Friday, February 25, 2011

Similar to trying to explain your problem in another language
In the pursuit of a better behaving back - I took the advice of a sister in Amanda's congo and went to see and acupuncterist today - what an experience and not one I really want to repeat but if it helps I guess I will go back. I have to admit - I cried - but it was really quick so I shouldn't be such a big baby! When the needles went down my throat (he doesn't just treat one problem, but everything that is wrong with you and he tells me I have an allergy problem) - I was beside myself. Side note to those that might be worried about the state of the needles - the place is very very clean so no worries there. I guess if it works - it is worth it and supposedly I will only need one more appointment - so vamos a ver!

Amanda too is not feeling the best, she had her wisdom teeth pulled yesterday so is lying low. She wants to be all better in 2 weeks times because she has some exciting news. She is going to New York!!! I am so jealous. Damaris has a Gilead Graduation invitation and can take a friend, so she kindly asked Amanda to go with her - how cool is that? They get to stay at Brooklyn for 3 days and then later are going to Ohio for a couple of weeks before returning to NY for a chinese assembly. She's only allowed to go with the proviso that she takes lots of photos and videos. It's such a privilege for a little kiwi girl to have and as I now live vicariously through her I am very happy for her.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

For everyone concerned about our family in New Zealand - the earthquake occurred in the South Island and most of our clan live in the North. I do have one nephew and his wife there, who report that their house is trashed but they are ok. Of course, as NZ is such a small country - we do have friends living there, who will no doubt be affected in some way or another. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

What scary times we live in - as we know though from Jesus' words at Matthew 24:7 - earthquakes will occur in one place after another in the last days. Why should little old New Zealand escape what the rest of the world is experiencing. Still, it is my home so it is very upsetting.

UPDATE

My nephew as I said before lives in Christchurch - here are parts of his latest comments to the family:

Hi all, thanks for the comments and your thoughts. I was working in Napier at the time the quake struck, due to fly to Chch about an hour after it hit. My first indication was our radar centre, based in Chch, advised they were evacuating. I had to wait about 15 mins to be relieved before I could try calling Heather. Fortunately I got thru first time as she was racing home from her work (by the airport) to check on the house. Heather sheltered under her desk in her office. The dogs were ok but the chimneys collapsed and most things in the house had fallen over. The pantry had emptied itself out onto the kitchen floor, somethings breaking, others not. My flight from Napier was canceled and I was re-booked to fly in on Weds morning. Heather stayed with Sandy on Tuesday night but as you can imagine, pretty much got no sleep due aftershocks. Leila (the small dog) is pretty stressed and constantly wants to be picked up. Bowie is slowly starting to relax a bit. Weds was spent cleaning up. .... Mark and I called up to C....'s house to help secure it. C.... is in Fiji and his house is pretty badly damaged. We piled up huge Omaru Stone blocks that have been flung from the walls (not a single block is left in place. We managed to secure some and put up some tarpaulins. In terms of people badly affected, as expected, we know a few. We have not heard of any witnesses that have died or been badly injured but obviously its too early to know for sure. One Air Traffic Controller, Jill Murphy, from CH tower has been confirmed as dead. Paul Dunlop is an Optometrist that Heather had dealings with died in his store in New Regent St and we have just found out about Matti Makeeken, a guy who was killed in a tattoo parlour that I used to have dealings with when we had the cafe. He worked for Underground Coffee Company a while back. Its so tragic and quite overwhelming. We are just taking each day as it comes and may leave for a few days, not sure yet. Will keep you all posted in the coming days.

So far confirmed dead are 103 with 228 still missing - as time goes by hope fades for these poor people - I can't imagine what all their families are going through. Thankfully Jehovah will remember those that have lost their lives in the resurrection, what a blessing to have that great hope.

AND NOW A FURTHER UPDATE

Apparently the congregations in NZ got given this news at their meetings to say that a disaster relief team was made up immediately consisting of travelling oversers and local congregation elders.

