Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Today is work day number 2 for our last team here at Agua Viva. Jessie and I are certainly very excited about returning home and seeing our family and friends but it is also going to be very difficult to leave here. We are so thankful for the way God brought us on this journey. I think it has been a perfect way for Jessie and I to start married life together. I can see the way God has used our time here to grow and mold us and I know that he will bless all of you who supported us in any way.

This afternoon we're visiting some Mayan ruins that are near by... I'm really excited to do that because we passed on that opportunity during our honeymoon and it's one thing we've regretted... hopefully this will make up for it.

Also, the Lord has continued to teach me patience and the need to trust in Him (this is a difficult lesson for me!) as I search for a job in the Muncie area for the upcoming school year. (Side note: Job searching from 3000 miles away and solely via internet is a very difficult task) Jessie and I have continued to pray that the Lord would provide something in order for me to pay the rent and allow us at least 1 meal a day :) I just received an e-mail back today about a position within the athletic department at Taylor University (about 25 minutes from Muncie) and they seem very interested in my qualifications and want to discuss the position with me further. Please pray that I make the most of my opportunity to interview for the position. Also pray that whatever God has planned regarding the position and my job situation as a whole that I will get out of the way and let Him do his thing.

We love everyone back home and look forward to seeing you in a week or so.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


The VBS week was very successful. We ended up having about 130 students each day and I think some of the kids from the colonial heard the story of Daniel for the first time. It was a jam packed week and we were going none stop but I know the Lord used the hard work by the team for His glory.

I got to do something really cool with the team on Thursday when we headed to Antigua. We went to a coffee farm call Finca de Filadelphia just outside of Antigua. Jessie and a few from the group took a tour of the coffee plantation while the rest of us did a 7 part zip line course. The longest line was about 700 feet long and in the middle we were about 150 feet high. It was so much fun and I got a few cool pictures while flying through the trees. Next weekend, after the current team leaves, Jessie, Jennifer, Justine (the english teacher) and I are going back and doing another zip line through canyon. (Jessie is a bit nervous but I'm proud of her because she's going to do it anyway)

The team that came in yesterday is smaller with only 15 people. They're from Pennsylvania but there are a few Colts fans in the group and one couple visited Corydon a couple of weeks ago for a family reunion. You know you miss home when you get excited because someone here was near home not too long ago!

We have a special prayer request this week... there are two new children arriving in the home this week. Both are under the age of 7 and will be living in the "baby house" as we call it which is for children ages 2-6. Please pray that the children will adjust quickly and easily to this environment. Also, pray that the house mom's in the baby house will have the energy needed to love 2 more children. (It will push the total to 9)

Jessie and I will head home a week from Monday and we're very excited to see everyone when we get back. Thank you so much for all of your prayers.

One last thing, I know that many of you sponsor children around the world through organizations like Compassion and the like. If the Lord has been tugging on your heart to do something like this then Agua Viva is a great way to serve the Lord in that way. You can sponsor a child from Agua Viva for $30 a month. Each child here needs 11 sponsors but right now most are getting by with only 8 or 9. You can show the love of God to a child here at Agua Viva for only $30! And someday... you can come back with Jessie and me and meet the child you are sponsoring and even bring them a gift!

Monday, July 26, 2010


We just finished up with day one of VBS! (Although the kids here are actually in school right now so it's not actually vacation) The team this week has put a lot of time and thought into putting a 3 hour program together for today, tomorrow, and wednesday about the story of Daniel. The children from Agua Viva must attend of course but today there were around 40 children from the small town near the home that also attended. I think the Lord is going to use this to reach some children that haven't heard about Jesus. Please pray that some children come to know the Lord this week through VBS.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The beginning of a new week

It's a little funny how things work at Agua Viva in terms of teams. A team leaves on Friday morning (this usually consists of tears from the team and from some of the kids) and a new team, always full of energy arrives later the same day. We went from a team of 9 to a team of 26 yesterday so this week is going to be different and I'm sure Jessie and I will be very busy with making sure everyone is doing ok. With only 2 teams left this summer the projects are starting to wrap up... it cool to see finished products and we can certainly take some pride in knowing that we helped to build or paint things to make the home a better place.

