Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What We're Up To...

Hey everyone!

Its been about a month since we've been back in Nicaragua, so we thought it was time for another update! Its been a great (& hot!) month. We're LOVING our house and being able to leave the craziness of the Amigos house at the end of the day. We've had a few small groups in and out over the past few weeks, but we're preparing for the start of the mission trip season this Saturday. We'll have groups in regularly until September!
Jeremy has really been focused on a new program we're calling Mission Adventure. We'll be offering 1 day adventures for groups, weekend trips they can add on to their mission trip, and Jeremy's preparing a full 10 day mission adventure trip that will include multiple adventures, as well as time working in communities. He is so excited to be leading all of this, and its been fun for all of us to help out with the "research trips". We recently went camping at Telica Volcano...directly next to the crater there is a flat, huge, green field...its perfect for camping, so we all lugged tents, water, and of course chocolate chip cookies to the top. Somehow I ended up in a tent with Jeremy, John Bland, and our Nicaraguan friend, Tomas....beans for dinner + small tent + 3 men does not equal anything good for me. About 3AM, in a moment of confusion, John began singing "Away in a Manger". For some reason he decides to sing in these difficult moments...some of you might remember his "Jesus Take the Wheel" performance when we were sleeping in El Capulin a couple years ago. The wind was horrible and no one slept, but the Telica trip was awesome. At night, you can look down in and see the lava...but as you can see from the pictures, you can't step too far...there's nothing to save you!

Other things that have been going on.... My mom's dad passed away about 3 weeks ago. I was blessed to be able to fly to NJ to spend some time with him for a few days at the beginning of February. It was a hard time for everyone, but it was really nice to spend time with my mom, Nana, and extended family. At work, I've been working on Amigos' new website which should be online within the next month. The projects in our communities are going well and we're about to start a giant water system in a nearby community. Last week was Jose Benito's birthday, so I made him a chocolate cake and we had a little birthday party at his house in Villa Catalina! Our puppy Bailey, finally understands "sit" - a huge victory for me and Jeremy...apparently Dalmations are not known for being smart, but maybe the lab in her is helping :)

Jeremy's birthday is this Friday! Maura's birthday is March 9th! We're excited to come home for about a week in April for her confirmation. Hope you all are doing well!

Kristin & Jeremy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November Update

Hey everyone!

Hope you are all doing well! Life is good here...still really hot! Its been a busy month back at work and getting ourselves settled in the casa. Take a look at the video...and keep an eye out for a little surprise guest :)

We miss you all!


Kristin & Jeremy

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hola! We hope everyone at home is doing well! Its been awhile since we've been in contact...we've been very busy these past 2 months. We are now living in our house!! We still have a ways to go with all of the little details. We moved in about 3 weeks ago, after a nice visit with my (K) family...my mom and dad, and Maura and Anthony all came down for vacation week! And, this past Saturday Jeremy's dad made a surprise trip down to see us! Jeremy took a few days away from the farm this week and they have been tiling and making cabinets for the kitchen. I've been painting little by little. We'll have some good stories to tell our kids someday...like how we've been living without water and electricity for the past 3 weeks...and how our bedroom had a small flood last night. Life continues to be interesting to say the least :)

Below is a short video I took just so you can see the house as it is today....very messy!

Email us...we'd love to hear how you are doing!

Kristin & Jeremy

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lots of Progress!

There has been lots of progress these past few weeks! The walls are up, fence is almost finished, the water and electrical systems are being installed, and we've been picking out doors and windows! Check out the pictures below.... Jeremy and I will be seeing most of you soon...we'll be home next Friday! While we're gone, they'll be putting the roof on, filling the floor, putting up the wall divisions, and finishing all of the basics.

The welder putting the fence up.

Man talk. Jeremy is wearing his lovely grandpa socks.

A couple weeks ago we bribed everyone with a pizza party and they came to help us mix lots of cement for the footers.

Rachel and Stacey working really hard for their pizza. Please note: The job was 10 minutes from being finished when they arrived. Notice how they are not quite as dirty as everyone else.

