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Showing posts from October, 2016

Finally Home!

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October 20th, 2016 | Day 17Today we came home! We all got up at 7, and had breakfast after a rushed packing. Said goodbye and took off. They were leaving for Australia on Saturday, so they needed to pack as well. We drove for awhile, then stopped for lunch at Subway near the Minnesota border. Then we drove until we needed gas. After one last stop at a rest stop, and then home. Talitha called Bruce and Huldy, and we got invited over for dinner, as was our plan. We got home and unpacked. Thankfully, Bruce had turned on the heat the day before so it wasn't to cold in our house. Tovin was messing with the photos on the phone when Huldy called and said that they would bring food over to our house instead. At 5:30, they showed up with chicken from Pizza Ranch. It was good food and very nice to be home again. After they left, everyone went to bed and enjoyed the feeling of being in a familiar bed again. 

Jen & Davin's

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October 19th, 2016 | Day 16Today everyone got up and went downstairs. Jen made pancakes for breakfast, and there was also fresh avocado. Davin left for work, and everyone just hung out for awhile. Then we drove to a trail in a park and went for a really long hike. We got back and had sloppy joes for lunch. Jen and Talitha and the girls went to the Thrift Store while Jevin and Tovin stayed back and played video games. Once everyone got back, we played for awhile longer, watched some Phineas and Ferb, then loaded up into the van and went into town to eat at Culvers. Jen said she would treat, which was probably a bad idea, as when you offer our family free food, you end up spending almost $100 at a fast food restaurant. Davin got there from work just after we had ordered, and got some food, and came and ate with us. We went back to the house, and Jen and Davin had to go to Awana. Everyone else just played video games and then showed them the pictures from our trip. We then all went to be…

Flying Home

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October 18th, 2016 | Day 15We woke up today to pouring rain and thunder, to match our attitudes. It was rather loud as we had large windows that we couldn't shut. Then, around 6:30, everyone got up and started packing. Hector stopped by with a bag of avocados for us to bring home with us. Tovin, Jana, and Tevia went up and had a last breakfast, then Jana and Tevia went back down to pack while Tovin talked with Katie for awhile. After leaving a thank you card, in Spanish, for the lunch ladies, he went and started packing as well. Once everyone finished, we loaded all of our gear into Pastor Jose's van, and after saying goodbye to everyone, left for the airport. It was about an hour drive and we say almost more than twenty police officers on motorcycles. We finally got to the airport, and had to say goodbye to Pastor Jose. We went inside and printed our tickets, then put our bags through the USDA bag check station. When we went to check in our largest bag, we had to repack as it…

Our Last Day

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October 17th, 2016 | Day 14Today we all got up at normal time, except for Talitha, who had a fever or something like that for part of the night. Tovin, Jana, and Tevia went up for breakfast, which was Farina, fruit cocktail, juice, and milk. Then Tevia went to class, while Jana and Tovin went back to the apartment where Jason was making pancakes. Everyone, except Tevia, just sat around and relaxed for awhile. Jason went outside and did some work while we waited for Tevia to come back. Once she got done with class, we read the Bible together and had a little prayer. After that, Tovin, Jana, and Tevia went up to have lunch at the cafeteria, and realized they were near Lyla, the little girl who they had watched, who was quite excited to see them. Lunch was rice and beans, shredded chicken, a banana, boiled carrot slices, and milk. Then, Jana and Tovin went to break down boxes in the junk shed. Hector was picking avocados from the tree outside and Talitha was visiting with Paquita who had…

Spanish Class

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October 16th, 2016 | Day 13Today was Sunday, so everyone got to sleep in a little bit. We had pancakes for breakfast, then we all got ready for church and walked down. (It was the church on the campus instead of Juan Carlos' church) Tovin and Jana were in a Sunday school class where only Spanish was spoken, which meant they really had no idea about what was going on. Tevia was in a younger class where they had a kid who spoke English, which made it a little easier for her. Talitha and Jason were both in with all the old people. After Sunday School, there was a snack of jugo y pan, or juice and bread. Then everyone went into the sanctuary, and just started singing. There were a lot of songs, as well as taking of the offering and some praying. Then, a lady pastor got up to do the service, which she did in both English and Spanish, which was very impressive. Then they made us stand up in front and sing our song, which they loved. We went back to our apartment after church and had som…

Feeding the Peoples

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October 15th, 2016 | Day 12Talitha got up today at 8 and went to help Elsie and Hector make food. Then, around ten, we went down to the church as well and got in a bus with Hector's family and Johanna, as well as two other people. We drove into Aibonito, where Jason and hector hopped out to go find people. The rest of us went and set up chairs, tables, and good. Soon people started showing up and as soon as hector and Jason got there, Hector said a prayer, we sand a song, and started serving Rice, Meat, Juice, and Pasta salad. Once everyone had eaten and started cleaning up or leaving, Katie showed up, as she had run into town. Then, we went and looked around at the town square as it was "Chicken fest," and so there were quite a few vendors set up street fair style right outside a giant church, which actually was having a funeral in it at the time. As it turned out, the funeral was for a bus driver who had died (duh), but the Puerto Rican school buses are, well, very dif…

