Friday, January 28, 2011

Dinner Around the World

Tonight we attended a function put on by a local charity group called Mission Clarksville. We were invited to Dinner Around the World.
As we stood outside the dining hall, we made conversation with several new people tonight, also invited to said dinner. Before we could go in, Michael and Regina Hampton (founders) gave us all a small card with a number on it. As they called the numbers, we were allowed to go in. Myself and another lady were given the number 1. We eagerly stood together and walked into the room. (leaving Sweetie in the hallway rather perplexed). Closing the door behind us, she escorted us to a lovely table with a white tablecloth, candles, fine china, a beautiful bouquet of flowers and wine glasses. The air was filled with wonderful smells coming from the kitchen area.Taking a seat, we could hear the door behind us opening and group 2 coming in. Not having seen another table, I looked around to see Sweetie coming in with three other men, they were lead to a small table, not decorated, no chairs, with only a bowl of beans, and a glass of water on it. While group #3 is coming in, our waiter is offering us the choice of vegetable or beef lasagna and a salad. We placed our order, and glanced over to see what was happening. Group 3 was told to "go over there". There was a place set up on the floor with a small, short table, and trash on the ground. The group sat on the floor and watched with group #2 as Stacey and I were served yummy lasagna, a basket full of garlic bread, and a huge salad.  We didn't know what to do. It was awkward to say the least. Someone from group #3 said they had a cup of dirty water with a bug in it, and a little bit of rice with grass in it. All sorts of things were flying through the minds of us all in attendance. I smiled at Stacey, as I was becoming aware of what was going on. She, however has never been out of the country or exposed to eating conditions in other parts of the world, so she didn't understand why this was the situation tonight. We both were urged by our waiter who went overboard in helping us, to eat because he was ready to bring out dessert! How badly I wanted him to hush. We could feel all eyes on us and it got worse as several from the different groups came up and looked at our table and our plates. Words of ignorance of the meaning of this event were spoken to us/and about us. I took a few very guilty bites, and swallowed quickly. (all the while thinking that I would have to take poor Sweetie through drive through immediately following this event).
After several grueling minutes passed the Hamptons told groups 2 and 3 to get in line and come be served through the kitchen. Both groups got in line and got their food, we were all told we could talk to one another, but not discuss what happened earlier. Dinner was now easier to finish. During discussion time we talked about the differences and then the statistics of how many in our city, state, nation, and world regularly go without food in their stomachs. We also read the 3 or 4 lines written on the back of the cards we got earlier. Each card had someone in another countries story. Their stories of stuggle, survival,and lack of food/healthcare. Then some kids that work with Mission Clarksville out in the fields to prepare them, plant them, and share the food with local charities and ultimately serve the homeless and hungry; shared their story. It was touching.
Personally, I was amazed at how many of the folks in attendance didn't know that this was a problem not just in other countries-but locally. I can only hope that more people are exposed to an event like this, or open their eyes to the reality around them. While it may be hard to talk about, and uncomfortable to see, it is in our best interest to care for those in our communities that need help.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

86 Years Young

This weekend we were able to celebrate a special birthday. Mr. N. turned 87 on Thursday. What does an 86 year old want to do for his birthday? Go eat at Cracker Barrel! Well, you got it Mr. N!
Mr. & Mrs. N are our neighbors and we try real hard to treat them special all year long, but on birthdays, he is king for the day and she is queen. (although to ask them, she is queen all the time)
 These two pick on one another and share a certain respect for each other that has kept them happily married for 60 + years! They never had children, so we, and a couple other neighbors help take care of them.
So, on a snowy, slick evening we headed out. Mr. N enjoys an out to eat experience, because he has cooked for her for years! She is content to keep it that way too!
Happy birthday Mr. N! We love you~!

Mrs. N.  a.k.a.  The Queen

Friday, January 21, 2011

Picture Favorites from Costa Rica

Volcano day

Up at the volcano it was so rainy! But the whole way up it was sunny!

Up at the top part of the volcano.

Look at what we saw on the way up! This was so beautiful.

Chad and I standing next to some of the big leaves on the way up to the volcano Paos. It was raining hard that day, so we donned poncho's and headed up.. unfortunately we didnt see anything but the clouds. I still took a picture of the sign with info about the volcano so I could look it up once we got home.
Kerby told us that Jurassic Park was filmed in Costa Rica! I believe it!

Jason & Kerby's home

Our team had the privalege of being able to visit Jason & Kerby's home. I could ramble, but I will let the pictures explain!

Abraham Project - Fencing

Jay Adington, Ron, Chad, Scottie, and David all worked on repairing the wooden fence around the small play area by the children's homes. Then they started repairing/replacing the warped fence boards that surround the project.

Abraham Project - Phase 2

Phase 2 was my dedicated project all week. Sure, I helped with nails, I smeared spackle, and painted, but I also was blessed to be part of a clean up project in Phase 2. Aldolpho who is the guard for the Abraham Project, his home is at the beginning of Phase 2. His yard was a wreck with years of trash, wood, and weeds. Day one I was given a machete! Oh my are those things sharp! This is the tool they use to cut their grass and weeds, and as I found out later on in the week, to cut down trees!
First, our team dug out all the trash and put it in wheelbarrows and toted it to another dump site. Then we attacked the weeds and the nasty wood pile. Once the lot was cleared, we raked it and prepared it for the new fence.  We dug holes 60 centimeters deep and 9 feet apart. Then we brought up 18 -150 pound concrete posts. We were able to place 5 of these posts this week! Girl power!


The bananna trees are everywhere, fresh mangos at our disposal, and coffee bushes are plentiful! Pastor Ron actually was caught hugging one! Kerby told us that if we picked a red bean off the vine, and squeeze it slightly, there would be a little bit of sweet juice we could taste. It was true.

This is actually the walk way on Phase 2 of the Abraham project where they plan to build a new bridge across a stream and two or three more children's homes, and a place for incoming mission teams to stay.

Abraham Project - Septic tank