Saturday, May 2, 2009

Last days in the Tropics!

Yesterday was Labour Day in the country. Nothing was open, and due to the Swine Flu scare, nothing was happening either. All of the major events scheduled for this weekend were cancelled or postponed. So the city and the country was pretty quiet. Dawn and Ralph's place at Sunset was particularly quiet throughout the morning. I enjoyed one of the most relaxing days of my life here in Belize.

I slept in until 10:30 which I've never been able to do here because the sun rises so early causing it to get hot. However, my blood seems to have remained quite thin throughout the year, as I woke up yesterday morning with my sheet right up under my chin as I was a bit chilly! I took my time getting ready and then spent my morning reading while Ralph went to run errands and Dawn studied for upcoming exams. Dawn and I also cooked for ourselves yesterday. I didn't realize that she's not a cooker nor does she like to cook. So the night before we went to the store and picked up some meat, rice, veggies and plantain and decided we were going to cook a big meal for ourselves. I'm happy to report that it turned out beautifully. Ralph and Dawn got a rice cooker as a wedding gift, I was in charge of rice (even though I don't actually know how to cook rice). Thank God for rice cookers, I made the rice, taught Dawn how to use the cooker and it turned out very well. Our entire meal included Meatballs, Rice, Fried Plantain, Green Beans and Corn! It was delicious. Lorna, Joe and the kids came over for the afternoon. I hung out with the kids in the back yard we played ball, laid in the hammock and listened to music. It was great!!! Lorna's youngest grandson Kayvaghn is quite shy, and was quite shy last year when I met him. I was not expecting him to remember me or like me this trip, but he seems to remember who I am. Every time he sees me he runs up to me screaming my name coming to get his daily hug and kiss. The Sampson's refer to him now as my new boyfriend!!! He's super cute!!!

Dawn and Ralph decided to take me "out on the town" last night. We got ready and headed out at around 7:30. Stopped by the Sampsons in the city and then made our way to the Casino. Now, I've never been to a Casino, the closest I've come to gambling is Bingo with my grandmother, and that was a long time ago. At the beginning of the week, Dawn had asked if I go to the Casino and if I'd be interested. I told her, I've never been and thought experiencing the Casino in Belize would be great story to share with people. Ralph and Dawn are not gamblers. When they do occasionally go, they spend about $10 and eat at the resturant. So we went. Dawn and I got $10 in quarters, Ralph $7 in nickels and we headed to the machines. The guys working the tills laughed out loud at us, as most people who come through usually spend hundreds of dollars. I felt totally out of place there, but I tried my hardest to make it look like I knew what I was doing, while the whole while I kept leaning over to ask Dawn what all of the lights and buttons on the machines meant. She laughed pretty hard at me. We had a lot of fun. In the end, I broke even, I won my $10 back. I'm sure the woman sitting beside me thought I was nuts...1) because I only spent $10 at the Casino and 2) because I decided not to keep gambling it!! In the end, it was fun, we had a lot of fun and laughed a lot!!

We woke up late again this morning (not as late as yesterday) and took our time getting ready. I drove Dawn and I into the city to pick up Lorna, Joe and the kids and we made our way out the CrocLand on the Western Highway for the day. It's a tourist attraction with a petting zoo of different crocodiles, a resturaunt and swimming pool. We made our way through the zoo, stopped for lunch and spent most of our time in the pool. It was a lot of fun, but quite exhausting. I was the only adult in the pool (the Sampson adults didn't swim) and two of the kids couldn't swim and needed to be held. So when I wasn't looking after one of the lee ones in the big pool they were hanging out in the kiddy pool until it was there turn. So I'm beat!! They had an absolutely wonderful time and that's all that matters to me, it was great to be able to hang out with them all day.

After getting out of the pool, I quickly dreaded not bringing along my contact holder and solution. The chlorine got into my eyes from all of the splashing the kids and I did that I couldn't see. Once we got into the city we stopped at a store and thankfully was able to find some solution to soak my contacts in. From there, Dawn and I found a great fruit stand, loaded up on fruits and vegetables and made our way home. We will soon be enjoying freshly made watermelon juice and a whole lot of fresh oranges from the orange farms here. I CANNOT WAIT!

