Monday, September 29, 2008

The Move!

As most of you probably already know, we are moving back to Michigan! Our jobs at Campamento Del Caribe in Puerto Rico have ended. There are no more work crews coming until February 2009. Also, they have hired two wonderful Puerto Ricans to fill camp's need for an accountant and a maintanence man. So our time in PR has come to an end. We are coming home!

We spent the last few weeks packing and preparing for our move and figuring out how to get Mia, our puppy, home. It was crazy! But God sure provided!

On Thursday, September 25, we were supposed to leave PR but that day held so much for us to do that it seemed like it would be a miracle if everything went smoothly and we could actually leave. First, we got hit a few days before with a Tropical Storm that flooded a lot of roads in our area making it hard to get around. But God provided and, despite the fact that it didn't stopped raining, the roads dried up and we were able to leave. Then, on the day of our departure, we had to drive 2 hours away and have Mia at a shipping dock by 7:30am then we had to go to a different shipping area 30 minutes away to drop off our stuff and then we had to be at the airport to catch our own flight. The scariest part of the day though was that we had sketchy directions to each of these places and weren't sure we would even be able to find them. But God once again provided! We had absolutely no problems finding the places and didn't even get lost once! In fact, everything went so smoothly that we were finished with everything and at the airport 5 hours before our flight! God is so good!
We arrived in Atlanta on time, picked up Mia with no problems, and were at my sister's house within a few hours. It was great! Our crazy day went so smoothly that it only could have happened because of God!!
So now, we are spending some time at my sister and brother-in-law's house in Atlanta before we rent a car and drive up to Michigan. We are really enjoying our time here! God is so good!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We had a little adventure this weekend. On Friday, Mike and the guys were supposed to fumigate the camp property because, with all the rain lately, the mosquitoes were awful! Normally, they would use the truck but since it's dead, they had to improvise and use the 15 passenger van. Well, they didn't get very far before they got stuck! The van's back tires had sunk into the muck of the field. They spent the next two days trying to get it out. They did everything they could think of. They dug. They used another van to pull it. They put boards under the tires. They put small rocks under the tires. Finally, they got it (but they managed to get it stuck one more time on the way out)! What a job! What should have been an easy job of fumigating turned into a two-day challenge.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


We have now finished our busy season! We have no more work crews until February 2009. So now life settles into a routine for us... work. Mike's work is maintenance and repair on the camp and Megin helps with the accounting and is currently working on some financial reports. So there really isn't anything interesting to write about... which is why we are going to tell random stories that have happened throughout our time here.

~ One day, we were watching a movie when Mia decided to crawl under the bed (the bed that we were lounging on). All of the sudden, she starts barking. Not knowing why she was barking, I look under the bed and see a centipeed not too far from our feet. *In case you don't know, centipeeds can be deadly. If you get bit you have to get taken to the hospital for a shot. We've been told that the bite itself doesn't hurt that much but what it does to your body is very painful, so painful that you'll wish you were dead! (Please note that we have never been bitten so we wouldn't know fact from fiction but some very reliable sources have shared this information with us.)* Mia had barked at the centipeed and did something to stun it because usually centipeeds are very fast but this thing didn't move at all. So we quickly went into action. We found a heavy pan, moved the bed, and Mike proceeded to beat the centipeed to death (at this point it tried to move but it was too late)! Mia saved us from the centipeed (actually I'm sure God did but He used Mia to do it)! Praise the Lord!

~ When Megin's Mom was here, we had taken Mia out to swim in the ocean. We spent a few hours looking for shells, fishing, and swimming. At one point, Mia spotted an island that is approximately four miles away and start trying to swim to it. It was pretty funny! But the next day Mike talked to some fishermen who had been fishing near us while we were swimming. They told him that some manatees had been swimming in a semi-circle around us while we had all been in the water.

