Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hello again from Santa Cruz! Sat. Nov 6, 2010

Hello and thank you for tuning in again.  I am still in Santa Cruz.  I thought I would stick around so that I could go to church here on Sunday.  I'll get up tomorrow and put on my cleanest clothes, then push my stroller to church!  After that it will be only about 10 miles or so to a state park on the beach.

Today I strolled down to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  It is an amusement park that I think operates all year.  Today was Saturday, and was a nice sunny one at that, so there were quite a few people out enjoying the day.  They had the rides going too.  I sat and enjoyed people-watching for a while.  I also enjoyed some pigeon-watching too!  One flew and landed on the counter of a food concession booth, then proceeded to hop on inside and graze around on the floor!  I had to admire that bird!  I think he's done it before!  When I was on the wharf yesterday, I took a picture of another one that just walked right inside the store and strutted around inside looking for any stray morsels!

I got back to the hostel today just before 5 o'clock when it opens in the evening.  There was a young man sitting there waiting to check in.  We struck up a conversation and he is 28 year old Mike from Switzerland.  He just got in the states a few days ago and is headed to Central America where he hopes to learn Spanish in an immersion school.  But for now he wants to do a little surfing!  He joined me and we walked downtown to buy a few groceries.  I called my daughter in San Luis Obispo and asked her what was good to get for dinner at Trader Joes.  The wonder of modern technology, huh?  So Mike and I bought some healthy food (mostly healthy) and walked back to the hostel.  We cooked it in the community kitchen and shared it with Valerie from Bristol, England.  She is an older lady who is here visiting and "riding the bus and the train about."  She is a kick and we had a good meal and good conversation.  Once again, people are great.  They are the best part!  There is something about these travelers that I meet.  I keep talking about how the people are great, but we all know that there are some truly "undesirable" ones out there- there are those who are dangerous and those who mean harm.  But they are certainly the minority.  Then there are those who are the vast majority- those who get up every day and go to work and live.  I have observed that these travelers are distinct and unique.  We all have something to learn from them.  I've noticed that they all have some similar traits, such as openness, curiosity, thrift, humility, friendliness, bravery.  They are open- open to new people and open to new experiences.  In fact, they crave them.  They are curious, otherwise they wouldn't be out traveling- they want to see and experience new places and new people.  They are thrifty- they don't splurge and they watch their money.  I think as a result of this they are also humble- they know that they are not traveling 1st class and they don't act like it.  They seem to appreciate whatever they get.  They are mostly friendly and receptive.  These things are essential when you are visiting someone else's country.  And they are courageous.  I have met numerous people traveling the world alone.  That group also includes some single women- some as young as the 22-year-old girl I met from Australia.  These people are living "on the edge" so-to-speak.  It is refreshing to see.  I know that oftentimes in our lives we become caught in a rut and get bored.  We all know, as parents, that when our kids get "caught in a rut and get bored" that that usually is a recipe for something not so good!  So how are we any different?  What I am trying to get across is that we can learn a valuable lesson from these travelers, and it is this- we may not be able to travel like they do, but we can still seek openness, curiosity, thrift, humility, friendliness, and bravery from home.  When those things are directed at understanding our neighbors we soon find that we are one.  Isn't that what God has been trying to get across to us all along?  If more of us actually did explore our world, by whatever means we have available, and if more of us did really get to know our neighbors- whether across the street or across the oceans......... wouldn't the world get a bit smaller?  Wouldn't it get smaller in a good way?  Wouldn't we be much less likely to see others as "them"?  Wouldn't we start to see us more as "we"?  Wouldn't that be healthier than the competitive way we tend to view our collective existence?  Think about it.................

Please continue to spread the word about the Coder's needs and their children's needs.  That is why I am doing this- to help them because they truly need it.  Please remember that it is a team effort.  I need your help in any way that you can creatively help.  You think that what I am doing takes faith and courage- you should go down to Honduras and see Bob and Joyce Coder in action!!  If you want to see some faithful, brave, and committed people, watch them!  They are living in a very dangerous place doing something that most of us have never observed.  What I am doing is a cakewalk compared to them.  So please remember that this is for them and the children.  It is an ongoing need that necessitates commitment on our part as well.

I welcome any correspondence that any of you may wish to direct my way!  My cell phone number is (707) 498-9586.  My e-mail is  ...... or you can leave comments in this blog.  Don't forget to tune into the children's website and blog at 

Thank you for reading once again.  I appreciate the fact that you continue to tune in to read what I have written and to see if I'm still alive!!

Thank you,
God bless,

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