I'm scheduled to leave tomorrow. It's going to be sad and hard to say good-bye, but at the same time I'm ready to go and begin preparing to move out west. The trip has been great, even though I've only been here 11 days, it honestly feels I've been here for months, mainly due to the length of days and the laid back atmosphere of the country. I really do feel refreshed and ready to take on packing up my stuff and saying my goodbyes to people back in Toronto as much as I don't want to. The next week is going to be busy, so I'm glad I've had these few days to enjoy some time taking care of myself and enjoying the company of my Belizean families. They certainly are a blessing, and this trip has made me realize that I don't think I can go more than a year without seeing these folks again. Dawn and I have already started planning where we will go on my next trip!!!

I arrive in Toronto at 8:30 tomorrow evening. Please pray for safe travels and continue to pray for the Diocese of Belize and the people here!! They have become incredibly close to my heart and I know that I will continue to keep them close in prayer as my minitry continues!!! See you soon!!!


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Driving in Belize

I got to hang out with Lorna Sampson all morning this morning!! It was great. I came into town with Ralph, Lorna's son-in-law, this morning. Dawn and Ralph live out of town in a little village called Sunset, I've been staying with them all week and then coming into the city every morning. Anyway, Lorna needed to be a St. John's Cathedral to lead the primary school kids in Morning Prayer this morning at 9:00. So her husband Joe, gave me the keys to their Prado and I got to be her chauffeur for the day and she was my navigator, I'm starting to figure out my way around the city.

We got to the church a bit early, so while we were waiting we walked across the street and checked out the House of Culture, which is a house on a piece of land that used to be owned by the British when the country was still a colony and governed by the British. The land has since been sold, but is kept maintained an is now a museum on the sea. It's the same place that Ralph and Dawn got married a few weeks's beautiful.

We then made our way back to the Cathedral, where 300 children were waiting for Lorna to begin the service. It was really great to see her in action. She's a very quiet woman individually, but when she is leading service, and preaching she has so much energy and life. It was great to see the kids and her having so much fun!! Right after the service about 50 tourists came into the church. Three big greyhound type buses dropped them off. Today was a Cruise Ship day. Three Cruise Ships docked at Belize and passengers are then boated to shore and get the day to spend money and check out the city, they were everywhere. The nice thing about them being in town is that the Tourist Village was open and I was able to find a few souveniers for myself that I was not able to find in the south. While walking through the village, I was worried that Lorna may have felt a little uncomfortable, but she really enjoyed it. They have lived in Belize City for about 20 years, and this was her first time in the village. She liked it so much, we went back this afternoon!! I think she just liked seeing people she knew, and looking at all of the crafts!!

We then came back to the house at mid-day and had our lunch, Dawn and I then ran errands. It wasn't as successful as we had hoped. Tomorrow is Labour Day, so nothing will be open, it's a day off. That means that everyone is getting their banking and errands done today....and when I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE!!! Line ups at the banks were about a 2 hour wait, it was ridiculous!! Needless to say, our bank errands didn't get done, gonna have to wait until next week!!

The rest of my afternoon was spent on the couch napping. Everyday this week has included a good hour long nap, it's been glorious!!! And now I sit at Dawn and Ralph's in the village of Sunset where you can't hear a thing except the crickets and other noisy bugs outside, the neighbours are burning garbage and the fire is the biggest fire I've ever seen. It's been a great evening. Due to the day off tomorrow, Dawn and Ralph will be spending the day in Sunset. I'll stick around as well, lay in the hammock underneath their thatch and read a book...I'm re-reading The Shack while I'm here as I'm going to Paul Young's lecture at Wycliffe in a couple of weeks. Should be a good time. Tomorrow evening, Ralph, Dawn and I are going to go out and celebrate the fact that Ralph finished an exam today. Saturday - Lorna, Dawn, Diroune, Kayan and I will be heading to Croc Land for the day - it should be fun!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu and it's effects on Belize

I've been in Belize City for a day now, I think....all of the relaxing that I have been getting in, I've actually lost track of time. I think I got here on Monday.....or maybe it was Tuesday. In any case, I'm here. Either Monday, or Tuesday morning I hopped the James Line Express Bus at 7:20am and made my way through the country side with my final destination in Belize City. The ride was nice, a little more crowded than I had expected, but still very nice. It's always wonderful driving through the diverse countryside. I will never get over how diverse Belize is, particularly due to its size. You don't expect the diversity.

