Archive for the 'Travel' Category

What’s a Comma Worth?

The worth of a single humble comma could mean more than $10 million for a bunch of drivers for a Maine dairy.

“For want of a comma, we have this case,” Circuit Court Judge David Barron wrote about the case.

Read the story here about how drivers say a law exempting overtime doesn’t apply to them because they are solely involved in the distribution not the packing of products.

It looks like legislatures will need to be more attentive to what has become known as the Oxford comma–the final comma in a series. For example: They stirred the milk, berries, and cream. It’s that comma right before the and that we’re talking about here.

Have a great day and watch your commas!

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RENAP requirements for birth certificates

We’re planning a home birth for this spring and needed to look into what’s required by the Guatemalan national people registration office of Guatemala (RENAP) in order to get an official Guatemalan Birth Certificate.

Here are the official requirements for getting your Guatemalan birth certificate:

  1. Do it within 60 days of the birth.
  2. DPI original and copy of both parents  (or just mother)
  3. Medical report of birth (Informe médico de nacimiento) from your doctor or officially registered midwife.
    1. If your midwife is not registered or no medical personnel was present present a legalized and signed report of the birth with signatures of the parents or mother. (Talk to a lawyer’s office or your local RENAP and they can explain how to do this.)
  4. Boleto de Ornato (Get this at your local municipality office)
  5. Passports if parents are from out of country.

After you’ve gone through the RENAP process you can proceed with the passport process and work with your embassy to prepare your national paperwork.

Renewing passports at the US Embassy in Guatemala

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City has significantly updated their Passport page to assist you so check it out!

US Embassy Web page

NOTE: Did you know that it’s faster to get a new passport through the embassy here in Guatemala instead of renewing in the States? It typically takes about eight days here in Guatemala and can take several weeks to a month or more in the states!

To get extra pages added to your passport…

Adding Extra pages has been eliminated. Get a new passport!

Here’s how to get a new passport added to your passport in the U.S. Embassy…

Visit the embassy page and download the Passport Renewal forms. Set up an embassy appointment. BE SURE TO PRINT YOUR APPOINTMENT CONFIRMATION. YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO DO THIS LATER. (Set your appointment early on so you don’t have to wait later.) Fill out the renewal form and get the photos you need. Print it and get ready for your appointment.

On your appointment date and time, go to the Citizen Services window inside the embassy. Here’s a link on how to navigate the embassy.

Take your current valid Passport, fee money (Currently $110 for adults.) and go to the Citizen Services window.

Usually passports are back in about 10 days but holidays or other delays could make that longer.

Call the embassy for details!

 

Legend of the Papalope

A game camera capture claimed to show the famed Papalope of Bourbon County.

A game camera capture claimed to show the famed Papalope of Bourbon County.

Less known than the popular jackalope is the story told in the Great Plains of North America. This pseudo-mythical tale is of the “Papalope” a joyful, grandfather character who cares for cattle and children in the [[Kansas]] fertile lowlands with sitings reported near the old Camp Drywood site in Bourbon County.

Legends claim the Papalope is a farmer and woodsman known for his full head of tousled hair, quick wit, and ready smile and is often described as riding an late model (circa 1970) Allis-Chalmers tractor. According to a former public official from Drywood Township [1], the Papalope is married and collectively the” Papalope” and “Mamalope” are known to care for the plants and wildlife in their domain and for helping others in need. The Papalope and his bride welcome strangers into their home for large seasonal feasts and activities throughout the year and for providing housing to travelers in need of shelter. Though thought to be a folktale, a photo taken in 2014 by an automatic wildlife camera captured what former residents from the area claim to be a photo [see above] of the Papalope walking through the yard of a private farm in rural Bourbon County Kansas.

Circumstantial evidence indicate that the Papalope may not be unique to the Great Plains as there is an engraving from the 1920s that depicts a possibly similar character known as the “Cow Man”.

[1] Personal interview with a former Drywood Township Trustee

How To: Smart Travel Enrollment

Travel.state.gov headerEnrolling in the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (S.T.E.P.)

