Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Say! You've struck a heap of trouble --
Friday, July 18, 2008
Not to wander off, to avoid lonely places, and not to take shortcuts through alleys or deserted areas.
They are safer walking or playing with friends.
Always come straight home from school unless you've made other arrangements.
Not to enter anyone's home without your permission.
To scream, run away and tell you or a trusted adult if anyone attempts to touch or grab them.
Not to go with anyone who offers them treats, toys, or money or asks them to help find a lost pet.
Not to give any information over the internet or telephone, particularly their name and address, or that they are alone.
Keep all doors locked and not to open the door to anyone without your permission.
Not to leave your home or yard without your permission.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
As some already know, I teach crafts to women here in Costa Rica. It is part of my ministry to women in extreme poverty and/or abusive situations. The crafts help them to develope a sense of self-worth and a means of making some income. The time spent together with other women teaching them to pray for one another, to realize that God loves them, and to know that they are not alone.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing pics of the various crafts they had made. If anyone is interested in any of the items or would like to help with the funds to purchase materials just leave a comment with a way I can contact you. Your prayers for this ministry and the women are always greatly appreciated.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'“
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly, “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people. They are nuclear-powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities. They have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day. They can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day. They also carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and the injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships. How many does France have?”
You could have heard a pin drop.
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian, and French Navies...
At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.
He then asked, “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, “Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies, and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE...
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”
The American said, ''The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it.”
“Impossible! Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!”
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long, hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
Americans, it is time to remember who we are and what we stand for. Be proud of your country and of our military. Where we were be without them?
Friday, July 11, 2008
This is the diagram (map) of the Irazu Volcano National Park as you enter the crater area.
It is dangerous around the crater rims. The edges frequently crumble off. Tremors are common and happen without warning. There are several signs like this one.
Isn't it amazing how beauty can be found in the harshest and most desolate of places!? God, our great Creator, certainly has an eye for beauty!
This crater is named Diego de la Haya, after the Spanish gentleman who made a detailed description in 1723 of the first recorded eruption. You walk past this crater on your way to the main and presently active crater.
The rims of the craters are fenced like this to discourage the overly curious, and unwise from getting to near the edge.
The rim of the principal crater. There were moments when the clouds billowed up and out of the crater and we could see the lake at the bottom. It was a greyish, milky, green that day.
A close-up shot of the flowers growing beside the fence.
The sign giving the depth and the diameter of the main crater. 300 meters = 975 feet deep. 1050 meters = 3412.5 feet in diameter.
This is our favorite photo. Even though it was windy and cold, there was a hushed quality to the place that day. It was awesome. So much power lying quiet, waiting.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Irazu - the Colossus.
Irazu, towering over the valley, as seen from the city of Cartago
Another view of Irazu from the Central Valley.
Farmland seen on the drive up.
Onion fields on the slope above the Central Valley.
Looking toward the east about half way to the summit.
A field on the up slope side of the highway about half way to the summit.
A view of the summit.
Fields ready for planting.
Potato fields just below the frost line.
Irazu Volcano is a stratovolcano with an irregular subconic shape. It is located in the Cordillera Central near the city of Cartago. There’s some disagreement about the source of the volcano’s name. There are three possible sources. One: it is thought by some to be a corruption of the word Iztaru which was the name of a village of indigenous peoples on the volcano’s slopes. Two: That it came from the word Istaru which means thunder and earthquake mountain. And three: That it is a word formed from two words - Ara which means point and Tzu which means thunder. Aratzu = point of thunder.
Irazu is known as the “Colossus” because of its past catastrophic eruptions and its size. It has erupted frequently in the past - 23 times since records began to be kept concerning its activity back in 1723 by Diego de la Haya. It is the highest volcano in Costa Rica, reaching an altitude of 11,259 feet above sea level. And it is the largest, covering 200 square miles.
Irazu’s summit is made up of five craters:
Diego de la Haya
All five craters can be seen in this aerial photo.
The main crater is in the foreground. Diego de la Haya is to the left. Playa Hermosa is to the right.
The main crater (El Crater Principal) is 3445 feet across and 984 feet deep. It contains a lake that is green in color. This lake has been known to change from its normally green color to red from time to time. This is due to a change in its chemical make-up. The government’s geological agency keeps a close watch on Irazu just as it does all the active volcanoes in the country. They closely monitor the lake for any changes in temperature or chemical make-up. I have never personally seen this.
