Sunday, November 28, 2010


So, it appears that some of you didn't get the idea of the whole 'parade' thing here in Mexico.  You seemed to get the idea that there would be a need for...what were they called, pageant waves?  Well, I hate to spoil it for you but 'pageant waves' are not part of the Mexican parade, at least not these parades.  

The parades consist of between 20 and 25 different schools, ranging from kindergarten to high school, marching through the streets.  In this case, we started in the plaza and marched to one side of the town, turned around and marched to the other side of town, and then marched back to the plaza.  Now, I am not real great with distances, especially when walking and keeping an eye on the kids at the same time, but the kids marched probably about a mile or more.  We went to the plaza at 9:00, stood around and then had a little ceremony.  This lasted until about 10:00 when we started marching.  We then paraded through the town until about 12:00.  The kids were utterly exhausted.  This was a conversation I had with one of them about half the way through the parade.

Bryan: How much further do we have to go?
Regg: We're going to walk to the other side of town and then back to the plaza.
Bryan: Oh...
Regg: Are you going to make it?
Bryan: No.

Well, Bryan (yes that is his name) did make it to the end and did very well even though he wasn't too sure of himself.  So, you wanted some pictures and we've got them.  Check them out.

Lizbeth, Tea, and Nazaret are all ready to go.  All the kids, except those who were in the 'escolta' (the group that goes with the flag), came dressed as revolutionaries.  They all looked really good and the girls were really cute. Notice that Tea, the one in the middle, has a gun (yes, it's fake) strapped to her back. 

Here are some of the boys.  Most of them had on the tan/white outfits of the revolutionaries, but Brandon was dressed as Porfirio Diaz who was the president toppled in the Mexican Revolution. His mustache fell off part way through the parade.

Here are the kids in their marching formation.  This isn't actually in the parade.  I was too busy helping during the parade to get many pictures, but this is what they looked like marching down the street.  There in front you can see the 'escolta' with the flag.

Here are our faithful leaders, Angel and Sofia, who carried our school banner through the whole parade.  They did great and it is always interesting to see the reaction of the people as we go through the streets.  Oh, and the confetti is always nice too.  I'm just glad we don't live on a street where we have to sweep it up. 

Now, some of you requested Bev's perspective on things, so I will let her finish up...

*Because of certain circumstances beyond my control, I will have to interview Bev about life in Ixtlan... so...

Regg:  Bev, tell all the super-cool readers out there what the best thing about Ixtlan is.
Bev: That it's warm here most of the time and that you're here (referring to me, Regg)
Regg:  Well, that's comforting.  Second question, what is one thing that you would change about Ixtlan if it were possible?
Bev: Running water all the time.
Regg: Well, we have always had water and it has always run.  Can you clarify?
Bev: Water that comes out of the faucet when you turn it on and that allows you to take a decent shower. 
Regg:  I think what you are trying to say is that it is nice when you don't have to worry about running out of water in the tinaco (small water tank on the roof) because the water from the city is off, right?
Bev: Exactly
Regg:  So, I think we can understand how you feel about the lack of city water issue.  Tell us about Thanksgiving.  Did you do anything special?
Bev: We ate a normal Thanksgiving feast with the other Americans (Matt and Ruth Gerber and their son Caleb) at Marshall's and Jan's.  (She says she ate too much)
Regg: So, in your opinion, what is the strangest thing about living in Ixtlan?
Bev: Having people walk in and out of your house at random times of the day.
Regg: Why don't you explain that to our faithful readers.
Bev: Well, we're still living in the guest house and it's not officially our house, so people still come looking for different things that are kept here.
Regg:  Okay, well, thank you for your time.  I really, really enjoyed talking to you tonight.  Any last words before we sign off?
Bev: I miss everyone and hope everyone is doing well.
Regg:  I miss everyone too.  But we are thankful that we can be back for Christmas.  Thanks, everyone, for checking in with us and be sure to stop by again soon. 
Bev: And don't be afraid to leave a comment!! (I might be putting words in her mouth, but you get the idea.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

One week later...

