Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Program

On Sunday our church had it's special Christmas program. I was blown away by all the work that it entailed, and the amount of people that showed up! In a church that normally draws about 30 on a good day, we had a little over 100. All of our chairs were taken up and many people were left standing. Kevin and I were roped into participating in one of the plays that the youth put on, fortunately we didn't have lines! The play was basically about the spirit of hate who wanted to assassinate love. Hate sends all of his best spirits, egoism, jealousy, wealth, sickness, poverty and others, but still love is not defeated. In the end an unknown spirit comes in and offers to kill love and this time the spirit actually succeeds. As the spirit is leaving Hate demands to know who it is, and the spirit reveals itself as "custom." I was a little confused by the big reveal at first, but the point of it all is that our love is not sufficient to withstand all that life has to throw our way, and that we need to look to God as the source of our love and life. On the night of the play we were heavily made up. I had to wear all red since I was the heart. I hardly own anything red, and certainly no red pants, so someone's stretchy red pants were donated to me. Unfortunately they were a little tight and a little short! I was also the recipient of red and orange high tops. Fortunately I was wearing a poster board heart, so the tightness of the pants was not obvious. I had four hearts painted on my face, one on each cheek, my nose and my forehead. I was also doled out a generous amount of glitter and my eyebrows were plastered with red make up. Kevin was not spared in the make up department either. He was one of the evil spirits, and I must admit, he definitely looked evil! (Scarily so!) In the end the play went well.

The kids also put on a whole musical. It was amazing. Eva the pastor's wife worked with them for weeks. They made all of their costumes, the pastor made a stage by stacking bricks alongside one another two layers thick, and they also rigged up a whole curtain that fell from the ceiling. One of the young women in the church had painted sheets to make a back drop. It was unbelievable. Even though we come from a tiny church with very small resources everyone worked together to produce an amazing product. After the service we shared a meal together and the children broke a piñata. I actually discovered that it is from a Christmas tradition that pinatas were created. The tradition is called a posada. Posada means "inn." In a posada children go from house to house looking for shelter, in the same way that Mary and Joseph did when they went to Bethlehem. As were Mary and Joseph they children are turned away time after time. As they go along the tradition is that they sing different songs. Finally they reach a house that offers them hospitality and a large fiesta is held. At the fiesta the children break a piñata, which is meant to represent the power of sin and how it is broken. As the piñata is broken God's blessing is released, represented by the sweets (though at Christmas often fruit) which fall from the broken piñata. It is a really neat tradition.

Tomorrow Kevin and I will be leaving for Guadalajara with our family. One of the cousins of the family with which we live is having a wedding, so everyone is going out there for the wedding. It is about six hours away. We will be back in Mexico City to celebrate Christmas, and then on the 26th we are going to Monterrey, because one of the brothers of our family and his wife are having a baby on the 20th. We look forward to getting to know more of Mexico and spending time with our family. Please be praying for us as we travel.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Last Week

Last week was an extremely busy one for the Book-Satterlees. It is amazing how much life can speed up without you really even noticing it! On Monday we set up for our first Club de Tarea (Homework Club). Our plan is to have it Mondays and Wednesdays in the mornings and afternoons. Here in Mexico City some children go to school in the morning, and others go in the afternoon/evening. We wanted to reach both groups, so we set it up so we would have time in the morning and afternoon. The basic idea is to supplement what the kids are doing in school and really encourage them to enjoy learning and to think critically. We have a time of crafts, reading, homework help and group games. Or at least, that is the plan. It hasn't actually worked out that way yet! Which brings us back to Monday. Sunday night we stayed up late cutting out the last strips of paper for our Advent Chain craft, we arrived Monday morning ready to go, but by the end of the morning we had a grand total of 0 children. :) We weren't that discouraged, however, because we sat outside by our sign and were able to chat with many different parents and kids throughout the day. By the end of the week we had a total of 2! December is a difficult month to begin something like this because of the approaching vacations. We are quite alright with a slow start, however, it is giving us some time to evaluate our schedule and our plan of action. Yesterday, Monday, we had one person in the morning and one in the afternoon. The fun part is that both of these individuals are people who have never participated in anything that our church has done before, including English classes, so it is fun to know that we are bringing in a wider crowd than just the kids at our church. We are pretty certain that once January starts we will begin having a larger number of participants, but in the mean time I am thankful for a gradual start!

On Tuesday we had the opportunity to go to one of the basureros of Mexico City, or the dump. There is a whole community of people who work and live in the basurero. The conditions are pretty overwhelming. We went to the basurero with an organization called Operation Serve International. This organization brings doctors and nurses, as well as other lay people, to the basureros to provide medical services for the people. In the summer there is a group here every week. I was able to translate for one of the doctors and Kevin worked in the optometry tent. Although none of the people there were optometrists, they had a cheat sheet and a number of different lenses which enabled them to fit people with glasses that improved their visions. It was a really amazing experience for us both. Many of the people who spoke with the doctor ended up opening up about things that were going on in their life that went far beyond their physical well-being. It was a little overwhelming, but I felt really privileged to be able to hear some of the stuff that they are going through, to pray with some of them and just to hold their hand.