The main crater is in the foreground. Diego de la Haya is to the left. Playa Hermosa is to the right.
Diego de la Haya is an old crater that is no longer active. It was named after de la Haya who was the first to record an eruption (1723). It does at times have a small lake that is formed by the run-off water during the rainy season.
Playa Hermosa from near the rim of the main crater.
Playa Hermosa (which means beautiful beach) is also an old, inactive crater. When you stroll along there you are actually walking on the plugged vent. The surface is a fine sand of black glass. Very abrasive. There are various sizes of black pumice scattered across the surface. Nature is reclaiming Playa Hermosa. Hardy grasses and small flowers are beginning to grow there.
Playa Hermosa from the slope above the main crater.
The main crater from the summit.
The last major eruption was in 1963 - 1965, during which time the Costa Rican captial, San Jose, and the Central Valley were blanketed daily in black soot, ash, and sludge for months. At one point during this period of activity ash-filled vapor blasted up into overhanging clouds, triggering a storm that rained mud over a wide area. The accumulation of mud was up to five inches thick.
The last actual eruption was in December of 1994 and was considered a phreatic eruption. Basically, the volcano hiccupped gas, breccia, and ash. Presently, local geologists consider Irazu to be dormant. There are, however, frequent earthquakes which indicates that magma is still moving beneath the volcano. Presently, Irazu is behaving. There is little activity beyond the release of occasional clouds of carbon dioxide gas and hydrogen gas at temperatures below the boiling point of water.
At 11,259 feet above sea level, Irazu is often quite frigid at the top. The summit is above the frost line. Temperatures are sometimes around freezing. An average temperature is 45 degrees F. The low temperature, combined with the ceaseless wind and the saturating humidity, make it bitter cold at the rim. This is quite a surprise to people who come in summer clothing thinking they are in a tropical climate because Costa Rica is so near the equator. I have personally been at the rim when it was sleeting!
In order to see the craters, it is best to arrive early in the morning before the clouds move in. However, a cloudy valley does not mean Irazu’s summit won’t be clear. Because of the volcano’s altitude it is often above the clouds.
The landscape is surreal. Lunar-like and grey. Harsh. Desolate. The plant growth is stunted and there is little in the way of wildlife beyond birds, rabbits, coyotes, and armadillos.
Caution is required. The crater rims are dangerously unstable.
I have been to Irazu many times. It is hushed and eerie, especially when the clouds roll in. There are days when there are very few people and then there are days, especially when the sun is out, that there are too many. Many people seem to have no idea of how to conduct themselves in such a harsh environment or to understand that they are at 11,259 feet above sea level. On one of my visits to Irazu a middle aged man in a spandex suit of some sort (it was sort of a neon green in color - scarey) decided that Playa Hermosa was a great place to run. He took off at a dead run, and passed out after the first 50 feet or so. Apparently he did not realize that the air is quite abit thinner at 11, 259 feet than it is at sea level.
Hope you enjoyed our journey to Irazu. The next volcano we will visit will be Poas.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Most of the quakes (tremors) that occur here are 3's or less, and unless you are either lying down or sitting down and are perfectly still, you would never notice them. A 4.5 will make the roof rafts groan abit. A 5 will gently rattle the windows. A 6 will vibrate things off their shelves and make the chandelier over the dining room table swing back and forth.
Quite often I can hear them before feeling them. Especially a 5 or higher. Sound waves travel at a faster speed then the ground waves. It is a low pitched rumbling almost like distant thunder. Sometimes the neighborhood dogs will set up a real din before I feel it. Sound apparently hurts their ears.
The most interesting quake I've experienced actually happened in Granada, Nicaragua. We were having lunch at an open air cafe on the main plaza when a 5.2 occurred. You could actually see the ground rolling like gentle waves on a lake. It was really weird, and of course, being a geologist, I loved it.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Advice for Visitors:
1. Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later how to use it.
2. Just because you can drive on snow and ice does not mean we can. Just stay home the two days of the year it snows.
3. If you do run your car into a ditch, don´t panic. Four men in the cab of a four wheel drive pick-up complete with a shotgun and a rifle in the gun rack and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don´t try to help them. Just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.
4. The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.
5. Remember: "Y'all" is singular. "All y'all" is plural. "All y'all's" is plural possessive.
6. Get used to hearing, "You ain´t from around here, are you?"
7. If you are yelling at the person driving 15 mph in a 55 mph zone, directly in the middle of the road, remember, many folks learned to drive on a model of vehicle known as John Deere, and this is the proper speed and lane position for that vehicle.
