rfay's blog

Our trip so far - The Big Picture

We've finally started figuring out what to do with our GPS, and I'm a map nut, so we have lots of geographic information coming your way now - including the details of our Mexico/Guatemala section. But here's the whole things so far: You can zoom in, use satellite view, lots of things. Most of the pictures we've taken on this part of the trip now have geographic information, too.

Update: More in-depth maps are now available for each region and even daily for the entire trip

Donde estamos, Octubre de 2007

Nancy using bicycle transportation - the easy kind
Foto: Nancy aprendiendo una forma mas suave de viajar por bicicleta
(Aquí está el mensaje que ya mandamos a la lista de email......)

!Saludos a todos nuestos queridos amigos¡ Hace mucho tiempo no habíamos mandado un mensaje, y quisimos informarles de donde estamos. La ultima vez que mandamos una nota, estábamos trabajando con mucha felicidad como voluntarios para Puente de Amistad y Kiva.org, entrevistando a las clientas microempresarias de Puente de Amistad y subiendo sus fotos al website de Kiva para que los inversores de Kiva (personas normales in todas partes del mundo) puedan hacer préstamos. Sacamos mas de 100 entrevistas, y cada préstamo se fundó en pocas horas en la website de Kiva.

Where we are and what we're up to - Mid-October 2007

Nancy using bicycle transportation - the easy kind
Photo: Nancy using easier bike transport going to visit a borrower in El Tejar
(Here's the message we just sent out to the mailing list...)

Hi All! We hadn't send out a message for *forever* so wanted to let you know where we are. The last time we sent you a note, we were having a wonderful time as volunteers for Friendship Bridge and Kiva.org, taking pictures of the clients of Friendship Bridge, interviewing them, and posting their stories on Kiva.org where people all over the world funded their loans. We posted over 100 profiles, from more than 100 interviews with these marvelous women, and each loan was funded within a few hours by generous people in the first world.

Stuart's Movie: Vancouver to Alaska

Sidelined by Sickness: Whooping Cough!

Well, if you've been wondering whether we fell off the edge of the world, the basic answer is "yes". We flew to Denver on September 1 for a "quick" visit with our parents, and unknowingly brought Pertussis, or Whooping Cough, home with us. It's a nasty disease, and it ruined all our plans and is keeping us here for some time yet (we were supposed to fly back to Guatemala on September 18, and we have no idea when we'll be well enough and strong enough to go back).

Nancy is now getting quite a bit better is able to get out and around, but Randy is still having horrible spasms of coughing. This can last up to three months or more.

The good things about this? We don't seem to have infected anybody else (cross your fingers), and we've been staying with Randy's daughter Elisheba in her house in Denver, and it's been a delight. And Elisheba had the adult Pertussis vaccination this year, so has not gotten and is not likely to get it. Pretty lucky, huh? Almost anybody else we stayed with would have gotten it from us.

The Pertussis vaccine for adults is new - just a couple of years old. We sure do recommend it to you. This is a horrible disease.

Don't worry about us. We're going to be OK and we're going to get back to Guatemala. Nancy is certainly past the worst, and Randy should be getting there before long.

Here is a poem Nancy wrote one night lying on the couch-

Why do we feel so sick?
For 5 miserable weeks
I have been terrible ill
We came home from Central America
to visit our family and make sure all was well.
The irony is they are all fine
and we are not.

We wrote a little book: The Women of Friendship Bridge in Guatemala

Tagged:  •    •  

Cover of our book
We have been so taken with the wonderful women of Guatemala and their inspiring stories that we compiled the stories and pictures into a little book. It's only 40 pages, not much of a book, but it does a pretty decent job of capturing what's really happening with Friendship Bridge and Kiva.

Sticks to a Walker - Thanks to a great ministry

Isabel Guitz with her sticks
Isabel Guitz with her new walker
Isabel with her walker
A few days ago I went to the home of Reyes Espantzan in Tecpan to take her picture with her weaving. While I was there, her landlord Isabel (I thought it was her mother at the time) begged me to take her picture too. She's not a Friendship Bridge client or anything, but oh well. Digital photos are free! She said "maybe somebody will see me with my sticks and send me a walker". Well, I just wrote down her name and thought nothing more of it.

Evangelicals and Catholicism in Guatemala

Nancy riding by one of thousands of
rural evangelical churches

The Catholic churches in Mexico just wore us out. Every little town had an incredibly glorious cathedral that just amazed. The Spanish did a mighty fine job converting the folks in most of Mexico. However, as we got into southern Oaxaca and Chiapas, we started noticing that the Catholic churches were smaller and less ornate (and less tended) and we started seeing more little Evangelical churches.
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