I know this is becoming a really long blog entry, but I also want to comment briefly on the beginnings of our volunteering with World Vision (WV). Although I feel a little less useful here, I feel as if we are learning a lot. We are working in the area of human rights. On Saturday mornings we meet with a group of young people who are representatives of their different communities. The Saturday morning workshop is led by two men who are part of a program that teaches young people who have dealt with a lot of hurt and pain in their lives that they are truly of worth, that they can overcome their circumstances, and ways to respond to difficult life circumstances that do not include violence. We also help out when WV goes to different schools or fairs. In these instances we have different games that are directed towards teaching children their rights and basic civic responsibilities.

Ok, so that it is about it for now. Congratulations to those of you who have actually made it to the end of this marathon blog! We really appreciate the love and support we receive from all of you. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Starting Our Ministry

Please be thinking about and praying for us this week as we begin our homework club with the kids from the neighborhood where our church is. We are excited and nervous. We will update you on how it goes.

I (Leah) went home this past week because my grandmother passed away. I felt really blessed to be able to be with my family, to grieve and share memories, laugh and cry with them. The trip went really well and I am excited to be back here in Mexico.

Starting Our Ministry

Please be thinking about and praying for us this week as we begin our homework club with the kids from the neighborhood where our church is. We are excited and nervous. We will update you on how it goes.

I (Leah) went home this past week because my grandmother passed away. I felt really blessed to be able to be with my family, to grieve and share memories, laugh and cry with them. The trip went really well and I am excited to be back here in Mexico. :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy B-Lated Turkey Day

We spent the holiday apart this year as Leah is in the States this week. For me, it didn´t feel much like Thanksgiving in the morning. The parade wasn´t on and the noise of clanging cooking dishes didn´t wake me up. I had no football to look forward too and the leaves on the trees aren´t changing colors. Plus, everybody around me was heading to work or school. But it was a Thanksgiving celebration for us. All the local LAMers got together in the northern part of the city and feasted on turkey, cranberry sauce, salad, rolls, pumpkin pie and almost all of the T-Day greats. It was a nice time. I forgot when I was accessing the internet to wish you all, our family and friends - our supporters, a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I give thanks that Leah´s flight made it safely to the States; that our ministries are beginning to pick up some steam and we are delving right into them; and for you, our friends and family ' our supporters.

Happy Thanksgiving...one day late!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Politics and Populace - Mexico

Title: Politics and Populace - Mexico: Reflections on an Hour´s Observation (Generalized and Oversimplified)

First the background. Leah is on a woman´s retreat for all the women in the Free Methodist Church of our Missions Conference in Central and Southern Mexico. That left me alone to make it to our project out in the north end of the city in the State of Mexico (an entirely different city than D.F., but it is really difficult to tell the difference. Kind of like Living in LA). I left an hour and a half earlier than I needed to get to the project, and got to the metro station in record time. After two stops my metro sat and waited. This happens from time to time. 20 minutes later we move. Yeah. We stop at the next stop, and all is smooth. We go to the next. Whamo, another 20 minute break. I´m about to get off here then it starts to move. So I jump back on. Another 15 minutes later a police officer tells us all to get off, that it is not going. So I make a huge detour in the Metro system to try to catch the metro at another stop farther up the line. 30 minutes later I find myself at a blockade with the police saying, ¨Alta!¨ So no go. At this point I don´t know the city well enough to get to my stop and don´t have the money sufficient for a taxi, so I had to abandon the journey (I´m still trying to get ahold of the person I´m supposed to help. I think she was stuck as well.)

That said, I decided to head down to the Zocolo or El Centro, the heart of the city and the heart of Mexico. Here stands the old parliament building, the great Cathedral that is built over the Aztec ruins of Tenochtitlan (sp?). Everything happens here, and on this weekend eve before the celebration of the Mexican Revolution something was happening.

I call this blog politics and populace because it struck me how different the populace of Mexico is compared to the States. To give an example, my Mexican brother agreed with a statement I read him from a book that elaborated on the fact that Americans do not really have any good political commentary movies and really can´t do political satire well. Interesting, I thought. Then today in the center of Zocalo was a troop of males dancing as nudos (naked) blocking off the street. The police just stood there to direct traffic. These men were naked and only hidden in the front by a picture of a Senator here in Mexico that they are protesting. Not the way I would want my political career to be remembered. The few old women that accompanied this troop of men were completely naked, baring all and collecting money for something. Interesting.

