Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Birth Announcement

It has been some time since you have heard from us last.   We have been settling back into our home and routines here in London and waiting the arrival of our baby, who has finally come (8 days late).
Timoteo Gabe Dieleman arrived Friday, January 27th, at 2:36 am.  Timoteo's weight was 8 lb 7oz.  Everything went so well with the delivery that Timoteo and Wendy were able to return home from the hospital four hours later.  Hannah, Jude, and Jeremiah were surprised in the morning with their new baby brother.
Timoteo is eating and sleeping well.  We are thankful to God that everything has gone so smoothly.  Thank you for your prayers.
God bless you.
Sam, Wendy, Hannah, Jude, Jeremiah, and Timoteo Dieleman

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Adios Amigos

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Arriaga, Chiapas:

Thank you for so generously and warmly welcoming us into your community.  You especially made us feel loved by all your attempts to communicate with us even when it was difficult because we know so little Spanish.  Thank you for inviting us into your homes and feeding us your yummy food.  Thank you for helping us with many simple tasks which were complicated for us by being foreign. 

Thank you for the example you have been to us, in living by faith daily.  We will remember your numerous testimonies of how you . . ."love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. [You] love him with all your mind and with all your strength.  [And you love] your neighbor as you love yourself."
God has planted you in our hearts.  When we are back in Canada, we'll continue to remember you and pray for you.  We are also taking a bit of Chiapas home with us in my belly.  Timoteo, our Chiapaneco baby, will not forget where his life began.

See you again, hopefully soon.

Dios los bendiga. 

Love Sam, Wendy, Hannah, Jude, Jeremiah, and Timoteo

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Perpetual August

The other day Sam reminded me that we needed to speak to someone about an event in November.  I thought to myself, "Why would we talk to them now, it's only August.  That's three months away!"

Due to the weather and vegetation here, I have this sense that it is still August, that it is August everywhere in the world, and that it will be August forever.  I can't fathom that the leaves are falling off the trees in Ontario, nor that my fingers and toes are soon to be cold.  Nah, that can't be.  It's 30 degrees out tonight and it's still August.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Chiapas Artistry

One of the workers at the orphanage was bemoaning the lack of art in her culture.  After questioning her, I think what she meant was that there was little art typical of traditional European styles.  I found this a very interesting complaint because it says a lot about her definition of art. 

The truth is, I haven't visited an art gallery while here.  I don't know if one even exists in this town.  But what I do know is that the people here certainly have a sense of aesthetics and artistry. 

I've been enjoying simple messages read in their artistry.  For example, the decorations on this house.  It's nothing complicated, but is is life affirming and it's refreshing for me.

This isn't to say, all the art is naive and simplistic.  Mexico has a huge tradition of printmaking and public art in the form of murals.  Here is part of some recent graffiti recognizing The Night of Tlatelolco.

I don't know.  Perhaps, my appreciation and enjoyment is mostly influenced by the contrasts between two vastly different cultures.  Maybe if it was my own culture, I would wish for something from other parts of the world.  Either way, I know my artistic side has been fed while here, despite fasting from art galleries. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Update for September in Mexico

October 10th, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Day, everyone!

  View at the ranch from the bunkhouse
Well, we have about one week left in Arriaga, Mexico and it is a sad happy time for our family. We are saying tearful goodbyes to dear friends, wondering when we will see each other again. We want to return here, but do not know when that will happen. At the same time, our hearts are eager to return to our family, friends and home in Canada.

The rainy season seems to be coming to an end. The moss and mold in our backyard is beginning to die away, and we have beautiful sunny days with lovely breezes keeping us comfortable. These breezes will grow in intensity as the windy season arrives. The people of Arriaga are called “the people who eat dirt” because so much dirt and debris blows around that it ends up everywhere, including one's mouth.  (After I wrote this, we got 24 hours of steady rain!)

September was a productive month at the ranch. The blockhouse is nearly finished. The floor remains to be completed before the block machine can be installed and wired. The bunkhouse has also been moving along rapidly. Plumbing and gas lines are being installed and the walls are receiving a smooth topcoat. Wiring in the previously run conduit will begin soon.  While there is lots of work to be done, it is encouraging to see what was accomplished in one month.


Last month we wrote that El Faro had decided to begin homeschooling all of the children. One big decision about homeschooling, was the choice to make it a bilingual school. Many of the children are able to understand English, but are hesitant to speak it. Through the placement testing, Bill and Tammy got a better understanding of their students' ability in English and were pleasantly surprised by the results. It will still be a challenge for the students to transition into subjects taught completely in English.
We enjoyed a two week visit from Andrea and Nick Hourd, a young couple from our church in London. Nick helped with wiring at the orphanage. Two new air conditioners are now working in the classrooms, thanks to his hard work. Andrea helped with painting at the orphanage and blessed me with cooking and grocery shopping. Most of all, we loved being able to spend our evenings talking and playing games together. This is something we've missed, time visiting with other young couples(in English).
Sorry, this letter is brief, but we wanted to let you know how we are doing in the midst of packing up. We look forward to seeing you soon and catching up on all that we've missed in the past 9 months.
Love Sam, Wendy, Hannah, Jude, Jeremiah and Baby Dieleman

Prayer Items:
  • Thanks for the work completed at the ranch.
  • Grace and patience for the transition into the bilingual homeschool curriculum.
  • Supply of workers and helpers at the orphanage.
  • A Mexican worker for the babies is still needed.
  • Safe traveling for our return to Canada.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Weiners Mexican Style

When we first arrived, we noticed that hotdogs were a popular item at potluck dinners.  They were popular in the form of hotdog salads.

These salads were served at a Youth event.  We were at the end of the line and you can see that we had to scrape the bottoms of some of these bowls.  Now lest you think this is some new fad for the hip young Mexicans, this is what we found in Walmart today, more than a dozen types of hotdog salads.

 These are not just chopped hotdogs with mayonnaise (con limón), but these are gourmet hotdog salads.

Now I'm not a fan of hotdogs.  I don't buy them or serve them and try not to eat them.  So I hope that my family and friends don't get any bright ideas for next summer's picnics because what I am really looking forward to is lime-jello-marshmallow-cottage-cheese-surprise.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Taller de Lenateros

I have a love for paper.  I like paper making, handmade papers, paper from different parts of the world, different types of paper . . . . In short, I should not be left unattended in a paper shop.  So it was a real treat to visit Taller de Lenateros in San Cristobal. 

Taller de Lenateros is a workshop begun in 1975, where artisans use local materials to make paper.  The paper is printed, made into books or molded.  This short YouTube video gives you a glimps of the artisans at work.

I spent less than half of my birthday money and it was well spent. 
I look forward to using these Chiapaneco papers!