Within 24hours of the quake, everyone in the ChCh congs had been accounted for with no serious injuries or fatalities.
3 of the local kingdom halls cannot be used at the moment but efforts are being made to syncronize meetings around the city.

Right now the focus is on caring for them emotionally and spiritually the letter said.
 
I think it is really great that Jehovah's organization has the provision of the elders ready for disaster relief. How safe and looked after we all are.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

We can't help it - it's wedding season.

I know - here we are at another party - but it was a special occasion after all! Mario and Andrea were both in our first congregation here but are now with Chad and Michele in the Kichwa Congo. It was a real privilege to be invited to their wedding and it was a good excuse to be party-ing again.
The civil part of the ceremony is conducted first. Usually the bride and groom opt to do this earlier on in the week (at a cost of $15) but for an extra $100 you can have the judge come to the ceremony and do the legal stuff then and there.
Doug Willis then got up and gave them a Scriptual Talk

A nice idea they do here sometimes is everyone was called up to have a photo taken with the happy couple - nice for them to remember later who was at the wedding. This is part of the Kichwa Congregation.

We had our turn with Britany and Megan (Canadian Chica's)
 
These little Kichwa girls just fascinated me - so cute!

video

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I received an email from a friend the other day who made this comment: "I get the feeling from your blog all you do is PARTY!!!!!!".
Let me assure you all that this really is not the case, however much it looks that way. The rest of my household is extremely busy - Mark is always in his office sorting something out for the congo when he is not witnessing, Chad is either working (by way of the Internet) or studying with someone and Michele and Amanda are in and out of the house all day going here and there with their respective language groups.
As I have been under house arrest with my stupid back, I tend to take all day to do nothing much except think.
I've been wanting to write another blg - one that I can throw some advertisments on and maybe make a little bit of dosh on the side (needgreating does give your bank account a bit of a beating - not that I am complaining mind you, just stating a fact). Until now my mind has been blank as to what to write about, me not really being very good at anything. Then it came to me - Parties! I love parties and I love organizing parties and seeing folks have a good time.
So I have created another blog - PAR-TAY BEFORE PAY DAY - exploring entertaining on the cheap.
If you get a moment, can you take a look at it and any feedback is most welcome (I can take critiscism too, but just a little bit).

Thank you in advance for clicking here:

http://entertainonthecheap.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chao to the Haines Family


This  little girl is Drew - you may remember her from a previous blog way back. She's looking so sad because she was having to say goodbye to the congo last night as she and her family are moving to Santa Isobel (I am sure you remember that place - we had a day out there when the British were here).

Anyway last night we held a little farewell for them after our meeting. It was a bit rushed  (Dena and Bryan have only had a week knowing that they are leaving and will be gone by the end of this week) but it had to be done - to leave without a proper sendoff is something that seems to be offensive to the folks here. So when the Haines family were able to fit in a little supper in their honour - everyone was satisfied, even if it was without mad amounts of dancing as farewells here normally are.
We are quite jealous of their move - we just love Santa Isabel - it is gorgeous down there. We hope it is everything they want it to be too.

And as a sidenote - this is Bryan's parents, Dave and Linda visiting from Nova Scotia - it's been nice having them here for a few weeks too.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This is what Ecuador could do to you....

The first party we went to, Peneti was super shy.... Im not even sure he danced!

But after 6 weeks in Ecuador, this video is the result. He is the one talking at the start of the video, and then.....

video

I really wish I had more dancing footage to put together video for the entire song!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bathing Beauty - that I am not!

