Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our Weather

This entry is not about our trip but about living in Arizona. Many of you are dealing with the extreme cold weather. We desert dwellers often hear about how good we have it not having to shovel snow and all but the reality is that along with our blue skies and sun filled days we do have to deal with extreme heat during half the year and cold nights but every now and then we have to handle situations like this: This area is where the very first assembly hall in Arizona is being built, in Casa Grande. Many of the volunteers working on the project must have been affected by this accident. The cause of conditions is due to the lack of rain for an extended time. We had not had real rain for months but yesterday rain was in the forecast. The wind bringing the rain kicked up but it also whipped up the dry desert. We did finally get rain later in the evening. It was very nice to hear, smell and see the rain. The last time there was a major accident on the interstate Sagie was driving here from CA for a visit. She was about 10 minutes ahead of the accident. We were so thankful when she arrived in Tucson safe and sound.
The morning news said that the interstate road had to be checked out by engineers to be sure that the heat of the fire had not compromised the roadway. Scary.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Hi Everyone!

We arrived home on Friday morning at about 1 a.m. We were very tired. Rob has been battling a cold but is better today and going to meeting. I put up some pictures. Here is the link but I have to say that they are not very good or very many. Two things that I would do different is--get global phones and be sure and take a good camera.

It was a wonderful trip. I would definitely do it again!

After the convention we went to the pyramids. I only climbed the moon pyramid but Sage did the Sun one too. We were at about 9,000 ft elevation and it was the first time that I felt it. Then we had a wonderful buffet lunch at a local restaurant. It was the best. Lots of everything. Bummer was that it was the first day that I sort of felt a little queasy so I did not eat much. It never amounted to anything but I did not want to get sick on the bus. There was a lady washing the plates outside in a big galvinized tin. Tough job.

We went to the park close to our hotel, about a 15 minute fast walk. Some museums are there. i really wanted to go to the modern art museum but we were too late. They had closed at 5pm. The zoo there holds the panda bears that China gave Mexico. The park is like their central park. It is beautiful with lots of greenery and spots to sit and enjoy. There is a castle there, in fact it is Mexico's only castle. If I ever go back I will definitely try to get to the museums. There was just not enough time to do all that we wanted to .

We went to Zacolo. Mexico City's historic district with their government offices. Where the president has his offices. Before we entered the actual government office complex we had to send our items through a scanner and the guard made us take off our glasses and scanned us. Some in our group thought he had taken our picture. I thought it might be to see if we were sick or not, too, since it was followed up with a glob of antibacterial soap for us to clean our hands with. It was in these buildings that Diego Rivera's murals are found. They are huge and have wonderful color. No flash photography is allowed. He never finished putting murals all around the upstairs. He died before he was done.

The outside area was filled with people because it was xmas and there was a special snow area set up for everyone's enjoyment. some people were having a snowball fight. Snow is a rare treat here. To ski people leave the country. At the convention the brothers had heavy coats and scarfs on. Some even wore gloves during the morning. They would die in Minnesota!

I would like to go back to this area and explore. The buildings are from the colonial times. Great architecture. The National Art Museum is there. The National Opera House is there. Lots to look at.

We had taken a trip to the University on the South side of Mexico City. It is also a nice neighborhood that I would like to explore more. Frida Kahlo's house is there. She was such an interesting person. Fought hard for communism to better the world. Wonder how she would have reacted to the Bible's hope of a peaceful future. She had a lot of misery in her life.

The floating gardens was a disappointment. it really was not as pretty as in the brochures but historically it is the only spot where water is running. The canals do not smell. Mexico City used to be a lake bed and was built up and dried out. I was also tired of all the vendors at this point.

It was great to meet up with brothers and sisters where ever we went. Many were from different lands sightseeing too. We would hug and meet each other. Lots of fun.

By our last night we were quite comfortable walking around our hotel. We were in Zona Rosa. The American Embassy was about a block away. We were right off of Reforma which is a very wide boulevard much like Paris' champs d'elyses...sorry about the spelling.

I hope that you enjoyed these posts. We heartily encourage each of you to apply to attend an international convention if you ever get a chance to.

