We are leaving on Wednesday! We are excited to begin the "travel journey" for the year when we head to Manila then Palawan. We expect to be gone until the end of April, so we are trying to get things properly organized here. A house left empty for more than a couple of weeks is very likely to grow incredible amounts of mildew in this country, so we will have our helper come clean while we are gone. I'll empty the freezer, because last time we were gone it was accidentally unplugged and we lost a lot of food. We can't pay bills online either, so we are arranging someone to handle money and bills. Brian offered to take us to the airport, which is a long drive for him and a favor we are very grateful for.
Our new helper, Juliet, came today and it looks like it will work out well for all of us. She has worked for Italians and Latins before, so she is internationally trained... she asks great questions: "Can I use this toothbrush in the CR (bathroom) or is it only for the kitchen? Do you change your dishcloth every morning? How do you want the table set-- do you use placemats? Do you want me to wash the rugs?" A lot of little things that she has learned from different people that make training simple. Thank you, Jesus!
The boys are taking the next week off school, though today they don't think it's much of a break since they've been busy getting their things ready to go also. Kevin also made supper for us-- a new two-bean mexican chili recipe I found online. We invited Brian and Bailey to try our experiment with us:).
Our helicopter pilot continues to pursue getting his checkride... please pray with us that this process can soon be completed and he can begin his in-country checkout process so our missionary teams can return to their locations.