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Wagonmaster's wife driving a 43 ft RV on the train
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$2800 - 2 BR - 1150sf - 429 Euclid - Oak - Onsite Pkg Soon

Door To Enclosed/Secured Porch

Enter secured 2 BR Apt from porch Stairs go to landing

Landing to top floor

Kitchen 8 x 13

Kitchen 8 x 13

Enter 18 x 27 Dining/Living Room From Stair
Years ago a tenant made an area the size of the bright part of the carpet in the photo into a great fenced play area for their child to explore

Bath 11 x 9.5

3 x 3 Shower at Left

Tub Not Used - Save Water

Bedroom 1 - 11 x 18

BR 1 Closet 6.5 x 6.5

Bedroom 1 - 11 x 18 - 3 Windows

Bedroom 2 - 10 x 14 - 1 Large Window

Bedroom 2 Closet 4 x 6

Bedroom 2 - With Rug

Kathleen and Paul are owners and live on site. So you'll get quick response to your needs and access to your washer/dryer in the basement.

Your apartment is only 100 feet from Grand Avenue and only 100 more to beautiful Lake Merritt where the winter birds are arriving. And runners abound.

Your Saturday Farmer's Market is closeby under/around I-580. Trader Joe's is just a few more feet. Whole Foods Market is walkable from your apartment. Sprouts Farmers Market is on Broadway and Safeway is closeby on Grand Ave.

Then there's the classic Grand Lake Theater. You'll find many good restaurants on Grand and Lakeshore. Walking Grand Ave and Lakeshore at night always reminds me of the Left Bank of Paris.

This area truly is a gem and Kathleen and I are glad and happy to live here. You will be too.

2/23/04 - Mennonite Tour

Today I have the happiness of introducing a guest editor! Those of you who read my journal of Bike 70th cross-country bicycle tour, will remember that some of my fellow cyclists shared their impressions and experiences of the ride. On this journey, I am inviting my fellow companions, to share with you their views and impressions of this adventure. Today our guest editor is Carolee Day. Carolee and her husband Dan hail from Pisgah Forest, North Carolina. Here are Carolee’s impressions of our visit in Mennonite Country:

Day 2 & 3 of our caravan found us at Loewen’s RV Park just North of Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico. Peter Loewen is 3rd generation Mennonite and has lived his entire life here. At his park he handles many of the RV Caravans, which come through the area.

Today was the day that we were to learn of the Mennonite lifestyle, to include their schools, their history, their church and some of their factories. At 0900, under cloudy sky, 34 windy degrees and in coats and layers of clothing, we boarded the old yellow school bus and were off ‘to school’. We immediately saw two signs, which translated—“do not throw garbage” and “do not stand on the seats”. After many laughs and memories, we decided kids would be kids wherever.

The Mennonite school—children attend from age 6-12 years. They are taught reading, writing, arithmetic and the ‘Hi’-German language. Hi German because it is spoken in the church and most of their learning is taken from the Bible. Lo German is spoken/taught in the homes and the Spanish, which is also spoken, is learned through ‘life’. (Peter said that he learned his on one of the first jobs.) The configuration of the classroom is the youngest are in the back, with the older ones in the front, boys on one side and girls on the other. There were no uniforms, but dark colored dresses and long hair in braids or pulled back for the girls and dark clothes for the boys. Most of their reading is done out loud and the younger ones learn by listening. They recited memorized passages from the bible very well and VERY rapidly, when called upon. Then without music they sang to us. They asked us to sing to them-so--without music we ‘sang’ “God Bless America” to them. (We definitely need practice should we attempt that again).

Leaving the school, we asked Peter how he picked that school to visit and he smiled and said that the teacher was his father. His grandfather taught school for 42 years and his father had lived with that and liked it so he just ‘picked it up’. They do not need any further education to teach. Matter of fact the young people never receive any further education after leaving school at the age of 12. They work around the house for 2-3 years, then go out to work on the farms or go to work for someone else. He stated “they never leave the area ”. There are more modern schools, where Peter’s children go, and they go until the age of 15. They are taught English and Spanish, the boys and girls are allowed to sit together, and there is music in the school. In the homes of the ‘modern believers’ they have TV - but those of the old belief only have radio and stereos.

Farming is the main money producer in the area. Corn wheat, apples, and beans are grown, mainly to sell throughout Mexico, and dairy cows are raised from which the milk is used to make cheese, a white cheddar and a white jalapeno cheese. Both VERY good, I must add. As you drive along the road, you would see the 10-gallon milk cans waiting to be picked up to take to the cheese factory. The cheese factory that we visited, there are about 30 in the area, produces about 2,000 Kg per day of cheese, but some produce as much as 7,000 Kg per day. The cheese is shipped all over Mexico. As the young men grow up, they buy land and start their own farms. Acreage is about $2,500 per acre for irrigated land and $300 for dry land. This is a very dry area now, only about 8” of rain a year, usually in June and July. Corn is the best producer as this year it yielded about 5.5 T/acre. Deep wells are used for irrigation.

