Monday, December 20, 2010
And many of them have happened around the holiday season.
So, maybe I've started to jot down a few chapters to this probably-never-to-happen book and have already given this section a title:).
So, enjoy a "sneak-peek" at the LATEST chapter...
For a little background info, Friday morning I woke up not feeling my best. Thursday afternoon I had thrown-up for no apparent reason, but that morning I was realizing the cause.
I was sick!
I spent most of the 1/2 day in the fetal position on our couch in the staff lounge.
I went to the doctor that afternoon and even though there wasn't enough time for a complete diagnosis, she thought I had some kind of infection and I needed to be on the white diet.
Now, if you've ever had any kind of bacterial infection, you know how AWFUL the white diet is.
Basically anything flavorless and white (potatoes, rice, chicken without ANY sauce, etc.) is permissable. Anything fresh or enjoyable is out of the question!
So, 4:15 Saturday morning comes around and I am honestly feeling a bit better.
Thank goodness. This should be a good day....or so I thought.
La Paz security goes well and we wait with many other Highlands teachers for our flight.
However, because of weather problems in Miami, the flight arrived in La Paz late, so we left about an hour late.
THEN when we get to Miami and there's rain and a line of planes waiting to land.
We land after 30 min. of waiting.
Even with the 1 and 1/2 delay, I thought we still had plenty of time to make our 6:10 Continental flight. So, at this point in time, we are SOO HAPPY to be back in the US....and feeling confident about the rest of our travels to SLC!!
But, after waiting for 4 different "rounds" of luggage pick-up and a line at the Continental counter...my worst nightmare starts to unfold.
WE MISSED OUR FLIGHT!
And since I knowingly booked our itinerary through 2 different airlines, we didn't know if Contintenal would help rebook us because of a delayed American flight.
The lady at the counter, without any seen sympathy, quickly sends us over to the American counters to see what they can do for us. "They can't do ANYTHING!" I'm thinking...but we start going to American just the same.
Now, if you have spent some quality time in the Miami Airport, you know that the airlines are all spread out and you actually have to leave the building to get to another terminal.
When we get to American terminal D we see various lines FILLED with people.
We have a tough time finding the line for us and when we finally do, we ask a couple of American attendants if their airline will be able to help us with our specific situtation. They both assure me that there are many flights that go out a day, and we should be able to help you in ONE way or another!
While I am waiting to talk to an American attendant, Esteban goes back to Continental to see what they can do for us.
When I finally make it through the line I hear what I expected to hear....there is nothing we can do for you. I also hear, you should look into the train.
TO IDAHO? I don't think there IS train that runs from Florida to Idaho!!!
Sufficed to say, I leave the American counter in tears, advised to stay calm and not to make a rash decision!
Thankfully Esteban comes back as I'm leaving the counter and has better news to share with me! Continental will get us on stand-by for a flight tomorrow...for FREE! All we have to do is call Orbitz and have them reinstate our reservation.
So I call Orbitz......for the first time.
They tell us there's nothing wrong with our reservation and we head back to Continetnal to see what we can do next.
Now this is where my mood officially shifts. I've already had at this point some quick fits of anger, but when we return to Continental and they flippantly tell us they're closed (even though they are helping other customers and some attendants aren't doing anything) and just don't seem willing to help, I become my assertive, you-MUST-help-me-get-home-to-my-family self!!
Now this form of Megan doesn't really go over that well at Contintntal and before you know it, I'm back on the phone with Orbitz again.
For probably an hour and a half.
This time I have a very helpful Jim/Jeff (I was calling him the wrong name for a while....guess I still struggle with Indian accents:)!!).
And even though he ended up singing the same "your-reservation-was-not-voided" song that the first guy sang, he WAS super sweet.
At one point I handed the phone over to Esteban while I was on hold, and when Jim/Jeff got back on he said, "Oh Esteban. Yes. Megan is crying. I can hear that. I understand."
While this was all taking place, I was DEFINITELY crying.
One, because our stand-by flight was seeming to slip away from us.
Two, because I was pretty exhausted.
And three, because the only thing we could do at that point was stay at the airport and "enjoy" dinner together. But, I was stuck on the STUPID white diet eating a subway sandwich of chicken. Literally chicken and NOTHING ELSE! So....NOT ENJOYABLE!
Hence the tears.
That night we slept on the airport floor and enjoyed the "friendly" recording tell us every 15 min. what time it was. I wished the instrumental Christmas could just play the whole time. When we woke up the next morning we found that more people had come to join our "party."
