Saturday, February 21, 2015

How To Climb A Volcano

A couple of months ago it snowed on the volcano. Every week or so it would snow at least once. With every fresh wave of snow I would whine and complain to my dad, and to anyone who would listen, that I really, really, REALLY wanted to go up and see the snow because it's been years since I have touched snow (because other than on the volcano it doesn't snow in Toluca). 

After week upon week of insistent begging my dad agreed to take me. 
(Of course by the time we got around to going the majority of the snow had melted.)


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This was a picture from when we were still in the car driving up there.

A long time ago they used to let you drive all the way into the crater of the volcano (BTW, it's dormant) but now you have to stop before you get there and climb up a fairly steep slope to go look out into the crater.

We started climbing and after only a few steps our hearts were beating so fast that we had to stop walking and rest. 

We made it halfway up and that's when we saw the horses.
We asked how much it cost to rent them and they said 100 pesos per person so we were like "ne'ermind".

Me and my daddy!

OH, and I forgot to mention it but since her house was on the way we decided to stop by and pick up Lupita so that she could go with us.
Lupita a.k.a Monse.

Well, we hiked all the way up the slope to look down into the crater and then I got bored so I suggested that we climb up higher. It didn't really look too high and there was snow up higher so we just HAD to keep going up.
My daddy was having a hard time because of his asthma.

Me and Lupita reached the snow and turned to each other and said: "Do you wanna build a snowmaaaan??" 

We didn't have any carrots or hats though and so we had to improvise.
I found him some cute rock eyes, a nose and a hat. He actually looks more like a penguin. 

We saw this and thought, "We're almost to the top."

My dad climbed ahead so that I could take a picture of him!


 Once we reached the top of that peak we realized: "Ooooh, it keeps going even higher."
We sat down to rest.

My dad: "Get up and pretend to climb so I can take a picture."

Lupita on the side of a drop off. We showed this picture to her mom and she freaked out!!

On one of the many rests we decided to eat snow.
Lupita praying for her snow.

We were really thirsty and so this was the only water we had!

My dad was still climbing up.

When he finally reached us I caught this picture of him eating snow too! Ha. Ha. Ha.
Afterwards he made Lupita paranoid by telling her that dogs had probably used the bathroom in the snow! I told her: "Well, if it wasn't yellow ..." 

After we finally made it to the very top we sat up there for about thirty minutes before we climbed down.

Climbing down was much more difficult than climbing up. I suggested that we slide down the side of the mountain in the snow but I was out-voted. 

The way we went down ... I wanted to just throw myself off a cliff because it was really difficult. The rocks were loose and there was mud and sand and it was just ... HORRIBLE. I even went falling forward on my face and tumbled halfway down the mountain in the snow before I could stop myself on a sharp boulder jutting out of the ground. Boy, it hurt. 

Lupita was having an even more difficult time getting down because she didn't have boots on like I did.

Well, after I fell a couple of times on my face and hurt myself I got angry and so I just walked over to the snow and slid the rest of the way down on my behind. Ha. Ha.

Since I made it back to the bottom first I walked around snapping pictures of the flora and fauna.
These are some weird, awesome cactus-y stiff thorny flowers that grow up there.

A bunch of pretty blue birds started flying around me and I stood still trying to get some good pictures of them.
He's on the rock!

But then this friendly dog came  running through the grass and scared all of the birds away.
I was talking to her in English but she wasn't listening to me and so I realized, oh, duh, she speaks Spanish! So then I spoke to her in Spanish and she was obeying me.

 This is where we came down from. It is much higher in person than it looks in the picture.

 The dog took off running up the side of the mountain to go see my dad and Lupita.

 This is a cool picture of Lupita sliding down in the snow, following the trail I left her! HA! HA! HA!

We were so tired when we were all reunited.

Lupita and I sat down and examined our wounds.

Mine really didn't turn out to be that bad. But it sure did hurt! 

Lupita's says: "Take a picture of my cut, it looks really cool!"

And so ended our adventure.


You actually wanted to know HOW  to climb a volcano? 
Well, that's easy.


You just put one foot in front of the other, and repeat.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Feria Del Marisco

A few months ago I got taken to the "Feria Del Marisco" for the first time ever. I didn't even know such a thing existed. For all of you who do not speak Spanish, "Feria Del Marisco" means "seafood fair".  Basically it was a lot of shops set up selling ... sea creatures ... to eat. Plus, there are a lot of seafood restaurants in that colony (I had never been on that particular side of town before and didn't even know we had seafood in Toluca, you can tell I never go exploring).