I don´t remember too many displays so large while living in LA, except for the immigration protests (led by Latin Americans and a huge majority of Mexican immigrants). Here it is a regular occurance for one of the largest streets in the city to be shut down for a protest and most of the time the police passively direct traffic. Another thought, when Bush narrowly beat Gore in the election, people were pretty ticked off (and some still are), but Gore didn´t have his people shut down the majority of DC for 2+ months! Obredor did.

And lastly, as I was pondering the difference in politics, which is highly important in this revolution weekend, I thought about political t-shirts. The States certainly has its supporting shirts or more likely joking shirts about the current president or people running, but we never wear shirts with the picture of Washington, Jefferson or Lincoln. In fact, like Mexico the youth are more likely to wear a Che shirt. But here, people wear Zapata or Pancho shirts and their pictures are everywhere. They are both third to that of Che and Bob Marley here in the city. Why do our youth not remember our rebel leaders? Is politics just not that important?

Here ends the ramblings of cultural learning for the day. I head off to call my supervisor another time, and hope that somebody made up to the north for the jovenes. Luckily at this point I´m not a vital piece or big help as I´m learning the project and the language.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Basilica of the Virgen of Guadalupe

On Friday we visited the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The Virgin of Guadalupe is of incredible importance for most Mexican Catholics. The story is that the Spanish priests were not originally making much head way with converting the indigenous people. One day, one of their indigenous converts, Juan Diego, was walking on a hill when he saw a vision of the Virgin. She asked him to build a cathedral in her honor on that spot. When he returned the priests did not believe him, they asked for a sign. Juan Diego returned to that spot and saw the virgin again and she gave him flowers as a sign. He put the flowers in his cloak and when he presented them to the priests the image of the virgin appeared on his cloak. In Mexican Catholocism the Virgin is worshipped and remembered almost more, if not more than Christ. The basilica below was built in the form of the cloak. There are several other structures on the complex that were the the cathedrals they had before this newest one.
A view from the top of the hill.

Me, Stephanie and Michelle in front of the old cathedral.

A depiction of Juan Diego's discovery of the virgin.

The old and the new.

There is a strong divide between Catholics and Protestants here in Mexico. Please pray that the influence, or impact that we might have here would transcend this divide.

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos is a huge celebration in Mexico. It is a combination of a pre-hispanic practice as well as a tradition that the Spaniards brought with them when they conquered Mexico. In a nut shell Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on the first and second of November. On these days many Mexicans believe that their dead come back. In order to honor and greet the dead ofrendas are constructed. The ofrendas, or offerings, usually include flowers (especially marigolds), pictures of the departed, candles, food (sweets for the kids and more substantial food for the adults), and water (because of the long journey). One of the most popular decorations during this time of year is the skeleton, particularly the skull, or the calavera. While this may sound morbid and a little scary to some, here it is a joyful celebrations. We walked through the graveyard (panteon) near our home and found groups of people gathered around grave sites while mariachi bands played. Children also dress up as children in the US do and have a little pumpkin basket. They go around asking people for money or sweets, but mostly money. One of the typical foods on this day is "pan de muerto"or bread of the dead. It is really yummy. It sort of has a lemony flavor. Death is certainly viewed very differently here than back home. There is a difference, however, between the Catholics and the Protestants here. The Protestants as a rule do not celebrate the day, choosing to focus instead on the resurrection of the dead only when Christ returns. On Friday night we visited the Zocalo, which is in downtown Mexico City where a variety of ofrendas had been set up in the square. It was fascinating.
A metro stop, a panteon is a cemetary.

An example of an ofrenda

It is hard to see, but this was a giant Lucha Libre ring with skeletons acting as the luchadores.
(Lucha Libre is basically equivalent to WWF)

This was a display showing an ancient tradition of the Aztecs to display decapitated heads.

Another ofrenda, these are skeletons in front of a bread store.
(The ofrendas in the Zocalo were more generalized, others throughout the city were for specific people.)
This is made entirely of seeds.

Another made completely of seeds representing Frida Kahlo, a very famous Mexican artist.
A large ofrenda in the Aztec tradition.

The entire square was completely full, you could barely move let alone see the ofrendas.

Our family gave us our own little "calavaritas"which are commonly used to decorate the ofrendas.


This weekend we went to visit Teotihuacan which is an archeological site with pyramids. Many people think that the Aztecs build them, but they were actually built by a group predating the Aztecs (this group existed here from around 100 BC to a little after the birth of Christ). The Aztecs came across the site after it had been uninhabited for hundreds of years and it was their belief that this is where the gods had dwelt. When they built their city, Tenochitlan, or modern day Mexico City, they modeled it after Teotihuacan. It was a really fun day, we went with Reina, Obed, their son Isaac, as well as Nereyda and Jose.

Here we are in front of the pyramid of the sun.

All but Kevin, I realize you can barely see us, but that gives you an idea of how gigantic this pyramid is.

