Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I am going to attempt to sum up the week for you.

First let me start with saying that this mission trip was like none that I have been on before. For one, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I was just along for the ride. Another difference is that I felt we were there to support a church that is doing great work there. We went to be servants however that happened to be. The days were very loose with many different things going on and it was up to you to find a place to be. We didn't have an agenda of things that had to be completed. We really had the opportunity to take in their culture and just love each other throughout the week.

We were involved with a construction project for which we laid rebar and then tied it together, transferred cement blocks to the second floor by heaving them up to someone on the second level, mixed concrete on the street and then shoveled it into small pales to be passed to the roof assembly line style. Construction was very different from anything I have done in the past.

We also had the opportunity to help in the kitchen preparing our meals. This included peeling vegetables (including gigantic carrots) with butcher knives, attempting to hand make tortillas, washing dishes, sweeping and mopping (mops were brooms with towels over them).

There was also playing with the children in the street. And taking care packages to the children that are sponsored by individuals in our church. This is probably what impacted me the most. The sponsored children live for notes from their sponsored families. We went into many homes where photos of their sponsored families were hanging on their cement block walls with the most recent letter. I had the privilege of being a face to represent their sponsor and to let them know how much their sponsor loves them. Some sponsors were there with us and got to meet their families for the first time. There were a lot of tears.

One of the biggest thanks about the trip was the team. The team worked great together. There was pretty much no complaining. People were sick, people got hurt or had a hard time, but just kept going without complaint and a lot of time with good spirits. Everyone found where they felt they wanted to be (kitchen, construction, playing with kids, taking a break, etc) and no one complained that someone wasn't where they were supposed to be or that too many people were in one place. Overall, a great atmosphere to work in.

The last two days, we got to participate in some adventures. One day we went to Lake Atitlan to go ziplining and on a boat ride. The boat ride was my favorite. Lake Atitlan is a lake surrounded by volcanoes and is actually a volcano that blew it's top. The water was so clear and the surroundings were amazing. I could have stayed in the middle of that lake forever. The other adventure we took was climbing a volcano to see hot lava flowing. I had no idea how hard it would be to climb a volcano. Think of trying to climb a mile high gravel pile. And, I happened to be very sick that day, so overall a rough climb, but well worth the trip to stand about 2 feet from flowing lava! For those who were not sick, they toasted sandwiches over cracks in the rocks and roasted marshmallows. An unforgettable experience.

PS Some of my favorite ways I got to experience the culture was by carrying a sack of potatoes on my head from the market and jumping onto the back of a chicken bus. Feel free to ask me more about these next time you see me:D

Sunday, July 26, 2009

So Much, So Little Time

I am sorry that I have not written in a very long time. I was in Guatemala for over a week and then when I returned, I worked full days and my computer broke. There are several keys on my keyboard that are not functioning which makes it very hard to type. I want to write a post about Guatemala, but first I want to catch up on a few other things.

First, the night before I left for Guatemala, Zach and I dressed up like cows in order to get a free meal at Chick-fil-a.

That same night, we attempted to begin to recover our dining room chairs. We only got one completed...and they haven't been touched since. Pictures to come when we finish. I better start working on it.

In addition, we hung my painting up in our bedroom.
This last week, "Birmingham" reached #1 on the XM/Sirius Bluegrass Song Charts. Way to go Farewell Drifters!

Last night, Zach put the finishing touches to the pot that was burnt many weeks ago. He did a great job!

And we have harvested all of this since returning:D

Friday, July 10, 2009

Free Farewell Drifters Music

Here's your chance to get free Farewell Drifters music. All you have to do is recommend them to 5 friends, or you can just pay whatever amount you want. The link is below. Enjoy!


I will be leaving for Guatemala tomorrow morning. The team will have a blog while we are there. I don't know who will be blogging and how often, but you can check it out if you want.


First Harvest

We picked our first harvest of 4-5 cherry tomatoes the other day.

We also thinned out the lettuce and ate some of it the other night. We have some very large cucumbers, but they are not dark green yet. No green beans yet:(

PS I pulled this buggy guy off our tomato plant. Yuck!

Monday, July 6, 2009

House on Fire

Well, just about. Zach called me today to let me know that he almost caught the house on fire. Hopefully this is one of those live and learn things and nothing like it will happen again. I had left oil out and fish ready for him to fry. I had told him to set the stove between 4 and 5 because I have already learned the hard way not to let the oil get too hot (he was there, but doesn't remember it). Well, Zach set the stove between 5 and 6 and walked away. I didn't realize that I needed to give more detail, specifically about not walking away. He smelled smoke and then saw smoke and came into a kitchen with a pot on fire. He has way more detail, but overall, Zach had caused a grease fire in our kitchen. Thankfully the fire was contained to the pot and he was able to get it outside. But this is what we are left with...
And a VERY smelly house.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


The painting is for the bedroom. I forgot to mention that in the last blog. Assuming Zach likes it when he gets home, the plan is to hang it over the bed.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Update on Construction

Sorry I have not been able to show you this sooner, but we have been very busy and then without Internet for a while.

Wednesday I was able to finish up the dining room by putting on coat #5 of paint and patching the whole in the wall where random cords ran out of the wall and then through the floor (they were not really random, they were for surround sound which I don't care about). Oh yes, on Tuesday the electrician came out and fixed the electricity issue and he was very nice to answer all the thousands of questions I threw at him. He is the one responsible for okaying the taking out of the surround sound wires and cables:D Back to Wednesday, I spent the rest of the day (literally 6 hours) cleaning the house. I finished just in time to make cookies, cook dinner and take a shower in order to get down the the Station Inn to hear Cadillac Sky. Our house guests spent the night in a very clean house that night.

Then on Thursday, I was up and working on less than 4 hours of sleep at Vandy inpatient. Right after work, Zach and I went putt-putt golfing with a great group of friends and had a blast. And that needed to be followed up by ice cream, so it was another late night.

Needless to say, I slept in really late on Friday which is when we lost our Internet for whatever reason. So, that brings us to my photo updates.

The dining room now has a new light fixture and new paint on the walls. We are still looking for curtains, fabric for the chairs, and few more details in the room, but here it is at this point.
Last night, I was able to finish the painting (since there was no Internet to get other stuff done). It is my interpretation of fireflies in tall grass. I am still working on the frame, but you get the idea.