Weekly is a pretty strong term, but it sounded better than “Trying for at least every week but it ends up being quite Mexican and random” Update. Fair Enough.
Michelle is just getting prepped for another night of Ultimate Pong where she will once again be crowned the Ultimate Ultimate Pong Champion. On a related note, the Department of Redundancy Department will be closed until further notice. So Michelle is here looking over my shoulder and at times will be stealing the laptop away from me to correct my stories or to “correct” my take on what happened. This could be interesting.
(note: what you won’t be able to see is how many times she points out my spellliing mistakes and then makes me change it before I can go on.) tee hee, I just got one past her!
So as mentioned previously, I was off to Freedom Camp this week. Freedom from kids, yay! Freedom from classes, yay! Freedom from showering and brushing my teeth, um, yay? I felt free about that but there may have been some bondage for my tent mates (David, Jordan and John the Youngest or his new name “John the Lost” for those who care.) (And I’ll try to remember to mention why he is now “the Lost” later) And freedom from food, not so yay I was expecting.
Michelle: So I’m not quite sure why I’ve been dragged into this post.
Ryan: She’s chatty today! So, ya, freedom from food. I wasn’t actually worried about the lack of food part. I was interested though to see how my body would react. Turns out, good. I guess those two days starving myself on the drive through Mexico got me prepped for this. That and I didn’t move for three days there. Except for the time when I climbed a mountain to find John the Lost. More on that later. You’re getting excited for the story, right?
OK. I keep getting distracted. Do I do that normally? ‘Cause I would get real annoyed with me if I kept doing that.
M: I’d agree with the annoyed part (and obviously with the distracted part too).
I’m gonna break in here and say that GFM pulled a nasty stunt here, taking all our husbands and fathers of our children away for 3 days. We only had a couple days to prepare.
R: Michelle’s getting close to a rant so I stole the laptop away while she gets good and ready to go. I’ll probably have this thing taken away from me any second now.
We left Tuesday morning after no breakfast. My last meal was an excellent enchiladas con pollo at a comedor which was playing Monday Night Football. Good times. Steelers won. I didn’t care. I had enchiladas. Drove a LONG time to the campsite (5 minutes, we’re really roughing it here) and got the tents set up. Seems like camping so far. I have my trusty Wal-Mart sleeping bag I got in 1995ish and blue foam mat purchased at the same time. (Want to hear something gross? No? Too bad, I have the keyboard so you have to read this. I HAVE NOT WASHED THAT BAG, EVER. And I like to camp, and I sweat lots when I hike. And not shower. And I drool when I sleep. Needless to say no one likes to borrow my sleeping bag. You’re welcome.)
M: Okay, even I didn’t want to hear that. Well, Ryan’s going to have to finish off our “weekly” update. I’ve got a date with a ping-pong table.
R: Good luck honey! We’ll do this again some time! (kiss from my wife, and again, you’re welcome!) Too bad, that rant was just getting ready to come out. They’re so much fun when she gets going!
Now you’re stuck with just me. I’m sure we’ll do this again some time. Now where were we? Yucky, yet amazingly still warm and comfy sleeping bag. Gotcha. We had a time of worship and then got the low-down on Freedom Camp. We were there to really work through the sin in our lives and get it all confessed and taken care of. Sounds easy enough. Nope, it isn’t. It’s actually quite difficult and amazing how much we do wrong. But we all wrote it all down on our “sin sheets”. Took three days to do it. But the great part is how much you could see patterns and areas that really need to be dealt with. That pumps me up. I gots stuff to work on.
I also spent the three days reading the Gospel of Luke in the Message version of the Bible. I had never actually tried this version even though I have owned it since college. For those counting, it’s been 10 years. Really fantastic insight in this version. It’s got the translation right, and it’s in a culturally relevant format. Which is cool. Another book being read was The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson. Wow! That is one unsettling but incredibly liberating book. You could say it breaks bonds? Hmmm? (visualize Dr Evil pinky to the mouth look here.)
Ya, good book. Christians who haven’t read it? Get it, read it. Your life will not be the same. If you don’t want your life to get better, don’t read it. That’s simple enough.
M: I’d just like to break in here to mention that my husband is tall, dark and handsome. He always helps with the housework and never complains about it. His Spanish is flawless and he is always helping me understand the complex nuances of this language. Also, did you know that he can skin a goat in under 10 minutes? True story!
R: OK, OK. You got me. That wasn’t Michelle. For those that haven’t been paying attention she should already have won her first game of Ultimate Pong by know. She really needs to describe that game to all of us sometime.