I really wish that I could be in two places at one time this next week when the Hillview group goes to CIY. I love CIY and the Lord used last year's conference to start the process for this trip. I can't wait to see how he uses this year's conference to challenge all 16 people going on the trip.

I keep hearing about how hot it is back home... just thought we should let you know that it's 75 and sunny with a light breeze here.... everyday... :) Ok... sorry but I had to rub it in a little.

Keep us in your prayers. Much love!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Sorry it's been so long with no post. It's been a very busy and tiring week. Jessie had a battle with (we think) strep throat. She took the antibiotic we brought with us and is feeling back to normal again. The team we had this week was from Mobile, Alabama and they were a joy. They worked very hard and were so much fun. On Wednesday night the entire home just sat around the campfire and sang worship songs and shared testimonies. It was my favorite night so far. There is something very special about hearing worship songs go up in different languages and thinking about how much joy that sound must bring the Lord. Thanks for the continued prayers. We're sorry we didn't post it a while... I knew it was bad when Granny was posting about it on my facebook wall!! :) We can't wait to see everyone. We come home 2 weeks from this coming Monday. Much love from us to you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back in Antigua!

Wednesday is a "tourism" day for the teams that come to Agua Viva. The team this week was planning on visiting Lake Panchel (something Jessie and I were very excited about) but because we have had a good bit of rain this week the trip to the lake had to be canceled and the team instead came to Antigua. After eating lunch I decided I would go find a barber to trim my beard. I wasn't sure how well I could explain what I wanted but when it was all said and done my beard is trimmed exactly the way I hoped it would be. I finally look like a human being again!

I have also made a new friend in a young man named Logan. He is 25 and grew up at Agua Viva. When he was 18 he received a study visa for the U.S. and also got a soccer scholarship to Seton Hill (not Hall) College just outside of Pittsburgh. He double majored in Spanish and International business and graduated about a year ago. He has decided to return to Agua Viva for the foreseeable future to, as he puts it, "try to give a little back to a place that gave me so much." He got to Agua Viva last night and all of the boys look up to him so much. As he told me about himself today I couldn't help but think about how generous he was being with himself. His visa in the states is good for 2 more years and it can easily be renewed. He could have stayed in the U.S. (something he said was tempting) and lived a much easier life. But instead Logan has answered God's call and returned to Agua Viva. Even with a college degree he said he will help in any way possible... building roads... mowing grass... working in the garden. He's perspective shows much wisdom as he said, "I'm giving all of myself to God and for right now that means giving all of myself to Agua Viva." I hope I can say the same thing each time the Lord calls on me.

On that note, I listened to the Southland Christian Church podcast yesterday. It was a sermon by Jon Weece (in my opinion simply one of the best) called, "Refresh others and you will be refreshed." It was a fantastic message and I would recommend you give it a listen if you have time. You can find it here.

I will also include a couple of pictures of things I've written about in past posts.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Work, Work, Work

(Cameron Writing)
Mondays and Tuesdays at Agua Viva are work days for the mission teams. I've been helping the team with building a road. It's hard work but very rewarding as we can see things coming together and getting accomplished. The kids at Agua Viva are so full of life. They love to be loved (who doesn't?) but they also just love you back. I have been sitting with a group of boys all between the ages of 7-9 and they always save me a seat during meals. They are constantly playing tricks on me... poking me... tapping me on the shoulder... al those sorts of things. Some are even practicing their english with me. (I certainly appreciate it)

Jessie has been spending a lot of time with the 4 kids that are too young to go to school during the day. There are 3 girls (twin sisters) and 1 little boy. They are full of energy and I can hear them yelling, "Jessa" in all morning long. She is so good at loving on them and giving attention to all of them at the same time.

Yesterday afternoon I picked up one of the twins to play with her but instead of playing she wrapped her arms around my neck, laid her head on my shoulder, and was asleep within a minute. It was a precious moment for me.

