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Family Newsletter - September/October 2000

Past Issues: 1998 June July August Sept Oct Nov/Dec 1999 Jan/Feb March/April May June July Sept/Oct Nov/Dec 2000 Jan/Feb Mar/Apr May/Jun Jul/Aug

From: Chris

I spent this past August in Scotland with my theatre company, the Present Company, performing our production of "Americana Absurdum" at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was a once in a lifetime experience. We performed at a space called the Scotsman Assembly, a three-hundred seat theatre right in the heart of the city. We were extremely well-reviewed and were even awarded the Fringe First Award by the festival committee. We may have the chance to take the show to London this next year, but if not, my August was one to remember.

Scotsman Assembly in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

From: Steve

At the end of September, I spent 4 days driving, camping, and taking photos down in southern Colorado. The goal was to collect some good fall aspen shots for my photo business that I am in the process of setting up in my spare time. Unfortunately, the drought this summer affected most of the trees, and they were turning directly from green to brown.

View from the top of McClure Pass

As a side trip, I also spent a day down at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. At the North Rim there were few visitors, and I pretty much had the whole canyon rim to myself, especially the morning I got up before dawn to take photos at the edge of the canyon.

If you ever want to have a unique experience, try walking up to the rim of a 3000 foot deep canyon in the pre-dawn grey! Kind of gets you down deep in your gut.

Morning at the rim of the Black Canyon

I am still in the middle of scanning and editing about 30 rolls of film from the trip, but if you want to see a few of my favorite images so far, check out the web page at:


You can also see my other current images at the website I am setting up for my business at:


From: Sandra

....Life is crazy and satisfying both. Madison is 9 months old already! Standing and says "Mama." I love it. Dave is getting married in a couple of weeks in Lake Tahoe so I'll see the family, including Dad. Jamie, Dale's wife, is 5 months' pregnant so we can't wait for our newest baby! (Congratulations, Jamie and Dale! That's exciting news. Wish Grace could be here for this. -Jo)



From: Gwen

The drought of 3 months finally broke--we had an inch of rain last week. That settled the dust but did not come near to filling the lakes and ponds. The grasshoppers were delighted as they thrive in hot, dry weather. After temperatures of 111 and 112, we are hopping about with delight, have the windows wide open, and can work outside with ease as it is in the low 90's most days.

I am up to my neck with two books that I am co-editing with some colleagues. The one on school violence is about finished. The one on the administration of special programs is just beginning. The women's book just came out and looks great but no more books for me! (Editor's Note: Included in this book is a chapter by Betty entitled "The Enigma of Women's Success" and also two poems by Gwen: "Education" and "The University." I'm going to enjoy reading it. - Jo) Retirement looks better and better, especially when I sit and grade multitudes of papers.

Gwen's New Book: Women as School Executives: The Complete Picture
Edited by Anita Pankake, Gwen Schroth and Carole Funk

We are going to Omaha for a weekend with Betty and Carl; Jo and Frank and maybe Marg will join us. We are going with friends to gamble in Louisiana in a few weeks and later in October I will attend a rural education conference in Charleston. We are looking forward to attending some hockey games in November.

Jean and Rusty are remodeling an old ranch house in the country. If anyone has ever tried remodeling, it can be nightmare. They discover new and interesting things daily. The contractor died so Jean has taken over the job. Can you imagine redneck Texans taking orders from a woman? They have learned something new--collaboration.

Debbie and Dary continue with their foster children and their own (five now that Blake has been officially adopted). Dary will finish med school in a year and a half and that can't come too soon.

From: Barb

Dear Friends and Family:

We're moving! God has blessed us with the very house that we had wanted in the White Marsh area of Baltimore. The house had previously "sold" to someone else, so Bria and I gave up hope and were unsure of what our plan would be. Then the owner called and told us that the sale had fallen through, were we still interested? WE WERE! Just when I was feeling very down about the sale of our own house an interested couple came by. Within 4 days both contracts were complete and all the financials approved! We could hardly believe it! We move in Oct. 28.

Here's our new address:

Barbara Hiebert and Bria Hiebert Crape
8548 Castlemill Circle
Baltimore, MD 21236

We both love the house! It has a fireplace (with a woodstove insert) to warm us all winter long. Also, I LOVE the fact that it has so many trees on the property: 3 oak trees, 2 peach, 2 Bradford pear, a weeping cherry, a maple, an apple tree and a hemlock, with a few unidentified ones thrown in there somewhere. There are numerous flowering bushes too. (You'd think I was more excited about the outside than the inside)!

