Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scare yourself silly - give a talk in another language!

When things go wrong - they go wrong! Tonight was a little stressful to say the least. First of all my householder phoned to say she couldn't be there as she had a cough - oh great! So I scrambled around and got one of the sisters in our BS group and we had a quick practice before the meeting.My heart was pumping so much when it was finally my turn - I didn't think anyone would be able to hear me speak.
We started off fine but then Racquel forgot to answer a question which threw me a little but we managed to get back on course. She kept adding bits in and so unfortunately I went 45 seconds over time which he had words to me about - but understood of course. The funny thing was I was working on Articulation - or pronunciation - what a joke. I was so nervous that I am sure I did not articulate or pronunciate well at all.
I had jacked Mark up with the camera to video it for you but as I say things always go wrong with the plan - the camera would not work for a video - I think the memory stick has a problem. Anyway I had to do a set up for the video - you will get the drift I am sure.
We are off to Guayaquil tomorrow and are not returning until Friday next so I may not be able to blog for awhile- don't worry I will catch you up when we get back. Chao for now

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Message to New Zealanders

Sending you a little bit of sunshine cause I hear you need it!
Been watching the news on the internet and feel so sorry for you guys. What terrible weather you are having!!!
Please stay safe and warm - we are thinking of you all.
And to all those who offered to send me
gumboots - you better keep them for yourselves!
Cuidado otra vez mis amigos
(Take care again my friends)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Poor Mark

We have had an interesting BS tonight - it was the final study in the Revelation Book as you know and afterwards one of the sisters had made a celebration supper. We had seen her bring in a hotplate before the meeting started and heard it bubbling away so were thinking it might be a hot chocolate drink as we have had before. But no - much to Marks horror he gets served a lovely warm drink of milk and rice. Mark may be a farm boy but he abhors milk and this was not going to be easy for him to stomach. Actually to me it tasted like a sweet rice pudding my mum would have made although of course very watered (or should I say milked) down. I got mine down no problem then discreetly swapped with Mark, the empty cup for his half full one. I will expect him to do the same for me when I am next served sweet coffee, which nearly turns my stomach!
We then made out way home in the dark as we have been experiencing power cuts tonight - it is pitch black out there too and not easy to navigate the torn up road however we made it home without me falling over - amazing in itself! That is another thing to go on the shopping list for just in case times - candles! By the way the spare key I brought paid for itself today as the door shut on me again - only takes one boo boo to never make the same mistake twice!

Monday, July 21, 2008

More Mail!

Today we got the nicest surprise when we went past our letter box in town - we had another letter!
So off to the coffee shop to open it and how exciting it was to read all the comments from our friends in Bethlehem! Thanks guys - you are the best! As you can see it has now taken pride of place on our wall of rememberance!
We had decided we would get our eyes tested today - I wondered if my eyes had deteriorated somewhat as sometimes it is hard to read. And yep they had - well one anyway - my left eye is really bad and so the right one is doing all the work. Could account for some of those headaches eh? Upshot is I need new glasses and I should be wearing them most of the time now he says. So more money to pay out - but guess what for $300 I get a pair of graduated/transitional specs - my last pair in NZ (not transitional) cost over $800 so I don't think it is too bad. Oh by the way - that included the eye exam for both me and Mark too (Marks eyes are fine - he just needs better light in the house!).

Sunday, July 20, 2008


This week E's news has been replaced by another show - Peyton's Place.
The Scarborough Family - in town from Georgia - liked my video idea so wanted to have a go! Who am I to stand in the way of stardom?
I have a feeling this family will fit in very well around here - they seemed to enjoy everything new and when they came to the meeting with us - they all answered even though they know less Spanish than us! We were impressed (also it made us see how far we had come in the 3 and 1/2 months we have been here!). They have left Cuenca now but we will see them again at the English convention and then of course they will be back to live in October.
Nothing much new has happened this week that I haven't already told you - life must be settling down to normality. I will have plenty to report on soon though as some new firsts are coming up in the next couple of weeks. 1 is my first talk in Spanish which I am practicing like mad with. I cannot seem to memorize the first line though so I think I might have to resort to just reading it! Of course then in 2 weeks time we go to Guayaquil for the convention then on to the coast to visit Maria K. Looking forward to exploring again!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A day of work at the Salon de Asamblea

