February 27, 2010

Promise fulfilled

I spent my post-college years producing a DVD. On church unity. It was unpaid, humble, and operated under Murphy's Law: Everything that could go wrong, did. I wanted to be elsewhere. In a latino country. Warm. Speaking Spanish. But I chose to fulfill what God commissioned me to do.

Yet the result was awesome: Project Digno, meaning God is worthy of us as individual churches working together. It was a short 12-minute project with a punch. Radio and newspaper interviews, television airings, a great website, and continued attention came of it - which is indicative of a region attentive to Philippians 2: If we, as the Church, are doing it right, we need to agree with each other, love each other, and be Jesus to our community (aka serve.)

I did exactly what I committed to God except one thing: Return to the 11 churches and drop off copies of the DVD for the participants.  I left for Ecuador without doing so. And I felt guilty for the entire year. When I returned from my most recent trip three weeks ago, I'd decided to kick life into high gear. It is time to complete long-shelved projects. Two days later, I finished preparing the packets to drop off at the churches.

My first church was Salem Alliance. 
You may have noticed that God has a thing with rainbows and promises. This recurs frequently in my life; as I complete a promise to God, or He to me, a rainbow appears.

While I walked toward the church, a rainbow appeared. I began to cry. This was the resolution of a promise fulfilled. I went to the other 10 churches, confident, content, blessed.

And four hours later as I returned to my home from the last church, a brilliant rainbow sprung up in front of my car.  I know God was watching, and I know He was pleased.

February 23, 2010

Y en ESPANOL! Flamingo: The bestest ice cream shop in Manta

There's a holy grail of Manta, Ecuador. Yes, there's only one.

It's Flamingo, the heladeria (ice cream shop) two blocks behind Mi Comisariato, which is across from SuperMaxi on south Flavio Reyes.

On my very first night in Manta, December 2008, my CS host Linda picked me up from the airport. It was hot outside. She drove me straight to the ice cream shop and bought me a cone.  Since, I've shared my joy with many of my best friends from Manta.  It was the beginning of a love affair.

Maxi, the owner's son, and his teammates were always there and always serving excellent homemade ice cream. My favorites were menta granizada y chocolate amargo (mint chocolate chip and dark chocolate) The cones cost about $2, and $2.50 to be chocolate dipped, but they were well worth it.
NOTE:  Naranjilla and Cafe were also my faves.

The have one signature:  a 10" ice cream cone.  The thick ice cream is shaped and then coated in a hard shell of chocolate.  YUM!

I made this my mecca; when it was time to celebrate, Flamingo. When I was depressed, Flamingo. When I had no money, I chose a $0.25 coconut ice cream cone from the street vendor Ysidro (another story in itself!), made from contaminated tap water and yummy fresh coconut.


Flamingo: Lo mejor heladeria en Manta, Ecuador (Y mejores amigos...)

Hay un Santo Grial en Manta, Ecuador.  Si, lastimosamente, solo uno.

Es el Flamingo, heladería dos cuadritas atras de Mi Comisariato por el redondel en Flavio Reyes el Sur. 

Mi primer noche en Manta era en Diciembre 2008.  Mi anfitriona de me había recogido desde el aeropuerto.  Habia muchísimo calor, y ella me manejo directamente al heladería y me compro un cono.  Desde ese momento, comparti mi alegria de ese experencia con muchisimos de mis amigos de Manta.  Asi empezo mi aventura amorosa.

Maxi, el hijo del dueno, y sus companeros de trabajo siempre estaban allí y serviendo helado de paila.  Mis favoritos son menta granizada y chocolate amargo. Los conos vale casi $2, y $2.50 cubierto en chocolate, pero VALE!  Mis favoritos también son naranjilla y cafe.

Flamingo tiene un sello característico: un cono de 10".  El helado es denso y se forman altísimo y cubren con una cascara de chocolate.  Deliciosa!!!

Ya Flamingo es mi Meca.  Hora de celebrar?  Flamingo.  Deprimida?  Flamingo.  Y cuando no tenia plata, escogí un cono de $0.25 de coco desde el vendedor Ysidro de mi barrio.  Ysidro es...  Otro cuento para mas tarde.  Ese cono constituye de agua sucia y coco sabrosisimo y fresco.