School Meeting

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October 14th, 2016 | Day 11Today we got to sleep in a little, then Tovin and Jana went up and had breakfast in the cafeteria, while Tevia ate in the apartment as she was not feeling super great. Breakfast was eggs, butter sandwiches, applesauce, and milk. Because it was the second Friday of the month, there was a school wide chapel service in the church. We walked down there and almost all the classes shared a little something with the rest of the school. The music was by far the best, and the last song with everyone clapping and singing was really cool. Then, after a prayer, it was time for school again. Talitha went and painted the bathroom floor in the apartment, while Tovin went and pestered Hector until he got some WD-40 from him to oil the door hinges with. Tevia went off to class with some friends while Jason and Tovin took naps. Then, Jason and Jana went and had coffee with Hector and Santos. Tovin woke up and went to find a bathroom. Then Tovin and Jana went and helped Katie …

The MVS Guy, Neil

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October 13th, 2016 | Day 10Today we got up at normal time, and Tovin, Jana, and Tevia went up and had breakfast in the cafeteria. French toast, pears in syrup, juice, and milk. Then, Jason and Jana went over to do laundry at Pastor Jose's house. While they were gone, Pastor Jose, his wife, the the MVS guy, Neil, came over to introduce themselves. Tovin answered the door and talked to them, as Talitha was in the baƱo, and Tevia was in her room. Tovin talked to them awkwardly for a little while, before they left to find Jason. A few minutes later, Jana came running in saying to get the place cleaned up as they were coming to see it. Tovin and Jana cleaned up fast, but it took them a few more minutes as Jason is pretty good at stalling. Alex was with them this time and they had lost Jose's wife somewhere. They looked around then stood in the door talking with Jason for about ten minutes. Then, Talitha went to visit the Mennonite Hospital with them, while everyone else stayed back…

El Yunque

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October 12th, 2016 | Day 9We got up at normal time today, but no one really wanted to get up. Once we all actually got up and had breakfast, then we read the Bible some as a family while we waited for it to be time to go. We were invited to go to the beach with Pastor Juan Carlos and his wife, Emma. We got into the bus, or as we found out, as the locals called it, the Gua-gua (Pronounced wha-waa). When we got to their house, they were all ready to go. We moved all our junk into their fan, put our waters in their cooler, and started towards San Juan. Our first stop was a gas station, then off to El Yunque National Forest. We also made a stop for ice. We were almost there when we hit road construction. We had to back up almost 500 feet, then go up this narrow, one lane steep road, with a cliff up one side and a cliff down the other. The kinda things that you only see in books, and sounds super scary. We got past the detour, and back onto the main road. We were all glad we didn't hav…

The Home Depot

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October 11th, 2016 | Day 8We woke up at around 6:30 this morning to the sound of someone using a leaf blower again. Seems to be a tradition around here to use the leaf blower right outside the noob's apartment. Everyone got up and had breakfast while Tevia went up and had breakfast with Annamarie, Hector II, and Gabrilla. After breakfast, we all got loaded in the bus while Jason and Hector (the older Hector) checked the engine. With some rather limited directions, we took off in the general direction of Caguas, in our big yellow bus. It was an hour or so away, but the scenery was very beautiful. Then, we got on the interstate. However, the interstates in Puerto Rico are not very well maintained, and can't really be called interstates either, because there isn't more than one state in Puerto Rico, so really it's a turnpike or something, but we called it the interstate. We soon got to the Home Depot, having only made one wrong turn! We shopped in the Home Depot until we …

Just A Boring Monday

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October 10th, 2016 |  Day 7Today was Columbus day, so there was no school. Katharina flew out to Orlando at 6:30 in the evening, so we did not see her or Johanna all day. We did a lot of work, getting the bunkbed into Jana and Tevia's room, and getting a couch for Tovin to sleep on. Hector showed Tovin and Jana his extensive farm. He had 2 sheep, 2 rabbits, a bunch of goats, and in between 100 and 200 assorted birds, from ducks to chickens and parrots and doves. He even had a funny bird that would fall over and flap around on the ground when someone made a loud noise, like clapping. Then he unlocked the pool, so that the kids could go swimming. Everyone just kinda hung around and had a lazy afternoon. We moved a couch into Katie and Johanna's house so that they had something to sit on. Alex stopped by around lunch to see how everything was going. Jason, Tovin, and Jana cut down a bamboo tree to see what it was like on the inside. Then, leftovers for dinner. Tovin listened to m…

First Church Service

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October 9th, 2016 | Day 6Today was Sunday. Pastor Juan Carlos said that he was going to pick us up at nine. But that's Puerto Rican time. So really he meant 9:30, or whenever he gets around to it. He showed up with a bus full of people, so we ended up following him in the bus. We got to the church, where Tovin, Jana, and Tevia went to the youth Sunday School with Katharina and Johanna. The lesson was about staying pure for your future spouse, just as the church needs to stay pure for Christ. Johanna interpreted, which allowed us to understand it. After that, everyone went into the sanctuary where the adult Sunday school was just finishing up. The music started, and it was very interesting. Everyone was singing a little off key, and very loudly. The Pastor was playing an electric guitar, an old man playing keyboard, and two kids playing drums. They provided an interpreter for the sermon, which was about how all the fruits of the Spirit come from love and faith. Or something like th…

The Beach!

