Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 Jan

Happy new Year!  I don't have any new pics, other than the ones I just added to December.           On Jan. 31st I woke up with pain in my joints, from head to foot.  I hoped it wasn't Chikungunya, but it was.  It is a new disease in Central America - like dengue.    I use repellant but Vicky gets the mosquito bites, yet I get the sickness.       So new years day was spent in bed as well.   Compared to others here who have had it (many people) I did not have it as bad as others.    For this new year I am hoping to be healthy, not get sick any more, and return home whole.

Last week I was called to be 2nd counselor to the mission president.  There was a time when I would have balked at a leadership calling here, as I would prefer to be in homes teaching the people instead of in meetings.  However the mission president has so much to do and I am willing to do what I can to help.   It doesn't change our mission:  We won't move, we still go home in July.  I was assigned 2 branches to supervise (part of the mission, not any stake).  Each branch is isolated, and takes us about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there.  They are in opposite directions from our house.  Both are in hot areas, and I have to wear a suit when I go.          We went on our first visit yesterday to Ocos, west of here, very close to the Mexican border, right on the Pacific Coast.  It is a small branch - 24 were there counting us.   2/3 of those are one extended family, the Riveras.  They have been members for 20 years, and the 2nd generation is looking good.

We see lots of small 1/2 ton pickups with 1-2 ton loads on them.
 Most cows here look like bramhas.  No Jerseys here.

Anyone for a banana?  They tie the "branches"? together with ropes.
 This time of year there is little rain (so far only a little drizzle for a half hour),  The birds are coming back.  These are dark green parrots that fly in flock of one to two hundred, and chatter all the time.

We took a different road to Quetzaltenango.  There are 2 volcanos along the way.  Santa Maria is over 12,000 ft. high

A road side stand in an area where lots of veggies and fruit are grown:  big mandarins, limes, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, and big radashes.

 Another place with onions, beets, tomatos and drinks.  We don't drink much soda pop, but the people here do.  The basic choices are cola, pineapple, grape, 7up, and Orange - and they are all too sweet.

 Vicky likes these colors.  I think we will buy a red car and paint the house pink when we get back,☺
Coconuts are everywhere.  If you want just the coconut water they will lop the top off and either pour it into a plastic bag, or stick in a straw.  But you can ask them to peel it, and with a small machete he goes to it.  When he is done you have a white coconut about the size of a softball, with the water still inside.  Vicky loves these, takes them home and cuts up the meat to feed on during the week.

Here is a short video of the guy peeling the coconut.             I posted more pics above the pink house.
This is Jose Sarat.  He is ten and is the only one in the ward that can play the piano keyboard,  It is good to have a pianist.

More big loads.  A lot of bull. ☺

The sun is about to set over the ocean, an hour and a half from here.