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


  1. So many fabulous stories already and you haven't even left yet!! I can't wait to live vicariously through your blog when you're gone, it will be amazing! Clipping webcams to you all would be slightly more amazing but not sure how to swing that so I'll be content with following your blog with great enthusiasm instead! :)

  2. Hey guys!
    Wow--Sara and I didn't know (had forgotten?) that you were going to Mexico and Central America! How cool!!!!! We can't wait for you to get back and to hear all about it...and my goodness, we had no idea either of all your paperwork/employment/insurance headaches...
    Hang in there, and may this trip be a blessing from Jehovah...con mucho cariño--Joe and Sara

  3. This is Robin,
    Cyndy is doing the blog but I am also very excited about going on this trip. When I was growing up, my dad loved going to Mexico as aften as he could. We lived in Phoenix AZ, so Nogales was just a few hours away. Starting about 1960 (when I was ten years old) we would go all the way to Mazatlan at least once or twice a year. We went to Guaymas often. Even if we only had three days we would drive down one day, spend the next day at the beach and drive back the third day.

    Back in 1966, my dad made me "drop out" of high school and he took a leave of absence from work and we both went into Mexico for two months. Our original plan was to go all the way into Central America. In the end we stayed the whole time in Mexico. We went through almost all of the states of Mexico. we spent most of our time along the west coast. We went all the way to the very tip of Mexico to the island of Cozumel which is off the coast of Cacun. Back then, Cancun was just a long, empty beach with no one there. My dad and I camped there next to a family from Alaska. We went swimming, snorkleling, and scuba diving every day.
    What a life that was!
    The highlight of that trip is going to Mexico City in time to be part of the International District Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses. That time we stayed in a two man tent in the middle of the city. I never forgot that wonderful experience. Now we get to go again, this time we are going as official delegates and we will enjoy staying at a nice hotel and being with many friends and going all together on bus tours. I am excited that Cyndy and our daughter Sage will be with me this time. I am excited for them to have a good time and see our world wide brotherhood. I expect the experience to touch our hearts.

    As you can see, I can be very wordy and ramble on and on. This is why Cyndy will be managing the blog site, hopefully our daughter Sage will participate as well. I hope that our experiences will be encouraging and enjoyable to hear about.

    Thanks for all the help and encouragement we have received from all of you already.
    Robin Briggs