Keep us in your prayers! We miss everybody!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Agua Viva!!!

(Cameron Writing)
Hey all! We finished up our classes in Antigua this past Friday. I rocked my grade "A" test! And we are now at Agua Viva to begin our month of serving God here. The team here this week is from Dayton, Ohio... it's nice to talk with some fellow midwesterners! There are a couple of the high school guys that are big sports fans and I haven't had anybody to talk sports with for over 3 weeks so we are getting along very well. Our room is very spacious and comfortable and Jessie and I both have gotten some very good nights of sleep. We are really excited to see God use us and change us through our time here. We miss everyone back home but we know we'll see everyone soon. Keep praying that God will use us in a mighty way for the next month!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

(Cameron Writing)

Jessie and I had a wonderful weekend as we were able to spend it with the people at Agua Viva. Jennifer (an American going on her 5th year working at AV) picked us up at 8 am on Saturday morning. It only took about 40 minutes to make the trip from Antigua to AV and Jennifer used the time to explain some things about the home and the area. We were only able to stay on campus for a couple of hours before we were off to pick up the team flying in from the US. (They had been delayed an entire day) The trip was a little rough for Jessie as the school bus jerked and bumped the entire hour and 15 minutes to the airport. We picked up the team with no problems but the ride back was a long one as a construction detour in Chimaltenango (the city nearest AV) had us waiting in traffic for about 45 minutes.

Saturday evening and Sunday were very fun as we hung out with the kids at AV and got to know the team from Kansas City.

One of the guys on the team insisted on calling me Leonidas, a reference to a character on the movie 300. I one thing I have in common with Leonidas right now is the fact that I forgot my beard trimmer thus haven't trimmed it in about 3 weeks. Jessie thought the long beard gave me a "taliban-esq" look. I like Leonidas better.

The church service on Sunday was great. There are 6 or so students from Agua Viva that make up the worship band and they did a fantastic job.

We spent Sunday afternoon hanging out with the students and I watched the older boys from AV take on a team made up of boys from the small colonial (village) near the home in a game of futbol (soccer). It was a fiercely competitive game and in the end the boys from AV were victorious 6-5.

Sunday evening we had smores around the campfire and the students played some games. All in all it was a very fun weekend and we both are so ready to start our time there.

We left Agua Viva at 7 am on Monday morning to return to Antigua in time for class at 8. We were both pretty tired but Jessie was still on top of her game and was able to pass the Grade "A" level test to move up. I am taking my test tomorrow and we'll see if all that I've learned is apparent.

We'll post again soon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Singing in Two Different Languages

(Jessie Writing)

Several days ago, Cameron's teacher recommended a cafe to us that she said was owned by Christians. She also told us that she thought they had a bilingual service on Wednesday nights. So, last night at 6:30 Cameron and I went to check it out. The place was a little hard to find because the cafe had already closed it's main doors so we had to find a little side door and search for it. We ended up wandering around a little alley until we were about to leave when two people standing at the end of the alley where we had entered asked us what we were looking for. Thankfully they knew where it was and pointed us in the right direction.

When we got to the building there were people running around getting things ready in rooms (for what we found out later was for small group time after the worship service). There were just as many Americans as there were Guatemalans and it didn't take long before a wonderful Guatemalan man named Antonio approached us. He spoke English very very well and introduced himself and asked us where we were from, etc. (He made us nervous though, because when we told him we were studying at CSA he immediately said, "No mas ingles! (No more English!)" He laughed at us because I'm sure our faces went pale and after having just been at school for 4 hours we were pretty drained!) He really made us feel very welcome though, and told us that he and his wife (who is American) were ministers there and they led the small group for married couples. Antonio also told us that that particular night they had a mission team that was staying in Antigua coming to visit as well.

