Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This week the town fair started in Baeza. Main street turned into the fair grounds, and everyone is out promenading all night long. Since our apartment is only one block off main street, we celebrated the fair all night long. The last stragglers to give up are the young people who stay out all night drinking, and head home around 7:00 a.m. We went to see the horse and buggy exhibition this last week. Everyone seems to be going somewhere - some in style and some not. Sure was interesting to see a bit of history replayed before our eyes.

You can tell our apartment s not all that big. After the house in San Cristobal, it is taking some getting used to. Jan says, "At least I don't get tired wandering all over the kitchen!" Hold your breath, dear, and suck it in, I need to pass, to get out to the balcony/laundry room! Our windows look out directly at an intersection, down which blows the wind all day long. Makes for a cooler place! We did buy a portable air conditioner - looks like R2D2 from star Wars. Turns out, we've only used it once all summer. Much cooler weather than normal. Someone said not to pack it away, things could warm up. It was down to 72 degrees this morning again.

Everywhere in the country, we see olive trees, olive trees, olive trees! That is one of Andalusia's biggest sources of income. We see a lot of four-wheel drive vehicles in the streets - olive farmers. One of the most popular is the Suzuki - just like ours! sure makes us homesick for "Suzy!"

We drove over to Jaen yesterday - state capital. There we picked up our residence cards - not a hitch! So, we're legal until June of next year, when we apply again for a one-year residence visa. Eventually, if we live long enough, we can get permanent residence!

We also got a home phone installed! 953-74-83-81. We signed up for a plan that allows us 1000 free international minutes of phone calls per month. Of course, that depends on the definition of "international, minutes, and free." We'll see what happens on our first phone bill, and then start calling around.

Till then, just check here weekly.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Back home in Baeza

Well, we’re back in Baeza – after the funeral we returned the 20th of July, and, as always, we said, “When things slow down, we’ll be able to do ….” How many times have we said that? And how many times has it not happened? So, we’re back, and not a minute too soon! A group from Evangelism in Depth is helping us with a campaign here in September (14-24), and two of the team came to check out the town. They are fairly well experienced in these activities, so as we drove all over town, they checks their maps, stopped at every park or square, took photos, and discussed which places were best for what activities. They even checked out places where young people gather at midnight with their “botellón” of wine, to drink and talk and drink.

We’ve started a prayer time in our apartment to pray specifically for the campaign – second and last Tuesday of the month. We had 11 adults and two children here for the first meeting! WOW!

We wanted to get this blog page up and running, with photos and all. SO – here the start. We’ll try to update weekly – fine plan, eh?

One of the key things about Baeza is the olive production – in every direction, all the way to the horizon are olive groves! Olives for snacks, in food, olive oil everywhere and in everything! It’s a good thing we like it! We take long walks during the week for exercise, and along the edge of town we get to see the tree up close. A lot are old and gnarly – maybe 500 years old , or more. Who knows?

Of course, home is where your hat is, but we are thankful the Lord gave us a great apartment. It’s not that big – 15 people really fills it up! But the location is great, the landlord is reasonable, so is the rent! And the kitchen is livable. Of course, the house in Guatemala was a foretaste of heaven, and we’ve lived in worse. The street ain’t too shabby either. We live on the 3rd floor above ground, and from the photo below, you can see our view.

The summer sun hasn’t hit the wall directly, so we have escaped the majority of the heat so far – It’s around 90 degree all the time in the place, but fans tend to move the air around. I suppose after a cold winter, this will be very welcome!

OK, María, pass the address around!