Thursday, June 28, 2007

Orientation!!! Belfast Ireland

So Trevor and Camille proceeded to turn around and try to find the pot of gold and leprechaun at the end. They thought they would have better luck with that here in Ireland.

Us in front of the City Hall

Queens University

One of the murals that were created as a result of the troubles

The mile drive up to the Parliment Building

The tour of Belfast

Ok so we are doing some orientation before we go into some intense back to back camps. So here is a bit of what we have seen up to this point. Oh and we just met up with Malia Bushkirk and Laura Huysman, who are interns here from Seattle as well. They are former Ireland Deputees that have come back to work at some of the churches for a year. It was really great to get a different point of view from those that were former deputees and are still here. They had a different insight as to the "troubles" here and the evolution of it in the last couple years due to there involvement.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Phew! It's hot!

Hey Brandon!
We are safely here in Antalya enjoying amazing weather averaging
105-108 Fahrenheit! The trip here was great, with a couple of delays and a temporarily lost guitar that should be shipped to us via cargo tomorrow. I'll just give you a few of the highlights from our trip so
Because of the delays on our way to Istanbul and the two hours spent filing a claim for the lost guitar, the driver who was SUPPOSED to pick us up and take us to an overnight hotel had left! So we found ourselves without transportation at 2:30 in the morning. THAT was fun!
A Turkish tour guide whose client hadn't showed up decided to help us out. He arranged to have his bus pick us up and even gave us a discounted price from what a taxi would have cost us! It ended up being the most fun I think possible for four exhausted travelers at 2:30am. He gave us a mini-tour of the city, taught us some Turkish, drove us by the Blue Mosque, and gave a short history lesson. We arrived safely at our hotel and slept like little lambs.
Sunday we traveled to Antalya without any problems and were met by Ben and Verna King at the airport. Upon walking off the plane onto the runway, I think all of us would agree that we felt like we were walking into the firey pits of Hell. It was 108 degrees and the wind was blowing really hard, yet had NO cooling effect whatsoever. Verna says its wind from the Sahara because it's not humid. Whatevs.
Perhaps the most amazing part of arriving in Antalya was discovering what our living arrangements would be like. It worked out that we could stay in the same apartment building as Verna's daughter, Karn, who would take good care of us. Karn's friend, Marco, lives upstairs from us, and took it upon himself to set up a flat worthy of Real World Antalya. He painted the walls, made us enormous curtains, found us linens, and even got us OUR OWN BATHROBES. We realize this sort of treatment is not typical of deputation, but we have no problem with it. ☺ Marco is getting a party this Friday with brownies and pasta but he doesn't know it yet.
Monday was spent getting a basic orientation of Turkish culture, buying groceries, and meeting some of the important people we'll be spending time with. Not before we spent five hours on a private beach comparable to "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"! As to be expected, Lindsey Van Zanten managed to acquire a SECOND foot injury (of COURSE). This time she kicked her foot into an urchin while exploring caves along the coast. It was truly unforgettable because she spent the next hour getting spines dug out of her foot by one of the employees of the beach. I held her hand, Lindsey Morton was her backrest, and Dayna took lots of pictures and gave feedback. When it was all done we were practically celebrities because every new visitor would approach us, look at her foot, and murmur "oof", then watch the surgery in process for a few minutes. She is doing just fine now and is Our Little Soldier. We're very proud.
Today, (Tuesday?) we got a tour of the two facilities where we will be doing our volunteer work. First we went to the Kids Klub, where we will be teaching classes in English and helping with younger children as well. It was like a little kid's wonderland and we met a lot of the students who looked at us like we were freaky mutant people. We were introduced to our three "translators": Ozge (girl), Jamai, and Ahmed. They are 14 year-olds from a nearby school and are honestly CUTE AS PIE. Needless to say there is still an enormous language barrier. They will be helping us learn Turkish and communicate with our students, but we have yet to say one thing without a huge misunderstanding. It will just take some time.
After this we went to the Gorem Center and were introduced to the teachers and staff, then the students who are there for rehabilitation. They were incredibly nice to us and told us "while you are here the school is yours". It sounds like we will have a lot of autonomy in our schedules and be able to choose what sorts of classes and therapy we do. We're all very excited!
Right now we are trying to remain as motionless as possible because of the heat, but soon we will go on a hunt for ice cream. Tomorrow we start planning our curriculum and then the real work begins on Thursday. We want to thank everyone who is praying for us. This has truly been the best trip we could ask for, and it's hardly begun.
-Sara, on behalf of TEAM TURKEY!