    Si estoy bien honesta contigo, estuve viviendo con un puesupuesto de $0 cuando vivi en Ecuador.  Deberia gastar solo $200 mas durante esos 10 meses que vivi alli -  Asi pudiera cambiar desde comiendo lo mas barato a lo mas sabroso con la mayoria de los vendedores (de los calles).


February 14, 2010

The Pop Can & Roller Skate Experiment

It's Super Bowl Sunday. A gorgeous Salem afternoon. I could care less about the game, and I've wanted to go roller skating for a week. (Roller derby with Tabitha inspired me.)

I put on my skates, florescent pink high-tops from the 90s, and realized: I could get exercise and make money. I made 100 copies of a note saying "I'll collect your Super Bowl cans and bottles!... Leave 'em on the porch tomorrow or Tuesday." Everyone drinks a lot during the game, right? I may as well help them with the icky job of taking the cans to the store. I figure I can take a whole bunch in at a time and hoped to make some decent cash.

I skated around to 75 homes. I was soooo close to finishing delivering my notes, but a neighbor's dogs escaped, and the owners were not home. Mission redirected. I found the dogs but they wouldn't come close enough to catch. (Do I look that threatening???)

Wow. Bruised ankles were the only negative, but enjoying the sunshine and actually moving my body felt great. I later drove and jogged to the houses on Monday and Tuesday. More exercise and great weather! It's been a great while since I truly exercised.

10 bags of bottles later, I head to the stinky, sweet-smelling bottle room at the local grocer. I learned how to use the noisy machines, found my rhythm, and recycled over 300 cans and bottles.


February 13, 2010

Gardening Tip #2: Quality (Pruners Clippers)

I emphatically recommend purchasing high end pruners. (Clippers)

Invest in Corona or Felco brands with the bright red handles.
No more sticky, bent pruner jaw to get tangled in the plant and slow you down.

And they're so easy to spot when you accidentally toss them in your garden recycle bin!

Remember to oil the hinge joint and the metal spring coil lightly after every few uses.

feel free to comment with your gardening questions!
Green Thumb Archives

Gardening Tip #1:  Out with the Old
Gardening Tip #2:  Quality (Pruners Clippers)
Gardening Tip #3:  Unfortunately time to weed
Gardening Tip #4:  Hot pink rubber gloves
Gardening Tip #5:  The perfect flower bouquet
Gardening Tip #6:  Get rid of Aphids naturally

February 12, 2010

The Marke & Tabitha Supa Smoothie

Super smoothie: Read below.

I am inspired. I am enabled.

Eating healthy, fresh, varied food has always been a great interest of mine - and now that I have food stamps, I buy fresh avocados, bell peppers, and chocolate milk. Good. I've actually lost body fat because I'm eating so much healthier!

I want to go on a raw food cleanse. Did you know that when food is cooked, essential amino acids necessary to your body are destroyed and unusable? You are less likely to be ill. No wonder people who go on a raw food cleanse say they feel so much better. Note: Smoothies are uncooked :)

Super Smoothie:
My friend Marke (the Vespa scooter guy from OKC) inspired me to begin eating quite healthfully. Tabitha supports me. And hopefully I'll start feeling better soon!
Ingredients can be purchased at any grocer with a health foods section. Here's how to take a normal at-home smoothie and jazz it up to boost your body:

Base: Frozen fruits of any kind. You are encouraged to add greens like celery and spinach... I'm not ready for that yet.


February 8, 2010

10 hours of international footprints -

In the last 10 hours my blog received browsing hits from:

Norway, Belgium, Uruguay, Netherlands, Argentina, France, Ecuador, Colombia, and the USofA. That may be an international record for me :)

Zany city names:
Hoofdstedelijk Gewest & Hainaut, Belgium; Seoul-t'ukpyolsi, Korea; Araucania, Chile; Pays De La Loire & Provence-alpes-cote D'azur, France; Pichincha, Ecuador; Agadir, Morocco; Songkhla, Thailand; Cundinamarca, Colombia; Overijssel, Netherlands, Attiki, Greece; Weingarten Baden-wurttemberg, Germany; and Warszawa, Poland.
Omak, Quinter, Waukesha, and Clatskanie USA.

I'm guessing I've got Manny, Richard, Alwin, Rene, Luis, and Benjamin reading this blog. Write a comment if so~ And where are the international women???

Here's to my amazing traveler friends! Thank you for caring. Thank you for changing my life.
Love you!