We woke up (often, but officially) at 3:45 to get to the Continental counter close to 4.
My anxiety level started rising as we neared the LONG line already formed.
By the time we got to the counter I decided it would be best if I stand by the huge cart of luggage. Away from the crowds. Away from the attendants that I might be tempted to yell at if anything goes wrong! I kept myself busy by shifting the weight of one luggage to another.
It seemed like I was over there for eternity.
At one point I came over to see how it was going and I heard the lady say something about calling Orbitz again.
OH NO.....angry Megan is coming out again!
However, I decide to go back to the luggage. And, after ANOTHER eternity, I witness a Christmas miracle!!
We have 2 CONFIRMED tickets to SLC.
After that, it's pretty uneventful except for the fact that we MADE a stand-by flight in Houston which got us home about 9 hours EARLIER than our confirmed flight!
GOD IS GOOD....as usual:).
Sunday, December 12, 2010
To start off the month, we had our life group girls over for the "annual" putting up of the Christmas tree.
If you remember last year, some of our girls' families do not celebrate Christmas so it was nice to be able to be their "memory" of Christmas again this year!
We of course had to also make the traditional sugar cookies...
and take the timed-group shot...guess who ran into the picture and tried not to look so alone in the front?
Our group has grown a little this year...YAY!
(L-R): Dani, Carolina (who accepted Christ this year!!), Nur, Steph, Jill, Claudia...and me in the front
This is the 2nd year now that we have been having these girls over at our house every/every other Tuesday night, and it's SOO neat to see how each of them have grown during this time. Many of our girls this year are seniors this year.....and 2 OF THEM HAVE APPLIED TO TAYLOR UNIVERSITY!!
If you were here, you would probably hear us wish you (in many different ways)...
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
But before Christmas can happen, there are 2 "lesser holidays" that must first take place.
This year, both were celebrated and are worth mentioning on the blog.
However, don't worry, after this post, there will be PLENTY of posts touching on the holiday that is fastly approaching!
October 31st is the birthday of a dear friend here in La Paz. And since another friend's birthday is about a week before, we had a birthday/halloween party for them.
After hearing the word costume, Esteban and I immediately went to work on our costume (since he would probably admit to liking costumes as much or even more than I do.... if that is possible) and we came up with....
That's right...in honor of Idaho (Famous IDAHO Potatoes) and Bolivia (the home of over 3,000 varieties of potatoes!)
Here are the birthday girls Jjill and Molly...
And here's the ever popular, timed group-shot...
With the ending of October, we were quickly ushered into the "Thanksgiving Season" as I have come to think of it....at least this year I have!
You would think that since I live in Bolivia and Thanksgiving is traditionally an American holiday, meals with turkey and stuffing would be few and far between. However, I think had the most feasts that I have EVER had in 1 year this year.
And at each one I ate my full!!!
We did a thanksgiving feast with the middle schoolers to give them a better understanding of WHY we didn't have school for 1 1/2 (wonderful) days. Then, the Saturday before Thanksgiving we had an extranjero celebration complete with LOTS of great food....
**Note that my Bolivian boy is playing the "all-american" sport and enjoying it:)
and Happy Thanksgiving Charlie Brown (traditional, even if it had to be viewed on a bity computer screen!)...
THEN we had a staff thanksgiving feast before we all went our separate ways to ejnoy the break.
This year I stayed in Bolivia to enjoy Thanksgiving in Santa Cruz with Esteban....AND HIS FAMILY!
Esteban's mother is from a family of 9 children (a couple have died since then) and they all live in Santa Cruz, except for his mom Tere (yes...his mom's name sounds just like my mom's name....!).
While there I enjoyed getting to know the many tios y primos (aunts/uncles and cousins) even if they couldn't really say the same about me....
People from Santa Cruz are known for their accents and habit of leaving off the "s" sound completely.
Megan was lucky to understand what was being said...adding to the conversation was not in the cards for this trip!
Here are a few pictures from our time.....I LOVE SANTA CRUZ!!
A taste from the great West...mas o menos....
The hats Tia Ana Maria let us borrow for our day at the water park Aqualand that we "happened" to have forgot at the house....bummer!
Our reaction after finding out that Aqualand only had 1 "ride" open and that 2nd best was the rundown Playland with the faded dinosaurs next door....we still had fun despite the less than ideal conditions of this park.
