Matthew - Here we are, on our first flight out to Arizona. Last night we stayed at Julie's house. The Workmasters are awesome, allowing all of us to stay there last night, and feeding us. And then driving us and dropping us off at the airport this morning. The Hendersons are awesome too, helping with the food and transportation. Very amusing moment: This morning, as we are going through the metal detectors, they pull me aside, with my bag, and dust it for explosive residue!! I still can't figure out why. Janey walked around with the video camera for a while. She was doing a video log. I think that is a wonderful idea. The seating arrangements aren't anything like we though they'd be. Bob had a printout of what the arrangements were supposed to be, and some of us were supposed to be sitting together. Instead everyone is spread all over the place. Well, that's enough for now.
Bethany – Well, we have started out on our first flight, and it hasn't been bad. I got a little nervous when the lady next to me whipped out the throw up bag while we were taxiing, but luckily there were no disasters. I woke up at 4:15 this morning, and I have not started feeling tired yet. It will probably hit me this afternoon. We got to the airport in plenty of time, but not so early that we waited around forever. The line was long to check the baggage, and a few of the passengers were getting unruly. The little guy from behind the counter took control and fistfights were smoothly avoided. Besides the baggage check line rage and the lady next to me almost throwing up everywhere (she still doesn't look so good) the trip has been uneventful. Oh, except the bus we passed on the way here that was going the wrong way on a major highway. I guess the outcome of that will remain a mystery!
Angela – Well, here we are – on an airplane to Houston. I was sitting near the back of the plane, behind Matt and in between two strangers. The guy by the window seemed pretty nice, though. Then Jen was nice enough to switch seats with me so that I could sit by Jonathan. Now, when I look out the window, I see a wing. But that's ok. We had breakfast – a banana and Cheerios, and it was good if you cut the banana up and put it in the cereal. I gave my milk to Matt. Hmm… What else? I don't know. I guess that's it.
Jonathan – Hmmm… How to start this entry and not sound even more monotonous… Good morning! At least it has been so far. I only got one hour of sleep last night but it hasn't hit me yet. I am really looking forward to the rest of the day as well as the trip. I am hoping to get a window seat from Houston to Albuquerque so I can see some scenery different from Florida's flatness. Breakfast was pretty good; I hope lunch will be, too. Wow! I woke up at 1am Arizona time. Bye for now.
Bob – Great dinner, f'ship, and prayer at the Workmasters last night, they are wonderful. Typical didn't sleep much before the early flight. We did our daily devo scriptures before lights out. 4am came early but I feel good. First leg to Houston good after a long wait at check-in. Everyone looks great in their new ORANGE shirts, esp. Angela! Amy is in blue; we'll have to work on that. Great group, will enjoy relaxing time in Houston before heading to Alb. PTL!
Seth – I haven't really slept in over a day now. Janey's really been the most hyper so far – I wonder if that will change. This plane had us all separated, but the rest should be better. As we descend, the pressure builds up in my ear. We are having a good time so far. The trip is kinda exciting, and I'm also kinda delirious now, too.
Janey – Hi!!! Our first flight is just about over. We are expected to land in 15 minutes. It has been pretty uneventful, well except for my Mr. Potato Head French Fry Thrower. I had a lot of fun video taping everyone and seeing how everyone has been taking the flight and how breakfast was. I am so excited about this trip; it has been hard to sit still. It is so awesome to see all of God's creation as I look out the window. Not even the small clouds get in the way of how beautiful everything is up here. I am so glad that I was able to come with this group to help the Navajo Trails Mission.
