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#WhereAreTheUbryTerrells ... Leg 4: New Vienna, Ohio

We finally arrived in New Vienna, Ohio, on Tuesday, April 17.

17 days after leaving Mexico.

It was a quiet homecoming. Dad was in town, bringing home his combine which had been in the shop. And Mom was napping.

But Jovi's joyous face held all of Randy's and my attention. She was dumped off by a stranger here 12 years ago, and she's delighted to call it home ever since. It was obvious by her galloping across the lawn that she remembered, from her paws to her soul, that this was her happy place.

We unloaded a few things, started a load of laundry, took a walk down the lane and soon were greeted by my parents. Later that evening my older brother and his family joined us. And just like when we spent time with my younger brother in Texas, we were delighted to have children around (though we are still adjusting to the fact that they can understand us when we speak!).

Even though it has been busy, the week has been relaxing. And I see why Randy has so longed to move here. He has …
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40-40-40 ... Day 38: Bokenkamp Children's Shelter

While in Corpus Christi, Texas, last week (was that seriously just last week???), my sister-in-law introduced us to her friend Kristen. As we were all getting ready to go to the beach together, I shared briefly with Kristen that Randy and I had been working in Mexico at an orphanage for the past 18 months. She said it sounded a little like "Bokenkamp" where she had volunteered. Obviously intrigued, I asked her to tell me more. She said Bokenkamp was right there in Corpus Christi, and was providing shelter and meeting the needs of unaccompanied immigrant children from south and central america. She said she struggled there because she doesn't speak Spanish.

Oh how I wish we hadn't learned about this the day before leaving Corpus Christi! How I would have loved to have gone and spent the day with a dozen beautiful little Spanish-speaking children like those who hold my heart in San Felipe. Time wasn't on our side on this leg of the journey, but now that I know abou…

#WhereAreTheUbryTerrells ... Leg 3: Lufkin, TX, to Corbin, KY

Lufkin, Texas, to Corbin, Kentucky.

This was our "touristy" leg of the journey.

Every good road trip needs one.

While driving north on 59 from Houston toward Arkansas, we noticed a billboard advertising the "Home of the Chick-o-Stick" in Lufkin, Texas. Randy loves this candy, so we immediately decided we needed to stop. The GPS took us 20 minutes out of the way but eventually we landed outside the warehouse we were looking for. At one end of the building a door was labeled "Candy Kitchen." We entered and were met with a tiny area filled with candy. We tried to buy souveniers -- t-shirts, bumper stickers, whatever -- but there were none to be had. We were there during lunch break so we couldn't get a factory tour either. But we loaded up on candy and were satisfied. Most tourist stops are like this aren't they -- meant to make you feel good for a moment but not really dramatic or life changing. And yet you leave with a good story and a memory that…

#WhereAreTheUbryTerrells ... Leg 2: Texas

Observations so far from our road trip:

Baja is slow. California is fast. Arizona is hot. New Mexico is cold. Texas is windy.  And big.
By big, I mean that we never manage to spend less than a week in Texas. This time it was nearly 12 days.

Our first stop was right over the border in El Paso, where we went to my cousin (first cousin once removed, to be exact) Cyndi's house. She treated us to lunch at Kiki's, where we had some delicious Mexican food, followed by a drive to a scenic overlook where we stood at the end of the Rocky Mountains. (Epic!) While we were out running around, Jovi was enjoying Cyndi's beautiful backyard -- a nice change from the backseat of the car!

Three-and-a-half years ago Randy, Jovi and I made a similar journey, in reverse order, moving Jovi and me from Ohio to California. Randy and I had met 6 months before in Spain and knew we wanted to be together forever. Texas was a long and memorable part of that move, too. One of our favorite stops had been…

Friendly Water for the World

During my 40-40-40 Lenten challenge, one of the organizations I donated to was Friendly Water for the World. Water is a universal need, even if the need varies from city to city, country to country, village to village.
While in Mexico, we had purified water trucked in every week for our drinking water. Last week we stayed in El Centro, California, which is below sea level. Tap water there is too brackish (salty) to drink. So they use purifiers, or buy bottled water. Driving through the White Mountains of Arizona, we met a family whose car overheated. We had several liters of water in case this happened to us, and we gave them all of it. We've had to keep water on us at all times, not just for us but also for our dog. While water may not be something that you think about daily because of its ready availability to you, it is something that a whole ton of people think about constantly because of their lack of it.
Friendly Water for the World board chairman David Albert shared with m…

#WhereAreTheUbryTerrells - Leg 1: Mexico to New Mexico

On Easter Sunday, Randy and I said our goodbyes to the kids and staff at Sonshine Hacienda.
We went to the early morning church service (in English), and then said our goodbyes to the kids before they left for the later Spanish service. A couple of the girls were crying, but nothing serious. And then I hugged my 9-year-old boy, who for the past 6 months has been asking if we will adopt him. As he snuggled into my arms for what could be the last time, he broke down into full-blown sobs. It absolutely wrecked me. There was nothing I could do but say “Te amo mijo”, I love you my son, and put him on the bus with 24 other kids we may or may not see again. 
Our plan was to leave while the kids were at church. But nothing really went according to plan that day. They got out of church early, and packing and cleaning was taking us longer than we’d planned, so when they ran into the hacienda a few hours later we were still there. We sat down and had lunch with them and thankfully the second go…

40-40-40 ... Days 35 & 36

Randy and I (with the help of our granddaughter who is in town visiting and has been a godsend!) have been busy savoring each moment with the kids in our last week at Sonshine. We took the girls out to dinner Wednesday (which is a memory we will NEVER forget!) and we're taking the boys out shopping today. Followed by Randy's famous caramel popcorn and a movie (The Star). We've given lots of hugs and so far held back most of the tears. All of this focus on the kids this past week has made me want to seek out other organizations who are loving on all of God's children, to help support them to continue their work. These are two that I believe in.

40-40-40 ... Day 35: Right to Play

I learned about Right to Play when it was advertised during the Winter Olympics this year. The mission behind Right to Play is:
We use the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities. The website goes on to sa…