Monday, August 27, 2012

Here I Am... Rock you Like a Hurricane!


O sea, WE were the ones rocked by a rather beastly Hurricane named Issac. I learned (or relearned, I don´t remember), that Hurricanes are named after the people that discover them. I can´t tell if hoping to find and name a future Hurricane "Hurricane Sweeney" is in bad taste or not. But considering we didn´t really have too many negative side effects, I really have no beef with hurricanes. Just that Issac made it so I couldn´t leave me house for two days in a row. And considering we don´t have radio, Internet, T.V., those two days COUNT! So what do trapped missionaries with a mild case of cabin fever do? 1). Make no bake cookies by candlelight (you´re probably not going to have constant light during a hurricane). 2) Attempt to nap. My body won´t let me nap on the mission, but I think during Issac´s visit, I finally managed to succeed. 3). You fight with your companion over whether or not Issac´s howls sound more like her name or yours. I´m still convinced Issac was coming for HER. 4). Do laundry. Never mind that your laundry room is under attack from the storm because the only protection is a door with metal bars, bars implying that there are large gaps, through which enter mucho water. The obvious irony of this situation can be left for each individual to review. 5). When you get back from your one attempt to leave the house (before you were informed shortly after that you once again had to remain indoors), you can form a slip n´slide from the many puddles that have managed to enter the house in your absence. 6). Paint prayer rocks by candlelight 7). Write a letter to anyone you´ve ever met before in your life.
These are just a few of the creative solutions to your Hurricane Blues. For more ideas, wait for Hurricane Sweeney to pass through.

Well, as I was writing, all the power went out and I momentarily freaked out, not sure if I´d get to finish writing this week or not. The mission. The situations. The people. The experience. I feel like maybe when all is said and done, I can turn my memoirs into a spectacular ice show, like the ones Disney is always doing. I already have the tag line.

And just in case anyone was wondering (last night, I certainly was), I will be staying here to rock Quisqueya for another six weeks. I´ll get to see a couple weddings and perhaps finally the baptism of Charlin and Robbinson, but we´ll see. All in good time. I´m not in a hurry, but I´d be lying if I said I wouldn´t love to see it come to pass. And since I never know what my timetable is out here in the jungle, I´ve come to accept that I won´t see a lot of the people I start teaching get baptized. At first, that is a hard thing to accept. But in some ways, it´s actually better that way. Then we know the people are getting baptized for the right reasons, and not just because they like the missionaries or something (this happens way too easily, if we´re not careful, which is probably why transfers exist in the first place). Missionaries come and go, but the church will still be true after we end our missions. So the people need to have their testimonies founded on the one (Christ) who will always be there for them, the sure foundation (Helaman 5:12). I may not get to collect all the fruits of my labors, but knowing I at least planted the seeds is a pretty good feeling.

Anyway, I´m just about out of time. But I will leave you with this idea that struck me during one of my more pensive moments this week: "If we spent as much time trying to do something as we did wishing we could do it, we´d find we´d have a lot more talents." Así es. And don´t you forget it.

Through the winds of change,

Hermana Sweeney "The Fearless" (Except on Sundays)

Can´t I Hate You, Just This Once?


Tee hee. One of the few phrases my companion, Hermana Rodriguez, loves to say in English is "I hate you." And we use this phrase a lot because, for some reason, in ridiculous, unexpected moments (someone drank the last of the boxed milk, for example), it´s just funny and amusing. However, if the sentiment borders on accuracy, then there is little to no mirth involved. As someone representing the Big Boss, I really shouldn´t harbor feelings of strong dislike, let alone, hate. But some people just really put themselves in a separate category marked "special exceptions." And that´s when I have to do the whole "deep breathes, count to ten, eat something chocolaty," dance.

