Thursday, April 1, 2010

Looks Like Rain

It was cold this morning. It has been cold and windy here since the floods came. In a lot of ways, the floods in Delta are like snow in Alabama. One morning you just wake up and your yard is unexpectedly full of thousands of gallons of water. Everything is much prettier during the flood, and we all get a vacation from work. Instead of trying to work in all of this water, we do fun things like hunt, visit with neighbors, and hike through a foot and a half of water. The main difference is that the floods aren’t crystalline, and last a lot longer than snow in Alabama.

Joshua, our resident Canadian, really wanted to finish his canoe quickly so that he can travel to San Juan on the 15th, and hopefully make it all the way to the Rama, a Nicaraguan indigenous group, where he hopes to spend the rest of the time working. To finish his canoe, he needs a sander so that he can smooth the wood and fiberglass before adding paint. Our neighbor has agreed to loan us his sander if we can just come and get it.

The problem is that between our house and the neighbor’s house there is a 1000 meter path that crosses one really deep and fast moving creek, and about 5 smaller but still fast and powerful creeks. Almost the entire trail between here and there is completely covered in water. There is really no good way to describe the adventure that ensued, so I will try and let pictures do my talking.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh don't worry, Andrew can do it

Axiomatic – taken as given; possessing self-evident truth

Only a few minutes before, I put down the book I was using to prepare for the GRE (a test needed to apply to many graduate study programs). I was pleased with the amount of vocabulary that I knew or partially understood. Using the rain as an excuse to not weed the flower beds anymore, a got out my copy of Stranger in a Strange Land and began to read. After only a few pages, I heard voices in the comedor. That is when the Chaos started.

The students, and teacher, had arrived for the missionary training school, along with Joel, the man in charge of the farm, and his family. For the next 48 hours, I was running constantly, finding building supplies for the neighbors, carrying bags for Joel, serving food, running errands for Ana, shoveling manure, trying to take a bath (we ran out of water before I could rinse), and generally trying to help everyone with everything all at once. The icing on the cake was when I was asked at 9:30 at night (past bedtime) to preach the next morning.

I did not prepare at all that night, knowing how important sleep is. The next morning, I cleaned up, borrowed a shirt, and began praying and listening for the word of G-d. He led me to Matthew, where I taught out of the Sermon on the Mount. The main thrust of the message is a part of the scriptures where Jesus says that a bad tree cannot produce good fruit, and a good tree cannot produce bad fruit. Jesus also says that in the end many will cry out to G-d, and he will say “I do not know you”, and that if we truly believe in him, we will do G-d’s will.

After teaching in Media Vuelta, I was able to spend a bit of time visiting with Brandi, a friend who used to work with Palmas de Mamre, and who is now living in Media Vuelta, and married to Andre, another friend of ours and native Costa Rican. After visiting with them, we finally turned our boat toward Delta and began our journey “home”.

How to Farm Underwater

The teacher for this week at the missionary training school is a Professor of mechanical engineering who moved to the U.S. from India 43 years ago. Dr. Job Ebenezer focuses his work on developing appropriate technologies for the poor around the world. These technologies include vertical gardens which we will be trying at Delta because the will not be affected by the floods, as well as bicycle powered mechanical devices. He chose to work with bicycles because unlike other forms of renewable energy, they are cheap, readily available in poor areas, can be moved to power many different devices, and can also serve as transportation.

To find out more about Dr. Job and his work, you can visit his website at . If that link does not work, I will find one that does when I get home.