Saturday, February 25, 2006

An American-Style BBQ

Yes, in February.

A couple of the American students in our complex decided it would be fun to utilize the barbecues in their back yard (despite being told that they were not for use. HUH?) and host an American style bbq. The weather was not nice, but we managed to cram about 20 or so of us into the student flat. We had burgers and hot dogs and chicken breasts, guac and chips, fruit, salads, and of course, lots of desserts. I made boston baked beans. I was able to meet some new people and see some old faces as well. It was a nice break. Thanks to Lydia and Sang.

What a chore!!

It was in need of doing for a couple of months now, but I finally got the motivation to do it. Our tiny freezer kept getting smaller and smaller with all of the ice building up around the inside. I also discovered the there was a HUGE chunk of ice that went around the back of the freezer part and into the fridge. So THAT was why everything in the back of the fridge froze! I lost some good produce from that! Well, our friends have invided us over for lunch after church tomorrow and they said they would take us to Costco afterwards. YIPPEE! This is my one chance to stock up on chicken breast (I already have a chicken enchilada dinner planned) but we almost had NO freezer left.

I have never defrosted a freezer before, but Sam told me how to do it. So I took everything out of the fridge and freezer, boiled lots of water, and got my blow dryer out. I alternated the water, chipped away at the ice, and blew the dryer. It was quite a chore and it was very interesting to see the chunks of ice that were coming out. So now I have a nice clean freezer with lots of space, and hopefully our fridge will work more efficiently now.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Passion Play

Josh and I decided to take part in the Easter play. It is performed in the Prince's Street Gardens. Last year over 3000 people attended even though the weather was not favorable. We went to our first rehearsal last night. Josh preferred not to have a large speaking part as he is already so busy with school. It looks like he will be a non-speaking disciple. He will probably still be in a large part of the play and it will require a lot of interaction and ad-libbing, but I think it will be fun. Most of the women speaking parts are already filled, so I will probably be part of the crowd. This will take place on Easter Saturday, so think of us then and pray that it will be a good turnout.

Here is a link to the Easter Play website:
And here is a link to some pictures from last year's play:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Tom and Amanda in the Times

Here's a link to their story. They are the couple I posted about earlier going through the process of adoption.

Also, if you have some time, take a look at the link "Another Expat Family" There is a little girl in need of lots of prayer. I don't know her, have never met her, but I met this family and I have been following Addie's plight. Once you are on the family's blog, you can click on their "Addie's site" link to learn more about what she is going through.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Did You Ever Wonder?

I have shared some things that are not available and you have seen my wish lists, but that is not nearly a comprehensive list of things that are not available here. Did you ever wonder if your favorite food item is available here? Here are a couple of links to companies who cater to American Expats. You can get an idea of the foods that are not or hardly available here. Take a look at the prices, too. The pound is nearly twice the amount of the dollar, so you can double the price to get the dollar amount. Yes, people do pay those prices!

Being in a larger city there are more products available to us. Some can be substituted for something else. I have even made some things from scratch that I otherwise wouldn't have, like BBQ sauce. :)

So what items do you think you would miss? We have a discussion going on my Expat forum right now about how we actually miss things here that we wouldn't normally eat in America. Strange how that works.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Help sponsor a child to go to school

Some of you were able to give generously last year to help my friend's daughter go to school. My friend and his family are in the Philippines. There are public schools that they can send their daughter to, but the classes are very large and the education is poor. Last year we worked together and with just $400 we were able to send her to a school that could be the start to a better future. She is only 4 just now, but to get her into a good school in the beginning means better chances of getting into other good schools.

This year we will need a little more than $400 as she will be entering kindergarten. This cost also covers uniforms, books, and other supplies. Enrollment is in May, which may seem far off, but let me remind you that it only seemed like yesterday that we were having our New Year's celebration. :)

My friend has sent me pictures and school work done by his daughter. I think she is very bright! He has also sent many notes of gratitude for the help we were all able to provide. If you would like some more information, contact me or leave a comment and I can e-mail you privately.

I will be collecting money and wiring it in a lump sum to reduce the fees for wiring. Paypal is not available there and it would not be safe to send a check, so this is my only option. If you would like to contribute money you can send a check to Josh's mom or put it in my Paypal account. I can give you all of that info. Let me know that you are doing it so I will know where the money came from and what it is for. Also, let me know if you would rather give some money monthly or if you can even help long term.

Thank you for your consideration.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Good Days

It's been good lately. After having a wee bought of depression over the last month or so (some days not so wee) and getting sick at the end of last week, I have had some really good days. I guess it started Monday. Work went smoothly. In fact, it was really good as one whom I have had a hard time working with actually seemed to be making an effort to work well with me. There were all the silly typical ingredients of a 'good' day: the sun was shining (not much of that here!), the birds were singing, I had a spring in my step. :) It was really good to feel content and at peace. I didn't come home and slouch on the sofa after my shower. I actually didn't mind the usual chores of dishes, picking up, starting dinner.

I know Monday was just a really good day and it wont last forever, but I enjoyed it for all it was worth. I had some friends over last night and I got to do what I love. It is even better to see people enjoying my cooking and to know that I was able to make them happy. We had a picture party. We brought together some of our photos of family and travels and sort of got to know eachother a little better that way. We found that Emma takes REALLY great photographs. And she is so humble about it! Of course I didn't have my scrapbooks from home, just the one I put together to get me through some of the lonely times; pictures of family, friends, and Chicago. I told the girls that WHEN they come to visit me in the States they can see my other scrapbooks. :)


We have had a couple of days of thick fog. Haar, they call it here. A thick sea fog. It is not so thick today, but Monday afternoon as I was at the computer I suddenly noticed that I could not see the buildings out my window. It was sort of romantic and intreaging to walk through it, but I can't imagine what it must be like to drive in it! I remembered reading in one of my novels set in 19th century Edinburgh where they mentioned the haar had come in and the soldiers in the castle could not leave from fear of 'falling through the crags in the city.' I saw that before a time with street lights and cars showing you at least where the road is, that it could be difficult to manouver through the city