On top of the world!

Reina and I coming down the steps.

The Indigenous group that lived here was incredibly skilled in stone carving, pottery making and many other arts that aren't shown here. One of my favorite things I saw were all of their miniatures, the detail was amazing.

We made it!
For any and all who come to visit us this is definitely a great place to visit. As we get to know a little bit more of the Mexican history I feel as if I am better able to understand the cultue today.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Frozen Chosen

Kevin writing...

The singer of a band in my university wrote a lyric, When did it get so cold in California/When did it start to snow in Los Angeles. Well it has snowed lightly in Los Angeles and all California readers of this can attest to the fact that it can get pretty cold in CA, but the readers who have not spent much time in CA see it as a sunny, beachy place where people walk around in shorts and tank-tops and what-not. The misperception is the same for Mexico. Most people think that it is hot where we are...but at thousands of feet above the sea level, surrounded by snow-caped volcanos (which were beautiful and we saw two of them yesterday!) it actually gets pretty cold here in the D.F. When the thermometer read 43 degrees...it did not read it at the stifling hot degrees Centigrade (which would be over 100 degrees Farenheit (sp?)). You from the Midwest might scoff at the high temperature of 43 degrees, but keep something in mind...our Indiana/Michigan friends here in D.F. get pretty cold. How can that be? one might ask...well we do not have heating in our houses or in most of the buildings. Fireplaces are generally out of the question because if one house goes up in flames here, it will destroy two city blocks. How do we heat our selves? Well our hands get warm by drinking plenty of hot drinks and our bodies are layered with 4-5 layers. Still we can rarely get quite warm enough.

On the positive side, though we have frozen the past few days, we have had some very exciting visits with some ministries and are getting a lot closer to fitting ourselves into one or two. This is very exciting as we have waited now over two months to get placed with full-time positions (or possibly two part-time positions). There is a lot that God is doing here in Mexico City, but the helping hands of volunteers are always needed. Through the support of family, friends and our church, we are able to provide consistent hands for many hours, and can help get projects off the ground. These organizations have dreams, but lack the man-power to carry them out. Most people in Mexico cannot volunteer long hours of the day to help at orphanages or tutoring centers because they themselves need to survive. Thanks for the support for us to be able to contribute a good amount of hand-power to the realization of dreams for these ministries.

Monday, October 22, 2007


On the picture of our supervisors I labeled them as Paula and Nydia, when really it is PAUL and Nydia, not Paula. Sorry Paul!

Here are some pics of what we have been doing...

After the majority of the rest of the Spearhead year outers made it to Mexico we had a retreat in Tequisquiapan. The following are some pictures from our visit there and to a neighboring pueblo....

Here we are: This is Kevin pre-haircut, which he got when he went to Phoenix for his friend John`s wedding.

This is the De Alba-Johnson family, Paul, Nydia and Andrès. Paula and Nydia are our supervisors.

Here is a picture of our group, we are missing Michelle and Wendy.

I was able to come back to the States for my friend Angie`s wedding. Lucky me I was able to see Stacia and Noelle as well.

It was a fun day, perfect weather!

So there you have it, a brief synopsis of what we have been up to. I don`t have any pics from the wedding Kevin went to because he forgot to bring our camera. Whoops. This past weekend we went to the Mole Fair. It was a lot of fun. I had absolutely no idea that there were so many different kinds of mole. For those of you who don`t know what mole is, it is a sauce you can put on top of meat or enchiladas that is made using chocolate. It is kind of sweet and spicy. There were a lot of booths with things to buy, fair rides, and lots of yummy food stands. We had a really good time. I wish we had brought our camera. Kevin´s favorite part of the night was his tamal de nopal. Which is a tamal made from cactus. I know it sounds funny, but it is really yummy. We also tried tortillas made from nopal, also very yummy. Please be continuing to think and pray for us in this next two weeks while Kevin finishes language school and we decide on our place of service for the rest of the time. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Adventures

So beginning this week I, Leah, will be helping out in a preschool. I am really excited. This month is one of a bit of transition for us, Kevin is still pretty intensively studying Spanish, but I am only studying a couple days a week now. When he finishes his study in another few weeks, we will begin our permanent assignment for the rest of the year. Until that time I will be helping out in a preschool that is connected with an organization called Alfalit. Alfalit is a really neat international organization that travels throughout Mexico teaching literacy. They have courses for both adults and children. Alfalit was founded through the influence of a missionary named Frank Laubach who was from the Philippines. His motto was that each one should teach one.

Kevin returned from Phoenix safely, he was there celebrating his best friend´s wedding. He had a really great time and was able to see his family, which was neat.

Please be thinking and praying for us this next month as we are searching for our permanent assignment. It is crazy to think that we have been here for two months already, time flies.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Back and rolling...

