Sunday, April 30, 2006

Muchas Actividades

This past week has been full of activities (which means fun and tiredness). It started last Friday night when I (Teresa) had my 4th grade girls over for a sleepover (check out the pictures below). Out of 6 girls, 5 of them were able to come. Being an all girls sleepover, Daniel left for the night (to stay with the Chases) and Katie (the P.E. teacher) joined me to supervise the sleepover. We had a great time watching movies, having pillow fights, telling silly stories, etc. We were asleep by 11:00, and the girls decided to get up around 6:30 (they didn't know what time it was, they just all happened to be awake). So we watched another movie and had pancakes for breakfast.


Brief update of the week: Tuesday night dinner gathering, Wed. night bible study, Thurs. night dinner with my students who earned points and wanted to cash them in.


That brings us to Friday afternoon, field day. For field day we had a baseball game between the teachers and junior high students. The younger students got to do activities in-between. The students won, 10-9.

Friday night we went to a lock-in. One of the older students at our school is a missionary kid: her father started a local church and youth group. Friday night he had a huge lock-in involving a group from Santo Domingo, Santiago, and students from Jarabacoa. We helped out/chaperoned until 12:30ish. We had a good time and enjoyed meeting students. The girls in the picture are from Santo Domingo. It was an adventure trying to communicate with my limited Spanish, but I enjoyed it!


Saturday afternoon Daniel and I ran in another race. (Picture to come) The race was with the Ark (the Kid's Alive orphanage). First they had the kid's races, and then they had the "marathon." It was around 4 miles, maybe a little over. The course was very hilly. Although it was shorter than the 7.8 miles we did a few weeks before, we certainly pushed ourselves harder, and I am much sorer than before. But, we did it in about 34 minutes, which means 8:30 minute miles on hilly ground. So, though it's nowhere near what athletes run, we're happy with our time. This time there were 4 girls over 18 running, and I got 2nd place again. Renee got 1st. (Yay Renee!) and Katie and Amanda tied for third. So we're all winners!!! J Oh, and congratulations Steve who got 2nd for the guys with an insane time of 23ish minutes.


Tonight Daniel and I are going camping at "Spider Point," as we named it, because tomorrow is Dominican Labor day and we have the day off!


On a more serious note, please be praying for the Taylor community and the families and friends of those involved in the serious car accident. I can't even imagine what it must be like for them right now, and it hurts to see part of my "family" hurting so greatly. I am so glad that they can lean on each other and encourage each other with God's love. Please pray that the families and friends of the staff and students who died will be able to have a sense of God's love during this time.

Peace and Blessings,

The Petersons

At the lock-in Posted by Picasa

Our baseball game Posted by Picasa

Daniel up to bat Posted by Picasa

Apparently Chai was thirsty Posted by Picasa

Girls being girls Posted by Picasa

Girls being goofy Posted by Picasa

Making a tent... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Dinner with the Chases and Laws Posted by Picasa

Easter Morning Posted by Picasa

Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Daniel and I celebrated our 2nd Easter as a married couple. Last year it was in the Smoky Mountains. This year it was in the Dominican Republic. :)

Our Easter started with a very early sunrise service at the top of Escuela Caribe. We wanted to go to a worship service in English and with our “JCS family” for Easter; that is why we went to the Escuela Caribe service. The service consisted of some songs/ serious skits put on by each of the houses, a speaker, and singing. I love singing hymns about Christ’s death and resurrection!

After the service, we went down to the chapel and the choir sung with a video going in the background. The songs and video took us through Christ’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. It ended with the congregation joining in the singing. After this, many of the male staff went to cook breakfast for everyone (including guests :) ). They played Veggie Tales “An Easter Carol” for the Escuela Caribe students while the men cooked and the younger kids (staff kids) had an Easter Egg hunt. The E.C. students had their own Easter Egg competition afterwards. The Easter Carol, while being silly, was a beautiful reminder of the hope of Easter. If the story ended with Christ’s death on the cross, it would have meant nothing. He would have been another wise prophet that came and died. But it didn’t end there! Through his resurrection Christ demonstrated that He did indeed have power over death! He is the son of God! Through his resurrection we can have new life! What a wonderful reminder when things are going well and when life seems bleak: This is not all there is. The best is yet to come!

Teresa with her trophy! Posted by Picasa

Us afterward back at home Posted by Picasa

The Americans wallking or running (before) Posted by Picasa

Race Day!

Yesterday, Teresa and I ran in the 16th Annual Jarabacoa "Marathon of the mountains."  It's a 7.8-mile race through Jarabacoa (and over some of its many hills).  It was the farthest either of us had ever run and we did it in 77 minutes.  Four teachers from our school (Me, Teresa, Steve Chase, and Katie Fluth) ran the race and one (Carrie Rohr) walked.  There were also children's divisions running a shorter course. It's certainly quite a bit different than American races.  First of all, we had to wait around for over an hour after the "start time" for them to get organized and to listen to various political people talk about something that may have been interesting if we knew more Spanish.  At the starting line, there was total confusion between who was starting in the runners and the walkers division and about a dozen people who started with us stopped and went back to start again… right through the rest of us.  Just like American races, there are people along the way who'll give you water.  That is, if you arrange for somebody to do it for you.  Thanks to Erin, Joshua and Emily for helping us out! 

