How old are you?

This week we worked with a very pleasant man named Felipe. Felipe was one of our Spanish-Maya translators for the trip. He and I built a pretty good relationship through the week.

He has 5 children. The oldest studies in a seminary in the same town we live in, which is 2 hours from the village where he grew up. I think he said the oldest boy is around 25. The baby is in his early teens.

Felipe loves the Lord and dedicated this week to the work. I don’t know if he has been a part of this medical team in the past. He certainly jumped right in like he knew what he was doing.

Yesterday we were riding in the back of a truck headed back to the hotel for the last time to pick up our stuff and leave town. Felipe was with us. I asked him how old he was. His answer was classic.

“Something over 50, I think. Maybe 51 or 52.”

Day 3

I was hoping to get new pictures and a bit of a podcast out. That probably won’t happen until the weekend. I have been having too much fun with real people to spend time on the Internet playing with media.

Yesterday we saw 150 (or so) patients. We have seen between 500 and 600 patients in the 3 days so far. We have exact numbers, but I have not seen those numbers yet. We have also been able to share the message of salvation with almost all of them. There have been 88 who have accepted the Lord as their Savior via the main evangelist in the group. That does not count those who have come to the Lord by way of the doctors and med students. I know of 7, but there may be many more.

We still have today and a half day tomorrow.

I have had a blast running the last week. I have been able to run twice a day since I have been here. The people on the trip are either mid-20’s medical students or health conscious doctors. There are several runners. I have gotten to run with different ones through the week. Previous to this week I have run only 4 miles out of the 700+ miles I have logged while running with someone else. This has been fun.

Medical trip

We just finished our second day of the medical trip. Yesterday was a long day as we got started at 4:30 in the morning leaving the house to travel to the location. I went with another missionary in town. We did not hit the bed until 10 last night, which was really the first time to sit down and relax all day.Medical trip

We got to the meeting place and met with the team. They consist of 35 doctors and young people. It is split about half and half between doctors and medical students. The students are from Columbia (MO) University. The doctors are from all over the US. We have different specialties that are represented in the group.

The picture is from the first day of the clinic. We are in a different village each day. This picture is from the town of Yalcoba. Today we were Uama. In the picture you see a doctor speaking English, a translator speaking Spanish who is talking to another translator who is speaking Maya to the lady in the photo. We had need of Spanish and Maya translators. Maya is still very commonly spoken in the villages, especially among the older population.

I am not sure where we will be the rest of the week. But they will be other villages much like the two we have already visited.


I know this won’t make any sense to many of my readers, but I found out something utterly cool tonight.

I am getting ready to head out on a trip and am taking my trusty dusty notebook computer. The one I use every 4 months when I go on a trip. This is an old 750 MHz machine with a 12″screen. Definitely not the desktop replacement most people are looking for. I also end up putting on a new distribution of Linux just about every time I take it out just so I have something new to play with.

Tonight I was chatting with one of the members of the Pensacola Linux Users Group about getting ready for my trip. I told him I could not go to bed because I felt like there was something I was missing to be ready. One of the biggest things is that I really need access to a few of my files this week, but I did not want to just copy all my documents to the notebook, nor did I want to pick and choose the 100 most important files that I may not need at all.

I asked him if I could set up a VPN in 30 minutes or less. He seemed hopeful that it might be possible. I think he is an optimist. I told him what it was I wanted to accomplish and said I could do it with SSH and SCP if I could just get a VPN set up. He then said I simply needed to do some port forwarding in my router and have the traffic sent to the box I wanted to touch internally.

I did not realize it was so simple. So here is how it works if you would like to do the same. I won’t go into the details of each step. I will assume you have about the same amount of knowledge that I have in this and that, like me, you simply need someone to help you connect the dots. Therefore, I am not writing this for my parents sake.

This assumes also that you have SSH working internally. Port forward port 22 in your router to the internal machine you want to go to. Know your external IP address and then just ssh into the external IP like you normally would an internal IP to get to the machine you want. You can get you external IP given to you by visiting So you would do: ssh That is, the username on the computer you are SSH’ing into. Then the is the external IP address of your home network which you got from You will be prompted for your username’s password. You might also be told that the SSH keys are new and asked if you are sure you want to take that step.

SCP works the same as normal. Just substitute the external IP address for the home network and you are in.

For me, I prefer a GUI solution. So I am using gFTP on the notebook. Then I connect to port 22 with my username/password combo. Then change the protocol to SSH2. ¡Viola! I am connected and can browse my home folder’s file structure. I can then pull anything over that I want, or put anything on the machine at home.

That simple. Whod’ve thought?

Now I can go to bed.

I’m leaving town!

I can’t stand it any longer!

Ok, maybe not that drastic. I am going to the second largest city in the state, Valladolid, for a week. I will be helping a medical missions team from Monday to Friday. They are needing translators to help in clinics they are doing in some villages.

It is the second largest city in the state, but it is still not very large. The city we are in, Mérida, has almost 1,000,000 people. The city where I am going is about 50,000. Considerably smaller. I don’t expect there to be a Wal-Mart.

I don’t know how much I will be posting over the next 2 weeks. I will be in Valladolid for this next week and then to Tampico the week after. Tampico is on the Gulf coast north of Veracruz. I will be with a group of other missionaries planning our camp for the summer. I should be able to do some posting from there. I will try to get some pictures for you.