Here we are celebrating Choco's 26th birthday (a few days early) eating one of his favorites....sushi!
And here's a family pic of us with Tere....
...posing by a tree native to the area that grows the fruit guapuru on the bark instead of hanging from the branches. Really cool!
So that is my "Thanksgiving Season" in a nutshell!!
Stay tuned for some more pictures and updates of theChristmas Season!!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Today Lisa posted this on her facebook wall:
Our Lord answered our prayers for healing this morning by taking our precious son to be with Him. He passed away in Scotty's arms. We love you and miss you, Zion Scott.
It wasn't the answer any of us were hoping for, but it was God's answer nonetheless. And now Zion is being held by His Maker.
Please continue to pray for Lisa and Scotty.
They are trusting in God, and I am amazed at the visible strength of the Lord seen in and through each of them. But, at the same time, it's still a difficult loss and something that will probably be mourned for a while.
Little Zion with Lisa during his 19 days here...
Saturday, October 23, 2010
As you may have seen on facebook, they had their little son, Zion, about 9 weeks early.
As far as I know, he is stable, but he is TINY and they need our prayers!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
This is going to be a "massive" recap of my life in the southern hemisphere season of SPRING!
First, my fiance and I completed the first stage of PAPERWORK for his visa to come to the states...to marry me! Who knew that being engaged to a foreigner and bringing them to the states was such a big deal? The Proposal might come to mind....yep, like that.... except that those interviews are apart of the 3rd stage:)!
Here are the stacks of proof that Esteban and I met each other in person and are legitimately in love! Now that's something else to prove!
After sending the fatty packet to The Department of Homeland Security...yeah, you read it right...I was ready for a little vacation! Thankfully, we had a day off of school soon after so some girlfriends and I headed to Cochabamba for a weekend of sun, pool and food!
Cochabamba is about a 5 hour drive southeast of La Paz. It is seated at a much lower elevation so, consequently, the city is known for its nice "spring" weather all year round. Cocha is also known for its used clothing "canchas" that some Bolivians refer to as Saks 5th Ave!
The weekend was so nice and all aspects were enjoyed...including my FIRST domestic flight (that was SUPER cheap!!) that allowed us to arrive in La Paz in a half hour instead of the 7ish hour bus ride that we took last time!!
My poolside chair with all I needed to enjoy my afternoon:)...thank you to ALL of my sweet friends and mom who sent me some wedding mags to help in the planning of the big day!
Here are the sweet friends I traveled with: Alana, Stephanie, me and Molly!
After the trip, Esteban and I had a "cartoon" costume party to attend. Guess who we came as..
A few weeks later, in honor of the approaching season, Highlands had the annual Spring Festival where we were able to earn money for the school. Even though the weather was NOT very springy, I still enjoyed all of the festivities and my new "job" of paitning faces. Here's one of the "victims" of my ATTEMPT at facepainting... sweet Natty Miser, a precious 2 year-old that helps me when I'm missing my own niece and nephew, along with her mom (Lisa) and dad (Scotty) who have both become special to Esteban and me...
To end this catch-up post, I would like to share few pictures from one of our 5 community service trips up to the Word Made Flesh facility that works with prostitutes that are now earning a living by making these awesome purses. It is a neat minstry and I was happy to be able to take some of our middle schoolers and high schoolers to be able to serve these people.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Both for me and the staff of Highlands.
Isaiah 33:6 -
..and He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure.
God is our stability...
even when there is more sickness in one week than there was all last year.
even when there is death and hurt.
God is our abundance of salvation....
even when we feel that so many things have been taken away from us.
God is our wisdom....
even when we feel overwhelmed and inadequate.
God is our knowledge....
even when we feel confused.
God is our treasure.
And we do fear His name and praise Him for His sovereignty.
Please continue to pray for the Highlands' staff and students.
These past few weeks have been tough for various reasons.
Yet, still we hold on to our Treasure....and lean on His strength.
I invite you do join us....
Sunday, August 29, 2010
He is a sweet HIS high school student who just lost his mom to cancer this morning.
His father is not really involved in his life, and he was very close to his mother.
As a community we are mourning with and praying for Quintana.
I would ask you to do the same.
Pray for his relationship with the Lord....that God would bring him to Himself during this hard time.
Pray that God would surround him with people to comfort and encourage him.
Thank you for your support of dear Diego.