Once such person we will call Justin because he looks suspiciously like Justin Timberlake. Well, a skinnier version of J.T. And more or less around my age. But anyway, my companion and I were out contacting in a neighborhood a good distance from where we live, and when we met Justin, we did our usual spiel of "we´re missionaries, we´d like to share an awesome message, can we come back another time, tomorrow, perhaps?" This young gent informed us that he is a professor here and already has a religion, but he appreciates the effort that we make. Ok, well that´s congenial. And normally, we´d leave an invitation to visit the church (in la calle Defillo con antiguadoce, los domingos a las 8 de la mañana) and be on our merry way. But Justin just couldn´t let us go without a few "curiosities." Like why Jesus never mentions the Book of Mormon in the New Testament. And why it would even be necessary to have an extra book of scripture. Which are valid questions if you actually want answers. But he did not. We gave him some scriptures directly from the good ol´ Bible itself, because in spite of what some people think, we DO read the Bible. But I straight up asked him "how do you know the Bible isn´t just a bunch of fairy tales? How do you KNOW it´s true?" And he didn´t really have a good answer. Many people assume on merit that the Bible is true. But until you study something, how can you know? And that´s exactly how I responded when he said he´d read "parts" of the Book of Mormon. "Ok, so if I read parts of Harry Potter, am I going to understand the plot?" I asked. You have to read it and then follow the promise in Moroni 10: 3-5, which tells you if you want wisdom about anything, you can find it through study, faith, and prayer, and then by the power of the Holy Ghost, "you can know the truth of all things." So, we had him read the scripture, and he wouldn´t even finish it. Now normally when there is someone who is a little combative, we just close off the meeting with an invitation. Having a blow-out over religion does absolutely nothing and is a waste of time. And this guy was getting really befuddled and upset, so we were trying to gracefully bow out, so my companion just said "Sir, I know it´s true because God has revealed it to me. You may not believe it, but I know what I know." Then we shook his hand and started to move away. As a parting shot, he yelled "read the Bible, will you, and actually study it!" Considering we had spent a good 20 minutes quoting many a scripture to him, I just couldn´t decide whether to yell or laugh. It was so absurd. I had to come to another country to argue with someone about religion against my will? I thought about returning to give him a good punch in the face, but realized, "that´s not very reasonable. We were talking to him through iron bars, and there´s no way I´d get a good shot in." But furthermore, I told my companion that we should just walk away. It wasn´t easy, but what else is new? I´m sure he´s a pretty decent human being, but like my good friend Will Ferrell, "I feel like I´m taking crazy pills!" If you ask (really wanting to know), by George, you´ll receive. Otherwise, don´t ask, because then I´m gonna expend much needed emotional energy. I´m not a Pokemon; entering a red and white sphere does not recharge my powers. I´ve tried.

Why can't we be friends?
http://mormonhomeevening.blogspot.com
However, there are plenty of people who DO want to learn more, and for them, we will always pull up a chair and chat. One such is a man named George (name changed). First off, remember Alexander, the New York deportee? Well, not this last Sunday, but the one before, we were trying to find him to give him the English church reading material he requested. He gave us an address, but we weren´t having much luck finding it. As we were heading up the street, (hopefully) getting closer to where we thought he might live, a tall salt and pepper haired man stopped us and asked who we were. We told him, and stopped to talk about about the church outside of his house. Not 10 minutes later, who should yell out at us, "hey, what are you doing talking to that guy for?" but Alex, dressed in nothing but a towel and his very prominent chest tattoos. "We´re here to give you your stuff," I called out, later realizing that just because this guy was somewhat of a gangster didn´t mean I was also. But the lingo does rather speak to me. Anyway, turns out the man, George, who stopped us on the street, is also a deportee, and he and Alexander are roomies. They have a very odd couple-like relationship that amuses me greatly. But George seems to legitimately be looking to change his life and believes that miracles still exist. His job involves him making survey calls to Miami. In one such call, he started talking and his brother-in-law turned out to be the one on the other end. Mind you, the system used in this research place is automatic; the callers don´t choose whom they call. And George had lost the number of his bro-in-law awhile back and had no way to reach him. So it was really neat to hear about how there exists something greater than coincidence in the world. Also interesting to learn was that this brother-in-law of George´s is the brother of Danny and Mark Whalberg. Yes, Danny of New Kids on the Block, and yes THE Marky Mark (start the commotion) Whalberg. Ha! You just never know who you´re gonna meet on this little pineapple of an island.
And fun moment of the week? Ok, sure, why not? This last Saturday was a slow day for us, and many of the appointments we had set didn´t pan out. However, on one of the street that we pass by on a daily basis was a huge commotion, complete with brightly colored clown and dancing children. It was the  one-year birthday of the granddaughter of one of the women in our church ward. Well, what did we have going on that could compete with a high-pitched voiced clown and a giant birthday cake? Nothing! So, we went from servants of the Lord to servers of birthday guests. O sea, we handed out many a snack. Were these children patiently waiting to be served? Not even close. I was being screamed at from all sides that I lower my sandwich tray and hand out the goodies faster, FASTER. Dance monkey, dance!
www.tfmetalsreport.com