8. If you hear a redneck exclaim, "Hey, y'all, watch this!" Stay out of his way. These are likely the last words he will ever say, or worse still, that you will ever hear!
9. Ge used to the phrase "It's not the heat, it's the humidity". And the collateral phrase "You call this hot? Wait'll August."
10. Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store.
11. In conversation, never put your hand on a man's shoulder when making a point.
12. Chili does NOT have beans in it.
13. Brisket is not `cooked`in an oven.
14. Don´t tell us how you did it up there. Nobody cares.
15. If you think it's too hot, don´t worry. It'll cool down --in December.
16. We do to have 4 seasons: December, January, February, and Summer!
17. A Mercedes-Benz is not a status symbol. A Ford F-150 is.
18. If someone tells you "Don't worry, those peppers aren't hot", you can be certain they are.
19. If you fail to heed my warning in #18 above, be sure to have a bowl of guacamole handy. Water won't do it.
20. Rocky Mountain oysters are NOT oysters. Don't ask.
21. If someone says they're "fixin" to do something, that doesn't mean anything's broken.
22. If you don´t understand our passion for college and high school football, just keep your mouth shut.
23. The value of a parking space is not determined by the distance to the door, but by the availability of shade.
24. If you are on a two lane road and see a slower moving vehicle pull onto the shoulder -- that is called "courtesy".
25. BBQ is a food group. It does NOT mean grilling burgers and hot dogs outdoors.
26. No matter what you've seen on TV, line dancing is not a popular weekend pastime.
27. "Tea" = Iced Tea. There is no other kind.
28. Everything goes better with Ranch dressing.
29. Don´t be worried that you don´t understand anyone. They don´t understand you either.
30. If it can´t be fried in bacon grease, it ain´t worth cooking, let alone eating.
31. The winter wardrobe you always brought out in September, can wait until December.
32. Most Kentuckians do not use turn signals, and they ignore those who do. If fact, if you see a signal blinking on a car with a Kentucky license plate, you may be fairly sure it was on when the car was purchased.
33. If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the most minuscule accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It does not matter if you need anything from the store, it is just something you're suppose to do.
34. Satellite dishes are very popular in Kentucky. When you purchase one, it is to be positioned directly in front of your house. This is logical bearing in mind that he dish cost considerably more than the house and should, therefore, be prominently displayed.
35. In Kentucky tornadoes and divorces have a lot in common. In either case, you know someone is going to lose a trailer.
36. If attending a funeral in Kentucky, remember we stay until the last shovel of dirt is thrown on, the tent is torn down, and the empties are picked up.
37. There are no delis. Don´t ask.
38. If you forget a Kentuckian's name, refer to him (or her) as "Bubba" --- you have a 75% chance of being right.
39. Be advised that in Kentucky, "He needed killin'" is a valid defense.
40. "Dinner" is not served in the evening. Dinner is something that is cooked for the midday meal. Supper is served in the evening. Lunch is food carried in a brown paper bag or lunch box to work.
Monday, July 7, 2008
The mission van loaded with the metal roofing.
Samuel and Bro. Gerardo unloading the roofing.
Samuel getting the ladder set up.
Samuel and Bro. Gerardo working on the roof.
The old roofing is nearly rusted away.
Samuel inspecting the work done and counting how many more sheets are needed.
As you can see, there are still alot of roofing (rusted through) that needs replacing, but we are off to a good start. We still need some 75 sheets of roofing to complete the job. The sheets are approximately $20 each at the present rate of exchange. If anyone would like to donate a sheet of roofing just let us know at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave a comment and I'll get back to you.
Blessings to you all.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Volcanoes are a major part of life here in Costa Rica. They have created the rich soil that makes this little country an agricultural paradise. They are also a MAJOR tourist attraction, and Costa Rica’s economy is largely based on its ability to attract tourists.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Irazú is definitely my favorite of Costa Rica’s five active volcanoes. From my living room window, it is one of the first thing I see every morning. Irazú’s slopes are gently rounded and covered with villages and farms. As you drive upward along the switchbacks toward the summit, the land falls away to your right in deep gorges with rushing streams and valleys with rivers below simmering like ribbons of silver in the sunlight. To your left the land slopes steeply upward and much of it is cultivated. The fields of cabbage are winding rows of green with an occasional row of purple cabbage. There are also field of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and potatoes. In some fields, tractors move slowly as laborers stack sacks or boxes of produce into the wagon. In other fields, yokes of oxen plod along pulling carts into which the produce is stacked. As you climb higher, you often pass through veils of clouds. It is cool and hushed, the trees draped in Spanish moss and orchids. Nearing the summit, the fields of crops give way to pasture for dairy cattle. It is not uncommon to round a curve and find several very contented cows calmly standing in the middle of the road. From the summit, on a clear day, you can see the peak of another volcano, Arenal, in a range of mountains running northwest toward Nicaragua. And if you are very fortunate, and the day is very clear, you can see both oceans, the Caribbean to the east and the Pacific to the west.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Be sure to check back each week to get your next "rocking and rolling" update from Costa Rica.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
You know you are a Texan when....