I arrived in Belize City at about 11:30am, just in time for lunch with the Sampsons. Dawn dropped me off, and headed to work, while Lorna Sampson and I laid in the living room and had a nap. It was lovely. The last couple of days have been filled with afternoon naps. Part of me wants to go out and do things, while the other part of me just wants to sit and laze around. I have a feeling the majority of my time here will be the latter.

Dawn Sampson, was hoping to take a trip to Croc Land which is about a half an hour away on the Western Highway. We were going to spend the day at the park, and finish the visit with lunch, she figured that seeing how she'd never been there it would be a great place to go and experience for the first time together. Unfortunately it looks like our plans are going to be changing due to the Swine Flu pandemic. As of this evening, there are 4 suspected cases of the Flu in Belize. 1 in San Pedro, 1 in Orange Walk Town and 2 in Belize City. People in Belize are taking a number of precautions, face masks are being worn by employees of banks and the electricity company as well as locals on the streets. All of the events that were planned to take place this weekend have been canceled. This has included town hall meetings, the circus that was to start tomorrow in the city and the Agriculture Show, an annual weekend event that happens every year in Belmopan, it usually brings in 30,000 people. With all of the cancellations of events, the reality of the pandemic is beginning to sink in. I'm taking precautions as best I can, washing my hands constantly and making sure to keep my distance from highly populated areas which has been easy, as I'm not familiar with the city, so stay close to home.

Friday is a holiday here, Labour Day, so instead of going to Croc Land, Dawn suggested we have a Belizean barbecue at her place. I'm really excited, they have got a beautiful thatch in their backyard, complete with electricity, sink, barbecue, and hammock. It's lovely. I think all of the Sampsons are going to come to Sunset to join us. It should be a good time.

Aside from that, I might make my way to the sea to sit for a while, but other than that, I'm basking in the fact that I have absolutely nothing to do and taking huge advantage of it. I'm scheduled to fly back to Canada on Sunday and am preparing myself to be stuck at the border for a while, due to the fact that I'm arriving from Central America. Please pray for a stress-free arrival in Canada.

I will try and update in the next couple of days if anything exciting happens with my trip!! Take care!!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Where the Jungle meets the Sea!

My apologies for not posting yesterday, it was a very busy morning and afternoon. I went with Miss Lorna and Shanton to church at St. Michael's yesterday morning. They did not ask me to do any services yesterday which I was grateful for, it was really great to be able to sit and participate in the service with the rest of the congregation. That did not stop Miss Lorna from asking me to read and then preach a quick homily on the spot for the congregation. I was nervous, but very happy to do so.

It was lovely to see some of the parishioners again. As we pulled up in front of the church a bunch of the little children who I had taught how to serve last summer were waiting for us. It was wonderful to see them, they sat right beside me in the front row of the church, crawling all over my lap as we particpated in Morning Prayer, led by Miss Lorna. We stuck around for a few minutes after the service to chat with other women at the church and to catch up. They all seem to be doing so well. I've missed them tremendously.

From there we decided to take a trip out to the graveyard to see Shawn (Shanton's mom's grave). He's been having trouble going to see the grave and tries to make up excuses as to ways he can not visit it. I asked him yesterday if he would show me where it is. Once I explained to him that I wanted him to show me where it was so we could visit together he was more willing. We sat on her grave and told stories that we remembered about her and laughed at some of the funny memories we had. He seemed to be less tense once we all sat down and talked about Shaw with him. It was a really precious moment, and really wonderful to be able to go and visit her grave, as her death came very suddenly and after I had left, which was hard to grasp.

Miss Sue from Monkey River picked me up after our visit to Shawn's grave. We made our way through the orange field farms and into the jungle to end up in Monkey River 8 miles off the Southern Highway. We dropped Miss Sue's truck off at a friends home, jumped into a boat and made our way up the coast to her home and resort called Stepping Stones. Due to the roughness of the sea we went around the back and enjoyed a lovely smooth boat ride through a lagoon that leads to the back of their lot. It was lovely. We picked up her husband Mr. Chris and made our way back to Monkey River Village. A young woman named Elizabeth who resides in Orange Walk in the north was staying in the village over night and interviewing locals. She writes for the Belize Times and is doing an article on the erosion happening in Monkey River.