Antonio directed us to another building where the worship service was going to take place and there were about 50 people (about half American/half Guatemalan) sitting. The building was very nice and they had awesome sound equipment and even a little tech room were the powerpoint and sound was being controlled. When we walked in the guitarist and singer were sort of playing around and practicing a little bit. I have to admit, when I first heard the guitarist strumming a worship song (I'm here to meet with you.. come and meet with me..) I immediately teared up. I didn't realize how much I missed hearing that beautiful sound and it also made me long for camp. I have been very happy here in Guatemala, but not finding a church for 2 weeks and missing out on camp- my favorite place in the world- has been a little hard.

We proceeded to worship through music (sung in English and in Spanish!) for the next 25 or so minutes. It truly was heavenly. I got the opportunity to listen to the words I know and can sing to without looking, and also hear the beautiful sound of the same words in another language. The experience reminded me of maybe what it will be like in heaven... everyone worshipping in their own language, but we're all singing the same thing.

There was no message after worship because then they split into their small groups (there were 3 to choose from. 1. How to study the bible 2. Discipleship 3. Married Couples doing the "Fireproof" material). However we didn't stay for the groups because Antonio told us that the missionaries were just going to sit in and didn't get the actual material so we knew it may be hard to follow along for us too. We went for a truly American dinner at McDonalds (haha) and talked about how wonderful it was to praise our Lord through music again. We are planning to go back next Wednesday and are very excited about getting to worship (through music) at Agua Viva every Sunday!

Our God is so awesome. He knew just what our hearts needed and at just the right time He directed us to a place that could meet that need. Praise Him always, for He is Good!

(Cameron Writing)
I echo everything that Jessie said. I had really missed worshipping with a group and it was great to do so last night.

We are spending this weekend at Agua Viva and we're excited to meet everyone there. We will head there on Saturday morning and be back early Monday morning before class. I don't think we will have any internet access while at Agua Viva so we probably won't write until Monday.

This is a picture of a "Tuk-Tuk" like the one I wrote about yesterday. They are zipping around all over the city all the time and in fact our neighbor is a "Tuk-Tuk" mechanic.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A very busy day!

(Cameron Writing)
Today is an exciting day for us. We have already been to the large open air market in Antigua. It was our first experience in the market (which was marked by going in the wrong direction because we forgot our map). We ended up walking all the way out of Antigua before we figured out we were not close to the market and called on a Tuk-Tuk to take us. (The Tuk-Tuk was a very interesting experience that I may explain in more detail later)

We didn't buy much at the market this time. In fact, we bought some toilet paper (we were out) and some pirated DVD's which we had the guy test for us and they all looked legit.

Right now we are heading to Las Palmas to meet the current team from Agua Viva for lunch. We're excited to meet some of the people we'll be working with. After lunch, we're going on a little field trip with CSA. (I haven't been on a field trip since my senior year of high school!) Jessie and I, along with our teachers are going to a macadamia nut farm just outside of the city. I've been told that it's a really neat place and that they use a face lotion created from the nuts and give you a face massage. It should be interesting.

We are also planning to visit a local Christian Cafe and attend the wednesday night service which is in english.

That's it for now but we'll try to update later this evening and let you know how everything went.

Also, send up a prayer for the Haiti team from Hillview that left this morning. We know God's going to use them. (Although I think we did lose half of our readership!)


Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC

He claims that Law & Order are trademarked names for his right and left fists.


(Cameron Writing)
Ok... so yesterday my teacher was telling me about another student she has taught several times. He is from Texas and wears a large sombrero (aka cowboy hat) and muy grande botas (very large boots) She told me how he reminded her of Chuck Norris which she watches on cable at her house. I could help it and I asked her if she had ever heard of "bromas de Chuck Norris". She hadn't so I shared a few I could remember. She didn't really get them but laughed at me anyway. I told her they were very popular in the States and told her she should ask her cowboy friend about them. She also said the cowboy always talked about how much he loved Bush and McCain and hated Obama. I couldn't help but chuckle.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's raining.

(Cameron Writing)
So Hurricane Alex made a pass near Guatemala and it is dumping a lot of rain here. It poured all last night and it has continued a steady rain all through the day as well. We had a change in schedule this week and we're now taking classes from 1-5 in the afternoon. We just finished a few minutes ago and thought we should probably write now because we might not brave the elements later this evening.