I almost resolved to eat all the sandwiches myself in front of everyone, and then reminded myself that I´m in the D.R. I should know different rules apply. In Spanish, there is something called the command form, so if someone tells you ¡Hágalo! They mean ¡Do it! I´m still trying to not get annoyed when people use this form on me. If there´s one thing I don´t enjoy, it´s being bossed around, and that´s how I feel when people talk to me in that form. But considering my commanders were children, and they had worked up a severe hunger from all the clown dances, I tried to toss them their sandwiches with efficiency and cheer. Thank you, previous years of customer service training. But it was fun to be involved in a normal activity. And, on the same street, another little girl is also turning the big . And we agreed to help with her party too. We have a regular business going on here!









Well, that´s just about as exciting as it gets. As I enter the last week of this transfer, I will have to remind myself not to freak out. I´ve already seen and experienced all the craziness possible. Right? RIGHT? And here´s to hoping all you people of the world make time for a little crazy in your own lives. What have you to lose beside your sanity?


 Crazily yours,

Hermana Sweeney

P.S. It's not letting me add a caption for the second monkey, but lest someone should peg me for an image thief, here are the credits: www.wpclipart.com

My only regret is that there is so much dancing monkey art, and so little space.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Would Walk 500 Miles, and I Would Walk 500 More... to Knock Your Door


The Olympics apparently have come to an end. Well, for some that is. I still have my own personal jungle gym of athleticism called the Great Quisqueyan Olympics. I remember back when I was in training mode and my child Hermana Bryant had the curiosity of how much walking we do on the mission. She promptly asked her parents to send her and odometer for her birthday package. I wasn´t there with her when said package arrived, but when she started to use it, apparently she learned that, more or less, in a six-hour period the sister missionaries of the Dominican Republic West Mission can walk up to 13 miles daily. 13 miles! O sea, in a year-and-a-half, we walk close to 6,000 miles (I did the math and no longer remember the real number, and 6,000 sounds pretty impressive). I feel confident saying 6,000 because with the way we are walking in Quisqueya, we are definitely using our feet more then we did in Azua (my current comp. Hna. Rodriguez also served in Azua, and in fact, served with Hna. Bryant right after I did, which is how I have all this information about odometers and miles walked in the first place). I don´t know if I have been blessed to have deadened nerves in my feet, because somehow, I´m surviving. But 6,000 miles is the distance walking from California to New York and back. I  know Forest Gump more or less did the same thing but I´m not sure he had the same emotional drain the mission provides. Oh, well. When I get back, Tom Hanks and I will go on a Cross-Country adventure together. I knew my missionary preparation would pay off in the long run.

It would be easy to complain about walking all over Hells and half of Georgia, but I´ve come to realize something: The mission has made me a lot more grateful. I´ve always been intrigued by the two classes of sins a person can commit: Sins of commission, when a person willfully disobeys a commandment, knowing that what they´re doing is wrong (see the 10 Commandments for 10 such examples), but there are also sins of Omission- sins we commit by neglecting to act. I feel like as a more or less decent human being, I often fall into category numero 2. But now when I pray for something small (please bless the light will come back, please bless me not to fall off this unbelievably rickety stairway), I actually FEEL the pleasure of seeing them answered. Often times, we might pray and then later forget we asked for help when the blessing "magically" comes our way. In my case, the light doesn´t come back immediately just because I ask for it. But it does come back. And really, isn´t that what I asked for? In a world where the bigger and better thing is always around the corner, it seems we fail to delight in the weird and wonderful pleasures that are close at hand. I realized I´ve overcome a few bad habits on the mission, and one of them has plagued me for most of my life. It finally hit me the other day that I haven´t had this problem in over a year now. A year! Now that´s what I call a celebration, people. So, I feel like I´ve discovered that even though I will definitely still complain on and off again for the rest of my life, I need to spend more time being grateful. Because when we only focus on what we don´t have, we forget that there are 4 or 5 other things we do have that matter more. I may not have Tina burritos right now, but I do have Más Más bars. And Dulce de Coco. And pan de mantiquilla. And batidas de lechosa. Tina, please hold.