We got back from Tequisquiapan on Friday night...
On Sat. we went to the kids´English club at church...very fun. They had double the amount of kids from the first week.
On Sun. we relaxed some and went to church and Kevin prepared for his tutoring.
On Mon. Kevin went to tutoring for 3 hours with another missionary and Leah babysat the son of our bosses as they were at a teaching language and culture conference at our old school.
On Tues. we went to Chalco a part of the city, actually it was a town that is now overrun by Mexico City, about an hour and a half from where we live to go to a ministry site. It was really fun and they are doing a lot of really good work there.

On Thursday Kevin flies back to the States for the wedding of his best man...and you guessed it he is priveledged enough to be the best man in this wedding.

Time has gone by quickly but we are making use of our school-less schedule by taking tutors and studying a lot on our own.

More to come later...thanks for checking in...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Been Awhile...Here´s What We´ve Been Up To

Been a while since we last wrote. It has been a busy and not so busy week. Not so busy for Kevin who caught a pretty solid stomach virus a week ago and spent two days shivering with fever and finding his way to the baño often, missing two days of class. He read a ton, in English as comfort, but when the virus left the new enemy came on in the form of a final exam. Leah, for her part was very busy. She traveled to the US for a beautiful wedding in Indiana to be a part of the very special day for two very important people in our lives. She returned to the same enemy that plagued Kevin.

Celebration! We are done with the first term at school Leah completed her last exam today and Kevin did his yesterday.

Also over the course of the weekend, Kevin went to the airport twice where he helped his boss get two people who will be joining us in Mexico City and the most important person he helped pick up was Leah! He also partook in a fiesta to celebrate the birthday of the 8 year old who lives with us. There was lots of karioke (sp?) and lots of little girls doing little girl stuff.

Beginning tomorrow we join our other year-out staffers and our boss for a retreat a couple hours away from the city. We are excited to get to know them more.

As for ministry we have not set on one quite yet and could use your prayers. We did meet with Compassion International today and on Tuesday we are traveling to a city just south of Mexico City to another LAM missionary to view her work and discuss the potential for a partnership. That will be very exciting. We are also working with the English classes at church, helping out when we can be there (the retreat is taking away one of the weeks). It is quite enjoyable and great to get to know more people in the church.

That´s about it for now.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dress up time for the patriotic spirit. Those are the nietos (grandchildren) of our house mom. Isaac - 5, Elisa - 6mo

Zocolo lit up the night before Noche Mexicana

The national cathedral

Preparations for Noche Mexicana

Independence Day!!! Well it was nearly a week ago now, but it is just now that we've gotten to share. Above are pictures I (Kevin) took from the Zocolo the night before Noche Mexicana. Some pictures in the day were taken before that even as they were setting up for Noche Mexicana. Independence Day is a very big deal for Mexicans, more so than the 4th. Each delegation gives what is called a grito, which they yell out things like Viva Mexico and the crowd chants Viva in response.

Zocolo is the center of the city and a great historical district with the government place and a large cathedral. It is beautiful. This year we were advised to steer clear of Zocolo for the celebration because of the political tensions. Traditionally the president gives the grito at Zocolo, but due to a very tight election, parties are deadlocked in competition. So to resolve the matter they had multiple gritos at the Zocolo. We went the night before to check out all the lights.

As for the actual night we joined our family at their church for a fiesta and then went to a delegation named Coyoacan, an artist and historic delegation, for the grito there. This was much less potent for political drama. It was fun, and then we listened to a concert until about 1:00 am.

Noche Mexicana was fun!

Monday, September 10, 2007


This was me Friday morning.
The door to mine and Kevin´s room closes with a lever, one on the inside and one on the outside. When the one on the inside is closed no one can enter from the outside and vice versa for the outside. Well Friday morning Kevin had class at regular time, but I didn´t have to be there until 11, so I decided to sleep in. When Kevin left in the morning around 7:30 he didn´t think twice about closing the lever on the outside. I didn´t think about it either, until I tried to leave at about 10:15. When I realized what had happened I started to go into panic mode. How in the world was I going to get out? I tried yelling for Hermana Nareda (our house mama), but she couldn´t hear me since our room is on the roof. I then tried to see if I could wiggle through the bathroom window.

As you can see in the picture, my head barely fits through! Imagine if I got stuck there and no one could hear my cries for help! AAAhhhh! Finally I realized there was a small hole in the door which I could fit one finger through. I leaned against the door while I used my finger to move the lever over and found myself free at last! I barely made it to school on time, but there´s nothing like a little panic to get your heart pumping in the morning!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Midterms, Rain, and a Great Church

In nearly half an hour Leah and I will be leaving for a weekly prayer meeting at the church. I don´t understand too much of it, naturally, though I expect to catch more this week than last week and hope the trend continues. We really like our small little church. The people are very friendly and have good zest for life. I have been able to begin cultivating some friendships with a couple of the guys, mostly discussing music and how politics works in the respective countries, and whatever else I can muster in not even pidgeon Spanish, but relationships are growing. I look forward to seeing some friends tonight.