Dr. J – The day thus far has gone swimmingly, until now. We awoke at 4:15am to embark to the Orlando airport. Everyone was bright and cheery after getting at least one to two hours of sleep. Despite Julie predicting a crabby Jonathan he was in quite good spirits. We left the Workmaster residence precisely at 5:00am and had an uneventful trip until right before the airport. A semi-truck was traveling in a one-way the wrong way and was quickly approaching the van I was traveling in. Jan luckily was fully awake and changed lanes before kissing the front bumper of the truck. It was fortunate that we arrived early for the counter people were still half asleep and it was an hour before we got checked in. Once on the plane we were treated to a "continental" breakfast (no pun intended), and our flight to Houston was quick and smooth. A long lay over in Houston passed quickly despite the fact that it was freezing. Several of us had to go out and touch Texas just to warm up. Upon boarding our flight to Albuquerque our mouths were watering as we anticipated either peanuts, pretzels, or the dreaded goldfish crackers. Much to our delight the flight attendants were passing out peanuts!!! But then something horrible happened. The flight attendant ran out of peanuts and went to the back of the plane to get more peanuts we hoped. But he returned not with peanuts, but pretzels. Alas, the first major disappointment of the trip has occurred. But there is hope that we shall buy peanuts at Wal-mart!
Jamie – After recovering from the aforementioned peanut disaster, I've decided to begin my journal entry. We're now halfway through our flight to Albuquerque and everything is going smoothly. Everyone is asleep except me, Matt, Bob (who is staring out the window), and Angela. Even Janey is sleeping!!! Although that is to be expected after she exhausted herself by saying "Good morning" to everyone at the Houston airport! It's too bad we all can't be as friendly as Janet. Anyway, I'd have to say the most exciting part of the trip thus far was visiting Texas. That's right, Texas – NOT the Houston Airport. Both Jonathan and Dr. Joel said that just sitting in the Houston airport does not count as going to Texas, so Jen Crandall and I ventured outside into the parking garage so that we'd be able to say we officially went to Texas! It sounds like we'll be spending several hours in mini-vans in New Mexico, so I don't think I'll have to worry about becoming an official visitor. But I don't know for sure, I'll have to ask the travel experts!
Amy – When I was a baby my parents always wanted to take me on car rides or plane rides because I would fall asleep! Nothing's changed! I'm still catching up from exam week! I wish I knew what state we were flying over because it looks really neat outside my window. We're going to have an awesome trip!
Jen – We are now officially in New Mexico out of Albuquerque and on our way to Gallup. Things have been going great so far, although I can tell I am getting a little cranky. We have split up into two vans now. I kind of wonder what is going on in the other van. Anyway this state is awesome unlike anything I have ever seen. The van ride is making me crazy, I just want to get out and go hiking. Bob can pick me up at the end of the trip. We are really close to the 666 road. I kind of want a picture there. I think I just saw my 1st Indians. Anyway soon we will be at a great place to go hiking. I am also super excited about the work we will be doing at the mission. Can't wait to see what God has in store for us. One big plus is that we haven't heard any Supertones except for their "Away From Him" song. WOOHOO!
Matthew – Day one of work is done. My worries, so far, have been pointless. I paid for working though; my face is burnt, my tricep region is burnt, and the backs of my legs are burnt really badly. Tomorrow, lots 'o sunscreen. We ate lunch with the kids and that was cool. Dinner? EXCELLENT!! Pasta and chicken alfredo, peas, and salad. We're on our way somewhere. Something about some falls. I dunno. It's been wonderful though!
Jamie – Nuestros bebes! Wow, it's been a LONG day, but pretty eventful. I learned how to mix cement, cut re-barb, and lay block. I also played the part of resident doctor when Seth cut his leg on the site and I had to use the inside of my shirt to clean his wound – pretty gross! After a fabulous dinner by Amy and Renae, we ventured out to the falls where we climbed all around – I even survived in flip-flops!
