Friday, February 1, 2013

Changing of the Guard

 Hola to you . . .

I haven't mentioned how excited we are for Jera and Jordan's announcement of our #15 grandchild - to arrive in mid July - WE WELCOME THE BLESSINGS IN ST. GEORGE! 

Our friends, the Hammons, finished their Area Welfare Specialist mission and left last Friday.  They shared an "office cubicle wall" with us which means we could usually hear each others conversations.  They have also become good friends as they helped us get to know the ropes here in the office and the DR in general.  We miss them!  Their replacement doesn't come until March 10th - Crismons from Pleasant Grove, Utah. 

We are losing three of our seven assistants - hopefully the new ones can just be trained by the very capable ones being released in Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. 

Us with the Hammons

There is a young father, Vincente, here in the finance department that helps us alot with many things - especially computer issues and reports - he is learning English and doing great!  He was so excited to be on vacation this  week.  He has never had a vacation.  He has only worked here about a year and a half and his previous work didn't have vacation time.  His little family was going to visit his grandmother that lives by a river a little over an hour away . . . you should see his face light up to talk about it.

The office was closed w/two holidays in one week so we and the Dunfords headed to see Constanza - a beautiful valley.  Well we almost got there - took a shortcut - will we never learn?  The road eventually got so narrow, rough and when we encountered a 4-wheeler (at a high steep fork in the road) were told "you won't make it in that" - so thankfully we turned around.  A scary adventure but was gorgeous and we got some good pictures.  Have no idea how they farm on the incline of those mountains.     
Beautiful farming on the mountains

It was interesting to watch them paint the apartment building across the street from us.  It has 11 stories and they were using rope ladders attached to the roof.  They would use ropes to "pully up" 5 gallon buckets of paint.  There were two men just using rollers or often a paint brush attached to the end of a pole for far away spots.  The painters were tethered to the ladders with maybe a 4 foot strape attached to their waist . . . all very scary looking - but, the paint job looks great! 

Painting with a rope ladder

Last Sunday we went to Bani Branch about an hour away.  We had to pick up the financial documents.  Lots of "severe padding of the travel account" in the district.  I pretty much hate this part of our work.  Then on to Santiago - 2 and half hours - to get our assistant Felix Cruz to go another hour and a half to Monte Cristi for 4 hours of training  (I was dying) then back to Santiago to spend the night - exhausted - and hard driving at night on dark roads with cars and motos w/out lights!  Amazing there aren't more accidents.  We usually aren't out on roads in the campo (country) at night but this couldn't be avoided.  In fact it could be breaking the rules - we won't ask. 

Many thoughts and much love to all - you are always in our prayers for blessings in your life - you are certainly some of ours!  LOVE YOU Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa  XOXOXOOXOX

Huge avacados - do I always have this many wrinkles . . . nah, probably just a bad wrinkle day!!!!

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