Bro. Loesch told us about some of the Asian brothers and how they even sold their cars to get to the convention. Some had to walk for 7 days to attend. So, if we have to save like crazy to take a trip like this, it would be worth it.

love you all and I will write more later. Going to meeting and I am very excited to everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hi Again!

The convention was amazing! On Sunday we maxed out with over 114,000 in attendance. Over 1,000 were baptized at ours but there were other conventions being held at the same time in different parts of Mexico. Altogether on Sunday over 3,000 were baptized and on Sunday over 300,000 brothers and sisters were in attendance at the conventions. The spanish program would be tied in to Puebla Mexico. They would hear the speakers here and for some parts we would hear the speakers there. Bro. Guy Pierce was the special speaker on Thursday and Friday. Bro. Loesch was on Saturday and Sunday. They switched places between us and Puebla. On Sunday during the lunch break Bro. Loesch gave a special talk in English. It was great. It was about the governing body. I will write more later when I have my notes in front of me.
I had planned to hear the program in spanish but since we are thinking about moving here and helping out in the english I decided to hear it in english and get to know the brothers serving in the english here. Some of the experiences were amazing. So many brothers and sisters have the move to help out here and in other countries. They have left the culture they knew and have had to learn new ways of doing things. At the stadium we were surprised by little things, like the bathrooms. No seats. I know that it is a small hassle to deal with compared to what some of the friends were saying about dealing with no electricity or sewer.
There were over 30 countries represented. Delegates came from Spain, Peru, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, San Salvador, Nicguagua, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, and many more lands.
I cannot describe the joy that is felt from all of the brothers and sisters. It was such an emotional experience. Each day the friends waved and greeted us in and each day they waved and bid us good night as we left. On the final day, they formed a path for us to walk through and threw confetti on us and hugged and kissed us and told us how much they loved being our brother or sister and serving Jehovah together. They held signs and gave us small gifts. Lots of candy. I have gifts from them for the girls, Megan!! Some cried because it was all over. I cried because I didnt want to leave them and say goodbye.
After the last talk and prayer everyone stayed in the stadium waving and clapping for more than 30 minutes. We did not want to leave. Some had left the stadium but only to be part of the lines wishing us well on our trip home and to thank us for coming. To experience the love of the brotherhood this way is something that all should experience. I came away reminded about how much I love my brothers and sisters. What a wonderful God we serve.
We have continued to meet up with other delegates as we tour or walk the city. Today we met some from Spain and El Salvador. It is just so great.
I climbed one of the pryamids. Yeah!! All of the pryamids and mayan ruins involved such disgusting religious practices that show how great Jehovah is for only asking us to obey and love each other.
We saw the University of Mexico here in Mexico City today. We also went to the home of Frida Kohlo, the artist. Both were interesting. We then went to the floating gardens but it was not as pretty as I had imagined. Lots of venders trying to sell you something.
We walked to the city park that is like Central Park in NYC. Muesums are there and I wanted to go to the Modern Art Museum but they were closed. Disappointed.
Tomorrow we are scheduled to see the governement offices. should be interesting.
Megs, I was sorry to hear that you are sick along with the girls. I hope you are feeling better.
love you all,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just 3 More Days!

Hello Everyone,

Sorry not to have kept this up more regularly but we have been so busy and this computer center has not been open when we leave or get back until today. Yeah!!!

About the convention......if you ever get a chance to be a delegate to an international convention please please do yourself a favor and apply! Then start saving. It is the most wonderful experience. The foreign brothers are so happy to see happy that you made the effort to visit them. so happy that they can see their foreign brothers and sisters. The entire experience was so emotional. The first day the Mexican brothers and sisters were waiting for the buses to come. They started to wave and blow kisses. They got to wear their dresses from the different mexican states. Brothers were assigned to walk us to stadium and to our seats. When we got out of the bus area, the brothers and sisters were lining our way saying bienvenidos, welcome. They shoke hands and kissed. They gave us gifts and we gave them ours. Megs they loved your notebooks and the bookmarks!! Gotta go, sorry, but this center closes now....sad there is so much to tell you. I will try again tomorrow morning.
love you all