Renae – We're ending day one on the mission field. We began the morning bright and early at 7am and it was off to work! Honestly, we didn't know exactly what we were doing, but we did good. We mixed cement, hauled cement block, cut rebar, and survived the intense windstorms while outside. Amy, Reba, Bob and I took an exciting adventure into the big town of Winslow. We went to buy groceries for the entire week. Bob became an official member and we saved about $50!! Got tons of food. Then Amy and I made dinner for the hard working crew. We made pasta, fettuccine, chicken, garlic bread, and peas. Then we headed to the falls. It was gorgeous!! Unfortunately, there was no water, but it was perfect. We climbed all the way to the bottom. Those brave ones scaled almost straight up the canyon. Meanwhile, Reba, Bob, and Jen were checking out a bobcat they found. It was beautiful. We sang "How great Thou Art" as we were leaving and the sun was setting. The only word I could use to describe how amazing God's wonder was in this natural creation is – Majestic.
Angela – I really think it's bedtime!!! But we did have a pretty good day – and I bet you really liked seeing the elephants and the moon. I can't wait for the Grand Canyon.
Reba – We seemed to make a lot of progress today. I had fun working with and meeting everyone. Hope tomorrow is as nice as today.
Seth – Today was really great. We got up slowly, but eventually got moving. On our first day of work, we were not totally clueless. We worked hard and made a lot of things happen. At lunchtime, we met all the school children here and they are really cute and entertaining. We stopped work early to visit this great place. Usually it's a waterfall area, but it's been dry lately. We climbed in and out of the canyon two different ways, and I took lots of pictures. Lots of bonding was going on today, and much fun was had. I can't wait to see what God will do for us the rest of this week.
Amy – If this is really sloppy and hard to read I apologize – my eyes are getting heavy. Well today I've learned that I can do many things. 1) Carry heavy bricks – one in each hand. 2) I can eat American cheese. 3) I can climb a mountain – even when I'm scared! God is awesome! Chocolate Falls/Canyon was incredible. God is the most amazing painter, sculptor, and overall creator. We sang "How Great Though Art," how appropriate. I am loving getting to know everyone!
Dr J – We just got done eating awesome food made by Renae, Amy, Bethany, and Seth. We have been blessed with good weather, good health, and great fellowship. We have also had an opportunity to see great scenery. God has created such beauty in what otherwise seems rather dry and mundane. We are making progress on the school building. We are hoping that be the weeks end we'll be three blocks high all around. Have to close, eyes getting tired and difficult to write. May God continue to bless us.
Bob – The desert has its beauty and we have been experiencing it. Window Rock, Grand Falls, Clear Creek, … God was so awesome in designing his creation. The work is going well, we are learning to build, learning to know each other, and learning to see how God can use us. Chapel went well, our students did cool stuff i.e. "rain," skits, and music. We gave Testaments to the students and staff. Peggy class recited a large portion of scripture; it was awesome! Jumping at Clear Creek was cool; several took a "jump of faith." Amy, Renae, Bethany, … have been doing meals, splendid. The journey has been so cool; we are looking forward to the rest of it.
Amy – So we decided to go out tonight after Navajo tacos and dancing. We went to Winslow's #1 hangout – WAL-MART! After I helped Matthew pick out some sandals we were rung up by a cosmetics department associate. As she was ringing me up she gazed upon Matthew and sweetly said, "I remember seeing you – you were just in here," as she batted her eyes and twirled her hair. Matthew, being the stud he is coolly said, "Why yes, I was just here Sunday night." I had to depart because I could not handle a 16 year old hitting on my dad. Kira (the cosmetics girl) hooked Matt up! She took $1 odd his sandals and $1 off his camera. GO MATT!!! Winslow has so much to offer. We even went to DQ, but they didn't have 99-cent blizzards – but it was all good! Arizona is awesome. We are having a rockin, kickin, blastin good time!
Jamie – "No esta aqui, no esta alli, ¿Donde esta el helado?" – Jen Crandall. In other news – Amy continued to be the president of our new club, we organized the storage room after we ran out of construction work to do, I chopped a piece of wood, and Jonathan came off his crack high in the van. The fun in Arizona continues.