One of the recommendations of my Doctors (yep I have a few) is to go to the Hot Pools and exercise. I've kinda been putting it off cause I'm not really a Hot Pool kind of person - we have them back home and I didn't like going to them much (something about the water just puts me off - our pools are natural spring water or sea water  pools and often there is a slight scum - gross!). Anyway today a kind sister in Amanda's congregation offered to take us as they go twice a week. We had to get up early though as they were outside our house waiting at 7am! It was fine once I had woken up at around 7.30am! The pools are actually very clean and as you can see by the picture they are in a pretty surrounding. It is mandatory to shower before entering the pool and the woman wear bathing caps (I must have looked hilarious in mine). The sisters make a real time of it as we spent 2 hours there - by that time I had melted. I got out slightly earlier than them because I thought I would hold them up, being so slow at dressing - shouldn't have worried, they have to shower, put on their makeup and look beautiful before coming out. We waited for them for about 1/2 an hour! In reality though - that's ok because I don't have a lot else to do to fill my days up.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

more new friends



Angelita & Raul and their Son William and friend Concepcion
James, Flavio and Neudy
Last night we had the priviledge of meeting these folks. Flavio & Neudy with their son James come from Florida (USA) and they are here spying out the land. They actually found my blog in their search for information from Ecuador - particularly Sucua, one of the place Amanda has visited and written about here. So they got in touch with us and when they said they would be in Cuenca, we jumped at the chance of having them over for dinner. They brought with them Raul and Angelita (special pioneers from Sucua and their son William - a regular pioneer and also the lovely Concepcion - who serves in the Kichwa group in Sucua). Well what and interesting bunch - it was absolutely awesome getting to know them but to be honest it felt like we had been friends for years - it was just so comfortable with them all.
Raul and Angelita and William have been learning Shuar - another indigenous language, which is from the Orient (or as we would call it - the Jungle). There has been a big push for people to learn this language to help out in this field. (I have enough to contend with learning spanish - if any of you are going to suggest we take it up).


It was such a nice night and we enjoyed it immensly - once again I have to say how much I appreciate the joy we have of meeting people from all over the world and hearing their stories.



Friday, February 4, 2011

Muevete Mumita!

I am moving around abit now and yesterday was able to go and have one of my studies - it felt good to be out and about again. Amanda was helping me to cross the road at one stage though and a passing person in a car said the above words to me! Translation - Move it Mother! How rude! However he did add the "ita" on to it so that means it was said with love so I shouldn't mind too much should I?

Holiday Snaps....

Ahhhhhh.... I now have the POWER on this blog.... Mwahahahaha

Anyway, so here is a quick vid of the pics from our trip. Only the Highlights! Unfortunately im lacking photos of Mum and Dad... sorry guys!

Its nothing much.... Havnt put alot into it cos im still jetlagged!

video

And for those who missed it.... check out the amazing race HERE

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

End of Spanish Lessons - what are we to do on Friday Mornings now?

So very sad we have finished our weekly lessons with Carl, Bill and Silvio. We were very priviledged to be in this class and we enjoyed it immensly. Everyone came back to our house after the graduation and we had a lovely afternoon together - the food that came in our front door was amazing.  We will miss our time with the class. It was awesome getting to know other gringos from different parts of the world. We had people from Aussie, Canada- english speaking and French, England, USA, Germany, and of course New Zealand. How great Jehovah's organization is - such a big worldwide family. The video is in two parts - cause it is a little longer than other ones I have done.
video video
video

I have also put a little video taken of Amanda's composition. She did really well and it amazes me how fast she is learning this language. How on earth the brain can switch from English to Chinese and then to Spanish so fast amazes  me. I am sure my brain wouldn't be able to do it! She is doing so very well in this country.

I would like to take this opportunity to give a little needgreater plug. Amanda just had her Pioneer meeting as you know and some of the stats mentioned in that meeting are very interesting. There are 1700 Publishers - you have to know that means at least 3000 are attending the meetings. They had 177 new publishers this year with 48 baptised. Now with that many attending the meetings - it means a lot of work for the elders right? Guess how many there are in that circuit? No doubt you are coming up with a number like 150 - 200 but no there are only 37 - proving what a great need there is for reasponsible brothers. Carl and Bill mentioned they are hoping to have another language class in September - so if you are thinking of being a needgreater but it's the language thing that is holding you back - don't let it! Get yourself over here!