Midterms begin for my class tomorrow. We have to give an oral presentation for 5 minutes then answer other students´questions for 5 minutes. On Monday we then take our written exam, so likely I will be studying furiously this weekend.

The week has seen great improvement in my Spanish. I learned how to use verbs in a couple of different forms and despite my vocabulary deficiency I was able to communicate with the family and can continue to do so.

Rain...well I just like to say for those of you in Portland...I know your pain (or in my case joy) because it rains quite a bit here still. We lose the rain in October and then comes the smog from what we here. Also the cold.

That´s about it.

Hair Styles

There are two types of hair styles for young men around my age that I´ve noticed and want to share (Kevin). I don´t have pictures, so you´ll just have to imagine.

First start with a shorter mullet, not super long in the back, but not buzzed on the top either. Just about an inch or two all around the top and back with shaved sides. Now bring those lines up a little higher so they could almost be considered a mohawk, but not quite, then gel the hair towards the middle from top to back, and there is the Mullet-Hawk...without gel it looks like a mullet.

The Receeder
Many men do not like to get the receeding hairline, however I have noticed now on multiple punk rockers the receeding hairline cut. This is for sure a cut as the prickles of the newly shaved head still stand. Take three fingers or so and put them at the existing hairline. Then mark the spot and start shaving from the front back. Leave the rest of the hair at whatever length it is and you have just got yourself the fashionable receeder.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Church and more...

Potluck at our church

The neighborhood around our church

More neighborhood

It´s raining!

After the rain
So these are some pictures of our church. We are really enjoying it. Although it is very small, (about 35 with adults and kids), the people are very warm and friendly. Last Sunday we had a potluck to celebrate the birthday of one of the girls in the church, fun! Our church is located in a lower economic neighborhood than where we live. It is up on the hill a bit and the view from our church window is amazing! The last two pictures were taken from there and they don´t really begin to capture the whole scene. We look forward to becoming more involved and getting to know people as time goes by.
I think that anyone who has experienced public transportation in other countries has had their idea of ´crowded´redefined. That has definitely been true for us here in Mexico. For instance, when we got on the bus today to go to school we were literally hanging out the door since we were one of the last ones on. It was like a ride at Disneyland! And then there is the subway/metro. When it is really crowded they separate the cars for men and women. I have found that the women here are tough cookies, they can really push! One day we were crammed in so tightly that I could barely breathe. I am a bit closterphobic and the only thing that kept me from freaking out was the fact that I´m basically a whole head taller than all the other women, so being able to see well helped me calm down! Life is never boring here!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Finally some pictures!

"Our" dog Mimi
Our Street
The Stairway to Heaven looking up!
The Stairway to Heaven looking down.
Kevin standing at the door of our little ´casita´on the roof!
So we finally have some pictures! I took some at our church too, but unfortunately the only way to transfer them is through putting them on a cd first and then bringing it to the internet cafe. Hopefully we will find a place where we can use our own computer and it will be much easier!
We are starting our second week of language school. It is going pretty well. We also visited our church for the second time and are hoping to start getting more involved there this week. Last week it was the birthday of one of the girls in the church so we had a potluck, fun! Everyone is so nice. We are really enjoying it. We are also enjoying getting to know the missionary couple who lives next to the church, they have been here for a couple of years with Free Methodist World Mission. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. Think of us this week as we begin trying to establish relationships within our church with somewhat limited conversational skills!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

a little something from leah...

On Monday night we went to our first Mexican fiesta! Well, it was a very small one because the real one will be this Saturday. Paula, who is the daughter of friends of the family we live with (do you follow that?) turned three. She is this adorable little girl who was dressed up as a princess. Really it was just our family, plus a couple of others that were in attendance. In true Mexican fashion, it didn`t even start til about 8:30 or 9 in the evening, which meant we ate dinner and cake close to ten! It was very fun, however. Arely, our Mexican little sister who is seven was teaching some of the younger children how to dance. It was so cute to see her explaining how a gentleman extends his hand out to the lady he wants to dance with. We all hummed the Sleeping Beauty song as they danced. It was very cute. In the US we only have one birthday song, here they have three. After the birthday song and the blowing out of candles little Paula leaned forward to take the first bite of her cake while everyone chanted, ¨mordida!¨ Mordida means, take a bite! The tradition is that when the person leans forward to take a bite you shove their face into the cake, but this never happens with such young children. We returned home late, and we were quite tired the next morning, but it was worth it. It was fun to be a part of something intimate like that simply because we are living with a Mexican family.

More will follow, I am still working on the pictures. Have a happy day! - Leah

Its Raining its Pouring...

