Wednesday, May 30, 2007


So, everybody knows that Guatemala has the best coffee, right?!? Well, they do =) And after living in Antigua, Guatemala for just
2 1/2 short months and drinking multiple cups of coffee every day, I now continue to start every morning with a cup of Guatemalan coffee. Maybe that will change once I'm rushing off to work every morning, but for now I will savor each and every yummy cup! While I never toured any of the coffee farms around Antigua, I took a tour of a village called San Antonio Aguas Calientes where a group of ladies showed us some of their customs and traditions like weaving, marriage rituals, coffe-making, religous customs, and cooking.

This is a photo of coffee, it's all picked by hand. The coffee pickers are paid per pound that they pick, it gives lots of people jobs but doesn't pay good, and just imagine how much work would go into picking off every one of those coffee seeds.

Then, ladies like this woman from San Antonio Aguas Calientes have to de-shell the coffee bean after it's been dried and get it out of the shell. After that they use the same device as in the photo below to crush the coffee bean in order to have coffee grounds. Now, it looked easy, but believe me I made some coffee grounds and it is hard work!!! I'm so thankful that I don't have to do that in order to make my cup of coffee =)

Once there are coffee grounds the coffee is ready, but there weren't any coffee makers in this village . . . well, a pot, water, and a fire - that's all they needed! So, the little black pot kinda in the middle of the below photo has the coffee in it! These ladies also made chicken pepian, a traditional Guatemala dish and tortillas for our group from the language school. I did get to make a tortilla also . . . and it got cooked and I ate it, but let's just say that my tortilla didn't look like theirs!!

Life in a Guatemalan village isn't easy. These ladies aren't in costum, this is the clothing that they wear everyday. Making coffee or tortillas this way isn't a thing of the past, it's just part of their daily life. It is always a reminder of the luxuries that I enjoy daily and usually just take for granted! So, if you've never had a cup of Guatemalan coffee I highly recommend that you buy some and try it . . . I think that you'll love it! And you can support the coffee industry of Guatemala while your at it =) Enjoy!!!
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day weekend . . .

Memorial Day weekend was quite fun this year! Saturday was a friend's wedding. Then Sunday, well, first I have to go back many years. While I was in youth group we would go to the Dunes every Memorial Day weekend to do the Sunday morning campground service. For those of you who don't know what the Dunes is, it's a State Park on Lake Michigan. It's huge and beautiful with lots of beach area and lots and lots of sand dunes. So, some of these years of going there with the youth group we'd camp and go to the beach, mostly depended on the weather. Sunday morning we'd have a short church service, usually a skit, we'd play a couple bell songs and somebody would give a testimony and talk about Jesus. Well, this year the youth group was going, and I was in the area so I decided to go with them. We didn't camp, just went up on Sunday morning, but the service hasn't changed much - just different people! Then we played football on the beach and enjoyed the beauty of the sand and the lake, took some walks, and then made a campfire and roasted hot dogs, made "pudgie pies" and just had a nice time. It sure brought back many memories of all those years of spending Memorial Day weekend at the Dunes! Sometime that afternoon my mom and I left and drove down to Indianapolis to visit my brother Mark and his wife Jen. Monday we spent some time doing yard work, pulling out a fence, and a little shopping. It's always good to spend time with the whole family!

This photo is of Mark, Jen, Mom, and me! It was taken on the beach in Florida last thanksgiving.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I had an interview today at Lawndale Christian Health Center. I met so many amazing people and was very impressed by the variety of services offered at this clinic! They offered me a job working as a Maternal Health Nurse. It will involve a lot of teaching and coordinating of services for women who are pregnant. Now, it is just a matter of figuring out a start date and dates for orientation. I could start tomorrow, but with my car still in the shop that won't work out. This will give me time to pray about this decision and make sure that this really is the right place for me to begin working. If I take this job I can definately stop worrying about forgetting all the spanish that I learned in Guatemala . . . half of the staff is bilingual and half of the patients are spanish speaking. God knows, I just am trying to be open to His leading and guiding right now!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Car Angels

Wow were my car angels working overtime today!!! I was driving in the center lane of a busy 4 lane road and all of the sudden it feels like i can't accelerate anymore. So I quickly get into the outside lane thinking it would be safer, but then I can't accelerate at all . . . i see an entrance to a restaurant and quickly pull in but it was difficult because my car died and the power steering locked up. I was able to coast out of the entrance and to a safe part of the parking lot. I tried to restart it, it starts then dies, and this happens over and over again but I can't seem to keep it running. So of course I call grandpa! He comes to try and rescue me, but he can't fix it - the car has to get to the shop, but I'm not about 20 min. from home. Thankfully I was able to use my roadside assistance to get a tow-truck to take my car to the mechanics. And, my grandpa is so great, he stayed with me so that i didn't have to ride with the towtruck driver, and he even took me to the store to run my errand while we were waiting! It should just be a couple days and couple hundred dollars before I get my car back. But I have so many things to be thankful for, including getting safely off the road before my car died, and that it was today and not tomorrow when I'll be on the expressway in Chicago headed to my interview!!!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Mountains in Indiana?

Mountains near Guatemala City
The other morning I was especially missing the mountains of Guatemala . . .well, later that day as I was driving in Crown Point, Indiana I had to do a double-take as I saw what appeared to be mountains. Of course there really wasn't any (no, none anywhere close to Indina), but how thankful I was to see God's artistry as He had painted the clouds to look like there were mountains right here in Indiana. Not only did it make me smile and remember the beauty of the mountains in Guatemala, but I was also humbled that God loves me enough to give me even the smallest desires of my heart! Here are a few photos from Guatemala, I realized that I have lots of volcano photos . . . which don't technically fall under the category of mountains, so photos of those will have to wait until another day!

Mountains around Antigua

Mountains around Panajachel

Mountains around Lago Atitlán

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

believe it or not . . .

So, with a little bit of time off work right now I decided to set up a blog page. For this first post I'll tell you the meaning of the title, "In the Sand?". A few years ago I heard this saying, "We often write our complaints in concrete and our blessings in the sand". I want to be a person that writes my blessings in concrete so as to always remember them and my complaints in the sand so that they quickly disappear. God's blessings surround us daily, we have so much to be thankful for! What are you writing in the sand???