Peter told me later that he had had no interest in being a teacher, as his father and grandfather had been, and that after he and his wife, Christina, had been married 2 years, his father-in-law gave them the RV Campground. That was 8 years ago. It was in a run-down condition and he has continually made improvements. He only had 7 groups the first year and now they have 33 groups. Their hospitality was remarkable. They have a dining room set-up where they have homemade bread and pastries for sale, also quilts and hand made articles. Our wagonmaster said that when he first stopped there 7 years ago, Peter spoke very little English and now he is very fluent and has learned much of the US humor. He says that he learns from every one he talks with. (Peter is 33 years old.)

Next we visited a Mennonite church, one of the old beliefs. With its hard wooden backless benches, division of men and women, black dresses for the women and black suits and ties for the men, no electricity, no music, no children in church until age of 12, open windows and ceiling openings for ventilation, and services starting at 0800 and lasting 2 hours, one can see why many are choosing more ‘modern’ beliefs. Peter says that in his church, of the modern beliefs, they sit together as a family, with the children. They also have regular church pews, they can wear clothing as they like, they have music and “it’s much better”. But his father disagrees, as he is still is of the old church. The preachers come from within the camp/village and they receive no salary, so therefore they must have other jobs.

Peter told us of the history of the Mennonite in Mexico. In 1840 they immigrated from Russia and Holland to Canada. In 1921 Canada said that they must learn to speak English and go into the military service, or they must leave. Six people came to Mexico and talked with the government and they were told they could buy land in Chihuahua, Sinoloa, or Durango. They felt the best land for their needs was Chihuahua, so they returned to Mexico City and purchased 200,000 acres for 50cents an acre, and they would be free of taxes for 50 years. They came to Mexico by train, and in the next 7 years there were 12,000 Mennonites on 33 trains, which were full of everything they needed to live. Today they total over 40,000.

Today many return to Ontario and Manitoba, Canada in the summer to work, as they can make more money working in Canada, then return to Mexico in the winter months. Many still have family in Canada or that have returned to Canada to live. They carry a dual citizenship—Canadian and Mexican. There is still no military service requirement.

Some answers to questions asked Peter: Today youth are baptized at 17-20 and after that they may get married and men do pick their own spouse. There is no divorce.—Teachers salary is about $650 per month and that comes from within the Mennonite community, no government subsidy.—The covering of the little girls heads is strictly the preference of the family, but in the old beliefs, after the women are married, they wear the small black hat or scarf.—Mennonite ‘doctors’ have no further education, just learn from the older ones. They mainly treat the minor things, but for something serious, they will go to a Mexican hospital.--

After our tour we had lunch in a Mennonite home. It was quite an arrangement. In one room, they had set up long tables which could serve a capacity of about 80 people. The tables were already set with baskets of rolls, plates of salami and cheese, pickles, homemade butter and plates of wonderful cookies and pastries. Many of us came out suffering from an overdose of sugar, but oh, was it worth it. When we arrived, there was already another group there and for the 65+people, everything was handled very efficiently by 2 young ladies. Lunch was $5.00 and for 65 people, they did OK.

Here are some of the folks at the lunch:
Facing the camera and going from RIGHT to LEFT are:
Jim & Sherryll Compton, Sharon Wallace & Bill Wethington, and Herm & Dorothy Ter Horst.
Behind them, and facing the camera from right to left are:
Norma & Bill Emerick, and Ruth Carothers & Byron Walkley, and John & Melba Hinrichs.

On the way to school, Peter had pointed out to us that this year had been colder and colder longer than years previously. As our trip progressed, the clouds became more present and the rain was upon us----making what looked to be ‘splatters’ on the windshield.---No that couldn’t be SNOW—we came South to miss that white stuff!! We stopped by a local marketplace to get some last minute supplies and it indeed was ‘thick’ rain by the time we got home.

Oh,Oh, at 5:30,as we headed to the social room at the campground, it had begun to SNOW---making for some ‘not so happy campers” After relaxing and warming up by his nice warm stove, our day slowed down with an excellent dinner served by Peter’s wife, mother and 2 friends. Delicious home cooked pork chops with all the fixin’s, again no restraints on calories or carbs, but oh so good.

Our Railroad travel briefing was held and this trip has even more details than we expected, but then our wagonmaster pointed out---this is an “Adventure” Caravan. Night ended by playing Adventure Caravan bingo, using the names of the people/rigs as spaces and frijoles beans for markers.

Wow! What a day!-- and that was only Day 2&3 of 41!
Carolee Day Rig #7

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4/25 - INTEGRITY MEANS AVOIDING any communication that is deceptive, full of guile, or beneath the dignity of people. "A lie is any communication with intent to deceive." Whether we communicate with words or behavior, if we have integrity, our intent cannot be to deceive. - from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Paul & Kathleen Smith | 173 Rainbow Dr #7329 | Livingston, TX 77399-1073 | (510) 386-8973