Was it really a tornado?

I’m not sure if any of you have heard, but a tornado went through La Vega yesterday. Here’s an article from today’s newspaper telling about the storm.

Tornadoes hit three provinces
At least one death was reported and several people were wounded as tornadoes struck La Vega, Santiago and San Pedro de Macoris yesterday afternoon. The Dominican Republic does not have a tornado warning system because they are such a rare occurrence. The only reported fatality, Mercedes Torres, 62, died while being treated for her injuries after being crushed and trapped by a collapsing wall in her home. Four others were slightly injured by the storm that hit La Vega at 2:40 in the afternoon with high winds, hailstones and heavy rain. In Villa Gonzalez, Santiago and San Pedro de Macoris, the strong winds tore roofing materials off several houses. Reports also filtered in from San Francisco de Macoris telling of more dwellings damaged. Luis Luna Paulino, the chief of the Dominican Civil Defense told El Nuevo Diario reporters that, so far, only one fatality has been reported.

I was to be at the coast when the Tornado hit, soaking up the sun and watching the group I was with play in the waves. I never ever would have guessed that back in La Vega my friends were getting pelted with large hailstones inside their homes, that Obed and Rosmary’s entire roof got torn off their house (the third floor of the building complex I live in), that half of the schools’ third floor roof blew off, or that other friend’s lost their roofs as well. I still can’t imagine it all happening even though I’ve seen the after effects. Please pray for those who lost their roofs, homes, and valuables that their needs will be provided for. And praise God with us that He kept so many people safe. Here’s a picture of Obed and Rosmary’s house….. as you can see the roof came completely off. Rosmary and Zion were in the house when it happened and were fortunately able to get over to their neighbors house safely. Here's a picture of the railing the tin roofing knocked over as it blew off before landing on the community center and walkway below it.
If you look closely at the TEARS school you can see where the roofing is now nonexistent.


Free Salami Anyone?

Elections are just a month away so the candidates are getting busy trying to win the hearts of the people. The political party presently in power (PLD) sent trucks full of food to all the barrios in La Vega this morning. People were lined up to get bags full of things like rice, oil, sugar, and seasonings hours before the truck actually arrived in their barrio.
Then in the afternoon a competing candidate (of PRSC) stirred up quite a commotion in our barrio, landing in the field behind my house in his private helicopter, and handing out such things as hats, mosquito nets, baby baskets, and salami. After throwing salami at a number of people and fights started to break out he slowly headed out of the barrio with a caravan of trucks on to other areas of La Vega.


Ode to Photo Class

About 6 of us from the barrio had the opportunity to learn how to take good pictures and go on some fun photography adventures during that past four month thanks to Darin Dueck. Thought I’d put a few of my photos here to share with all of you.

Photo Class, Photo Class, what can I say

Late afternoon is my favorite time of dayTo take pictures of people,Injustice,
And those who pray
I didn’t win the alphabet scavenger hunt, but that’s ok
At least I got to take cool pictures of people like Fey.


a little bit of soccer

One of my favorite things to do each week is play a little bit of soccer with the teenage girls Obed just started a team for. Though some of my friends in England nicknamed me Maddog for my aggressive soccer skills I’m humbled to say that I’m right at the same level of all these young first time players. It’s fun though to get out on the field, be a little crazy and do my best to get the girls excited about playing sports. After the first practice all the girls came over to my house so I could show them how I make Fimo necklaces, which then turned into a planning meeting for a slumber party they were going to have at my house. We decided to wait till the summer to do the slumber party but did have a fun pizza party instead. Please pray for Obed as he continues to work hard to use these soccer teams as a way to share the gospel with people throughout the barrio, and for me that God will use the relationships I’m forming with these girls for His glory.


Sweet Beans!

The week before Easter is a very special week here, known as Holy Week. Everyone gets the week off from school and almost everyone gets a break from work; a great time to hang out with friends, go on trips, and make Habichuelas con Dulce (Sweet Beans). Our new friends in Los Pomos invited me over on Viernes Santo (Good Friday) so that they could teach me how to make this special dish. They cook the beans with cinnamon until they're soft, then they blend the beans, and continue to cook the bean mixture with evaporated milk, sugar, cloves, and raisons. At the end they put vanilla cookies on top and eat it both warm and chilled. I must admit that it's taken me 7 years to get used to this dessert, but I really enjoyed the huge bowl full that this family gave me. Idekel joined me on this little journey too and ate Sweet Beans until he could hardly move.


Pizza for Everybody

I just learned how to make pizza 3 weeks ago and it seems to have made life a little bit more fun than normal. In that short time I've already had three different pizza parties, and made it for myself and my neighbors over 5 times. I think some people around here are starting to wonder if that's all I eat.
The first pizza party was with the teenage girls on the soccer team Obed just started... it was a wild dinner party with 16 people in my little house, food everywhere, a crazy funny cartoon movie, and lots of noise. The greatest part was how impressed the girls were by how the dough rose, and then how proud they were that they made pizzas.

The second pizza part was with a smaller crowd, just eight friends from the church, but we had so many visitors coming in and out of my house that night that it felt like I had over 20 dinner guests. Again we had a lot of fun making pizza, as well as playing games and joking around.

And the most recent pizza party was tonight over at Bau and Adrianas house. So much fun.... playing around with the dough, people trying to throw it in the air like seen on TV, running to and from my house so we could use two ovens at the same time, a scary movie and lots of chitchat.
I'm glad pizza making has been such a big hit. If you have any other recipes ideas that would be fun for dinner parties, please send them my way.