Today I went with Mark up to the assembly hall. He volunteers up there every week and I have been told there is plenty of work for me too so I tagged along today. Trouble is it is about another 1000 feet up and it was jolly freezing up there today - or as they say here "chachi!" So my job was painting the scrolls on the fence - what a fiddly job - I am sure it looked just as good all green - with no gold at all on it. Mark as you can see was in his favorite place most of the time - he is still up there as I write this - I came home early cause it is meeting night tonight and I need a siesta!

Brother and Sister Jones are being transfered at the end of August to Guayaquil and it will be such a loss to Cuenca. Helen says it is the hardest thing she has been asked to do in her whole full time service so that is sad for her. It is just that Jnr Jones has a lot of experience with sound equipment so he is needed at the assembly hall in Guayaquil. He keeps hinting to us that they need another couple to assist the Brother that will be left in charge here - of course I don't think we really fit the bill as we have not proved ourselves here yet.

10pm update - Mark's holiday is over - it was announced tonight that he is an "anciano" (cracks me up that the literal translation of that is OLD MAN). The applause from the congo was tremendous and afterwards they were all coming up congratulating us both - they are so happy and say it is a great privilege for their congo to have 4 ancianos. By the way we also handed in our application form tonight so it remains to be seen if we get accepted or not. I have decided that if I don't try regular I will never know if I have the strength or not so I just have to bite the bullet and do it.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Great excitement in the family James household today when we received our first letter in the post - from Ann, Graeme and Mum. Thanks guys - it was very cool to actually see something in the box for a change and of course actually read it! When did you post it? (Just so we know how long it took)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I shoulda gone out like I was supposed to!

I have had a bit of a disturbing day. I had planned a day off cause of all the walking we have been doing in the mud and sent Mark off to the group by himself. After a leisurely long hot shower I popped the kettle on the stove (yep remember the devil-gas thingy we have) and was going to set myself up with a movie to watch when a knock came at the gate. It was 2 young witness boys working this territory (they are in the next congo) so I of course went out to say hello and let them know it was us living here. Next minute - bang went the front door - locking me out of the house! Here I was in my slippers and sweats stuck in my front yard until Mark came home! Oh well I thought - I will get a magazine off the boys and practice my reading which I did and sat down on my doorstep, thankful that it was a nice day and not raining. Then I remembered the kettle - still boiling away on the stove. For the next hour and a half I could do nothing but wait and watch through the window and worry that I was about to burn down the house. Finally at 12 Mark saunted up the hill - of course when I spotted him I yelled at him to run - a mean thing to do to someone who had just walked the equivalent of walking over the Kaimai's! There was a lot of stink in the house and the kettle was ruined but hey - everything else was in tack - except my pride of course!
Tomorrow we go to get an extra key cut for hiding in the front yard and also another cellphone - which we have been meaning to do of course but not gotten around to yet.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A suggestion from the Scotty's

Alice and Terry kindly suggested Mark makes me a pair of these skis - what do you think - is it worth a shot???

Mud very unglorious Mud!

I am so sick of mud because for the last 2 days I seem to have
been up in my neck in it!

Yesterday we were way up in the hills and it was raining intermittently so of course everything turns to slush! But they keep right on going - and that means I gotta keep right on going with them. Well actually that is not quite true because eventually I just have to say enough is enough and leave them to it! It is hard enough walking up the hills in this altitude without walking up the hills -trying not to slip over in the mud - as the short video shows!
Anyway unfortunately only one of my studies panned out this morning (the 8am one I do for Lisa) and so I ended up going on the territory again. For the life of me I cannot figure out why we went the way we did! The "block" we were working was all uphill but that was ok cause it was a paved road - then all of a sudden we were directed down a steep path. I am so mad cause I didn't have my camera this morning - so I could prove to you what a nightmare it was. At one point I nearly cried - it was so hard. I said to Mark "what the heck are we doing out in the Ecuadorian Jungle - this is not what I signed up for!" For nearly an hour we slowly trekked our way through brush - all the time under foot was soggy wet MUD!There was only one house and guess what - we could have reached it from the road! I have to say it was one of my least enjoyable days - after being out for 4 hours I am absolutely pooped - so I reckon I deserve my siesta today.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Good feelings!

