Monday, February 16, 2009

Time Marches On (towards March)

Yes I know that title is lame but it's all I could think of.

Hey everybody. Another week of life at La Finca. A rainy day, some cloudy days, some sunny days. Today happens to be a very beautiful day. I should be out working but it's kind of nice to stay in the shade for a bit after lunch. The rainy day was an unpleasant reminder that there are roofs waiting to be fixed around here.

What have we been up to too? Hmmmm.....Maybe I'll work backwards from yesterday. Probably the highlight of my week. I took another fairly long hike up into the mountains surrounding Valle de Angeles. I forgot to take the camera along so there are no pictures. Ali and a group of 12 kids went with me. This time up a different side of Valle. We headed up towards La Tigra National Park into an area where mines and mining related activities once took place. Interesting scenery on the way up. We passed a barren waste land where according to a local landowner the mining companies used chemicals to extract precious metals from the ore mined out of the mountain. Farther up we hiked along a stream up through a small gorge. Very pretty except the water is contaminated with some cloudy grayish white substance. Farther up the mountain the stream clears up. The scenery got better too as we continued on. Our hike finally ended at an impressive waterfall. Nature there seems a little larger than life with huge boulders, over sized plants and massive trees, some of which have fallen across the gorge. The hiking was a bit tricky. It involved crawling up and over some things and a lot of jumping from rock to rock. The kids did well. Some were a little leary of certain parts but all in all it was good for them. I do enjoy my trips into the mountans although my knees complain a lot!

Among other things last week I worked at getting a dedicated water supply set up to irrigate our gardening projects. I hope to more or less finish that this week. I also spent some time helping Dwain advance said gardening projects. Large ants know here as "sompopos" have been carrying off sizable portions of our young plants. We are searching and researching ways to control them but in the meantime it is a bit frustrating. Enough so that we've temporarily resorted to pouring gas down their holes.

Saturday we celebrated Valentine's Day at our
house with the Kennel family and Dwain and Audrey. We had a nice little fondue dinner together. All kinds of good things to dip into chocolate, cheese, or barbeque fondue. A nice time of "gringo" fellowship.

Angel, Concho, Danilo and a group of other older boys are working on the future computer lab. Everything seems to be moving along quite well with that. Basically it just involves re-doing the roof structure with steel using a design that allows for more natural light. Very similar to what they did with the library.

Last week was the first week of school here at La Finca. Although we've lost some good work help we're glad to see the youngest kids all occupied with classes in the morning. This gives us a time of relative peace and quiet. We pray they will all do their best and learn as much as they can this year. Middle school and high school classes will start this week at the public school. Danilo, Concho, and Miriam will be taking classes at the public university in Teguz.

Photos of the week past:

Some future bull riders! From left to right: Javier, Cristofer, Brayan and Zack

Zack trying out his alternative to sledding down the hill behind our house.

Trust God gives all of you the grace to keep "marching on"!

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