~ We went to Coffin Island with a couple of the work crews that were here in August. While on the island, Mike took them for a tour of some caves. At one point, the cave got rough and Mike warned people wearing sandals that they might have trouble getting through that area. His comment was met with a reply from our cousin Todd... "But Mike, Jesus wore sandals!"

Ok, enough random stories for now. More to come later!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Storm!

We had quite the adventure yesterday! A storm hit us starting at around 4am and didn't stop till after 10pm. We had lots of rain, wind, lightning, and thunder. The wind gusts at times were about 50 miles per hour and the rain was coming down at an angle.
By the time we woke up, we already had a lot of problems. Our back windows (facing the ocean, the direction the storm was coming from) wouldn't close so one of the screens was blown right off the window and mud was getting blown into our house. In fact, we had mud all over the walls (from floor to ceiling) and all the way across the dining room and into the kitchen. Everything in our kitchen was covered with mud. The storm had calmed some so I (Megin) started cleaning the mud off while Mike started trying to figure out what to do. And of course, as soon as I was done cleaning, the wind and rain picked up again and before I knew it, everything I had just cleaned was covered in mud again! So then we were scrambling to come up with some ideas on how to keep the mud and rain out. Poor Mike had to go out in the middle of the storm to work on closing and replacing the broken windows! He came in all muddy and in need of a shower but we no longer had mud getting blown into our house! Then we took a sheet and nailed it so it was hanging from the wall above the window to help keep the rain out. We also found a spot near the door where water was pouring in from outside so we had to keep towels there to soak up the water. We finally felt like we could just relax and enjoy the storm, maybe watch a movie... then the electricity goes out. We were without power for almost 10 hours. So we found different ways to entertain ourselves... we played games, I read, Mike played guitar, etc. Unfortunately, whenever we would get the chance to relax, we would find some new problem that needed to be taken care the iguana room flooding. Mike had gone next door to figure out where the hurricane window protectors were when I noticed that there was water flowing into our living room. It was coming from the iguana room (a room that has no roof and is open to the sky and is in the middle of our house with a door to the kitchen and a sliding door to the living room). The drain in the iguana room was plugged up so the room had flooded and started to flood into the living room. So I grabbed a 5 gallon bucket and started bailing the water out of the iguana room. I would fill the bucket and then run it to the bathroom where I poured it into the bathtub to drain. By the time Mike had returned, I had drained about 40 gallons of water but hardly made a difference in the flooding. So Mike grabbed the plunger and plunged the drain. Thankfully that worked and the water began draining again. Then Mike went out across camp to find the hurricane protectors only to find out that the protectors weren't the right size and couldn't be used on our windows. (Makes me wonder what we'll do if a real hurricane comes!) This was how our day went... just one problem after another. It was exhausting but an adventure. By the time the electricity came back on, we were starving because we couldn't eat much throughout the day without a microwave to warm it, a stove to cook it, a fridge to keep it cold, etc. We were so thankful for electricity! Then we spent the evening relaxing and watching a movie. What a day it had been!

On another note: We were so thankful for the surprise that we got this weekend! My mom came to visit! It was a great surprise and a lot of fun! It was great to be able to spend some time with her! We also appreciated the encouragement that she was to us, the wisdom that she gave, and the adventures that we had! Thanks Mom! And thanks Dad for sending her... sorry you couldn't come too!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Well, our busy month is almost done! We are working with our final work crew which leaves Thursday, August 28th. After that, we will have no more work crews until Jan or Feb. We have enjoyed working with the work crews. We have learned a lot, been challenged, made new friends, worked hard, played hard, laughed a lot, grown a lot, and been blessed through all of these crews!

Also, we had a lot of fun with our cousins and uncle here! They worked hard alongside the work crews but also got to spend time playing games with us. It was a lot of fun! We were so thankful for our time with them!

