~ Saturday, June 28, 2003

 Two days in a row we saw this beautiful golden retriever running around in our neighborhood. It had a collar on with a little medalion, so we grabbed the pooch and checked the info on the collar. It had a telephone number and address from Laredo, Texas!

We called the number and it was a veterinary clinic. The recepcionist told us that the dogs name is "Spike". She couldn't believe I was calling from the middle of Mexico, more than a thousand miles away from Laredo. The clinic said they call us if they located the owners. We haven't heard from them yet... that was a week ago.

In the mean time, we took the dog walking, it got run over, survived but required surgery which we, of course, had to pay for. We are now juggling 3 dogs and the orphan, Spike, requires 3 times a day medicines and pomade applications to the wounds. I'm starting to have more sympathy for parents of toddlers :-) Luckily, in our case there's no diaper expense!

Anybody want an approximately 2.5 year old golden retriever who sits when you say "sit"?

~ posted by tim at 6/28/2003 05:54:28 PM

 It was fun deciding the winners of our web site's contest. As mentioned below, Annette and I got together with our 3 editors over some pizza and picked the top 10. First prize went to a young woman in Argentina who had sent in a creative, active bible bible study. Second prize went to another girl for an excellent article and study on how to develop leadership that will last and have an impact. Third place went to a Chilean guy who sent in over 40 youth ministry resources, the best of which was a collection of games and activities for the winter months. Fourth place went to a mexican, fifth place to a Costa Rican, sixth to a man from the Dominican Republic, seventh to a Paraguayan, eighth to a Peruvian, ninth place went to the same guy who won third place (we didn't look at names when we chose the winners), and tenth place went to a mexican.

Quite an international winners circle. So this last week we spent congratulating the winners and this week we'll be mailing out the prizes.

~ posted by tim at 6/28/2003 05:35:13 PM

~ Thursday, June 19, 2003

  We are in a meeting right now deciding the 10 winners of the online contest we've sponsored over the last 2 months. There are 10 prizes in all with a total value of $1,000...

1st place: All expenses paid - Raices Conference + trainers conference
2nd place: All expenses paid - Raices Conference
3rd place: All expenses paid - Raices Conference
4th place: CD with thousands of youth work resources + a web site T-shirt
5th place: CD with thousands of youth work resources + a web site T-shirt
6th place: CD with thousands of youth work resources + a web site T-shirt
7th place: CD with thousands of youth work resources
8th place: CD with thousands of youth work resources
9th place: CD with thousands of youth work resources
10th place: CD with thousands of youth work resources

The 1st prize has a value of $325 and 2nd and 3rd prizes are worth $185 each. We sponsored this contest as a way to:
1) get youth leaders to publish even more quality materials on our site
2) promote the youth worker conferences that we have been helping organize

I guess it has been a success...we've received over 230 original youth worker resources in the last 60 days! About 100 of them very good to excellent.

~ posted by tim at 6/19/2003 05:53:15 PM

~ Tuesday, June 17, 2003


8 squished iguanas
250 pound dead pig (approx. weight)
a horse in the ditch (hoofs pointing skyward)
half a cow or bull
12 dead dogs (size and breed unimportant)
This isn't some ghoulish recipe ala "bubble bubble toil and trouble" but the count from our trip to the pacific coast of Mexico. However, that's not a fair accounting of the tone of the trip... it was a delightful 6 drive thru mountains which, for the first few hours, were covered in pines, then as we got closer to the coast and lower in altitude the landscape turned more arid with flowering cactus and thorn trees chartreuse with new growth dominating the hillsides.

~ posted by tim at 6/17/2003 05:25:05 PM

~ Wednesday, June 11, 2003

 This weekend Annette and I are celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. There is a new highway thru the mountains down to the Pacific coast - it's a toll road, but according to info we're reading on the Internet, they are not charging at the majority of the toll plazas. So we are going to do one of our favorite an as-of-yet-unknown-to-us road.

