Friday, March 27

Fun Fact Friday -- Family Vehicle

I'm sure you've heard of a bicycle built for two, but have you ever seen one built for 3 or 4? Well, we have them here!!!

Ramon with his two grandsons in front of the tienda in Boca del Rio

Bicycles are very popular in our part of the country. They're economical and easy to maintain -- even with the corosive salt air. It's not unusual to see a parent with one or even two kids balanced on the bar in front or on the luggage carrier behind.

What's really funny, though, are the mopeds or bicycles with Dad driving, son on his lap, mom behind, baby in her lap and older son standing on wheel pegs. Someday I hope to capture that on film. It's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time...with a camera!!!

Monday, March 23

Raising the Roof in Mexico

Well, we're building again! During our winter furlough, God provided the funds necessary to pour a roof on the upstairs section of the house. The boys, well, actually we all are very excited!!! Here's what the house looked like as of 2 weeks ago:

Last Friday the truck from the construction yard showed up...

The guys unloaded the bricks, blocks, steel and bags of concrete and then had a Coke. That's a bit of a tradition here in Mexico: share a Coke with someone!

Once the supplies were ready, it was time for Doug and Ramon to take off the old, wooden roof...

...and attach the forms for the pouring of the new roof.

These two steps needed to be done in one day, since taking off the old roof would leave the house open to the elements and, more importantly, to the mosquitos. Ack!!!

With the forms securely in place, it was time to haul the bricks and the steel to the roof. That was the boys' project for Tuesday. The losetas (flat, limestone bricks) were laid in their place and then the steel reinforcements were put in. This process took a couple of days, but on Wednesday night, the roof was ready to pour, with electrical conduits, light boxes and even a skylight in place (Thanks, Grandpa Tony!).

Thursday was the Day to Pour. Around 8 a.m. or so, we decided that it might be a good idea to move all the stuff under the stairs -- in the off chance that some gunk might come through the hole. Ha! Off chance! More like a sure bet!

Sure enough, one of the guys up top forgot to stuff paper in a couple of the cracks in the form boards.

Cement came pouring through where the daylight is shining in. Oops! Fortunately, there was nothing under the stairs!!! To be honest, when those pebbles and drips came falling in, those of us in the house thought the roof was caving in! Directly below the hole is the metal staircase and the rocks echoed throughout the house as they struck each step on the way down. It made me jump!

The crew of guys from Boca showed up about 8:30 a.m. and began pouring at 9. You could best describe the mood as "festive". I was reminded of the stories I've heard of the old-fashioned barn-raising parties of the pioneer days!

All together, there were over 200 photos from the event. Limiting the number of photos for this post was a challenge! Here are a few to give you an idea of what was going on:

Pastor Ricardo, Brother Aresteo, Caleb and a couple of other guys manned the cement machine.

Cement was mixed in the mixer and then poured into 5 gallon buckets (about half full).

These buckets were then carried to the house and lifted to the roof where they were dumped...

...and then thrown down to repeat the process.

Most of the guys switched places about half-way through so that no one had to carry or lift those 50 pound buckets for the whole time. One guy, though, simply amazed me! He took his stand on the first scaffold at the beginning of the morning and didn't leave. He did this for two hours straight...

All I could say was, "Wow!"

So, by about 11, the roof was poured and the gang took a break for cinnamon rolls and Coca-Cola. Ramon and José Luis spent a couple of hours smoothing the surface and then we called it a day. A very productive day.

The Cachora

The cachora is called the zebra-tail lizard in English. This is how you can tell male and female cachoras apart. Males have a pair of black or blue blotches on the belly.
Females have no blue patches and their black bars are either faint or completely absent. They are diurnal (they like the daytime). They can even run on their
hind legs for a short distances. In summer 2 to 8 eggs are laid hatching anywhere from July to November.

Friday, March 20

Fun Fact Friday -- Birthday Traditions

It's Friday again! Time for another Fun Fact!

Did you know...

In addition to the usual customs of singing a birthday song and hitting a piñata, the Mexican people have a couple of other fun traditions for birthday parties. One tradition is the sharing of a meal.

That's a serious spoon!

That's always a great thing! The other tradition is biting the cake.

The birthday boy (or girl) gets to take the first bite of cake. So, he gingerly bends over to take that first bite from the very edge of the cake...
and his good friends, who are stationed all around him, unceremoniously shove his whole face into the cake.

You've gotta love it...unless you're the birthday boy! Happy Birthday, Brother Tito!