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Leaving Guatemala today

Hi Everybody,
We are leaving Guatemala today. Excited to get to Mexico City. Visited the cutest town yesterday, Antigua. Very picturesque touristy looking exactly how you would imagine a cute little town in the mountains to be. The only english group in Guatemala is there and it is not doing well. We went to Bethel. Great. The Bethel family is 52 strong. There are 356 or more congregations in Guatamela. Big emphasis on the mayan people. They speak 24 languages. The branch translates from spanish into the most popular 4 mayan languages. They told us that you could hear the language spoken on our website. Also they told us that we could print up the language from the website too. The sister spoke to us in her native language and told us that the mayan language always speaks of the heart so the salutation of how are you is really how is your heart. very sweet. There is a 93 year old brother here from the states who came over 60 years ago when there was only 1 congregation in the entire country. He was part of the 5th Gilead class. Very cute. He told the single sisters that he would not remember them if he saw them again because he only remembers ugly girls. funny guy.
The local brothers and sisters on the mountain wanted us to all come to dinner. Wow! we are 92! We had to pay extra for the additional bus gas but it was only $5 each. But the buses had to go up mountain roads to get the brothers house that was like a compound with barbed wire all around the top of the block wall. They were grouped on the porch when we entered the gate and they sang to us. It made us cry. It was 7,000 elevation so it was cold and foggy but the food was good, the dancing fun and most of all the brotherhood warmed us all. The sisters made tamales and they said that one sister suggested buying the masa but an elderly sister said no, that her family from the states needed the best. So, they started cooking at 1 in the morning! We didnt get back to our hotel until 11pm or so and the group that flew from Floriday had to fly out at 4 this morning! The groups that flew from JFK and LAX fly out at 2:30 today, at least we leave the hotel then. Back to the bus driving the narrow mountian roads in the one point he had to manuver between a parked semi truck and a pruned tree that only had large cut branches sticking out, no tender branches to brush against. He made it with about an inch on each side to spare! Both buses broke out in spontaneous applause when we cleared!! Turning the buses in Antigua was rough at some points too. One turn was like a 7 point turn. When we left the friends last night they lined up to hug and kiss us and wish us a wonderful convention and thank us for coming. So precious! Only in Jehovahs family do we find such love. There was such tender feelings and instant acceptance.
Please leave a comment if you read this. then we do not have to sign into other accounts. thanks.
Love you,
Robin and Cyndy

Monday, December 7, 2009


Yeah! We are in Guatemala! Flew to LAX on Saturday. Spent very cold night in the airport. Flew out Sunday morning to Mexico City. Went through immigration and customs and flew to Guatemala and collapsed in our room. Got up early to board bus to fly in small cessna type planes to Flores and then boarded smaller tourist buses and went to the rainforest today. Hiked to Mayan ruins. Had dinner in the jungle! Saw monkeys swinging in the trees. The friends are wonderful! They are from all over the United States. Tomorrow we go to Antigua and then come back to change to tour Bethel!Love you all, Robin and Cyndy and Sage

Friday, December 4, 2009


Good Morning!
We can't believe that the day before our big trip is finally here! I really need to get the packing done.
Megan brought the bookmarks and notebooks that she and the Clifton congregation had made. Really cute! Meg's notebooks turned out adorable. She photocopied some of our old literature to use on the back cover; the front has some of Meg's photographs. Very nice. The bookmarks are scrapebooked. Meg's Mother in law Mabel was mostly responsible for them. Little works of art! I am excited to give these away. I think everyone will like their gifts!! I am also giving away postcards of our Tucson desert that a friend printed up for us. In the back they have greetings from Tanque Verde Congregation, Tucson, AZ. Very nice. I also have some plain necklaces to give away. I made these. enough said.
So, today I need to finish running some errands. Send the ebay stuff off, go to the pharmacy, shop, clean house, water plants, write note for housesitters, clean car, and so on.....
Stay well and I hope that we are able to add to this blog on our trip. Sage will be blogging too. You can find her blog at
Our phones will probably not work while we are away. I think I will be leaving mine for our housesitter to use.
Love you all,
Cyndy and Robin

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our Trip...