Class went very well for me today. I surprised my teacher with my knowledge of nearly all the "new" verbs she was teaching me. At one point she stopped and looked at me with this funny look and said, "You know all of these verbs... why do you never use them?" All I could say is, "I don't know." I guess some of those spanish classes did stick up there in my brain but I just need some more tools to make it usable. I'm getting those tools here.

My teacher, Lilly, also told me a very interesting story today. She lives in a small village near Antigua named San Pedro (meaning Saint Peter). Tomorrow, June 29th, is San Pedro day and her town has a huge party. She was describing the party and she told me that her dad makes a special drink for which he is famous. (So famous, in fact, that a Guatemala City TV station came and did a story on him about a month ago) The drink that he makes features several different fruits which are combined in a large vase of sorts and left to "age" for 2 to 3 weeks. When it is ready it is served very cold. Lilly said that it was delicious and contained just a little bit of alcohol. She also said that she thinks it might actually be illegal. (Kind of sounds like a type of moonshine operation to me) In fact, the mayor of Antigua put up signs in her town warning people not to make the drink for the festival. (It was a little late considering it has to be made 2 weeks prior) She said the drink has a bad name and hesitated to tell me but she finally did... it's called "ChiCha". I haven't a clue what that means so if somebody out there knows then please let me know.

(Jessie Writing)
I don't have anything exciting to write about like Cameron did so let me just say... Que te vaya bien!

This is a picture of a shop along the street we walk everyday. It's a neat sight with the many colors. Cameron wants the coffee bag (although I tell him I'm not sure it's very masculine..) and I have my eye on a few as well. We haven't done too much shopping yet, but it's always fun to look!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This 'n That

Hello! I know it's been a few days since our last post so we thought we would update you again.

(Jessie Writing)
I FOUND IT. The perfect dessert, that is. It is a tartletta de limon from a place we frequent- Cafe Barista. I realize that this is not a traditional Guatemalan dessert or really anything special.. except for the fact that Cafe Barista has perfected the lemon tart. The lemon filling is a perfectly divine combination of sweet and sour and is the perfect consistency. The crust is flaky and the perfect buttery flavor. And the meringue on top is the best I've ever had. Not too sticky like a marshmallow, but stands at just the right height and is browned on the top. I've had this little slice of heaven 3 times now, and I'm pretty sure by the end of our time in Antigua I will be a "usual" at the Cafe Barista. I may also weigh 20 extra pounds.. but who cares when you experience something this good, right?! I'd love to make this when we get back. I'm thinking the Barefoot Contessa may have a good recipe. Seems up her alley. (I've eaten my lemon tart too quickly for Cameron to get a picture, but the next time I have one I'll take a picture so you can see it!)

Speaking of food, Cameron and I went to a wonderful restaurant last night that came highly recommended by his teacher. The place is called Queso y Vino (Cheese and Wine). It was beautiful! We went around dusk so the colors of the sunset and the atmosphere were simply breathtaking. Cameron got a personal pizza and I got a pasta. We both had sodas and it was all SO good! Cameron said it was the best pizza he's ever had... and if you know Cameron you know that's a big deal! The best part is that we got it all for about 146 Quetzalas- that's about $18! Pretty good deal! We definitely plan to go back!

Sorry I get a little carried away when I find good food... anyway.

We finished our first week at school pretty strong. Cameron and I are both very happy with how far we've gotten in just 5 days. I'm looking forward to continuing next week and I expect to be testing into the next book (Grade B) by the end of next week. I suspect Cameron will be moving up at the same time.