Anyway, thank you all for your prayers. I know that a number of you have been keeping us in prayer during the course of the last two years, and WE DO APPRECIATE IT!

From: David Zapata

Hello Everyone,

This is Dave Zapata calling in from Dallas, TX. I'm working for a good firm as a Project Engineer designing commercial toasting appliances. I've been here 6 months, having moved here in March. I anticipate staying here a while, and I have some exciting news: I'm getting married this month, October 21st, to my best friend Beverly Laudel of Millbrae, CA. We've known each other for about 5 years now, and after my divorce was finalized earlier this year, we discussed our futures. And, as they say, the rest is history. So, we'll be making our home here in Dallas. She's 37 years young, and I hope to have a picture for you all to see after the wedding.

All my kids are doing fine in California, and even though I don't get to see them much, my two girls visited on Labor Day weekend. They are both in college, and the oldest, Loralie, will graduate next year most likely.

From: Notes from Loey & Gary's emails

(Webmaster Note: Gary sent me a CD with a webpage and photos from their adventures. I placed them on my server at: http://www.bannertree.com/adventure
There are lots of photos, so it may take a bit of time to download)

-well, after last night I'm not so sure animals are a great idea but in case we decide to keep them here are some pictures. Some say the 'rainy season' has started. We aren't quite sure since it has never stopped raining in the last couple of months except that now it is REALLY raining - downpours like spigots have been opened in the sky. Real monsoon stuff - and anytime of day or night instead of just in the afternoon. In any case, yesterday the heavens opened up and gave us this bountiful blessing of water such that the roads were 1 ft deep in water/mud etc. Our road which is normally a stream then becomes a river. Gary and I planned to take a taxi home but they wanted $1.50 and we thought they should only get $1.25 but we argued to no avail and finally 'showed them' by walking home in the rain and road rivers. When we got home Balu was in her pen but she isn't smart enough to get in her doghouse when it rains - instead she runs around in the rain and rolls in the mud. So...before Balu could come in the house I had to strip and give her a bath, which is a very messy business in itself as she howls and whines and jumps around creating general havoc. Then later we discovered that she didn't want to go out into the rain and had instead pee'd in the bed - massive quantities! so the sheets had to be washed - well that's a whole different story since we have no washing machine and with the rain and general humidity it takes several days to dry the sheets. I took a shower (with the sheets) and stomped on them as I washed my hair and now they are hopefully drying on the line. So Balu is in big trouble!



-Wow, just finished grading everyone's quarter stuff - I'm not going to ask for any more essays! 28 of those plus 28 tests plus labs plus case studies .....yechhh.

Anyway, the orphanage that I go to is one of several local ones - this one has kids from 6 to 10 or so, then they move to another one. For an orphanage (actually 70% of the kids are not orphaned but abandoned) it's not bad in that it is a Catholic-run place with regular meals and a house etc. However, if you look at the standards compared to our kids it's something else. The kids (about 100) get 50 rupees per month from the govt - about 1 dollar. This gets them several meals per day of rice and watery lentils. Once a month the head sister buys 12 pounds of meat and they make a stew for all of them. No eggs, no milk, no sweets, etc.

The kids sleep in a big room - on the floor with one blanket each. No mattresses except for 2 dirty ones which are used if they are sick. The Kodai kids had a project to put a roof over the latrine area so they don't have to go out in the rain - that's a big deal! Still, no hot water.

Despite that they are so friendly and fun and happy to see us. Of course we bring cookies. We go every other Saturday and play games and give them crayons for drawing, frisbees to throw etc. They do go to school so that's at least something.

Anyway, it's good to see another life style though I certainly want to bring them home. Jayalakshmi is my particular favorite. Maybe I'll work to get money for them to get milk once a week or everyday - so if I come asking for money don't be too surprised.


Just thought I would officially announce the arrival of 5 chickens who are now clucking their way around their pen - feeling very cold since they came from the plains but happy to be untied from each other as they were on the trip up. Balu and Luna are more than curious so we are just hoping there are 5 tomorrow and the next day etc. All girl chickens = we have a bet with the cook who says there has to be a rooster to have eggs and we say that just makes them fertilized eggs. Anyone want to bet on this one?