Now that its rainy season, we are learning that there are some things that are beyond our control and that we just have to adjust to. Things such as having to give our dog, Mia, 3 baths a day because no matter where we let her out, it is muddy and she loves water and mud! Also, that no matter how hard we try, it is very hard to keep the house clean... there is constantly mud and dirt being tracked through the house whether by canine or people. And, since our hot water heaters are solar powered and it is mostly cloudy... there will be little to no hot water! And we now have to find ways to dry our clothes inside since the rain doesn't allow us to hang dry our clothes and we have no Dryer. Lastly, mosquitos thrive during this season. And no matter how hard we try, we just can't seem to keep them out of our house! So we have a lot of new adjustments to make but we are thankful for the rain which is much needed on this side of the Island and we are enjoying the new adventure the rain brings.

On another note: Please pray for us as we have some big decisions to make in the next few weeks. Our jobs here have changed and the camp's needs have changed so we have some decisions to make. Please pray for wisdom and guidance for us! Thanks!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We got hit with a Tropical Depression on Friday. It was pretty cool! We were woken up at 4am by an incredible amount of lightning, rain, and wind! It was so windy that the rain was coming in horizontally. There was almost no break between flashes of lightning (although there wasn't a lot of thunder... at least not compared to what we are used to in Michigan). And the rain on the tin carport roofs was very loud! It was crazy! Later we heard that it upgraded to a Tropical Storm and got the name "Fay". From what we hear, we have another storm headed our way that might hit Friday. We don't know how bad of a storm it will be though.
On another note... our uncle and 2 cousins arrived Sunday evening. We knew that my Uncle Dick and my cousin Todd was coming but we didn't know that my other cousin MacKenzie was coming! It was an awesome surprise! We are so excited to have them! They are going to be here for a week working with the work crews and spending time with us. We are loving it! Thank you for those that took part in the surprise!

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks....

Below is a picture of a "cherry picker" (that was what it was called...I'm not sure of the technical name) with Mike on it. You can see how tall it can get based on how high it towers over the basketball hoop and light pole.The picture with Megin was taken from the top of a "cherry picker" . The picture is a landscape picture taken of the camp's waterfront.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This week has been a crazy week. First, we have two groups overlapping and running on different schedules so we feel like we are constantly juggling things like vehicles, schedules, sight-seeing trips, work projects, trips to the airport, and etc. Second, we found a large sea turtle on our property that laid eggs so we had the job of trying to keep it alive until the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) could come take care of it. Then a couple of days later we found baby sea turtles wandering around on the other side of camp so once again we had to save the turtles and wait for DNR. Since then the DNR has invaded our property in search for sea turtles. (Its kind of scary running into them in the middle of the night walking around our property.) Third, our camp secretary and financial manager, Tamara, just found out that she has to be on bed rest for the next couple of weeks which means that we have to not only juggle all the work crews but also fill in her shoes. So instead of working 60 hour weeks with a day off, Mike and I will be working 90 hour weeks with no days off (not even Sunday). Please pray for us during this time! Pray that we will have patience, strength, perseverance, joy, enthusiasm, good health, and so on.

Also, we wanted to tell you about one of the work crews that we worked with this week. They are a group from Palm Bay, Florida. They were so laid-back, adventurous, and had such servants' hearts. They were constantly surprising us! This group of 8 had more senior citizens than young adults. Yet when we didn't have a vehicle to go get Frappes (an awesome PR treat that all of our groups love), they all piled in the back of the pickup truck (despite the sprinkling rain) including an 84 year old man and his 74 year old wife. And they did that a few times throughout their time with us. Then on Sunday, we usually take the groups to the rainforest. Older groups will usually go to a rainforest that is further away and has a paved path for them to walk to a swimming area and younger groups will go to the rainforest that has waterfalls and a high cliff to jump from but requires some treacherous hiking. This group surprised us by wanting to go to the rainforest with the waterfalls instead of the other. And they had a blast! They were a fun group!

Unfortunately, for some reason, we still can't upload any pictures on our blog. But we'll keep trying. Sorry!