Juanita flew north to meet the new addition to the family and spend the last week of January and the first week of February helping the new mom. I took her to the airport in Harlingen and she flew from there to Houston. The flight from Houston to Salt Lake City was diverted to Denver due to a winter storm so she got into Edmonton rather later than intended. Fortunately she had the foresight to have her winter coat with her in carry on luggage. The checked luggage arrived in Edmonton a day later. As onebag.com used to say, "there are two kinds of luggage, carry-on and lost."
She had a good visit with Rebekah and Nick and Ezekial, plus Debbie and Ernie and their famliy came to Edmonton for a few days. So everyone had a good visit and a good time of catching up on family news.
Juanita flew back to Harlingen scheduled to arrive about the time I was expected to arrive back in town from Nicaragua. My part of that coincidental travel didn't happen on time, but it was still good to get back together even as late as it became.
Trip to Nicaragua
Paul tagged along on Ben Butler's trip to meet the pastors and start preparing for the 2009 conference and outreaches.
We were joined at WOTC for the February SOWERS project by Bev and Larry Saug. It was their first SOWER project and they seemed to enjoy themselves and the work activities. After leaving the valley they visited a couple of other SOWER projects and met some other SOWER couples.
The SOWER report for the month read: Ladies sewed team flags for the Nicaragua crusades, helped in the kitchen and painted the outside kitchen. Men repaired ceilings, plumbing and windows and changed light fixtures at the staff motel. They also installed electrical services and wired two new buildings for the upcoming pastors' conference.
The Mexican pastors' conference April 14-18 will be in Aldama as it was last year. They expect even more people to attend than last year. The new buildings were a ladies shower house (24' x 60') and an outdoor kitchen (16' x 24').
For a romantic Valentine's day getaway, Juanita and I drove up the Rio Grande Valley to Hidalgo and toured the historic Hildalgo irrigation pump house.
Afterward we went to lunch and for a movie.
Construction Work in Aldama
We travelled to the WOTC base camp outside of Aldama, Tamaulipas, Mexico and worked on the two new buildings there. There was a new outside kitchen outside the existing kitchen and dining hall. There was a shower building for the pastors to use when attending the scheduled pastors’ conference. We wired in lights, a fan or to and painted the wood framework. Wes and Harold from Oklahoma came down to do plumbing in the shower house and a propane line to the new kitchen.
There was time for a bunch of us (Wes, Harold, the SOWERS and Antonio and Carmen from Aldama) for a side trip to Don and Ginger Smith’s mountain top ranch and a bit of a paddle around one of their ponds. The seed ticks in the grass around the pond don’t bother you much if you slather your ankles in insect repellent. A pair of roseate spoonbills scolded us as we paddled too close to their perch, They flew away muttering away. That is the first time I have seen any outside of a zoo or book.
Future Plans - What's Next?
After a bit of time of preparation, both physical and mental, we plan to head north to Canada. Paul has a job at the refinery in Regina doing maintenance on instrumentation during their annual turnaround (refinery speak for maintenance shutdown).