Matthew – Let's see. Two days to catch up on. Since I'm overseeing this project, I should be writing every night. But I didn't. I'm sorry, I can tell you're SOOO disappointed. Moving on – Yesterday, we worked!! (gasp!) Then we went cliff diving. It's times like those that I really wish I was a better swimmer. I so wanted to jump. But I didn't. Oh well. OK, on to today. Most interesting day. Let's explain Amy's entry. We'll start with the "dad" thing. Emerson invited his family to join us for dinner, and one of his relatives did a traditional Navajo dance for us. One of the girls who was there was sitting near Amy and me. She looked over at both of us, and then she asked Amy, "Is he your dad?" We almost collapsed laughing!! After a rousing game of ring toss, using a child's inflated swimming tube and each other's heads as the target, we were off to Wal-mart! And yes, the cosmetics girl recognized me, and it does appear she gave me some sort of discount, but Amy's account of the story was SLIGHTLY (notice the sarcasm) exaggerated. For example, she said nothing about my smile or my hair. As for my hair, the general consensus seems to be to buzz it. Amy also thinks I should grow a goatee. We'll see!!
Seth – today was Wednesday. Somehow we kinda lose track of time out here. Yesterday was a hard day of work and then a trip to go cliff jumping. What an experience! They even called me "baby!!" Today was a hard day of work. Jonathan and I decided to go topless after lunch, but we ran out of work to do, so I missed out on that idea. We had Navajo tacos and dancing before our trip into town. We then went to DQ and Wal-mart for the evening. OK, Emo likes to drive his truck a little bit crazily. Yesterday I was half in and he flew down the hill to the worksite. Today, he drove in circles and got us all dusty. Matt found a hot girl at the store and I heard he got a special discount. That's it for now.
Bethany – Well, it is Thursday night and all the hard work is basically over. We have had no injuries besides the usual sore muscles and sunburn. My face is wind burned pretty bad but I am dealing. We split up today because there was really not enough work for everyone laying blocks. Six people went into town and cut down weeds at Peggy's house. She teaches at the school. The rest of us stayed here. We finished the back wall and had a great start on the side wall until we hit a problem in the middle. Apparently that side is an inch short, and we had to be creative so the doors would fit! Dr Brendamuhl has taken over as resident contractor, and he was able to figure it out. Jen, Angela, Matthew, and I filled the back wall with sand and concrete. A bunch of the kids from the church came over tonight for dinner. We played games and sang with them. Jen took the opportunity during the "a la la la" song to hug a very surprised David. He is 14 and definitely too cool for hugs, however I believe they got to be good friends at the pool. We spent an hour and a half swimming, and then came back to the church. Our last day was full of hard work and play.
Matthew - We're on the last leg of the journey. We visited the Grand Canyon. It was absolutely amazing!! We got there late afternoon yesterday. After a 30 minutes photo time, we went and checked in to our cabins. We had three cabins, 4 girls, 4 girls, and 6 guys. And somehow, one of the groups of girls got a HUGE room, while the other groups got these dinky little rooms. But that's okay. We had dinner at the Bright Angel Restaurant. Our waiter, David, was a little slow, but there was another waiter, Charles, who spent a lot of time near our table. I had to keep an eye on my little girl. Most of the time, his attention was focused completely on Amy. He was rather scary, but Amy said she was meeting him at 9:45. But we played Taboo, so we kept her distracted and she missed her "big date." We woke up at 5 this morning to go hiking on one of the trails of the Grand Canyon. It was really hard, for me anyway. Then we took a picture with the "Standing on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona" sign. Now we're back in the vans, Jamie is sleeping, and Jonathan and Angela are talking about cows. I'm gonna read now.