Rain, rain, is here to stay...at least a bit longer it seems. Prayers to those effected horribly by the hurricane. Here in Mexico City we have just had a good hard rain, but it should prove to be no problem other than the cuffs of our pants getting a bit wet or the possibility of being so unlucky as to step in one of the many puddles, thus soaking our shoes and socks. It rains pretty much daily in the summers here in Mexico City, though this rain has persisted unlike other days. Just a brief lesson in Mexico City climate...

And now for a look at traffic...

Situation...mucho traffico in the morning now that school is in session. Be warry of the puse-green metro line as the rain is effecting its efficiency. Buses are packed with non-walkers, so expect to be crammed like sardines...expect this every day, rain or shine in the mornings while school is in session.

On to other news...

For those of you interested in what I (Kevin) am learning in language school here has been the second most common question posed to me in the three days in attendence:

¿De donde eres? (Where are you from?)
My response:
Soy de Estados Unidos.
Soy estadounidense.

And for the bit of useless information...

The stray dogs here can be pretty mangy, but they are all very well behaved. They walk by on the streets without a beg or care of the passersby. Non-aggressive and non-curious they may just be the most behaved dogs I´ve ever seen. Still, they do little to make me want to cuddle with one. Sadly there are many strays on the street.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I (Kevin) Survived the First Day of Class

Well the entire class was taught in Spanish, which is necessary since we had six nationalities spread among fifteen people. But I survived, followed almost all the time and am geared up and ready for my study session. Three hours of Spanish is tiring, but not so bad.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

La Primera Semana/The First Week

Part of adjusting to a country that speaks a different language is also adjusting to the keyboard, so if there are any spellings that don´t seem quite right it is because I have hit the button where the letter/number/symbol normally is, but have found a different one instead! I will try to find all my mistakes, I think I have had three thus far.

This first week has been really neat. In some ways it has been a little overwhelming. There is so much to take in and learn. But in other ways it is very exciting. Kevin and I have a little room on the top of our family´s house. I will try to include pictures next time that I post a blog. Perhaps the most interesting part of our little room is the manner in which you have to get there. First you go out to the back porch area, then you proceed up a very tall, very small, very rickety spiral staircase. Someone was joking that our little room is right next to heaven, if so then we have our very own private staircase to heaven as well. Ha, ha, ha. Sleeping at night is a bit of adjustment, beyond the dogs barking and the traffic from the cars and planes, the first couple of nights there were also many fireworks which would last until one or two in the morning! Having travelled in Latin America before I should have remembered that cohetes, or fireworks, are very popular here! Next month, on the fifteenth Mexico celebrates it´s independence day. We are excited for the celebrations, and also prepared for some sleepless nights!

Little by little Kevin and I have been learning our way around the city. Today we practiced going to our language school, which is about 45 minutes away. Arely, who is seven, wanted to accompany us, so we asked permission from the grandmother and she accepted. I was a little bit surprised that she wasn´t worried we would get lost with her grandaughter, but did not think much more of it. Later that night we found out that Arely´s aunt, who also lives in our house was shocked that the grandmother let her go, and Arely´s mom thought that the grandmother was going with us! Oops! The good thing is that we did not get lost and more importantly, we did not lose Arely, which is a bit of a feat on a super crowded subway.

There is so much more I could write, but I think I will cut it off here as I am sure that this entry is nearing the ´too long´stage! Suffice it to say that we are really glad to be here and every day is an adventure!

Hasta luego -- Leah

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We've Arrived

With only a short delay from Phoenix to Mexico City, we have arrived, tired but excited. We met our Spearhead (short-term for LAM) director, our boss, and ate dinner with his family and began orientation. We were then dropped off at our home with our family.

I (Kevin) have been in a bit of a daze, attempting as hard as possible to listen to conversations and pick up on the language. I am suprised that I can follow some conversations not directed towards me, pretty well. However when people speak directly to me in Spanish I find myself at a loss. Hopefully language school starting Monday will help.

Still though my only Mexican (non-English speaking) friend is named Mimi. She seems to be taking advantage of me however and only wants me for my physical affection. She does not respond to my English well, when I tell her "no". I guess to her I'm speaking in Spanish as she rolls over to get her belly rubbed. I think we have a pretty good understanding of each other, but it is not a relationship that can go much deeper than a quick belly scratch and a lick of the hand.

A little humor, but before anything gets misconstrued, both Leah and I have been interacting with our family. Leah has been a great help to me in translation. After two days we are beginning to develop trust both ways. Hopefully my mistake of not turning the faucet the correct way when the water was out did not upset them. It made for quite the little problem when we were registering at school. Note to self...pay attention to the way the water turns on.

