us that our chances were slim considering it was New Years Eve and no taxi's would be available due to the fact that a Cruise Ship was in. When a Cruise ship arrives, the 15,000 person populated island can jump to 21,000 people on the island. Needless to say, it is a big deal. Everyone notices the chaos that they bring. We are staying about 3 miles out of the capital Kralendijk, pronounced Cral un dike. So, we set out on foot with Bronson strapped to my back. It took about 45 minutes to reach the first store that had bicycles. We bought two bikes: one for 400 guilders and the other for 275. 1 US dollar is 1.78 guilders. With bikes we were able to reach town much quicker. Most of the realty offices were already closed for the holiday (by noon). We found Sunbelt Realty with very helpful employees. Despite nothing being available in our price range, they went out of their way to call a landlord who had an opening only for the month of January. She asked him if he'd be willing to let a small family stay there for the space of one month. His response was humorous "Iris, how could I not give them the place, It's the Christmas season." We secured the studio apartment for the month of January for $500 dollars US. That makes us happy, considering we now have a month to look for something that will accommodate us until we find a permanent place. The studio is located downtown in Kralendijk, subsequently also where school will be. Then we just wandered around Kralendijk becoming more familiar with the surroundings. There was a concert going on in the street that we watched before heading back up the 3 mile uphill bike ride to our place on Kaya Ruby (Ruby street) in Republiek. We were told to get home early because the streets become alive with fireworks. We had no idea what we were in for. Bas picked us up in his truck about half way up the climb. He's a diving instructor and very familiar with the island. He confirmed we'd be joining them for new years celebration that evening with "snacks and drinks." We bought some vanilla wafers at a nearby store to share, but felt rather sheepish when we got there...It was more than just snacks, it was food fit for a king! We joked and laughed and became a little more familiar with the Dutch culture. There were 5 locals and us two. Meanwhile, the fireworks began. From the view of the back porch we were able to see the entire capital city of Bonaire and even to Curacao which is the neighboring Antillean island. Fireworks lit up the sky from every household on the island. Everyone buys fireworks and shoots them off. Not just regular roman candles and m-80's with the occasional bottle rocket. These are professional, permit requiring fireworks that I've only ever witnessed from Fourth of July shows. Only, on Bonaire, anyone can buy them and set them off. It was as if houses were having competitions with their neighbors as to who can light up the sky the best. We'll post a video in order to appreciate the military-like display that went on. It was wild, and the fireworks went off all night, into the morning and the next day. We heard them firing off at 10:00 a.m. the next day when we were tidying up. Some are still popping throughout the neighborhood as I write right now. Today, Jan 1st 2010 was a little more relaxed. We rode our bikes about 5 miles to a spot that Bas mentioned was good for snorkeling. It is called Windsock beach, by the airport. A couple from Indiana picked us up with their rented truck and took us the remaining way to the beach. They saw we were a bit hot and sweaty and gave us a two liter bottle of water to stay hydrated. The snorkeling was unreal. Hanauma Bay Hawaii is the best I've ever seen until now. I have to say that Hanauma doesn't hold a candle to what is underwater here. But I won't continue with that as to not be braggy. I had a starring contest with a parrot fish and lost. Those things don't ever blink! The entire perimeter of the island is surrounded by a 30 yard wide, 15 feet deep shelf of shallows, but then it plunges into deep blue oblivion. I tried to hold my breath and see where the scuba divers were going, but it was too deep, and I got spooked by the eels. On our way home, Heidi got a flat tire so we repaired the tube with some crazy glue. Then we found a coconut and opened it with a spoon and a lot of banging on the cement. Tomorrow we'll spend indoors as to let our caucasian skin have a rest and get to work getting ready for school. The wind hasn't ceased to blow since we've arrived. Consistently 25 knots out of the east. Haven't kited yet. They don't like kiters to go just anywhere because the island is swarming with divers and snorkelers. Kiting is isolated to an area about 8 miles south of Kralendijk. It's probably just as well that it's not very easily accessible for me. Bronson is doing very well. Everywhere we go, he is strapped to our backs with the camel carrier. People drive by and honk at the funny site. He loves the ride though, and now when we put him to bed at night, we don't rock him so much as bounce him - I guess the bumpy bike rides have become soothing to him. All is well with Heidi and I too, healthy and happy - if not just a touch pinker than we used to be. No matter how much sunscreen we apply, we still seem to burn. I guess that's the result from being so much closer to the equator.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Man, it's been a while since I've gotten on here, and though I should be cleaning my messy house, I think I'll stall instead and update this blog. I just want to let everyone know how much I love life. It's terrific. I love where I work and the people I work with...it's incredible going to work and getting comments like "Is there a baby in your tummy, Ms. Heidi?" "Does it hurt you?" "Is it a girl baby or a boy baby?" "Can I see him?" "My mommy had a baby in her tummy, too!?" "I used to be a baby"...etc. Preschool is such a fun place. We're doing a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, and the kids are doing penny wars over a pizza, had a bake sale, are having an egg hunt, etc. It's just so much fun...and I get to plan it all! Next month we're going to do a lot with Earth day...I'm pretty excited about that one, too. And then there's my wonderful husband, who always knows how to make me laugh...not just haha laugh...big bellied, roaring laughter...the kind that makes your guts hurt. He always makes sure we're enjoying life...going out on adventures on weekends, going on vacations as often as we can, and making boring, but necessary homework days fun with exercise and silly D.I. visits in between. And then there's Bronson...the soon to be new edition to our family...he is kicking so much now! It's so fun hearing him, seeing him move, and realizing that we're going to be parents to this little guy inside of me. I'm so blessed and so excited. I really can't thank my Heavenly Father enough!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Devon and I have been resident Managers at the Ronald McDonald House of Charities for about a year now, and since we've been here, I've learned a lot about people. First, is that people really are good. It seems like all that is on tv is agony and despair, but the world does have good, charitable people in it. It was incredible seeing the generosity during the holidays. Everyday, families brought truckloads of presents, food, etc. And all the toys donated here have to be new, based on common immuno-deficiency tenants. It really was humbling seeing how good people were, and made me reflect on myself, and what I was doing for this world. The second thing I have learned, however, is how ridiculously ungrateful some people can be. I'm not going into details, but Devon and I have been able to sort people into two groups here - the "entitled" people and the grateful people. It is obvious that no matter how humble our circumstances can be, pride and hard-heartedness can still dwell in our hearts. Again, this revelation has made me question myself - how grateful do I act for all that is given to me? I think I still have quite a bit of humbling to go. These are pictures of us at the RMHC. We got to play Santa for all of the families! I was so excited to do it, I couldn't sleep the night before - I was like a little kid! I woke up at three, four, five and finally pulled Dev out of bed to do it at 5:30! He thought I was pretty silly...I can't imagine how I'll be for our own kids!
So I used to consider myself pretty tech savvy - up until I met my match - this blog site! How does everyone but me know how to make their sites so cute? I keep trying, and maybe it's just a lack of patience with computers, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to make my page different from just the basic templates that blogger offers! Grrrr... On a higher note, I figured out how to get music onto the site, hope you enjoy! I know the Fiona Apple song is a bit, well, not "family" centered, but Dev and I both love the song, and I had to throw a little Fiona in there! She's terrific!