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there goes the neighborhood.

January 31, 2011

“you could burn down this town
if they made matches from fear,
but you’re no worse off than
anybody else.”

that is lori mckenna singing.

most everybody in this town is not afraid of the violence,
they are scared they won’t be able to put food on the table if the tourists quit coming.
which is why the city should have taken better steps to ensure safety to begin with.

but the flip of that coin is
there are muggings & gang violence in the city i’m from in the states too-
just that rich foreigners don’t generally
go strolling into impoverished districts
decked out in new duty-free jewelry & expensive electronics
to look at the charming architecture.

also cruise ships would never stop there to begin with,
even if they could make their way up the schuylkill river.



still the champion anyway.

January 30, 2011

maybe they are right.
maybe i was the champion bull rider only because
the teenager manning the controls went easy on me.

tyler was spun in immediately vicious circles.

and justin was locked in a hard buck that nearly broke his tailbone.

but can i be blamed for that?

my weakness is easily recognized & often bent for.
that is the burden of favoritism my friends.
and it is heavy.

i am the sick wildebeest that the strong ones circle to save.
then after the lions leave, the strong wildebeests are all like,
“man, look at this, that lion ate half my thigh!”
“you’d be so dead if we hadn’t saved you!”

coping mechanism.

January 27, 2011

perhaps you need this like i do.


January 23, 2011

pretty sure the thing with blogging is
one must update with consistency
or readers will quit checking,
become frustrated,
lose interest.

time to kick this thing back into gear.

what has been happening?

here: the first ever semester of
Introduction to Marketplace Ministry
is coming to an end on saturday.
no finals here, but plenty of busy-ness.

last week the whole team (sans wives & babies)
went on a mission trip to a little fishing town called teacapan.
they stayed in tents at a nearby campground,
put on a few events for the local church plant and
then spent all day every day
painting and building for a future conference center
where small church plant pastors will be trained.

they arrived home exhausted on thursday night,
but will not really get much of a break
as this week we are building again!

all semester long the program students have donated the
money they would have earned for hours working at the coffee shop
to help build a home for a poor family in the neighborhood where
they have been running a kids club every wednesday afternoon.
the neighborhood is a shanty-town called “little hell”
and the government recently started giving deeds for the land
that poor families have been squatting on
so that they will put up permanent structures.

we have decided to help a single mom, whose husband fled
after getting caught up in cartel trouble.
she had already shown initiative, by acquiring the deed to her land,
saving up money and gradually purchasing pieces to a home
(for example: coil to install electricity).

so this week, in addition to working regular shifts at the shop,
they will working on various projects at her house.

despite my lack of updating,
it has been a truly wonderful semester.
the kids have connected really well and turned this community
into a little family.

every little thing she does is…

December 13, 2010

i don’t want to forget to tell her someday
the way she used to

suspend her outer leg in the air
and flex her ankle
moving her foot up and down
up and down
while she lay in my arms and nursed.
how the little bows, and tulips and panda faces,
that decorated the feet of her sleeper clothes
made her tiny feet look so darling
i could hardly breathe to watch her.

or how much i loved when
i’d hold her over my shoulder
and her tiny inhale exhale
would tickle my ear
while she bobbed her head
with her eyes wide.

or how she would
constantly spin imaginary wheels
with her arms
her little fingers
poised in concentration.

i don’t want to forget

my how like a weed mine baby doth grow!

December 9, 2010

justin got me a kindle for my birthday,
and it is fabioso.

the first thing i did was get a bunch of literary classics,
you know, books that in conversation
i may have -by omission-  pretended i had read,
because i am familiar with the story lines. but in reality
i had never actually read most of the books themselves.

the cool thing is these books are typically public domain,
and therefore available either free or very cheap for kindle.

i started with the brontë sisters, and am working through them now.
i am enjoying myself immensely,  i see now why they are classic.
also it makes me want to talk fancy.
and occasionally live a little fancier too.
then again,
nothing really beats kindle-reading in my sweatpants
in the wee hours of the morrow whilst mine baby dineth.

speaking of—
look at this tubby bird!

she is such a sweetum.
she just eats, sleeps
& hangs out.
well, sometimes
she gets tummyaches.
but that’s mostly my fault,
because i’m still
pinning down
what she doesn’t like
for me to eat.
definitely, definitely,
never spicy food.
even, a little spicy,
what i don’t count as spicy.
GIMMEABREAK elsie-loo!
we live in el me-HICO.

elsie turned 2 months
for her two monthday
she decided
to crawl herself
all limbs akimbo
right over her boppy-
thereby loudly telling
we, her parents,
that if ever we doubted it,
she is not to be left unattended.
not everly.



November 5, 2010

i know it’s come and gone but
did everybody vote on elsie’s due date?

my dad sent me this quote a few days before,

“democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
It can only exist until the voters discover that they can
vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always votes
for the candidates promising the most benefits

from the public treasury with the result that
a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy,

always followed by a dictatorship.”
This change happens at the personal level as
“the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent,
the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous,
and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom
to worship the Golden Calf of economic security.
The historical cycle seems to be:
From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage;
from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy;
from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.”

think about that.  if you dare.
probably don’t try to enter a political discussion with me though-
because mulling over these things is about as far as i really get.


yesterday we got elsie’s mexican birth certificate.
it was very exciting because we had been warned up & down
about what a pain the whole process would be,
so we went over there planning to just TRY to get something STARTED-
we anticipated red tape, strange demands, possibly needing to bribe someone…
long lines, and ultimately- to have to return a few more times before succeeding.

much to our surprise-
there were NO lines, everyone was very helpful,
the whole process cost $6 and we were out of there in an hour!
i am still shaking my head around it all.

the only hitch we encountered was it took several tries to get
all of our names right on the documents
because of the latin usage of maternal & paternal surnames,
but they were more than happy to accommodate every request we had.

we had to take elsie along,
so that her right thumbprint could be on the document,
and she slept through the entire thing.
yet another blessing!

now we just have to do the american paperwork.
it will be bitterly ironic if that turns out to be a huge fiasco-
because i tend to have all this faith in american systems
which oft times proves misappropriated.