Where do these traditions come from? I have no idea! But they're fun!

I can't wait to hear your Fun Fact for this Friday! Link up below!!!

-- Rebecca

Saturday, March 14

Learning to Drive

Just one more thing that Doug does with all those tools he brought down...

He makes the little kids smile!!!

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and don't forbid them!" Sometimes being a missionary just means having a half-inch wrench and being willing to install a set of training wheels.

Friday, March 13

Fun Fact Friday -- Fresas con crema

To kick off this Fun Fact Friday, I thought I'd share a favorite dessert of the people of Sinaloa, Mexico...

strawberries and cream.

No frills, no bells or whistles. Just a little box of frozen strawberries and a little media crema drizzled over the top.

There's a guy who drives around town on the weekend in a beat-up old VW van playing obnoxious ice-cream-truck-music (that tinkly, almost-off-tune kind) and selling boxes of fresas con crema for 20 pesos (that's about $1.50).

It's the stuff memories are made of!

Hope you enjoyed this first Fun Fact Friday! Don't forget to leave your name and postlink below!

Tuesday, March 10

The Fun-Fact Friday Info Page

Fun Fact Friday is a family friendly forum, featuring fun, family-friendly facts for the, er, family. Alright, enough aliteration. I'm sure everyone gets the idea!

This meme is all about learning new things. Every Friday, look for the Mr. Linky here at the The Coult Family's blog. Leave your name and a link to your Fun Fact post (not your main page) so everyone can hop over to your site and find your fact. After you've posted your link, click over to your fellow participants' blogs to learn something you never knew before.

We've made a button to use with this meme. Feel free to use it on your sidebar or in the text of your Fun Fact Friday post.

Fun Fact Friday will start officially on Friday, March 13th, so dig up a family-friendly fact and we'll see you then!

Puttin' on the Roof

A team from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, came down just after Christmas. One of the projects they worked on was this addition to the School of Ministry campus...

Doug and a couple of the youth from Boca got in on the last days' work. Esteban (Lobito) and Abi got to learn how to use a power drill and a sawsall.

Seeing Doug leaning out over the eaves may not seem too scary...until you realize just how high up he really is. That's why we cover our family with prayer every day!!!

The congregation is so excited about this addition! During the summer months, this will make a great meeting area -- wide open to the ocean breeze, but shaded from the blazing sun. Thanks CCRSM for letting God work through you in this project!

Monday, March 9

Happy Purim!!!

Today at sunset Purim officially began! Happy Purim!!!

No, Purim is not a Mexican holiday. I'm sure that some folks celebrate Purim here, afterall, Mexicans really love a good party! Purim is, however, a Jewish celebration.

No, we're not Jews. But Purim is one of the celebrations God told the Israelites to keep -- and it's a good holiday!

Purim -- the Feast of Lots -- from the ancient Persian word Pur meaning "lot". The king cast lots to see which day he would set for the destruction of the Jews. Hence the name.

You can read more about the celebration of Purim at this really neat website I found.

Here's an exerpt from the site:

Purim in a nutshell:
1) An ancient story of court intrigue
2) Deception
3) Miscommunication
4) Drunken parties
5) Assassinations plots
6) A foolish king
7) A delinquent queen
8) Villains
9) A strong hero
10) One beautiful heroine.

This is the stuff of which best-selling novels are made!

Interested? Go read the book of Esther! If you have kids, I highly recommend listening to the Paws and Tales version of the story of Esther (available for purchase here CD, cassette or MP3. Sorry; couldn't find a free version!)...and don't forget to boo Haman!

Saturday, March 7

Let them Eat Corn

The first harvest of corn is in and the #1 snack of the season is...elotes!

When we first arrived, seeing corn-on-the-cob in street vendors' stands made our mouths water for that luscious, sweet corn of Oregon summer...until we tried it.

This is not that kind of corn.

The corn of our area is a more hearty, starchy variety; more suitable for grinding into cornmeal or using as grain. However, as is pretty typical for the Mexican people, they have found many uses for it, and once you learn how the nationals prepare it, it really is a treat!

Braulio got to man the firepit last Saturday for Cristina (who was in charge of cutting the corn off the cob and seasoning it).

Doug gathered all the kids around for a time of teaching and worship.

Sarah and Caleb led few games which worked up everyone's appetites.

We all gathered 'round for our special snack.

Elotes - corn cooked in a broth of salt and jalepeños, cut from the cob and served with mayonaise, salsa guichol and lime. Yummy!!!