Friday, December 26, 2008


We celebrated Christmas yesterday...first by opening presents in the morning. The girls really enjoyed their new Polly Pockets dolls and we all got a kick out of the new socks that Santa brought for us to wear in our boots (I'll include a photo of that soon). We are sort of at the end of our rope waiting for the house to be done. It isn't easy living in such a tiny house with no storage space, sporadic running water and rain often blowing in. We are also all sick at the moment so rather than trying to throw together a Christmas dinner, we went out for a treat to Chili Rojo and had a great Turkey dinner courtesy of Andrew (the owner) and his wife Ikuko. We took a family photo before we headed out. Here we are in our Puerto finest...ready to paint the town red...and green.

We celebrated Christmas at house church this past Sunday evening. It was almost a wash. Our plans were to have a Christmas dinner around 5:30 or so, read some of the Christmas story from the bible and then watch the movie "The Nativity Story". Well, our friend that was cooking the pork roast (smoked turkeys were the only traditional option and they were $100 each) got started cooking several hours late as he had trouble finding some of the things he needed. We ended up just waiting around, talking and hoping until almost 8:00pm when the roast was finally (mostly) done. Then, someone showed up with fireworks and created quite a side show. It was rather chaotic and hardly anyone made it through the movie, but we were able to celebrate in the end. That is sort of the way things seem to go down here. Flexibility is one of the necessary spiritual gifts...or you just break. Here's a photo from our evening.

Finally, the house. Please pray that we get through this in one piece. It is definitely a different world down here when it comes to construction. Overall, things are going well but the words "stay within budget" don't mean anything to the contractor and the laborers. We are finding ourselves in the position of either paying more or having them all walk...and there isn't much more available to pay. It is very frustrating because I have tried to plan well and stay on top of things the whole way through the process. that only works when all parties are on the same page and unfortunately, that is next to impossible. It looks now like the house will go up to $10,000 over budget and we have no control over this. Even though we have a contract, there is no ability to enforce it and the contractor has no surplus even if we could. We either come up with the additional funds or they walk away when we can no longer pay. Very frustrating, especially since we are so close to finishing. I will be glad when this is over. Anyway, here is a photo of the house taken yesterday.

Very air construction; no air conditioning; lots of ventilation; rainwater catchment system with over 2300 gallons of water storage to get us through drought periods. Definitely a different way of living. Our living area is on the second floor to increase security by limiting access to one point. Below is a storage area, homeschool area and a guest room (if you feel like visiting).

We can't tell you all how much we miss seeing you at this time of year. We have not visited the States for over a year now and it is really starting to seem like a long time. We know this is where God has us and we are comforted by Him but from time to time, we do miss home. Take care and God Bless.


Jen said...

Hey Guys,

Your house looks beautiful! We hope you are in soon!! Keep the guest room ready - we are STILL hoping to make our way out there...Really we are :-)

Hugs from The Garcia's

Scarlyte Brannon Collette said...

Hello Barrett and Amy!
I so enjoy checking your blog and seeing what God is doing in and through your lives. I will be praying that everythign with the house will turn out okay. Remember God is faithful so trust Him and keeping watching for His hand!
Love and blessings,

Anonymous said...

Barrett and the girls,

Thinking about you guys today! Just caught up with all your blog entries. The house has come along way since June.

God bless you,