Last week, we mentioned the pending arrival of Loren Schrenk and company.   Well, they arrived safely last Saturday and spent the week here meeting with potential patients and then doing operations.  They were able to do operations on 10 people on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Nine of them were cataract surgeries and one was something else which I could barely pronounce, let alone remember and spell.  Loren's work here has been a great testimony to the community and we are grateful for his help. 

The group that came down with Loren consisted of Loren and Betsy Schrenk, Mike and Sherice Reinhard and their 7 month old son Caleb, and Shari Henderson (a nurse that works with Loren in St, Louis).  Betsy, Sharice and Shari helped in the surgeries (they are all nurses) and Mike helped drive people to and from Zamora for surgeries and watched Caleb while Sharice was helping Loren.  While it is a great week, it also throws the schedule way off.  We enjoyed the fellowship and the good food a lot but are ready to get back in the swing of things next week. 

The group leaves tomorrow, just missing the great parade for the Mexican Día de la Revolución (Day of the Revolution).  At 9:00 tomorrow morning we will be in the plaza with all the kids from school and will march through the town.  It should be an interesting day (not that I - Regg- particularly enjoy it, but I don't get much choice being a teacher).  Providing Regg survives the festivities (mostly confetti) we will be able to get back into normal life next week and look forward to Thanksgiving. 

Thanks to everyone who commented!  We didn't know there were so many blog stalkers.  I know there are still more out there, but it does help motivate us to continue on with the whole blogging thing.  Feel free to ask us any questions about what is happening down here as well.  We will try to answer them in our posts.  So, keep it up.  We love hearing from you (and, yes, we did check the comments at least once a day last week).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another Day, Another Week

We are praising God for His grace and love showered down on us, that we can be called His children and that He has united our lives together to serve and live for Him.  Thank you to all who have prayed and are still praying for us.  God is faithful and our prayers don't fall on deaf ears, our lives are evidence of that. 

It is hard to believe that another week has gone by.  We have been here in Ixtlan now for two weeks.  After the wedding we spent a week in Zihuatanejo and then arrived here on Saturday October 30th.  The past two weeks have been spent mostly adjusting to life here in Ixtlan.  Thankfully, I (Regg) had the next Monday and Tuesday off, so without having to teach, we were able to spend the days getting the groceries that we needed and settling in at the guest house (referred to here as Bethesda).  We will be living in Bethesda through the end of the year and then moving into the house that we will be renting.  Thankfully, there is a large city, Zamora, located just a half an hour from Ixtlan where we are able to purchase a lot of our groceries.  Although we still can't find a lot of basic foods and ingredients that are so common in the states, we are able to find enough to fudge our way through most recipes (maybe I shouldn't be talking about 'us' cooking - I may like to cook, but Bev is the one doing the work.)

Having settled in a little, we are about to have our first guests here in Bethesda since we were married.  Loren and Betsy Schrenk will be arriving tomorrow (Saturday) for an eye clinic.   Loren does consultations on Monday and the 12-13 eye surgeries on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  It is a busy week, as we have to take all the patients to Zamora for surgeries.   The surgeries are usually for cataracts, but sometimes vary.  The elevation here in Ixtlan is a little over 5,000 feet, so the sun is a little harder on the eyes than the flat Midwest.  It will be different having more people in the house (there will be a total of 6 extras), but the fellowship is always great.  We will give you an update about the clinic and the week next Friday (We hope!!).  The clinic has been an enormous blessing for the church here in Ixtlan as it has softened hearts to its presence and to the Truth.  We pray that each person that comes for the clinic feels the love of Christ. 

As a final note:

We love comments!  We know that it isn't always easy to post a comment, but we would love to know if you are reading our blog.  It helps to keep us motivated to continue.  So, feel free to comment (even if you just want to say 'Hello').  We hope that we can keep you better updated here.  It may be a long way from here to Indiana and Ohio, but God is faithful and the miles seem fewer when His Spirit is with us.