Pee in the Potty

That's right folks! Blaise has peed in his potty. Twice.

Yesterday it happened. He let us know by saying "pee? pee?" so we stuck him on the potty and presto!

The trouble though is the potty itself. It has a horn thing in the front and the pot part of it isn't long enough for him to sit and pee, so he has to really tuck his peeing part down. Not sure who engineers these things. I'm sure it will be at least 6 weeks before he's fully trained, but it's great to be starting. I hope he's trained before the next on is born in April.

If the coughing fits...

don't stop, I'm gonna FREAK OUT! Or get tested for TB! A dry cough started on Wednesday night last week, nothing major, could have been dust. By Saturday night I was convulsing. The past three nights I have slept on a foam in the office so as not to keep Amber awake with my coughing. Last night was the worst. I was too tired to even watch a movie or play iPod games. I just lay in bed at 8 pm coughing for an hour. Finally I fell asleep.

The worst thing is that it's a dry cough. No phlegm (isn't that a great word!!!). My head starts to pulse with a sinus headache and nothing really comes out when I blow my nose.

A doctor that was here told me that cough syrups are a sham. I concur. I've polished off 3 bottles (there were only a couple table spoons in each) and I can't really say I've noticed a difference.



Growing Young Boy

Blaise has been a joy to watch grow. His great sense of humour wards off much discipline. His latest deal is asking a question waiting for a response then after a generous pause, he begins barking.

This shot was taken when the photo we took for immigration was rejected because there was some blurry thing behind his ear and "hair was in his face" (??). Pretty precious.

Blaise's next door neighbour, Samuel, turned four last week and threw a big party. Blaise brought a gift.

Blaise got a shot at the piñata. Rather than hitting like the other children, he chose the spearing method. I think this will work better when he gets a bit more meat on his arms.

Interweb Woes

So, a week after ordering a bunch of obscure U2 songs from iTunes, I managed to have all of them downloaded - the last 14 of them in the last 14 minutes! Oh baby! Internet's back!

As I've probably mentioned before, my internet connection is of the satellite variety, beamed to my house with an antenna, then connected to my compy via ethernet. A week ago, Cesar took down my industrial size antenna and gave me a midget antenna to put in my window. Since then I've been getting internet for 15 minutes at a time about twice a day/night.

-Cesar has come over a couple times to test the signal strength
-I've called AppleCare a coupel times
-I've tested a PC to see if it's my computer that's causing the problemas.

Today I gave up and reinstalled OSX.4 and things seem to be super.

The latest rumour is that TurboNet (DSL) is coming to town at a $60/month price plus monthly home phone line costs (which we don't currently have). We'll see...



INCIDENT 1: It just so happens that here in Guatemala employees are given ZERO authority at their job. So, when I ordered a bagel sandwich at a modern mall in Guatemala City and asked to have the yucky processed cheddar slice replaced with a piece of Swiss cheese, the sandwich artiste had to ask her supervisor (who was not the owner, so it didn't really matter anyhow). The supervisor took great pains to explain to me that the combo I ordered did not come with the Swiss cheese slice, but with the orange one. I'm surprised they were able to omit the cheese altogether in the end when I asked them to.

INCIDENT 2: The same evening, as I was exiting the parkade beneath the mall, I was bewildered to find that the parking cost was double what I anticipated. The parking agent, with tremendous consternation, expounded upon the fact that the evening rates were now in effect. There was no such information on the ticket they gave me. I guess I should have asked.

INCIDENT 3: The Aurora Internation Airport of Guatemala is still under construction. It is the self-proclaimed "most modern airport facility in Central America." The current frustration at the airport is where to put your vehicle. For pick up, you should drive into the drop-off area and park there, if not you can get stuck in a barrage of taxis. As the whole lot is a mess, I didn't think twice about driving in and pulling a U-turn and parking along some dividers facing a van. After locking the car, I was met with a security dude who asked me to look around at the mess of cars. I asked him if there was a problem. He told me to park properly. I asked him what difference it made. He said it didn't make any difference. And then he asked me to park properly, again.

INCIDENT 4: Our power went out last night at 8 pm. So did our neighbour's power. Our neighbour's power came back on at 10:30 PM. Ours did not. This morning, the power was still out, so I called the power company and gave them our visual address (no house numbers in this part of Tactic) and 2 1/2 hours later our fridge came back on. Sweet.

INCIDENT 5: Our landlady brought us our power bill last week. It had gotten wet, so she had to dry it, just barely saving it from incineration. This weakened the perferation so that during the handling, half the bill (the part the bank keeps) fell off before it landed in my hands. My usual bank wouldn't take it. They sent me to the bad bank. The bank that makes me wait a long time and disappoints me a lot (Banrural). So I had to go there this morning.

INCIDENT 6: Our immigration paperwork lady sent us some documents through a courier service from the capital to our home on Friday with ETA of Saturday. They still haven't arrived (it's Tuesday night). I called and after a bit of investigation, the courier place didn't attempt the delivery because a) they had an incorrect phone number for me and b) my address wasn't descriptive enough. Maybe I'll get the papers tomorrow.

