Tuesday, October 28, 2008

beauty tip, ladies

this is franchesca, one of my stinkin' awesome preschoolers, with her little sister in chichigua.

oh they make me laugh..

franchesca for one- spunky. she
sprints to us every morning while we are walking up to the school and wraps her little arms around my legs so I cant move (love it). she is smart and catches on quickly. she also has quite a little attitude and i love it. her laugh is truly amazing- like a cackle/giggle i suppose. she is eager to help, even when i don't ask. she'll rip books out of everyone else's hands the second i say it's time to clean up and when i say they need to be quiet she screams "silencioooooooooo!!" for me.. numerous times.. even after everyone has settled.

one day she used the grease from her bowl of spaghetti (there is a LOT of it bc the dona uses like a pound of butter in it) as lip gloss. "profe ashley!!" i look over to see her and her shiny lips, chin, hands, nose..

so there you have it, ladies. whenever you reach the bottom of a greasy bowl of food, go ahead and stick your finger in it (make sure you get plenty) and lather those lips. pucker up.

Monday, October 27, 2008

adios, cow path!

i will take you down the path we shall walk NO MORE to get home. from montellano (where school is) to the makarios house, we walked to the autopista (main road/ highway), got in a gua-gua (public van), got out and walked down the road to the cow path, walked the cow path to our street..
all of that will still be the same.. minus the cow path! "why no more cow path??" you ask?

WE MOVED!! to make a long story short, we had to move very abrubtly so anne and jennie found a new house to rent, we packed SO MUCH stuff up for daaaays, and now we live in a NEW MAK HOUSE.. and it is wonderful. OH, and this means no more cow path..

hello donkey. (the donkey that would sometimes greet us before we head up..)

and we begin the path to go back to the house (right through that gate)..

shallan walking down the path.. by one of our cow friends of course.

oh, and she probably just stepped over the boot in the middle of the path that is always there.

hello, cow. moo..

and shallan conquers the mud dip. almost to the road! yeah!

here's to you, cow path.
adios. cheers.

mexico city!!

God never fails to surprise me. He sent some of the makarios staff out from the DR and texas to..


we worked with volunteers connected to the “do something now” part of the passion conference. we volunteered directly with passion two days and God was able to use us in different areas (collecting, counting, relocating bags of beans and rice people brought.. translating for the orchestra.. directing people to their seats..) the collected beans and rice were donated to multiple organizations in mexico city.

a lot of our team's time was spent outside the passion conference with local volunteers in a mission in mexico city. pastor abe who works at a church many of the volunteers are from, was absolutely wonderful and had told us about some needs they have before we got there.

at the mission, the kids come one day a week to be fed, loved, and taught. the volunteers are dedicated to these children that come from similar situations our kids do. we prepared a variety of things to share with them (ideas for how to teach different subjects, how abuse can effect a child's behavior, what to do with materials, how to evaluate what the children need, what we have faced in a similar situation, etc). conversation and all of our time with them was really incredible. it is crazy how similar some of our situations are in such different parts of the world. it was encouraging for both sides and we are thankful to know people to specifically pray for and how we can be praying.

disclaimer: we are not experts about how to teach or anything but had to trust God has a reason for sending us from austin and the d.r.. i am thankful He is so much greater when i am not.

oh, there was also a day of exploration where we were able to visit the pyramids.. here are a few pictures from some adventures:

we can make pyramids too! (top-bottom: anne, cara, holly, sharla, camille, jamie, shallan, me)
aaaand we climbed them both!!
abe and his family wear the same color to church on sundays. what do you think that week was??
abe and his wonderful family!!
the workings of a mexican blanket..
oh yes, we returned to the exact same street taco stand for more phenomenal tacos. this is it.
girl at abe's church
me and shallan on top of abe's church

for more pictures: click here!

i am extremely grateful for the opportunity God created with the trip to mexico city. prior to going, i was curious about what it would look like for our team and how God would use our time there. this was another opportunity to put our complete trust in Him and allow Him to work. wherever i had doubts about my personal abilities to contribute, i know God is more than sufficient.

there are many great memories from mexico city, and it is good to reflect on how faithful God was and is. in our conversations and meetings with volunteers at abe's church it was encouraging to see how similar our situations in the dominican republic are to theirs. there was a mutual understanding and it is wonderful to know specific people selflessly loving children in their community. it is beautiful. i am thankful to know them and how to specifically be praying for them. for the generous people who gave their time, ideas, financial help, and prayers i am so grateful. i know there was so much done and given to make this happen and i really appreciate it.

oh, and the tacos.. might just be one of the greatest moments of my life. really.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


this most certainly deserves its own entry.

while walking down the street in tamarindo/montellano we ran into this man, his horse, and his PIG. LIVE PIG.. just hangin' out. quite content in his little bag :)

not every day you get to see a happy little pig bounce down the road with its ears flapping.

flap. flap.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

it's saturday.. sosua??

so i have this problem.. i often forget to sit down and take breaks. (thanks, mom. i bet i get that from you!) BUT i keep learning that it is important..

i got at text message from georgia (great girl that moved here recently and works for kids alive) the other week.. "we need to hang out soon.." so that weekend shallan and i met up with georgia in sosua where we got to relax for a few hours. it was hot, wonderful, and beautiful.

our view while we lounged and chatted for a bit. ahhh.

we remembered to get a picture of ourselves.. as we were leaving sosua. (shallan, georgia, me)

tamarindo afternoon!

anne, shallan, and i went to tamarindo (the village where the school is) to hang out with some of the kids. anne brought her hacky sac, we learned new hand-clapping games, spent the time running in and out of the houses when it rained (dominicans generally do NOT like the rain. and by "do not like" i mean they won't go in it if it can be avoided), took some pictures (see below)..

oh! and we played the greatest game of baseball ever: 1 stick, 1 empty plastic bottle (our baseball) and 3 bases total. FUN.

this is where one of our students lives.me with some of the precious kids. the one on the far left is Wilsenci and he's in my preschool class!
i like their house colors.
jamilay (probably spelled wrong) on the right was the organizer of the baseball game!
stinkin' cute.
love this one of luis miguel ("luigi") and his little brother :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

my two youngest roommates :)

jakob and isaak are the twins sharla is adopting from haiti. they live in the house with us and are SO much fun. there is an incredible nanny, melissa, who is there to play with them and love them every single day while we are at the school, work site, etc. if you get a minute, please say a prayer for the adoption process. it has been a really loooong adventure so far..

reading and playing
sweet boys
isaak and momma sharla

jakob showing his momma he has teeth too!
brotherly love..
LOVE jakob's face here!
jakob playing with his boat (a dried palm leaf melissa and i pulled the boys around in)
isaak and his sweet clothespin do

OH, did i mention they are maybe two of the cutest 2 1/2 year olds on the face of the entire planet? guess i don't really have to tell you..