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October 8th, 2016 | Day 5Today we all got up at around 7, and had pancakes with syrup and butter. Then we just hung out waiting for a guy who was supposed to take us to the beach or something. We didn't really know. When he finally came at 8, everyone but Talitha were down talking to some people who lived next to us. We all got into the big white van that seats 15, and felt a little empty with only 6 of us. As it turned out, we were going to a persons birthday party at the beach, so we had to go pick up some people. Pastor Juan Carlos and his family, Johanna and Katharina, and a whole ton of other people. We all got into three vans full of people. Johanna and Katharina come from a very musical family, so there was a lot of singing and chanting being done, as well as air-trombones being played. When we finally got to the beach after about one and a half hours, with one stop at a gas station for ice, everyone got into their suits and ran into the water. Pastor Juan Carlos and a few …

Wal-Mart

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October 7th, 2016 | Day 4We woke up and had breakfast at the cafeteria again. Tovin tried speaking Spanish to the ladies who serve the food, but had troubles as they wanted to practice their English! The food was more normal today; oatmeal, canned pears, a slice of cheese, and milk again. After breakfast, we went up to the house where all the stuff is, and started cleaning. Our job for today was to sort a bunch of very large boxes of clothing, that were donated at one point or another. Then we came back to the apartment and started looking for a route to the nearest Wal-Mart. When we found one, we screenshotted the directions as none of us got service, and set out in the school bus. The scenery was amazing, and the weather was very nice and warm with a certain tropical feel to it. The only downside was the roads, which were small and busy which made going slow, but in the end, just added to the Puerto Rican experience. When we got to the Wal-Mart in Cayay, we found a parking spot and …

Our First Day

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October 6th, 2016 | Day 3We woke up today to the sound of roosters crowing and someone using a very loud leaf blower right outside our window. We got up, then Tovin, Jana, and Tevia went up and got a free breakfast in the school cafeteria. Farina, Fruit Cocktail, and a choice of Chocolate or Vanilla milk. We would later find out how, well, 'interesting' the cafeteria meals could be. Then, Johanna took us on a tour of the campus. Alex interrupted half way through, with Johanna and her sister Katharina ending up following us around. We went and looked at the rest of the campus. Around ten in the morning, the grounds person, and also a pastor in training, Hector, offered to drive us to the store in Aibonito, as he was going to do grocery shopping for the school. It was a very interesting trip in a small school bus as the roads are very narrow, curvy, and have no shoulder. We got to the store and found all the groceries we needed. We got everything rang up and bought okay, with a …

Flying

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October 5th, 2016 | Day 2When we finally got up on Wednesday morning, Linda had a nice breakfast made. Tovin, who still wasn't feeling the best, sat on the porch in the fresh air after taking some pills. Linda had a friend named Dave who had agreed to drive us to the airport, and then park our car back at the farm community in Grey's Lake. He didn't want to take any money for it, but Talitha finally was able to give him $60. After saying goodbye to Dave, we started the airport part of our journey. We checked our one giant bag in, and then went through security with no troubles, except for Jana's bag which had a few books in it, which looked slightly like bombs, meaning she needed to have her bag searched. Once we got to gate L5 to San Juan, we just sat down and waited for two long hours until our plane started boarding. We got some lunch in that time and watched news of hurricane Matthew which was currently in Florida. Finally, it was time to board. We got on and they …

Leaving Home

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October 4th - 2016 | Day OneThis morning we all got up around 6:15 and finished packing and got loaded up in the car. We left after about an hour, at 7:15, with Tovin almost forgetting his swimsuit. We drove for about twenty minutes before stopping for breakfast at the McDonalds in Perham. We kept driving until we finally got to the Twin Cities, where we bought Jimmy John's for Chris and ourselves. After a quick lunch break with him, we hit the road again. Both Tovin and Jana started developing headaches, which continued to worsen into Wisconsin. After driving for a few hours in Wisconsin, we stopped at a park where we had to pay $5 to get in. We went for almost a one mile hike on nice trails, then got back into the car. Jana's headache had left, while Tovin's continued to worsen, and now included an upset stomach. After a few more hours of travel and a stop at a gas station for drinks, we finally arrived at Grey's Lake. We found Linda's house where we picked her u…