INCIDENT 7: One of the only ways I can get new music is to buy it online through iTunes. Sadly, my internet connection stinks. I ordered 18 songs, paid for them and 5 days later only one of them has fully downloaded (after incessant prompting). My ISP says it's iTunes problem and iTunes says it's my ISP's problem. It's both their problem as iTunes quits downloading at any indication of a delay and my ISP is out for hours at a time. RRRG.


INCIDENT 8: I'm trying to contribute to my RRSP before the end of the tax time comes on Feb 28. I've been trying since early February. To accomplish this, I email a pdf to my mom to fax to the agency. Unfortunately, their fax machine is always busy or unavailable. I've emailed it to someone else in Edmonton, but their computer crashed. I've called three people from the agency and no gains. We'll see what the state of this issue is on the eve of March.


Getting a Kia van on a truck

While driving a short-term mission team from Regina to Antigua for their last 2 nights in the country, my van, the Kia, brokedown. We managed to get the team to where we needed to go and left the van at a highway road stop.

Two days later on our way back, we had a 'tow truck' from Tactic meet us so we could get it brought back to Tactic for repairs. The event required putting the van on the back of the truck.

I sat in the cab drinking Seven, steering the van and occasionally braking while they unhooked and rehooked the chains...

...while this guy did all the work. When the chain runs out, I brake, they manually unwind the chain, hook it up again and start the pulling again. They had to hook it up 3 times because the chain isn't that long.

45 minutes of winching and voilá!

Fido Dido lives! Is he in Canada anymore? I don't think he's learned to talk yet though.

This is Laura, a resident of Tierra Blanca (White Dirt) and one of the gathered spectators for the show.

*Photos 1 & 2 taken by Ruth

The Forbidden Coachella

So while perusing blogs, I discovered the Coachella Music Festival. Playing there will be some of my favorite bands and artists as well as some classics: The Arcade Fire, Manu Chao, Bjork, Rufus Wainright, Damien Rice, Rage Against the Machine, Interpol, Regina Spektor, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Willie Nelson.

It's in California, but man would it be nice to go. Stinkin! I haven't been to a Music Fest since August, 2005!


The God Who May Be

I listened to a Podcast series of CBC Radio's Ideas in December. It was an interview with philosopher Richard Kearney about his recent book "The God Who May Be." I was intrigued by several of the concepts that Kearney brought up. He proposes that much of the beliefs that people hold about who God is is in reaction to how others present God to be. The movement in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries towards atheism was largely in reaction to how churches presented God - ie. if God is who they say He is, God shouldn't exist and therefore doesn't exist.

I find this quite challenging as many of the ways God is presented in Christianity is quite distasteful to me and so how have I decided to perceive God as a result. Also inasmuch as I present my perception of God to others.

When I look at the current trends in science and sociology I think there is a new reaction towards the hardline atheism that is promoted. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think more and more people are recognizing that claiming God can not exist is more reactive than rational. Kearney doesn't necessarily stick to reason as he bases much of his philosophy on the imagination.

Another idea is that God is the possibility of the impossible. Divinity is faceless, nameless, and unknowable - therefore it requires imagination. Kearney proposes that God exists only to those who allow Him to exist in their imagination. This does not mean that God only exists because someone is imagining Him, but that He exists for that person through their imagination. So if I don't believe God exists, it is difficult for me to actualize Him - it is difficult for God to reveal Himself to me. If I do believe He exists, then He becomes real, powerful, and creative through me and towards me.

I look forward to ordering the book and reading this a little closer. The podcasts I listened to are no longer available in iTunes, but still downloadable here:
Part I
Part II
Part III

... or you can listen to the streaming fast version here:
Part I
Part II
Part III


Do you see a difference?

In October '06, Lorne and his family gave Mariah a tupperware full of chocolate bars for Amber and I. Unfortunately, Mariah didn't have enough room for it among her luggage as she was moving here for a year. Her sister gave us the goodies once we returned to Canada for our Christmas furlough.

In January we split the goodies right down the middle. You can see why....



I'm picking up a short term mission team in Guatemala City tonight. They arrive late, so we spend the night and then visit a couple sites in the capital then drive the 4 hours to Tactic tomorrow. Les isn't here, so I have to do all the paying for the 19 of us in the group, so I need lots of cash. Rita wrote me a cheque for Q5000 ($750) to cover room and board and diesel.

So, I went to cash the cheque this morning and there was a huge line-up. I asked the guard if this was the line-up for people to cash cheques and he just said "wait a little while blondie, wait right here." He formed a new line in front of the door where five more men lined up behind me over the next 5 minutes. The other line easily had 75 men in it. The door opened and I was at the front of the line. Erick was at the till getting cash too, he told me that they wouldn't give me more than Q3000. My cheque was for Q5000.

At the till, I handed the cheque over and the cashier asked me if Q20 notes were OK. Sure, why not? I had to pause and secure the wad in my pocket before going outside.

This is the stack of bills. 250 $3 bills. Nice.

I hope there was money for everyone.