Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A visit to Rehoboth Christian School and friends

September 9, 2014
Up at the break of dawn is easy for Barb and I because we are sleeping on a hide-a-bed in the living room that catches the sun, and the room is filled with the coffee aroma from Dirk fulfilling his morning duty at 5:45 a.m.  After a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, fruit, toast, and anything else that we had to eat in order to clean out the refrigerator, we are off to Rehoboth.  We have to backtrack through Albuquerque - no tram ride because we don't have time - and we set out for a four hour ride to Rehoboth which is just outside Gallup.  We wanted to be there by 2:00 p.m. so we could have a tour of the campus.

Once again as we travel, we are amazed at God's awesome creation.  We see his beauty is the mesas and buttes that radiate beautiful colors and shapes.  The terrain changes to a more arid climate where plant life must sustain itself with very little rain.

Arriving early, we were able to go to the Gallup Cultural Center where we could see and read about the American Indian influence in the area of northwestern New Mexico.  There were paintings, cravings, weavings, and most of all - sand paintings which really caught my attention.

Memorial to the Code Talkers of WW2 at the cultural center.

We then went to the city center where festivals are held and ate our month watering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and washed them down with cool refreshing water.  We knew we had to eat light because Jim and Sherri (Short) Holwerda invited us over to have dinner at their house. 

This Field house was financed by many folks in Western Michigan
Arriving at Rehoboth was a time of mixed emotions.  Barb and I had been there 45 years ago with her family, Phil was there last year with the Sea to Sea Bike Ride, and for the others, it was their first time. We had a wonderful tour lead by Deanna Benson.  She had graduated from Rehoboth and after moving back to the area she accepted a position with them. The campus now has a new middle school (2005), library (2006), and a fantastic physical education building (2007).  As we walked around, the Dutch Bingo Game was in full swing.  We met Jim Holwerda first and then Short - they taught at Oakdale Christian with us before leaving fifteen years ago to teach here. We interrupted Lois (Ottens) Harvey's classroom to say "Hi" except that it went fairly long and Dirk and Don went into the room and talked with the students.  We also bumped into Chris Huizinga who went to Eastern Ave CRC and left seven years ago to come to Rehoboth.  As we talked, his wife Abbey came to pick up their preschooler, Eddie, and other three girls. What a joy it was to share our love for one another. 

The library was dedicated to the Code Talkers of WW II and is a museum of that history.  The room is ringed with pictures of those Marines who either attended the school or were descendants of those who did.

After cleaning up in our very nice rooms, we went to the Holwerda's for a delicious dinner of chicken on rice.  We sat around and shared many old memories, thoughts, and news about each other.  Lois and her husband Johnny also joined us.  Johnny, a Navaho, was able to fill us in on many traditions and feelings of the Navaho.  Lois was once a young person who was in the EACRC Youth group when Jan and Phil were youth leaders.

Jim and Short Holwerda and Lois and Johnny Harvey

Knowing that teachers need their rest for the next day of teaching, we forced ourselves to say good-by and gave each other long hugs.  We thought the days activities were over until we arrived back to our rooms and found out that the Pegman's door key didn't work.  Phil, the locksmith, displayed his art of unlocking a door with a plastic card except that it didn't work. 

We thought they might have to sleep on a sofa in our rooms until the phone calls ran the circuit and finally found Cindy Ippel who opened the door.  Now it is time to get to bed because we need to get to Mesa Verde tomorrow.


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