(Cameron Writing)
Ummm.... actually I'm not sure that I'll be progressing in the the Grade B book next week. Jessie and her teacher seem to be moving a little bit faster than I am. I still feel very good about the progress I've made. I feel like if the natives speak slowly enough to me that I can understand most of what they say. I've tried to start conversations during meals with Carlos and I've enjoyed hearing his perspective on things. Today we discussed the current president of Guatemala and the many problems plaguing the country's politics. Carlos is not a fan of the current president (neither is my teacher) and he is worried because the president's wife is planning to run for president next year. (side note: the president can only serve one 4 year term in Guatemala, which it seems to me, make the president even less accountable to the people)

Moving on, Jessie and I have both been able to do a lot of reading when we aren't studying spanish or exploring Antigua. We've both finished two books already and are started on the 3rd for each of us.

Sorry it's been a couple of days since our last update. We've kind of settled into a pretty regular schedule with school and haven't had a whole lot of exciting things to write about. Although one exciting thing did happen a couple of days ago with Jessie slipped and fell as she was getting out of our shower. She grabbed anything and everything on her way down and tore both the shower curtains and break the toilet seat. I've fixed most of it but I need to get some super glue to fix the toilet seat. She's ok now... just paranoid when climbing out of the shower.

We will include a picture that a tourists took of both of us. (Donna this is for you!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


(Cameron Writing)

Hey guys! Today was day 3 for us at the Christian Span
ish Academy. I think it's going very well and I'm certainly learning a lot. Matt, Jessie, and I held a long conversation with Livia (our host mother) today over lunch. She told us all about why she liked the Brazil and Argentina soccer teams in the World Cup and all about her family which is very large. She has children living in Guatemala, Mexico, LA, Boston, and New York. Right now, we are sitting in a cafe near the central park and Jessie is working on her homework (I should be doing the same). I'll post a couple of pictures we took today.
(Jessie Writing)
Today was my best day at school so far. I can tell the information is really sticking! There were several exercises that we did in the work book that I completed without hardly any help from my teacher! I felt it was the sign of fast learning!

Today after class I showed my teacher Agua Viva's website and told her a little more about it. I don't know if I mentioned before, but my teacher actually lives in Chimaltenango, where Agua Viva is located. She had never heard of it, so she was eager to see some pictures and perhaps directions on how to get there.

She doesn't speak much English to me and I've wondered just how much she actually knows. She mentioned to me today when we were talking about A.V. that if we had time maybe I could teach her some English and she could continue to teach me Spanish. I see the beginnings of a friendship here :) She is very interested in customs and phrases from the United States, so whenever I can, I tell her what we say or do and she seems to love learning new things. Actually today we were talking about professions and the Spanish word for barber is barbero. I told her that in Kentucky, Barbaro is known to be a famous horse that won the Kentucky Derby! She laughed and laughed at the thought of a horse being named, "Barber."

Cameron went a little picture crazy today because he didn't take any yesterday, so here is one of his more artsy shots. He is very proud of it...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Las clases de espanol...

Well day 2 of class is over for us and we are learning a ton! We both like our teachers and have enjoyed the one-on-one instruction very much. It is definitely the way to go when learning another language, that's for sure!

(Jessie Writing)
My teacher's name is Mirna and she is very sweet. She has 5 sons and when I told her about Cameron's family she smiled and I could tell she loved that. She doesn't speak hardly any English to me.. even when explaining things. However, I think this has been good for me because it makes me constantly keep up with the vocabulary she uses and I think I'm learning much quicker because of it. I can tell I am going to learn a lot here and I hope that after
3 weeks I will have a lot to show for it! Mirna asked me if I wanted a lot of homework, a little homework, or no homework at all! I told her that she was not like the teachers in the U.S.- they assign homework based on what they want to assign! I told her that I wanted a good amount of homework though because I know that I definitely need to practice outside of class or I'm not going to learn a thing. Mostly right now I'm working on vocabulary though... so it's just a lot of memorization. All is going really well though, and I'm excited to learn more every day!