This is what it looked like from the street. This picture is interesting because the little boy looks like he is pretending to shoot someone. Zounds! I hope he doesn't grow up to be a gangster.

Looky looky at the sharky!!! 

My least favorite part of the evening was when my friends insisted that I eat something. Now please understand that I am not a fan of seafood. I especially do not eat fish ever since I read something about fish have tiny worms inside of their flesh. (Sorry, did I just make you lose your appetite for fish?)

So I did the logical thing, I chose the only thing on the menu that wasn't fish, octopus, shellfish, crab, oysters, or anything weird ... I chose shrimp. So you might try to argue that shrimp also have worms but ... since I haven't yet read whether they do or not, I'll just pretend that they don't.

Next came the money issue. Really the only way I like to eat shrimp is battered and fried with lots of ketchup, but that plate was so expensive that I chose the cheapest thing on the menu.
"Coctel de Camaron". (Shrimp Cocktail.)
This is the picture the girls took of me after I took my first bite. You can see that my eyes are all watery. Care to guess what that means?!

Here's a close up. 
Perhaps many of you are not as sheltered as I have been and have eaten a shrimp cocktail before. But in case you haven't, it was COLD shrimp inside COLD ketchup-y, watery juice, with tomatoes, avocados and cilantro, plus you add a little bit of lime. 

The ten minutes it took me to eat it were akin to eternity but I finally managed to swallow it all. 
The only plus to the whole situation was that my friends payed for my food.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Twins

I just had to share a few pictures with you all.

A couple of weeks ago we had a baby dedication for two baby girls who are twins. They are the first twins in our church and they are so adorable.
I would tell you their names but they gave them some crazy difficult names out of the Bible that I probably can't even pronounce! :D

Sandy holding twin No. 1 and her cousin holding twin No. 2

Twin No. 1 close up (Actually, I don't know which one was born first).

Twin No. 2. She is my favorite because she cries all the time and so everyone makes jokes about it all the time. I felt such a kindred spirit (because I also cried a lot as a baby) that she immediately became my favorite.
He. He.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The BIG Two-Four

So as only my closest friends would know, it was my birthday back in January.

Every year I look forward to my birthday just because, like everybody else, I LOVE receiving gifts.

[On a side note, I have recently learned how to correctly spell "receive". I struggled for the longest time with that word and was completely confounded that I could not memorize it because I pride myself on being a superb speller. So, here is a tip for everyone who struggles with that word as I did. 
" 'I' before 'E', except after 'C' " ( though there are a some exceptions).
You're welcome.]

We have a tradition in our house that on our birthday we get to choose where we eat.
 I chose P.F. Changs (because, other than Taco Bell, it is my favorite place to eat).

Mongolian Beef ... THE BEST! 

My lovely parents.

After filling up on Chinese food I went home and only had a couple of hours to get "unfull" and then some other lovely people took me to "Espadas Do Brasil", a Brazilian restaurant.

Me with the yummy food, before they started bringing all of the meat out.
Meat, meat, meat. It was like the quail that God sent the Israelites when they asked for meat. There  was so much that soon it was coming out of our ears and nostrils.

Lovely Gaby who was with me.

 Afterwards I went to their house and they had cake for me.
They forgot to buy any candles and so they pulled out some used candles from one of their daughter's birthday. It was 12. So you can guess which age I turned according to the candles (here's a hint: twenty-one). He. He.

They started singing "Las Mananitas" to me. It went on for about four looong verses. Halfway though the song the candles ran out. 

Flowers for my birthday! 

And last, but definitely not least ...


Anyway, I can't believe how OLD I am getting. 
But life is great and God is good. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy New Years ... A Month Later!

To kick off the New Year back in the beginning of January we had a three day revival with the Gonzalez family who were down visiting from the U.S. 

Everyone always really enjoys hearing Bro. Gonzalez preach.
This time he really focused on the Holy Ghost and how so many people needed to not only receive it for the first time but to also be renewed. 

He really gave it his all and preached his heart out.

We got to hear the lovely Cesiah sing

And her brother Israel accompanied her on the drums.

God really moved. So many people were touched.

These six received the Holy Ghost for the first time!

Everyone crowded around the altar praying.

Some of these were people who received the Holy Ghost for the first time and others were renewed.

And here also were many who were renewed.

Our church was blessed to have them come and minister. 
Many thanks to the Gonzalez family!

Me, Lupita, and Cesiah.

Of course I had to take pictures with my long time friend, Cesiah, but I will spare you having to see the rest of them!