Saturday, 4 August 2012

Hola from the Dominican Mountains:

We arrived safely on Tuesday afternoon after an uneventful day of travel. It was raining and cooler than Florida. We have been having very warm welcomes everywhere we go. It is good to see all our friends although, we are all also missing Alberta friends.

Paul and I were awaken at 2:40 am last night by a 4.3 earthquake that had the epicentre about 25 miles south of us (the kids slept through it). The house shook and the rumbling of the earth was loud but no damage. We have not heard of any major damage or injuries anywhere. We are very thankful for this. There are two tropical storms in our area; one is south of us so we will just get the edge of it. The other one, Florence, is headed directly for us in about five days. We pray that this storm does not grow into a hurricane.

It has been quite an adventure since our return to the DR and our days have been filled mostly with just trying to get settled. I spent the first 48 hours putting the house in the order that we like it and then unpacking our suitcases and items that we had put in storage. The house feeling more like home now. Yesterday, I went to Santiago with a friend to buy groceries. My friend warned me that food prices has gone up but I was still shocked as the price of food has about tripled in the year that we were gone. We went out to the clinic Wednesday morning to see all our staff and many friends. Monday, we will get back into work "routine". Our staff all have lists of things for us to do that they have been awaiting our arrival for. Paul has construction projects to check on and start to organize for upcoming teams as well as repairs to make around the house and the vehicles. Our one vehicle that we need to replace has already spent a day and a half at the mechanics and needs more work.

I (Sharyn) have three months of accounting to catch up on (due to Ana Maria's absence), get everything in order with the sponsorship program so that all the students are ready to start classes on 22 August, get caught up at the clinic and with patients. I also need to get ready to start home schooling. We try to keep the Dominican school schedule which means starting on 22 August. We also need to take time just to be with Noah and Samantha as they also are on a roller coaster of emotions. Samantha has reconnected with a couple friends. One of Noah's missionary friends is going on a nine month furlough on Monday and his other missionary friend is on furlough until later this month. Both kids are really missing their friends from Three Hills.

If you could remember a few prayer requests for us, that would be great.
- Ana Maria has an MRI in a week. If the tumour is 100% gone, she can come home. If it is not, then she has stay until mid-October and undergo five weeks of radiation treatments.
- for all of us as we settled back into life here in the DR
- for the kids to be able re-establish friendships and/or make new friends quickly
- for our staff as we all work together to continue God's work according to His will
- for a new vehicle as we really need to replace the one that we have
- Praising God for our house here, that everything is basically okay, for our pets as they bring joy to the kids, for our friends all over the world!

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