There is an informative program called Smart Traveler from the U.S. State Department. We recommend that all teams register themselves so the U.S. Embassy will be aware of your presence in country in case of an emergency. You may choose to do this or not, but it is our recommendation that you do. We will keep you apprised of vital information that we receive if there are major change or concerns for your trip. As always, your team’s safety is always on our minds as we plan and prepare you’re your arrival. To enroll your team in the S.T.E.P. system online, follow the directions below:

Continue reading ‘How To: Smart Travel Enrollment’

A note to my pregnant friend

Here’s a note that I sent to a friend who is concerned about having a natural childbirth.  I’m pretty passionate about this sort of thing so I wanted to share this here too.

Well, where to begin…I personally have two friends who had their membranes stripped and now look back on it in regret. They both ended up with very long labors and one ended up with a C-section because after over 50 hours of labor she still was not dilated enough. The other one did have a natural birth, but only after many, many hours of labor. They told me that they think their extraordinary long labors were due to them having their membranes stripped. Continue reading ‘A note to my pregnant friend’

TRAVEL ALASKA

Part I

Alaska and the Eskimos

The United States is known for its diversity — diversity of land and diversity of people.  People have immigrated from all over the world to join what has been dubbed “the melting pot”.  Since acquiring the region of Alaska from Russia, the U.S. has gained a marvelous addition to this melting pot of cultures and societies.

The natives of Alaska called, Eskimos, are the proud descendants of nomadic travelers, brave sailors, and explorers who have learned to survive in the land of the midnight sun. The first visitors to this harsh environment of the north are thought to be the Tlingits and the Haidas (settlers of British Colombia), the Athabascans (inhabited the Alaskan interior), the Aleuts of the islands, and the Inuit (Eskimo).  These people came from Asia across the land bridge which linked Siberia and North America approximately 3000 years ago1.

Inuit Past Continue reading ‘TRAVEL ALASKA’

Finding quality kids accessories in Guatemala

Kids Box

A large selection of cribs, playpens and car seats.

We have kids, and we live in Guatemala. That means that when we’re looking for kids toys, nursery furniture, and accessories that we would have been able to find  at our local Walmart, ToysRus or garage sale in the states, those items are much harder to come across. Thanks to some other missionary friends we found a place other than the area pacas where toys and kid equipment can be found in Guatemala City! Continue reading ‘Finding quality kids accessories in Guatemala’

Photography Projects that show a worldview of life

Where Children Sleep is a project by photographer James Mollison that shows children from around the world and where they sleep at night. See some of the images here.

While I’m not particularly fond of the stark white “studio” shots of the kids themselves, I like what Mollison did with showing how people live through this collection of images. Nice idea!

A similar book that I’m reminded of by Where Children Sleep is Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Menzel, et. al.

Hiking the Volcano Santa Maria

The eastern view from atop Santa Maria.

The eastern view from atop Santa Maria.                © MICHAEL SHEAD

The Volcano Santa Maria; been there, done that…and it was tough!

Ever since I heard about the moonlight hikes of the volcano Santa Maria, I thought that it sounded like a blast!

Hiking through the moonlit darkness into the dawn and then seeing sunrise from the towering peak and viewing up to 11 other volcanic peaks including looking down onto the live crater of Santiaguito, sounded like a great adventure for this Kansas farm boy.

So, here’s the story of my volcanic hiking adventure…

The Mountain

  • Name: Santa Maria
  • Height: 12,375 ft (3772 mts)
  • Type:Volcanic
  • Comparison: Mt. Fuji in Japan is about 10 feet taller
  • Trail rating: Strenuous
  • Trail distance: Approx. 6.21 miles (10 km)
  • Elevation increase from trailhead: Approx. 4,173 feet
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The hikers

I had been dreaming of doing this hike for two years so when I found out that some friends were interested I planned it for Nov. 15th, 2013 (technically a few days before the full moon but it worked better for our schedules). There were five friends from ASELSI and three guys visiting town from Michigan plus our friend Kevin, from Totonicapan, our guide, Hansy, two friends of his and two police officers for safety. (Apparently there have been some thieves prowling the trails and they recommend armed escorts to prevent attacks.)

In Quetzaltenango, we met up with Hansy near the stadium and his friend wowed us with a  story of Hansy’s record ascent of the mountain (an incredible 45 minutes). Then we drove over to the central park where a van pulled up at about 12:30 a.m., and we headed out to the Santa Maria Summit Trail trailhead which ended up being quite a long ways from the foot of the mountain but, unless you’re on dirt bikes, that’s as close as you can get in a van. Continue reading ‘Hiking the Volcano Santa Maria’