Guadalajara, Mexico, June 21, 1998
(postcard of city)
Three weeks ago, American Airlines set me down in this city of 8 million. Instead of scrambling down steps from the plane to dash over to shuttle buses, there now are buses that butt up to the plane's doorway so passengers can enter and be driven to the terminal.
The city lies under a pall of smog and heat, the horizon an ominous yellow. The rainy season is late this year; some say "El Niño" is to blame. May, the traditional hottest month, has passed, with no relief in sight. Everyone is looking forward to the blessed lightning and thunder with the cooling downpours of a normal summer. Ninety-eight degrees day after day is too much. The heat and humidity have de-energized all.
However, there is a cheerful sign. This afternoon, (the day before I depart for home), the sky flashes with far away lightning. Streaks of jagged silver chase each other back and forth - - a hopeful sight! I don't want the airplane to be in it tomorrow though, when I leave!~Marion Pomeroy
© 1998 by Marion Pomeroy
SeaTac, Washington, June 30, 1998
Montana Computer Terminology:
Log on: Making the wood stove hotter
Reno, Nevada, June 15, 1998
Co. Kilkenny, Ireland, July 18, 1998
© 1998 by Dianne Lucas
Bangkok, Thailand, May 1998
It so happened that we had a female dog in our compound in a state of "heat," that is, she was ready to receive a male dog. Being curious, I raised my hand and asked our teacher how a dog would be described in this case. She seemed bewildered. She seemed confused. She clearly didn't know what I was talking about. After a pause, she answered, "Why, we'd call her a hot dog." The class went into an uproar and our poor teacher couldn't understand our reaction. In a way, I felt bad about setting her up.
Speaking of heat, let me tell you it's hot as bejesus over here right now! April and May are the hottest months; hence the kids are off from school. I'd sure like to be under the covers back in Seattle, cooling my brain. The humidity is the worst part. It's really sticky all day long, plus all night. I like to walk down the soi at about 6 a.m. to pick up a Bangkok Post at the newsstand. It's just a six block walk, three down and three coming back. Naturally, the first thing I have to do is take a shower. Fortunately, our bedroom is air conditioned. I don't have to remove my shoes since Thais don't wear shoes inside the house, but when I pull off my socks, they cling to my feet. The same goes for my T-shirt. I haven't worn a pair of shoes for six months. Getting out of your clothes is like climbing out of a wet suit. Many a day, I've taken four or five showers to get through.
We're going to Paris and Brussels in late July and part of August. Boy, am I looking forward to that! I'll send you a postcard.~Jay Smith
© 1998 by Jay Smith
San Juan Islands, Washington, July 1, 1998
© 1998 by Laura Snyder
Pontianak, Indonesia, May 1998
Our church has various activities for the young people, for the pastoral team, and for fellowship six evenings a week. Part of my schedule includes getting involved in several of these weekly activities. I'm not living directly with the tribe, so I must prioritize these opportunities. (I have a difficult time living in the jungle. Sometimes I don't mind roughing it, but months of living that way can be a little strenuous and lonely.)
You might wonder why we have a "Semandang" church, where the Indonesian language is the primary language spoken. This church's main focus is to teach the word of God to the tribal kids who are going to school here in town. Other than the Sunday morning services, all other fellowship activities are presented in the Semandang language. (Sunday morning there are usually other folks who attend who don't speak that language.) So, even though I cannot be in the interior at this time, I do have an excellent opportunity to improve my language skills and find potential translation helpers.
Last night one of the pastors called me and asked me if I would be able to teach a lesson to the girls in the Semandang dorm. With only a couple of hours to prepare, my notes came out in three different languages! I thought, "Hmm, This is going to be interesting." I didn't know if I'd be able to teach in Semandang or not. But with help from the group and by just taking my time, we shared a good lesson together. We didn't finish the lesson, but they would like me to continue.
Next Monday I start back full-time into translation. My long term goal is to translate the New Testament and portions of the Old Testament. There are parts of the translation process for which I feel very ungifted and unqualified to do. I have a hard time with the beginning of the process, and I have a hard time finishing it up--the layout and formatting. But the drafting and checking is lots of fun and I enjoy it very much.~Darcy Berglund
© 1998 by Darcy Berglund
Dows, Iowa, June 15, 1998
© 1998 by Otis Luce
Tacoma, Washington, July 18, 1998
Meanwhile, this manual, portable Remington Quiet-Riter - a Christmas high school gift from my parents -- will take up the slack. Its carriage return lever is absent. New typewriter ribbons are obligingly rewound on real metal spools left over from yesteryear. The junk plastic reels are promptly discarded in file 13.
My it is good to talk with you! Regarding my creative writing, I'm developing an alternative style as opposed to the Victorian, that voice which comes so naturally to me. (Style II is intended as fourth grade, Hemingwayesque. Please see enclosed example. Your comments are always appreciated.)
Besides stealing time for creative writing, and reading for my book discussion group, there's always yardwork, housework, part-time employment, Mother's nursing home time, my coveted play music whenever you can time, and so forth. Considerable time is spent to relocate items inadvertently misplaced. But Frank is improving. Although serious, we allow these hunts to have their humor... Frank left this morning (with kayak) for ocean paddling experience between the mainland and Vancouver Island. With my Coast Guard training of winds, weather, and waters, my negative judgement remains adamant. You couldn't pay me enough...~B.J. Blanchard
© 1998 by B.J. Blanchard