More later when we figure out our internet situation better. Thanks for the prayers. Please continue to pray for language acquisition and local navigation. (If Dave is reading this...public transportation is fantastic, even if you don't understand the signs.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Time Flies

So I know that I have mentioned that it has been difficult to wait for a finalized departure date, but now that it is here it as if everything is in high gear. It is crazy how things can go from just creeping along to feeling as if they are moving in warp speed! I am thankful that we have already divested ourselves of an apartment, so we don't have quite as much work to do with moving etc. but there is still some shuffling around that needs to happen with our belongings. It is bitter sweet to leave Southern California. I am so excited for what lies ahead, but at the same time I am very sad to be saying good-bye to our friends and our church. A very significant portion of my life has transpired here, even though it has only been just under four years since I arrived. I went to Fuller, made some unbelievable friends, was able to be a part of a very special family's life by nannying, and also met my husband. I feel as if I have grown a lot. As stated, I am excited for what lies ahead, but am also mourning what I am leaving behind. So I want to say a very special thank you for all of those people who have poured into my life, and allowed me to be part of yours. I am so blessed. Thank you!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Departure Date 3 WEEKS

We have finally been cleared for departure, so this in between time is now over. We embark on our final preparations including purchasing tickets and packing and stuff like that. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Our departure however does not signify the end of our need. We will still need to raise $12,000 while on the field which is increasingly difficult when Leah's beautiful face (and Kevin's too I guess) is not around to smile and communicate our passion.

We solicit also your constant prayers and would like to be praying for you constantly. Please email us with any prayer requests. Please celebrate with us that our largest one is answered.

So soon we shall depart for Mexico City!!!


Monday, July 23, 2007

Still Waiting...

Well, for all of you who are watching our appointments as to whether or not we have been given the clear to go, we were supposed to have found out Friday, but we did not - hopefully soon though.

On a great note, we have had some new options with language learning that allows us a little more freedom with departure dates than we had before, giving us then many more opportunities to go once the money comes in. LAM is also very pleased with the trend of finances coming in, giving us a great amount of encouragement. Having worked for a sending organization before (Kevin) and seeing the financial response that most people got there, we are above par. So, a great big thank you to our friends and family. You guys are incredible encouragers!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


On Sunday Kevin and I were able to share with our church and it was really neat. Not only did we get to share what we will be doing in Mexico, but also what is going on with children at risk worldwide. I was so excited to be able to share. It was a little difficult to decide what to fit in in a relatively small time slot, but I think we did a pretty good job of a broad overview. If anyone else is interested in finding out more about what is going on with children around the world a great website is www.viva.org. It is an amazing resource. So this Friday is the big day for us, we will find out whether we will be able to leave in August, or whether we will be waiting until October. Our God is a big God and I really believe that it is possible for the finances we need to come in in three days, but I am also prepared for the possibility that we might be spending a little more time state side in preparation. If we are indeed going to be staying until October one of our biggest prayer requests will be for somewhere to stay. We have been completely dependent on people's generosity in opening up their homes up until this point, which has been a huge blessing for us. We know that we are cared for and loved, and won't be living out of our car! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 14

Well our visit to Miami was good, though pretty exhausting. We missed our 6:15 am flight out of LAX (long story), so we had to fly standby. The long and the short of it was that we did not reach Miami until 2 in the morning. There was no lag time, however, because we had an 8:30 meeting the next morning. All ofour meetings went well, we were able to meet pretty much everyone in the office. We signed some tax documents, asked some questions, and also talked for a couple of hours with Connie Beefus, who is in charge of member care at LAM. Over all it was really good. In the late afternoon our contact, Anne Marie, took us to see some of the beaches and then we had Cuban food for dinner, yum! Tomorrow we speak in our church. I am excited for the opportunity to let them in on what Kevin and I are going to do, but also more than anything hopefully get them inspired to care about children-at-risk. :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Leaving for Miami

Tomorrow Kevin and I leave for a one day orientation with LAM in Miami. It will be a whirlwind trip, but we are looking forward to taking one more small step towards our goal of going to Mexico City. We are still hoping for an August departure, but because that is contingent on our support we may have to wait until October. I have had a couple of conversations with people lately that have caused me to reflect on how blessed Kevin and I have been to have such a great amount of time together in our first year of marriage. We have pretty much been with each other 24/7 since we quit our jobs at the end of March. Our life before this was pretty jam packed, besides both of us working full-time, Kevin was also taking classes three nights a week and we had many more daily responsibilities than we do right now. This intentional time together has brought up a lot of good conversations, some stressful moments :), but mostly a lot of growth. Please continue to think and pray for us as we are continuing to prepare for this next great adventure. We will let you know how our orientation went when we get back. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Book-Satterlees on the WEB

Welcome to the Book-Satterlee Noticias blog. This will be where we post our updates, giving you an opportunity to see what we are up to and giving us an opportunity to connect with our friends, family and those interested in working with children at risk in Mexico City, Mexico. Thanks for stopping by!