I guess a baby viper was found in my bathroom the other day = question is.....WHERE IS MOM???? so guess I have to watch the floor a bit more.

From: Michael

I am all finished with my CDA equivalency and I now have a certificate for that program. I have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with the children at the Even Start I was at. Now that I have this certificate, I will have a chance to work with children on an employment basis. I am hoping to have my certificate for national CDA by May. I take testing for that in April or so.

By the time this update is put up, I will be back in Guatemala playing with the children that I so adore and who made me finally decide to pursue the profession I want. This trip will help me out tremendously for my CDA pursuit because I will get to put in practice what I have learned in the CDA equivalency.

When I get back, I will be updating my advocacy for Autism Spectrum Awareness. Hopefully, the results of the elections will look favorable to me when I get back. I see that the right kind of people in Congress and the Presidency will help make advocacy for me a lot easier. I am hoping to take on the educational system. I also have plans for a book, a website. and hopefully hearing about getting a self-advocacy gig.

From: Phyl and Elmer

We've been very occupied with the return of Karen and Rick from England to take up residence in Tacoma, WA to continue working for YFC training leaders. They went up to find a house and actually did purchase one. Prices up there are double those in Fresno. They're in this area for three more weeks, staying mainly with his parents in the mountains. Toby (15 mo.) is running around on sturdy legs, has a one-word vocabulary--not Mama or Dada but "NO." Grace is a very busy 3-yr-old who likes to play with words. She was calling Elmer "Grandpa Elvis" for a while.

The Vietnam family is in some stress because both boys got bad cases of ringworm apparently from the cats. A good Israeli clinic in Hanoi, so were treated for it. But now the white patches on the skin won't go awayt, A doctor said this was permanent change in the skin, which was very upsetting(naturally). So this weekend Ken took Daniel to the clinic in Bangkok for further diagnosis.

Some information will be coming your way soon on the project Paul and I mentioned at the family reunion about funding a chair at the college in Shamshabad. Paul was in India in summer and so the project was on hold for quite a while, but he also visited the college and has up-to-date information. Several chairs have already been endowed by other groups. All our Hiebert connections to India make this a sort of natural project as well as a much-needed and wise one. Several of us have already indicated we want to support it. The details of organization, rationale, etc. will be sent out to everyone ASAP. Just to let you know it's coming.

From: Jo

My big news is that I plan to retire at the end of this year. Frank is still making his decision since Monmouth College Education Department is in the process of a big change. I've decided that there are so many things I want to do yet that I'd better get going on them. I now understand Mom so much better when she'd say she had to stay up until 12:00 or 1:00 to get all the things done she was wanting to do....and that continued until she died. I think I'm going to be busier than ever for at least 10 years, and then maybe I can slow down a bit.

So.....Gwen, here's ONE thing I'm beating you at. Ha!

We had a great time visiting with Betty and Carl, Margy, Gwen and Dick last weekend. We were all at Betty's place, chatting, eating, chatting and eating some more. David & Susan, Madison and Henry came for curry on Saturday evening so we got to have some time with them. Madison's in 4th grade by now, is part of their Year Book team, and is an avid reader of Harry Potter books. Henry's in 2nd grade, is learning to love to read, plays soccer and is still Gentry's "favorite cousin!" I wish this next generation in our family could learn to know each other better. Here are some pictures from our visit there.


Margy showing off her gorgeous leg.....!

Here's the picture of Gwen actually cooking, Dick!

Three Generations: Betty & Carl, Susan & Dave, and Madison & Henry

Henry and Madison (check out Madison's Halloween tatoo!)

The Outlaws

Frank and I went to Mt. Lake this last August and got to see some our relatives there. We had such a good time visiting with Uncle John and Aunt Wilma Jungas, Uncle George Hiebert, Frank and Helen Jungas, Aunt Helen Sawatzky and Leona Ewert (Dad's cousin). They shared a lot of stories and old pictures with me, and I'm starting to add these to our family web page. I have the first section of this information under "Mt. Lake Memories" in this issue. I think you'll enjoy the stories.

And of course I can't end this newsletter without a picture of OUR favorite grandsons. Don't forget: you're all welcome to send in YOUR favorite snapshots.


John teaching Grandpa some new computer tricks

Gentry with Grandma at the Denver Train Station

Have a GREAT autumn!