OCS, this is Stephen.

Trip Start Sep 04, 2008
Trip End May 19, 2009

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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Thursday, April 2, 2009

"OCS, this is Stephen." - I probably said that about 100 times in the last two weeks. Here's why: I've been the secretary at OCS, since the normal secretary is pretty sick, and has been home for a few weeks now.

I decided I'd do a list of pros and cons - you know, mix things up a bit.

- I got to meet and improve my relationship with a lot of people because the secretary's desk is essentially the hub of the school.
- I was able to significantly lighten the load on Mr. Shaver, the principal, because normally when the secretary is gone, everyone goes straight to him; his office is next to her desk.
- By being at the school all day and every day, I was able to get involved in new ways - specifically - I am partially in charge of the elementary musical - Splash Kingdom. I'm the self-titled "Director of Enthusiasm", but I've also been saddled with the responsibility of making sure everyone has their lines memorized, and making sure that dialogue flows in a natural way.
-----> Sub pro: I know all the words to all the songs of this children's musical. and that is awesome.
- I've learned some secretary skills:
---> I'm excellent at faking understanding when someone comes in and tells me something in Spanish.
---> I'm really good at taking messages over the phone.
---> I can manage a cash box and a small store of supplies.
---> I'm really good at microwaving corn dogs for a 1st grader who can't reach the microwave.
---> I now have a full working knowledge of where all things are, such as phone books, medicine, keys, etc...
- I had a lot of free time on my computer, and I spent it reading mostly photography websites, and I learned a lot in those few weeks.

- I woke up before 7 AM every day for two weeks.
- I was an utter fail the first two days, and I still don't know the answer to most of the questions I get asked.
- I let kids do all sorts of things they're not allowed to do without paying, such as making phone calls and printing papers.

Overall, I had a really great time as the secretary, and it was an enjoyable way to help out where I was needed. There are definitely cooler things to do here, but I would do it again if I was asked.

Also, since the last blog, I've gone again to sell Bibles in an indian village with Hans. Just like the last time, I had a blast. This time the little old lady brought her son and his family along as well - and after selling Bibles at the market, we drove, and then hiked a good 3 miles up into the mountains, so the little old lady could scout out a place to live. It was rather ridiculous really, this 80 year old lady thought she could live a solid two mile hike above any sort of road - in a place where there was no water and no level ground. She was convinced that the mountain terrain we were hiking all over belonged to her parents, and it was now hers... it was obviously uninhabited for a reson though.

On that same note, about hiking all over mountains, last friday, AT and I, as well as Jacob and Lucas, decided to overload our backpacks and go on a camping trip. We drove out to Mitla, a town about 45 minutes away from Oaxaca (where Lucas lives), and from there, we hiked up one of the mountains on the edge of the town. I had such an incredible time. We started in the afternoon, and as the sun was setting, we were a good 9000 ft up, getting ready to camp in the trees. We built a fire, AT smashed up his face breaking firewood, and then we grilled our own mexican food over the camp fire. We then got in our sleeping bags (well, my bag is in Westerville, oops - I ended up sleeping in a blanket, which I shared with Jacob, and neither of us actually ended up sleeping, because it was way too cold :-). Anyways, we got in our bags, and then Lucas, who hauled a guitar the whole way, led us in some solid acoustic worship for a good while, just sitting under the stars, and an incredibly bright moon. Top Mexico/God experience right there. Note: My family comes tonight, and I was going to have them bring my sleeping bag, but they're already on their first plane - DANG IT!

anyways - sorry about the un-uniformityness of this blog - I typed parts of it at 5 different times. Well, next blog will be about the family's adventure down here.

Till next time,
Much love,
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