After three days, any MTS’er who wanted to, threw their sin sheets into a campfire for symbolic purposes. Then it was clean up time and back to the base for food. Precious, lovely food. But I have to say, I can see how getting rid of food can really help you focus on important things like praying and reading. That is a closeness with God I truly enjoyed and want to pursue more often.
Oh ya, John the Lost story. We had to be back at “Camp Central” at 5PM for a debrief time. At 5:15, no John. 5:30: still no John. 6:00, John is not present. Darkness is at about 7:30. We need to find John. Some search teams head out (with no food in them) and start climbing in different directions around the mountain we were on. Calling John’s name. Telling him that the beatings wouldn’t hurt that bad and that they would be administered in love. No John. At one point my search party of David, Dan and myself had someone answering our calls of “JOHN!”. We figured it out that someone across the valley was messing with us. Thanks dude.
At about 7:00 we start heading back to the camp to regroup, possibly eat and get a better search plan in place. We call down to see if John is back. He is! This is good. There was a lot of prayer about this as losing a camper is always a bad thing. Like Uder in the Simpsons. You have to love the show to get that reference! John apparently was down by the creek which was the opposite direction and we had already gone by it. He heard people shouting but couldn’t hear what it was. And he wasn’t wearing a watch. But he eventually decided to come back. I threw him on the trampoline (ya, there was a tramp onsite. It’s too tiring to bounce when you haven’t eaten though) as a punishment. But he’s such a great guy that you can’t stay angry with him. And his insights into the Lord will BLOW your mind. He gets it.
And back to the base for food! We started with communion as a base community and then dug into a freshly made chicken, rice and veggie soup. Wow. That was good eating. It would have been good if we hadn’t spent three days without eating. I then went back to our apartment and ate left over spaghetti. Then had banana bread and a Coke after that. You really shouldn’t eat that much after starving for so long. But it didn’t bother me. I was lucky.
Yesterday night we had a soccer game. I brilliantly had 3 cheezeburgers before going out. They were really good. Then I didn’t play goalie so I had to run. The altitude in Tlaxiaco is about 3000 feet higher than Airdrie which is already really high. I think it’s about 7000 feet above sea level here. Not much oxygen (or O2 as the chemists call it). Mix the lack of oxygen with the surplus of beef and I was hurting. No one noticed though.
M: I did!
R: Hey! She’s not even here and she’s cutting me off and telling the truth. So not fair. I love my wife. 🙂
Today was market day. My favourite day. First, Jared had his first soccer game with his soccer school classmates. He assisted on a goal. That’s my boy! At the market we searched for a authentic Mexican dancing skirt for Chelsey. No, it doesn’t dance on it’s own. It’s part of the costume for the dance class Chelsey is in now. I think Michelle mentioned that. We had directions but we misunderstood them. We did eventually find the place. We bought some other nicknacks and also visited our fruit lady. She remembered us from last week and it was nice to briefly exchange names and talk about Katria (everyone’s favourite conversation topic. Katria was eating it up and playing cute even more than she usually does). We’ll be visiting the fruit lady every week. She gives free samples too.
And that brings us to now. Church tomorrow. I actually don’t mind it. And they have food afterwords. I’m hoping for tacos. Our Sabbath is Monday around here. No school or ministry. It’s nice to have a mandated day of rest. Going to bring that back with us to Canada.
Flames finished pretty good in the pre-season. I don’t know what that means for the regular season though. The Canucks are undefeated? Huh? Must have played pee-wee teams because I don’t see them beating anyone else this year. The fantasy hockey draft last week went well even though my buddy Dan down here and I couldn’t get the internet working enough to login. The computer auto-drafted for me and I got a decent team. Dan got Jarome Iginla. I didn’t get any Flames. Probably for the best as they tend to do bad if they are on my fantasy team. So look out NHL, the Flames are gonna rock this year!
And the Poker Championship Tournament of Destruction is tonight back home. I can’t be there to defend my title. I did get an invite as I was the previous winner (I mounted the bracelet on a plaque, true story.) and I won another two tournaments before leaving. But I couldn’t make it. Hope they all have fun. And realize that who ever wins isn’t really truly the champ because they didn’t beat me! Tee hee.
M: I still can’t believe Ryan mounted that stupid bracelet on a plaque. And he makes sure it is always displayed. Thankfully he didn’t bring it to Mexico.
R: ya, that was me again. But I know Michelle has said this numerous times so it is her honest thoughts