Dec 13: Party time

Before I go on I should update you on the noise situation. Since the Christmas fireworks on Dec 2, things have actually been a little quieter around here. The evening music is typically only from one or two locations and isn’t too loud. Contrary to what we found the first week, the music is often quite nice as it tends to cover up the sound of the dogs, roosters, and motorbikes. Mornings have typically been music free until early afternoon, and the mobile street vendors are down to only a couple per day. But….

Tonight is party night at the community center by our house. As I sit here in our living room I have to raise my voice to talk to Nicole who is only a foot away from me. There might as well be no wall between our house and a night-club. Literally the distance from our roof to theirs is less than 4 feet. I really need to get a sound pressure meter because otherwise you really can’t appreciate how loud it is. The kids are both sleeping fine (not that we could hear them if they weren’t), but I don’t know if there is any point in us trying to go to sleep for quite some time.

And it’s pretty hot here tonight anyhow.

Guess Which Side is La Vega and Which is Calgary? Is that a 50° difference?

Guess Which Side is La Vega and Which is Calgary? Is that a 50° difference?

Now Nicole wants me to point out that we have our own reasons to celebrate tonight. We finally got a fridge. Previously we were using a bar fridge which just doesn’t give us much room. In addition we like to store some things in the fridge that one typically wouldn’t, just to keep them away from the bugs (for example, anything sweet). The movers weren’t too excited about bringing up the two narrow flights of stairs, but seemed to handle it fine.

You might ask how we managed to buy a fridge, have it delivered to an un-numbered house on an un-named street in the barrio. Simple, we took along a taxi driver who spoke English. It was actually pretty comical in the store. The taxi driver is a large guy who you wouldn’t typically expect to see in an appliance store. He would carefully listen to the salesman and watch his actions. Then he would translate it for us, including the necessary actions, opening of compartments and pointing out different features. Although we though we might have been able to make out without a translater in the end we were glad he was there. It took him some time to explain how to get to our house and our feeble Spanish would not have allowed us to give more than very basic directions and probably not answer any of their questions.



We set a new record tonight for dinner guests. Nicole had made a lot of rice and we had had a pretty easy afternoon so we were happy to open up our home. Plus the last little kid was clearly malnourished. How could we possibly turn him away?

The kids, although they don’t express gratitude like we might, are grateful. They go out of there way to do whatever they can to help out, even if it’s as simple as wiping the table.

Special Treat

Special Treat

After dinner two of the kids were excited to scrape out the rice pot. They call the burned rice around the edge Concón and it is considered a delicacy.


  1. Comment by Mike King

    -31°C this morning after reading this post and your weather just didn’t seem right you guys!! Pretty cool that you guys are able to help so many local kids, they all look very happy in the photos!

    ¿dónde está el español escrito?

  2. Comment by Brad Davis

    The kid smile very easily. One thing that has always amazed me when traveling in poorer countries is that, no matter how bad the situation is, the kids are (almost) always smiling and playing.

    Writing in Spanish? I have a hard enough time in English. Don’t stress me out…

  3. Comment by Pat

    I am so amazed at your stories and the resilience of your kids. They adapt to everything..and their smiles are also large. It will be a great experience for you all! Glad you are all better ….and enjoying all the stories. Wow…bees..that would put my grandkids in the hospital…and your Dad…remember! I will ahve to find your location on a map. So glad you can feed all the kids..but you must be tired of smilling and helping…Hang in there…pray for strength…

  4. Comment by Brad Davis

    Kids are amazing at adapting. I still can’t believe how quick they can adjust. The bees seem to have died down, although they weren’t really a problem; just a bit scary for Ariana. We do get stressed with having so many people around so much (or having to say go away a lot), but keep reminding ourselves of how petty our suffering is compared to many others. We do appreciate your prayers and this trip has encouraged us in this way as well.

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