This is our head mason, Abraham. He works really fast, but we all agree that he needs to use a lot less gel in his hair.

This was taken last Friday. We're standing in the front doorway.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Los Babosos

Jeremy and I are known as "Los Babosos" in Nicaragua. It started with me awhile back, and then when we started dating, Jeremy also aquired the name. The word baboso is a funny way to say "fool"...but its become a term of endearment. We want to share a couple of Los Babosos Adventures from the past few weeks....its nice that we can look back and laugh now....

The Pipe Fiasco. We will have an 8 foot fence around our house (sad, but safe). Parts of the fence are made of 2 different kinds of metal pipe that will be welded together. So, one Saturday Jeremy and I hop in the big truck and head over to the big supply store (the only supply store that accepts credit cards). We buy the pipe we need, load it up, and drop it off at the house. Monday morning we find out that we were sold the most expensive pipe in the store. The assumption in any 3rd world country is that gringos have pockets full of cash. Ha...obviously they don't know the Amigos gringos. So, we load up the pipes and take them back to exchange for the more economic-friendly kind...except in Nicaragua there's no such thing as getting your money back...we bargain for store credit and they finally accept. Everything is good, right? Wednesday rolls around and the fence builder shows up and asks why we bought this pipe. Frustration is one thing, but getting that frustration across in Spanish can be difficult...he tells us exactly what we need and living up to our Nicaraguan nicknames, Los Babosos, we take the pipe back....again. This time, our friend and co-worker Luis does all of the talking. Finally, we have the correct pipe and the welder starts tomorrow.

The Bible Lesson. We employ an older Nicaraguan man to watch over the materials at night and on the weekends. His name is Julio Ceasar, but we like to call him Julius Ceasar...it just sounds better. We went to pay Julius Ceasar and there was a little misunderstanding...he wanted more than what we had agreed to. We paid him what we originally agreed to, and told him we would bring Luis (our problem solver) the next day to discuss whether or not he was receiving fair pay. Julius Ceasar said ok, and then proceeded to pull out his Bible. He told us a skewed version of a popular bible story..."we shouldn't store up our treasures on earth because you don't get to take them to heaven with you...we should share them with everyone...including him...and thats why we should pay him more". Jeremy and I just smiled and nodded....once again, appearing and acting like "los babosos". There was some awkward silence and then we changed the subject. Luis confirmed that Julius Ceasar is receiving more than fair pay.

There's a popular phrase we all have in Nicaragua - "tiempo real o tiempo Nica"....meaning "real time or Nica time". Nica time typically means arriving at least an hour late, even for really important events. (Mom, are you sure you're not Nicaraguan?) So, you can imagine what "Nica time" means when building a house. Construction has been a little slow this past week because of other Amigos projects...but will pick back up at full pace next week...we'll update this more often...

Kristin & Jeremy

These are a few of the guys that are working on the house...Bernardo, Maestro, and Rider.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Construction Begins!

The Sutton Casa construction has begun! We're going to use this blog to keep all of you updated on the exciting progress of the house...and all of the other fun stuff going on. We're hoping to have the majority of the house finished by April, when we come home to Georgia for the wedding.
The house will be located on the back corner of the new Amigos land....the view from our backyard is the picture at the top of this webpage. We are lucky to know and work with construction experts, and Amigos is not loaded down with construction projects for the next few months...so we're hiring a few of our fellow employees to build the house and Jeremy is supervising with the little time he has away from the farm. Yesterday, the guys staked out the fence and built the champa, which is where our caretaker will sleep and guard the supplies. So, if all else fails, we'll always have this champa to call home :)

Its going to be an interesting and busy few months. Jeremy is out at the Amigos Farm every day...they are getting ready to plant lots of veggies. I'm here in the local office helping to manage projects, as well as our non-stop mission groups...and then on the side try to do some wedding planning (we're lucky to have 2 very involved moms helping us!)

We'll keep you updated on the progress of the house...and our lives...so check back in!

Kristin and Jeremy