Greetings from Chicago!
We made it back safely! Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything too exciting to write about on the way home.
But, thankfully, we came up with a few fun things to leave you with.
I present…quirks, endearments, and funny quotes from each team member.
Mike – We learned pretty early on that in order to properly enjoy a meal, Mike needs lots of hot sauce. He also has a high-pitched laugh that comes in sets of two to four. He was once seen blessing pants and plants as he passed by after washing his hands. Mike always has his stack of 102 index cards, which he uses as scripture flash cards. Mike also enjoys collecting stamps. When passing by natives in San Jacinto, he was always eager to say, “Dios le bendiga!” which means “God bless you!” in Spanish. His favorite Spanish word is, “Sonrisas!” which means, “Smile!” He works very hard to get to know and remember the names of kids and people he meets. Never leaves a man (or woman) behind. He is a very zippy zip liner…mainly because he didn’t want to look down. He also likes to wear axe body spray.
Scotty – At one time in his past, he was able to play the power rangers theme song on the telephone. He was informally commissioned as our team’s comedian, and subsequently won the crappiest speller on the team award. According to Tim, who was Scotty’s roommate on the trip, his farts really smell bad! Scotty works hard to control his natural impulse to constantly mess with people, though impulse usually triumphs. For example, he once said to Kelly, our resident animal lover, “just toss the turtle off the cliff, there is a good chance he will land in the river anyway…”
Tim – Has a crazy past of vast experiences. He used to be an actor, massage therapist, and even acted in renaissance fairs before eventually becoming a Chicago Police Officer. Famous quotes by Tim during a team debrief session: “Suck it up, cupcake!” and “This body is built for famine!”
Once when trying to say his name in San Jacinto, he accidentally said, “que hora es Tim?” Translation: “What time is Tim?” or better yet, “Look at me I am a Gringo.” He immediatly goes into actor and entertainer mode when one or more kids gather around. He doesn’t like to eat bananas, but will readily juggle them. In order to make sure he had a full cultural experience, Tim washed his clothes in the pila, an outdoor sink, using traditional methods. He always says “si, si, si” three times when agreeing with someone.
Joanne – Sports a fantastic 2 on the enneagram (helper), always wears the headband that Lidisset, a friend from the Dominican Republic, made for her when she is on missions…or when gardening in her back yard. Joanne frequently exercises her gifts of spiritual encouragement and perfectly timed sarcasm. She is again the winner for the second year in a row of the “First Crier” award. Jo loves it when Scotty suggests playing speed Uno…but doesn’t like it so much once Scotty compounds her draw 2’s into draw 8’s that backfire on her.
Kelly – She used to prefer silver, but has recently transitioned into liking gold. Kelly is truly an animal rescuer, but yet she perpetrated one of two public acts of violence against a team member…She squarely kicked Tim in the rear while zip lining. Tim was treated & released. Upon questioning the offender she stated, “it was an accident I swear…” She wins the runner up award for “First Crier.” She doesn’t like takeoffs and landings in airplanes, but does love a good glass of ginger ale.
Joy – Blog Queen & Media Management Specialist. Has a special gift for order. Will soon solve all of Tim’s problems for a fee. A stickler for time – she once knocked on Tim’s door at 8:02 when meet time was 8, because Scotty and Tim were late.
According to Kelly, Joy wins the “best roommate ever,” award, and feels loved when she feels the stitches on her new favorite shorts.
She kept Kelly on track (more than any one else ever has) with her inner countdown clock and 10, 5, and 2 minute warnings – the mark of a true tech professional. Joy also has a soft side, and loves to hold the hands of little old ladies 🙂
Melissa – Scotty with gift of compassion, once stated, “Melissa, you are my third favorite translator.” Likes to make people laugh with well timed translation jokes about the visiting gringos. She has a crazy knack for making kids smile. Little kids in town run after her to get a hug. She has taken the “Positive Pied Piper of San Jacinto” award. She has fantastic sound effects for everything…all the time…and will repeat them when asked.
Walter – Met his wife at a scholarship competition, which led him to attend the University of Arkansas on the Wal-Mart scholarship. Walter has been in 21 US states. He likes to say muchas gracias y’all. Walter kindly answers every silly question that us Americans ask, and never gets frustrated when we ask the same thing when he just finished explaining it.
Arturo – Driver extraordinaire, and even got us safely from zip lining to San Salvador…with the frequent use of the horn. When we asked if we could stop for ice cream, Arturo sternly stated, “No ice cream allowed. This is a Missions Trip! Only prayer and fasting.” Despite this statement, Arturo is an optimist, which is made evident by his repeated statement, ” Es Okay, Es Okay!”
I would personally like to thank everyone who contributed to our team’s success in any way, shape, or form. Whether you were a donor, prayer partner, or adventurous reader, you have helped us be a tangible representation of God’s hands and feet to the people of El Salvador. I know that I have been changed because of this trip. I will always treasure the memories made on this trip, the new friendships that have been forged, and the way I saw God move. Thanks for sharing these memories with us!
If any of our experiences touched you, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to comment and let us know your thoughts!
I will hopefully be posting a gallery of my favorite photos soon! Stay tuned!