Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pictures from the 7 hour tour...not a peach palm in sight.

Pineapple plants 

Checking out the nail causing the new rapid clicking noise. 

The hunt for peach palms...

Today we headed out to try to find peach palms north and then north west of the capital in the support of Cory's ministry and love of fruits.

We saw lots of country. We drove on great roads, Ok roads and bumpy dirt roads.

We ask directions several times.

Passed lots of pineapple fields, some sugar cane fields, cattle, sheep, forests, mountains, but never spotted the apparently rare, elusive Dominican Republic peach palm.

Stopped at a couple tree nurseries to ask and Cory visited a bit with some workers from Haiti.

Actually from Limbée who he invited to stop in and see us the next time they visit home.

Now family code for a 'snipe hunt' will forever be going to look for peach palms.

7 hours later our family returned [thankfully as we found during the trip that one back tire picked up a nail.

 Thankful we did not go out on test morning to find a flat tire as I first heard the clicking noise on Monday]

Quick break and then headed out on foot. Visited a couple cathedrals, the fort and a chocolate factory.
Enjoyed Chinese food, chocolate samples, and ice cream.

Cory and Anna already have a papaya vender who smiles when he sees them coming for their daily treat-they split one.

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 23. Testing done!!

Hi from the Dominican Republic.
 We enjoyed a wonderful Sunday sunrise service at Cowman school. The sermon focused on how God can move any rocks in our lives. We just need to trust He who died for us, rose again, and lives today - loves us and wants the best for us.

After heavy rains Sunday night that totaled over 2 inches we headed out early Monday morning for the DR. The paperwork at the border took about 1 hour. Thankful to find it open as we heard that Friday it was not.

Eli noted that the roads were better than those in western Michigan. Started out in dry areas but after a while more mountains, trees and green. Cory only stopped at one fruit stand. We enjoyed sandwiches and ice cream for lunch.

Once in Santa Domingo we struggled a bit to find the hostel but a nice man jumped on a motorcycle and lead us the last few blocks.

On Tuesday Cory and the kids headed out to find the testing center and did a bit of sight seeing while I reviewed. Thankful to find out last night that although the DR does not do daylight savings, right now they were on the same time. Not being to the test center 30 minutes before test time would have resulted in my not being able to test.

Today, test day. Very peaceful and calm for me so the Lord did provide that miracle [I tend to be a worrier] Not only did I remain calm I brought my passport. Several types of ID could be used said my information but once there the sign on the wall noted if testing outside your country of residency you could only use your passport.

I praised my way through the day, secure in the knowledge that God's in charge. I'll praise Him if I pass or if I don't. I know He could provide a miracle for me or has a better plan. Hard to boil down the vast knowledge base of 'family medicine' into 370 questions [a few don't count-hopefully ones I did not have a clue about].

I heard folks talking about all the support this week as they ran the Boston marathon from the folks on the side lines.

While I couldn't not see my support team I know that many were praying and cheering me on.

Thank you!! All the peace and being able to focus - thank you.

Praying for so many in pain: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Do not know why the Lord gave me the life I lead but thankful.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter reflections and my attitude for boards.

When we discussed when to travel for my board exam we did note the proximity to Easter but I did not realize how it would help me mentally.

I thank everyone for your prayers for peace. Over the last couple of months and weeks I once again find myself resting in peaceful faith, knowing that my all powerful Lord and Savior who loves me and wants the best for me remains in control and will make everything work out for my good.

AT the same time I'm attacked sometimes within minutes of those peaceful thoughts with those of inadequacy, of memories of past failures, of the time/money/effort and effects on my family should a retake be needed in November.

Lots or praise music, prayers, reading scripture and repeating these actions over and over as needed to return to the restful spot multiple times a day…

Eli, Anna and I are memorizing 1 Cor. 13 during school. Not my first time to learn or reflect on 'the love chapter'. My clinic room wall used to hold a small sign of part of this chapter to remind me that without love none of what I did mattered.

Currently on the wall reminding us about our attitudes during school a paper proclaims.. Colossians 3:17, 23. 'Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him….And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."

As I reflect on the Lord and His life and on Mary's life and what she went through as the mother of Christ this Easter season it occurred to me [again] I cannot do anything on my own..not that will count forever.

I'm thankful for His grace and mercy because I'm all too aware of how many 'good deeds' in my life were done out of obligation, of duty, or due to outside pressures not inward love.

All that 'good' work done in the wrong attitudes for the wrong reasons = nothing.

So with my heavenly Father, I can sit for close to 7 hours on Wednesday taking a test for Him. With the Lord's help I can do so in an attitude of love.

 [I do think about how He knows all the answers even to the poorly worded questions. While I cannot take in a watch, pencil, tissue, chap-stick or anything else that could possibly be used for cheating they cannot prevent the Lord from accompanying me!! I may not know all the ins and outs of complicated American medicine but HE does! And He's on my team.]

Now I'm thinking how I take the test, my attitude will be the real miracle, not if I pass this time or not.

Thank you each of you who will continue to pray. We will have close to a 9 hour drive on Monday. Wednesday I need to be at the testing site before 8:30 a.m. for close to 7 hours of actual testing time [5 sections]

Yes, I want to pass next week, but what ever the outcome I will praise Him.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Costa Rica East Coast

Black sand beach, Puerto Viejo

Commercial banana plantation
Saw semi-trailers full of pineapple. Dole refrigerated containers
Jungle at the Finca la Isla botanical garden

Poison dart frog, saw several red ones.

Huge tree fern from the Pacific.

Araza, a sour fruit good for juice.

"Old man palm" must grow "hair" constantly to keep looking so fresh in humid rainforest.

Actually near San Jose

This will probably be the last post for several days as Kris does final studying for boards.
Will try to post from the Dominican Republic. Will travel on Monday, looks like a 9 hour trip to Santa Domingo. Thank you for the prayers. Happy Easter.