...you only know five spices: salt, pepper, Ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, and ketchup.
...the mosquitoes have landing lights.
...you´ve taken your kids trick-or-treating when it was 90 degrees outside.
...the local paper covers national and international headlines on two pages, but requires six pages for local sports.
...you can (and do) write a check at Dairy Queen for two Hunger-Busters and fries.
...the most effective mosquito repellent is a shotgun.
...you think the start of Deer Season is a national holiday.
...you know which leaves make good toilet paper.
...the major county fund-raiser isn´t bingo - it´s sausage making.
...you find 70 degrees Fahrenheit a little chilly.
...you attend a formal event in your best clothes, your finest jewelry, and your Cowboy Boots.
...you know four seasons - Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Deer Season.
...you actually understood this post and got a good laugh out of it.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Just completed this quilt for my two-year old granddaughter, Lyvi. She is very interested in the Disney Princesses at the moment. While I was searching for material to back Kaiden's Bandana Quilt (earlier post) I found this piece of material and immediately thought of Lyvi. I handquilted around the princesses and used a thin batting. This is a play quilt for her to use at the beach or for picnics outside.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Volcan Arenal - Costa Rica
Why does Costa Rica have so many volcanoes?
In the last post, I explained about tectonic plates and how they move relative to one another. Just as their movement causes earthquakes, they also cause volcanoes. Remember that there are two types of plates: continental and oceanic. The continental plate is made up of lighter materials than the oceanic plate. Costa Rica is the convergent boundary between the Caribbean and the Cocos plates. Where the collision between the two occurs, the continental plate floats up and over the oceanic plate which sinks. This causes a trench that forms a boundary. In the case of Costa Rica, this trench is off the Pacific coast and runs parallel to the coastline. This trench is called a subduction zone.
When the oceanic plate sinks beneath the leading edge of the continental plate, this is called subduction. As the two plates slide over and past one another, the oceanic materials continue to subduct or sink beneath the continental plate and as it moves inland away from the trench it gets deeper underground. Eventually it sinks deep enough to be melted into magma by the heat from the mantle. Volcanoes are the earth’s relief valves for this superheated, viscous material that is known as lava when it comes to the surface. There is a line of volcanoes through the central portion of Costa Rica where the melted oceanic materials return to the earth’s surface. This line of volcanoes extends through Costa Rica and well up into Nicaragua.
According to geologists, here in Costa Rica, there are at least 112 volcanoes. Five are considered active. They are Irazú, Poás, Turrialba, Arenal, and Rincón de la Vieja.
Volcanoes are considered to be either active, dormant, or extinct. A simple explanation will do for our purpose. Active, of course, means just that. The volcano is presently doing something. Dormant means it is inactive (asleep) and has not erupted for some time. Some scientists consider a volcano dormant if it has not erupted in the last 500 years or if it hasn’t erupted since history began to be recorded in that location. For example, the volcano may be showing no signs of activity other than the presence of hot springs in the area, but because of the hot springs it obviously is not extinct (dead). Extinct means dead. The volcano has done nothing since man has been around to observe and record, and there is no sign of any type of active.
Of the 112 volcanoes in Costa Rica, only the five mentioned above are active. The rest are either dormant or extinct. One of the dormant volcanoes is Barva which is the largest volcano in Costa Rica.
Irazú is my favorite volcano. Perhaps that is because I can see it from my living room window. It is the tallest volcano in Costa Rica and is affectionately called The Colossus. Poás, which has the second largest crater in the world, is perhaps an hour away as the crow flies, and Turrialba is about the same distance, but in the opposite direction. Rincón de la Vieja and Arenal, which has erupted everyday for the last 40 years and is considered one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world, are about an hour and a half away. Over the next few weeks, I will post about each of them and share some photos with you.