The beaches and land at Monkey River is beginning to disappear as the sea creeps slowly toward the village. In the last 9 months since I conducted the funeral for the young child in Monkey River, the sea has made it's way incredibly close to the graveyard. If nothing is done it will be gone soon and so will the village. The village used to be a town of over 8000 people, it's current population is 180. Chris and a number of the locals, as well as support from the government will be working in the next couple of weeks to put up wood barries about 500 feet out at sea to stop more water from coming in and allowing the river that runs into it to take it's course. I'm not 100% sure of how everything is to work, but with time, once the barriers are up, there is a very good chance that nature will takes it course and Monkey River will be home to the beach it is so well known for and residents will not be in danger of losing their homes and belongings.

We enjoyed Stew Chicken for lunch while Chris and Elizabeth talked about the erosion problem. Sue and I made our way to the church. Sue has been working to lead Sunday School for the children in the village 2 Sundays a month. She asked me if I would be willing to lead a family/children service when I was there. I said yes. Before my arrival she put up posters and we had 26 children and their parents come for the service. It was truly wonderful. Sue seemed to be very happy with the turn out! We said a couple of repeat-after-me prayers, a bunch of songs (that they led, because I didn't know any of them), and a question and answer period where myself and the adults quizzed the children on their bible knowledge. If they got a right answer they got a pencil!! They loved it. It was a short service, but a great one. Teacher Wally and Sue said, that I got points with that service because it was short and didn't lose the kids attention!!! It made me smile. From there, we walked to the school, I've never been inside and really wanted to see what the kids were up to. They have done a wonderful job of educating the children. It's very inspiring, particularly when taking into account that Miss Sue is volunteering her time to keep the school running and making sure the children are being offered incredible education. She's an amazing woman....a true blessing and inspiriation!!! The Anglican Church is so blessed to have her and Chris working in Belize and spreading the Good News!!

From there, we hopped a boat and made our way back to Chris and Sue's place. Chris and Sue own a home and some cabanas right on the seaside. Their resort is called Stepping Stones. It is lovely, incredibly comfortable, clean, welcoming, and hospitable located where the Jungle meets the sea. You look out one window and all you see is green jungle, the other side of the building is sea. I spent the night on their deck sipping wine, eating pringles, listening to the waves crash on the beach, the palm trees move in the wind, and watching the FireFlies fly in and out of the trees. It was a beautiful evening. It was wonderful to catch up with the Harris's.

This morning Sue and I jumped into the boat at about 10am and took a half an hour boat ride up the coast to Placencia where I was being dropped off in order to catch the Hokey Pokey back to Mango Creek. We said our goodbyes there and I hopped in another boat. I really do enjoy the whole getting around by boat, much more fun than driving!!! I got off at Mango Creek, wrapped myself in a shawl, as I look like a tomoatoe and the sun is brutally bright today and started my half an hour walk to Miss Lorna's. Just as I reached the half way point a van stopped in front of me and my favourite taxi driver Carl was waiting for me! It's so neat to be remembered, and to know people here. I jumped in the car, and he updated me on his life since last summer!! He seems to be doing really well and that makes me so glad!!

The rest of my day will be pretty low key. I leave Mango Creek at 7:30 tomorrow morning and head to Belize City. It's going to be really hard to leave, I'm going to miss it here. Until then, I will pack up my stuff, hangout with the Longsworth's, and keep my ears on the news as I listened for updates on the Swine Flu that has hit Mexico. I have no plans to be in Mexico during my time here, however, my flight on the way home does stop in Houston, Texas. Miss Sue said there could be a chance that they will be offering vaccinations upon my arrival in which case it might not be a bad idea to take it. We'll see what happens when I get there.

I'll write again in a couple of days, once I am settled in Belize City!!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Maxin' and Relaxin' in Placencia

Not much to report today. The sky was overcast here today, and it was a bit windy. The Longsworth's and I decided to make our way over to Placencia anyway, we just decided that we would not go for a swim due to the waves. We decided to leave at around 11am this morning. Then Miss Lorna took the grandkids back to Mango Creek at 2:30 leaving me time to go and visit people that I knew in Placencia. I stopped by Miss Sonia's house. She wasn't expecting me and was very surprised to see me. We had a lovely little chat, not long as she was pretty tired, she's a very very busy woman. She was telling me about the new priest in Placencia and how they also have a new Treasurer. You could tell she was relieved to have other people stepping up and taking leadership in the church as she was doing it all up until December. She's a remarkable woman. Just before I left, she went to her cupboard and pulled out a jar of homemade Guava Jelly. It's my favourite and I was so touched that she remembered. Hopefully this one will last me longer than the last one did. I don't think the other jar made it to Canada my parents and I ate it all!!