And one thing that will make me extremely grateful: When this transfer is over. I can´t say this with 100 % certainty, but this is probably the craziest transfer I´ve ever had. Hermana Arias, the only American in my house, is going home to California to eat big fat burritos and see her family. Her migraines have become too much, and it just isn´t doing her any good to be here anymore, staying inside all day like a vampire with the blinds closed. I´m glad she can go home to feel better. I´m bummed she is leaving because she be super cool and I´m starting to feel abandoned by all the people who have left me. It´s is the circle of the mission, and it moves us all. Through despair and hope, through faith and growth. I hope those are the right lyrics. But not only is she leaving, but so is my mission step-sister as well, Hermana López. She is going to the Yuca, and my apartment, which has been a house of four Hermanas forever, will now only house my companion and me. Tristeza. 4 person houses are just usually more fun, since, well, there are more people to interact with. But whatcha gonna do? I shall answer my own question. Nothing. Just take it like a grown up and try not to be surprised when transfers come in two weeks and all the guesses I made as to my future turn out to be wrong.

Fare thee well, Hna. Arias. A partial transfer in the same house just wasn't enough.
But, as the bishop in our ward here is always saying, we gotta be "positivo." O sea, in good news, Euody was baptized this week! He is such a stud. Only 13 years old and he towers over me and sports a rather impressive mustache. To date, he is the only "normal" baptism I have had. Nothing went wrong, nothing was amiss, no one almost drowned, nothing. And his mother being there was a real cherry on topper. She also is taking the missionary lessons, and we have an appointment with her tonight. Much like her son, she seems to really understand what we teach her and remembers it well. She is also a policewoman, so she works a lot, but I see a lot of "positivos" in her future.
 
Being spiritual never looked so good
Well, that´s about all the sage wisdom I feel generous to share with you this week. Hey, I said I was becoming grateful, not more generous. I´m still only human. Until next time, I will be working on my next bad habit: chewing my lips off. This must end. I need them for my current occupation. And with that, I hope you all can also pick a personal plague and work on it. Nothing says "I deserve a treat,"
like mastering a bad habit or weakness. So treat yourselves well.

Gratefully yours,

Hermana Sweeney "The Fearless" (except on Sundays)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Shut Up your Mouth, Listen to me! It is my Turn."

Audible sigh. I just love a good song. And the title of this week´s blog comes straight from the mouth of a future star... o sea, my very own companion Hermana Rodriguez. She just loves to sing. And one day, while we were walking home at night, she busts out with most of the English she knows to form the above lyrics. She would like to title it "My Freakin´ Mind." At least, I believe that´s what she wants to say. Her other hit that is in the works is "My Freakin´ Love." Needless to say, when she randomly busts out with these insta-classics, I almost wet myself. But at this moment in time, I can relate very much to her songs. Because every time I go to open my mouth as of late, or even when I am in the middle of a sentence, people seem to decide "I can´t wait another second to butt in with a completely unrelated topic. I must act now!" And whatever I WAS saying becomes lost in a sea of static cling and forgotten phrases. It´s super annoying. I actually did have to tell someone to wait their turn. Why is this so hard? When we are hearing, what percentage of that is listening? I ask this of myself too, because listening is not my greatest talent. But at least I know and am trying to improve (I hope). But how can you NOT know that to completely interrupt someone is rude? These are the mysteries that elude me. But it teaches me dos cosas: 1). Sometimes you gotta stand up for your "freakin´ mouth," as my companion might say, and let people know, "hey, I´m talking here." And sometimes, you gotta let it go. 2). flying ants are disgusting. During the storm we had Saturday night, they were entering our house by the dozens. Dozens! Now how´s that for a completely unrelated topic?

But times when I don´t mind being interrupted? Well, when the person do it speaks English, for instance. I´ve met quite a few people here in the capital that speak it, and it instantly puts me in a good mood. This last week, we went back to a house we had contacted to see if the girl was still available for us to teach her. Instead, we met her brother, who said she wasn´t available. He let me go on for awhile in Spanish before he let me know I could talk in English, if I so desired. I did! He said he and his family already went to a church nearby, actually, really close to where "your Mormon church is," as he put it. "So we´re frenemies?" I asked, good-naturedly. He was highly tickled by this idea, and so we exchanged numbers so that if he and his family had interest, they could set up an appointment. Well, calls like that are usually more formalities, but this guy, Eduardo, actually called us back. He wanted us to come today, but we already have appointments planned, so he said he would call at another time. I hope I can see some sort of meeting come to fruition because both he and his sister seem like cool people. And might I reiterate that they speak English.

