Wednesday, October 31, 2007


So the wind has come out and dried up all the least we hope so. The skies still are grey and there is no sun in sight yet, but we are hopeful that it feels a little bit drier today. The condensation dripping off the fridge is less today, although the mountain of 2 weeks worth of dirty clothes that Miguel has affectionately named, Mt. Ruso, has had an avalanche and has birthed another hill. I guess we'll name it Mr. Ruso Jr.

Today is Halloween or better known in our family as my brother Cody's birthday! Happy Birthday Cody! We are so proud of you and think of you so often. We look forward to seeing you when God so chooses, and pray that will be soon.

You wouldn't know it was Halloween today unless you were in the big city like Santiago or Santo Domingo. The Dominican Yorks brought the holiday down from New York, but its not typically recognized here in this country.

I am glad the wind is blowing today. It does make it feel more like fall around here. I was reminded of the fall looking at all the pictures of pumpkins and pumpkin patches that my siblings have posted up for all to see and enjoy. Thank you all! And thank you dad for sending down a miniature pumpkin. I look forward to getting it every year, and it reminds me of home! I love you, my dear family!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


We're in our fifth day of straight rain from tropical storm Noel. Its wet here, but thankfully not flooding like most of the south is. Some reports have said that 60 or more people have been reported dead from the flooding. The frustrated people of the south are blaming the government for not informing anyone that the storm was coming. The government would rather see people stay in the campos and small towns than to flood to the cities for refuge. The same thing happened with the same government when hurricane George came sweeping through. I guess you take your weather stations and informational news programs for granted in the US until things like this come your way.

I never saw a country where the schools shut down because it is raining out. They are closed until the government says its ok to open back up again. Blady has been home the past 3 school days for that very reason. And for most schools its not for the floods, its just because it is raining. At first I kind of laugh at that and chock it up as just another crazy thing Dominicans do. But then as I was thinking more about it started to make some more sense to me.

First of all, most kids and families don't have covered transport to school, and the way they get to school is by walking or riding motorcycles. So what about the umbrella? Most don't own one.

If you do get wet, you stay wet. When it rains here, everything turns wet and there's no hope of drying it out. The dry sheets on the bed all of a sudden feel damp. For that matter, everything that was once dry feels that way. Paper become limp. Walls become cold and damp, and if you run out of "dry" have a problem. Pnemonia sets in among the young and old alike. And soon, the rainy days become hazardous indeed.

Remember the poor during these days. They are the ones that suffer the most. To start with they have little protection from their houses, few clothes to change into, and few resources to turn to.

I took a picture out our bedroom window into the neighbor's yard which looks like it has about a foot of standing water. The next plague to come in a few days will be the mosquitos!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

the calendar.

So as a result of some prodding done by my family members, the creation of a 2008 calendar has come into existence. It is a calendar featuring some of the pictures that I have taken over the past several years of living here in the Dominican Republic. The pictures are accompanied with common Dominican proverbs and sayings that I've been able to collect from several Dominican resources.

It is a sort of fundraising project to help support Miguel and I as we serve here in the Dominican Republic, but might also serve as Christmas gifts for your friends and family.

Here are a couple sample photographs found in the calendar.

If you are interested, they are $15 dollars each and we can mail them directly to you. My parents are going to be helping me out with all the details of mailing and receiving money orders. So here is how it will work. Just respond in an email to Jennie,, with your order and mailing address. Slip in the mail a check made out to Jennie Morel with the total number of calendars ordered written on the check and also include $1.75 shipping for each calendar. Please send all checks to Jay and Pat Fisher, 504 Dairy Way, Buellton, CA 93427. And as soon as the check is received, the calendars will be sent straight out to you! For those of you who live in the Dominican Republic, I have a stash here that I can deliver directly to you. Just email me the best way to get them to you and it will be done! In pesos they are 500 RD each.

entering back into the blog.

Well hello, we've been gone for a while. Its a little crazy when you feel life sweeping you off your feet and then suddenly realize that time has really passed right on by. In some ways the past month hasn't been all that eventful and yet things have definitely happened.

Miguel has been winding up with the little finishing projects at the new school house in Tamarindo. Its definitely looking more "cleaned up" as they have been busy clearing the rest of the property from unnecessary trees, shrubs, and other stuff. It will serve as a playground for the kids and also have a garden area with some banana trees for the feeding program as well as some other choice selected plants.

The school has been active to say the least with about 150 kids pouring in and out of it everyday. There are two afterschool programs as well as a pre-school program currently running. A couple of weeks ago, there were two young students who had been attending the afterschool program throughout the past few years who expressed desire to become Christians and start to go to church. So that was a huge encouragment and boost to the teachers and those involved with the school project. That's why we do the things that we do!

By the way, I'm not sure that I've mentioned the rest of the staff that we have working down here this year.
  • Sharla Megilligan is the director of Makarios and is spending most of this year DR side as she is in the process of adopting Haitian twins.
  • Camille was with us last year and is back again for another year of teaching in a real schoolhouse.
  • Robin we've affectionately labeled as school principal and is the invaluable help to the rest of the teachers as she has a background in bilingual education.
  • Weston is also new this year and is teaching the physical education and outdoor recreation part of each session.
  • Kate is also a teacher and jumping right in with her Spanish and enthusiasm.
  • Cara and Elizabeth have been with us since the end of August and although are only here through November and December have both been invaluable help with cleaning and taking care of the feeding program and anything else that needs an extra hand.

So that about covers them all!

Miguel is looking forward to phasing out with a lot of the finishing touches at the school and is ready to restart his electricity classes with the boys in Caraballo as well as starting up again the Bible class in Arroyo Leche. Hopefully we'll be able to iron out some of these schedules within the next couple of weeks.

Just as an update, I'm really feeling fine with my pregnancy. Although, I have had some minor discomforts already. Thankfully, morning sickness hasn't been a huge threat, although the parasites have. Discovering that you have a parasite is enough to make you paranoid, but finding out that you are hosting 4 different species is quite the other thing. My only avenue of relief has been to joke about it. After all, what else can you do? I've been trying different types of natural remedies to rid them from my body and pray that they work as I can't take medicine. I was also put on bed rest this week due to some unexpected bleeding. The sack where the baby is looked like it may have been trying to detach from my uterus' wall. We hope that after tomorrow's Dr.'s visit all will look fine and the precautionary step in being ordered to stay in bed for the week will have paid off. I really do feel fine despite all the fuss.

Well, Miguel and I attempted to impress the Italians with the hopes of getting a visa for Miguel to visit Italy with me for Christmas. Unfortunately, the Italians didn't take a look at his paperwork, or what they did see proved to be "Bad" paperwork. It was pretty much a decision made on Miguel's age and the fact that he is a Dominican. I guess you have to understand if it were that easy to get into Italy...the whole country would be up and going. And the same goes for Spain and the US as well. So we're not sure what we're going to do at this point. We might try a different avenue, or we'll just spend a nice, warm Christmas here in the Dominican Republic!

For the moment that about wraps it up! Until next time....