Also, most Dominicans have no qualms with cheating.  It seems like the mentality is completely goal-oriented, and so many racers try to hop on motorcycles or take shortcuts.  To try to prevent this, they have people at various points checking your number to make sure you're running the whole course.  Also, we saw some of the "walkers" running in the more remote areas (clearly not allowed).

Probably the most Dominican part, though, is that all along the course there are people (mainly kids) waiting to get you wet.  Many of them will ask if you want it and only get you if you say "si," but there are others who just want to soak you no matter what.  Throughout the whole course people like this are just standing outside their houses either cheering or taunting.  We probably got more than our share of taunts as Americans in the race.

Our goal was just to run the whole thing, so we ran together.  It was so great to be doing something challenging together!  We could encourage and pace each other and even laugh at some of the weird things Dominicans seem to find funny.  So, not only did we finish, but Teresa took 2nd place of the women from Jarabacoa!!  When we registered there was some question as to if we were really from Jarabacoa, but the race manager recognized one of us.  Teresa insists that I mention there were only 3 women runners from Jarabacoa, but I think it's an unnecessary detail J.  So, she got a trophy and money… 10% of our monthly income worth! 

After we were done we had to wait around for a couple of hours for them to announce the winners and give the prizes.  They have to go over all those records of the checkpoints to make sure nobody cheated, and then go over to the bank to print out the checks.  By the time we left, it was almost 7:00 after showing up for the race at 2:15.  We went out for pica pollo and then crashed for bed early.  So, that was Saturday… another blog coming very soon about Easter!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Lee and Nancy in front of the team house Posted by Picasa

One of the houses for the orphanage Posted by Picasa

Daniel painting Posted by Picasa

The Constanza valley Posted by Picasa

What a big boy! Posted by Picasa

Ryan is a real cabbage patch kid! Posted by Picasa

Garlic drying (I didn't know garlic was dried, but it makes sense) Posted by Picasa

Constanza is known for growing garlic. Posted by Picasa

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

We took advantage of our week off to go on a mini missions trip (hehe). We visited some family friends that work at Kids Alive in Constanza. My dad has known Lee Lewis since junior high. My mom was friends with Nancy from Taylor. One evening, Nancy and Lee had both my parents over for dinner to meet. They took it from there. :)
Constanza is a town South of Jarabacoa and higher up the mountains. It is the highest real city in the D.R. (About 4000 feet). The drive was long (windy dirt road), but beautiful. It took up about 2 hours to get there. We arrived Monday at about 11:30 and had lunch with a team from Lawrence, Kansas that was working with Kids Alive that week. After lunch, we painted a house that will be part of the orphanage. We had to stop once it started raining. We went back to the Lewis' house, cleaned up, and joined them for dinner. After dinner we had a great time sharing stories with Lee and Nancy, along with Steve and Erin Chase who went with us on the trip (and poor Steve had to drive- thanks Steve!). Of course, Ryan Chase came too!
The next morning we went to a barrio (poor area of town) where we helped tear down a house, and rebuild it. I (Teresa) had fun using a pick ax and shovel. I left with the girls at 10:30 to do some shopping and get ready for lunch. Daniel and Steve stayed and helped start rebuilding the house. After lunch, we headed back for Jarabacoa. It was so great to see how God is working in other ministries, especially ones in the D.R. We are also thankful to the Nancy and Lee for their hospitality!
Today was a workday for Daniel and I. He worked on finding jobs for the summer and finishing applying for grad school while I baked cookies and bread, made yogurt, pickles, snack mix, sun dried tomatoes... so, not too exciting.
Tomorrow we are going to Santiago to have an "American day." We're going to go to the big grocery store, the mall, and watch a movie! Yay! :)
On Saturday Jarabacoa is having a big race in which Daniel and I are going to run. I'm a little nervous, but I think it will be fun. I'm just hoping to finish. (It's a 12 k)
Sunday will be the second year in a row that we'll be gone for Easter. But the important thing is, of course, why we celebrate Easter. It's certainly good to know, when we're far away from home, that God is God in the Dominican Republic as well as in the United States. And no matter where we celebrate Easter (whether it be in the middle of the Smokey mountains or in Jarabacoa), Jesus still rose from the dead and conquered sin and death! What an amazing thing to be able to celebrate! Glorious freedom and the hope of eternal life with Him!

Yummy dinner in town Posted by Picasa

The Gerigs at Kermes. :) Posted by Picasa

Dorothy and the tin man at Kermes (our school carnival). Posted by Picasa

The view from spider point. Posted by Picasa

A camping trip at "spider point" as we named it. Posted by Picasa