A sketchy story but happy ending...

I arrived in Ireland yesterday evening after being detained in London immigration for 45 minutes!! I guess my story sounded a little sketchy since I didn't have any documentation, contact numbers, last names of the woman picking me up, or any idea of where I was staying. They finally decided against deporting me and let me pass after making sure my story was fully written down on my immigration card. The rest of the team arrived this morning and apparently had similar problems. I don't think the UK believes that we will be here for 2 months without getting paid and were especially suspicious because we were so uninformed about everything. Anyways we are here and just got back from a nice breakfast with Lois and Graham who both work for PCI.

This week is an orientation week and we are meeting with many of our leaders at different camps. We will have some time to tour Belfast this week and then we train down to Dublin to begin our first camp! It is cold here! We are hoping it will start warming up but were informed by many people on the plane that Ireland has about two weeks of summer where it might reach 70 and then it disapears before you know it!

Anyways there is our quick little update!


Hey ALL!! Kelly is going to give an update, but just saying hey we're here in Ireland and loving it!! Thanks for all your prayers!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

India, naked and green!?

Honestly, life is unreal here in India! Imagine walking down the streets of Seattle naked and painted green...THAT is how we stand out. life is amazing here, busy and nonstop! the school is amazing! we all had one day to rest and then went right to the school and were thrown into the mix! the children, amazing by the way, are still getting used to us but already seem to love us! we've only had two days of school but they've been great!. Natalie will be helping to instruct English using a computer program, this mainly happens on Mondays and then throughout the rest of the week she will be at Rita's beck and call, helping in the main school office with whatever is needed. Carl is taking over as a math teacher. It's wild to be helping in the education of children! i don't think anyone of us feel worthy! The main math instructor is going on leave (for reasons we did not catch) and so Carl is taking over the class. Jason is mainly a tech dude. he is currently taking pictures all over the school in order to make a new brochure and other texts for information purposes, also he's working on power points and slides for Rita. Most of this week (aka the two days we've been working) for Carl and Jason have been spent in the library organizing books...they say it's been OK, slightly dull, but they are fully aware that things will pick up and quickly! As for myself i am the art teacher. the current instructor is going on maternity leave, she is due in Aug. i feel as if i have already bonded with her a bit, although what she does is a TON of work, i think we're all a little nervous to actually get started! as for our accommodations? Prem and Rita could not be better hosts! we're so well taken care of. we all feel so at home and loved in their home which by the way is beautiful! we share rooms boys in one girls in the other. we have our own little flat sort of. we have a living space, kitchen and our own bathrooms. honestly we're overly pampered! it's amazing how passionate Prem and Rita are when it comes to their faith. a passion i think we all admire and desire. to love the Lord to intimately, it's truly beautiful. tonight (sat) we'll go to a wedding and we, well Prem, has pretty much planned our our entire trip, we literally go somewhere or have something to do EVERY WEEK! we're all very excited for what the trip has to hold. this is a brief update, more to come when we have an official full week! hugs and kisses from Bangalore!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Philippines - getting the royal treatment!

The Philippines team reported in with some images of their trip so far. Here is one where they were made a banner which they will be bringing back, but not until all the mayors of the towns they visit sign it! Here are a few more pictures:

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sretan Put, Hrvatska Cure!