We had the greatest day yesterday! We had arranged to meet with a family that have just flown in from Georgia - with the intention of checking the place out and moving here in October. (Mark and I both thought we were meeting Ross Bougens' long lost twin - what do you think?) and as they were going to the English meeting at 11a.m - we got directions and met them there. Although we were late and only got half the WT - we sat there soaking in the language like it was sweet nectar! Oh how good it was to be able to just raise our hands and answer without a second thought! Then after the meeting being able to chat to everyone was fantastic too. I don't know how many nationalities were there but it included a couple of Aussies - and it was really good to hear their accent - it made us feel at home.
Anyway the day progressed and we had people coming for dinner so the Scarborough's came out to the house with us - and guess what? We had to be the interpretors!! What a crack up! But it did make us realize how far we had come in the 3 and 1/2 months of being here!One of the sisters - here for dinner gave me a nice comment which gave me more good feelings. While cleaning up the kitchen which is pathetically lacking in bench space I said "Yo lo siento - mi cocina es mas pequeña" (I am sorry - my kitchen is very small) and she said: "Pero - su corozon es mas grande!" ( But your heart is very big). Sweet eh? We retired that night feeling well satisfied with our day and being part of such an awesome organization!

By the way - I see that the poll was won out by the monologue people - I will just carry on doing what I have been doing then - a bit of both! Chao!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What a difference a week makes

This morning as I walked up the hill to the study with Yolanda at 8 a.m. instead of looking at my surroundings negatively like I did last week, I looked around and marveled at the awesomeness of Jehovah's creations.If only the pictures would show how fantastic the countryside is here. I think I have said before how much it reminds me of the swiss alps. Anyway by the time I got to Yolanda's house I was in such a good mood and by the time I left - I was in an even better one. I was only stuck once in the course of the conversation with Yolanda, when she asked a question, I told her to remember that question until Lisa came back and she would be able to answer it for her. She laughed and said that she would try. I was well pleased with myself. In fact I was enjoying it so much that it was hard to switch and go to my English study.
Mark had an interesting experience the other day - he was attacked by a little old lady! (No it wasn't me!). He knocked on the gate as we usually do and called out Buenos Dias! The Senora came out and looked them up and down so Mark started his presentation and held up the bible and magazine so she could see it. She started walking towards the gate and as she got closer she got angrier and angrier. She threated to call the police on him and then grabbed a baton that was holding the chicken coop shut. She was wielding it through the fence posts trying to hit him and going off her head. Of course Mark and his companion made a hasty retreat - laughing as they went. So now we know that that stories about other areas are true. We had heard that sticks and stones will be thrown at brothers and sisters and those with vehicles have to be careful because they will get trashed. It is usually the Priests that incite the people to cause these problems because they don't like the bible being preached in their area!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

E's news 3

Well as you can see I am back to my old self. It has been a long day and I just threw this together quickly so you could see I am a happy chappy.
I was very fortunate today because the lawyer I went to has a witness working for them and they were so kind to me - also I didn't have to pay them anything - they said it was because I was a missionary (of sorts)- so that was nice. I was determined to get this sorted today so went to the registration office at 12.30 and was told to come back at 3pm. Finally after waiting an hour I was seen too. One thing you have to be careful of here is people will push in in front of you and I have to stop being so nice and not let them cause that meant I had to wait longer. I am a pushover I know - at least I didn't have to bribe anyone to get this fixed! So folks - alls well that ends well!