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Archive for January, 2008


Where do I start talking about my good friend Stephanie (Satcher) de Oliveira? I met Steph when I arrived in Portugal. I have no idea when or how we became friends … I just know we did. Somehow we hit it off big time … and I’m so grateful.


Stephanie made me laugh so hard … so often. When you’re in another country without anything familiar … laughter is priceless. We worked together in Rio de Mouro and had a daily goal of trying to con a ride out of Joao Miguel so we didn’t have to walk, take the train, and then take the two buses back to our house.

The daycare at Rio was so fun. Pedro, Angela, and Ishmael were the best. Remember Pedro … the slow eater? One day he was supposed to eat earlier than the other kids b/c he had an appointment with a doctor. His mom wanted to bathe him before he went and he couldn’t bathe if he had eaten (kind-of like the swimming thing). Well … we failed to heed that request … and when he didn’t show up the next day we thought we had killed him. Angela had so much hair. After nap time … she had a Tina Turner thing going on. Then there was Ishmael who really only liked to eat Kiwi. Have you ever changed a Kiwi diaper? Impossible unless you can tag team it … which we did. Gagging the entire time.

One night we made enchiladas for everyone … that was one of my favorite nights. I won’t go into details (because you know… right Steph?) but I figured out how to make the moistest cake you will ever eat.

I don’t know how many coffees we drank, pao de deus’ and pasteis de natas’ we ate. I don’t know how many toys we collected out of those little chocolate Kinder eggs. I don’t know how many times we laughed until we almost wet our pants. But I know I had a wonderful, wonderful time hanging out with Stephanie in Portugal.

We taught a women’s study in Rio. Actually … Steph taught it, I prayed (reading my little Portuguese prayer I wrote down beforehand) and then Steph and I sang, “Unidos au Universo”. I know those women were amazing women of faith and courage … Stephanie taught them about her friend Jesus and they fell in love with Him.  

And who could forget Fofa?

Steph I’m so grateful for the time we had. I hate how things change when we all move our different directions. But I live off of those Portugal memories sometimes … the ones with you are good ones.

Please send out some encouragement to Stephanie. She is an amazing woman of strength and faith. I appreciate her presence on this blog.


Steph … how many trips to the airport did we take? Too many, too many ….

15 Things to Ponder

Thanks for all the encouraging words that everyone has had to share about our hot seaters. Let’s take a break … and ponder some of these lofty thoughts. 

1. Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.

2. I went to a bookstore and asked the  saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

3. What if there were no hypothetical questions?

4. Is there another word for synonym? 

5. Where do forest rangers go to “get away from it all?”

6. What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

7. If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

8. Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

9. Why do they lock gas station bathrooms?  Are they afraid someone will clean them?

10. If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

11. Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

12. If the police arrest a mime, do they tell  him he has the right to start speaking?

13. What was the best thing before sliced bread?

14. One nice thing about egotists: they don’t talk about other people.

15. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have  you done?

Lisa Robertson

Hey Lisa …. how’s it feel to be in the Hot Seat?

I have just recently started getting to know Lisa. I met her when I was an assistant, but really don’t remember a lot. So my memories of her are all pretty recent.

Lisa is one of those women that will do just about anything to help someone out … to make them feel welcome. She makes really good cookies, I mean really good. She likes to laugh and enjoys taking pictures with her cell phone. I can’t count the times she has shown me a picture on her phone … usually it’s good for a laugh.

She teaches some great kids and most definitely has patience. I know that she cares about them and really takes to heart the challenges in their lives.

She has been an encouragement to me in the past months and my life has been blessed through getting to know her.


All right Lisa … your turn …

Tell us about your favorite field experience, and  your worst field experience. What has been the most challenging part of your job? How do you make those awesome cookies? If you could have one magical power what would you want it to be? Feel free to share any other little tidbits of information you think might be interesting.  

Stuart and Mel McGuiggan

I haven’t seen them in at least 10 years maybe more, but I have never forgotten these two.

I knew Stuart during AIM … singing and smiling all the time. I don’t remember many times when he wasn’t excited about something. He was always the winner at Nerts because he used to work at a bank, and could move the cards with those fingers like nobody’s business.


I knew Mel, but we were not really close. We kind-of ran in different circles. But after we came back from the field, I got to know her better. I remember her having me in her home on more than one ocassion … always so hospitable, always an encouragement.


I would love to hear from Stu and Mel. I have no idea where you are living, what you are doing, I know you have at least one child, but that’s about it. I have such fond memories of you two and would love to hear what’s going on.

As for the rest of you … I’d love to hear some memories you have of these folks. I know they were an encouragement to many … let’s show them some encouragement in return.


(I’m always willing to post different pictures just email them to me )