Click here for an informative little travel page about this new road

This one should be fun because it goes thru Mexican territory that, as of just a year or two ago, was dangerous and even the police didn't patrol the roads. We'll be passing thru a mountainous part of the state of Michoacan toward the pacific coast. This area has been pretty much left to itself over the last 100 years for many reasons including a history of repression by the powerful, which created a sort of xenophobia towards outsiders, which effectively drove them away, which made it a nice place to grow drugs, which gave the area another reason to keep outsiders out, which made for quite a lawless region.

Now we'll be experiencing this virgin territory from the comfort of our car :-)
We leave Friday... can't wait!

~ posted by tim at 6/11/2003 02:52:31 PM

~ Tuesday, June 10, 2003

 Oh the joys of the home office... no communal bathrooms, easy commute, no dress code...

but, it does have it's downsides too. I just walked by the mirror and got a look at myself... scary. I've been working at the computer for 3 hours already but I'm still in a bathrobe, two days of beard growing on my chin, barefoot, eating leftover fajita beef strips out of the aluminum foil accompanied by a cup of hot tea... and it's already 11:00 pm

~ posted by tim at 6/10/2003 11:22:06 AM

 Breathless celebrities extol Hillary's value as a role model for young women, but only occasionally will someone uncomfortably admit they like Martha. Had I a daughter, I don't know how I'd feel about her looking up to the former first lady.

I found this op ed piece both humerous and interesting (just click on the bold text to go there). Hope you enjoy it too. annette

~ posted by annette at 6/10/2003 11:15:22 AM

~ Monday, June 09, 2003

 Para Lideres - El Rinc?n para L?deres de J?venes

The bold line of text above is a link to our Spanish language youth ministry web site which contains more than 5,000 pages of free resources and training materials. Last month we had 57,000 unique visitors (96% of whom actually work with youth). Click and take a look.

~ posted by tim at 6/9/2003 04:56:22 PM

~ Saturday, June 07, 2003

 We live in the highest coldest city in Mexico - 8,800 ft. above see level and an average annual temp. of 60? F. We really only have 2 seasons:
1) Dry and Cool (November thru mid-May
2) Wet and Cold (late May thru October)

Last week it was in the 80's... sweltering for our city.This week the "rains" began and now it's in the 50's and i we haven't seen the sun more than 30 minutes a day. Most people we know hang their clothing out to dry. This becomes quite the challenge during the rainy season. We finally bit coughed up the money for a dryer because we had clothes that had been washed, hung out to dry, been rained on, washed again (due to acidy dirty rain), hung our to dry again, rained on again... and so on and so on.

I actually got to the point that I could make a pair of boxers last 5 days. :-) And I could survive putting on rain dampened jeans... they dry out faster on your legs - especially when running around the house yelling, "my legs are freezing off, my legs are freezing off."

~ posted by tim at 6/7/2003 12:16:28 PM

~ Thursday, June 05, 2003

 Heard a loud buzz-humming - and then the electricity went off.
20 Minutes later our friend, Nahum, came over to tell Annette happy birthday and to give her a carrot pie (not cake) his mother had made. I asked him if the electricity was off at his house too (2 blocks away) and he said "yes" and told me that a transformer had blown when a construction worker carrying a large tin roofing sheet had made contact with the electric lines. He was dead.

40 minutes later, Annette and I were leaving to go hiking and, horrified, i told Annette not to look - because the man body was still there 60 feet from our front door on the sidewalk surounded by gawkers. Saddened, we shot up a prayer for his family.Believe it or not, that the 3rd dead body i've seen since moving to mexico. Very sad.

~ posted by tim at 6/5/2003 07:46:13 AM

  Yesterday - Annette's birthday - was a big success thanks to the scores of friends, family and colleagues who dropped her and email to celebrate her! Thanks to all of you :-)

We did some of her favorite things:
a) went for a nice breakfast with her friend, Angelica Novia;
b) read tons of B-day emails from friends;
c) went hiking up in the mountains outside of our city (11,000+ feet);
d) went indoor rock climing;
e) received B-day phone calls from her family;
f) ate home-made mexican food brought us by friends;
g) watched some Friends episodes that we'd downloaded online (we get any TV channels).

~ posted by tim at 6/5/2003 07:35:54 AM

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