Monday, August 16, 2010
MISS Speicher for who knows HOW long is ENGAGED!
GOING TO HAVE A HUSBAND.
Here is how it happened!
Saturday afternoon my boy comes to pick me up. Now I know the plan is to go 4-wheeling outside of the city, but I didn't expect him to pick me UP in one! First surprise of the day. I grab my stuff and obliviously jump onto the 4-wheeler and off we go!
We're gone for a while, driving through little neighborhoods in the countryside. On our way back to La Paz we get off of the main road to enjoy some of the scenery and to experience the official trail...or so I thought! We are riding next to these awesome rock/sand formations and go down this fairly steep path. When we get to the bottom I'm ready to enjoy the view and get off the loud 4-wheeler. Esteban "agrees" but ends up pushing to get back up the path. Not realizing the REAL reason why he's ready to go back up, I quickly comply and dont think much of it.
We're about half-way up and he stops. Before I know it he says he has a little gift for me and I start freaking out inside! However, before I can let my imagination run wild, I see a bigger box and I quickly realize my "mistake"....he's not going to propose NOW! It's only August.
We walk over to a little spot next to some taller formations and sit down. He opens the box and asks me if know what "today" is. As usual, I guess wrong and he reminds me that we met a year ago...exactly. Second surprise of the day...I really didn't know!
With that in mind, I open the box to find his computer with a DVD ready to play. I watch the video he made that shares all of the reasons why he loves me...complete with hilarious pictures of me "being" the qualities/characteristics that are important to him. I close the computer still laughing at some of the ridiculous pictures he found of me.....and then things start happening.
A toy helicopter with an indecipherable message attached starts flying above us.
A couple of fireworks go off in front of us.
Some more behind us.
He tells me to stand.
He gets on one knee and has a ring in his hand....
THIRD (and best) SURPRISE OF THE DAY!
And the rest is history!!!!
Here we are minutes after it happened. My dear friend Lisa Miser was gathered enough to suggest a picture!
Since I had to babysit that night and he had to film something, we celebrated the next day!
Sometimes I feel so blessed when I think of how God has brought us together....and sometimes I'm just shocked:)! But everytime I think of "our story," I am reminded of God's faithfulness and sovereignty!
Thanks for being excited with me:)!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
My summer is already over.
Hard to believe.
Sorry I didn't blog much....or at all!
But now I'm ready to catch you up with some pictures and snippets of the many adventures had.
Hope you feel a part of my life again.
Seeing my family.....especially my NIECE AND NEPHEW (nothing against the other members) was a highlight of the summer!
"Little" baby Ian is QUITE the chunker now.
Ella is SUPER precious and has stolen my heart all over again....
After Charlotte, I flew to California to meet up with the family AND the boy.
After attending my cousin's wedding, we all squished into 2 trucks pulling 2 trailers and headed to YOSEMITE!
Enjoying this beautiful National Park with the whole family was a bit reminiscent of the "old days" when the Speicher family would go on their annual family vacation. Only this time there were a few more additions to the Speicher clan that made it even more exciting...
The newly engaged couple (CONGRATS sister Laura) joined Esteban and I on the awesome "Mist Trail" ....yes that is the mist that made us so wet!!
After California where basically every family member was seen (lucky Esteban), we made it back to Idaho safely to enjoy the sites and sounds of Twin Falls....
and the falls....
and that's it!
Then we hopped on a plane to head east to enjoy some DEAR Indiana friends and to celebrate!
After enjoying my 3rd (his 2nd) peice of wedding cake this summer, we headed even farther east to the beautiful and deathly humid state of Maryland!
Here we saw Esteban's brother Marcelo and his wife Sarah. Sadly my camera's battery died (are you shocked Jenny Hunt?!) so I have no pictures right now to document our time there (hopefully I'll get some e-mailed soon). However, it was so fun meeting another family member (and maybe just as nice finally being on the meeting end and not the introducing one...that can be exhausting!) and enjoying 2 days in the great city of D.C.
The end of my summer found me back in Idaho for 2 weeks.
In that time I helped Jenny move (which means we packed, packed, packed...you get the idea) and had SUCH a relaxing time camping with just the mom!!
Then I packed up all of my "treasures" and boarded a few more planes and wound up back in the cold, yet full-of-life city of La Paz....my home right now!
**Sorry for a lack of pictures at the end of this post....the internet is SUPER RIDICULOUS tonight so I was forced to focus on the "snippets" part toward the end.