But I do have to be careful. Unsurprisingly, the Latins I live with don´t love it so much when I speak English in front of them because, well, they can´t understand it. Which has been hard because right now, we are teaching a girl from New York, and she actually understands English more than Spanish. If I had and English companion, I wouldn´t have to have a guilty conscience. But I don´t, so I´ve had fun the last couple of lessons playing translator and speaking Spanglish (which, I might add, is a legitimate language). But Marlea, the 16 year old we´re teaching, is heading back to New York soon. She´s just out here to celebrate her birthday and visit her grandma. But we´ll make some New York Elders or Sisters very happy, because Marlea has a lot of really deep, thoughtful questions and a lot of interest in learning more about the church. So she will be a reference for other missionaries. Which sucks a bit, cuz I do enjoy teaching her. But at least I can say I was technically part of the first pair of missionaries that taught her. That´s gotta count for something.

But my favorite encounter of the English kind this week had to be with Alexander, the deported New Yorker with the Italian accent. He stopped us on the street to see if we remembered him. I didn´t, cuz he was confusing me with another Hermana that was here before me. So we chatted briefly, long enough for him to command a young Dominican child to bring him cigarettes and to tell me he was deported for narcotics. "Look, I´m looking you in the face, do you think I´d lie to you?" he asked me, seriously. His Marlon Brando manner assured me that he was not. But instead of finding myself intimidated, I found myself highly amused instead, and he said even informed me that he needs to visit our church. I said he sure did, so he could leave behind his cigarettes and other less pleasant habits. He agreed, and petitioned me for a Bible in English. "I hate reading in Spanish,"he confessed (among other things). I said I don´t have a Bible in English (only in Spanish), but I do believe I can get my hands on a Book of Mormon in English. "It too will change your life," I informed him. I have to admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for interesting people. Technically, most people are pretty interesting by default. But there´s interesting and then there´s, well, IN-teresting. And like most people, he seems to have great potential... if he would actually do something about it.

Two people who are doing something, o sea, acting on what they have learned for themselves is the truth are Robbinson and Euody! We have a double baptism this Saturday with the both of them. I´m pretty stoked. Two more strong, energetic youth that will really bring a special light to the Quisqueya ward. The only thing that bums me out is that I won´t be seeing either of them quite as much because I won´t be teaching them every other day. Such is part of the missionary process: meet, teach, release, repeat. But luckily, that´s where the ward members come in, to be there for new converts and to help them. And of course, I still plan on visiting them, but you know you´ve done your job as a missionary if the people you teach aren´t relying on you to keep them active, keep them going to church. They know what they know and they want to act on it because they know that´s what will keep them strong. Like exercise. You don´t do it sometimes and expect to have the body of Billy Burke. Like everything in life, it´s a process. And as far as the discovery part for Eoudy and Robbinson goes, I was happy to be part of there´s.

Well, that´s just about enough of a mouthful for one week. Except to cheerfully report that my God shield is just as sturdy as ever. Apparently, it even works on dogs, because here in Quisqueya, there is a really ugly, large dog that we have to pass on a daily basis, and sometimes, he straight up confronts us with attitude. I´ve seen him bite a cat in the neck, so I know what he can do. But every time I think "shield," he doesn´t seem to bother us. So that´s something. But not quite as something as this last Wednesday, when the shield was put to the test once more. A crazy man who traverses the same street that our church building is on loves to call at me and pester me. This last week, though, we past right by him, and he drunkenly demanded a fist bump. I conceded. He then proceeded to follow us for a couple blocks, yelling weird think about me being blond and white. I was able to ignore it until I heard loud footsteps behind me, indicating someone was breaking into a run. I turned just as he was grabbing my backpack, trying to take it from me, and then, when he didn´t succeed, he yelled quite loudly, "thief." I was finally like, "sir, I am here to serve a mission, not to be harrassed. Leave me the heck alone." According to Hma. Rodriguez, he then started annoucning to everyone that I´m a terrorist. Apparently, the shield isn´t soundproof. But I´ll take what I can get.

Til next time, enjoy your English, hold tight to your knapsacks, and DESTROY ALL FLYING ANTS! You´ll thank me later.

Protectively yours,

Hermana Sweeeney "The Fearless" (except on Sundays).

Sometimes the Right Thing and the Easy Thing are the Same

Well, it might as well be truth. Logically, if only sometimes the right thing and the hard thing are the same, SOMETIMES the right thing can also simultaneously be the easy thing. In my case, this week at least, it was.