(Cameron Writing)
For the first time in all my years of trying to learn spanish I am actually enjoying it. I have already learned more in two days here than I did in two semesters at BSU. I am thinking in spanish (which I think is a good sign). I am getting tired though as four straight hours of thinking and talking in spanish wear me out. I think I'll go back and work on homework and take a nap this afternoon. I'll try to take some more pictures this afternoon as well and have those for you later tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Parque Central

The cultural center for Antigua is a placed called Parque Central or Central Park. It is a fun place and there are always people doing all sorts of things. Jessie and I have spent some time there the past few days just watching people and enjoying the beautiful weather.
There are a few stories we want to tell you about our time in Central Park. First of all, there are many vendors of all types. Yesterday, a little boy that couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 asked if he could shine my white tennis shoes. I said no gracias and he looked disgusted. As he walked away he muttered to me, "Your shoes a dirrrrty" in English. I couldn't help but chuckle.
Today, a woman selling necklaces began talking with us. Most sellers simply shove the necklace in your face and ask you if you want to buy one. She, however, asked us where we were from, our names, and how long we would be staying in Antigua. She was very nice and it gave me a chance to hold a conversation with a native speaker. I was actually very proud of how well I was able to communicate with her. She made her pitch and kept lowering the price. I finally told her, "No compro la hoy." (I'm not buying today).
Just a few minutes after the woman left, a little boy that looked about 4 years old came over and tried to sell Jessie a sash. We told him we weren't buying but he made it very difficult for Jessie to say no. He just looked so cute and sad. However, we didn't buy from him, maybe another day.

There are also some very funny sights from the park. I'll include the one I enjoyed the most. It needs a good caption so if you can think of one then please tell us in the comment section. (We love reading your comments so keep 'em coming!)

We love our Fathers!

Happy Father's Day to our wonderful dads...

From Cameron:
I just wanted to let you know how much I love, respect, and appreciate you. You have been the best Dad anyone could ask for. I hope when I have my own children that I can be the type of father to them that you have been to the brothers and me. I wish I could spend this day with you but I'm kinda far away so I hope this note will do. I miss you and look forward to seeing you when I get back home.


From Jessie:

Isn't it funny that Em and I called you that before either one of us knew any Spanish? Haha.. anyway I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and am proud to be your daughter. I know that without your love and guidance my life would be so totally different. I would probably not know the Lord as intently or rely on him as much as I do if it had not been for your example. I can say with confidence that I certainly would not be taking this leap of faith and leaving the safety and comfort of our home had it not been for your example to teach me how to trust Him with everything. I am forever grateful for that, Dad. I always know where to look when I'm needing guidance. Together with Mom you taught me to pray, read the Word, and talk it out no matter what the issue. I smile thinking of all those times- even though I wasn't smiling about it then. I hope this Father's Day finds you well and that maybe you got to pick the restaurant for after church! If I know you it was probably Shanghai or El Nopal! I love you so much Padre, thanks for helping shape me into the person I am.


Domingo (Sunday)

(Jessie Writing)
Because it's Sunday there are no meals served by our host family... so that allowed us to get out today and try the cuisine in the restaurants! We actually got a head start last night by coming to a place called Rainbow Cafe for dessert after dinner at home. We split a chocolate brownie and ice cream and it was divine. There was some live music so we stayed for awhile and played cards and relaxed. At one point, Cameron and I looked at each other and said how cool it was.. sitting in a cafe in Antigua, listening to live music, all in a place that could be from a scene in the movies. We feel so blessed to be getting this opportunity to travel and learn in this environment.

This mid-morning we went to another cafe for brunch. Cameron had a ham and cheese omelette and a strawberry smoothie. I had a panini with ham, cheese, arugula, and sun-dried tomatoes (are you jealous?? You should be!) I also had a wild berry smoothie. Needless to say, we enjoyed our brunch!

(Cameron Writing)
Right now we're watching Brazil vs. Ivory Coast in some World Cup action. I (Cameron) am hoping to stop by a sports bar this afternoon to watch some of the final round of the US Open.

I think it's safe to say that we're both very ready to start classes. We've enjoyed being in the city with no real schedule for the past few days but we're ready for the classes to take up some of our time.

We both wish we could be in two places at one right now. Jessie and I have been to a week of church camp every year since we met. (Actually, I figured it up and I haven't missed a summer since I was 5.) The Hillview group, along with several other churches are collaborating on the jr. high week which begins today. I can't help but think about the cool things that are going to go on during the week. I'm sure the Lord is going to use the week to change some lives. We wish all of the people going the very best time!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 2- Exploration!