From there I went to meet some other friends who I got to know really well in Placencia last summer, however, they have moved and through our correspondence before hand, did not get information about where they lived so was not able to get together with them. So I went back to my spot on the beach, pulled up a beach chair and sat in front of the sea and read for a good 2 1/2 hours. It was so lovely. Just before I took off to the water taxi, I made my way to my favourite Gelato shop and ordered myself a scoop of Sour Sap and Lime Gelato. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

My walk home from the water taxi was great. I met up with Mr. Peter's (my neighbour from last year) in Placencia. We took the taxi back together and he walked with me through town. A number of lee ones came running up to me for hugs!! It's really great to be remembered it really makes it feel more like home.

I'm now sitting at Miss Lorna's house, trying to keep my eyes open. Even though my day wasn't very eventful it took a lot out of me. I got a bit sunburned today, and am not looking forward to going to sleep, I have a feeling it's going to be an uncomfortable one, but I'll manage.

My time in Mango Creek is coming to an end and I don't want it to. Shanton asked me today if tomorrow was the last time he was ever going to see me again. My heart broke a little inside, we've had a lot of fun this week, and I'm going to miss him terribly. I told him that I would definitely come back to visit. I think Belize is going to be a place that I visit yearly, the culture has officially become a part of me, I'm hooked. It would be great to be able to bring a group of young people down to do mission work here, it's a goal that I have, and hope to meet in the near future. There is so much that could be done down here, and I would love to be able to bring others down and introduce them to this part of the world and allow them to experience the culture, lifestyle and hospitality of Belize, and ultimatley to see God at work in the communities here. Something to pray about!!

I'm going to go and put some Aloe Vera gel on my arms and legs, my skin's a little hot and sore. Talk to you soon!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Hammocks are GLORIOUS!!

Hey Folks,

So I experienced my first circus. I must admit, I never thought the first time I would be at Circus would be performed by Guatemalans in Spanish in Mango Creek, Belize, but there you have it. The whole thing was in Spanish...didn't understand a word, but thouroughly enjoyed it! Shanton, was so excited for me to go. He's seen the circus twice already so he kept telling me what was going to happen next and looking over at me during the funny parts to check out my reaction. It was really cute. The circus was better than I thought it was going to be. Trapeze(sp?) artists, tigers, llamas, ponies, camels, dirt bikes in big metal balls, sword throwing, clowns and tones more. It was great, I'm really glad I went, it was a great time!!

Today was a brilliantly laid back Belizean day for me. A kind of day that I don't ever remember enjoying while I was here last summer, probably because I was so worried about making sure I was doing work while I was here. I woke up this morning earlier then I had planned because of the time of the sunrise which is 5:30am - the sun is usually fully in the sky by 6:00am which is the time I woke up. I bathed and then ate with the Longsworths. I had a conference call with a committee that I'm on back in Toronto at 8:30am which I attended and then the rest of the day was mine. I had absolutely nothing planned, and kept it that way. The temperature was high 80's low 90's however it was really windy which made the temperature perfect. I sat outside in the sun took in as much vitamin D as I could. After about 45 minutes I started to get tired of reading and laid on the hammock for a while. Last summer I never was able to have a decent nap in a hammock, probably because I had so much on my mind. With nothing to distract me I had the most glorious nap of my life in Miss Lorna's hammock this morning. Apparently there was a tone of people walking past me with packages for the Longsworth's, I didn't hear a thing.

The rest of my day was spent, making my way between the couch and the hammock with my book. It's been unbelievably glorious - I LOVE IT!! I got a little stir crazy this afternoon so I hopped on my old bike and took a ride to the store to pick myself up a little treat....Plantain Chips, they were great!! I forgot how much I liked them! I came back to Miss Lorna's and spent the rest of the day on the deck with Miss Lorna and Teacher Shirley (Lorna's daughter-in-law) who lives next door. It was a great afternoon.

If the weather holds out, Shanton, Miss Lorna and I will be making our way over to Placencia to enjoy time on the beach. I also hope to catch up with the Villafrano's who live under the rectory at Placencia. Their youngest Beyonce was one of the little girls who spent a bunch of time last year trying to teach me how to dance like a Belizean. Joseph, her father, e-mailed me to tell me she's got a few more moves to show me. We'll see if I can learn them!

