- interacting with people we did not know well
- being in large public places
- choosing between a large amount of seemingly equal options
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Thursday, February 25, 2016
We got back last week from a 10-day trip to Nicaragua. The microwave clock at our friends' house where we stayed was consistently off by several hours, which naturally bothered me a great deal. I fixed it once, and when a few days later it was again wrong by an unreasonable amount of time, it made me laugh rather than annoyed. Here's why:
Monday, October 5, 2015
Since getting back to the States five weeks ago, we’ve driven about 5000 miles, seeing family & friends and attending a couple of missions & nonprofit workshops. This adds up to 80-100 hours in the car so far, and I’m having trouble unlearning my honking habits learned in Nicaragua. Back in the tropics, it would be unusual to drive half an hour without honking at least twice. An American visitor rode with me once and told me that he hadn’t honked as much in the last 10 years as I had done in that single day. And I hadn’t been aware that I had honked much. It’s become a reflex.
Honking happens a lot more in Nicaragua because it has a wider range of communication, which I’ll generalize with these five phrases:
Friday, July 31, 2015
- use our 6-foot ladder (a few weeks ago)
- do drinks, popcorn and two movie tickets at the VIP for $15 total (maybe last week, maybe next week?)
- make queso (a few months ago)
- buy cat litter at PriceSmart (two days ago)
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
I remember waking up that morning, April 29th, 2013 after completing my last night of dialysis. I unplugged from the machine that had attempted to clean the toxins out of my blood, but really could only do a mediocre job at best. I was quite sick at that point and longing for days of health and normalcy, which I hoped would come after the transplant. I arrived at the hospital as Amy was in surgery to have her kidney removed. I changed into my gown and waited. Friends and family were there beside me, as they had been throughout the last two years of sickness. The nurse came, let me know that Amy’s surgery was going well and that they were ready for me.
I remember waking up several hours later, sore, confused, swollen, but hopeful. Both surgeries had gone great. I remember at 5:00 the next morning, a nurse came in, needing to weigh me. (I still don’t understand why you would wake someone that early in the morning for something that certainly could have waited a few hours!) I could barely stand, as it seemed that every muscle in the lower half of my body had ceased to function.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Vulcanización (tire repair) booths
What I’ll miss:
If you get a flat tire in the city—usually from running over a nail—you’re rarely more than a half-mile away from a roadside booth that repairs tires. More often than not, they’re little ramshackle booths made out of scrap metal, and they nearly always advertise their presence by painting the words se vulcaniza or vulcanización on an old tire posted just off the nearest major street. (As a side note, I don’t believe any literal vulcanization happens at these booths. It is just understood that they work with tires).
Monday, April 20, 2015
What I won't miss:
We don't have hot water in our bathrooms. Most Americans here who do have it have what's affectionately called a widow maker shower head, but we never got any installed in our current house. I've taken a cold shower every day for the last year and a half, but it hasn't gotten any less shocking (though I have accustomed to the cold-water shave). Mix that with widely varying water pressure and you have anywhere from a dribble to a sandblasting stream of surprisingly icy water.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Tomorrow is our anniversary. Eight wonderful, difficult, amazing, challenging, blessed years. Full of ups and downs (mostly related to our circumstances, not our relationship). We were going to celebrate by going to dinner tonight. But then all the things happened.
We found out the car repair is going to cost at least ten times as much as we thought (yes – no exaggeration – ten!). Our neighborhood kids behaved terribly for us and our team who came to put on a really fun VBS for them this week. And then there is the heat. Which causes the sweat. Which never stops. Which saps all the energy. And all the little spaces in the day that weren’t filled with sweating profusely, being overwhelmed about the car or frustrated by the kids who were running away as we tried to talk them into behaving and listening—shut up and listen to the message about God’s love!—all those moments were filled with smaller things made bigger by the weight of the rest of the day.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
With this being said, we would like to inform you that we have officially decided to move back to the States this coming September (2015)! An equally important fact is that we will NOT be leaving our work with One by One at that time.
Now we're sure you have a lot of questions, so we've tried to anticipate them the best we know how:
Friday, December 12, 2014
This afternoon I learned the heartbreaking news that Ruth Graham passed away. Though we didn’t know each other incredibly well, Ruth has forever impacted my life. We met briefly before Chase and I moved to Nicaragua, but we really got to know her via e-mail when she and her 3-year-old son Ethan began to send us e-mails. First, we received this one.
Dear Julie and Chase,
Hello to you from OK! My son and and I have only met you once briefly just before you left. (I graduated from JBU, if that helps!) We read your emails together and talk about how you help the children in Nicaragua.
Ethan, 3, has a couple of questions for you!