Jamie - We're now en route to Houston from Albuquerque. It seemed to take forever to get to our Motel 6 last night after leaving Canyon de Chelley. We got in about 2:30 am to the most fabulous rooms I've ever stayed in. Ok, I'm being sarcastic. They weren't horrible, just interesting. I think it would be best for Amy to describe the condition of her room, so I'll just say that there was a roach in our room - so much fun. Climbing Canyon de Chelley was great, even though I was having back issues & Jen Crandall's legs were falling apart. But we made it down and back beautifully. Then it was off to A&W, where we had a most interesting experience. The woman in the drive-thru thought we had 5 carloads of children under 14! Now that we're almost home it's a little sad to realize the trip is ending. I've had such an amazing time getting to know everyone better and being able to see parts of the country that are so incredible. I know that the experience I've had working at the Navajo Trails Mission is one I'll carry with me forever.
Janey - Well, the trip is just about over, and it has been GREAT!!! It started out a week ago and has truly been one of the best weeks ever. When we got to Albuquerque last week we took off in two vans. Our van was a 2000 Chevy Astro and it was so cool because it had a CD player. We went to Window Rock in New Mexico. It was this cool giant rock that has a huge hole in it. We started taking this path and found ourselves rock climbing to the top. It was so cool except the wind was really strong and it felt like we would be blown away. Only 5 of us made it all the way up - Bethany, Seth, Jonathan (after some trouble and prayer), Angela, and myself. We climbed to the top of the window and then came down a different path. As we came down, the rest of the group began to go up the hiking path. We got some great pictures of them up there. When they got down, we headed for Winslow, about 10 miles from the mission. We stopped at Wal-mart to get a few things, and then headed for the church were we were staying. We got there and Reba (my twin) was standing there. Everyone was surprised by how much we looked alike. We did some quick introductions and then got ready for bed. The next morning we started to work. We mixed cement, moved and laid block, and cut rebar. I can now say I know what re-bar is. It's pretty cool. That night we went to Grand Falls, but there was no water. That was okay though because we were able to climb all around., The next day we laid some more block, cut some more rebar, and had more fun. That night we went to Clear Creek for some cliff jumping. Almost all of us jumped off the 10-15 foot jump, and Bob, Jonathan, Bethany, Jen, and I jumped off the 30-40 foot jump. It was great. On Wednesday we worked some more, but there wasn't enough for all of us to do, so during the afternoon, some of us stayed up at the church and cleaned and played with the kids. That night, we had Navajo tacos, which were great. On Thursday, the group split up and some of us went to "weed" Peggy's (one of the teachers) yard. That was a lot of work, but it was fun. That night we had a cookout with the children and then went swimming with them. That was a lot of fun. On Friday, we worked in the morning, then said goodbye to the kids. Then we headed to Flagstaff, where we got to climb some beautiful mountains and even saw some snow! Bob, Jonathan, Angela, and I climbed to the very top of a ski mountain while some others built a snowman named Mr. Bill. We then headed for the Grand Canyon. It was absolutely awesome. I was totally awestruck, as was everyone else. After a quick look, we went to our lodge. It was such a nice place. The next morning, we got up to watch the sunrise, which was absolutely breathtaking. Then Bob, Dr. Joel, Reba, Bethany, Jonathan, Angela, Matt, Jen, and I began a hike down the canyon. Bob, Dr Joel, Angela, Jonathan, and I continued on down to the 3-mile mark and then headed up. It took a long time, but Bob stayed with me. After we got all packed we headed for Winslow and took some pictures in front of "Standing on the Corner of Winslow, Arizona." Then we headed for Canyon de Chelley, which was also beautiful, yet much different from the Grand Canyon. We hiked down that and saw the White House ruins. After that we stopped at A&W for some dinner and totally confused the drive-thru lady. It was hilarious. Then we said good-bye to Reba and headed to Albuquerque. After arriving at 2:30, we were all exhausted. This morning we packed and had communion, then headed for the airport. All I have left to say is God has created the most beautiful places to see and visit. He is so AWESOME and I am so thankful for Him and love Him so much.