Have a good trip, Croatia girls! We are all excited for you to get here to Fuzine! It will be a great summer!
~Hillary and the rest of the team (Brajna, Tea, Christine, Tihomir, Justin, Ivona)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ranas que croan - croaking frogs...

Let me set the scene here. As I sit and type this note to you on the porch sitting in a rocking chair, the frogs croak like ducks in the nearby grass and the secadas chirp in the trees surrounding the Children of the Nations property. A few of the interns are singing/guitaring some freestyle blues while others sit and chat in the dark. The more adventurous of the group are encouraging each other to flip into the pool from the raised gazebo. What a relaxing end to an incredible day!
We arrived on Saturday in Santo Domingo where we met up with the ten other interns ages nineteen to twenty-four. After waiting in the airport for everyone to be collected, we jumped into a yellow school bus which drove us to the most charmingly colorful inn run by a woman named Betty. The duration of our stay lasted four days. We spent our time getting acquainted with our team, doing some training for the following weeks, and exploring the city.
Tuesday we hopped on the schoolbus again in the direction of Barahona, the town of Children of the Nations. Upon arrival to the short-term missions house, we were greeted by the staff and were able to chat with them over a wonderful lunch prepared by the three women who call themselves the "CrazyCooks". We have been spending today and yesterday doing more training, riding mopeds around the city, and simply getting the know the people in and around this house. Tomorrow we are looking forward to meeting our host families who we are able to stay with and build relationships with over thesummer.This has been a wonderful week of learning all sorts of things about the genuine warmth, hospitality,and the slower pace of life of the people who we have met. On the other hand, we will be encountering some entirely different situations starting Friday when we begin to do our assigned projects in the surrounding schools. Please pray that God will give strength to love the people in the communities and to serve them unselfishly.
In Him,
Katie, Amy, Anna

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The next teams to leave are:

Turkey and Malawi. They are both on the same flight. We will be meeting them at 6:30pm on Friday evening to send them off on their British Airways flight. Feel free to come by and see them off with us!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Es caliente!

The DR team emailed and said they have arrived safely after a long day of plane rides! They will report more soon but the one thing they did say is it's hot!

En el Avion... who's next?

The DR team took off last night with no hitches whatsoever! We'll let you know when they arrive safely at their destination. It may take them a couple days as they have some layovers and a long bus ride before even getting settled in.
Next up is India. They leave Monday. We are meeting at 4:10 at the British Airways counter to see them off!

Friday, June 15, 2007

They made it!

Hey Everyone!
We made it to Manila without a hitch and it is hot and humid! But fear not, for we are joining the heat as some wise man said. But seriously, today was really nice and sunny if somewhat muggy.
Mia, our caretaker, is great and took us to a restaurant the americans and filipinos opened together back when America was in control here...the restaurant's specialty is fried chicken :)
We are staying in a Christian hotel with rooms that make you feel like you're in a monastery, but nice nonetheless. And we have internet access right next door.
I don't plan on emailing frequently (that is what the deputation blog is for), but I think this email was prudent. However, I will check my email probably a couple times a week cause I have some loan issues and pharmacy matters taking place while I am over here that I will need to address.
I love it much to see, and i don't know if you knew, but we're kinda of a big deal over here...but that may be because Mia told everyone (including the mayors we will visit) that we were all planning on becoming pastors/ joking here. (brandon, did you mention anything about seminary to Mia? :)
Thank you all for your love and support and we all are looking forward to getting dirty on Tuesday building houses!
P.S. Please forward this email to anyone who might be interested....didn't have much time to write or look up emails. And, Poyang showed me how to call people in the states using the internet (a program called Skype) for like 2 cents a minute, so if the need arises i can call someone relatively easily, which is comforting.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Their off!

The Philippines officially left last night! They got out of the re with no problems (other than a 45 minute flight delay). We'll let you knoow when they get in!
The next team to go is DR. They depart tomorrow night at 11:05pm. They will be meeting at US Airways at 8:30 if you want to see them off!