Sunday I will go to church at St. Michael's and then take a trip out to Monkey River for the evening to spend some time with Sue Harris and her husband. I will return to Mango Creek on Monday early afternoon. So if you don't hear from me on Sunday it's because I don't have internet access. Monkey River is very small (pop. 400) and it's about a half an hour drive through the jungle, so it's a little secluded, I cannot wait!!

Please continue to pray for the Diocese of Belize. They have a real shortage of clergy people here, clergy are looking after many parishes, up to nine in some areas. The thought of it exhausts me. However their faith is so apparent and strong, it is incredibly encouraging and reminds me everyday as to why I love it here and the people here. They are constantly proclaiming the word of God and allowing the light of Christ to shine through them through their actions of hospitality, and their ability to share their love for Christ with each other! What a wonderful blessing!!!

Until tomorrow, take care!!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Home SWEET Home

My morning began bright and early, 6:00am to be exact, the sun was well into the sky by that time. It was glorious. I stayed with Dawn and Ralph Sampson and had a wonderful wonderful evening. It was pretty laid back, we watched t.v and ate cheesecake. Dawn and I ended up being locked out of the house for about 45 minutes and had to wait outside for Ralph to come home. While we waited she asked her neighbour if she could make the cheesecake from the package that we bought at the grocery store, she said absolutely and we enjoyed just before bed. It was great.

Dawn drove me to the airport this morning at 8:30 so I could catch my 9am flight to Savannah (Mango Creek) however, my 9am flight was actually at 10 so I had to wait around for a bit which was no bother for me, got to read a book FOR FUN which was glorious. I arrived in Mango Creek and was greeted by Miss Lorna Longsworth. She looks great it was so great to see her. As we drove into town, I couldn't help but continue to feel like I was coming home!! We dropped my stuff off at her house and waited around for Shanton (her grandson) to come home. She was telling me that all last night he kept asking where I was, who was picking me up, and when I was going to arrive. So I waited in anticipation for him. As soon as I saw him I almost started to cry, he has grown so much and his smile was contagious. What a wonderful strong young man. In the last year he has gone through a lot. Shortly after I left Mango Creek, Shanton's mother who I got to know quite well passed away suddenly. Miss Lorna has said it's been a hard year for him, but that he has been doing well. She also said that when he found out I was coming he was incredibly excited, and that she hasn't seen him smile this much since I was here last. It's been great to see him and chat with him. I missed him and Miss Lorna tremendously.

Miss Lorna took me around town to say hello to friends that I haven't seen. One of these people included Mr. Peter's my neighbour who kept an eye on me all summer last summer. He told me he's going to come to church on Sunday, it's going to be great!!!

I found out that school is out tomorrow as it is the last Friday of the month and they don't have school. So Miss Lorna and I made a trip to IPS to see some of the kids. I must admit I was expecting the kids to make noise and run to give me a hug. It wasn't like that at all. When I walked into their classrooms their expressions resembled that of a deer caught in the head-lights. It looked like they had seen a ghost. They were incredibly shy and didn't say much. It was a bit awkward. However......I knew them well enough to know how to break the ice......I simply held out my hand in preparation to receive a high five and they raced to me. It was great. Their faces lit up, and they demonstrated their high fiving skills for me. They haven't lost it. God continues to be at work here. Mango Creek does not have full time clergy. Fr. Gordon who is full time in Placencia comes to Mango Creek once a month to do Eucharist, all of the other Sundays Miss Lorna leads. I will be joining her this Sunday. I'm very excited.

There is also Circus in town. Miss Lorna, Shanton, Miss Shirley (Lorna's daughter-in-law) and I are going to attend. I'm really looking forward to it. It's just across the way from the Longsworth's, so all afternoon I've been listening to the Lion and Tigers roaring. It will be a fun evening. Not quite sure what tomorrow will hold, haven't thought that far ahead, and probably won't until tomorrow. I envision a lot of reading in the hammock on Miss Lorna's deck - about 3 hours of my day were spent in that hammock today.....BEAUTIFUL!!!!

It's been really great seeing people here. Mango Creek is small enough that people still remember me, we've kind of picked up where we left off....and I really like being able to do that with people. It really is home for me and the people here have become family. What a wonderful gift and blessing to have!!

It's 6:00pm and it's pitch dark outside which means it's time for me to bath and get ready to go to the circus with the Longsworths! As always take care and talk to you tomorrow!!!!

In Christ,