Jen - I am sitting in the Houston airport waiting to go home. I feel like I am trying to find words to write in a yearbook. I am trying to say something more meaningful than "Have a great summer!" and "Stay sweet!" We have just boarded the plane and the closer to the end of our trip we come the sadder I get. Like the end of The Breakfast Club. I feel like I have just made 12 friends who I never would have met otherwise. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to get close to everyone. Everyone else has basically covered the activities of the trip so I don't really need to. I have learned an overwhelming amount in such a short amount of time that I still haven't figured it all out in my head. I just can't wait to see what God plans for all of us. I guess what I wrote doesn't amount to anything more than "Have a great summer" but the Lord knows the changes I have made in my heart even if I can't express them with eloquence on paper.
Bob - This has been an awesome journey, this whole team ROCKS! They are so much fun, yet they are spiritually diligent. I have been richly blessed by each of them. Dr Joel has been a super servant. What a blessing! The only bummer was Jamie hurting her back & Nae not feeling well after the flight from Alb to Houston. We have seen & exp. much, God is good!!
Amy - Well we reached the end of the road - put a fork in us - we're done! Actually, I'm not that excited to be done. We've made some great friendships & bonds so it's sad that our trip is coming to a close. I experienced a lot of firsts on this trip:
1) Cliff diving
2) Navajo tacos
3) Sleeping on an air mattress for 5 nights
4) Cutting rebar
5) Mixing cement
6) Going to Chocolate Falls - where there wasn't any water
7) Going to AZ & NM
8) Staying in a Motel 6 (Never Again!)
9) Eating at A&W root beer place
10) Being a romantic advisor/consultant
PS - I am not a flirt who twirls her hair, bats her hair - I just know how to get my way!
PPS - I am a high maintenance Princess!
Love ya all!
Dr J - The final leg of "Team Arizona" is quickly coming to an end. In about 90 minutes we will be separating and going in different directions for at least the summer. Everyone I pray will be back and even more energetic about serving the lord when the fall semester arrives. There is truly no way for me to describe this trip in words. It has been a great blessing for me to get to know eleven of the most dedicated, caring, compassionate, etc., etc., etc. young adults that I have ever been associated with. The trip has been one of the highlights in my life! And what can I say about our fearless leader Bob? Without his servant-hearted attitude this trip would have never happened. What a truly fantastic blessing he has been to so many in such a short time in Gainesville. May the Lord continue to use him and bless him as his ministry continues at Campus House. I pray and I hope that all of us will draw closer to God and will seek to serve Him in ways we have not thought. I pray for our continuous safe travel and I thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us this past week. I love you all and may God bless you.
Angela - We are almost home! It has been a great trip, and I look forward to seeing everyone again in the fall. There's been a lot of funny experiences on this trip, but I'm sure everyone else has written them already. But I just want to say that it is almost bedtime! (and Jen is the best roommate because she knows when it's bed time!) Actually, everyone is awesome and I'm really glad that I got to know everyone a little bit better. Oh ya, and the Grand Canyon was awesome! (Especially at sunrise.)
Jonathan - It's time to go home. This has been a really fun trip. Window Rock was kind of scary, especially when I got stuck on the edge of that cliff, I'm glad I made it! The school at Red Sands was awesome. It was really cool to see missionaries at work and meet all the kids. We got a lot of work done on the new building. I cut a lot of re-bar for the first few days, and then helped Dr Joel lays blocks. It was so dry and windy and sandy! But I'm really glad I came. The Grand Canyon was amazing at Sunrise and Canyon de Chelley was great! I had been looking forward to seeing the White House Anasazi Ruins there for a while. I'm very glad I got to know everyone at the mission and develop my friendships with all the other workers on the trip. The A&W place was really funny. I won't forget that one for a while. I guess I'm looking forward to summer in Clermont after a great mission trip. I thank God for this opportunity.
Bethany - Just a few more hours of driving and I am home. We are landing in a couple of minutes and all I really have time to say is it was fabulous. Any of you reading who have never been on a mission trip, GO!!