Remember a lovable place called The Yuca? I can take you back to a time when I was young and innocent and didn´t actually like the taste of the Yuca root. That all has changed. I now enjoy eating all sorts of oddities, and I also really enjoyed getting a call at 7:00 a.m. this last Wednesday saying, "Hermana Sweeney, we will be having intercambios today. You will go to the Yuca with Hermana Garcia and Hermana Lopez (the Assistant Hermana to the President, more or less), will come to Quisqueya. We will meet at noon in front of La Sirena and, much like all the crappy Cinderella stories, the fairytale will end at the 12:00 hour the following day, (in the noon, not at night, however). On your mark, get set... GO!" Ok, somewhere along the way, I started paraphrasing, but the essentials are all there. I had to admit, I was ecstatic. How would it be to see the people I´d left a mere few months before? And with all my newly acquired "wisdom," I was anxious to return to where it all began for me. And truly, it was a fabulous experience. Granted, I didn´t have time to see everyone I wanted, but I saw many of the members in the street or in passing and they actually remembered me and seemed very delighted to see me. The only convert of mine I saw was Rosa, the young and intelligent girl that lives close to the church. Since I left, her best friend Melissa was also baptized, which has made it easier for them both to stay active. The hardest part for me was to see how some people had made some not-so-brilliant choices and were facing the consequences. It reminded me of the saying that we are free to choose the choices, but not the consequences. I don´t really like that saying, but the point being, sometimes things we choose to do can really screw up the lives of others. So, as I feel like I´m always saying, MAKE GOOD CHOICES! As apostle Jeffery R. Holland advised, we don´t need to reinvent the moral wheel and experience every hardship of life firsthand. If it looks like a bad choice and smells like a bad choice, well... I´ll let you do the math. It always was my least favorite subject.

But anyway, for those who don´t know, and intercambio is just when one person from two companionship's switch areas and companions for a day to experience different investigators and teaching styles of other missionaries. Until now, the Hermanas haven´t gotten to have one, because there just aren´t a lot of us to go around. But I did make a request to the mission president, and I think a couple other Hermanas did too. It´s already hard being a minority within a minority. A girl missionary and Americana. The more missionary experiences I can have that the Elders enjoy (well, the good ones, at least :) The better. And when Hermana Garcia (my intercambio comp.) and I ended the intercambio that night at the chapel where a lot of the members happened to be, it was the best reunion ever. It reminded me of how it must be in the next life when we´ll be reunited, and it´ll feel so good. I had a jolly good mobbing and hug session (with the women members of course), and hearty handshakes and smiles with the rest. Did I mention I love the Yuca? It felt like being home, which is weird, since I don´t live in this country. But yeah, thanks Yuca, for giving me my second wind. Or third, or fourth... I´ve lost count.

But speaking of Hermanas or Sisters being in the minority, I have a thought for all future Elders: Don´t be a tool! If you are lucky enough to have Hermanas in you district/zone, treat them nicely. I´ve met so many Elders who are super cool and thoughtful. I´ve also met a few who seem to think girls have come on the mission to rob their virtue. So, yeah, be cool. We are more or less human too, after all.

And to close, I will explain cheerfully why I have chosen my new title of Hermana Sweeney "the fearless" (except on Sundays). Sundays are not my favorite day on the mission. As just a normal member, Sunday is a really tranquil, relaxing day. On the mission, it means a couple things: Stressing that your investigators come to church or that people who were baptized the day before come on time so that they can be confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost. If not... stresssssssss. And every sixth Sunday, we receive a little call to tell us what will be happening in the upcoming transfer... stressssssss. I will eat whatever food you give me, I will pass by whatever group of strange people, I will teach any lesson, an hey, I´ll even talk in Spanish. But on Sunday, do not expect any valor, because my courage will fail me. That and when I´m out contacting and the dogs practically squish themselves through the fences of their respective houses to get at us. Although here, how the house are built, some or the roofs are indented. This is cool if you want to have an awesome rooftop garden, like some people do. It´s less cool when you keep your dogs on the roof. It is very confusing to be barked at from an upward location. It throws off all sense of direction. But such is life. And as usual, the part of my life that involves technology draws to a close. But just remember to look up. The view is usually better that way. And who knows what you´ll see, in they sky... on the roof...

With much conviction,

Hermana Sweeney "The Fearless" (except on Sundays)