Hola! (See, we really are learning some Spanish! lol)

Yesterday we explored Antigua all morning. It really is a beautiful city and it is small enough that we can walk nearly everywhere we want to go in no more than 20 to 30 minutes. Let me tell you a little history about Antigua. Antigua was founded in 1543 when Guatemalan authorities decided to relocate the capital. Antigua served as the capital for the Spanish colony of Guatemala for nearly 200 years. Two large earthquakes devastated Antigua during the 1700's, the first in 1717 and the second in 1773. Following the second earthquake authorities decided to move the capital from Antigua to where present day Guatemala City stands.

There are several beautiful buildings and cathedrals around the city and we will post pictures so you can see them.

As far as our experiences since we last posted yesterday, after exploring during the morning we got unpacked and rested during the afternoon. We spent the evening after dinner relaxing in our room and playing cards (Jessie kicked my butt in rummy).
I did figure out the shower this morning. I ended up with about a minute of warm (or at least not cold) water. It was more than enough time for my to wash my stink off! We've spent most of the morning thus far exploring more of the city. We are heading to the bank in a few minutes to take care of some financial business.

Friday, June 18, 2010

We're Here!!!!


Right now I (Jessie) am sitting at a table with Cameron and we have just filled out all of our information and even taken a Spanish placement test for Christian Spanish Academy (CSA)! Our driver picked us up at the airport no problem last night and it was about a 45 minute commute to our host family's home. We got in to our room (2 twin beds, a desk, a chair, and a tiny bathroom) around 10pm local time (midnight back home). Our host parents are Lydia and Carlos and they are SO sweet. There is one other person staying there too. His name is Matt and we met him this morning. He is from Tucson, Arizona and is super nice. He is a graduate student at Arizona University studying hydrology... I told him he and Emily would get along great probably! (Hydrology is the study of water in it's natural state or something like that.. above ground, under ground, etc. Also he said he does physics sort of stuff too- aka Smarty McSmart Pants) He has been here since Monday and is staying about as long as we are so he helped us find the school and has been our tour guide of sorts as well. It is lovely to have someone speaking English in the house, because our host family does not. It is good for us though, we will learn quickly I'm sure!

Anyway, we start classes on Monday and I am really excited about it. Just sitting in this building I can see lots of people working one-on-one with instructors and they are of all ages.. so that makes me feel better about not knowing much!

Oh yeah.. this morning we had the BEST breakfast prepared by Lydia. Two eggs cooked over medium with salsa on top, fried bananas, the most delicious-tasting beans I'd ever tasted with 3 tortilla chips stuck on top, and the most delicious coffee I've ever had (with one spoonful of sugar that I believe is 300 times better than our sugar at home lol). I think I'm going to like Guatemalan cooking :)

Jessie did a pretty good job of covering everything but I'll make mention of a couple of things. First of all, we were both awakened around 3 AM local time by our entire room shaking from a minor earthquake. It didn't cause any damage but it did wake us up and give us a little excitement. Also, I decided to take a shower this morning and I'm still not sure exactly how it works. It looks like a water heater is attached to the down spout but I tried to turn it on and the water didn't get any warmer. I didn't really mind the cold shower though, it was refreshing. The temperature is great, right now it is in the low 70's.

We will be sure to keep everyone updated.

I think we're going to spend the rest of the day checking out Antigua!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We're on our way!

Jessie and I are heading to Chicago today as we embark on our journey to Guatemala. We will try to update everyone via this blog during our stay there. We are flying out of Chicago tomorrow at noon. We have a 3 hour layover in Dallas before our flight to Guatemala City. We will arrive in Guatemala City at 8:15 Thursday evening when we will be picked up by a driver and driven to the Christian Spanish Academy in Antigua. We should be able to update everyone along the way. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel and try to acclimate with Guatemala.

Much love,

Cameron & Jessie