Friday, September 26, 2008


If you follow the CVE blog, this will sound extremely familiar.

The town of Ixtlan is celebrating their patron saint San Fransisco, this week as well. It is a time of loud fireworks early in the morning and late at night (5:30 in the morning), loud parties at night, and overall not-to-penatent behavior. It is a time when the spiritual confusion and evidence of poor Biblical teaching is very evident.

It is a time when we are reminded of the importance of our prayers for the people here. Pray that their eyes could be opened to the truth. They are blind and don't know it. They are thirsty and are trying to get water from broken cisterns. They are seeking God, but missing him. Pray that their eyes would be open. Pray that they could recognize their thirst. Pray that the deception would be lifted from their eyes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mexico

Today, the 16th of September is Mexico's Independence Day. The young group here celebrated yesterday by having a potluck of authentic Mexican food. We had a lot of fun together. It was good to have a chance to talk and spend time together as a young group. Jovenes has been full of really young kids lately and it was nice to be able to just have the young group together without all those other distractions.

Here are some pictures from the festivities.

This is the food for the evening. We had plenty and everything was extremely tasty. The Cervantes Chiles Rellenos, we especially spicy. The cake over on the side was Matt and I's work. We spent a lot of time laboring over it. (It was a difficult choice between that and all the other cakes at Aurrera, our Wal-Mart.) I think we're still actually missing a dish or two. Oh, and notice please the tri-colored drink options we offered.

Here is the whole group. In front: Me, Lalo, and Spencer. Row 2: Alvaro, Maggie, Ana, Claudia, Marcie, Gige, Christy, and Lupita. Row 3: Matt, Lupita, Issa, Ruth, and Gloria. (Welcome back to Ixtlan, Gloria)

Here we are in a more normal setting. It took us a long time to get into that formation for the group picture. You can see a few of our beautiful Red, White and Green decorations as well.

Lastly, we finally got the happy couple together for a photo. Here are Matt and Ruth. I have to say, Matt looks pretty good in that sombrero. He makes a dashing, but still extremely tall, Mexican.

Anyway, we all ended up very full, but happy, I do believe. It was a very nice evening, one I hope we can repeat often.

Tomorrow we have classes again. I it was nice having a two day break, but I know that I need to get back to the classes. The good news is that after this week, we should have all the student books and teacher books that we need. That will be a nice accomplishment, and make life a little bit easier.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Currently: Still alive and kicking

I have been having technical difficulties with my Internet lately and so I have been off on the updating thing. I keep having ideas about what to write about, but then I forget them when I sit down to write.

School: Things have been going well and I am excited to be teaching. I have a bit of a teacher's dream job. I teach three classes a day. I don't start until 2:30 in the afternoon. I only teach for days a week. On the other hand I am teaching in a different language. That is a little more difficult. I also have a kid, Diego Alejandro, I am tutoring in English on Saturday mornings for two hours and next Wednesday we are starting a conversation hour at noon (it will be Monday through Thursday as well). So, the days are really pretty full. I have a lot to do with planning and all that. It is fun and exciting through.

Even better is the fact that I know have both my teacher's books and can actually teach a little better using the books. There is a lot of stuff that is just confusing and difficult without the books.

Life: Yes, this is a separate section than school. I have to congratulate myself on a pretty significant accomplishment. I can cook and eat eggs (over-easy) in the morning with a total of 6 dishes. That is without washing any for reuse and that isn't eating out of the skillet either. This is the way guys live, always trying to find new ways to do fewer dishes.

Other news: The river almost flooded here the other day. It was hitting the bridge on the way to Limon and La Plaza which was a pretty big deal. A little higher and there would have been some farmers having some problems. Thankfully, it didn't rain anymore and the river didn't flood.

That was the big news this week.

Keep praying for us. Life keeps going and there is always more Spanish to learn.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Love is in the air.

Yes, yes, love is floating around in the air here in Ixtlan. Marshall anounced the engagement of Matt Gerber and Ruth Cervantes yesterday. Perhaps some of you faithful readers have heard this already from other sources, but I suppose there are some that have yet to hear.

I know that I am failing miserably in my job as a blogger in not posting a picture of the couple, but I don't have one. There, it's as simple as that. Spencer and I are going to have to get used to living with a googly-eyed Matt. At least he takes the jokes well.

Pray for them both as they begin to grow together. Pray that their relationship would be a testimony to the community here in Ixtlan as well.

Monday, September 1, 2008

...and take a deep breath.

Well, it's over. The first day of English classes came and went. In a way the day was surreal. It seemed like it would never come. It seemed like it was just a distant dream that we kept planning for, then BOOM!!!!!! here it is.

An update since the last refresher about the classes. I am teaching 3 classes. The first starts at 2:30 and is for 10-12 year olds. There are 12 kids in that class. It is going to be a fun class with a lot of energy and excitement. There are actually a lot of boys in the class which is fun.

The second class starts at 3:45 and is for 13-17 year olds. This class is more challenging because there are a lot of different levels of English comprehension. They get English starting in Secondary, I think, and so the older kids definitely have an advantage. A few of them seem to be less understanding of my poor Spanish than others as well, but I think the class will be a good one in the end.

The third class is the adult class which has 17 students. This was a fun class as well. They were all ready to learn and came with a lot of energy, especially considering that we started at 7:45. Again there is a large range of language comprehension, but it is a little easier to handle in this class.

Here is the surprising part of the day. Everyone had notebooks and were taking notes (the 10-12 year olds were constantly asking if they should write things down). Maybe it was just the classes I taught, but I am not used to that. I'll sure take it though.

In case you are wondering what the main thing you do on the first day in a class teaching English as a foreign language, I'll tell you. The most important thing is making sure that everyone has an English name (which complicates matters some because I have to relearn names of some people). This being finished, we can continue on with other important things like pronouns, "to be" and the like.

So, thank you for all the prayers, they are definitely working because I am realizing that I really have a lot to learn about teaching English. (Just thinking about the English vowel sounds could make someone go crazy.) Keep those prayers coming.

In other news, Deysi (Daisy to you English speakers), the dog, was trapped in the school bathroom for, well, long enough for us to go looking for her a time or two (Spencer and Matt said they prayed for her, but Marshall was enjoying her absense). Luckily she was set free this morning and is fine and dandy, probably never to go into the bathroom again. She did decide to try to join my adult class tonight and I had to chase her out. I don't think she needs the class. She has been raised bilingual. (Deysi, ven, ven...Daisy, get it, girl) Poor dog is probably more confused that we know.

Anyway, good night. I am all tuckered out and have another big day tomorrow. You probably do too.