Hi Everyone, is almost time for us to depart on our trip. Yikes! We can't believe that we leave Tucson on December 5, 2009. We meet part of our group at LAX. On Sunday fly to Mexico City and then to Guatemala City.

The excitement is building in our congregation here in Tucson. Tyson leaves on Saturday for London where he will visit the London Bethel and tour some of the museums. He will go on to Uganda and stay for a couple of days with a missionary couple from the Tucson area. Then he heads out to Kenya where he will attend the international convention and go on safari. Wow!!

A single mom and her 3 teenage daughters are leaving on Tuesday for the international convention in Hawaii. I am really excited for them. They have a very sick grandfather there who is just delighted that they are going. When they return the two older daughters will be our house/pet sitters. We hope they have fun staying in our place.

Next Friday our special pioneer couple will leave for Kenya for the international convention too. They will fly to Houston where they will meet friends and fly on to the Netherlands and then on to Kenya. It should take a little over 24 hours to get there. They will also go on safari after the convention. The interesting thing is that the brother is scared silly of any and all living critters. It will be interesting to see how he does!!

Back to us. Rob and I will meet Sagie at LAX where we will meet up with our travel group. We are the only ones traveling through the travel agency. We were sent our carryon bags, passport holders, luggage tags, ID tags for the convention, convention lunch tickets, list of who is on our bus, eye shade for sleeping on the plane along with ear plugs. Very exciting. We have never attended an international convention.

Megan and her congregation have helped with providing the "give-away/exchange gifts". Megs made small notebooks that can be used for return visits. Mabel (Megs' mother-in-law) and her friends have made bookmarks. They are soo talented in Clifton!!! They are so kind hearted and generous!! Yeah!! I love them all for doing this. What sweeties!!

Last night at our meeting a sister gave a grocery bag of stuff to all four traveling parties. The bag had packs of pens and highlighters to put with the bookmarks, some mints for us during the trip and she printed up some native flora and fauna photographs as postcards with a hello from Tucson on the back. Very sweet.

My sister Lupe had lent me a piece of luggage but it is too heavy for me so Robin will be using it. A sister in service asked if we had luggage and I said that I would be shopping for mine soon. She lent me the perfect piece. Medium sized and lightweight!!

One brother who is out of work asked if I could help him sell two oil paintings on ebay. I said sure, that I would try. Then he told us that his family wanted to help us with the trip but did not have the means so they wanted us to sell the pictures and keep the money for the trip! Wow! What genorosity! Of course, we can't do that, so I am still researching the pictures so that I can try to sell them for him. He is auxilary pioneering for the first time in 16 years!! His 14 year old baby girl just started home schooling so they have been a nice additon to midweek service.

I still feel strange about going on this trip because of our personal situation. Both Rob and I lost our jobs at the end of August. Rob has not been able to start collecting unemployment because of how the dept of economic security views the term "discharged" They equate it to being fired. The company we worked for is having a hard time financially and did away with Rob's position as a facilities manager so they checked the discharged box thinking that it was more accurate than the laid off box since the position was deleted. They had no idea the ordeal this would create for us. Since we had lived on property as caretakers we also needed to find new housing by the end of October. We were very worried because without a job it would be difficult to prove to a potential landlord that we could pay the rent. We responded to an ad on Craig's list about 4 days after we found out that we had to move. It was for a guest cottage about 4 miles from where we were living. When we met the landlord he told us that he knew us. He had worked with us as a volunteer when we worked for Sunstone Cancer Center when it owned the property where we lived. He said that the work situation did not matter since he wanted to rent to us and our two dogs. Jehovah truly provides!! There is no way that those set of circumstances could have just happened!

So, I am putting lots of stuff up for sale on ebay. Takes time but hey, it all helps!

We just got our cobra coverage working. Our company had made some mistakes with their paperwork. So we have been bogged down in paperwork and phone calls. As of right now, Rob has his high blood pressure meds and we both have coverage.

We had to delay getting our vaccines until we had coverage so we just got our Hepatitis A and B, and typhoid vaccines this week. Next week we get the 2nd hepatitis shot and then when we come back we get the 3rd and last shot.

Our passports proved easier to get then I had thought.

Anyway, we will try to keep you up to date regarding our trip.
love you all,
Rob and Cyndy